Written by ABCUSD Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu
First, I’d like to wish a belated “Happy New Year” to the entire ABC school community! At the Board of Education Meeting on (Jan. 7,) the Board and I rang in 2014 by ringing the 13 Golden Bell Awards we have received since 2002. The Golden Bell Awards are given for exemplary programs in school districts by the California School Boards Association. We have been honored to have received a Golden Bell Award almost every year since 2002. More importantly, the ringing in of a new year with the Golden Bells demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement in ABC Unified School District.
It was an exceptional year for ABC in 2013. We celebrated with two schools honored as a National Blue Ribbon School, two secondary schools recognized as California Distinguished Schools, two programs awarded the Golden Bell Awards, 7 schools honored as STAR Schools and 9 schools in Cerritos recognized as SCHOLAR Schools by the California Business for Education Excellence. We celebrated with the City of Hawaiian Gardens when Artesia High School became a 2013 California Distinguished School and two of our elementary schools serving Hawaiian Gardens met the State’s benchmark of 800 or above on the Academic Performance Index. The City of Artesia recognized seven of the schools serving Artesia for meeting the State’s benchmark.
In looking ahead at the new year, we recognize the enormous changes ahead of us. This includes the transition to the Common Core State Standards that the State has adopted, a new State assessment, new Local Control Accountability Plan and new Local Control Funding Formula. Work has already begun in many of these areas but thoughtful implementation and communication will be required in order to be successful. Last November, our Board of Education approved to change from an at-large election to a trustee area election system beginning 2015. Numerous steps will be undertaken throughout 2014 in order to make this transition. In addition, this year, the Board and I will be discussing and exploring putting a bond measure for November, 2014. This will require considerable input from the community and transparent communications regarding why additional funds are critical to the success of the District in the years ahead.
As we welcome in the new year, we are fully aware of the changes in front of us. As with any highly effective organization, we, in ABC, look forward to continuous growth and improvement!