The 2019/20 school year proves to be an exciting time at Ojai Unified School District. Simply put, OUSD is a special place. Being small means that we can provide so many things for students that wouldn’t happen in a larger district. I am excited to see the continued growth in opportunities and service to students, as well as increased academic achievement and student wellness.
When we began our work this year, we identified what I call “The First Four” areas of focus. Here’s what we’ve been able to accomplish together this year.
Involve the Community - This year we set out to ask our community, ”What do you want to see in our schools?” We began with our “Engage to Impact” summer series, where we discovered together our community’s values of Wellness, Creativity and the Arts, Inclusion, Environmental Stewardship. Our most recent “Engage to Impact: School Safety” event held this week provided insight into our district value of wellness and the safety of our students, staff, and families. We invited our community, and had speakers Chief Fryhoff of Ojai Police/VC Sheriff and a physical security engineer from Haines Security Solutions. We are thankful for partnerships with community and law enforcement to ensure OUSD schools remain a safe place for students to learn and grow
We’ve also launched our Guiding Coalition initiative , giving our community an opportunity to collaborate on a strategic plan of where we are going as a district.
Vision - Our district launched the only student-centered vision, in Ventura County. Every area of our vision is through the eyes of the student, and this vision guides our decisions and all of our initiatives.
Communication - Our third focus is to more effectively communicate the great things we do for our kids, as well as important information for families. From the launch of our ParentSquare platform, which delivers important messages from teachers, schools and district in the recipients' preferred language and allows that recipient to respond in their language, to an increased presence on social media , to rebranding of new school and district logos, our hope is that each parent feels connected to their student’s schools and classrooms. Additionally, our enhanced communications initiative allowed us to convey important information during wind events and potential SCE power outages. Our mission is to continue to improve on communicating who we are, and how we serve the kids of our community.
Possibilities - Our fourth and final area of focus is making great things happen for kids. In addition to providing great opportunities in arts, academics, athletics, and clubs, we have also:
- Launched our Family Fund initiative to ensure that students and families have access to the resources they need to learn and participate in school
- Opened Ojai Independent, which offers blended learning options for students who prefer online learning and enrichment opportunities.
- Implemented a new 4th grade mathematics pilot
- Provided students in selected grades with 1:1 devices
- Piloted a new reading program for struggling readers
I want to personally invite you to engage with our staff, schools and partner organizations. To do so, please review our events calendar at your school, or our district .
Let’s make it a great year!
Dr. Tiffany Morse