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Superintendent Pasquale Scuderi

Dear AUSD Families:

As we move deeper into the fall, we continue to appreciate the efforts of our staff, as well as our students, whose curiosity, creativity, and promise fuel our collective commitment to education. We also are always appreciative of the engagement of our families. When those components move in complimentary directions, we are more likely to see the imaginative and flexible learning experiences that are present in many places in our district expand and deepen all across it.

As I noted several weeks ago, our broad efforts this year will include the exploration and pursuit of several key actions found in our strategic plan. They include but are not limited to:

A comprehensive and community-wide exploration of our grading policies and practices

Structural adjustments to school schedules that allow for more consistent windows of student support and consistent professional collaboration between educators

Development of a multi-year plan to ensure the financial well-being of the district, including expenditures that progressively align to our strategic goals, and that consider our need to remain competitive with regard to the retention and recruitment of a highly qualified and diverse workforce.

In addition, we will be developing an AUSD Literacy Framework, which will be a shared articulation and understanding of the guiding principles and core practices we employ to support all students becoming successful readers, writers, and speakers. Our goal is to provide more consistency across our school sites, as well as to communicate broadly about what AUSD students are learning and how families can support them.

Elsewhere, with our first priority being the safety of our students and staff we are thankful for the empathy, efficiency, and professionalism our school teams have demonstrated in the early rounds of safety protocol rehearsals we have initiated this fall. 

I personally attended drills at Lincoln Middle and Love Elementary last week and was grateful for the preparation and caring on display from school leaders and staff as well as our students. 

These are challenging and often stressful topics and practices. We have to be both sensitive and preemptive regarding the triggering effects they may bring about for many, while also ensuring that schools are fluent in practices and protocols that can be dialed up on extremely short notice to maximize student and staff safety in the face of a true emergency. 

I look forward to working through these, and a variety of other needs and opportunities, with our community as the year progresses.

Pasquale Scuderi