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 District OfficeSuperintendent's Office     June 28, 2017  
Office of the Superintendent
 
 

 
Superintendent's Message

May 5, 2016

Dear Moorpark Families:

As the end of the year is quickly approaching, I want to take this opportunity to provide you with an update about important information about Moorpark Unified School District.

New Chief Business Officer  

Please join me in offering a warm MUSD welcome to Ms. Pearl Iizuka who accepted the position of Chief Business Officer, effective May 4, 2016. Ms. Iizuka comes to us with over 35 years of proven experience in finance, including serving as Deputy Superintendent of Business Services for the Rancho Palos Verde School District. Ms. Iizuka brings essential skills and focus to our financial operations and oversight, and we are thrilled to have her join our MUSD team. 

Budget Challenges

I have been candid with the school community about our on-going challenges of declining enrollment and rising special education costs. As your superintendent, I want to assure you that quick and immediate action was taken to address several years of budgetary structural deficiencies which included inadequate financial processes and inaccurate budget forecasting. This resulted in deficit spending in which the district’s expenditures exceeded revenue. Moving swiftly and within a week of being notified of our qualified status, MUSD secured the services of an outside fiscal expert to begin assisting our financial department. Currently, MUSD is working as a team with certified auditors and the Ventura County Office of Education to analyze our budget processes to ensure budget accuracy and health for future years. Although we are presently working through budget issues, it is important to know that the education of our students remains first and foremost.  Programs (academic and extra-curricular) will continue and thrive for the 2016-2017 school year, and, in some areas, will be expanded (as outlined below). Ms. Iizuka and I will present updated information about the 2016-2017 budget at a parent meeting to be held later this month. The date and time will be announced to coincide with the release of the Governor’s budget revision. I am confident that we are building a solid and reliable budget for the district and are on track to receive a positive budget certification in the 2016-2017 school year.

Addition of GATE Program

We are very excited to announce that MUSD will offer the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program for the 2016-2017 school year. Formal identification of GATE students was suspended in 2009; we are very pleased to introduce this program again for our students next year. The GATE program will provide additional enrichment opportunities for our GATE identified students.

Expansion of Career Technical Education Opportunities

Our College and Career Technical Education pathways continue to expand in MUSD.  Hospitality and Tourism as well as Manufacturing and Product Design pathways will be added to Moorpark High School next year. A gaming unit will be offered at all three middle schools next year which is aligned to the Game Design pathway at Moorpark High School. Additionally, collaboration between the MHS Business Academy and MUSD middle schools has generated excitement for students considering careers in business and entrepreneurship.  Teams of middle and high school students are preparing to compete at the county-wide Aspire competition in June, where winners will have the opportunity to manufacture and sell the products they are pitching.

MUSD has also partnered with the Ventura County Office of Education to provide an East County Career Center in Moorpark to provide our students priority access to many new Career and Technical Education courses. This exciting program will begin in the Fall of 2016 and will continue to expand the following year. 

Gold Ribbon Award Winning Schools

It is with extreme pride and pleasure that I announce that three of our schools have received the 2016 California Gold Ribbon School Award. Arroyo West Active Learning Academy, Campus Canyon College Preparatory Academy, and Peach Hill Academy will be honored at a reception in Los Angeles on May 24th.  This award was created to honor schools with exemplary model programs and practices that can be replicated by other educational agencies. Campus Canyon College Preparatory Academy is being honored for their school wide enrichment model; Peach Hill Academy for their focus on the Core Knowledge Sequence; Arroyo West Active Learning Academy for their school wide implementation of the Reading & Writing Workshop based on Columbia University Teachers College model. I am so proud of each of these outstanding staffs for their dedication and commitment to the students of Moorpark.

State Testing Update

The CA Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) testing began the week of April 18 and will continue through the end of May. With over 3,900 students to test, it takes a tremendous team effort to organize and administer both the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments in English Language Arts and Math as well as the CST/CMA/CAPA in Science. Dedicated teachers and staff completed training to administer and proctor the tests and have prepared the students well to demonstrate their understanding of the content standards and use the new tools in online assessments. Some schools held assemblies or rallies to “kick off” testing and encourage students to show what they know. Thanks to Measure S, there are plenty of desktop computers, laptops and Chromebooks to enable hundreds of students at multiple schools to test at the same time. District Technology staff are at school sites to assist with technology during testing. School CAASPP coordinators are keeping things running smoothly at their sites. MUSD continues to be a model for other districts in this area.

Swimming Pool at Moorpark High School

On April 26, 2016, our School Board took action to approve a conceptual agreement to partner with the City of Moorpark to build a pool at Moorpark High School.  There are two important points I want to stress about this agreement: 1) the approved agreement is conceptual and only gives approval for the district to continue working with the city to determine the scope and size of the pool, and to discuss and agree on details concerning school and community uses; 2) the approved agreement includes a city contribution of $3 million, a MUSD contribution that consists of funds from the 2008 passage of Measure S and private fundraising for the remaining balance.  Please note that the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee, which oversees the funds from Measure S, met on April 4, 2016, and agreed that a pool is an appropriate expenditure of these funds as outlined in the ballot measure which includes facilities and upgrades. I encourage you to participate as we move forward to explore the details of this project. School Board agendas are posted for public view the Friday before each meeting. I will also provide continuous updates as information becomes available.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. I welcome opportunities to hear from you.

Most sincerely,

Dr. Kelli Hays, District Superintendent


 
Superintendent's Office Support Staff

 Areli Hernandez, Executive Administrative Assistant

 
 Beverly Hughes, Secretary

 
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