• Ready to Launch Distance Learning Phase 2!

    Posted by Gordon Amerson, Ed.D. on 4/5/2020

    Dear Parents, Staff, and Community:  

    I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well. Please know it was with a heavy heart that I delivered the news to you earlier this week that our facilities will not reopen and our students will not return to their classrooms before the end of this school year due to the COVID-19 crisis. This was a grave decision that was not taken lightly, and I empathize with the hardship and disappointment it has caused. But, I do hope you understand that the safety of our students, staff, and families must always come first. Our public health authorities and government officials have made it clear, the peak of this pandemic is yet to come, and adhering to physical distancing measures is crucial to saving lives. Do be assured that while our buildings may be closed, the 2019-2020 year is not finished. Our district will continue as we have to provide Grab-n-Go meals, deliver essential services, and school for our students remains in session through remote learning until the last day of this academic year on May 28, 2020. 

    Today marks the end of Phase 1 of our Distance Learning Plan. I want to thank our students, educators, and caretakers for the remarkable way you have taken on the challenges of this new approach to teaching and learning. I believe this experience has given us all a chance to appreciate each other more than ever before, and realize how vital it is for us to work together and support one another. While we may need to remain physically apart, continuing to create virtual ways to help our students and each other feel connected academically and emotionally is essential. Resources to address the social-emotional well-being of our students and families can be found here.

    We move into Phase 2 of distance learning from April 6 through April 17, 2020. I am pleased that our leadership team and union partners have collaborated on the development of this plan. Our students will engage in high-quality learning opportunities that blend new concepts and enrichment to move learning forward using digital delivery as well as packet options. Please look for communications from your child’s Principal and teachers for details about the specifics of your child’s Phase 2 plan as well as directions for the next Packet Pick-Up Day that is scheduled for Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Please only come if absolutely necessary and follow all “social distancing” directives. 

    Because there are many questions about next steps, our Board of Education will hold a Special Meeting on Tuesday, April 7, at 10:00 a.m. to provide an opportunity to share with our community the specifics of Phase 2 and an update on all aspects of our district’s essential services delivery during this time. In compliance with Governor Newsom’s “Safer-at-Home” order, all meetings of our Board will be conducted virtually until further notice. However, public participation continues to be welcomed and encouraged. Information on how to listen and/or participate will be on our website once the agenda is posted.

    I also am aware that many of our students, especially our seniors, have many questions too regarding how grades will be assigned, graduation requirements, transcripts, and college admissions procedures. Please know that our district leadership team is working in collaboration with the California Department of Education and Los Angeles County Office of Education to address each of these concerns based on the guidance they issued yesterday, and we will provide answers in the days to come.

    At this time, I can share that all state testing has been suspended for this year including SBAC and ELPAC assessments. The College Board announced AP exams will still be administered using a modified online version for students to access at home, and our AP teachers will be preparing our students for this new format. Early College classes will continue according to the Citrus College Distance Learning Plan, and our high schools are working closely with seniors to make sure they graduate appropriately prepared for their post-secondary plans. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on K-12 instruction, I am relieved that our higher education partners announced more flexible admissions criteria that will be applicable for our current juniors and seniors. Find the joint statement issued by the CSU/UC, California Community Colleges, and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities here. Also, as I mentioned before, I have made it a priority to ensure, whether it be using a different format and/or at a later date, we will find a way to host our graduation ceremonies and celebrate our students’ momentous achievements.

    As we move into Phase 2,  please continue to regularly check our dedicated Distance Learning and COVID-19 Resources website hub and @duarteused on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube carefully for updates and information about our district’s operations and how best to contact our staff. We know that nothing is more important than the health and safety of our families and loved ones. My heart goes out to those of you who may know someone who is ill or has lost someone to COVID-19. Please continue to take all possible precautions to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others and protecting yourself. I can’t express enough the deep gratitude I have for each of you and our Duarte community for the way in which we have risen to meet this moment together. 

    Be well, everyone.  

    Superintendent of Schools
    Duarte Unified School District
    Comments (-1)
  • Reflecting on Week One, and Ready for Week Two of Our New Normal

    Posted by Gordon Amerson, Ed.D. on 3/29/2020
    Greetings DUSD Families, Staff and Community,
     
    It continues to be my sincere hope that you and your loved ones are healthy, safe, and adjusting as best you can to the challenges and uncertainties of COVID-19. As you are aware, we continue to operate under Governor Newsom's "Stay Home" and the County of Los Angeles' "Safer at Home" orders as well as the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s recommendation of school closure to curb the further spread of the virus. In light of these actions, the date students will return to school remains May 5, 2020, for now. 
     
    Also, we apologize for any inconvenience, but our district office and all school offices are now closed to the general public until further notice. However, as essential service providers, our district and school staff will continue to work remotely, except for identified employees needed to provide on-site support during designated hours, to assist our students, parents, and staff. District Departments will also continue to operate with modified services to minimize in-person contacts. During this time, if a member of the general public needs to reach a member of our team, refer to our staff email directory that is posted on our district website at www.duarteusd.org. For general information requests, please email communications@duarteusd.org.
     
    More than ever, we recognize the critical and essential role that we play as educational service providers. In just one week since beginning an entirely new approach to serving our students, I am pleased to share our staff worked diligently to provide more than 9,000 meals for children in our community, distributed 760 laptops for students needing a device in addition to the 1,900 Chromebooks already provided, secured 95 hot spots for families without access to wifi, and prepared both online and hard copy options for all students to continue their learning. Also, the pick-up process that took place for parents needing to retrieve items from our sites was conducted in a safe and efficient manner utilizing curb-side and walk-up systems in compliance with "social distancing" directives thanks to the organization of our schools and patience of our parents.
     
    As we continue to move forward into week two, the health and safety of our families and loved ones remains the priority. Please continue to take all possible precautions to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others by taking personal prevention actions, and follow the guidance provided by our local, county and state public authorities. Also, please only reference trusted public health sources for information that can be easily found on our dedicated COVID-19 webpage.
     
    Last week was a period of great change for our students, families, and staff as we launched into delivering essential educational services in a whole new way. I thank you all for helping to make this transition as smooth as possible as we find new and creative ways to connect virtually, and I appreciate your understanding and willingness to be flexible as we navigate this "new normal" together. I want to extend again my heartfelt thank you to you all for your ongoing support, understanding, and cooperation during this unprecedented time.
     
    Although things continue to evolve at a rapid pace, you have my and my team’s commitment to keeping you informed continuously. As I did last week, I encourage you also to take a moment to check in with your own family, friends, and loved ones regularly. Call, text, Skype, FaceTime...whatever your preferred method is, to check-in and virtually connect. It's helping to feed our souls and spirit during this time of staying “safe at home.” 
     
    Be well, everyone. Our Duarte Unified community is strong, and I am confident we will get through this together. 
     
    Best,
    Gordon
     
    Superintendent of Schools
    Duarte Unified School District
    Comments (-1)
  • Special Board Meeting to be Held Tuesday, March 17, 2020

    Posted by Gordon Amerson, Ed.D. on 3/15/2020
    Greetings DUSD Families, Staff and Community,
     
    On Friday, March 13, 2020, the Board of Education held a Special Emergency Meeting to determine the next precautionary measures the district will take in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and new guidance issued that day by the Los Angeles County Office of Education and State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond.
     
    The Board voted unanimously to dismiss and/or close the Duarte Unified School District schools, including the full-day/full-year Duarte Preschool programs, from March 23, 2020, until April 3, 2020, unless a determination is made to re-open at a later date based on a re-evaluation of the situation. Spring Break for our students will still take place as planned this upcoming week of March 16-20, 2020.
     
    As a result, at the time of this writing, all students attending Duarte Unified Schools and preschool programs are scheduled to return to school on April 6, 2020. All aftercare programs, school-sponsored extracurricular activities, and athletics will also be suspended until school resumes.
     
    In order to provide a thorough explanation of all elements of the district’s response plan, a Special Board Meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. in the District Office, Curriculum Lab, at which time this information will be presented to the Board and communicated to our entire community. Among the topics reviewed will be food services delivery, alternate student learning, and business operations.
     
    This Special Meeting will be live-streamed on our website at http://www.mldistrict.com/districts/ca/duarte/, and we encourage our school community to follow along remotely to assist with the “social distancing” directives that limits public meeting attendance.
     
    Our team will be providing our parents and staff with comprehensive guidance on the implementation of the district's plans prior to the end of Spring Break so we all are clear on the expectations and prepared to initiate these plans starting Monday, March 23, 2020.
     
    As you may already be aware, Governor Newsom held a press conference today, Sunday, March 15, and issued new guidance for all Californians. You can watch his address here. He shared that additional information for school districts will be forthcoming this Tuesday. I am anticipating that these new details will need to be accounted for in our district plans, and as the situation we are in remains fluid, we will be ready to make all necessary changes to our response as needed.
     
    During this time when students will not be present at school, the district will also continue to issue frequent updates to all of our parents and staff through the email addresses and phone numbers that are on file with our district. I also encourage you to regularly check the district website duarteusd.org and social media sites @duarteusd on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
     
    Thank you again very much for your cooperation, patience, and understanding as we navigate these challenging times together.
     
    Best,
    Gordon
     
    Superintendent of Schools
    Duarte Unified School District
    Comments (-1)
  • Our Children are Looking to Us and Our Actions and Words Matter

    Posted by Gordon Amerson, Ed.D. on 3/9/2020
    Greetings DUSD Families, Staff and Community,
     
    Understandably, many of us are experiencing heightened levels of anxiety at this moment in time that is being exacerbated by the 24-hour news cycle and social media. This is especially true for our children. As uncertainties swirl, our students are looking to the adults in their lives for guidance and support, and we know that our actions and our words matter.
     
    I caution all members of our community to be sensitive to their needs, whether it be with regard to the evolving coronavirus situation (read newest COVID-19 update here) or issues pertaining to our own district. In this particular climate when it is calming reassurance that is needed most, we must be careful not to fuel fears or politicize concerns, and I assure you that only factual information from trusted sources will be shared by our district on any and all matters. 
     
    For this reason, I feel it is important to address misinformation that has caused unnecessary confusion and concern on behalf of our students, staff, parents, and members of our community about the preliminary budget stabilization plan the Board approved at the Regular Meeting held last Thursday, and specifically how it relates to the staff members and programs impacted at Duarte High School. I was dismayed that inaccurate assumptions led students to believe arts from our schools would be eliminated, and it is important for you to know the show choir and choir electives at our schools were never at risk of removal.
     
    I am pleased that Heather Messner, who is the President of the Duarte Unified Educators Association (DUEA), which is our certificated members' union, has agreed to issue a joint statement with the district to ensure all members of our community are being provided with the facts, and together we are asking that false information on this topic being circulated on social media and other platforms be stopped and corrected. Find our statement here.
     
    Since being entrusted to lead our district, from day one I have been forthcoming about our need to maintain our focus on right-sizing our organization and stabilizing our budget to move our district forward and deliver on our teaching and learning goals for our scholars. Based on the realities of ongoing enrollment decline and the need to responsibly address our multi-year budget projections, the action the Board of Education took to approve issuing preliminary notices for certificated staffing reductions was a necessary step to stay within the provisions of the California Education Code. The law states that if any certificated reductions may be necessary for the following school year, all affected employees must be notified on or before March 15th. To clarify, the action that the Board took upon my recommendation was a precautionary measure, no cuts to any staff members or programs will be finalized until May 15th of this school year. 
     
    However, these proactive measures must be taken now, and this is just the first step toward preparing our final budget stabilization plan. Further staff and program reductions will need to be considered in the days ahead. What I do know for certain, as hard as that will be, if we do not address the budget deficit now, we will face insurmountable challenges for the foreseeable future if nothing is done.
     
    But, there is still much that can be done to avoid this worst-case scenario between now and May 15th. We will continue to increase our efforts to sustain and grow our student enrollment by encouraging prospective families to see the innovative education opportunities we have to offer, by getting all incoming kindergartners registered, and sharing with our 8th Grade future Falcons the many reasons why they should make DHS their first choice, not why not. We sell ourselves short when we do this, and can’t then feign bewilderment when enrollment suffers. We invite our entire community to visit our schools to see for yourself, and then help us in these efforts to promote all of our wonderful schools.
     
    We also will continue to collaborate with our labor association partners and seek their cooperation for other solutions through the negotiations process and our ongoing Budget Collaborative meetings that include leadership from DUEA and CSEA. Together, I am hopeful we can find alternatives that will minimize staffing reductions as currently proposed. We will be sure to keep our entire community appraised of the progress made during these Budget Collaborative meetings by sharing a joint communique to ensure the transparency of our efforts. 
     
    None of the decisions we make as an organization are done lightly, it is a painstaking process that requires a holistic understanding and appreciation of every aspect of our district and consideration of what is in the best interests of all our dedicated staff members, families, and most importantly, the students we serve. These decisions are not made in isolation or in a haphazard manner. All recommendations are data-driven and with input solicited from all our stakeholders.
     
    I invite you again to attend our upcoming Stakeholder Engagement Roadshow forums to share your input and learn about our district's budget, facilities needs, and LCAP development that will be held on March 10, at Maxwell Academy and on March 11, at Duarte High School. 
     
    Also, as we continue to plan for improved school facilities to support excellent teaching and learning, provide your feedback by email to communications@duarteusd.org or call (626) 599-5037. And, please also participate in our online Thoughtexchange conversation that will help to inform updates to our Local Control Accountability Plan. We are asking all stakeholders for your insights on what is going well and where we need to improve to support student learning. Your input is kept anonymous and provides the chance for you to see and rate all of the thoughts being contributed by others. The exchange will be open until March 16.
     
    Most importantly, please know my door is always open to you, I want to know what you think and how you are feeling. I am here for you. 
     
    Thank you and have a great week!
     
    Best,
    Gordon
     
    Superintendent of Schools
    Duarte Unified School District
    Comments (-1)
  • Your Vote Matters Be Counted!

    Posted by Gordon Amerson, Ed.D. on 2/17/2020
    Greetings DUSD Families, Staff and Community,
     
    Last week, a student delegation from Duarte High School accompanied by Principal Haro took to our State Capitol to represent our region at the YMCA Youth and Government Summit. Our Falcons had the opportunity to experience democracy in action first-hand, and debate issues with their peers from throughout California. Inspired by their civic action, I thought it fitting this Presidents Day to dedicate time to researching the propositions, local measures, and candidates that will be on the ballot in the upcoming Presidential Primary.
     
    Election Day is on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. If you haven't yet, there is still time to register to vote by February 18, to avoid "conditionally" registering after this time. Also, if you choose to vote-by-mail, the last day to request an application is February 25. Get the official voter guide provided by the California Secretary of State and find your polling place here. I can't emphasize enough how crucial it is that we model for our students the importance of civic duty and exercise our right to vote.
     
    Please also partake in the U.S. Census. Once every decade the government conducts a population count that determines the federal funding we receive for our schools, infrastructure, healthcare, and emergency services for the next ten years. The census count is also used to decide California's number of congressional representatives and electoral college votes. All Californians need to participate. Please learn how here.
     
    I am aware the current political climate surrounding issues related to immigration may have some anxious, but we have the assurances of our State Superintendent, Tony Thurmond, and government officials that the count will not be used to determine immigration status. I ask all of our families to participate and be counted. Our district is working in partnership with the Los Angeles County Office of Education and City of Duarte to help inform our community about the importance of the census.
     
    I also encourage you again to participate in the many ways we are asking for your feedback specific to the future of Duarte Unified School District. Please attend our District Stakeholder Engagement Roadshow forums to give your input, ask questions, and learn about the district's budget, facilities needs, and LCAP development. The next opportunity is on Tuesday, February 18, at Royal Oaks STEAM Academy from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. But, everyone is encouraged to attend the date that is most convenient for you from the remaining options listed below:
     
    Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at Royal Oaks STEAM Academy
    Tuesday, February 25, 2020, at Beardslee Dual Language Academy
    Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at Maxwell Academy - IB World School
    Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at Duarte High School
     
    If you haven't yet, please also participate in our online Thoughtexchange conversation that will help to inform updates to our district’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). Find the link to join here. You can also download the Thoughtexchange App. Your input is kept anonymous and provides the chance for you to see and rate all of the thoughts being contributed by others. The exchange is open now and will remain open until March 16, 2020. 
     
    I have appreciated the feedback received so far from our request for input regarding our facilities needs. Please continue to send your thoughts either by email to communications@duarteusd.org or call (626) 599-5037.
     
    Please also follow me on Instagram and Twitter @SuptAmerson for updates and find upcoming events taking place in DUSD on our website calendar, free  Mobile App, and @duarteusd on  TwitterFacebook,  Instagram, and Youtube.
     
    Thank you and have a great week!
     
    Best,
    Gordon
     
    Superintendent of Schools
    Duarte Unified School District
    Comments (-1)
  • Loyal Fans of Our DUSD Students!

    Posted by Gordon Amerson, Ed.D. on 2/3/2020
    Greetings DUSD Families, Staff and Community,
     
    I hope you had a super Sunday watching the big game or just enjoying a beautiful day with friends and family. Whether your NFL team won or lost, I'm betting we can all agree to be loyal fans of the students of DUSD! Every day in each of our schools our students are applying their learning with inspirational results that make us proud. A perfect example happened just this past week. Our DUSD family and extended community generated a wave of positivity that reached across the nation inspired by the creative genius of Duarte High School ASB President, Noelle Nguyen, with help from her fellow Falcons, Francisco Delgadillo and Dylan Monge. They created a moving mural pictured below in tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant that was broadcast on several news stations including CBS. You can view the CBS TV segment here. Finding and refining ways to continue to support our students so they can achieve greatness like this is the focus of the many requests we've put to you for feedback.
     
    I need to know what you think our district is doing well and what needs to be done to improve conditions for our students’ learning, and we are bringing this conversation to you. Parents, staff, students, and community members are invited to attend our District Stakeholder Engagement Roadshow together. These open forums are facilitated by Dr. Nadia Hillman, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, and Jim Bauler, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, at each of our schools to provide the opportunity for you to share your input and learn about the district's budget, facilities needs, and LCAP development. We want to be sure to answer any questions you may have that may range from our finances to our graduation rates. Please attend and bring your friends, family and colleagues with you, and help us get the word out about this opportunity.
     
    Thank you to those of you who attended our first forum held last week at Valley View. You provided very valuable insights. The next opportunity is on Wednesday, February 5, at Andres Duarte Arts Academy from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. But, everyone is encouraged to attend the date that is most convenient for you from the remaining options listed below:
     
    Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at Andres Duarte Arts Academy
    Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at M.I.T. High School
    Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at Royal Oaks STEAM Academy
    Tuesday, February 25, 2020, at Beardslee Dual Language Academy
    Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at Maxwell Academy - IB World School
    Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at Duarte High School
     
    If you haven't yet, please also participate in our online Thoughtexchange conversation that will help to inform updates to our district’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). Find the link to join here . You can also download the Thoughtexchange App . Your input is kept anonymous and provides the chance for you to see and rate all of the thoughts being contributed by others. The exchange is open now and will remain open until March 16, 2020. 
     
    I have appreciated the feedback received so far from our request for input regarding our facilities needs. Please continue to send your thoughts either by email to communications@duarteusd.org or call (626) 599-5037. Whether you prefer to attend a Roadshow forum in-person, contribute to the conversation using Thoughtexchange online, submit your thoughts via e-mail, or wish to speak to someone on the phone, please pick the method that works for you and let me know what's on your mind.
     
    Please also follow me on Instagram and Twitter @SuptAmerson for updates and find upcoming events taking place in DUSD on our  website calendar , free  Mobile App , and @duarteusd on  Twitter , Facebook ,  Instagram , and Youtube .
     
    Thank you and have a great week!
     
    Best,
    Gordon
     
    Superintendent of Schools
    Duarte Unified School District
    Comments (-1)
  • Influenza and Coronavirus Update

    Posted by Gordon Amerson, Ed.D. on 1/30/2020
    Dear Parents, Staff, and Community,
     
    The cold and flu season has arrived, and the California Department of Public Health reports that severe influenza activity levels have increased over the past several weeks. Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe sickness. Symptoms of the flu can vary, but generally include a high fever, headache, chills, body aches, sore throat, and cough. 
     
    As a reminder, staff and students exhibiting these symptoms should stay home from school, and should not return until being fever-free for at least 24-hours. Please also follow the tips provided below by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the best ways to prevent influenza:
     
    • Get vaccinated for the flu yearly (ages 6 months and older)
    • Avoid close contact with people who are ill
    • Practice good hygiene and frequently wash hands with soap
    • Stay at home if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu
    • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional
     
    This cold and flu season has been complicated by the recent development of a new coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, and this particular strand is now referred to as the 2019 novel coronavirus. Common symptoms in an infected person include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
     
    Since it was initially discovered last month in Wuhan City, China, there have only been four confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States to date. On January 26, the first case was identified in Los Angeles County. However, the California and Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health and CDC all state there is no immediate threat to the general public, and the likelihood of transmission of the illness is very low. 
     
    Out of an abundance of caution, our district has suspended international student visits until it has been determined safe to resume them. CDC does advise those who have recently traveled to or from China, to take extra precautions and seek a medical evaluation from your doctor before returning to school. While we will remain vigilant, our students and staff will not be excluded from activities based on their race, country of origin, or recent travel if they do not have symptoms of respiratory illness, and people should continue to engage in their regular activities per direction from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Please find additional information regarding the coronavirus and influenza on their website.
     
    As you know, the health and well-being of our students and staff is our first priority. If we all work together and follow these important guidelines, we can keep our students, staff, and community health.  A hard copy version of this message has been sent home to our families from our schools this week (see below) and updates can be found on our district website. Please also share this information with your family and caregivers. We truly appreciate your partnership in this, and we will continue to work in collaboration with our district nurse, as well as local and state health agencies to keep you informed.  
     
    Respectfully,
     
    Superintendent of Schools
    Duarte Unified School District 
    Comments (-1)
  • We are Bringing the Conversation to You!

    Posted by Gordon Amerson, Ed.D. on 1/27/2020
    Greetings DUSD Families, Staff and Community,
     
    We are bringing the conversation to you! Parents, staff, students, and community members are invited to attend our District Stakeholder Engagement Roadshow. These open forums will be held at each of our schools to provide the opportunity for you to share your input and learn about the district's budget basics, facilities needs, and LCAP development. The first opportunity is on Wednesday, January 29, at Valley View from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Find additional dates below and a ttend whichever date is most convenient for you!
     
    Wednesday, January 29, 2020, at Valley View Academy
    Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at Andres Duarte Arts Academy
    Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at M.I.T. High School
    Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at Royal Oaks STEAM Academy
    Tuesday, February 25, 2020, at Beardslee Dual Language Academy
    Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at Maxwell Academy - IB World School
    Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at Duarte High School
     
    I encourage you to also participate in our online Thoughtexchange conversation that will help to inform updates to our district’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). DUSD needs all stakeholders’ insights on what is going well and where DUSD needs to improve to support student learning. Find the link to join here . You can also download the Thoughtexchange App . Your input is kept anonymous and provides the chance for you to see and rate all of the thoughts being contributed by others. The exchange is open now and will remain open until March 16, 2020. 
     
    I have appreciated the feedback received so far from our request for input regarding our facilities needs. Please continue to send your thoughts either by email to communications@duarteusd.org or call (626) 599-5037.
     
    Please also follow me on Instagram and Twitter @SuptAmerson for updates and find upcoming events taking place in DUSD on our  website calendar , free  Mobile App , and @duarteusd on  Twitter , Facebook ,  Instagram , and Youtube .
     
    Thank you and have a great week!
     
    Best,
    Gordon
     
    Superintendent of Schools
    Duarte Unified School District
    Comments (-1)
  • We Need Your Facilities Feedback

    Posted by Gordon Amerson, Ed.D. on 1/13/2020
    Greetings DUSD Families, Staff and Community,
     
    I am proud of the teaching and learning that happens every day in each of our schools. Our teachers, staff, parents, community, and students constantly exemplify our vision: 21st century schools producing 21st century students. Over the past several years, listening and collaboration have been key in our strategic planning, including during the construction of our district's blueprint for the future, which we refer to as our Competitive Advantage Plan, that was built with community input. We have made progress, and have a great story to tell at each of our schools, but we still have more to do to continue to ensure all students are properly prepared for success in college, career, and life. Completion of our transition to 21st century learning spaces is necessary to support these goals.
     
    During the many formal and informal opportunities I have had to converse with numerous stakeholders in the year and a half I have served as your Superintendent, our district's facilities needs have been raised frequently as a high priority issue. The flyer below offers an overview of our facilities goals which have been compiled from the feedback I have received thus far. It has been posted to our website and hard copy versions will be sent home to all of our families this week.
     
    The goals are:
     
    • Prepare students for 21st century success.
    • Repair and upgrade our aging schools: complete basic health/safety improvements; repair deteriorating plumbing, restrooms, leaky roofs, and drinking fountains; replace outdated electrical and HVAC.
    • Improve student access to science labs, classrooms, classroom technology, and outdoor education spaces and shade structures.
    • Improve safety and security such as emergency communication systems, cameras, door locks, and fire alarm systems.
    • Upgrade vocational and career technical education (CTE) classrooms to prepare students for career success in a competitive economy.
     
    I ask our stakeholders to reflect again on these goals and provide additional input to ensure we have a comprehensive understanding by sending an email to communications@duarteusd.org or by calling (626) 599-5037.
     
    In addition, our Board has approved the architectural firm, Little Diversified, to conduct an update to our Facilities Master Plan, and our Principals are in the process of holding meetings on-site with parents and staff to also solicit facilities feedback. Plus, in the near future, our team will be coming to you with a Stakeholder Engagement Roadshow. We will be traveling to every school for another opportunity to engage with you about our budget, facilities, and LCAP development. This week, I encourage you to attend the public Study Session our Board of Education is conducting on Thursday, January 16, at 5:00 p.m. in the Duarte Community Center to take a deep dive into our California Dashboard data. The Regular Meeting will follow at 7:00 p.m.
     
    I look forward to listening, learning and collaborating with you at all of these upcoming opportunities in order to continue moving our organization forward to afford our scholars the best educational opportunities we can by working together.
     
    Please follow me on Instagram and Twitter @SuptAmerson for updates and find upcoming events taking place in DUSD on our website calendar, free Mobile App, and @duarteusd on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and Youtube.
     
    Thank you and have a great week!
     
    Best,
    Gordon
     
    Superintendent of Schools
    Duarte Unified School District
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  • Happy New Year!

    Posted by Gordon Amerson, Ed.D. on 1/5/2020

    Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the holidays, spent quality time during the break with your loved ones, and are as excited as I am to embark on 2020. As a district, we have so many accomplishments to be proud of that we achieved together thus far, and so much to look forward to as we begin the second semester of this school year.

    Before we departed for the winter recess, at the Organizational Meeting of the Board of Education held on December 19, our five trustees unanimously voted for Ken Bell to serve as Board President and Reyna Diaz as Board Vice President/Clerk. The Board also approved the meeting dates for the upcoming year which are listed here. Please add these dates to your calendars and stay engaged with our governance process. There are several initiatives on the horizon and the input of our stakeholders is important. Be on the lookout for additional online Thoughtexchange forums that will be launched soon as we seek your participation in our LCAP development and facilities needs assessments.

    I am eager for the return of our staff and students on Monday, January 6, and I can't wait to continue to partner with you to provide the best learning opportunities for all of our scholars as DUSD rises as the destination for education in our region.

    Please follow me on Instagram and Twitter @SuptAmerson for updates and find upcoming events taking place in DUSD on our website calendar, free Mobile App, and @duarteusd on Twitter, FacebookInstagram and Youtube.

    Best,

    Gordon

    Gordon Amerson, Ed.D.

    Superintendent of Schools

    Duarte Unified School District

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