Return to Headlines

Week of April 16, 2017


Celebrating the college admissions season has been the topic of my last two newsletter messages. As I reported, the Class of 2017 included students admitted to Harvard, Duke, UCLA, Berkeley, UCSD, and a host of other highly selective schools. That is a tribute to the students, their parents, their teachers, their school, their district, and their community, all of whom played a role.
While the admissions season is very exciting, it is also stressful and disappointing in some cases. It is the reason why districts must provide comprehensive college admissions support, starting in elementary school. We are remiss if we fail to make every effort to provide every student with the opportunity to continue her or his education after high school. It doesn’t need to be a 4-year university education, but post-secondary education is a must in today’s ever-changing world. After all, a high school diploma does not carry the weight it once did in America. While we continue to invest in career technical education (CTE) programs for students who choose not to pursue the 4-year university track (A-G track), as educators it is a moral imperative to not sell any student short and lower our expectations because we deem them not college material.
I have shared my story many times. The son of an 8th grade educated Teamster (Local 282), I was not on the college track. But, I beat the odds and rejected the trajectory that was my birthright. In a working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research published this past December, researchers reported that wage gaps between workers with a college or graduate degree and those with only a high school degree remain large. The shift away from middle-skilled occupations driven largely by technological change ("polarization") and a general weakening in the demand for advanced cognitive skills ("skill downgrading") suggest that the only thing certain in the future is uncertainty.
As I think about our kindergartners and how to best prepare them for the workforce they will enter around 2036, I realize that what is most important is instilling in them a love of learning. You can see for yourself by reading the Competitive Advantage Plan that instilling a love of learning is a priority for DUSD. It is reflected by our commitment to provide choice, rigor, and opportunity, all priorities in our community as we learned last year when we developed our Competitive Advantage Plan.

We are gathering data again this year for our annual Local Accountability and Control Plan update. The first wave of responses to our survey suggest that our policies, practices, and programs are meeting the needs of our students (as evidenced by admission to top universities in America by our students). If you haven’t completed the annual survey yet, please do so today. Input from the survey informs our Local Accountability and Control Plan, which informs our Competitive Advantage Plan. Your input keeps you connected to us and us connected to you. Schools connected to the community they serve is yet another reason why it’s a great time to be a kid in Duarte. Have a Happy Spring Break!

Reminders for the week of April 16, 2017:
We are updating our annual Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and are requesting parents provide feedback by taking a short survey.  Click on the links below to access the online version that is available in English and Spanish. Hardcopies are available at school offices if needed. Please submit one survey for each school your children attend by Friday, April 24. Thank you for your help!

LCAP Survey (Spanish) 


April 17-April 21st is Spring Break. Enjoy your vacation! We look forward to your return to school on Monday, April 24.


Our schools are administering Smarter Balanced (SBAC) state testing. Each school will provide parents and students with the testing dates and test preparation information. To learn more, go to


Preschool, TK, Kindergarten and new student registration for the 2017-18 school year is underway now! Registration packets are available at all of our school sites and district office. Click here to request enrollment information.


California is field testing a new website called the California School Dashboard. It features easy-to-read reports on multiple measures of school success for all K-12 districts and schools including Duarte Unified as part of the new school accountability system based on 2013's Local Control Funding Formula. To learn more, visit the CDE Dashboard Web page.


Save the dates July 3-31, 2017 for the DUSD S.T.E.A.M. Summer School experience for students entering Kindergarten-12th grades. Find registration dates, times and locations on the district website at


All of our schools are in the process now of making plans for next year. Parents are encouraged to attend K-8 transition meetings, check with your school for dates and times. We also ask prospective families to register for a campus tour or parent information night to learn more about what’s in store at  

For more about all of the activities taking place within our schools and district this summer, please visit our website at  and subscribe to receive our weekly e-newsletter at You can also find Duarte USD on facebooktwitterInstagram and Youtube.

Best Wishes,

Allan Mucerino


Duarte Unified School District