Express Yourself: Trustees invite community to connect

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A Winters Express opinion column

By Carrie Green, Joedy Michael, Candi Ochoa, Kristin Trott, Everardo Zaragoza
Special to the Express

On behalf of the Winters Unified School District Board of Trustees, we are pleased and excited to provide our community with the first of many future Board Updates to the Community. Our goal, as a Board, is to inform and engage with our community around issues and challenges we face as a school district, and to continue to explore ways to partner with our local community in ways that ensure that our scholars, staff members and families are celebrated.

This is the first of many opportunities to engage with all of you. Our hope is to provide you with quarterly updates from the Board, and with opportunities for community members to connect with us at Board meetings and at school and community events.

As an education community, we have much to be thankful for as we approach the upcoming holiday season. Scholars are in school, learning in‐person from our dedicated group of educators and professional classified staff. While this pandemic has presented challenges unlike anything we have seen before in education, we, as a Board, also feel blessed that you have entrusted your children to the care of this wonderful school district.

While there may be disagreements around the state and county mandates we must follow, the goal of our Board and staff will continue to be on maintaining safe, healthy school campuses so that each of our scholars can continue to be in school where they belong.

We wish to thank all of our community members who have attended school board meetings to express their opinions around these issues. Maintaining civility in public meetings has been an issue for many communities, and we appreciate the respectful tone that has been exhibited during this very challenging time. As we continue to set policy and assist in setting a course for the future of our school district, we invite your participation.

Our Board of Trustee meetings are held on the first and third Thursday of each month beginning at 6 p.m. Meetings are held at the District Office, 909 W. Grant Ave., in the Walnut Room. These meetings are open to the public, and community members are welcomed and encouraged to attend. For more information about our Board and upcoming meetings, visit our website at bit.ly/30xjcOo.

The Board has been actively involved with our superintendent and staff in sharing our “District Priorities and Commitment.” This document reflects the vision, mission and priorities we have set in place to help guide us as a school district in “ensuring that the entire educational community actively participate and are valuable contributors to our changing society.” We welcome your feedback. The document can be found here in both English and Spanish at bit.ly/30xjcOo.

As our Superintendent Jiménez wrote in a recent communication to the Winters school community, “We teach our scholars that learning does not have a finish line; lifelong learners continue to grow by reflecting and refining their work.” Our district and staff commitment to professional learning is evident when you step foot on any of our school campuses. Teachers and other professional staff are enhancing their own professional growth and knowledge, and actively collaborating in very structured and methodical ways, resulting in vibrant classrooms where scholars are truly engaged in their learning.

This learning and collaboration is also centered around an intentional focus on using scholar data to inform best practices and establish the most appropriate intervention strategies for each of our scholars based on their individual needs. We invite you to talk to any of our teachers about how this is impacting our scholars in positive ways.

We also want to take this opportunity to highlight the amazing work of our new Parent Engagement Coordinator. Rodrigo Lopez joined our District in October and has been working on ways to directly connect with families so that both our scholars and their families feel supported in and outside the classroom. While we will be sure to shine a light on many other programs in our District (and the people who make these programs come alive) in future updates, parent engagement is a vital aspect of our Board’s commitment to “vigilantly advocate for scholars, staff, and families of the Winters JUSD.”

Again, we invite you to participate in our schools and school events as COVID restrictions allow, and we are excited for what the future holds for our amazing school district. Our schools are and will continue to be a source of pride for the Winters community. Please feel free to reach out to any of our board members or connect with us on social media.

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