Dear Friends and Supporters:
Thanks to your help, I was elected to the Washington Unified School Board in March 2013, winning every precinct in the city. I thought I’d give you an update on the work I’ve done for West Sacramento schools over the past 15 months, since my election. I’m proud of my achievements and hope you will agree as I seek reelection. I'm in the unusual position of having to come back to you again because I filled an unexpired term. I’m running for a full term on the November ballot. If you help me this time, I promise that I won't seek your campaign help for four more years! ;)
We need to raise funds for my November election by the reporting deadline of June 30th to show the community that we have a strong campaign underway.
I would be honored if you would contribute to my campaign using democracy.com/sarah4schools or a check mailed to the address at the bottom of this message.
Here is a snapshot of the work I’ve been doing since I joined the board, followed by a look at the good things happening in WUSD:
Reaching out to the community: I put together the first annual appreciation celebration for outstanding teachers, staff members and volunteers at a River Cats game on April 29, part of my effort to raise the district’s visibility in our community. I also initiated the practice of staffing WUSD booths to give the district a presence at other community events. I’ve met with the police chief, fire chief and our parks and recreation director to begin developing ways to better support the youth in our community. In addition, I have networked with school board members across the state through the professional activities of the annual California School Board Association Conference, have visited our own school sites regularly, and have not missed a board meeting since being elected.
Fostering transparency: I’ve worked to ensure that our district is properly adhering to our hiring and firing policies, have helped clarify and streamline our facility-leasing policy, and have facilitated getting this information posted on our district website. In addition, I voluntarily took the ethics training offered under the state law known as AB 1234, and am working to add a requirement to our district bylaws to require all our board members to take this training.
Supporting the use of technology in learning: I promoted the position of a district director of instructional technology to enhance classroom teaching and access to technology.
Supporting readiness for colleges and careers: The board has approved an ROTC program at River City High School and a culinary class at Yolo High School, developed a plan for expanding the career-technical opportunities, and initiated a strong VAPA (visual and performing arts) plan to expand arts education in fourth through twelfth grades. We have developed an agreement with the Carpenters Union to provide entry to our graduates into its apprentice program. Teacher training in the new Common Core standards has been a priority in our district as we move from an outdated scripted curriculum into a more inquiry-based approach to prepare students for skills needed in our ever-changing economy. Along these lines, we also have expanded STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) opportunities for students.
Positive School Climate: The district has made a conscious effort to improve student behavior and attendance. Our suspension rates are down 27% across the district and our attendance is up at every grade level from last year. The board also approved two mental health counselors to support our students.
Going green: You may be interested to learn, too, that we have installed solar panels at our school sites and now produce 75% of the electricity we use. We have hired a synergistic specialist and are working to decrease waste production to become even more green.
While I am proud of what's been happening in WUSD, there is still much work to be done for our students and schools and I need your help. Again, we need a strong financial showing by the first campaign reporting deadline of June 30th, and I would be honored to have your support.
Please go to our Democracy.com site or mail donations to:
Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez for School Board 2014
c/o Deane & Company
1787 Tribute Road, Suite K
Sacramento, CA 95815
Thank you very much for your help. It is greatly appreciated.