Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Talkin' about our schools

It is no secret that California schools are enduring greater budget cuts year after year. The annual reduction and reallocation of funds throughout our district challenges our schools in a variety of ways. Often times, the community can feel misinformed or confused by the various streams of information that trickle through the grapevine about the shape our schools are in. I’d like to begin to change that by better informing the community about our elementary schools.

All too often, the deficits and outstanding problems in our schools eclipse their truly noteworthy achievements and endeavors. Despite continual challenges facing our district — and our nation’s educational system at large – there are many innovative and exciting programs taking place throughout our schools today.

Did you know?

• Potter Middle School recently received the prestigious “Golden Bell Award” for excellence in transitioning students from elementary to middle school.

• Many of our schools have award-winning teachers on staff, the most recent being Mr. Stillman, District Teacher of the Year, who currently teaches sixth grade at Live Oak Elementary. He is credited with the creation and development of the “Singin’ & Signin’” math program that is beginning to be used throughout our schools.

• Our district recognizes the outstanding performance of Classified Employees such as Elizabeth Araiza, who was the District Employee of the Year for her outstanding service as the Bilingual Secretary III in the State and Federal Programs office.

• Outstanding parent participation in conjunction with PTA efforts throughout our schools are supporting professionally taught programs such as Abrakadoodle Art, a curriculum enhancing art class that includes technique, history, and cultural relevance.

• The GATE (gifted and talented) program is continuing to provide stimulating projects and field trips such as the recent trip to the J. Paul Getty museum that La Paloma GATE students enjoyed in February.

• Our math and language arts scores as measured by the STAR Assessment continue to meet or exceed State scores. Our students are continuing to perform better with each passing year.

• Most of our elementary schools are currently participating in a classroom gardening program led by Jerry Weiss, local organic gardening expert. In the case of Live Oak Elementary, the gardening program is bringing science to the classroom, as well as nutrition to the lunchroom where produce from the classroom gardens is being used in the cafeteria salad bar.

The mission of the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District is “to provide the pathway for all students to attain expertise and develop skills of academic excellence that will empower them to: become life-long active learners, perform successfully in their chosen field and in society, model respect for themselves and others in a diverse and global society, and think and apply information in a critical manner.”

Keeping focused on our mission and applying our principle of, “Excellence is our standard, not our goal,” I believe that our schools will continue to grow stronger and more effective.

I encourage anyone interested in Fallbrook’s elementary schools to take a closer look. You may be surprised at how much excellence there is.

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