Superintendent's Corner

Stephanie Anello
  • A Message from our Superintendent Regarding Recent Events in Florida

    Posted by Stephanie Anello on 2/16/2018

    Dear Antioch Families, Staff, and Greater Community,

    The recent senseless shooting at a Florida school has left our school community devastated as we see our own children, students, and colleagues in the faces and stories of the victims. In light of this horrific tragedy, I wanted to take a moment to let you know that the Antioch Unified School District is committed to the safety of our students, staff, and community.

    Every school in the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) maintains a safety plan unique to their school and in accordance with the California Education Code (32280-32288). These comprehensive plans are updated annually and reviewed and approved by each school’s Site Council and administration. These plans are kept on site and at the District office.

    Additionally, the District maintains a comprehensive emergency preparedness and crisis response plan that is annually reviewed and updated. We are also thankful and proud of the strong relationship we have with the Antioch Police Department and other local public agencies that help ensure our schools and community are a priority.

    This and other tragedies like it remind us that we must continue to build and strengthen our connectedness with one another. We must have difficult conversations with ourselves and with each other to ensure we are attuned to worrisome or suspicious behavior that may lead to violence. We must vigilantly report such behavior to law enforcement or school authorities. Additionally, we must talk to our children to ensure that when they see or observe behavior that is concerning they report it to a trusted adult. 

    As human beings, we are inextricably bound by tragedies that hurt others and it is easy to feel hopeless and helpless. However, it is at times like these that our children need us the most to maintain normal and predictable routines as much as possible and to listen to their concerns and feelings. The National Association of School Psychologists also suggests limiting children’s use of media to lower their stress and to maintain balance and perspective.

    In closing please know once again that student safety is a top priority in the Antioch Unified School District and that tragedies such as the recent Florida school shooting further strengthen our resolve to ensure that our safety plans and emergency crisis response plans and training are as effaceable as possible.

    Thank you, as always, for your continued support.

     

    With sincerity and appreciation,

    Stephanie Anello

    Superintendent

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  • Happy Holidays

    Posted by Stephanie Anello on 12/21/2017

    Good Morning,

    As many of you prepare for the winter break, I wanted to take a moment to wish you a wonderful holiday and to sincerely express my gratitude for all that you do to support our students and our schools!

    Whatever holiday you celebrate during the season, most likely joy, giving, and love are its basic tenets. When it comes to providing joy, showing genuine love for one another, and giving, there is no place like the Antioch Unified School District!  For example, just this past week, staff adopted all of the homeless and foster youth in our community and provided them with personalized gifts, food, and household amenities. Delta Realtors also provided gifts for all students in the District who are living in group homes, as well as complete dinners for each home to enjoy this holiday. Additionally, yesterday I was overwhelmed by the generosity of Francis in the Schools who adopted every student attending Marsh Elementary! Each student received a bag personalized for them with toys, jackets, and shoes. Families were then given bags of groceries complete with ham, turkey, all of the holiday fixings, and enough staples to assist them throughout the holiday. Finally, you may have read about Antioch High School students who learned that a classmate recently lost his Nintendo and could not replace it. These students quietly set about gathering donations and pitching in to replace the student’s Nintendo. I know there are so many more stories of the generosity of our amazing staff and those living in our community.  Perhaps most heartwarming of all is that I know the holiday spirit in AUSD --and in Antioch, will extend throughout the year because we know that the love we extend each day to care for one another is at the essence of what makes the Antioch Unified School District a great place to work and a wonderful place for students and their families.

    Wishing you another joy-filled holiday season and a New Year filled with hope and prosperity.

    With sincere appreciation and good will,

    Stephanie Anello

    Superintendent

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  • 2016-2017 Message from The Superintendent

    Posted by Stephanie Annello on 7/1/2016

    Dear Colleagues,

    Welcome to the 2016-17 school year! I hope this message finds you well and excited for the great things we will do together in support of our students, their families, and our community.

    I’ve been a member of the AUSD family for the past 19 years, and a member of the Antioch community for the past 27 years. During that time, I have been extremely proud of the work that we do in AUSD and feel especially lucky to have worked alongside so many of you throughout the years.

    As I reflect back on my years in the District and community, it would be easy to think only of the many challenges we have faced together.  However, I think of all the great people who make this District a great place to call home. I think of people like Sutter Elementary’s custodian, Levon Edwards. It is clear to anyone who walks onto the Sutter campus that Mr. Edwards takes great pride in his work and in his school. I think of teachers like Dave Neal at Dallas Ranch Middle School who, just two short years ago, thought of leaving the profession only to discover new and innovative ways to reach and teach students. Dave is now one of the most energized teachers I know. I also think of quiet yet incredibly dedicated people like Vehicle/Equipment Supervisor, Karl Steinberg, who often go unnoticed yet do not fail to notice how they can best be of service to others.   

    And mostly, when I feel I could have done better or tried harder, I think of all of you who still believe that public education is the greatest weapon in the fight against poverty, discrimination, and disenfranchisement. 

    While we still have areas for growth and improvement, the District is showing positive improvements in several key areas:

    • This year, graduation rates increased 6.8% compared to the prior year and the District now outpaces the State average for the number of students graduating on time.
    • The number of students graduating ‘college ready’ having met all A-G college eligibility requirements has increased 12% since 2012.
    • The percentage of students who ‘drop out’ has decreased significantly from 18% in 2011 to below 7% in 2015.
    • The number of days students are suspended each year has dropped 48% since 2011. Additionally, during that same time period, expulsions in the District dropped 65%.

    So as you start this new school year, I hope you do so with a sense of renewed hope and encouragement, because the work you do matters!  Below, if you have not yet had an opportunity to see it, is a short three minute video I worked on with Deer Valley High School production teacher, Kiel Olff and his students. Its message is essentially that yesterday is the past and it is time to move forward, together, towards the common goal of making sure the future is bright for every child who enters our schools.

    It’s a new day Antioch!

    With sincere good wishes,

    Stephanie

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