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Dear NVUSD Community,

During these tumultuous times, many of us are being bombarded with messaging about national, state and local issues regarding race and social injustices. Over the course of the last couple of days at the local level in our own community, you may have heard a message about the Legacy Youth Project being eliminated and an assertion that NVUSD is dismantling ethnic studies, clearly at a time when culturally relevant programs are necessary more than ever. Given today’s circumstances, I think it’s critical that NVUSD staff be provided the facts about what is going on with this program as this inaccurate message is circulated. Let me be clear. NVUSD is supportive of ethnic studies, but we are addressing the illegalities and issues of compliance and sustainability related to the Legacy Youth Project.

First of all, I want to begin this communication about the Legacy Youth Project (LYP) with an expression of sincere gratitude. I have only been in NVUSD for almost two years, but I have heard countless stories of the positive impact the program has had on the lives of so many of our young people in the NVUSD community, particularly at Vintage High School. Many of us are familiar with the LYP focus which prides itself on being an ethnic studies and social justice leadership program aiming to transform the lives of our at-promise youth in the Napa Valley. The program started in 2012 at Vintage High School and has been expanded to some of our NVUSD middles schools in recent years. LYP is led by Mr. Carlos Hagedorn, former NVUSD school board member and current professor at Napa Valley College, and the program has clearly impacted many young people. Whenever programs transform the trajectories of students’ lives, we demonstrate gratitude and reflection. 

From the moment I arrived at NVUSD, I was pleased to hear that the district had a program that aligned with so many of my own values as an educator: social justice, equity, student voice, youth empowerment, and culturally and linguistically relevant curriculum. These values have guided me through my personal and educational journey as a daughter of immigrants, a first generation college student, a Spanish bilingual educator, an English Learner advocate, an administrator who has led predominantly in underserved communities, a doctor of educational leadership for social justice, and now as the first female Latina Superintendent of the Napa Valley Unified School District. I was so proud to know that the NVUSD Board of Education also supports these values and approaches to create a more transformative educational system for all kids. Over the course of the last few days, my values and the values of our school board have been questioned as we navigate a dialogue and a decision about the future of the Legacy Youth Project (LYP), and thus in the spirit of transparency and clarity, the following details need to be shared.

As I came to learn more about LYP, I was thrilled to observe so many of the elements of an ethnic studies curriculum in practice at one of our comprehensive high schools. However, despite the excitement for many of the observable strengths of LYP, I also had lots of critical questions and concerns. The answers I discovered to these questions are why we find ourselves having to make some difficult decisions regarding LYP moving forward. The issues and concerns that we have raised about the program are outlined below.

First, I was shocked to find out Mr. Hagedorn and other members of his team do not possess teaching credentials but were delivering instruction during the school day. This is a clear violation of the education code and teacher credentialing requirements. The previous administration established the program aware of this non-compliance. Mr. Hagedorn and his staff have been teaching sections of the LYP elective class for several years, all while issuing grades that go on students’ high school transcripts. This does not follow basic legal guidelines and creates all sorts of potential liabilities for the district and even students, who are attaining credit for these courses. And by the way, the cost of this implementation model with non-credentialed staff has been approximately $250,000 per year.

Secondly, I was also curious about the district not having a contract to clearly articulate the partnership between NVUSD and the Legacy Youth Project, which I assumed was a non-profit and/or LLC. In my research, I learned that although LYP has an educational mission, it is not a non-profit organization although it does promote fundraising via its website. Thus, NVUSD could not establish a contract with LYP. So instead, the district paid Mr. Hagedorn and other LYP staff directly as individuals. When there is no contract for services with an established entity that supports a program of this cost and scale, accountability and clarity around deliverables can be a challenge. Eventually, the district moved away from paying Mr. Hagedorn and LYP staff directly and has instead been paying the near $250,000 to the Napa Valley Education Foundation for them to execute payment to the individual consultants. This type of partnership structure established by the previous administration is unusual and not a best practice.

Lastly, as NVUSD continues its work of right sizing the district and being better fiscal stewards, we need to evaluate all of our programs for cost. Given the information outlined above, especially in a time of teacher layoffs, we informed Mr. Hagedorn that the program could not continue in its current design. We explained that we must have credentialed, NVEA teachers delivering instruction during the school day. Although the LYP staff seemed to recognize that, he insisted that even if a classroom teacher was assigned to teach the sections, he would need to be paid $150,000 per year for the next five years to train the one teacher and create program sustainability. Our response is that we cannot spend that much money on training one teacher. We recommended the exploration of LYP as an afterschool program or dual enrollment course at Napa Valley College. However, Mr. Hagedorn has only responded to these recommendations with resistance.

In sum, the district has offered an ethnic studies program to some students in NVUSD. However, the design and execution of this program is clearly not sustainable nor replicable, nor does it follow legal and compliance guidelines. We know LYP definitely fills a void we have in our school system, the need for a culturally relevant curriculum that empowers young people to learn about the world through a different lens. Despite this need, we cannot fill the void with such a vulnerable and questionable program design. Transformative education cannot be based on individual personalities. Transformative education is about building dramatically better systems and building capacity so the improvements transcend individual people. After 8 years of implementation, LYP has no sustainability or replicability. What was once a grassroots effort to disrupt barriers for our most promising youth, never evolved into a legitimate, sustainable program.

So now what? At a time when we need ethnic studies courses and youth development more than ever, we find ourselves falling short on meeting the needs of our kids. There are many signature program models nationwide that NVUSD can learn from. The NVUSD leadership team and the school board recognize the need we have for transformative educational programs. However, we also know that those programs need to be designed strategically and thoughtfully so that they have immediate impact, create long term success for students, and are sustainable even during the most challenging times. The NVUSD Board of Education and myself alongside the Instructional Services Division team and NVEA look forward to creating a sustainable replacement solution in the near future that will close the opportunity gap for our students, develop the leadership of our youth, and provide relevance in their educational experience all while adhering to the education code. We also aim to do this work by gathering input from the students and families LYP serves. 

We thank you in advance for your support and understanding as we navigate this difficult transition.

Rosanna Mucetti, Ed.D
Superintendent
Napa Valley Unified School District

Posted 6/4/20

Dear NVUSD Staff, Families and Community:
 
The tragic loss of lives—those of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and before that, the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, among so many others due to racial violence—are unconscionable and have instigated a global call to action against institutional racism. Personally, I can’t begin to express the disappointment and concern I am feeling at this point in our history and in our world during these challenging times. Ending this violence will require a united and sustained stance against racism and hatred in all its forms. We cannot ever tolerate anything that diminishes the dignity of any member of our community. 

As a school district, we must denounce all forms of racism, discrimination, and social injustice. We understand that as students observe and experience everything happening in our world today, they need outlets to express their beliefs and process current events in a safe, inclusive manner. Many students are participating in demonstrations and protests. We support our students safely and respectfully promoting activism and being advocates for change.
 
Right now, many of our students are turning to social media to express feelings about the injustices they are seeing or experiencing today.. This is understandable and to be anticipated, especially since we are not currently able to hold space in our learning communities on our school campuses due to the pandemic. We are sending this message in solidarity with the call to action against institutional racism. NVUSD will not tolerate any form of discrimination, intimidation or harassment and will follow district protocol pertaining to reports of any harmful rhetoric. Student safety needs to remain a priority as we navigate these difficult topics.

Thank you to all of the students, parents and staff who have sent messages regarding their concerns and suggestions during these contentious times. During this time of current civil unrest in many cities across our country, we recognize that our strong and passionate students will continue to be the changemakers we need to usher in a time of healing, learning and acceptance. We know that NVUSD students have the capacity to address the social injustices and inequities in our world. As I have watched students graduate throughout this week, I am confident in our students’ ability and commitment to make the world a better place. In partnership with our families, we will continue to educate, nurture and support our students, promoting respectful dialogue while prioritizing student safety.

Thank You,

Dr. Rosanna Mucetti
Superintendent
Napa Valley Unified School District

Posted 6/3/20

May 29 NVUSD Newsletter
Archive

Posted 5/29/20

SELPA Executive Board Meeting
June 9, 2020, 11:15 -12:15

PUBLIC HEARING
2020-21 ANNUAL SERVICE DELIVERY PLAN & BUDGET PLAN

  • Assembly Bill (AB 602) requires the SELPA to submit an Annual Service Delivery Plan and Annual Budget Plan.
  • Plan(s) must be adopted at a Public Hearing.

Comments and petitions from the public: 

SUBMIT COMMENTS PRIOR TO 5pm on Monday, June 8, 2020 by either emailing: lprudhomme@napacoe.org or calling 707-253-6807 and leaving a message. Please be sure to include your name and contact information if you would like a follow-up by the SELPA Director. All comments will be parsed for appropriateness before being read aloud.

> More information and agenda

Posted 5/28/20

We want you to be aware of a state program, to provide families with extra food benefits during the (COVID-19) pandemic. Eligible families include those with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school. These food benefits are called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT benefits. P-EBT benefits help families in California buy food when schools are closed because of the coronavirus emergency.
 
Families will get up to $365 per eligible child on their P-EBT card to use on food and groceries.Families with children who get CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits do not need to apply. Most should have received their P-EBT card in the mail this month. 
 
Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and who did NOT get their P-EBT card in the mail must apply online before June 30, 2020. The online application is now available at ca.p-ebt.org
 
Please note this is not a NVUSD program and families need to apply directly through the website link above. You can find more information about the program here.

Posted 5/22/20

In the ongoing effort to organize and staff the district to achieve its strategic priorities, NVUSD's Board of Education approved five new appointments at last night's meeting. These positions were part of the reorganization strategy the superintendent presented to the school board early this year in an effort to increase efficiencies and reduce management costs at the central office. Two new positions have been created to focus specifically on the primary and secondary levels. These roles report directly to the Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services and will create and align achievement learning targets across TK-12 grades to ensure that each student demonstrates progress, including for English Learners and students with disabilities.

All five positions were promotions for current NVUSD employees:

  • Principal Napa Junction Elementary School- Noreen Montgomery

  • Director of Elementary Curriculum, Instruction and English Learner Services- Matthew Manning

  •  Director of Secondary Curriculum, Instruction and English Learner Services- Peter Hartnack

  • Director of Intervention and Prevention-Sarah Knox

  • Director of Data and Assessment Services-Peter Abboud

Noreen Montgomery

Noreen Montgomery has been named the Principal of Napa Junction Elementary where she will oversee the daily operations of the school, which is a Title 1 school and national Magnet School of Distinction focused on STEM and project-based inquiry and learning. Ms. Montgomery will be responsible for opening the new state-of-the-art Napa Junction campus funded by Measure H. She is taking the role which is being vacated by Donna Drago who is retiring after 28 years with the district.

Ms. Montgomery is currently Assistant Principal at Redwood Middle School where she has served since 2013, leading many programs such as the Reading and Math Inventory tests, CAASPP, English Language Curriculum as well as the special education program for both the professional community and students. NVUSD is actively recruiting a new Assistant Principal.

"For the past 8 years, Noreen has gained valuable experience in leading and collaborating with both educators and district staff with the success of students at the center," said Pat Andry-Jennings, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services. "We welcome her expertise and forward-thinking energy to the special program we have at Napa Junction. Meanwhile, we bid a fond farewell to outgoing Principal Donna Drago who has spent over two decades as a part of the NVUSD family, most recently as Napa Junction’s Principal for nearly 10 years where she helped engage and challenge our students through a project-based learning environment."

Matthew Manning

Matthew Manning has been named Director of Elementary Curriculum, Instruction and English Learner Services where he will oversee learning programs for transitional Kindergarten (TK) through 5th grade. In this role, Mr. Manning will provide direction of the NVUSD approved curriculum, instructional strategies, intervention, and alternative programs as well as overseeing district grading and reporting systems.

Mr. Manning joins the instructional team from NVUSD's Phillips Magnet School where he has served as Principal for four years.  In 2017, he helped his site launch a new magnet school focused on STEM and leadership.

Peter Hartnack

 

 

Peter Hartnack has been named Director of Secondary Curriculum, Instruction and English Learner Services where he will work to implement policies and programs related to the education of 6th grade through twelfth including supporting a rigorous curriculum that prepares students for post-secondary opportunities including career readiness and/or college entrance. Responsibilities include directing district approved curriculum, instructional strategies, intervention, alternative programs, career technical education, workforce readiness as well as district grading and reporting systems.

Mr. Hartnack has been with NVUSD for nearly 12 years, serving various roles as an educator and leader at the secondary level, including positions at Napa and Vintage High Schools. He currently serves as Principal for River School where he successfully grew enrollment and moved the facility to a new campus funded by Measure H bond funding.

"We are thrilled to have two strong leaders on board in these critical new roles," said Pat Andry-Jennings. "Both Mr. Hartnack and Mr. Manning have valuable experience building foundational skills in literacy and numeracy and improving outcomes for students."

Sarah Knox

Sarah Knox has been named to Director of Intervention and Prevention Services where she will implement TK-12 policies and strategies related to NVUSD student academic, social and emotional intervention including for English Language Acquisition; GATE, Title One, Migrant Ed, Homeless and Foster youth, Section 504, and other general education intervention initiatives as assigned by the Assistant Superintendent. Ms. Knox has been with NVUSD for nearly 20 years, and has dedicated her time and expertise as an educator and leader, including as Assistant Principal at McPherson and Canyon Oaks Elementary. She currently serves as Principal of Northwood Elementary School during which time student achievement on CAASPP increased by 7% in ELA and 12% in math.

Peter Abboud

Peter Abboud will join the Business Services team as Director of Data Services and Assessment where he will oversee assessment and evaluation data and programs for all curriculum and business applications. Working in close collaboration with the Instructional Services department, he will manage databases, programs and business information systems with software applications and computer technology; and conduct professional development training. 

Mr. Abboud has more than 10 years of experience at NVUSD in a range of leadership and technical positions that make him uniquely qualified for the job. He spent five years at New Tech High and is currently serving as Assistant Principal at Vintage High School where he has oversight over many programs and departments as well as systems that support data management allowing the school to run efficiently and effectively.

 

Posted 4/24/20

food service workerNVUSD's NOSH Food Services program received a $25,000 grant from No Kid Hungry. The organization, which ordinarily works closely with schools to ensure children are receiving adequate healthful food, is spearheading a nationwide campaign to fill the nutrition gap exacerbated by coronavirus school closures. The additional funding is helping NOSH manage the high price of continuing to feed Napa students who can’t secure sufficient food elsewhere.

read more >>

Napa Valley Register, April 21, 2020

Posted 4/22/20

Effective immediately, all NVUSD facilities, including playgrounds, outdoor sport courts, and fields, are closed to the public. The closure is necessary to comply with both the State of California and the Napa County Health Officer’s Shelter at Home order. 

The order specifically states that “all non-essential public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a household or living unit are prohibited.” Since the order was issued, police departments and the Napa County Health Department have received numerous reports of groups of people gathering on NVUSD properties. 

“NVUSD is committed to complying fully with the State and County’s Shelter at Home order, and believe it is our responsibility to close areas that serve as natural gathering places for groups, either intentionally or unintentionally. To protect the health and safety of our community, we all must adjust to, and respect new guidelines and protocols,” said Mike Pearson, NVUSD Assistant Superintendent of Operational Services.

Posted 4/3/20

All NVUSD schools are closed through the end of the school year. 

As such and effective immediately, NVUSD is requiring cancellation of all outside user functions at all NVUSD school sites. This ban on using NVUSD facilities will be in effect until at least June 5, 2020, and will be revised as necessary as this is a very fluid situation.

Facilitron -- the online reservation vendor used in renting NVUSD facilities -- has been informed of the restrictions and will be working to refund any outside organizations who have already made a reservation/payment. Contact Facilitron

This situation is developing rapidly. Please check our  COVID-19 Update webpage for important updates and community resources to utilize during this uncertain time. 

NVUSD staff apologizes for any inconvenience caused by this decision. However, we hope you understand this decision is grounded in our commitment to keeping student and public safety as a top priority.

Thank you for your ongoing support and patience. 

Posted 4/3/20

The Napa County Office of Education has announced that all Napa County public school facilities will remain closed for the remainder of the school year while we continue remote learning. This collaborative decision was made after considering the strong recommendations from the California Department of Education and Governor Gavin Newsom, as well as the continued health alerts from Napa County amidst the current shelter at home public health orders.

Although schools are closed, we are 100% dedicated to carry on the learning and engagement of our students. In preparation for this potential scenario, our teachers, administrators and staff  have been developing a comprehensive distance learning plan for every grade. 

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment during this unpredictable and unprecedented time. Please know our students remain our number one priority. Our NVUSD community is resilient, and together, we will overcome this moment of adversity and be stronger because of it. 

Posted 4/2/20