With commitment from every school and district in the region, San Bernardino County Superintendent Ted Alejandre championed the boundless potential of students to achieve and take advantage of the opportunities their educations provide.
“Our districts, schools and staff are focused on transforming the student experience and expanding the impact we can make in the lives of our students by ensuring equity, creating opportunities to meet the needs of all students,” Alejandre said during his third annual State of Education Address. “We engage our communities and our partners to work collectively with us to build strong schools and resilient communities that empower innovation with inspiring educational practices to prepare our students well for the workforce of tomorrow.”
On stage at the California Theatre of Performing Arts in San Bernardino, this was the first of two State of Education speeches Alejandre will deliver this fall, following the theme of “Boundless Potential.” On Oct. 13, he will be in Victorville at the High Desert Church to make his next regional address.
At the San Bernardino event, Congressman Pete Aguilar of Redlands provided opening remarks. Alejandre was introduced by Judy White, superintendent of Riverside County and longtime educator with the San Bernardino City Unified School District.
Alejandre cited the strong collaborative spirit to public education in our region that is reflected through countywide vision and collective impact efforts. “We have committed to work with all sectors of our community so that all students are prepared for success, from cradle to career,” he said.
One of the first examples of regional support Alejandre cited was the Footsteps2Brilliance early literacy program. Targeting a cohort of 1,500 preschool students in the county, a challenge of reading 3 million words by September was made during the spring. Alejandre said the students were able to reach the goal by more than four times – with the preschoolers reading more than 13.5 million works and more than 49,000 books.
“This transformative literacy program is unique and serves as a blueprint around the nation to achieve early literacy success in dual-language communities,” he said.
He also recognized the Promise Scholars program started by the Ontario-Montclair School District, where collaborative, community-school partnerships enhance delivery of educational services. Backed by the support of the more than 200 organizations, community and parents, Promise Scholars works to direct all students – not just those on course for college – on their best path forward.
“There are 10,000 Promise Scholars across the Ontario-Montclair School District and at Chaffey, Montclair and Ontario high schools, and that is projected to grow to 30,000,” Alejandre said.
The State of Education Address also featured several student performances from county school districts including:
· The Chaffey High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps — under the direction of Lt. Commander Martin Jones – who presented the flag colors;
· CJ Rogers, a student at David Stine Chaffey West County Community School, who led the Pledge of Allegiance;
· Chino Hills High School Drumline and Saxophone Quartet, which performed the National Anthem;
· Arroyo Valley High Schools’ Dance Company from San Bernardino City Unified;
· Eisenhower High School’s Ikettes and Ike Singers from Rialto Unified.
In closing, Alejandre encouraged all members of society – but especially students – to strive to be life-long learners.
“We want every student in San Bernardino County to realize and actualize their unique, boundless potential; to unite their promise with endless possibilities; to experience innovation and turn discoveries into solutions for the common good,” he said. “California’s future success depends on tapping into the potential of all students, no matter their background, ethnicity or gender, so they graduate ready for post-secondary options, professional opportunities and life. There are no limits to what we can accomplish together.”
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