Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) is ready to welcome back more than 45,000 students on September 1, the first day of the 2016-2017 school year. The new year brings exciting new instructional programs, curriculum roll-outs, modernized school sites, increased access to technology, and community partnerships that all share the same goal of improving student success.
Thousands of teachers are attending Super Week August 22-26 hosted by GGUSD’s Instruction Office to fine-tune their skills in state standards, instructional technology, and classroom management as well as many curriculum-specific areas.
“We look forward to the first day of school when our classrooms are filled with that familiar buzz of students who are excited to learn,” said Dr. George West, GGUSD Board of Education president. “This year, GGUSD will offer a whole host of new learning opportunities.”
Among the new programs, GGUSD is launching full-day kindergarten and full-day transitional kindergarten for the first time in district history. Approximately 3,500 kindergarten and transitional kindergarten students will benefit from a full day of robust curriculum and enhanced hands-on exploration through science discovery, art, and dramatic play.
Also new this year, more than 170 kindergarten and first grade students will take part in the district’s first-ever Dual Language Immersion Academy at Monroe Elementary School. The students have made a multi-year commitment in the K-6 dual language immersion program and will learn to think, read, and write in both English and Spanish.
Other new highlights of the 2016-2017 school year include:
• English Language Arts/English Language Development textbook implementation in all K-12 schools
• Expansion of GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) instruction at elementary and intermediate schools including implementation of GATE PreAP in history and science at eight intermediate schools to prepare students for the rigor of Advanced Placement courses in high school
• 76 new teachers join GGUSD this year and are enrolled in the new teacher support program
• Technology updates including new 10 Gigabit to and from our schools and wireless connectivity
• Expanded College and Career Mentoring Program for sixth graders at 14 elementary schools, up from eight schools last year. GGUSD graduates and college students lead the after-school programs to help sixth graders both academically and personally.
• STEM enrichment programs for seventh and eighth grade students funded by OC United Way
• Implementation of Live Ink grant in partnership with UC Irvine which provided $1 million toward new Chromebooks and iPads in 7-8 ELA classrooms
• Launch of CTE STEAM lab course at five intermediate schools which help students strengthen problem-solving skills using technology, scientific-inquiry and hands-on project-based learning activities.
• Completion of modernization school improvement projects including new air conditioning and energy-efficiency improvements at five elementary schools; air conditioning to the offices, multipurpose rooms, and some classroom buildings at four intermediate schools; and completed air conditioning at Rancho Alamitos in classrooms and the cafeteria as well as modernized locker rooms; replaced air conditioning units at Los Amigos High School; air conditioning at the Garden Grove High School library, bookstore and music building along with additional parking; and new access to Pacifica High School off Knott Avenue.
• Other modernization improvements include drought tolerant landscaping at various sites, storm drain systems to reduce the possibility of flooding at Garden Grove High School and Rancho Alamitos High School and safety improvements in the district office.