Inspiring Programs Enjoyed by Paramount Students!
Our school year is off to a strong start, and I’ve once again been inspired by all the wonderful programs we are enjoying in the Paramount Unified School District. It’s clear that our teachers and staff arrived for the 2016-17 year more prepared than ever, and that was one of our goals when we gathered in August for District-wide training and textbook review. I’m so pleased to see the time we have invested in professional development paying off, and to watch our District continue to grow and help our kids thrive.
With that in mind, we were excited to offer free PSATs to high school students and eighth-graders in October as we continue to build a college-ready culture. We were able to waive all registration fees for test takers as we strive to break down barriers between students reaching their goals. To ensure success, we will review test results with students in January and offer SAT prep classes in February.
Also in October, I had the privilege of attending a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration put on by Mokler Elementary School. The event featured art projects dedicated to prominent Latino men and women, and a priceless performance of our students dancing the ballet folklórico. I was able to share my own story of growing up as an English language learner and was reminded of the importance of reading to our children. I would encourage all of our parents and community members to have your children read to you for 20 minutes per day – even in your native language. You do not necessarily have to read in English to help our kids become strong readers.
Of course, the first step to developing exceptional readers is ensuring our students have healthy vision. Through our partnership with Vision To Learn and the Paramount Rotary Club, we are giving free eye exams to students at Los Cerritos School this month. K-5 children will be examined by optometrists, and those in need will be given free eyeglasses. It’s a wonderful program, and I can’t wait to expand it to reach all of our kids throughout the District.
Meeting the needs of our children through services and facilities will always be a priority. As you probably know, we have a bond measure on the November elections ballot – Measure I – that if passed would fund updates and repairs for all of our schools. Bond measures are used by California schools to fund major infrastructure improvements and construct new buildings.
What we have built as a community dedicated to our children should make us all proud, but it’s only the beginning. Let’s continue to work together to educate and inspire our students. There are truly no limits to what they can achieve!
Dr. Ruth Pérez
Paramount Unified Facilities Bond: Measure I is on the November Ballot!
As the school year begins and the weather begins to cool, we have been steadily working within Paramount Unified School District to strengthen academic opportunities for our students and open doors to partnerships with organizations across our District. From our expanded transitional kindergarten program to the Paramount Promise, our Paramount Unified team is successfully preparing our students for college and careers.
But, in addition to the vast academic strides we are seeing within our classrooms, we are also working to address our infrastructure needs to support instructional technology and ensure our schools are safe, clean and attractive.
On Aug. 8, the Paramount Board of Education voted unanimously to place Measure I on the November ballot. Funds from Measure I would help enhance safety on our campuses, support technology for quality college preparation and improve facilities for career vocational education. If adopted by voters, Measure I would generate $106 million in local funding for our school facilities. The funds from Measure I would go directly to address facilities needs. No bond money can be used for salaries or academic programs.
Specifically, the funds would support capital improvements and technology augmentation projects, such as:
• Improving classrooms and labs for college preparation
• Upgrading school security
• Upgrading electrical wiring
• Upgrading fire doors and smoke alarms
• Repairing water pipes
• Repairing deteriorating roofs
• Replacing outdated portables with permanent new classrooms
• Upgrading/equipping classrooms with modern technology
Ultimately, the goal of our facilities program is to promote strong learning environments in which our students can thrive!
By supporting strong facilities alongside our rigorous academic program, we will be able to attract and maintain a talented pool of teachers and staff. To be clear, voting yes on Measure I means that property owners will see an increase to their property taxes. An analysis of Paramount property values indicates that Measure I would cost about $58 per $100,000 in assessed value. In other words, if your home’s assessed value is about $300,000, then you’d pay an additional $174 per year. But for many, that cost is an investment in our schools, in our community, and ultimately in our future. Public school budgets are not designed to address capital improvements and up-keep.
Measure I would be used exactly for that purpose.
It is always humbling to hear from community members how impressed they are with our academic program, how appreciative they are of our teachers and much they believe in education. For this reason, we are working to ensure our District remains as strong as possible in supporting the children of our community as they strive to achieve their goals.
If you have any questions about Measure I, please contact me or our Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Ruben Frutos at (562) 602-6025.
Dr. Ruth Pérez