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Superintendent Newsletter, May 2022

Superintendent Diego Ochoa Monday, May 16, 2022

Dear San Mateo-Foster City Community,

I hope our community is staying healthy as we enter the final stretch of the 2021-2022 school year. Annual California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) testing season is upon us and I’d like to thank all of our wonderful teachers for preparing our students for this important milestone. We expect to have CAASPP test results by the end of July and the district will be publishing our first L3 Outcomes Report in August. The driving force behind the Live, Lead, and Learn or L3 Outcomes Report is to bring a high level of transparency to our community. We want all stakeholders to be able to access information about how children are doing in their schools. All public school districts in California are required to publish SARC documents, but they’re difficult to read and lengthy. The L3 Outcomes Report will be aligned to our Strategic Plan and focus on visually presenting the most salient information related to student achievement, equity, and wellness.

Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan is now 2 weeks away from being publicly shared. Throughout this process, the focus has remained on achieving our three (3) goals related to achievement, equity, and wellness. Below are a few of the exciting Strategic Plan actions/services that will help us achieve these goals:

Some Draft Actions/Strategies Included in the upcoming Strategic Plan:

  • Initiate a professional development plan that supports teachers, classified staff, language & literacy teachers on special assignment (ToSAs), and site leaders to implement foundational literacy supplemental curricula.
  • Strengthen the district’s literacy assessment system (to align with ELA curriculum & instructional shifts 
  • Initiate a five-year professional development plan that supports teachers, classified staff, math ToSAs, and site leaders to implement core SMFC math program, including math routines, EngageNY (K-5) and Illustrative Math (6-8) curricula, and common formative assessments--focused on grades 3 and 6-8.
  • Implement sustainable math intervention programs (Math Boost) to support unfinished learning and develop positive math mindsets of targeted students--focused on grades 3rd/4th/5th and 6th/7th.
  • Implement ST Math as an at-home math resource for all K-8 students.  Provide two Community Outreach workers to track usage data and call families to support
  • Initiate a 5-year professional development plan that supports elementary teachers and site leaders to deepen implementation of I-ELD/D-ELD strategies and structures to ensure access and engagement with grade-level aligned texts and tasks for multilingual students--focused on 4th/5th grades.
  • Create a District Culturally Responsive Curriculum & Practices (CRCP) Task Force. Establish a series of meetings from August 2022 through May 2023 to elevate educational partner voices (including especially students and families) to arrive at clear definitions of CRCP. Create a presentation for the Board of Trustees indicating a set of recommended focus areas for the remainder of the Strategic Plan timeline.

Stay tuned to future newsletters for more information!

Parent Engagement and Warm Demands

In the strategic plan, the first building block focuses on family and community engagement. The district is committed to creating a culture in which parents, school staff, and community partners work together to facilitate student growth before, during, and after the school day. This allows for a collective approach to educating our students at SMFCSD. I have been visiting families at various elementary schools to engage in conversations about the concept of warm demands. 

There is an emphasis on speaking directly with parents and guardians about how the district can better support student educational success. Since we began our Footstep2Brilliance and ST Math district-wide engagement efforts, the district has added two Community Services Specialists to support families in assistance with technology, troubleshooting login issues, and guide parents on how to support their children during the usage of the programs.

We are almost near the end of the school year, let's finish strong!

Diego R. Ochoa

May Newsletter - English | Spanish

about Superintendent Diego R. Ochoa

Superintendent Ochoa joined the district in July 2021. He has 22 years of educational experience as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, director, executive director, and superintendent.  Superintendent Ochoa has a strong background in instruction, curriculum, special education, equity, student wellness, parent engagement, and building school facilities. 

In 2012, Superintendent Ochoa joined the Esparto Unified School District in the Sacramento area. He served as the Director of Special Education and Superintendent until 2018. In Esparto, he developed long range academic plans and oversaw the development of greatly expanded Advanced Placement programs.

In the 2018–2019 school year, Superintendent Ochoa joined the Hollister School District. He led the district in developing quality special education services for children with autism. He oversaw major curricular adoptions and led a new early literacy small-group reading program. He also led  efforts to coordinate new school configurations addressing struggles with overcrowded middle schools and a lack of classroom space at multiple sites. In 2021, Ochoa concluded the $52 million dollar campus built to serve up to 850 students. 

Prior to his work at HSD, Ochoa served as high school principal, assistant principal, and elementary school special education teacher. Ochoa received his Bachelor of Arts, Teaching Credential and Master of Arts in Education from California State University San Marcos, and also holds a Special Education Teaching Credential. Active in community associations, he has served as President Elect of the San Benito County Educational Leaders Association (ACSA), member of San Benito County League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and board member for Capay Valley Vision. Diego and his wife Hallie are parents to five children.