Preparing Our Students for a Fast Changing World
Thanks to the generous support of the James Irvine Foundation and that of ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, our District has gained a statewide reputation as a leader in promoting Linked Learning at our high school sites. Linked Learning programs have four main components – a rigorous academic program tied to a technical focus that incorporates work based learning experiences along with related instructional support mechanisms for students. These components, when combined, help forge real connections between high school and college and career.
You may be familiar with some of our Linked Learning academies that operate on the campuses of Antioch High School, Deer Valley High School, and Dozier-Libbey Medical High School. Students in these programs are demonstrably more likely to graduate from high school than their statewide counterparts, and they do so with the skills and knowledge that California employers say they need. Teachers and students who participate in Linked Learning academies express great satisfaction in being part of a smaller learning community. The data is irrefutable. Students who attend our academies pass the high school exit exam at levels far greater than other students, they attend school more regularly, they are involved in far fewer disciplinary actions and their parents are more involved in their child’s education.
California State legislators have been monitoring the success that our District has achieved through Linked Learning as well as the other eight James Irvine funded district initiative projects that they have funded. With the demonstrated success that has occurred over the past four years, legislation (AB 790) authored by former Assembly member Warren Furutani, was approved last year and it called for the establishment of 20 Linked Learning pilot programs to be funded throughout the State of California. This pilot program will be used to assess how Linked Learning can be expanded to high schools across the state.
Last January our District was notified that its application to become an AB 790 recipient was approved. Our project is known as the Diablo Delta Corridor project consortium. This is a partnership of Mt. Diablo, Pittsburg, and Antioch Unified School Districts, with our District serving as the mentor for the other districts. The districts will collaborate with the Contra Costa Economic Partnership to focus on the manufacturing industry sector as well as the energy and utilities industry sector, which reflect the growing career opportunities in the East Contra Costa region.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson recently congratulated our District along with the other 62 districts and County Offices of Education that form the 20 Linked Learning pilot programs throughout the State of California. The geographical distribution of these projects span’s from southern California through the central valley, the central coast regions, the greater bay area, and the Sacramento delta regions. Combined, these selected local education agencies serve approximately 600,000 high school students across the state. At the end of the five year pilot program when it is fully implemented, Linked Learning will be available to one-third of the state’s high school students.
If you have the chance, please take the opportunity to visit the outstanding teachers, students, and administrators who work at our Linked Learning academies at Antioch High School, Deer Valley High School, and Dozier-Libbey Medical High School. You will certainly be impressed.
If you have not heard the good news yet, I am pleased to inform you that Measure B, the bond measure to renovate Antioch High School, was approved by the voters who reside within the School Facilities Improvement District by a vote of 61.55%. This strong statement of public support for Antioch High School and its feeder elementary and middle schools is greatly appreciated and will serve our students well for decades to come.
It was an honor to work with the many community members, parents, students, and District employees who volunteered their time in support of Measure B. They donated many hours of service during the evenings and on weekends calling upon registered voters to encourage them to vote “Yes” on Measure B. The unwavering support of these volunteers played a key role in the successful passage of Measure B.
Bids will be open for architects to submit their design plans for the project later this week. As this multi-year journey unfolds, the entire Antioch Unified School District community will be kept abreast of our progress.
We are very thankful and appreciative to the voters within the School Facilities Improvement District who generously entrusted our District with their hard earned tax dollars as an investment in our students and their future.