CARL J. COLES
Dear VVUHSD Students, Staff, and Families,
It is hard to believe it has been a year since I first addressed you as the Superintendent of the Victor Valley Union High School District. It has been a truly rewarding 12 months as I have gotten to know some of the extraordinary people in our district community. From the Board of Trustees to our staff, students and families, I have been inspired by your dedication, talent and tenacity. We have worked together to make some exciting changes that I believe will help us to fulfill our ultimate purpose: preparing ALL students to live a life of unlimited potential.
We were proud to see the grand opening of our newest campus, Larrea Middle School, on August 7. Larrea will help ease overcrowding at Hook Junior High School and Lakeview Leadership Academy, and this coincides with a reduction in class sizes to 25-to-1 in core classes at our middle schools and 32-1 in high school. The advent of the new school and smaller classes has allowed us to hire approximately 100 new staff members. We would like to thank these 60 teachers and 40 classified staff members for making VVUHSD your home!
In today’s world, the safety and security of our students is of the utmost importance. I am proud to announce that VVUHSD is the first district in the High Desert to institute the Evolv security system at all of our campuses this school year. Evolv detection systems, which are also used in venues such as SoFi Stadium, can detect weapons as well as other contraband items.
We were more than pleased to see the resounding success of the Heritage Program in its inaugural year at Adelanto High School. This pilot program focused on college readiness for African American seniors, and AHS saw its college readiness for this demographic rise by more than seven times in a single year. This school year, Heritage is being expanded to all three of our large comprehensive high schools, along with the establishment of its sister program Legacy, which will serve the same needs for Latino students.
Heritage and Legacy are part of a districtwide initiative to raise college readiness for ALL students. We will do this through a focus on A-G — a group of classes that a student must complete to gain acceptance to a UC or CSU university. While not all students will choose to attend a university after high school, with A-G completion a student’s options are virtually limitless. Our current A-G completion rate hovers around 40%. It is our goal to achieve an A-G rate of 75%, which would make VVUHSD the most college-ready district in all of San Bernardino County.
This goal is no doubt a lofty one, and it will not be reached in a single year, but we refuse to believe that it is unattainable. To quote President John F. Kennedy from his speech about reaching the Moon, “we choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”
We see A-G as a goal that will demand the best of our energies and skills. It’s a challenge that we are willing to accept, that we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.
We believe that nothing should stand in the way of a first-class education for our 11,500 students, and the dedication of more than 1,000 staff members will help us make our goals a reality. On behalf of the Board of Trustees I wish all of you a fulfilling and productive school year as we help guide our students on a path to finding their purpose and realizing their hopes, dreams and aspirations.
Carl J. Coles