Episode 22: An AVID Roundtable

June 4, 2018

Episode 22: An AVID Roundtable

On this episode we’ve got a roundtable conversation that focuses on the AVID program, which promotes college readiness, and offers students extra levels of support to help students succeed. Vista Unified offers AVID classes at all grade levels, and more information is available on the district website or from any of the schools.

We’ll be talking with two recent AVID program graduates from Rancho Buena Vista High School:

Isabel Ulibarri, who is planning on attending Cal Lutheran University to pursue a career in teaching, and Arleth Flores-Aparicio, who will be attending UC-Riverside, and plans on following a four year degree with law school. Arleth, we should mention, is also the 2018 AVID Founder Scholarship winner, which identifies her as the top AVID student in San Diego County, and also comes with a $25,000 scholarship.

We’re also joined by Erica Glennon, a social studies teacher at Rancho Buena Vista as well as that school’s AVID coordinator, and Anne Green, Director of Secondary Curriculum & Instruction, and the district’s AVID leader.

AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, and as you’ll hear, these recent AVID grads have determination in spades, and will be using the resources they’ve gained through the program to go on to great things, and inspire others to do the same.

Episode 21: Cheree McKean of Empresa Elementary School

May 22, 2018

Episode 21: Cheree McKean of Empresa Elementary School

Today we’re talking with Cheree McKean, Principal of Empresa Elementary School, and I think you’ll be impressed and inspired with the culture of the school and how that fuels the learning taking place there.

Empresa is probably most known for their robust music program and test scores. And while those are integral parts of the school, they are really representations of so much more. 

We’ll talk about the music program, from when it started as teacher Rich Cook bringing a red wagon fro classroom to classroom, to the full-scale program the school now has. We’ll also talk about the myriad learning opportunities at the school, the staff that continually works to blend strong traditions with innovations to adapt to new learning and teaching methods.

And make sure you stay to the end, where Cheree has some great words about simplicity and letting kids be kids. It’s a great conversation.

Episode 20: Heather Golly of Roosevelt Middle School

May 7, 2018

Episode 20: Heather Golly of Roosevelt Middle School

Today we speak with Heather Golly, Principal of Roosevelt Middle School. Roosevelt has a long standing reputation as one of the county’s leading schools for music, with robust band and choir programs. We talked about that, as well as the school-wide implementation of a new curriculum called Artful Learning, developed by the Leonard Bernstein Organization.

With a name like Artful Learning you might think that it’s an arts curriculum, but in reality it’s about using the arts as a lens to look at learning across disciplines, and we take time to talk about that. 

We also delve into the ways that the Roosevelt staff works together to build lessons collaboratively to ensure that subject matter isn’t isolated, but integrated across students’ classes. We also talk about electives for students and how technology is used as a tool to expand the scope of learning. 

That’s just a glimpse of our conversation, as well as the many things happening to empower student learning at Roosevelt. We hope you’ll find this conversation informative and inspiring.

Episode 19 en Español: Conciencia Cibernética

April 26, 2018

Episode 19 en Español: Conciencia Cibernética



Episode 19: Cyber Awareness

April 26, 2018

Episode 19: Cyber Awareness 

In the last five years access to mobile digital devices has increased exponentially at home and at school. Vista Unified School District is dedicated to supporting students and families navigate this digital landscape in a safe and responsible manner.

This podcast is meant to accompany the VUSD Cyber Awareness Parent Night provided on April 26 at Vista High School. Today we will provide you with information on how the district is providing a safe digital environment at school and efforts to provide education on making good decisions online. We speak with Jon Moffat, local cyber education consultant, and the district's Marc Schroeder, to provide tips for the family to manage digital life at home, set limits and become more aware of usage trends for children and teens.

Episode 18: Music Round Table With Dr. Linda Kimble

April 9, 2018

Episode 18: Music Round Table With Dr. Linda Kimble

Today’s episode is a round table discussion led by Dr. Linda Kimble, Superintendent of Vista Unified School District, on the topic of music education in public schools. Dr. Kimble was part of a recent gathering of teachers and administrators in North County San Diego exploring the expansion of music education across the 78 corridor.

 The gathering took place at the national headquarters of the National Association of Music Merchants, knows as NAMM, a site which also houses the Museum of Making Music. It was a perfect location for Dr. Kimble and her guests to share the vision and steps to broadening music education in Vista and the surrounding communities.

 We hope you’ll find this conversation informative and inspiring, and that you’ll learn more about the ways you can be involved in bringing music education to every student in Vista Unified.



Episode 17: T.H.E. Leadership Academy’s Kim Morton and Kerry Perez

April 2, 2018

Episode 17: T.H.E. Leadership Academy's Kim Morton and Kerry Perez

Today’s guests have just led their school through a historical change, renaming the school to better reflect the ways that it is teaching and guiding students.

We’re talking with Kim Morton and Kerry Perez, Principal and Assistant Principal, respectively, of T.H.E. Leadership Academy, formerly known as Temple Heights Elementary School.

We’ll talk about the name change, and more importantly, the thought and strategy behind that change. We’ll also talk about why the concept of leadership is so powerful, and what it equips students for throughout their lives.

T.H.E. Leadership Academy has also been a leading school in Vista Unified’s adoption of Personalized Learning, and the school is gaining acclaim for its approach to implementing this learning model at an elementary school level.

We cover a lot of ground here, and I hope you enjoy this conversation with T.H.E. Leadership Academy’s Kim Morton and Kerry Perez.

Episode 16: School Safety Roundtable

March 12, 2018

Episode 16: School Safety Roundtable

Today we have a special episode: a roundtable on school safety. With so much of the nations’ attention focused on this topic, we wanted to take some time to hear from a few of the many people working daily to maintain safe school environments.

We’ll hear from Dr. Linda Kimble, Superintendent of Vista Unified School District, Dr. Kyle Ruggles, Executive Director of Student Support Services, Jeff Geyer, the district’s safety and Environmental Manager, as well as members of the Oceanside Police Department and the San Diego County Sherriff’s department.

They’ll share information as to how the district trains and equips teachers and staff in safety practices, how school facilities are optimized for safety, the many social and emotional support services available to students, as well as the importance of fostering kind and trusting cultures on school campuses.

We cover a lot of ground on the topic, and hopefully that helps you, our listeners, to have a better sense of the breadth and depth of care and expertise that the district invests in when it comes to school safety.

And listed here are a few of the details mentioned in the episode.

Regular Drills

- Fire Drills: K-8 monthly; 9-12 twice a year
- Earthquake: twice a year
- Intruder/secure campus or lockdown -- twice a year

The podcast also includes brief comparisons of Secure Campus vs Lockdown, and how those terms help to identify what sort of situation may be happening.

Recent Facilities Modifications To School Campuses
Additional perimeter fencing has been installed at:
Beaumont Elementary
Bobier Elementary
Breeze Hill Elementary
California Ave. Elementary
Casita Center Elementary
Empresa Elementary
Grapevine Elementary
Lake Elementary
Madison Middle School
Mission Meadows Elementary
Mission Vista High School
Monte Vista Elementary
Rancho Buena Vista HS
Rancho Minerva Middle School
Vista Academy (VAPA)

Reconfigure school entrance to single point of entry at:
Alamosa Park Elementary
Breeze Hill Elementary
Lake Elementary
Mission Meadows Elementary
Rancho Minerva Middle School
Vista Academy (VAPA)

Installation of security cameras at all schools and district facilities
Upgrade of District wide Emergency Radio system

Episode 15: Cindy Anderson of Alamosa Park Elementary

March 7, 2018

Episode 15: Cindy Anderson of Alamosa Park Elementary

Today we’re talking with Cindy Anderson, Principal of Alamosa Park Elementary School. In our conversation, Cindy share about the many exciting developments at Alamosa Park, including an expanded role for project based learning, Next Generation Science Standards, and how those help to reinforce the foundational skills in literacy, language and mathematics.

We also talked about the changing role of teachers, and how the school equips and empowers it teachers in the way they approach guiding students in the learning process.

We’re glad you’re here and hope that you enjoy this conversation with Cindy Anderson.

Episode 14: Dr. Linda Kimble, Superintendent

February 26, 2018

Episode 14: Dr. Linda Kimble, Superintendent

This episode feastures a conversation with Dr. Linda Kimble, who recently began her role as Superintendent of Vista Unified. Dr. Kimble comes to Vista after five years as Superintendent of the Anaheim Elementary School District in Orange County, where she was granted a number of honors, including a Superintendent of the Year award, the 2017 Orange County Arts on the Rise Award form the Orange County Department of Education, A Woman of Distinction award for the 65th Assembly District, and Outstanding Administrator for the Los Angeles County Bilingual Directors Association.

Dr. Kimble was a classroom teacher for 15 years before transitioning into administration, serving schools in a variety of settings.

Dr. Kimble is an engaging person who enjoys and gains great value from listening to others and understanding the opportunities and challenges of various roles in the school district. In a short time we discussed what made her aware of and interested in Vista Unified, the challenge of innovation in education, change, the arts, language skills, and how her enjoyment of shadowing people on the job, as well as students, helps her to gain insight into how schools and students function.