Academic success starts with the foundation of regular school attendance. Thanks to a partnership with the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, students in Soquel Union Elementary School District (SUESD) can win tickets to Santa Cruz Warriors games for achieving attendance goals. Students with no more than one absence and no more than one tardy will be have a chance to win. The winning names will be drawn from the pool of qualifying students. Winners will receive two tickets so they can attend with a parent or other adult and will be recognized at the game for their achievement. The Santa Cruz Sentinel ran an article about the program. SUESD has set a district-wide goal of 96% attendance for this year (2016-17).
Soquel Union Elementary School District is very fortunate to have a long standing tradition where our community works together to create exciting programs for all students. During the past few years we have strengthened our academic programs in the areas of Art, Music, Project-Based Learning and 21st Century Instruction. We are passionate about providing every child with the opportunity to reach his or her highest learning potential. Here is a brief overview of our terrific schools.
Main Street School
One of the strengths of Main Street School is their staff's ability to seek different levels of instruction to benefit the educational program for all students. Main Street School is leading the way in creating opportunities for teachers to specialize in areas like Math, Language Arts and Science. It takes a tremendous amount of collaboration and a willingness to invest a significant amount of time to be able to specialize as a Science teacher for all fifth grade students. It is exciting to observe the unique learning environment that occurs when teachers are able to specialize.
New Brighton Middle School
Our middle school is dynamic because the staff has been able to balance academic rigor in an environment that is rich in nurturing the adolescent child. When you visit New Brighton you will quickly become aware of the wonderful interactions that takes place between student to student, adult to adult and student to adult. The school flows with positive energy and the excellent educators are able to provide a very demanding academic program for all students.
Opal Cliffs School
Our Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program begins its 3rd year at Opal Cliffs School. It is without question that the TK program at Opal Cliffs School is fantastic. We created a school design that embraces early education at so many levels. The key to our wonderful TK program lies in the staff who are experts in the area of early childhood education. They have developed a program that centers on engagement and exploration for all students. The happiness that surrounds this program is a joy to observe.
Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary School
The rich interaction that is shared between all staff members at Santa Cruz Gardens has enabled this school to create a wonderful educational program that is highly supported throughout the community. It is absolutely terrific to support various teaching models that are tailored for the students at Santa Cruz Gardens. The staff believes strongly in educating the whole child via mindfulness, social skills, art, dance, and music. The strong sense of a united philosophy in educating all students is to be commended.
Soquel Elementary School
The excellent staff at Soquel Elementary School has committed itself to receiving some of the highest professional training offered to educators today. It is most impressive to be a member of a staff where decisions regarding curriculum and instruction are embraced and aligned (K-5) with every educator at the school. The transformation of the instructional program has been led by this highly talented and trained staff. The collaboration to improve the instructional program among staff members is exceptional.
Molly Shaw (Deich) was awarded Teacher of the Year, 2016, for exemplary teaching in the geosciences by the Pacific Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), a national professional geologists' association. At the recent AAPG convention in Nevada, she spoke about the state of geoscience education in middle schools today, specifically regarding the increased emphasis on Earth Science in the new national science standards.
Molly received her bachelor's degree in Physical Geography at UC Berkeley, her Masters in Educational Administration from San Jose State and her doctorate in science education at UC Santa Cruz, where she is also a lecturer. Molly is also a full-time 6th grade science teacher at New Brighton Middle School in Capitola.
SUESD is working with the team at MADI Architecture to envision possible design plans for the future of our schools. This process is called Master Planning and has involved multiple layers of input from staff and community. Pictured below are drafts of the possible designs.