Soquel Union Elementary School

Superintendent's Message
Henry J. Castaniada

Superintendent Henry J. Castaniada

The Start of a New School Year

During the summer months we were extremely busy hiring excellent new teachers, front office school staff, a Director of Curriculum and a Director of Student Services. Each of these individuals shares our common core belief that the most important job is to protect our children and to provide them with a wonderful learning environment. Since our enrollment continues to increase year after year, each of our schools have hired additional teachers and a part-time counselor. Their positive outlook and enthusiasm is terrific. Our students, parents and community at large will quickly notice their "can do" attitude.

Ms. Moira Barker is our new Director of Curriculum. She will invest a significant amount of time in creating opportunities to expand our instructional technology programs, including the expansion of STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering and Math) curriculum at each of our schools. This summer a number of our teachers attended a technology summit held in Silicon Valley. The focus of this summit was to provide examples that will allow teachers to integrate technology into their classroom on a daily basis. Preparing our students for the 21st Century requires us to revisit our curriculum programs and to obtain technology to allow our students to explore learning beyond the classroom.

Dr. Lurena Brubaker is our new Director of Student Services. She is a seasoned school psychologist from Clovis Unified School District. We are very fortunate to have Lurena join our team and provide the essential leadership required in the area of student services. She will be working closely with our school principals and our Director of Curriculum to create an RTI (Response to Intervention) program that will provide our staff with opportunities to explore new instructional strategies.

Under the leadership of Mr. Jim Dupre, our Supervisor of Maintenance and Operations, all of our schools now have terrific curb appeal! Mr. Dupre and his staff, Brian Brazil, Steve Cartwright and Craig Feeney, worked endlessly to beautify all of our school campuses. Soquel Elementary School has been completely repainted and now the architectural beauty is easily noticed. In addition to painting the entire school, we also renovated the entire multi-use room with new lighting, interior painting, ceiling tiles and a new sound system. Mr. Dupre also spearheaded a major project at New Brighton Middle School that culminated in the installation of a new quad area that is absolutely student friendly and will be a fantastic location for students to gather during lunchtime...

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Student Highlights & Programs

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Soquel Union Elementary School District

Registration for the 2015-16 School Year
Begins March 2, 2015

(Applies to all families who live in the Soquel School District Attendance Area)

All new students can begin registering at their home school on Monday, March 2, 2015. (For all students entering kindergarten, your child must be five on or before 9/1/15.)

  • Main Street, 3400 North Main St., Soquel - 464-5650
  • New Brighton Middle School, 250 Washburn Ave., Capitola - 464-5660
  • Santa Cruz Gardens, 8005 Winkle Ave., Santa Cruz – 464-5670
  • Soquel Elementary, 2700 Porter Street, Soquel - 464-5655

If you have a child that turns five between 9/2/15 - 12/2/15, you may be interested in our Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program. All registrations for TK will be done at Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary School. If you need further information on the TK program, please call Janet at (831) 464-5639 for further details.

Excitement in Education

Soquel School District Targets Underperforming Latino Boys

Read the article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, published on March 2, 2014.

NBMS Engineering Club

The Engineering Club, run by students from Cabrillo College's Engineering Department, is a popular after school activity at NBMS. The middle school students have been enjoying the challenge of the club which takes place after school, on Fridays, in Room 37. Whether designing windmills and testing the amount of power they produce, or experimenting with building the strongest bridges they can, the students are relishing the challenge of building, testing and refining their designs. As well as testing their design skills, students are also developing their cooperative skills, collectively working in teams of three, using science, technology, engineering and math to solve the engineering challenge of the week. Stop by room 37 at 1:30 PM on Fridays to witness our young engineers in action!

Main Street School's After School Math Club

During weekly after-school Math Club meetings at Main Street School, 25 fourth and fifth grade students work in cooperative groups to develop their mathematical thinking. Students play math games (such as Krypto and Set), solve complex problems, and discuss and present solution strategies. In addition, fifth grade participants will have an opportunity to compete both individually and as a team in the countywide math competition in May. Students love the club so much that one student, Cathryn Perry, exclaimed, "I wish Math Club was every day!" Others have expressed dismay when time is up, wanting to keep working on math problems. Are you ready to test your math skills? Here are two problems students are solving. 1. Christine has homing pigeons and seeing-eye dogs. Together these have 36 heads and 80 feet. She needs 2 pounds of birdseed for every 4 birds, and 10 pounds of dog food for every 2 dogs. How many pounds of each type of food does she need? 2. How many squares are there on a chess board? (Hint: there is 1 large square, 81 small squares, and many more squares in between sizes such as 2 by 2, 3 by 3 squares, etc.) Are YOU smarter than a fifth grader?