The Magnolia Message: Letter from the Superintendent

cropped-Piedmont-P-circle.jpgWelcome to the Spotlight on Student Learning!  This edition of the Spotlight provides an overview of Piedmont Unified’s many initiatives to develop and deliver relevant curriculum through innovative instructional strategies.

Over the last few years, teachers at all levels have been teaching new curriculum aligned to Common Core State Standards and have been implementing new Common Core instructional strategies.  At the elementary level, the District adopted new reading, writing, math, and social emotional curriculum.  Middle and high school teachers have been piloting new math curriculum.  Science teachers at all levels are learning Next Generation Science Standards and how to instruct on all three dimensions of the science standards, as discussed in the science article by Dan Kessler and Camilla Thayer.  A coordinated TK-12 social and emotional health curriculum is being developed as we continue to monitor student stress and well being.  To support our staff through these many changes, professional development and mentoring of teachers are being provided.

This edition of the Spotlight features articles and updates on these exciting changes.  There is an article discussing what it means to be a 21st Century learner, and what it means to be an effective 21st Century teacher.  There is an update on the implementation of Common Core Math, the transition to Next Generation Science Standards, arts-centered learning, and World Language.

It is important to emphasize that readiness for higher education and future careers requires different types of knowledge, different educational experiences, and a different set of skills than in the past.  For example, students must have the opportunity to learn through project-based exploration, collaboration, and shared presentation.  Students must have the opportunity to investigate the connections among the sciences and develop and test hypotheses.  They must have opportunities to work individually, in small groups, and in large groups, to complete service projects, and to take full advantage of modern educational technologies.   

Piedmont Unified is dedicated to providing an excellent education that prepares and inspires students for whatever educational and career paths they may pursue.  We will review and refine curriculum and instructional strategies continually, to meet the needs of students and to keep pace with the changing needs of the world outside the classroom.   

If you have questions or comments about this, please contact the District’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Cheryl Wozniak, at or me at

Finally, there are many opportunities for families to provide input into District policies.  Upcoming meetings include:

  • April 26th – 7:00pm: LCAP Community Engagement Night, PHS Student Center
  • April 27th – 7:00pm:  PUSD Board of Education Meeting, Piedmont City Hall
  • May 3rd – 7:00pm:  GATE Advisory Committee Meeting, Havens Library
  • May 11th – 7:00pm:  PUSD Board of Education Meeting, Piedmont City Hall
  • May 19th – 3:30pm:  PUSD Budget Advisory Committee Meeting, PUSD District Office

I strongly encourage families to participate and share their ideas.  


Randall Booker, Superintendent – Piedmont Unified School District

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