Dear San Diego Unified community,
On behalf of the thousands of professional educators, dedicated administrators, and support staff, I am excited to welcome you to the new school year at the San Diego Unified School District. Together, we have spent months preparing to welcome all of our students to the First Day of School on August 30, 2021. We are eager to be reunited with students and are ready to open schools with the highest possible safety standards. From clean air to health and safety mitigation to the rigorous safety procedures, our San Diego Unified family is committed to maintaining safe, diverse, equitable, and inclusive classrooms and schools.
After a great end to the 2020-21 school year and a summer of learning and joy through the Level Up San Diego summer experience, we continue to focus on the social and emotional well-being of our students that will help ensure meaningful connections and academic achievement. As I have mentioned before, our focus must be on diversity, equity and inclusion to accelerate the learning for our students. We increased access to counselors and designed new supports for students making the transition into a reimagined level of education, whether that is kindergarten, middle school or high school.
As we welcome our students back, we know we cannot go back to the way education was operating before the global pandemic. We know we have more work to do. I am proud of the work our school district has done to ensure that every young person feels a sense of belonging and can see themselves, their culture, and their voice reflected in the classroom.
San Diego Unified earned a reputation as the fastest improving big-city school district in the nation before the pandemic, and we are determined to continue that progress together. That work started this summer when more than 30 percent of all students signed up for an academic course or an enrichment program. This year we have hired new teachers and expanded course offerings for the year ahead as we continue raising the bar to accelerate student learning and professional growth.
We are prepared, and in the spirit of Ubuntu, the African proverb that means “I am, because WE are”, WE will do the work for our students as a collective. Once again, welcome to the 2021-22 academic school year and thank you for your continued support. Ubuntu!
Dr. Lamont A. Jackson
San Diego Unified School District