The seventh annual “State of Our Schools” presentation was held in the Thelma Terry building in Virginia Park on Tuesday, Jan. 31.
For the past six years, Santa Monica’s Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS), The Santa Monica-Malibu Council of Parent Teacher Associations, the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) and the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) have put on the “State of Our Schools” presentation to inform the community about the current status of education within SMMUSD.
According to SMMUSD Board of Education member Nimish Patel, more people attended this year than was expected and there was a shortage of information packets for the last few audience members.
“It [was] a great turn out; we are very proud of it,” Patel said. “A lot of people are engaged in our public schools and want to know more about them. Our Community for Excellent Public Schools did a great job getting the word out; it seemed like a record number of people attended.”
Each year the event focuses on a different group of programs within SMMUSD; this year the focus was on the math programs. Representatives from the district’s child care, elementary, middle and high school levels all spoke. Samo Principal Laurel Fretz spoke on behalf of Samo, and discussed the school’s new Focused Learning Target (FLT) system along with other elements of Samo’s math department.
“I thought it was really informative. I liked the creativity around the learning and the details about the math programs,” elementary school parent Karen Axel said.
After discussing the district’s multiple levels of math programs, the attention was transferred to Superintendent Sandra Lyon, who discussed the status within the district of different subjects such as test scores, demographics and funding.
“I think the energy in the room tonight was awesome. To have this many people come out on a Tuesday night to listen to all of us talk about education shows how committed our community is to public education and I’m thrilled,” Lyon said. “I think it was a great event. We have a community that wants to know, so the more that we keep them informed the better we are.”