Greetings from New Superintendent
Dear SCUSD Community Members:
I want to send this message to express my excitement on starting as the new superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District. I began my work on Saturday, July 1st by meeting with stakeholders, including members of the Fruitridge Community Collaborative and Black Parallel School Board. My Saturday ended with me participating in a Parent Teacher Home Visit, where I had the great honor of joining one of our dedicated and hard-working teachers for a visit with one of our families.
I want to thank José Banda for his efforts over the past three years in service to our students and families and for his commitment to ensuring a seamless transition. Additionally, I also want to express my gratitude for the many well wishes and welcoming gestures that my family and I have received from members of the community.
As I embark on leading the Sacramento City Unified School District for our students, staff, and families, I also want to thank the Board of Trustees for entrusting me with our future generation of students. This responsibility reminds me of my own educational journey that brought me to this juncture.
My journey started as a child working alongside my parents in the fields picking grapes. This is where my core values stem from—being the eldest son of farm working parents and the first in my family to attend college. I understand the challenges faced by many students and families throughout our region. I lived through similar circumstances that are faced daily by many of our students. These experiences instilled in me a strong commitment toward public service—specifically, toward advancing educational equity and social justice in public education. Naturally, efforts such as “Safe Haven” school districts matter to me.
Over the past eight weeks, I have had the opportunity to participate in a variety of key meetings with Sacramento students, parents, community, civic, and business leaders. Whether it was meeting with a student, such as Adrian Morales, from Hiram Johnson High School who just competed at the National Leadership and Skills Competition in Kentucky last week; Luther Burbank High School DREAMers Club students; Kim Williams from Building Healthy Communities; or residents from Oak Park at a recent community forum, I am convinced that we can work together to give all students an equal opportunity to graduate with the greatest number of postsecondary choices from the widest array of options.
To achieve this, we will work together to collectively build a culture focused on responding to students by providing appropriate academic and socio-emotional supports. Equally important, we will engage in genuine partnerships with our families, higher education, advocacy, civic, and business partners because we will accomplish far more by collaborating with each other and others, than if we try to succeed on our own.
My commitment to you is that the district will approach its work with equity and access as the foundation of all of our actions. It is the essence of who I am – nothing more, nothing less. As superintendent, I look forward to working with staff and the community to:
- Collaborate with, and support, our teachers in providing great teaching;
- Treat data with ultimate respect because, behind every numerator, is a child and it is our responsibility to parents and guardians to know each child by name and by need;
- Focus greater attention on the outcomes that we are producing rather than the goals that we talk about wanting to achieve;
- Not view external conditions as factors limiting students, but instead treat those factors – including socio-economic ones – as assets to help them succeed; and,
- Seek to change conditions for students in the present as opposed to lamenting actions that we could have taken if data had been continuously monitored or used to “improve” rather than to “prove.”
Our focus will be on improving instruction in every classroom of the district by supporting our teachers and administrators with a philosophy of “implementing slow but learning fast” rather than “implementing fast and learning slow.” Everything we do, from the boardroom to the classroom, will be to meet the needs of our students.
I look forward to immediately begin working with staff and the community to address the challenges our students face and to improve academic achievement. This vision is what inspired my wife and me to choose Sacramento City Unified School District for our four children.
Thank you again for welcoming me as your superintendent! I look forward to hopefully meeting you at our schools or in the community in the coming weeks and months as we work together to make our district a choice destination for California residents!
Jorge A. Aguilar
Sacramento City Unified School District