A Message from the Deputy Superintendent of Educational Services
Dear PUSD Staff,
Welcome back to the Pomona Unified School District! We are excited to begin the new school year and continue our collective journey towards excellence in education. As we embark on this academic adventure together, we want to highlight some important district initiatives that will guide our efforts in creating a positive and inclusive learning environment for all learners - both student and adult learners!
Literacy for ALL is one of our key district initiatives, emphasizing the importance of reading proficiency for every student. We believe that literacy is the foundation of academic success and lifelong learning. Ahead of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond launching California’s cohesive literacy program with the same target, we are excited that we have been intentional in building PUSD’s robust literacy framework. In line with the state’s bold reading initiative, our goal is to ensure that all PUSD students become proficient readers by third grade. To achieve this, we will be implementing Phonological Awareness Screening Test (P.A.S.T.) and Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessments to guide our instruction and identify struggling readers. These assessments will help us identify areas of need, such as phonological and phonemic awareness, sound-symbol recognition, alphabet knowledge, decoding skills, and rapid automatized naming.
In line with our commitment to inclusive education, the district's initiative, "Inclusive - All Means All," promotes an environment where every student feels valued, respected, and supported. We recognize that each student has unique strengths and areas for growth, including social-emotional and behavioral needs. To address these needs effectively, we have adopted a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) approach. MTSS is a data-driven framework grounded in evidence-based culturally responsive practices. It ensures that all students receive equitable academic, behavioral, and social-emotional support. The MTSS process involves assessing students' strengths and areas in need of support, designing coordinated support systems, and providing interventions in the least restrictive environment (LRE).
We are also dedicated to fostering a positive Culture & Climate within our schools. We believe that a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment is essential for student well-being and academic success. With culturally responsive Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) as our foundational framework and district initiative for grades TK-12, we continue to strengthen students’ social-emotional learning with responsive academic supports to create a holistic educational experience. Through site Student Success Team (SST) and Section 504 Team approaches, we bring together a team of educators and specialists to address each student's academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs. This collaborative effort allows us to design targeted and intensive interventions with embedded progress monitoring implemented to fidelity.
Furthermore, the district acknowledges the specific needs of struggling readers and students with dyslexia. Pursuant to the Dyslexia Intervention Policy under the California Dyslexia Guidelines, we have established an approved list of evidence-based screening instruments to identify students at risk of dyslexia. Through the diligent work of committed members of PUSD’s Dyslexia and Struggling Readers Task Force as well as the K-2 subcommittee, we have also made tremendous progress in building and refining our systems of integrated universal, targeted and intensive support. Students who demonstrate characteristics of dyslexia and experience difficulties in reading, writing, understanding spoken language, or expressing thoughts clearly will receive appropriate classroom interventions (Tier I) or be referred to the SST for more intensive interventions (Tier II and III). These interventions will be guided by timely, appropriate, systematic, and evidence-based instructional practices.
We are fully committed to our student's success and are eager to work together with you to support their educational journey. As we begin this new school year, 2023-2024, let us remember that every child has the potential to achieve greatness. By embracing our district initiatives, implementing effective interventions, and fostering a positive culture and climate, we will ensure that all students have the opportunity to thrive.
We look forward to a productive and inspiring school year ahead. Thank you for your continued support and partnership.
Deputy Superintendent, Pomona Unified School District
800 S. Garey Avenue, Suite 206
Pomona, CA 91766
Phone: (909) 397-4800, Ext. 23603
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(909) 397-4800 Ext. 23821
(909) 397-4800 Ext. 23750
District Section 504 Coordinator
Dr. Kathrine Morillo-Shone
Director, Equity and Professional Learning
909-397-4800 ext 23830