Spring 2015 Update from the Superintendent
I would like to share an update with our community about the work going on in Milpitas Unified School District. There are four topics to share – the new state assessment system, enrollment growth across our district, progress on our new elementary school in the transit area, and the design of the new joint use facility with San Jose Evergreen Community College District.
New State Assessment System
This is the first full year of teaching the new Common Core State Standards in the State of California. With these standards comes a new state testing system called the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, or SBAC for short. These new tests are completely different compared to the older California Standards Tests (CST) used in the past. The new SBAC tests can be summarized with these instructions to students – “read carefully and analytically, write out your answer, and explain or justify your answer.” Gone are the days of bubble tests where students chose among A, B, C, or D. Instead, students will take the entire exam using technology with much reading, thinking, and analysis. We have been preparing for this first statewide SBAC testing for years and our students, Chromebooks, and wireless network are ready to meet the challenge. Testing began last week on Tuesday, April 7th across the district.
At a recent board meeting, we received our annual update on enrollment projections for our schools. The steady growth is arriving, and we are projected to grow by 15% over the next ten years, going from our current 10,300 to 11,800 students by 2024. We need to build the new elementary school in the transit area as soon as possible, prepare Milpitas High School for over 3,500 students, and upgrade Randall Elementary School for future growth. All of our schools will experience school capacity issues, and we need to prepare for growth across the district.
New Elementary School
We are making steady progress on the design of the new elementary school in the transit area near the future Milpitas BART station. This state-of-the-art school will be built to hold 800 students and is projected to open in August 2018. The district is in the process of completing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for review by the Board of Trustees in August 2015. You can see updates on the site layout at our district website.
New Joint-Use Facility
The long-awaited vision of a local community college in Milpitas will finally happen in the fall of 2016. This unique regional partnership between MUSD and the San Jose Evergreen Community College District will create a satellite community college center next to Russell Middle School. Our high school students will be able to walk across the street and take college courses both during and after their school day. Adults and community members will have access to college level courses throughout the day and evenings. This is going to be a great educational resource for the entire Milpitas community.