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Friday, April 16, 2021

News & Updates

News & Updates

VUSD Hires New Principal for Lincoln Elementary School - Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The District is pleased to announce that Mr. Mark Asher has been hired to serve as the new Principal at Lincoln Elementary School in the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD). The VUSD Board of Education, by a 5-0 vote, approved Mr. Asher at the Tuesday, March 23, 2021 Board meeting. Mr. Asher will take over as the Principal in the summer of 2021. He will be replacing Ms. Marlene McMullen, who recently announced she would be retiring at the end of this school year.

"After a rigorous interview process, Mr. Asher stood out, demonstrating strong leadership skills and success in the field of education," stated Dr. Jeff Davis, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.  

Mr. Mark Asher has served as a public educator for more than 20 years. Mr. Asher has served as a middle school history teacher, a Title I Coordinator, an Assistant Principal at both Ocean View Junior High and Monte Vista Middle School, and as a Principal at Dos Caminos Elementary and Tierra Linda Elementary, both in the Pleasant Valley School District. He is also a resident of the City of Ventura and is eager to serve his community's children and families.

 "Mr. Asher brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the position in administration, teaching, and counseling. We are excited for him to start this new chapter in his career and build upon the excellent work that Mrs. McMullen provided to Lincoln Elementary," stated Superintendent Dr. Roger Rice.

Help us welcome Mr. Asher to the VUSD family!

Ventura Unified Announces Return to Full-Time In-Person Instruction - Tuesday, March 23, 2021

VENTURA, CA, March 24, 2021-Ventura Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Roger Rice announced at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, March 23, that all grade levels in the Ventura Unified School District (City of Ventura) will be going back to school full-time, in-person when they open for the 2021-22 school year in August. 

"I thrilled to announce that due to the recent change in social distancing guidelines from the CDC, and our state and local health departments, in addition to other strategies we are currently implementing, we will open full-time, in-person with a schedule similar to pre-Covid at all of our school sites in the Fall of 2021," stated Dr. Rice, Superintendent.

The school district is currently purchasing furniture for many of its schools to replace outdated and bulky desks, chairs, etc. in order to maximize space in the classrooms.  Funding for this furniture and other necessities to assist in maximizing the number of students who can fit into each classroom is coming from a one-time State In-Person Learning Grant.

The school district assumes that other COVID-19 prevention and mitigation protocols will remain in place for the Fall 2021 semester, including masks, hand washing, disinfecting, contact tracing, and more. "Our elementary schools have been open to hybrid in-person learning for some time now, and VCPH confirmed this week that we have had no COVID transmission spread on our campuses. Our students, teachers, and staff are doing a tremendous job of following the guidelines. We believe that our community can wear masks and follow the guidelines if it means we can resume full-time in-person learning," stated Dr. Rice. "The District will be providing families with more concrete information and schedules as soon as the details are finalized."

For those families who are not ready to return fully, options will be provided regarding distance learning and homeschooling. The District will be sharing those options closer to the Fall 2021 semester.  COVID driven change is always possible and the community will be notified if changes must be made.

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services - Tuesday, March 9, 2021

After a months-long competitive search, the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) Board of Education, in their March 9, regularly scheduled Board meeting, voted to hire Dr. Antonio Castro as the new Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. Dr. Castro will begin his new role on April 8, 2021. In this new role, Dr. Castro will oversee departments such as; Curriculum and Instruction, Early Childhood Programs, Multilingual & Multicultural Education, Special Education, Student Support Services, and Health Services and Prevention Programs. 


Dr. Castro brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will serve him well at VUSD. Since 2016, Dr. Castro has served as the Associate Superintendent of Educational Services at the Ventura County Office of Education. He has been highly effective in this role with oversight in the areas of Comprehensive Health and Prevention Programs, Curriculum & Instruction, Early Childhood Programs, Hearing Conservation, Leadership Support Services, Research & Evaluation, Accountability & Continuous Improvement, Administrator and Teacher Induction Programs, Expanded Learning Program and the Local Control & Accountability Plan. 


Dr. Castro also served as the Director of Student Support Services, the Director of Special Education, and the Principal of Los Cerritos Middle School while working for the Conejo Valley Unified School District from 2006-2016. He began his career in the Simi Valley Unified School District as a Special Education Teacher.  


“It is such an honor to join the Ventura Unified School District as the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. VUSD has an established history of elevating voices, aspirations, and pathways to possibility within the community. I look forward to forming rich connections with our students and their families and contributing to the district’s tradition of celebrating diversity,” stated Dr. Castro.


“I believe that Dr. Castro’s background in facilitating school improvement, his reputation for building positive relationships with District personnel and community agencies, his ability to innovate with the use of technology and online learning platforms, his familiarity with implementing districtwide initiatives, and his history of improving outcomes for high needs students will serve our community well. In addition, Dr. Castro has worked with our teams here in VUSD for some time and is very familiar with our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), and will be ready to hit the ground running as we continue to address the immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19,” stated Dr. Roger Rice, Superintendent. 

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