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Saturday, December 14, 2019

News & Updates

News & Updates

Ventura Unified School District Expanding Educational Options - Monday, December 9, 2019

Ventura Unified School District Expanding Educational Options

Photo of the font of Blanche Reynolds Elementary school with mural including rainbow and butterlfiesAt a Special Board Study Session on Mon., Dec. 2, 2019, the Ventura Unified School District Board of Education approved staff moving forward with a new secondary level program to serve students who require additional flexibility in their lives and therefore need an online-based program. Additionally, the Board approved moving forward with expanding the K-8 offerings in the District to include both a midtown and east end option for families.

"In an environment of declining enrollment, the Board and District staff are working hard to offer options to serve the diverse needs of all its students.  At the same time we need to attract and retain students in the District,” stated Dr. Roger Rice, Superintendent.

The secondary level program is scheduled to open next Fall on the El Camino High School (ECHS) campus. Traditionally, VUSD loses more than 100 students per year to schools with the limited classroom model. A vigorous marketing effort will occur to ensure the community is clear on whom the program is intended to serve and to ensure that the existing ECHS program retains all of its excellence and remains a robust and attractive option for the students it currently serves. 

The two expanded K-8 options are slated to open in the Fall of 2021. The midtown option is being planned for Blanche Reynolds Elementary and the process for determining an east end location is just beginning. The new K-8 offerings will also serve the District’s efforts to attract and retain students and families who want smaller learning communities as an option to the larger, more traditional middle school setting. A TK program already exists at Blanche Reynolds making this a TK-8 option. Waiting until the Fall of 2021 will provide the District additional time to develop program components and an educational focus, which could include thematic programs and re-branding.

“We are very excited about these new options for students,” stated Board President Sabrena Rodriguez. “VUSD listened to feedback from students, families, and staff. These new options will allow us to provide modern options for the ever-changing educational needs of our community.”

For more information, contact Hector Guerrero, Director of Educational Options at or 805-289-1955.

Ventura Unified School District Embracing its Families this Holiday Season - Friday, December 6, 2019

Ventura Unified School District Embracing its Families this Holiday Season

The Cheers for Children campaign, which is entering its 67th year, is designed to help children and families of the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD). Cheers for Children began in 1952 when teachers and an administrator identified a student and his family in need of food over the holidays. Cheers for Children has grown to a community campaign to assist 350 families over the holidays and assist with additional needs, as they are identified throughout the year. The Ventura Unified School District is requesting the community’s help with this year’s campaign. There are three ways interested parties of all ages may participate; through donations of canned food or money, assisting with the sorting and boxing of holiday food boxes, and participating in the Cheers for Children Silent Auction.

All VUSD schools are currently collecting canned and dry goods for holiday food boxes. A list of items can be found at These items can be delivered to any of our VUSD schools or the District offices located at 255 W. Stanley Ave. in Ventura, CA, until December 19, 2019. The District is also accepting monetary donations, which will assist in the purchase of holiday hams and will go towards additional family needs throughout the year. Checks may be made payable to Cheers for Children and mailed to Ventura Unified School District, Education Service Center, c/o Dr. Roger Rice, Superintendent, 255 West Stanley Avenue, Suite 100, Ventura, CA, 93001. There is a tremendous amount of work that goes on “behind the scenes” to make this event a reality. The community is invited to help with sorting and boxing the food drive items for distribution. Bring your friends and family on Friday, December 20, from 2-5 pm to Balboa Middle School, located at 247 Hill Road in Ventura. Children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.

If silent auctions are more your speed, the District will be hosting its Annual Cheers for Children Silent Auction. Items can be viewed and bid on beginning at 7:30 am on December 13, and the auction will close at 3:30 pm on December 19. This silent auction is open to the public and is being held at the Education Service Center at 255 W. Stanley Ave in Ventura.

“It is our hope that through the Cheers for Children campaign we can bring joy, through a warm meal, to our students most in need. We hope you will consider assisting us as we embrace our VUSD families this holiday season,” stated Dr. Roger Rice, Superintendent. For more information, contact the VUSD Superintendent’s office at 805-641-5000.


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