• Superintendent's Message

    Image johncernapicture

    Jeanette Ozuna

    Assistant Superintendent

    John Cerna

    Superintendent

     

    K’waláni nam áshanisha skulitpámapa iniit.

    Nuestro corazón está
    contento porque usted ha entrado a nuestro distrito.

    Our heart is happy that you have entered into our district.

    “We do what’s best for kids”

    Toppenish School District

    Welcome to another new year of opportunities and excitement. We would like to thank our community for the excellent support of our schools. Toppenish School District is a place where “we do what’s best for kids” by providing the highest level of learning opportunities for all students. Parents are a critical partner in the learning endeavor and we ask for your commitment to help us keep our students engaged in the learning on a day-to-day basis. Having a personal relationship with your student’s teacher will help maximize the learning. 

    The accolades keep coming for the Toppenish District.   Toppenish School District was recognized by Newsweek Magazine as one of the Top High Schools in the country.  Through FCLA we have eleven students who qualified for nationals as Washington State Champions.  We have an additional eight students that were second place medalists listed as leaders that also qualified both middle and high school students.  We have two students who will be headed to HOSA, Future Health Care in Orlando.  We also have three students who qualified for SkillsUSA in Kentucky.  All in all we have approximately 26 students who will travel all over the United States competing and representing the School District.  Our high school wrestling team made history by successfully defending their 2A State Championship.  Our boys basketball and soccer teams had fabulous seasons barely missing the opportunity to complete in the state championships.  Our boys track team brought home six state medals in wrapping up a successful season.  I would like to thank all the coaches, advisors and volunteers that put countless hours in helping our students succeed.  What an awesome experience for all the students that attended these national competitions. The Toppenish Middle School continues to do excellent work in helping enroll our students for the College Bound Scholarship.  As a result of their hard work, this year our seniors received over $2,000,000 in college scholarships. Our fine arts, choir and band programs have also received recognition for their excellence. The hard work by our staff and students does not go unnoticed.  Congratulations! 

    We have completed our eighth year of offering pre-engineering classes at the high school.  This year, over 650 students participated in advanced classes in engineering. All freshmen students were required to take introduction to Bio-medical classes in engineering, which takes the place of Earth Science and Life Science. Our staff is very enthused about the opportunities our students will have because of the engineering and bio-medical classes at the high school.  At the Middle School, we are currently offering Gateway to Technology utilizing our Project Lead the Way curriculum for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. We have added a medical detective class for our 8th graders and we will be adding a computer science class on designing computer applications.  This coming fall we will be offering a class on drones, building, programing and learning how to fly them.  We will offer classes at the middle school and high school.

    From an early learning perspective, we are continuing to grow and improve our preschool program.  We are eager for the opportunity to help develop each child’s ability and talents starting at an early age.  At the elementary and middle school levels, we have adopted a new math program, Eureka Math, and currently teachers are being trained to deliver the math content this fall.  We have adopted an English language arts curriculum districtwide and teachers will be trainied over the summer for delivery this fall.  All elementary schools offer a K-5 STEM curriculum and we have expanded our Gateway to Technology Program to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at the Middle School.  This solidifies a K-12 STEM framework for the Toppenish School District.  Many of our staff have attended training this summer in a variety of programs to improve their delivery of instruction and learn new programs. We are faced with inevitable change and we are learning to adjust our teaching to meet the Common Core State Standards. As I write this, teachers are being exposed and trained on this new set of standards along with the state’s Smarter Balanced Assessment as well as career and college ready assessments. Our teachers are beginning to embrace the change; these new sets of standards and assessments have been adopted nationwide.

    We are able to offer a variety of extended day enrichment and intervention opportunities for students through state and federal grants, levy dollars, and community donations.  These performance-based activities include GEAR UP, 21st Century activities, Destination Imagination, Missoula Children’s Theater, and the intramural sports program. The high school is able to offer Red Comet for credit retrieval and the middle school will be offering makeup classes for struggling eighth graders. The high school has summer math and science enrichment programs offered through collaboration with the University of Washington, Heritage University, and Washington State University and Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic. We continue to partner with Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, Northwest Community Action Center, ESD 105, OSPI, Yakama Nation, Washington Beef and the City of Toppenish to provide additional programs throughout the summer and school year.  We had sixty middle school students on campus at Heritage University for a STEM/Financial Literacy camp this summer.

    I would like to thank Toppenish Education Association President, Michael Ayling, for his hard work and dedication to our staff and students in helping make Toppenish School District a better place to work and live.  There has been a tremendous amount of collaboration and communication.  I would also like to thank the District Leadership Team for their commitment to the District Improvement Plan and keeping it updated, alive and well, and a work in progress.

    On-going communication between parents and teachers is critical during the school year. It is paramount that you meet with your child’s teacher and have ongoing communication throughout the year. Our students will soon be participants in a complex world where expectations are demanding and specific skills are necessary to obtain quality employment. Our goal is to provide a quality and stimulating education giving every child the opportunity to obtain a high school diploma and be prepared for postsecondary education. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the principal at your students’ school.  We seek continuous growth and open communication; suggestion boxes are located in all schools and in the District Office. We will continue to work hard on positive customer service and provide family friendly schools.

    A Spanish version of this calendar will also be available at every school and the District Office. We want you to play an active role in your child’s learning journey. You have our commitment that we will improve the quality of education for your child and our student outcome data will prove it! Our staff embraces the premise that a good education is a gift for life. Thank you for believing and supporting our schools!

    John M. Cerna, Superintendent

    Toppenish School District