1% Better Celebration

As we reflect on the year so far, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate all the great work our school has done to get 1% better each day for the students we serve.

Some of the changes we’ve made, including implementing grade banding, focusing our Home School Academy on TK-8th grades only, and changing our PD schedules to accommodate teachers, have come from feedback and as a response to challenges our staff face. Thanks to all of our staff as always for frankly and courageously sharing their perspectives; their insight into their work and the experiences of our students is vital when it comes to building a better school.

We are excited to share with you some organizational updates and let you know where we are at with important projects.

Movin’ On Up!

One of the highlights this year was the purchase of 11931 Foundation Placeas our new and final headquarters.
Work continues on the building, with the new sign installed and major infrastructure work underway.
We are finalizing construction plans in the next few months and working with contractors to get the new building ready to move in. We have also sold 5030 El Camino for $2.8 million dollars.

Legislative Outreach Efforts

Visions is joining the conversation around charter schools and the role Visions plays in the public school system. This year we continued our legislative outreach efforts, meeting with state leaders and their staff to inform them on the impact our school makes. We’ve also contributed to discussions around charter school best-practices in fruitful meetings with the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) and the California Department of Education (CDE).

New Technology for Staff and Students

Visions is investing nearly $4 million dollars to replace both student Chromebooks and staff MacBooks that are reaching the end of their life cycles. This new technology investment is a response to concerns raised about our current technology and an effort to equip our students and staff with the tools they need to succeed. Our Technology Services team will be completing this work over the spring and summer as we purchase and distribute nearly 10,000 new devices. We’ve also added additional staff in STS to expedite technology ordering and Student ID processing this coming fall.

Improving Ordering Processes

Over the last year, we have made improvements to the way we handle ordering to make the staff and student experience more seamless. This work includes adding staff to support ordering and enabling early ordering for IS/UP Students for the first time. We also worked with more than 20 teachers to create a custom Amazon interface in LPAD to simplify ordering and approvals for supported materials. This year over 90,000 orders were addressed and over 62,000 orders were processed; an all time record!

Home School Academy Updates

Our Home School Academy continues to refine our TK-8 offerings, including rounding the bend on the curriculum refinement project which will be rolled out over the next few yearsWe also began implementing our Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) grant by training teachers, creating Pre and TK specific eventsand providing students with backpacks and materials.

New! Online Middle School

For years we have heard from both families and teachers that middle school students need a structured option when parents want their children to learn from home and need additional support to meet grade level standards. To respond to this need, we are launching an Online Middle School program this fall for students in Grades 7 and 8 with more structured schedules and direct teacher instruction.

High School Academy Updates

Our high school academies are also changing the way we help our 9-12 students succeed. We changed the way we enroll and onboard students based on teacher feedback, orienting spring semester students in a new way and orienting all new students on Monday to set them up for success in the week. Graduation requirements have also shifted as a result of a collaborative effort between teachers, administrators, and counselors, putting more students on track to graduate with their peers.

NEW! Independent Study Credit Recovery and Early College

We are piloting a Credit Recovery program for Independent Study students who arrive experiencing credit deficiency. This program will provide focused support to students who need a little extra help catching up on lost learning.

Meanwhile, our University Prep Early College academy is offering students enhanced community college opportunities, including the ability to graduate with at least 12 college credits and possibly an AA degree! Students will be supported by both Visions staff and community college counselors with the Los Rios Community College District.

Building Out Counselor Support

This year, our counseling team has responded to 326 intervention requests and built out our team of counselors to allow smaller caseloads and increased 1:1 support from counseling staff.

College and Career Preparation

High school students at Visions now have more opportunities for college and career development than ever! Our CTE Program continues to expand, adding the video game design pathway this year and the cybersecurity pathway to begin in Fall 2024.

Other Organizational Wins

Board Policy & Required Notification Tool in LPAD

After exploring options to house our Board Policies in a third-party board information service, Visions decided to develop and produce our own Board Policy & Required Notification tool housed in LPAD. This tool allows users to search for policies and access the latest version through LPAD.

Supporting All Students

Our efforts to provide wraparound support for all students this year increased, including seeking new funding sources (including Title and Special Education funding to go towards positions to support our students). Our Special Education team made some important strides this year, increasing the number of school psychologists to serve students and working with teachers in our communities to bring support to our students where they are.

Multilingual Students also received an increase in support with the establishment of the English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) to give English learners a voice at Visions.

Communicating More Effectively

With the number of things happening at Visions, keeping our staff and families connected and informed is critical. Our Communications team has responded to student needs this year, improving our event communications plans by consolidating information in the Events Express.

Superintendent Olmos also consistently reached out to both office staff and teachers with Treats with Steve listening sessions to gather employee feedback and suggestions.

Professional Development Scheduling 

In response to teacher requests for more uniformity and consistency with our PD scheduling, our team has adjusted our August training schedule for 2024 to be more intentional about Carmichael and Regional in-person days to better respect our teaching staff’s time and commitment to travel.

SchoolsPLP Curriculum

For many years, we’ve heard some concerns from teachers about BrightThinker as a curriculum source. As a result of your feedback and choices made by BrightThinker to end their relationship with SchoolsPLP, we will be moving to Lincoln Learning starting Fall 2024. Our instructional services team will be working hard over the summer to get our school ready for next fall and more details will be shared, including how this will affect our teachers.

Passing the Test

Visions also made some serious strides in testing, notably achieving 95% Participation in CAASPP as a result of working together to encourage students to test. We also achieved over 90% participation in iReady Middle of the Year (MOY) exams for students two or more grades behind.

Compound Interest Pays Off!

All these little wins have added up to big results for the students we serve. As of LP8 this year, our enrollments are up while our withdrawals are falling! Students want to come to Visions more than ever and are staying with us longer as well.

Our success is the product of all staff providing excellent service and continuing to find new ways to win on behalf of our students. Thank you all for the outstanding work you have done this year and, as we look ahead, here’s to another twenty-five years of getting 1% better daily!