HEF Funding Priorities
Classroom Aides for Kinder & 1st Grades
Beginning in there 2019-2020 school year, HUSD will be adding five teacher aids to three kindergarten and two first grade classrooms. These aides, referred to as "paraprofessionals" in the education world, will support our teachers and be provided with Professional Development training in Unconscious Bias & Trauma Informed Practices, (see below) de-escalation techniques, positive behavior intervention and support, inspiring a growth mindset, English Language development, mathematics, literacy assessment, and targeted and systematic phonics instruction.
Unconscious Bias & Trauma Informed Practices
During the 2018-2019 school year, HUSD engaged in a yearlong listening campaign with the community, lead by Superintendent Chris Vanden Heuvel and with the guidance of the Bay Area nonprofit the National Equity Project- which seeks to engage communities in conversations around equity with the goal of healing past hurts and understanding systemic issues that impact student learning outcomes. As a result of this listening campaign, which included town hall meetings, group, and one on one meetings, a preliminary Action Plan was formed to address community concerns and to move our schools forward with greater awareness and compassion for the diversity of our students' experiences.
In his welcome back letter to HUSD staff, Superintendent Vanden Heuvel shared with teachers new and returning about the training they would soon undergo as a facet of this action plan and shared its importance. "I want to thank all of you for your participation in these often difficult conversations. I also want to encourage you to continue to lean in to this work, as hard as it can be. Our schools and community are no different than anywhere else in our nation...The difference between HUSD and the rest of the nation is that we have a highly professional staff committed to making the changes necessary to bring more equitable outcomes and systems to all of our students." HEF is proud of the work of the Equity Task Force as well as the leadership of Mr. Vanden Heuvel, and will be participating in this training alongside HUSD staff prior to the kickoff of school.
Click here to read in detail what key ideas were brought forth by the Equity Task Force to build upon in the 2019-2020 year.
SOEL Advisor at HHS
The SOEL Advisor, which stands for “Supporting Our English Learners,” will be a new addition to the Healdsburg High School campus in the 2019-2020 school year, and represents an evolution of the changing needs in the student body and the responsiveness of HUSD administrators to better serve those needs. As our English Language Learners continue to attain fluency earlier in their academic careers owing to the strength of HUSD’s English Language Development program, the ongoing need for mentorship in grades 9-12 has declined, as fewer students are requiring in-depth support by the time they reach high school.
In observance of this positive shift, HUSD made the decision to evolve the previous role of RFEP Mentor (for students Reclassified as Fluent English Proficient) to that of SOEL Advisor, which will be filled by Sonoma County native and longtime Spanish teacher Carla Forchini. This role will integrate the former responsibilities of the RFEP Mentor, (you can read more about that role here) but will also focus on those students who are still English Language Learners during grades 9-12, a group of about 25 students in the 19-20 year. In addition to aiding them in their language acquisition, Ms. Forchini will build even closer relationships with each of the students, making home visits and working with them to become rooted in their school community.
Enrichment activities for TK- grade 5 students include fitness, yoga, science exploration, chess, robotics, young author workshops, art, music, gardening and nutrition classes. These wonderful programs promote students' creativity and gives them a fun and diverse educational experience.
Parent Outreach & Education
Parent engagement is a key to student success. For the second year in a row, HEF will partner with the John Jordan Foundation to provide funding for Parent Outreach and Engagement centers on the elementary campuses. The Parent Outreach & Engagement Coordinators are bilingual and act as a connection for between home and school. Duties include helping parents identify areas where their child could use extra support, hosting parent information nights, and connecting families with community resources to meet whatever needs they have.
Read the article here.
Healdsburg High School Academic Internship Program
A requirement for all Juniors, Healdsburg High School's award winning internship program prepares our students from the time they enter as Freshman to draft resumes and cover letters, present themselves professionally, and seek out jobs that interest them. The program then pairs each student with a business or nonprofit of their choosing, where they intern for 3 weeks with a mentor in that field.
By providing our students with the chance to explore their interests in real-world settings, it informs the choices they make when choosing colleges, selecting majors, and pursuing other internships aligned with their goals.
To learn more, you can visit the Healdsburg Tribune, where you will find articles chronicling the program's development over the last several years.
Meet the Masters
Meet the Masters provides a special form of art education for our K-2 students at Healdsburg Elementary and Charter School. True to its name, this class will introduce students to several famous artists throughout the year, giving them the opportunity to learn about artists' histories and replicate their styles of artwork. Students work with many different mediums during this class, from colored pencils to clay pottery, and enjoy hearing stories about how these masterful artists adopted their signature styles. The addition of this class to the HES/HCS campuses is thanks to the Sher family of Healdsburg, whose passion for inspiring our youngest students in art is a testament to the impact of local philanthropy.