The Old Adobe Union School District is located in southern Sonoma County and serves the children, parents, and community on the east side of Petaluma, California.
With “Excellence for Learning” as our mission, our vision is one of establishing high expectations in an environment of caring and nurturing where each child achieves his or her personal best. Staff members in this system are proactive, efficacious and resourceful about improving student learning and raising expectations; at the same time they are accountable to their students, parents, and principals.
Dear Old Adobe Union Staff,
It is my pleasure to share some words of appreciation with you this week. Often we use this opportunity to speak generally about the wonderful people who give their life energy to serve the children of our community- and this is very appreciated! But this year I would like to speak more specifically about the amazing effort our OAUSD staff- all of you- have made to implement so many changes in such a short time, and the dramatic impact it has made on our students.
When I am at a Superintendent’s meeting in Sonoma County or talking with colleagues about our wonderful district, I am often asked to share what we are working on. I cannot get half way through the list before mouths drop open in amazement while I finish. Old Adobe Union has always had a strong commitment to its students and families. Staff here love to work in our schools and care deeply about the children. As money has finally come back into our schools after a brutal recession which stripped us of a stunning percentage of our funding, we have collaborated to develop terrific programs that stay true to OAUSD’s core values around high quality instruction, creativity, and support for students.
In February Old Adobe Union School District students at all five schools participated in mid-year STAR reading and STAR math assessments. These relatively short online assessments provide a research tested and comparative level in reading and math- millions of students take them annually. All year long I have been sharing about the inspired teaching and learning in our schools. I am happy to report that this hard work in reading, critical thinking, and mathematics is paying off. Probably the easiest way to understand these test results is in grade level equivalents. An average student is expected to grow 1.0 grade equivalent per year and we took these exams almost exactly half way in the school year so would expect .5 grade equivalent growth. Instead our average was far higher. Across the district both reading and math averaged about .8 grade equivalent,
What Makes Old Adobe Union School District So Great?
The simple answer is that children love coming to our schools every day and parents appreciate our family friendly district that is dedicated to providing both strong academics and a balanced whole child program that includes music, physical education, and so much more. This top ten list is meant to highlight what makes our schools special:
#1 Talented and Experienced Teachers
Old Adobe Union teachers average over 15 years of experience and we know from extensive research that more experienced teachers are more effective in creating a safe, positive learning environment and in teaching academic content. But don’t take this to mean that our teachers are stuck in the 20th Century - Old Adobe Union teachers are on the cutting edge of classroom technology and have taken a leadership role in developing the charter and focus themes.
Our great teachers mean that your child will receive a top notch education year after year, from transitional kindergarten through sixth grade.
#2 Superb School Staff
Nearly half of all district employees are not teachers, but they are crucially important to your child’s experience in our school district. This includes school office staff, food services staff, bus drivers, and so many more. Old Adobe Union is fortunate to have staff who are long time members of the Petaluma community and school community, giving your children more adults they can trust to lend them a hand or a smile. We all work together to provide a great education and daily experience at our schools.
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"This program has been amazing for my child and family. I love the teachers and didn't expect such care and professionalism from a subsidized program. I love this school."
~ Bright Futures parent
Bright Futures Preschool is an academic readiness program designed for three and four year old children. We are funded by the California Department of Education, Child Development Division. Our program follows state standards for Desired Results Developmental Profiles and is designed to flow into the standards set for Kindergarten.
Bright Futures operates (5) days per week, 180 calendar days of the school year. Our goal is to provide preschoolers and their parents the necessary tools needed to succeed in their academic futures. As part of Old Adobe School District, our preschool teachers work closely with OAUSD kindergarten teachers to enhance the preschool curriculum & prepare the children for academic success.
In August, Superintendent Yamashiro launched the second annual independent reading challenge with an ambitious word count goal for all schools. The students rose to the challenge and all five schools exceeded their goals, with a district word count total of over 115,000,000 so far. This year, Old Adobe Union's Accelerated Reader and independent reading work is supported by a grant from Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. The new books from this grant and other sources have been a huge hit with OAUSD students - as has the ongoing use of Accelerated Reader. You will not be surprised to hear that we had some amazing success stories this first tri-mester. Since the start of the school year, we have over two hundred students who have gained over a full year of reading growth - wow!