Curriculum & Instruction
Welcome to the VUSD Curriculum & Instruction Department!
At VUSD our curriculum materials and instructional strategies guide how we engage students in their learning and determine how we teach the California State Standards. By using student assessment results we strive to meet students at their present level and provide instruction that will give them one year’s growth or more during each school year.
VUSD has a designated Curriculum and Instruction Committee comprised of teachers, parents, and administrators, that meet six times annually to discuss and make decisions related to curriculum and instruction including, textbook adoption, professional development for staff, universal assessments, technology resources, collaboration days, interventions and multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS).
Academic Standards & Assessments
Each district in California decides how they will teach and what resources they will use. More
information can be found at www.cde.ca.gov/re/cc/ or www.corestandards.org. California uses a computer-based student testing system tied to the standards for English language arts, mathematics, and science called the
California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). The tests include the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Assessments, California Science Tests (CAST), California Alternate Assessments (CAA), and Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS) for Reading/Language Arts. Parents can exempt their child(ren) from CAASPP testing by submitting a letter in writing annually. More information about the CAASPP can be found at www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/.
English Language Learners are evaluated with the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) and to identify and measure their progress in English Language proficiency. Students in grades 5, 7, and 9 also participate in Physical Fitness Testing (PFT).
Family Life, Human Development, & Sexual Health Education
Your child will be taking classes in compliance with the California Healthy Youth Act. These will include comprehensive sexual health education, HIV education, and research findings regarding pupil health behaviors and risks.
Students in grades 7-12 will gain a deeper understanding of HIV transmission, prevention, and treatment. They will also be taught about the prevalence of human trafficking and the methods traffickers employ, including social media and mobile devices. You will be notified before such instruction. Any written and audio-visual educational materials planned for use are available for inspection prior to the start of classes. You may have copies of non-copyrighted material that will be presented by a consultant or guest speaker. You have a right to request, in writing, that your child not participate in any or all activities. You may withdraw this request at any time.
School districts must ensure that all participating pupils receive sexual health instruction from personnel adequately trained in appropriate courses.
In this District, staff teaches these classes. During this class, students in grades 7-12 may be asked to anonymously, voluntarily, and confidentially fill out evaluation and research tools such as surveys, tests, or questionnaires measuring student attitudes toward health, sex, and risk behaviors.
Copies of Education Code Sections 51933, 51934, and 51938 can be requested from the District or can be obtained online at www.leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.
Homework for pupils is a regular part of instructional procedure in the Vallecito Union School District. It may legitimately include practice on skills learned in the classroom. Assignments should be made only after the children understand the principles involved. It may also include meaningful research to provide a background for classroom
projects or areas of study, or an opportunity for the pupil to further broaden the scope of his learning. Whatever the type, assignments should be made carefully and with complete clarity.
It is recommended that daily time allotments for homework be:
Grades 1 & 2
Should not take more than 15 or 20 minutes of the child’s out-of-school time
Grades 3 - 5
Should require no more than 30 or 40 minutes of the child’s out-of-school time
Grades 6 - 8
Approximately 20 minutes per day per academic subject.
Experience indicates that intermediate school pupils may be expected to devote an average of from one (1) hour to an hour and a half (1-1/2) daily to homework assignments.
Physical Fitness Test
This test is administered to all 5th and 7th-grade students in the Spring. Parents will be notified of the test date and have the option not to have their child participate.
Services to Students with Disabilities
If you have reason to believe your child (ages 0 through 21 years) has a disability requiring special services or accommodations, contact the school. Your child will be evaluated to determine whether he/she is eligible for free special or modified instruction or services.
The District wants to locate, identify and assess all children with disabilities whether homeless, wards of the state, enrolled in public or private schools. The District has policies guiding procedures for identification and referral. Students identified with special needs will receive a Free Appropriate Public Education in the least restrictive environment.
During Spring, students in grades 3-8 will participate in the state-mandated testing program.
Student Support Team
When it is apparent that a student may need educational assistance or a teacher or parent is looking for more ways to help with a student, a referral may be made to the Student Support Team.
The Student Support Team includes regular classroom teachers, special education teachers, resource teachers, parents, and other personnel as appropriate to the need. It is a means to share ideas and develop ideas for helping children.