(Victorville)- – One of the most important aspects of any community is its school system. It is what parents take into account when looking to move to a new area, and in some cases it is the reason why families choose to make a move is to be in a coveted school district.
Victor Elementary School District has become one of those coveted school districts. Dr. Dale Marsden, superintendent of the Victor Elementary School District, said, “About two-thirds of our schools are either at or above 800 on the state Academic Performance Index. We also have a couple of National Blue Ribbon Award schools. Between that and the Title 1 Academic Achievement awards, those are all indicators that we have a solid educational system.”
One of the most recent projects is STEAM 2020 – an initiative that is a community call to action and mentorship program for students to achieve their high school diploma concurrently with their community college degree or vocational certificate in the emergent areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts or Math (STEAM).
The initiative has received support from political leaders, business leaders, community leaders, and faith-based leaders. On Thursday Victorville Mayor Ryan McEachron and Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon’s (R-Santa Clarita) representative Michael Orme joined Dr. Marsden to tour three of VESD schools. “It takes more than just our schools to create a system for kids for success; it takes an entire community working together. The Mayor gets that, he sees that, so that’s the reason for the visit,” said Marsden. “As we’re talking we’re able to identify some areas of common linkages for the City and the school district. The partnering with the City and the schools, to start this joint venture to get our kids ready for the workforce, is how we connect the dots.”
Dr. Marsden is also part of the Alliance for Education, a project in which educators connect with business, labor and community leaders to establish partnerships that provide school and work-based learning opportunities. “I’m so excited about the Alliance, the work that Dr. Fisher started and Dr. Thomas is continuing. The Alliance is focusing on, over the next several months, re-inventing our educational system. There’s a lot going on.”
Another way that VESD is ensuring the success of their students is the creation of the Victor Elementary Education Foundation. It is a scholarship foundation that has been built up to $250,000. Donations come from the teachers, classified staff, and management that contribute from their paychecks every month, according to Marsden. “The goal is that every student who promotes through Victor Elementary, then goes on the graduate from any high school within the entire Victor Valley/High Desert area, would be eligible for a full two year scholarship to Victor Valley College or a trade school,” explained Marsden.
“We know from data that if kids don’t have access to higher education by the 4th grade they begin that drop-out mindset. We’re turning that around.”
For more in VESD, their programs and their schools, visit www.vesd.net