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District Superintendent, Dr Katie McNamara of the South Bay Union School District Addresses Goals for New School Year

Oct 06, 2016 10:15AM ● By Paul Spear

District Superintendent, Dr Katie McNamara of the South Bay Union School District Addresses Goals for New School Year 

Dear SBUSD parents, guardians, and community members,


This year, South Bay Union is focused on literacy and to encouraging a love of reading in all of our students.  Our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) includes a goal for all students to be at grade level in reading by the third grade. We are determined to be the first school district in California to achieve this goal!


This is an important objective because strong reading ability in third grade is highly correlated to future success in middle school, high school, and beyond. Research shows that the amount of reading has consistently been found to relate to growth in vocabulary, reading comprehension, and verbal fluency.  Students who read independently become better readers, score higher on achievement tests in all subject areas, and have greater content knowledge than those who do not. 


To support our reading goal, we have implemented reading assessments at all schools to strengthen the teaching of reading, track reading growth, and measure student achievement.  Last year, two schools used the assessments and one saw a 14% growth in students reading at grade level and the other school had a 20% increase. 


To learn to read, children need opportunities to read and to read a lot!  We have been pouring books into classrooms and school bookrooms. Last year, every classroom received at least 175 books to add to their classroom library collections and schools received over 1,500 books for school bookrooms that can be shared by teachers. That is a total of nearly 75,000 books that were added to schools!  Our greatest hope is to create an environment in which children fall in love with reading and see reading as so enjoyable that they want to read for the rest of their lives.


We are grateful to our parents and our community partners for supporting us in our reading initiative.  Please join me in celebrating the following groups and projects:


·         Our thanks to the Imperial Beach/South Bay Kiwanis, Scout Troop 866, and Lowes Chula Vista for their Little Library project, which facilitates the free exchange of books among neighbors.  For more information about the Little Free Library organization, please visit

·         Thanks also to the Imperial Beach/South Bay Kiwanis for continuing to honor their guest speakers through the donation of books to our school libraries. 

·         We are also excited to welcome a new Imperial Beach branch library this winter.  The 14,000 square foot facility will include a larger collection of books, a dedicated family area, a room for teen readers, and automated book check-out and return systems. 


In the words of Dr. Seuss, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”  The South Bay team is excited to join our students on their reading journey this year!




Katie McNamara, Ed.D.

District Superintendent

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