Ukiah Unified staff, our community, and our families all want the same thing: to see our kids thrive. Isn’t it wonderful that we all have the same goal for our kids? We want them to be happy, to love and be loved, and to succeed. We want them to know their giftedness, talents, and strengths. We want them to be resilient despite hardship, overcome deficit areas, and achieve. We must equip our children with the vision to have all those things within their grasp, and they must be able to see themselves in various environments accomplishing anything they want.
To have a vision for your life, you have to see yourself as having the ability to succeed in different situations and as a member of various communities. Experiences and knowledge matter and make choices possible. For example, it’s challenging to choose to become a zookeeper if you haven’t been to a zoo or see yourself as an oceanographer if you haven’t been to the ocean.
If a student participates in Careers with Children classes at Ukiah High School, they can volunteer in a classroom. That experience is helping some of our kids see themselves as teachers, child psychologists, and advocates where they had no vision of that beforehand. A similar experience occurs in all 20 Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathways at Ukiah High, like Automotive Repair, Construction, and Ag. Students taking part in Big Picture Ukiah at South Valley High School can participate in community internships and begin to see themselves as small business owners, practicing artists, and more.
The vision they gain of themselves in these situations provides the experiences and knowledge they need to choose to become anything they want. Being actively engaged in school gives our kids the education and experiences they need to have a positive vision for their lives.
As a mother, I wanted my children to have all they needed to be able to choose and access the path that would make them the happiest and most successful. As a parent, I know you want the same things for your children, and we have the same goal- to see our kids thrive!
So, what can we do as families and community members to set our kids up for success?
- Make sure your child attends school daily from the very first moment they begin school (the knowledge of foundational academics are the building blocks that make each school year a success)
- Have conversations with your kids that let them know you value that they do their very best in school
- Support your child’s school in whatever way you can: volunteer if you can; be on a site or district advisory committee; talk to us- you know your child best; support being kind to others; forgiving others; and following school rules; make sure kids complete homework; celebrate all types of growth- academic, behavioral, emotional, and social
- Encourage critical and creative thinking: ask questions about their day that require more than a yes or no answer; ask them why and what- Why do you think that? Why is that the correct answer? Why is that a good (or bad) decision? What would you do differently?
I am proud to be a member of Ukiah Unified School District; I am honored to be one of its administrators and always excited to be at Frank Zeek; the staff members of Ukiah Unified are absolutely committed to the support, success, health, and welfare of each student it serves- what a fantastic way to help students thrive!