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NVUSD Family Newsletter: Empowering Futures - Celebrating Community and Learning

alt_textCaption: ACHS students gather at Memorial Stadium for a group picture with NVUSD Board Members after a long day hosting 19 bands for the Napa Valley Band Reserve. Enjoy pictures of the event on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

In this Issue: 


Thanksgiving Letter from Superintendent Dr. Rosanna Mucetti

Dear NVUSD Community,

Few things signal the approaching Napa Valley holiday season more than the drop in temperatures and the change in the color of the vineyards. However, in our NVUSD schools, there are a few other things that occur this time of year. 

One is that our students and staff are settled in and learning. If you were to walk into a classroom, you might notice a comfortable cadence around the lessons being taught. Students and teachers have gotten to know each other and interact with a sense of ease and comfort. Another is that students are ready to showcase their progress and accomplishments. This is certainly true for our fall athletes and performing artists, among many others. Students have honed and developed their talents and are ready to share them with us. Lastly, there is a sense of accomplishment in the air. Our elementary and middle school students have gotten through the first trimester and our high school students are working their way to finals. (We wish our high schoolers the best of luck!)

Beyond being harbingers of the season, these events leave me feeling an immense sense of gratitude. I am thankful for our students, staff, parents/guardians, and all those who support our students as they learn and grow. I am also thankful for the approaching new year and all the learning opportunities it will bring. Until then, I wish you a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving break! I look forward to finishing this calendar year strong!




Empowering Students through Empathy: The On Track Collaborative

Two NVUSD secondary schools are part of the On Track Collaborative. This initiative focuses on the critical transition from middle to high school. Our educators at Silverado Middle School, Napa High School, and the Secondary Instructional Support Services Team are collaborating with other California school districts. The goal is to:

- improve alignment among 8th and 9th grade staff 
- enhance college and career readiness outcomes for students

Key to this initiative is conducting empathy interviews with students. The intent is to better understand and address their experiences. From the interviews, the schools are going to create actionable strategies. By doing so they will ensure students' perspectives shape our schools' future. Another example of our dedication to nurturing and high-expectation learning environments or Ecosystems of Cariño. This work sets new standards in educational partnerships through empathy, care, and collaboration.

For more details read the full story in the NVUSD news!



Elementary Teachers Show Dedication to High-Quality Reading Instruction 

About 112 elementary teachers gathered together on Saturday, November 4. The 41 teachers in cohort one continued their LETRS training. Last year they focused on building a strong foundation in early literacy. This year, they are moving on to advanced comprehension teaching strategies for proficient readers. The 72 teachers in cohort two are starting their science of reading learning journey. They engaged in their first day of in-person, collaborative learning. The LETRS strategies are practical. Teachers are able to apply the strategies immediately to improve student learning. 

Eight members of our NVUSD administrative team are attending LETRS for Administrators. Participants include: 

  • Superintendent Dr. Mucetti, 

  • Matt Manning, Director of Elementary Curriculum, Instruction, and English Learning Services 

  • Six elementary school principals. 


They came together on the previous Saturday for the first of four Saturday sessions. The team focused on strengthening site and district-level literacy plans. 

NVUSD teachers and administrators are working overtime to ensure strong literacy results for all students!



Congratulations to Principal Maria Cisneros
A round of applause for Valley Oak High School's Principal, Maria Cisneros. The Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) honored her on Friday, November 3. She is the ACSA Statewide Continuation/Ed.l Options Administrator of the Year. This prestigious award celebrates her exceptional leadership and commitment to our students' success. The ACSA award reflects  Maria's dedication. Moreover, it reflects the collective spirit and hard work of the Valley Oak community. Join us in celebrating Principal Cisneros! Read more about her recognition in the ACSA online publication EDCAL.




Congratulations to Expanded Learning Opportunities Manager, Audrey Dawkins 
Region 4 Expanded Learning Programs awarded Audrey Dawkins the Spotlight on Quality Award.  She received the award on October 7 at the Region 4 Expanded Learning Programs Conference. Other counties in Region Four include Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Solano Counties. This award recognizes Audrey’s exceptional leadership. It also recognizes her dedication to advancing expanded learning for our students. Great job, Audrey! We appreciate your outstanding service to our educational community! 

To learn more about our upcoming Expanded Learning Program opportunities, such as those offered over Winter Break, visit


NVUSD Trustees’ Role as School Board Members

According to the California School Boards Association, “School board members are locally elected public officials entrusted with governing a community’s public schools. The role of the school board is to ensure that school districts are responsive to the values, beliefs, and priorities of their communities. Boards fulfill this role by performing five major responsibilities: setting direction, establishing an effective and efficient structure, providing support, ensuring accountability, and providing community leadership as advocates for children, the school district, and public schools.” Many already know that NVUSD school board members hold board meetings twice per month or approximately 26 times a year. Board members also spend considerable time refining governance practices, carrying out the Superintendent evaluation process, and attending subcommittee meetings on finance, policy, and curriculum, to name a few. However, this is just the beginning of their work and commitment. Read more about the role our NVUSD’s Board takes in leading the Napa Valley Unified School District by clicking here.



Empowering Digital Safety: Join Our Virtual Sessions on Combating Online Bullying

Napa Valley Unified School District is proud to join forces with is a leader in fostering online safety and digital literacy among students. This collaboration provides our school community with access to 54 live virtual education sessions. These are for both parents and students, ensuring timely guidance on internet safety. Our goal is to equip our school community with the knowledge to navigate the digital world with confidence and security. 

This month our topic is Combating Online Bullying: Supporting Positive Student Behaviors on Campus and at Home.
Red flags that a student is being bullied online 
Comprehensive countermeasures parents and educators can take to protect them
Powerful stories and testimonials from students about their experience with bullying
Guidance from educators and experts to help you create safe online spaces for teens  
Guidance from educators and experts to help you understand what effective interventions look like

Join us on  Wednesday, November 29th or Thursday, November 30th. There will be three times available on each day with the final screening on November 30th hosted in Spanish. Register for the Zoom meeting that fits your schedule best by following these steps:
a) First claim your free SmartSocial account by clicking here:
b) Then, save your spot for the live Zoom event: here:
c) If you miss the event, will send you a replay of the event. 

Can't make it to the event, but want to learn more? Claim your free account at:




Matriculation Night at the Ed Center
37 families participated in Matriculation Night at the Napa Valley Unified School District. Our Special Education Coordinators and the Director of Enrollment hosted the event. They provided vital information to families including incoming:
  • Transitional Kindergarten 
  • Kindergarten
  • rising Sixth Graders
  • rising Ninth Graders.
Our dedicated team members were: 
  • Yasmin Rahimtoola 
  • Mary Ann Spitzer 
  • Maika Watanabe 
  • Susan Miller 
  • Gabriela Cortez
They did a fantastic job in clarifying the process and options available in our district. They also answered various questions. Their efforts ensured a smooth transition for these families transitioning between grade levels.  If you have questions about matriculation to your next grade level and were unable to attend, please contact the Special Education Office at 707-253-6865.




Strategic Visioning Community Engagement Opportunities

Join us to provide your input on how we can best educate our students now and in the future by attending one of five upcoming meetings. During the meeting, you will provide feedback on what you believe is not working in education and what you hope and want for future NVUSD students. Interpretation is provided. No RSVP is required. 


November 17     I      8:15 am 

Snow Elementary Parent University


November 17     I      8:15 am

Phillips Magnet Family Resource Center


November 27     I      8:15 am

Napa Junction Magnet Elementary


November 30     I      8:15 am

McPherson Elementary Family Resource


December 1    I      8:15 am

Shearer TK-8 School Family Resource Center


Open to all!

Learn more:



Celebrating Cultural Diversity: Unidos Hosts Successful Dual Immersion Town Hall
Our K-12 Dual Immersion pathways schools recently had a wonderful evening at our DLI Town Hall. The event, attended by our District Directors of Elementary and Secondary Instruction, principals, and staff from each participating school, was a vibrant gathering of families, Unidos Middle School students, and Napa High students. This gathering was a testament to our community's commitment to dual language learning and cultural diversity. Our discussions and interactions highlighted the strength and unity in our educational journey, emphasizing the importance of every voice and culture in our district. Together, we're building a future rich in diversity and educational excellence. Thank you to everyone who participated in making this event a success! You can learn more about Dual Language Immersion at



It’s Open Enrollment Time!

NVUSD’s Open Enrollment period has begun and runs through November 30, 2023. Open Enrollment is a process for offering families school choice, where possible. This includes welcoming new families from inside and outside the Napa Valley Unified School District’s geographical boundaries. Visit our website to learn more. Our Enrollment Team is available to help answer questions Monday -  Friday from 8 am-4 pm. You can also call (707) 253-3435 or email our enrollment team directly. Want to visit campuses to see for yourself? Click here for middle school tour and  high school tour information.


Thanksgiving Feast Thanks to Our Central Kitchen - NOSH

Caption: Thank you NOSH Central Kitchen for cooking your annual Thanksgiving lunch for students and staff in our 26 schools today! We also appreciate the parents, school staff, district staff, and board members who joined in to help serve these heartwarming meals.


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  • 01 - Elementary Schools
  • 02 - Middle Schools
  • 03 - High Schools