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NVUSD Family Newsletter: Explore a Remarkable Educational Journey with LETRS

Caption: Students in Ms. McKeown’s 5th-grade class at Northwood Elementary School explored what success means to them, sharing that a “growth mindset,” “effort,” and “asking questions” help them achieve and learn. See for yourself by visiting our Facebook or Instagram page.

In this issue:


New Tech High School Develops Early College Program

We are pleased to announce that New Technology High School was awarded a Middle College and Early College (MCEC) Grant in July 2023 by the California Department of Education. Currently, New Technology High School students attend college courses through a hybrid model. The MCEC grant provides funding to support New Technology High School as it starts to develop an Early College program in partnership with Napa Valley College which expands students’ opportunities to take college classes in a four-year course sequence integrated into their school day on the New Tech campus. According to the California Department of Education, Early Colleges allow high school students to “earn a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit in four years or less” through a blended high school/college program. 

“Napa Valley College is excited to expand on our partnership with NVUSD on this most important of initiatives,” shared Torence Powell, Ed.D., Napa Valley College Superintendent/President. “Early access to college coursework has been demonstrated to improve college readiness and make the promise of a higher education more attainable. We stand ready to work in collaboration with NVUSD to this end.”

“The Napa Valley Unified School District is thankful for the partnership we have with Napa Valley College, one that enriches our students’ educational experience and provides additional opportunities for growth. This program will be a game changer for so many of our students,” said Rosanna Mucetti, Ed.D., NVUSD Superintendent.

New Technology High School Principal Abhinav Dev shared, “New Tech High School is rooted in partnership and this is yet another way the school continues to deepen partnerships with the community to further its relevant and rigorous educational programming, grounded in ‘a student-centered model for education innovation.’ We are thrilled at the opportunities this provides our students today and as we continue to develop into the future.” 

New Tech administrators along with NVC staff will take this year to explore options for student learning as they plan classes and course offerings for the Class of 2027. For prospective families, more details will be provided during the open enrollment process.



NVUSD’s Journey: Transforming Education through the Science of Reading and LETRS

In the Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD), we've undertaken a remarkable educational journey that began last year, fully in line with our Board of Education's second annual strategic goal: enhance reading and writing proficiency across our curriculum. At the core of this transformation lies a powerful concept known as the Science of Reading, a term that's gaining prominence among educators and students alike. 

The Science of Reading isn't just another buzzword; according to Matt Manning, Director III of the Curriculum, Instruction, and English Learner Services for our elementary schools, “It represents a comprehensive body of interdisciplinary research. This research dives deep into the intricate process of how students acquire reading skills, offers insights into intervention strategies for those who face difficulties, and prescribes the most effective instructional methods for the majority of learners. In essence, it bridges the gap between theory and practice, ensuring that our approach to teaching reading is founded on evidence-based principles.” Read the  full story here!


Ecosystems of Cariño in Our Schools - Forming  Systems of Care and Kindness

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Napa Valley, NVUSD schools are sowing the seeds of compassion and creating thriving ecosystems of "Cariño" — a Spanish term for love, care, and kindness. Central to this journey is the heartwarming partnership between NVUSD and the Horn Heart Foundation, demonstrating how local organizations can profoundly impact education and community development. Watch the videos capturing the fruit of this partnership and read the entire story here!


Strategic Visioning: Student Summit

The Napa Valley Unified School District will host its first large-scale strategic visioning and planning event called the Student Summit on September 13. Thirty students from each TK-8, Middle, and High School have been invited to attend and imagine what their school experience can look like as they are taken through five stations. Through a series of activities, their feedback will be compiled to help NVUSD develop a graduate portrait. The graduate portrait will be based on what these students and our greater community want to be true for its students—what do students need to know, be, and be able to do--by the time they graduate. We look forward to welcoming these students to the Student Summit. More information can be found by contacting your school site directly or visiting our webpage.


Save the Date for Coffee with the Superintendent

This Fall, Superintendent, Dr. Rosanna Mucetti is hosting two in-person meetings from 9:00 to 10:00 am with parents throughout the district. These meetings are open for all to attend. Let us know what you would like to discuss and when you plan to attend by filling out this Google Form.



Provide Your Input on Future School Calendars

Our NVUSD parents and staff submitted over 3,000 survey responses with input on future calendars for the 2024-25, 2025-26, and 2026-27 school years. This important process allows us the opportunity to be thoughtful as we determine dates for the start of school, holiday breaks, graduations, and so much more. 

Work is not done. We have a new survey for you, our families, students, and staff to complete. Your input will help us make five important decisions. Most importantly, you will help us decide if we should continue with a three-week winter break, or shorten winter break to two weeks. If we keep our current three-week winter break, we will also keep our mid-June end-of-year schedule. If our community wants to shorten Winter Break to two weeks, we can end the school year earlier in June. Please provide your input by October 8, 2023. We will take that input to the calendar committee, who will go to work creating the final recommendation.

Wondering where the “calendering process” is and how this data was compiled? View this slide deck for more information. Thank you again for your valuable input as we work to create a calendar that best supports student learning!


PSAT Day for Juniors

Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD) believes that all students should have access to opportunities for college readiness.  With this in mind, NVUSD offers the PSAT/NMSQT during the regular school day, free of charge to all high school juniors.  New this year, the PSAT/NMSQT is now a shortened (two-hour), digital exam. We will administer it to students on October 25 on an opt-in basis during the school day on their campus. 

Why take the PSAT?
  1. The PSAT is practice and provides individualized feedback to help you prepare for the SAT.
  2. You receive recommendations for Advanced Placement (AP) courses that you should take based on your strengths.
  3. Depending on your scores, you may qualify to enter the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and/or scholarships through partner organizations.
  4. You will be enrolled in BigFuture School, which provides career information and college planning guidance.
How do you register?
Please fill out the PSAT Google Form by Thursday, September 14. If you have any questions, reach out to your counselor. If you need accommodations, please reach out to your counselor by Tuesday, September 5.


September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. This year, the call to action is to “create hope through action.” The World Health Organization states, “By creating hope, we can signal to people experiencing suicidal thoughts that there is hope and that we care and want to support them.”  All month, mental health advocates, school districts, prevention organizations, and community members unite their voices to promote suicide prevention awareness and share hope and support. Napa Valley Unified School District, in partnership with Mentis, will continue to provide suicide prevention training for teachers, after-school staff, and classified staff. Please review the following resources and information flyers for upcoming suicide prevention awareness events in Napa County. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis please call the Napa County Mental Health 24-hour Crisis Line at 707-253-4711 or call 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Find more resources on the NVUSD website. 



On-Demand Support for Students and Families

Do you know how you can help your child with homework? There are many resources to support your student in the  Clever Portal, such as Sora and Accelerated Reader for reading and Dreambox for math. Thanks to the Napa County Library and the  OneCard partnership, NVUSD students can get one-on-one support from for FREE between 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm every day in English and Spanish. Clicking on the app in Clever,  students just need to put “NVUSD” in front of their six-digit number [nvusd123456] to access this service. 



Social Emotional Learning Starts at Home


Families are children’s first and most important teachers of social-emotional skills. As such, we want to let families know about our K-8 Second Step social-emotional learning program and inspire school-home connections to nurture the social-emotional well-being of your children. The Unit 1 theme across all grades is goal-setting and mindsets, with students learning developmentally appropriate behaviors and habits that will help them succeed in school and in life. We encourage families, caregivers, and other interested community members to visit  Second Step® Programs: Information for Families at any time to learn more about the program and why it matters for all students. 

We also welcome our elementary families to reinforce our TOOLBOX Project Tools at home using this refrigerator-friendly poster. These Tools help us develop strong social and emotional skills and meaningful, satisfying relationships. The Tools are simple, but they require practice. By learning together about the TOOLBOX Tools at home, you are helping to create a happier, healthier school community. 

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