OCEANSIDE — Teachers, students, parents and community leaders gathered at the QLN Conference Center to kickoff Youth Success Week with high-energy talks, upbeat music, beach ball tosses and high-fives on Jan. 10.
The week focuses on the school district’s “Oceanside Promise” to prepare all students to be career and college ready.
It also invites the community to get involved with student learning, success and well-being. With an end goal to raise Oceanside Unified School District’s high school senior college readiness rate from 32 percent to 90 percent or better.
“Our students need our support, and community support,” Margaret Malek, district project specialist, said. “There are a lot of students who are struggling with challenges (both academic and personal).”
Oceanside Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Duane Coleman said it is time to think differently about student success.
To fulfill the “Oceanside Promise” teachers implement engaged learning strategies to keep students excited about education and their futures.
Students honor the the district adopted 8 Keys of Excellence, which are guides to a positive outlook and productive habits.
“It’s a much more focused approach for career development,” Genevieve Clark, district project specialist, said. “Students are more highly engaged in learning that is relevant to them.”
High school students select a career pathway, and are taught by a core group of teachers.
The district also works with California State University San Marcos, MiraCosta College and Palomar College to provide students real world experiences, job shadowing opportunities and internships.
During the kickoff event on Sunday student Youth Success Blue Ribbon Ambassadors took to the stage to share what student success looks like, and what it takes to get there.
“Everyone has a dream, and that dream can come true,” second-grade student Leon Pham said.
“We can be the change in the community,” elementary student August Niles said.
Keynote speakers shared a taste of what will be taught at community workshops in the week ahead.
On Jan. 12 and Jan. 14 Leadership Success Day workshops led by Stedman Graham and Steve Farber will discuss becoming clear on your identity, and leadership as service.
The workshops will be geared to business professionals, and include an afternoon session in which business people team up with Oceanside high school seniors for workshop activities.
“It’s about wellness, about changing things for the better,” Farber said. “Doing what you love to the service of people.”
The word love was used a lot during the kickoff event.
“This is a love movement,” Graham said. “Everyone has 24 hours (each day) to be the best of whatever you are.”
“If you don’t know who you are, someone will tell you who you are,” Graham added.
On Jan. 16 a Parent Palooza will be held.
“Five parenting experts will be empowering parents on how to support youth dealing with social media bullying, self harm and suicide (thoughts),” Malek said.
Speaker Helice Bridges will share the power of honoring people, and believing in them to achieve their dreams.
Each day of Youth Success Week will begin with an online message from the superintendent, and a question for students to discuss in class.
A final communitywide celebration will be held Jan. 17 at noon at the Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater.