My Top 3 Priorities
1. We need to have our students back in the classroom with direct in person education and instruction as soon as is safely possible. To that end I have authorized our District to apply for and then received Federal funds for this exact purpose. We are the only District nation wide that remained open for child care for our essential workers and families. Cajon Valley was able to implement Summer School as well.
With over 6,000 students on campus over the closure period as of August 2020 there had not been a single reported case of the virus originating from any of our school sites. Cajon Valley is a leader in this fight against COVID and to get our kids back in the classroom and I am proud to leading this fight with our team.
2. The budget is based upon money primary allocated from the State. We have been informed that our budget will be slashed and while I have never voted for a budget in the negative, even with reductions in staff created through a retirement package incentive in the Fall of 2020 our budget is going to be impacted. Pension costs are destroying school district’s ability to deliver efficient education.
At Cajon Valley we developed the “World of Work” curriculum. This modern and unique curriculum is based upon the only vetted and proven formula to help guide students to their “future self” in the work place. It combines a student’s likes, desires, interests and abilities and opens the door for them to learn about careers. The US Department of Education has taken note and had our staff back to Washington DC multiple times. The international community has sent delegations to tour our schools and see this program live.
The key is that the WOW curriculum is being sold to other districts. I was part of the team that turned this idea into a business. As our State funds decrease we are the only district in the United States that I know of that has a product for sale which brings revenue into the general fund. This money, now more than ever, is needed to help our students receive the education they deserve.
3. Keeping our kids safe. In 2018, I spearheaded a complete review of our District’s safety and security protocols and procedures. We brought in experts not only in the area of campus security related to the physical structure, which is where most districts stop their efforts. Instead we went beyond. With the use of Federal monies we engaged experts to actually interact with our staff and students. From there we developed our safety plans that are no longer just a dusty binder on a shelf in the front office that no one can ever find when needed. Along with the plans we worked with El Cajon Police and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department to conduct walk through drills and train our staff and students. With the added Federal funding we brought on our director of Campus Safety and Security who has an extensive background in local law enforcement to coordinate our plans.
I am proud to have presented our process to the California School Boards Association annual conference and the National School Safety Advocacy Council conference in Nevada. Cajon Valley is looked as the leader in school safety not only in San Diego County but throughout the state.
James P Miller Jr, Esq – Business Owner / Parent