Cajon Valley Union School District celebrates innovation, prepares to start new school year

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Posted at 6:08 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 21:08:06-04

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) - Students in the Cajon Valley Union School District head back to class next week.

Before they go back, educators from across the country are getting a glimpse at how the district successfully rebounded during the pandemic and its unique educational approach.

On Monday, Cajon Valley Middle School played host to educators from across the country as part of the Arizona State University and Global Silicon Valley Summit.

"The conference is how do we merge K-12, post-secondary, and workforce and make it relevant on a global scale really innovate education and what it does," said Dr. David Miyashiro, Cajon Valley Union School District superintendent.

Some of the conference attendees got a glimpse of the district's Beable Technology and World of Work Initiative.

The World of Work Initiative is a career development framework grounded in career theory and integrated into classrooms by teachers starting in the primary grades.

"At the end of the day can students find financial freedom and gainful employment and school systems not designed for that, so we had to invent it in a different way," Miyashiro said.

Attendees also heard firsthand from students about how ideas, including TEDxKids@ElCajon, play into education.

"I think they're a very creative way to share people's passion and help boost their confidence when they are really nervous," said incoming 5th-grade student Amelia Dutra.

The showcase comes as students in the district are about to start another school year in person.

"We were the first in California, the largest in the state to reopen at scale, and showed everyone in the country how to do this safely," Miyashiro said.

In the summer of 2020, the district brought kids back on campus for a summer program. Then in the fall got a waiver for in-person education.

When students return this school year, plastic dividers and temperature checks will be a thing of the past.

Masks will stay, but the district is confident that by following state health guidelines, students will be safe.

"We're just doing a normal health screening and asking their parents to verify," Miyashiro said. "It's going to be a lot more normal as we start the school year, and hopefully, by the fall, we'll be back to regular school."

According to the district's website, the first day of school is Aug. 17.

The superintendent says this school year, almost all 17,000 students will be back to in-person learning across the district.