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District Newsletter: Schools and Offices Closed for President's Week; PVHS Senior Named Poetry Out Loud Winner; El Cerrito Jazz Ensemble Recognized in Sacramento, and more


District Newsletter

Hello WCCUSD Community,

President's week begins on Monday, February 19, 2024, and ends on February 23, 2024, and District schools and offices will be closed. I extend my best wishes to all students, parents, and staff for a productive and rejuvenating week off.

I trust this break will provide you with a well-deserved opportunity to recharge, reflect, and engage in activities that foster your personal and professional growth. Whether pursuing a passion project, spending quality time with loved ones, or engaging in self-care, I encourage you to make the most of this time and embrace the opportunity to recharge.

As we recently celebrated the 100th day of school, I am incredibly proud of the work we have accomplished thus far. We have overcome many challenges and seen incredible growth and resilience from our students, teachers, and staff.

I look forward to continuing the work together to finish the second half of the school year with determination, focus, and positivity. As a district, we will remain committed to providing our students with the best possible education and support.

As a reminder, we will return to school on Monday, February 26, 2024. Please view a few highlights and reminders in our newsletter below, and I wish you all a refreshing and enjoyable week off.


In Community,

Kenneth C. Hurst, Sr. Ed.D


Kennedy High School Celebrates 2nd Annual Black History Joy Event

On Friday, February 16, the Black Student Union and the Associated Student Body of Kennedy High School partnered to organize the 2nd annual Black History Joy event. The event was a huge success, with students and families coming together to celebrate Black History Month. 

The event was filled with activities and entertainment for everyone, including food catered by local businesses, a DJ, student fundraisers, and jump roping.

The Black History Joy event was a great way to honor the contributions of African Americans to our country, and Kennedy High School is proud to have hosted such a meaningful event.

PVHS Senior Named 2024 CCC Poetry Out Loud Winner

Ariana Salvador, a Pinole Valley High School senior, has won the Contra Costa 2024 Poetry Out Loud competition. This prestigious national arts education program encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students nationwide.

Ariana's poetry recitation by Tanaya Winder and Roisin Kelly earned her the award, and she will now represent Pinole Valley High School and WCCUSD in the state competition. We congratulate Ariana on her achievement and wish her all the best in the next round of the competition.

WCCUSD Educators Recognized for Outstanding Work in Teaching Digital Citizenship Skills

On February 9, the educators of Downer Elementary, Montalvin K-8, and Hercules Middle Schools were recognized by Common Sense Media for their exceptional work in teaching digital citizenship skills to students. The teachers were treated to a celebratory lunch for their dedication and hard work. We congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition and appreciate their efforts in preparing our students for the digital world!

El Cerrito High School Jazz Ensemble Shines at California All-State Music Education Conference

The El Cerrito High School Jazz Ensemble has again made us proud with their incredible performance at the California All-State Music Education Conference on Saturday, February 3. This year, the band performed alongside Guest Soloist Alan Ferber at the Sacramento Convention Center.

The ensemble, led by their talented and hardworking director, Keith Johnson, put on an exceptional show that left the audience in awe. Their outstanding performance earned them a well-deserved plaque to display in their music department proudly.

We are incredibly proud of the El Cerrito High School Jazz Ensemble for their exceptional performance at the California All-State Music Education Conference. Congratulations to the entire team!

Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee Seeks Members

The West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education is soliciting applications from community members to serve on the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC). 

The CBOC is charged with oversight for school construction using funding from the current WCCUSD bond measures. To learn more about the role of the CBOC and responsibility of its members, please visit the committee website. To apply, prospective members must complete an application and submit supporting documents.