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District Newsletter: Strategic Plan Feedback, 6th Annual District Special Olympics, Annual Science Fair, You Make a Difference Awards and more at WCCUSD

District Newsletter

We Want to Hear from You: Strategic Plan Feedback

After gaining feedback from our community sessions from 2021-2023, we present the draft of the 2024-2027 Strategic Plan (English VersionSpanish Version). We need your help reviewing and providing feedback on the draft plan, which will be presented to the School Board. Highlights in the draft include our Vision, Mission, Anti-Racism Statement, Graduate Profile, Caring Adult Profile, and Goals.

Scan the QR code or click here to share your thoughts on our existing Strategic Plan. All voices in our WCCUSD community are essential to our revisions and updates. Please share the link with other staff, families, students, and community members. 

Two Ed Fund 2024 Teaching Excellence Winners Selected to Compete in the County Competition

In a recent welcome reception for the county Teachers of the Year, the Contra Costa County Office of Education honored two outstanding educators from Lincoln Elementary School in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. Akinwale Sean Ajayi and Pilar Alvarado, both teaching excellence award winners from the Ed Fund’s 2024 program, were selected to represent the district in the upcoming Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year awards competition.


Fun Fact: Mr. Ajayi has a family connection to the award program, as Ajayi’s mother is the current Director of Early Learning and a former 2002-2003 Teaching Excellence Winner. We congratulate these exceptional teachers on their accomplishments and wish them all the best in the upcoming competition.

WCCUSD Hosts 6th Annual Special Olympics Schools Partnership Basketball Tournament

The Special Education Department hosted the 6th Annual Special Olympics Schools Partnership Basketball Tournament on March 8 at El Cerrito High School.

Over 300 students with moderate to severe disabilities represented their school sites: Soskin, DeJean, De Anza, De Jean, El Cerrito, Hercules Middle/High, Kennedy, Korematsu, Pinole Valley, Richmond, and Transition. Through a partnership with the El Cerrito Police Department and the De Anza ROTC, students showed off their basketball skills at the basketball skills stations, which included passing, dribbling, and shooting.

The second half of the event was the unified game, in which each team consisted of 3-4 students with special needs and 1-2 ROTC and Black Student Union students.

“The athletes had an amazing time showing off their skills while experiencing the thrill of competition, as parents, family, friends, staff, and El Cerrito High School students cheered them on,” Event co-organizer Hien Clayton said.

Student volunteers congratulated all athletes on their efforts and awarded ribbons. Thank you to the Special Education Department, De Anza Dons ROTC, El Cerrito Black Student Union, and the El Cerrito Police Department for making a day of athleticism and fun for our students.

WCCUSD Special Education Committee Honors 18 Individuals at Annual Awards Ceremony

On Friday, March 8, 2024, the WCCUSD Community Advisory Committee for Special Education (CAC) hosted its 37th annual "You Make a Difference" awards ceremony.

This year, the parent committee selected and recognized eighteen individuals for their remarkable contributions that went above and beyond their roles.

The awardees included student peers, administrators, service providers, support staff, and general and special education teachers. We congratulate all of the honorees:

El Cerrito High School Student Named Finalist in National Merit Scholarship Program

El Cerrito High School student Christopher Sun has been named a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. The program, which is an annual academic competition among high school students who take the PSAT/NMSQT®, provides recognition and college scholarship opportunities to exceptional students.

Principal Norrington expressed his admiration for Christopher's achievement, stating, "This remarkable achievement is a testament to Christopher’s unwavering dedication, intellectual prowess, and exemplary work ethic. Throughout his academic journey, Christopher has consistently demonstrated a passion for learning, a commitment to excellence, and a remarkable ability to excel in the face of challenges. I commend Christopher for this remarkable achievement and wish him continued success as he embarks on this exciting journey towards realizing his dreams and aspirations. I look forward to Christopher continuing to share his gifts with the ECHS community and the rest of our world."

As a finalist, Christopher is in the running to receive one of the National Merit $2500 Scholarships. The ECHS community wishes him the best of luck in this next phase of the competition and beyond.

WCCUSD Hosts Annual Science Fair!

Students in grades 6-12 recently showcased their scientific talents at the annual WCCUSD Science and Engineering Fair. The event featured a diverse range of projects, with students presenting experiments on topics such as bacterial growth and the potential of mangoes. Volunteer judges from the local science and engineering community had the challenging task of evaluating the innovative projects.

On Thursday evening, February 15, WCCUSD Science Coordinator John Iwawaki hosted students and families for the announcement of the winners. Guest scientist and keynote speaker Dr. Nesty Torres, Manager of Telemetry Systems Engineering at Sandia National Laboratories, spoke to the students about the wonders of science and led them through a real-life scenario using the scientific method.

Approximately 25 students who secured 1st or 2nd place will have the opportunity to advance to the regional Golden Gate STEM Fair, with the potential to compete at the state level. Congratulations to all participants and winners! For a complete list of awardees, click HERE. The fair serves as a testament to the importance of STEM education in our community, aiming to inspire more students to explore the wonders of science and engineering.


Slides from the Awards Ceremony HERE.

Nystrom Literacy Initiatives Shine at the Literacy and Justice for All Symposium

On March 1-2, the Nystrom Elementary School team and Executive Director Katherine Acosta-Verprauskus attended the 2024 Literacy and Justice for All Symposium in Oakland. 

The symposium aims to promote effective practices in literacy and reading skills and to unite learning professionals around literacy as a means for social justice and transformative life outcomes.

At the symposium, the Nystrom team delivered a presentation to educators and showcased their innovative approach to supporting foundational literacy skills. Their approach is rooted in a data-driven methodology and collective focus.

EdFund Scholarship

This year, the Ed Fund is proud to offer six scholarship opportunities to the WCCUSD graduating Class of 2024! Click here to be taken directly to the scholarship application.

All scholarship applicants must: 1) Demonstrate financial need; 2) Complete the FAFSA/CADA application by April 2, 2024; 3) Plan to attend a 2 or 4-year College or University immediately after graduation; 4) Graduate from a WCCUSD high school (ECHS, PVHS, DAHS, RHS, KHS, HHS, MCHS, Vista, or Greenwood Academy)

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Sarah Camacho at

Share Your Feedback on Richmond & Kennedy High School Building Projects

The design processes are underway for the Kennedy and Richmond High Schools modernization projects. We need your input on the design character for the new buildings. Please complete the survey to provide input on these exciting projects' building styles and exterior materials.

Richmond English -

Richmond Spanish -

Kennedy English -

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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 oversees school construction using funding from the current WCCUSD bond measures. To learn more about the CBOC’s role and the responsibilities of its members, please visit the committee website. Prospective members must complete an application and submit supporting documents to apply.

Appointments to the CBOC are made by the Board of Education.