A Letter from the New Superintendent of Schools

Courtesy photo    Pasquale Scuderi, Superintendent, Alameda Unified School District

Dear Alameda families:
I sincerely hope that the opening of school and first week of classes went well for all our students and their parents or guardians. Facilitating positive educational experiences for students is a multifaceted and often underappreciated task. I have been struck already by the deep commitment I have seen from our educators during both summer meetings and visits to classes all this first week.

Cognitive scientist Scott Bolland has noted that the learning centers in our brains contain its highest concentration of endorphin receptors. This means that all of us, and, most relevantly, our students, are “hard wired to learn and to find great joy in learning.” If we commit together, as educators and as a community, to the continuous exploration of innovative, relevant and creative ways to engage our students, we can fuel their curiosity, pique their interest and unleash their imaginations. We can endow them with the skills and dispositions necessary to succeed in the infinite number of settings, opportunities or endeavors that their futures may present to them.

Creating meaningful learning experiences for our kids in our schools is dependent on a complex interplay of factors. We must develop positive relationships and create safe, welcoming and supportive climates. We must also pursue foundational and universal academic competencies for all of our students, while at the same time ensuring that they have opportunities to be creative, innovative and productive in ways that are unique to their own brands of brilliance and expression.

This is obviously no small or simple undertaking. Yet with a committed collaboration between families and educators, we can both celebrate and acknowledge the things we do well already. At the same time, we can remain open and reflective to new and inspired thinking and action to create an educational experience for all kids that is designed with their futures in mind.

I look forward to meeting you and your students throughout the year and wish you the very best on this start of the 2019-2020 school year.

— Pasquale Scuderi
Superintendent, Alameda Unified School District