Contact: Jeanne Wells

 310-450-8338, Ext. 239

For Immediate Release

September 3, 2004


All District Welcome Back Breakfast

Kicks off the New School Year

This morning, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District teachers, administrators, and support staff arrived at Santa Monica High School’s Greek Theater at 7:15 a.m. for a rousing welcome back breakfast meeting. Almost all of the approximately 1400 certificated and classified staff gathered for a continental breakfast and speeches by members of the school district community and the superintendent. After a fantastic, spirited opening by SAMOHI’s Marching Band and Pep Squad who truly demonstrated that it really is all about the students, Board President, Jose Escarce welcomed the staff with his appreciation for all who work to support his children who attend District schools. The three employees’ organizations, School Employees International Union, (SEIU), Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association (SMMCTA) and Santa Monica Malibu Association of School Administrators (SMMASA) shared their vision for the coming year, while the president of the PTA Council and the Board Member of the Santa Monica Malibu Education Foundation also spoke to the crowd. The attendees then had the pleasure of listening to three students from Santa Monica, Malibu and Olympic high schools share their experiences as students in the district and their hopes for the future.

When Dr. John Deasy, District Superintendent, took the microphone he talked about accomplishments and hope. He shared the remarkable progress the district has made in a very short time toward its goal of raising the achievement of all students while simultaneously closing the achievement gap. All students’ test scores have improved significantly, while students of poverty have raised their test scores at twice the rate of the district’s. The number of students taking highly rigorous courses has risen and there has been a rise in the number of high scores and a decrease in the number of low scores. The superintendent attributed this exciting data to the hard work of the staff, students and parents from kindergarten through high school. Dr. Deasy said, “We must watch long term trends and today we celebrate remarkable long term gains with all our schools!” The superintendent asked everyone to take these successes in context. “They were accomplished, Dr. Deasy explained, “during a period of time when the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has lost an annual amount of funding to our schools from the State of California of $9 million since 2001. Our State has lost millions of jobs, yet we have increased our total number of employees working with students. Health Care benefits for children have eroded, yet our student achievement continues to rise. This is no accident. It is due to our employees and those who support us.”

Dr. Deasy again thanked the City of Santa Monica for its commitment of $6 million as a minimal support to our schools beginning this year – support that will help all students reach high levels of achievement. 

On Wednesday, September 8, the students will return to their classrooms. Teachers and support staff will ensure that the hope of their future is in good hands.

The District wants to thank the following businesses for their contributions to the morning’s breakfast:

Marathon Communications

Doubletree Guest Suites

Best Western Gateway Hotel

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Viceroy Hotel

Four Points by Sheraton

Radisson Huntley Hotel

17th Street Café


Hines Lantana

Pacific Properties






1651 16TH Street, Santa Monica 90404 - 310-450-8338 - Fax 310-581-1138