Mondays With Maria - Season 1 Finale
Posted on 05/22/2023
Mondays with Maria Banner



Dr. Maria Vazquez: Hello, I'm Superintendent Maria Vasquez. I can't believe I'm saying this, but this is the last Mondays with Maria for the school year. This school year went by so fast. It seems like just yesterday we introduced this new communication segment. I've heard from so many of you and how much you enjoyed watching, and I am so appreciative. I wanted to take this last show of the season to look back on the school year and also look forward. Some of the bright spots in the year have been being selected as the new Superintendent. It's a privilege to serve and I'm excited for my second year. Opening five schools with construction challenges was not easy, but we did it and it was another successful year. The passage of the one mill. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We can't say it enough. The trust voters have shown in our district is amazing, and we do not take that lightly.

We had an overwhelming 82% approval. Town halls and hearing from parents and employees, the feedback has been invaluable. The town hall meetings will continue next school year. Attending high school graduations continues to be so inspiring. Hands down, one of my favorite events to attend every year and this year did not disappoint. The Foundation for Orange County Public Schools was instrumental in providing me the ability to bring you Mondays with Maria through their sponsorship. Allowing you to get to know me a little better has definitely been one of the high points. I've had the opportunity to share important information with our families, employees, and community members, but also highlight some of the amazing organizations that help support our schools and students. The Early Learning Coalition, the Orange County Library System, A Gift for Teaching and Junior Achievement to name a few, and of course inviting some of our students into the studio.

I'm always so impressed by our students and I enjoy getting to spend time with them. Just before winter break, it was so much fun to welcome some of our adorable little ones from OCPS Ace into the studio to read a story. I think there are still remnants of some of the snowfall in here. With the good, there were also some challenges this past year. The senseless violence we've seen in our community and how it has impacted our students is hard to face, but it is encouraging to see our community come together again. We've seen a rise in student discipline cases on campuses and in classrooms since the pandemic. The new Student Discipline Task Force will continue their work to find ways to address these concerns. And experiencing two hurricanes was tough, but a highlight did come. These tragic events, the outpouring of support from the East River community, welcoming Riverdale Elementary students and staff to their campus.

No one will forget two rivers, one family. I know there are a few of you who may be looking ahead to a new school year already, so I would like to touch on a few things without taking away from the well-deserved summer break for everyone. One of the big things that came out of the town hall meetings was the need for more support at the school level. This summer, we're going through a reorganization of staff that will eliminate our geographic learning communities. Instead, we're going to group schools by level, elementary, middle, high, plus some specialty areas like career and technical education, exceptional student education, and the School Transformation Office among a few others. It's going to allow for more collaboration and support for student learning. We'll be sharing more information about what that means for parents in the next few months. As we wrap up, I want to thank Nancy Alvarez and Jamie Holmes for all that they've done for us this past year.

You'll be seeing more of them again next year. And finally, to those of you watching, I want to say thank you. To our parents, thank you for trusting OCPS with your students future. To our teachers, administrators, and support staff, thank you for being a constant positive influence working tirelessly to lead our students to success. I hope that you all have a relaxing and restful summer break. And lastly, I'd like to thank the behind the scenes crew here in the studio that help bring you Mondays with Maria every week. We'll see you again next school year for season two of Mondays with Maria. Enjoy your summer and keep reading.