February 24, 2015
Update on Measure H From Superintendent Matsuda
Date: February 24, 2015
To: Members of the Anaheim Union High School District Community
From: Michael B. Matsuda, Superintendent
Subject: Measure H
We want to provide you with an update on the work that has been taking place since last November when voters approved Measure H, our $249 million school bond. The District's finance and construction team has been meeting weekly and is diligently planning and preparing for the exciting transformation that is on AUHSD's horizon.
On February 12, the Board of Trustees gave the green light to the sale of the first Measure H bond series. We have structured our bond financing in increments of two years, seeking only as much funding as we estimate needing to fund projects over that two-year period.
The first bond series will be sold during May. During the sale, we also plan to issue General Obligation Refunding Bonds tied to the Measure Z General Obligation Bonds. This will save AUHSD taxpayers an additional $8 million. In 2012, the District issued refunding bonds and saved the community $4.8 million.
The District will soon advertise for Requests for Proposals for architectural services, while gearing up to advertise for project management, geo-tech, and inspection services. Upon completion of the design process, construction plans will go before the Division of the State Architect for approval. The approval process at the state level is lengthy, so it could take 1 1/2 to 2 years before construction work on a major project gets under way. We plan to undertake "21f2 projects" at one time. That's two major projects, such as modernizing two campuses, combined with one smaller project. This approach enables the District to maintain quality of work and project oversight.
The first two major construction projects that have been identified in this first wave are renovations at Dale Junior High School and a new central kitchen to be located on the Dale site. Dale is scheduled to receive about $25 million worth of improvements in Phase 1. The new kitchen will not be built with Measure H bond funds; alternative funding sources will be used to build the facility. The central kitchen is currently housed at the District Office and dates back to the 1970s. It was built to serve approximately 8,000 meals per day. Currently, staff provides 42,000 meals per day.
All campuses will benefit under three priority areas identified in the Facilities Master Plan: safety and security improvements, 21st century classroom furniture, and technology infrastructure improvements.
The District will soon be designing and rolling out the safety and security projects, including the installation of fencing and surveillance cameras, in conjunction with Phase 1 infrastructure improvements.
Regarding classroom furniture and technology, a committee that included teachers visited nearby school districts featuring state-of-the art classroom furniture, and they brought back several recommendations. Nineteen teachers, one per campus, were then selected to be the "early adopters" of the flexible furniture and technology during the next school year. The feedback gained from teachers will help develop a District standard.
Meanwhile, six of our junior high schools, plus Oxford Academy, will also benefit from projects such as landscaping and signage improvements. Instead of being funded with bond dollars, these projects will be paid through other resources. These improvements will be undertaken in the near future.
AUHSD is also looking at ways of benefitting from Proposition 39, which provides state funding for energy reduction and conservation projects. Additionally, we will soon learn if Katella High School will be the recipient of a $2 million grant for a water conservation project, which folds nicely into the existing master plan for the site and would do away with persistent drainage problems in the quad.
Lastly, at the March 10 Board meeting, trustees will appoint the remaining members of the Citizens' Oversight Committee. You might recall that before Measure H was approved, in our effort to maximize accountability, we took the highly unusual step of establishing a "pre" Citizens' Oversight Committee to ensure our commitments to voters could be kept.
Transparency, oversight, communication-and gratitude-are expectations you can hold us to as Measure H work progresses. You can check out our progress at www.auhsdblueprint.us. Thank you again for enabling us to make critical repairs to aging campuses and provide our students with the 21st century learning environment they so richly deserve.
Anaheim Union High School District • 501 N. Crescent Way • Anaheim, CA 92801 • (714) 999-3502
November 25, 2014
Superintendent Matsuda Thanks the Community for Supporting Measure H
I want to extend my gratitude for your recent support of our $249 million bond measure. The passage of Measure H will enable us to make critical repairs to aging campuses and provide students with the 21st century learning environment they so richly deserve. This is such wonderful news for our school district and our community as we head into the holiday season.
The Measure H campaign would not have been successful without the support of the many dedicated volunteers who worked tirelessly and enthusiastically for its passage, and the many neighbors, community leaders, business owners, employees, retirees, parents, and grandparents who voted in its favor. You are true advocates for our students and serve as a reminder of the true definition of AUHSD pride.
While we’re not going to solve all of our facility needs with Measure H—it covers only part of the nearly $1.3 billion in identified needs—there are big things on the horizon. Since Measure H benefits the District as a whole, our construction program will reflect what is best for the entire AUHSD.
Initially, all campuses will benefit from security improvements, 21st century classroom furniture, and technology infrastructure improvements. While these improvements are being made, planning will be under way for the major campus projects.
As you might imagine, there are many factors involved in the planning process. We will be hiring architects to turn our Facility Master Plan into design plans that will go before the Division of the State Architect for approval. The approval process at the state level is lengthy, so it could be 1½ to 2 years before construction work on a major project is under way. It is our hope to undertake “2½ projects” at one time. That’s two major projects, such as modernizing two entire campuses, combined with smaller projects such as parking lot resurfacing.
In addition to hiring architects, we will also be hiring a project management firm that will help us establish the sequencing and timeline of our overall construction program. The sequencing will be determined based on where the greatest needs are. We anticipate being ready to unveil this timeline within the next six months.
Clearly, the bond will generate a lot of construction project opportunities over the next few years, and it is our hope, wherever possible, to hire local businesses and their workers to boost our local economies.
Additionally, we are taking steps to expand our Citizens’ Oversight Committee, which will review the work to make sure that what is being promised can be delivered. Before Measure H was approved, we took the highly unusual step of establishing a “pre” Citizens’ Oversight Committee to ensure our commitments could be kept. Transparency, oversight, and communication are expectations you can depend on with the passage of Measure H. The oversight committee will hold us to that commitment, as will regular updates to you throughout this process. One way to keep in touch is by visiting this website, which is rich in information and will be kept current, as well as vibrant.
With the passage of Measure H, an exciting future is ahead for our District and our community. The Anaheim Union Board of Trustees, students, staff, and I want to thank you for recognizing the need, showing your pride, and supporting our schools.
Michael B. Matsuda
June 9, 2014
Looking Ahead as the Board of Trustees Gets Set to Take Action to Address Facilities Needs
This is an exciting time in the AUHSD!
As the Board of Trustees readies to vote June 19 on the Facilities Master Plan (FMP)
that will guide our District's building program for the next decade and beyond,
we are looking at the next step in the process.
That will be in July, when Trustees decide whether to place the $249 million Classroom
and School Safety Bond on the November 2014 ballot. The measure would to begin to
address the more than $1.2 billion in facility needs identified, and transform our
classrooms and campuses into the 21st century learning centers that our students
and communities deserve.
Architects, engineers, and safety and technology experts have spent more than 500
hours combing our campuses to determine our needs. The community also was heavily
invested in the process through the Blueprint for the Future Committee.
The 108-person Blueprint Committee—composed of students, parents, staff, and community
leaders—assisted the District in developing the new FMP, transforming the planning
After studying a facilities’ needs analysis that showed about 70 percent of the
buildings in the Anaheim Union High School District need some level of repair, committee
members reached a consensus and recommended the Board pursue a bond measure in November
The Blueprint panel also recommended that a Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee,
required by law after the passage of a bond, be formed before the measure
goes before voters. The aim would be to show the public that AUHSD is motivated
from the start to watch each and every dollar committed to facility upgrades.
“I don’t know of any public agency in California that has had the foresight to establish
an oversight committee before a bond measure is even put on the ballot,” AUHSD Assistant
Superintendent of Business Services Dianne Poore said. “This will provide us with
an unprecedented additional layer of accountability and transparency as we ask the
community to invest in our facilities.”
In keeping with the committee recommendation, the Board of Trustees already has
appointed three members to the Citizens’ Oversight Committee. They are: Patricia
Rich of Anaheim, an attorney; AUHSD graduate Alan Walker of Buena Park, a retired
firefighter and a businessman; and Larry Larsen of Anaheim, a retired business executive
who is active in the Anaheim High School Alumni Association.
Walker—who proposed the idea of establishing the early oversight committee—and Larsen
both were members of the Blueprint Committee. Rich volunteered for the assignment.
The Citizens’ Bond Advisory Committee, expected to grow to as many as 11 members,
will now review the Facilities Master Plan to find if what is being promised to
the community can be delivered. The group will examine the proposed bond project
list and confirm that the construction can be completed with the anticipated bond
funding before the Board places a bond measure on the ballot.
“We learned many lessons the last time we sought a bond measure in 2002,” AUHSD
Superintendent Michael Matsuda said. “Today, we have an unparalleled team of professionals
and systems in place, ready to tackle the challenges of providing our students and
staff with the 21st century learning environments that they so richly deserve.”
Also at the June 19 Board meeting, while Trustees consider the FMP, student leaders
will present thousands of junior and senior high school student signatures asking
the Board to “Repair our Schools, Close the Digital Divide,” by investing in facility
upgrades and improvements so they can better compete in the 21st century global
We believe that sharing this information in a transparent way is the best way to
involve the entire AUHSD community in this process, as our efforts to improve the
District will benefit everyone in the community. We will continue providing information
on the FMP and proposed Classroom and School Safety Bond, and please visit
www.auhsdblueprint.us for more information about how we are working to transform
our schools and continue to prepare our students for college and careers.
June 3, 2014
As Graduation Nears, There’s So Much to Celebrate
Graduation is nearly upon us. It’s a time to celebrate our students’ achievements
and successes, which, I am proud to say, are many. A highlight of becoming Superintendent
is witnessing students being connected to their learning. In classrooms across the
District, I have seen the AUHSD motto: “Learning With Purpose: College and Career
Ready,” come to life.
I have thought deeply about what that means. Even though “college and career readiness”
has become a trite phrase, “learning with purpose” has not. In fact, I believe that
connecting our students to purposeful learning is key to their success beyond a
high school diploma.
I want to take a moment to honor you and all that you do for students. The relationship
you have with them is paramount to their success.
As we move out of the recession and into better times, my job is to ensure that
students have the resources necessary to succeed. Let's not forget that while things
are looking much better, we won’t reach our 2007 funding level until 2016. Through
these challenging times, the AUHSD has continued providing award-winning education
to students throughout the District. We couldn’t have done this without everyone’s
help—students, teachers, and our community partners.
The bar has been set very high, and it will continue to take all of our community
partners—parents, as well as business, civic, and faith-based leaders—and all of
our employees—teachers, administrators, counselors, special education support staff,
and classified staff—to work together focused on our mission so that our 31,000
students will graduate with purpose, college and career ready.
That’s our challenge. And I know we’re up to it.
Fortunately, over the last few years, AUHSD has been on the move. We have emerged
as a leader in transitioning to instructional practices that align with Common Core
State Standards across the curriculum. California State Superintendent Tom Torlakson
has praised us for building a collaborative model where teachers are leading the
way in designing relevant, student-centered lessons and performance tasks. By the
end of this school year, we will be able to showcase many of these lessons in our
own resource bank, which will be available to everyone.
This hasn’t come easily. Establishing this collaborative culture is still a work
in progress, but we’ve made great strides and the signs that we’re succeeding are
Meanwhile, we are reviewing our facility needs to provide our students with updated
learning environments to support instruction. In June, the Board of Trustees will
adopt a Facilities Master Plan that will guide our building program over the next
decade and beyond. The plan identifies needed school repairs, as well as classroom
and facility upgrades. This includes ensuring that we continue providing a safe
learning environment for all of our students, while also improving access to technology
infrastructure and equipment.
After adopting the Facilities Master Plan, the Board will determine the best way
to start transforming classrooms and schools to prepare our students for the high-demand
jobs of tomorrow. In July, the Board will consider placing a $249 million bond measure
on the November 2014 ballot to begin necessary classroom repairs and upgrades.
70% of our school buildings are more than 40 years old. Basic infrastructure needs
like air conditioning, access to clean water, and decent sanitation conditions need
repairing and upgrading. Our schools also need to address the “digital divide” so
our students will be competitive in a global economy. Too many students do not have
access to technology at home and so we need schools and classrooms where technology
is embedded in everyday learning.
Technology infrastructure needs like increasing bandwidth and Internet speed and
access are vital to integrating technology into lessons and projects. Access to
updated technology and equipment, as well as classroom environments that allow for
project-based learning, are integral to preparing students for their future educational
goals and the high-demand jobs in areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering,
Arts (innovation), and Mathematics, or STEAM.
I know you would agree with me that our students deserve the same access to a 21st
century learning environment as the students in south Orange County, for example.
In these days where good paying jobs are scarce and the economy is still fragile,
a quality education is needed more than ever.
Since starting as Superintendent, I have had the pleasure of meeting many community
members. You’ve asked some tough questions, causing me to reflect on how I have
been “learning with purpose” from you since taking on my new role. I look forward
to getting to know you even better—and learn even more. It is truly an honor to
serve you, your students, and this great District.
These are exciting times. Let’s roll up our sleeves and continue our great work
May 30, 2014
Anaheim Union High School District Honors 2014 Teachers of the Year
Our students’ ability to excel in school relies on many factors. Perhaps the most
important is having the right teacher, one who has the experience and passion to
help their students develop the communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical
thinking skills needed to succeed in college and the 21 st century job
market. The AUHSD is fortunate to have teachers like this in classrooms across our
District, educating students and helping them achieve new academic heights.
We’re pleased to introduce you to our 2014 Teachers of the Year — 19
educators who represent the best of what the District offers to students each day.
The profiles of these stellar educators offer a glimpse into why they are so special
and how their contributions improve our schools and students.
As we look to the future, it is crucial that we continue to attract and retain the
best educators to provide the best for our students. Part of our strategy to keep
our award-winning teachers is to ensure the continued safety of our campuses, and
to update our classrooms with the tools and technology that our students need to
The District’s Board of Trustees is exploring placing the Classroom and School Safety
Bond measure on the November 2014 ballot. This bond would create a dedicated revenue
source for needed upgrades and improvements to neighborhood junior high and high
school classrooms and facilities to meet 21st century academic and safety
To receive more information about 2014 Teachers of the Year or the potential Classroom
and School Safety Bond, please contact Patricia Karlak at email@example.com.
May 23, 2014
AUHSD’s Planning for the Future Starts Today
As we complete another school year, our thoughts turn to graduation and to our students
who are transitioning into the next phase of their lives. We’re so proud of all
of them, along with the award-winning teachers and schools that make Anaheim Union
High School District one of the best in the country.
We want to ensure that our returning and future students achieve the same level
of success. This means we need to have the facilities and tools available to prepare
students for 21st century jobs.
Last week, we shared an overview of the proposed Classroom Repair and School Safety
Bond. The bond would address classroom upgrades and technology needs so that we
can continue to provide a safe, updated learning environment.
We were energized by the community’s response and have put together a Frequently
Asked Questions sheet to share more information about this proposal.
This sheet addresses questions that are important to all of us, such as:
If the Board of Trustees decides to place the bond before voters, which repairs
and upgrades would be prioritized?
If voters approved the bond, how will the money be spent?
How can we be sure that funds will be spent locally and responsibly?
We hope that you find this sheet informative. Please feel free to share this information
with your neighbors, and please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
with any questions.
May 16, 2014
Get the Facts: Possible School Funding Bond
Last week, we shared how our students have started the conversation about how to
strengthen schools throughout Anaheim Union High School District. We’re excited
to see students lead this civic engagement effort about a possible bond measure
to position the District to upgrade classrooms and enhance the student educational
With excitement swirling about the possible bond measure, which is called the Classroom
and School Safety Bond, we want to share the Fact Sheet
about this proposal. This includes why the Board of Trustees is reviewing this option,
the current campus needs, and how repairing and updating classrooms will ensure
students continue to learn 21st century skills in a safe environment.
We look forward to sharing more communication with students, parents, businesses,
and community members in the months ahead to inform them about the potential Classroom
Repair and School Safety Bond.
May 9, 2014
AUHSD Students Promote Civic Engagement
On April 21, our students stepped up and spoke about the importance of civic engagement
in our community, with a press conference to launch a campaign calling on the Board
of Trustees to take action on the issue of investing in 21st century learning through
We’re so proud our students took initiative by themselves and made
news in the
Orange County Register with their online petition-gathering
effort, which you can check out here: http://bit.ly/OLAVqD.
Their goal is to secure the signatures of thousands in support of repairing AUHSD
classrooms and campuses as well as providing more 21st century technology for students.
This campaign puts civics in action allowing students to not only sign the petition,
but to register to vote via the same site, if they are eligible in time for the
November election. These petitions will be presented to the Board in July when trustees
are scheduled to vote on placing a $249 million bond measure to upgrade and repair
Shania Thomas, a senior at Cypress High School, said she liked the idea of graduating
and creating a legacy of involvement on such an important issue.
“I’ve learned so much from my teachers and at school, and I want to make sure other
students have the same experience in the future,” Ms. Thomas said. “It’s really
important that our younger brothers and sisters have the same and even better resources
in the future.”
Superintendent Michael Matsuda praised students for leading the discussion on the
importance of 21st century campus facilities.
“The student voice is being heard loud and clear,” said Mr. Matsuda. “Their leadership
will engage all of our students to take a personal stake in improving their learning
environments. I’m excited to see them stepping up as the future leaders of our community.”
We look forward to watching the momentum of this voter registration and civic engagement
campaign going forward. Anaheim Union School District is proud to inspire students
who are leaders of tomorrow and strong voices in their community today.