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Core Values

Core values are the enduring beliefs that guide an organization’s actions over time. Tethering the core values to the vision makes the organization’s ethics explicit and ensures alignment with its purpose.

The following seven statements were developed through the vision work. While core values are foundational, when creating any kind of system change, organizations need to articulate the mindsets, dispositions, and ways of working that align with the desired future. This set of SCUSD values creates the foundation for the vision by building upon and expanding the existing values.

Students First

We believe that preparing students to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing, globally connected world should inform every decision. We believe that incorporating student voice is essential to our success in understanding and meeting each student’s needs.

Excellence Through Continuous Improvement

We believe that achieving high performance and full potential for both the organization and the individual comes from a relentless commitment to excellence and the courage to adapt, change, and improve based on results. We believe in fostering a growth mindset by defining failures as opportunities for learning and continuous improvement.

Young child uses microscope to look at the surface of a lime

Integrity and Ethical Stewardship

We believe in upholding our fiscal responsibility through integrity and high ethical standards. We gain high levels of trust and foster collective responsibility across our organization, through effective stewardship of our resources and consistent ethical, transparent, accountable behavior and actions.

Equity and Social Justice

We believe in bringing out the full potential of every student and staff member, through our commitment to equity, access, and inclusion*. We are passionate and unwavering in our belief that we can make a positive difference for every student if we embrace diversity, acknowledge our interdependence, and exemplify the courage to reflect continually on our personal and systemic biases, and make decisions that disrupt systems of oppression and injustice.

Empathy and Respect

We believe that empathy—the ability to understand and share the feelings of another—is crucial for valuing diverse perspectives, effective collaboration, problem-solving, and leading change. We believe that everyone has value and deserves to be treated respectfully.

Connected Families and Collaborative Community

We believe that community action is essential to achieving our vision and having a positive impact on student outcomes, including their health and wellness. We serve as a catalyst for a call-to-action with our parents, families, and community. Through support, engagement, involvement, and collaboration, we leverage our multiple perspectives and collective genius, develop better solutions, and deepen our shared commitment to success.

Young student gives thumbs up on payground

World-Leading and Future-Ready

We believe that preparing our students and educators to thrive requires a culture of creativity and innovation. We are forward-looking and future-ready. We evolve by scanning the horizon for exemplary practices, inspiring fresh ideas, and adapting to our ever-changing world to meet our students’ and educators’ learning needs, now and in the future.

We honor differences and recognize intersectionality*— the overlapping identities that combine and intersect in the experiences of marginalized groups—in order to understand the complexity of the prejudices they face and respond with inclusive practices. Empathy and respect also lead to a kind and caring environment, enabling our staff and students to build strong relationships and foster mutual wellbeing.