There is an expectation in our home that our nearly six-year-old daughter, Sloan, will go to college. Just ask her, and she’ll tell you without blinking an eye—this has always been the expectation. I feel this same way about the 9,500 students in the Redondo Beach Unified School District (RBUSD). All students should have the right, be prepared, and feel the support to attend college or university and to continue their education. RBUSD believes this is the right of each child, though we realize some parents may feel differently.
Today, students face an ever-changing future that is much more difficult and intense than the world in which we now live. The workplace is often uncertain, jobs are fragile, and our sensitive economy may further impact each young individual’s ability to secure his or her own livelihood. Our students will be released into a job market after high school that requires much more skill and expertise at entry-level than ever before. Students who have four-year degrees compete for these entry-level positions and are often still lacking in the critical-thinking proficiencies to excel. 21st-century learning is a priority in RBUSD, and we hope to instill these required abilities not only for attending college, but for achieving success in the workplace.
Students must be socially and emotionally prepared for college, as well as academically ready and physically healthy. This is quite the task to take on! This is a transitional time for young adults, and the guardians in their lives must assist with this change. The college application process is complicated. Students are asked to “know” themselves, to select a major or course of study for life, and to define themselves as the future adults they wish to become. With the previously mentioned future seemingly uncertain, children need support in order to meet the expectations of these higher-learning institutions and to be able to complete their application requests. This is the responsibility of parents, guardians, and educators. Going to college is our hope; this message must be consistent. In RBUSD, this is our message; obviously a percentage will not attend, but all students should have the chance.
Steven Keller, Ed.D.
Proud Superintendent of Schools