Statement from Santa Cruz City Schools:

Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent Gary Bloom announced today that he will be retiring from the district, effective July 1, 2014.

“The passionate and talented staff members who work for Santa Cruz City Schools are focused on helping students achieve and ensuring kids do not fall through the cracks. I am truly honored to have had the opportunity to lead the district for the past nearly-five years,” said Superintendent Bloom. “Knowing that we continue to make gains in achievement and have stabilized the district’s budget, I am looking forward to having more flexible time that will allow me to pursue other personal and professional interests.”

“Mr. Bloom has honored his commitment to our district as promised and we are very thankful for his hard work on behalf of students,” said Board President Patty Threet. “The position of superintendent demands 24/7 availability and is not for the feint-hearted [sic]. During his tenure, Mr. Bloom worked ceaselessly to bring progress. In addition to the critical role he played in the effort to stabilize the budget, I’m also thankful for his work to eliminate the achievement gap, modernize information technology and support “green” policy making. On behalf of the district, we wish him the very best.”

The process of determining a replacement for Mr. Bloom will be determined by the Board of Trustees.

Progress made by the district under Superintendent Bloom’s leadership:

  • During CA’s statewide fiscal crisis, continued funding for small classes, library, science, music, counseling and art programs, and movement of the district from “qualified” to “positive” budget certification
  • Sustained focus on strategic goals and metrics, especially with regard to

o All students being prepared for college and career
o Eliminating the achievement gap between demographic groups o Balanced budget and efficient management

  • Launch of the process to address overcrowding at elementary school sites
  • Recognition of Harbor High and Santa Cruz High as California Distinguished Schools
  • Renewal of Parcel Taxes (Measures I & J)
  • Increase in AP course offerings and student participation in AP courses
  •  Enrollment in Honors and AP Courses up 28% since 2009
  • Latino students successfully completing at least one AP or Honors class at graduation up from 29% in 2010 to 42% in 2013
  • Students scoring proficient or advanced on 8th grade science CST up from 63% in 2009 to 81% in 2013
  • 1st – 5th graders proficient on trimester 3 math benchmarks up from 57% in 2010 to 70% in 2013
  • 1st – 5th graders proficient on trimester 3 reading benchmarks up from 57% in 2010 to 79% in 2013
  • Teachers using common assessments in core courses to monitor student achievement up from 79% in 2010 to 95% in 2013
  • Teachers participating in peer observations to inform their instructional practice up from 52% in 2010 to 85% in 2013
  • As a result of improved access to instructional alternatives, number of students referred for special education assessment down by 40% from 2010 to 2013