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Mumau gives report on county schools

SOLEDAD — In a visit to South County last week, the Monterey County Office of Education’s (MCOE) Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Jaime Valenzuela-Mumau spoke to members of the Soledad Rotary.

Mumau has been involved in the MCOE school systems for years; he was once the principal of Soledad High School.

His presentation was regarding the recently published 2016 Monterey County Education Report to the Community.

To start his presentation, Mumau explained the nine strategic priorities: all students achieving success; english learners attaining proficiency; creating positive school climate; developing effective local control and accountability plans; delivering effective district support services; ensuring a skilled and motivated workforce; ensuring resource stewardship; attaining operational excellence; and strengthening communications and forging partnerships.

There are more than 76,700 students in the MCOE District, almost 16,500 in South County, running from Chualar to Bradley. The report explained student demographics and ethnicities comparing each to the state amounts.

Mumau talked about helping students attain English proficiency. The report stated that 78 percent of students in Monterey County are hispanic or latino; in the State of California the percentage is 54 percent. Of that, in Monterey County, 41 percent of students are English learners, while statewide it is 22 percent of students.

“Our language learners need some kind of support to help them build complex sentences and answers,” said Mumau.

Inside the report were the graduation and dropout rates for Monterey County and for the State of California. The rates in both were better in Monterey County schools than the rate for the state. The dropout rate for the state is 11 percent, while in Monterey County schools the rate is only 7 percent. The MCOE can boast about their graduation rates, 85 percent being higher than the state’s rate of 82 percent.

The report also introduces the Quality Matters Monterey County (QMMC) early learning initiative, which gives young learners a foundation to build on when they begin kindergarten. From birth to age 5, QMMC helps the child gain early learning experience and sets the child up for success in school.