Benicia Unified School District

Superintendent 2023-24 Welcome Back Newsletter

Dear BUSD Community,

With privilege and honor, I welcome you to the 2023 -2024 school year as your Superintendent of Schools. I hope you had an opportunity to spend quality time with your children and that they are rested, recharged, and prepared for a rigorous and engaging school year.

While our school sites were closed for the summer, many BUSD employees worked diligently preparing for the school year. A special thanks to our Information Technology Department for servicing Chromebooks for student distribution, our Maintenance and Operation staff for completing deep cleaning projects, and our Measure S Facilities Bond Department for relocating portable classrooms to Robert Semple, replacing the roof at Matthew Turner, remodeling the restroom at Joe Henderson, and completing the entryway at Mary Farmar. As a result of Measure S Bond funding, BUSD has improved the learning and working environment for students and staff. Thank you for your generosity. 

I am very excited about this school year and hope you share the same enthusiasm. BUSD remains committed to our following four LCAP goals: Social-Emotional Learning, Literacy and Humanities, Math and STEAM, and Equity and Opportunity to implement our vision of “Where all students achieve at their highest potential in an engaging, inspiring and challenging learning environment.” While we will continue our holistic approach to student growth and development, our organization will emphasize “Best First Instruction” by identifying and implementing high-leverage strategies to foster more than one year’s growth in one year’s time to ensure our students meet or exceed the state standards. 

Last school year, I facilitated the Listening and Learning Sessions to gain perspective on what worked well, our growth areas, and what opportunities we should consider. From stakeholder feedback, we learned that communication, dissemination of information, and branding were recommendations for improvement. On Friday, August 4, 2023, BUSD will publish its new website, which has user-friendly navigation, easily searchable content, a professional look, a wealth of information, and mobile-friendly content. The New BUSD Website begins to address the communication, dissemination of information, and branding suggestions brought forward. The District will also revise the websites at each school site during the Fall semester.

BUSD will continue facilitating community engagement sessions geared toward continuing ongoing dialog to foster awareness in District business and organizational growth for increased positive student outcomes. Engagement events include Coffee with the Superintendent, Dessert with the Superintendent, Town Hall Meetings, and Budget Roadshows. We will publish the meeting dates on our newly revised website under the Superintendent heading. 

Here are some important updates regarding the 2023-2024 school year: 

Parent Data Confirmation (Online Registration): BUSD is facilitating online registration. You will receive additional communication via email when the process opens on Monday, August 7, 2023. The District will communicate instructions for creating accounts, and once you complete the parent data confirmation, we will make student schedules available to families. The Parent Data Confirmation Process will remain open through October 2, 2023. Please refer to the welcome message on Monday, August 7, 2023, to address your questions. 

School Calendar and Bell Schedule: Students will report to school on Tuesday, August 15, 2023. Your site administrator will send communication welcoming you to the new school year specific to your sites. As a reminder, elementary school begins at 8:00 a.m., middle school at 8:15 a.m., and high schools at 8:30 a.m. You can find the school calendar and bell schedule information on the BUSD website and linked here: 2023-2024 School Year Calendar and Bell Schedule. We also want to remind you that daily school attendance is essential for maximizing student learning.  

California Universal Meals Program: Under Universal Meals Program for school children, BUSD will provide every student with two free meals daily, complimentary breakfast, and lunch during the 2023-2024 school year. You can find more information on the Universal Meals Program linked here: California Universal Meals Program. We encourage all families to complete the Free and Reduced Meal Application. If eligible, the District would receive additional funding for programs, and families may have college applications waived, internet and utility discounts, SAT/PSAT/ACT Testing Discounts, and EBT Cards. Tania Courtney, Director of Food and Nutrition Services, will share a newsletter specific to the BUSD Food and Nutrition Services Program on Friday, August 4, 2023

California Law Regarding Safe Storage of Firearms:

Per California Law, the Benicia Unified School District must inform and remind parents and legal guardians of all students in the District of their responsibilities for keeping firearms out of the hands of children. Please review the Firearm Safety memo attached here:  Firearm Safety Memo- English, Firearm Safety Memo- Spanish.

Once again, welcome back! Let’s have an outstanding school year.


Damon J. Wright, Ed.D.