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West Sacramento News-Ledger

Hats Off to WUSD Class of 2024

Jun 11, 2024 09:06AM ● By Angela Underwood

Washington Unified School District’s Class of 2024 graduates stand together. Photo courtesy of Washington Unified School District

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - River City High School Class of 2024 graduates officially moved their gold tassels on their maroon hats from the right to the left side. 

Washington Unified School District (WUSD) Superintendent Dr. Cheryl P. Hildreth said the 2024 academic year was a resounding success.

"We continued to prioritize equity, excellence, and empowerment for all our students," Hildreth told the West Sacramento Ledger for an end-of-the-year interview." Our community's unwavering commitment to providing a high-quality education that nurtures every child's unique talent and potential has yielded remarkable results."

2024 Washington Unified School District

 A proud graduate of the Class of 2024 accepts his diploma at this week’s ceremony. Photo courtesy of Washington Unified School District

Some of those results include rising high school graduation rates at 92% and transitional kindergarten (TK) through 12th-grade attendance trending upward at 94%.

"TK-12 chronic absenteeism continues to dip from our all-time high of 30% in 2021-2022 to 18% in 2023-2024,” Hildreth said.

Washington Unified School District

 Seniors were not the only 2024 graduating class, as seen here, with kindergarten students moving to first grade for the 2025-26 school year. Photo courtesy of Washington Unified School District

The high attendance rates could be due to an above-the-bar curriculum and comprehensive classes. The superintendent detailed Washington Unified School District's expanding "innovative programs and partnerships, ensuring our students have access to cutting-edge resources and opportunities that prepare them for success in college, a career and beyond."

"From STEM initiatives to arts and cultural enrichment, we have fostered an environment that celebrates diversity and empowers our students to explore their passions," Hildreth said.

Washington Unified School District 2024

 The Washington Unified School District 2024 graduating ceremony pamphlet was given to hundreds of proud parents and families of students who completed four years of high school. Photo courtesy of Washington Unified School District

The most significant result of the academic school year is the graduating Class of 2024.

"At WUSD, we believe that preparing our students for success extends beyond academic achievement," Hildreth said. "We have focused on developing well-rounded individuals equipped with the skills, knowledge and mindset to thrive in an ever-changing world."

According to the superintendent, that focus consisted of comprehensive college and career readiness programs giving invaluable guidance and resources to the Class of 2024.

"From personalized counseling and mentorship to internship opportunities and career exploration workshops, we have ensured that our students are well-prepared to navigate the next chapter of their lives, whether they pursue higher education or enter the workforce," Hildreth said.

The superintendent said the Class of 2024's success is more than just a grade point average. 

"We have emphasized the importance of social-emotional learning, equipping our students with the tools to manage stress, build resilience and cultivate healthy relationships," Hildreth said. "These life skills are essential for their overall well-being and success in any endeavor they pursue."

The superintendent credited educators for the year's success, saying dedicated teachers, staff and administrators “worked tirelessly” to make this year a remarkable success.

"Additionally, I want to acknowledge the invaluable support of our families and community partners," Hildreth said. "Their involvement and collaboration have been instrumental in creating a nurturing environment that fosters excellence and empowerment for all our students."

After the hard work of the 2023-24 school year comes respite. Giorgios Kazanis, Washington Unified School District executive director of communication, said it is the perfect time to provide students and staff a dedicated time to reset and relax before transitioning to the next grade.

"The educational journey can be mentally and emotionally demanding, and it is essential to strike a balance between rigorous learning and rejuvenation," Kazanis said.

Over the summer, students have the opportunity to decompress, reflect and recharge their batteries, Kazanis said, adding, "The break allows them to process the experiences and lessons from the previous year, fostering a sense of closure and preparing them mentally for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead."

Speaking of the future, the superintendent said as Washington Unified School District celebrates 2024’s milestones and achievements, the district remains committed to continuously improving and adapting to meet the evolving needs of its students.

"We will continue to embrace innovation, promote inclusivity and strive for excellence in everything we do, ensuring that every student in our district has the opportunity to reach their full potential," Hildreth said.

Washington Unified School District kindergarten

 Shown is a 2024 cube decoration for the Washington Unified School District kindergarten class. Photo courtesy of Washington Unified School District