Superintendent's Monthly Message

By Dr. Jacqueline M. Horejs

May/June 2013



The news today is filled with reports about bullying, inappropriate electronic messaging, and young people treating others in a hurtful and disrespectful manner. As a school district, we are committed to providing our students with the education, experience, and inspiration that will empower them to be caring and responsible members of their schools and community. All of our schools participate in Project Cornerstone, a YMCA of Silicon Valley initiative which provides school programs proven to create positive and caring school climates that result in improved academic achievement and fewer negative behaviors.  Working with over 400 community partners and schools, Project Cornerstone helps students build the positive relationships,opportunities, values and skills that provide the foundation for a healthy and successful future.  One of the componentsof the program is Expect Respect, a bullying prevention program that empowers students to stop bullying, improve school climate, and make every student feel valued and welcome.

 Project Cornerstone bases its program on the Search Institute’s framework of Developmental Assets, the most widely used approach to positive youthdevelopment in the United States. The assets are based on extensive research in child development, resiliency, and prevention. The Developmental Assets are 40 common sense, positive experiences and qualities that help influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible, successful adults.Studies of more than 2.2 million young people have shown that the more assets young people have, the less likely they are to engage in a wide range of high-risk behaviors and the more likely they are to thrive. These assets are grouped around categories including support, boundaries, positive values,social competencies, and positive identity. To see the complete list, go to: (

In Union School District, we continually strive to foster and sustain the development of these important assets in our students. We partner with parentsand the community to develop the habits of mind that ensure that our students learn how to be healthy, caring, and responsible in a nurturing and positive school climate.