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Meet Our Team

Ed Excellence Team

Penny Capra - Administrative Secretary

Amy Rankin - Coordinator, Elementary

Lori Higley - Executive Director of Elementary

Taresa McSpadden - TLC TOSA for Elementary

Educational Excellence

Vision: Every student graduates from Vista Unified as a resilient,
agile learner and creative problem solver who navigates the world
with confidence and kindness and eagerly embraces local and
global challenges.

Learner Portrait: Kind and Confident,
Curious and Connected, Capable and Knowledgeable
Adult Portrait: Compassionate Champion, Flexible and Innovative Facilitator,
Open-Minded and Equity-Centered Learner
System Portrait: Inclusive Culture Focused on Growth, Joyful, Innovative,
Rigorous, and Equitable Learning Environments,
Future-Oriented, Forward Thinking, Family and Community Partnerships
Science of Reading

We have successfully trained 300 teachers in Science of Reading! "The body of work referred to as the “Science of Reading” is not an ideology, a philosophy, a political agenda, a one-size-fits-all approach, a program of instruction, nor a specific component of instruction. It is the emerging consensus from many related disciplines, based on literally thousands of studies, supported by hundreds of millions of research dollars, conducted across the world in many languages. These studies have revealed a great deal about how we learn to read, what goes wrong when students don’t learn, and what kind of instruction is most likely to work the best for the most students." Dr. Louisa Moats

The focus for ECC this school year is to revise our TK-5th grade progress reports. We are working with an outside representative to guide us through this process. We have representation from every elementary school in the district. The ECC team meets once a month for two hours. 


There are three trainings we have offered; Overview and Phonemic Awareness, Concepts of Print, Letter ID and High Frequency Words, and Phonics.
Click here to learn more about the Science of Reading.
Collaboration Model

Collaboration is extremely important for all educators. We have created a Collaboration Model this school year which allows teachers two and a half hours to meet during the school day five different times. The collaboration teachers rotate around the different elementary schools providing ELA, Art, STEM and Math lessons while teachers are out of the classroom. Their main focus is hands-on learning and enrichment for all students.

Performance Framework
Vista Unified School District is committed to inspire each and every student to persevere as critical thinking individuals who collaborate to solve real world problems. In order to fulfill its vision, the district launched a multi-year project to develop the comprehensive Performance Framework which consists of continuums for academic, social-emotional learning, and self-regulation from preschool through graduation. These progressions will not only serve as a roadmap for students as they learn and perform over time but also as a tool to support teaching and learning. Some ways to use this framework include planning lessons and activities, implementing useful strategies, and evaluating grade level expectations with quality assessments. We are excited to launch this pilot to support educators with the evaluation piece of the performance framework.

The elementary team consists of groups of teachers from sites across the district (including specialists in the area of ELD, special education, learning support and dual language) who come together at specific times of the year to collaborate and deepen learning about performance assessment and develop  performance assessment task(s) to pilot during the school year. The next meeting date is the end of October.


Stacy McIntyre, M.Ed.

Coordinator, Extended Learning and Interventions

Stacy McIntyre has over 23 years of experience in education both as a teacher and administrator, and believes in putting students first every day. Stacy Leads with heart and positivity; and is excited about supporting and continuing to build and develop expanded learning programs for students here in VUSD that are meaningful and engaging with academic and enrichment at the core. She believes that extended learning programs should be fun, engaging, inclusive, diverse, challenging, innovative, and safe for ALL.
 The Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELO-P) provides funding for after-school and summer school enrichment programs for transitional kindergarten through sixth grade.

“Expanded learning” refers to before school, after school, summer, or intersession learning programs that focus on developing the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs and interests of pupils through hands-on, engaging learning experiences. It is the intent of the Legislature that expanded learning programs are pupil-centered, results driven, include community partners, and complement, but do not replicate, learning activities in the regular school day and school year.

Visit the CA Education Site for more information

VUSD ELO-P Program Plan Guide

We have partnered with Elevo Learning to bring the program "Elevate" to all elementary schools. This program will include academic and enrichment classes including STEM, Art, Theater, PE, Sports and more.
If you are interested in registering your child, please follow the directions on the attached flyer (English) (Spanish). You can click the link or scan the QR code located on the flyer. If you prefer, you can also register on a paper copy which will be available in office of your child(ren's) school.

Adoption and Process
Click here to view this as a PDF
Adoption Process

Curriculum Pilot
 We are currently piloting two Science curriculums for this school year. The team has met and received their first curriculum; FOSS to pilot for seven weeks. The second curriculum is Great Minds, which will also be piloted for seven weeks. The team is excited and we are looking forward to the outcome of each curriculum for possible adoption next school year. Click here for more information about FOSS Science. Click here for more information about Great Minds Science.

We have offered the following trainings and professional development opportunities this school year.
Benchmark ELD, small group instruction, launch, intervention, and online platform
Eureka - Major Work of the Bands, Fluency and Pacing and Planning
TCi - New online curriculum overview
Science of Reading - Overview and Phonemic Awareness Science of Reading - Concepts of Print, Letter ID and High Frequency Words Science of Reading - Phonics
New Teacher Curriculum Overview
Fastbridge How to assess using the online platform and progress monitoring
Canvas for Beginners
Canvas - Digging Deeper
Pear Deck 101 
Pear Deck 201

Renaissance Place and Accelerated Reader
Site Tech Experts - EdTech
Staff click below to enroll in upcoming trainings. 


Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is for children who turn 5 between September 2nd and December 2nd. To find out more about Transition Kindergarten ages/cut off dates for your child, click here to view our student services page. Click here to view the student services page for enrolling a new student in TK.

Our TK Teachers are participating in several professional development opportunities this school year. 

  • One Size Fits Few – A focus on Differentiation - Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in Early Childhood
  • Two Heads are Better than One:  Co-teaching in Early Learning
  • Foundations of Oral Language in Early Learning Classrooms (UCSD)
  • Literacy Through Play
  • Amplifying Language Through Storytelling (UCSD)
  • Social Emotional Learning through Play
  • Math through Play
  • Dialogic Reading: A Proven Strategy to Build Oral Language & Critical Thinking
  • Science through Play

Mystery Science

Benchmark Universe is our adopted ELA curriculum for all students. Our general education students use Benchmark Universe, our special education students use Steps to Advance and our TK uses Ready to Advance. Our DLI classes use Benchmark Adelante and Hello! Click here to learn more about Benchmark Universe.

Eureka Math is our adopted curriculum for TK-5th grade students. Students have two consumable workbooks; Practice and Learn. The books have math sprints, application word problems, and problem sets to complete for each lesson. Teachers have access to these materials digitally as well through Great Minds Digital Suite. Click here for more information.

We are piloting a new Science curriculum this school year. For now we still have FOSS kits and use Mystery Science as a supplemental curriculum. We are looking forward to adopting a new curriculum for next school year.  Click here for more information about FOSS Science. Click here to learn more about Mystery Science.

TCi is our newly adopted Social Studies curriculum. It was piloted last school year and is new to all students and teachers this school year. There is a wonderful online component for students and teachers to interact with. Click here for more information about TCi.

Parent Corner

Our students are exposed to a variety of educational technology throughout the school day. *Not all schools use every online tool listed below*

Click here to get a list of free online learning tools you can use at home.

Need support with helping your child at home, specifically with reading and math? Click here (Spanish version) for some helpful strategies and ideas.


Benchmark Online Program

Lexia Core 5

Lexia English (ELD)

Next Gen

Next Gen Math
Ren Place
Renaissance Place 
Accelerated Reader (AR)

TCi - Social Studies