In 2011 Venetia Valley was at a crossroads.

Faced with the departure of six administrators in eight years and dwindling student achievement outcomes, significant change was needed. The hiring of Principal Juan Rodriguez, became the impetus for that change.

Rodriguez identified three key priorities:

  1. A unified school culture that fostered ownership and pride in the school community
  2. Significant professional development around literacy, which would lead to academic gains for students
  3. A clear pathway for families to become engaged as campus leaders

These priorities paved the way for what Venetia Valley now calls its “I Can” model.

The need for a unified school model was undeniable. Data collected from end of year surveys reflected fractures within the school’s culture. Across grade levels, parents and students expressed a weak sense of belonging and a lack of pride in their school. More so, students were not graduating on a college-ready trajectory.

The "I Can" model was developed around the three priorities Principal Juan Rodriguez identified, with the target population being all students and families.


Here's how it works:


School Culture

Growth Mindset and Character Traits
Create a school culture that is grounded in current research and encompasses the personal traits identified as necessary for success while remaining rooted in the culture and values of the families that make up our school community.

College and Career Aspirations
Encourage students, families and staff to share their dreams and together plan and illustrate paths leading directly towards those dreams.


Academic Instruction and Achievement

A Model for Literacy and High-Quality Staff
Development: Strengthen literacy instruction and systematize targeted support for English Learners
Data Driven Instruction: Establish school-wide infrastructure around data collection, data analysis, targeted instruction and reflection


Family Engagement

Create an include environment for families, aligned to the school vision.
Foster authentic collaboration between teacher, families and community partners.
Host ongoing connection opportunities for families to learn, lead and share.



This is our model. We believe that with the support of donors it can help to radically transform the face of public education.

Venetia Valley is just the start.