After many years of planning and anticipation, construction on the three Santa Clara Unified School District campuses at the Agnews site began November 2018. Since then, crews have been working as quickly as possible on this colossal project to reach our original goal of an August 2020 opening for the elementary and middle schools.
Unfortunately, we have faced several complications that have impacted our schedule. First, the extraordinarily wet winter with over 80 days of rain caused a slow-down in grading and site preparation. Next, inspections and the state agency approval processes took much longer than anticipated. Finally, the unprecedented amount of local construction has stretched the resources of contractors and their ability to meet our timeline.
Due to these issues, Santa Clara Unified School District and our Board of Trustees have discussed the impacts to the construction timeline and when the school sites will be fully ready for our students and families. After meeting with and surveying the Mayne, Montague, and Hughes elementary school communities, Superintendent Stella M. Kemp recommended to the Board of Trustees that they approve postponing the opening of the elementary and middle schools to August 2021, after all construction on the two campuses is complete. The board unanimously approved the recommendation.
For the 2021-2022 school year, Abram Agnew Elementary School will open with grades kindergarten through second, and Dolores Huerta Middle School will open with sixth grade only; a new grade will be added each year as the students progress to the next grade level. For students in these grade levels in the 2021-2022 school year who live in the new attendance boundaries, Abram Agnew Elementary or Dolores Huerta Middle will become their home school.
For more information, please read our Letter to Families.
Agnews Community Meetings
For those of you who could join us in person, thank you! If you could not, we hope the information in this section is helpful and we hope you will participate in our survey once you've had the opportunity to review the details of the two options being considered by the district and Board of Trustees.
Summary Presentation Video
Full Presentation Video
Files and Links
Meet the Principals!
Shehnaz Wadhwania, Founding Principal
Abram Agnew Elementary School
Shehnaz Wadhwania joins the Santa Clara Unified team from Bellevue School District in Washington. She was recently appointed as the director of teaching and learning after four years as the assistant principal of Stevenson Elementary School. During the course of her career, Shehnaz has worked on or been a part of paperless, fine arts-focused, and one and two-way dual immersion schools. Her strengths are in project management and team trust-building.
Shehnaz received her Bachelor of Arts in labor law and her teaching credential from the University of Mumbai. She also received her master’s in English teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Dawnel Sonntag, Founding Principal
Dolores Huerta Middle School
Dawnel Sonntag first came to SCUSD in 1998 as an English teacher at Santa Clara High School where she stayed for seven years before being promoted as the vice principal at Cabrillo Middle School in 2005. In 2008, Dawnel left our district to take a position as the principal of Monroe Middle School in Campbell Union School District. She spent ten years as the principal of Monroe Middle School before becoming the principal liaison for special education for the last year.
Dawnel received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara in sociology, her teaching credential from National University, and her master’s in educational leadership from San Jose State University.