Welcome Back Everyone!
The challenge of our times is to determine how to move forward in education towards our mission and vision in the midst of declining resources. In order to be well prepared, our students must have BOTH the foundational, core academic skills they need as well as the 21st Century skills that are just as imperative. Today as I write this our elementary grade level teachers are working together to review math and English common assessments, pacing guides, and interventions to make sure these foundational skills are in place. At the same time, I encourage you to work together to make sure that students are also learning the seven 21st Century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, self-direction, technology, and global awareness. My top priority is to do everything in my power to make sure you have the resources needed to ensure our students are successful, and towards that end I will continue to try and bring in additional resources to our district.
As we look at our budget for the 2011-12 school year, I am confident we can meet the challenge of moving forward despite lean budget times. In my opinion, Jerry Brown is on the right track in trying to both cut spending and ensure adequate revenue, and I am hopeful that his plan will succeed, particularly since K-12 education was spared further cuts in his Governor's budget that was presented on Monday. You have my promise that I will do all that I can to move us forward and minimize the impact of limited resources. Our school board and I have the same goal of closely examining every budget item to make sure we are spending our money wisely, and over the next six months we will conduct a careful and thorough review of district spending, both at school sites and at the district, to ensure we are being prudent. At the same time, I will advocate for resources towards making sure we are moving towards implementing steps to implement our new mission and vision. I am optimistic that we can continue to make the great progress we have started, and that Lucia Mar can become the model school district in the nation for 21st Century Learning. My ultimate goal is that other districts will soon want to visit Lucia Mar to see all the great things that we are doing!
Last night at the school board meeting, I presented a report to the board that summarized our 21st Century education strategy. As we begin a new year, I thought it would be helpful to lay out our goals and objectives in this regard. I have attached this report to this email, and hope you will take a few moments to read it so you are aware of where we are going and the progress being made.
The board also approved the school calendar for the next two years, which I have also attached. Many thanks to Michelle Ellis for being so organized and for getting the input of all of our stakeholders: teachers, classified staff, administrators and parents, who each bring a much different perspective to the calendar discussion. The board did approve draft "C", which is the calendar most preferred by teachers that includes a three week winter break.
Finally, our wonderful interim Assistant Superintendent for Business, Janice Smith, presented the First Interim Financial Report to the Board, which as approved after a special session of discussion.
Before we know it June will arrive, so I wish you a great second semester. If you have any thoughts or comments about how things are going in the district, I would love to hear from you!