Message From Superintendent, Dr. Steven Herzog
Stop Summer Learning Loss
During the summer vacation break, learning doesn't stop. To prevent "summer slide" students are encouraged to keep their skills sharp. Here are seven ways for parents to encourage and support summer learning:
1. Use all resources available, including libraries, museums, and online educational sites.
2. Keep reading. Parents and teachers can create summer reading lists for students, and such lists might be available through local library programs.
3. Seek out learning opportunities in normal activities. Are you cooking with your child? Incorporate math. Have children write grocery lists to keep their spelling skills strong.
4. Summers mean vacations, and children can research vacation destinations to learn about historical facts, calculate how many miles they’ll drive, and more.
5. If children earn allowance or do part-time work, creating a budget and savings plan is one day to involve them in math.
6. Don’t stop writing. It’s tempting to give students a break from writing assignments, but setting children up with pen pals, having them keep blogs about their summer experiences, or asking them to write short books about summer experiences are all ways to support writing skills.
7. Graph, graph, graph. Math skills are so important, and students can create charts or graphs that correlate to their summer goals and activities.Excerpt from eSchool News, June 25, 2014.
School Supplies for 2014-15
In the past, RUSD parents have generously provided a large percentage of the consumable supplies our children use in their classrooms. However, recent changes to state law have made it clear that California public schools are not allowed to require parents to pay for the cost of basic school supplies. Parents can still voluntary contribute supplies or money for supplies.
This year we have contracted with a Marin-based discount school supply company for $78 per student for a year's worth of classroom supplies, including calculators for older grades and headphones for iPads and laptops. This does not include recorders for 4th & 5th graders, which will be provided for students in Bel Aire music classes (or parents will have the option of purchasing separately for approximately $8 apiece).
The law does allow parents to donate money for supplies to the District to help defray the cost of consumable materials that are used in each classroom by our students. All donated supply funds will be used to purchase appropriate consumable materials for each of our students. Thank you in advance for helping out.
School Leadership Plans for 2014-2015
At the last Board meeting, Trustees approved a one-year pilot plan to have Principal Patti Purcell serve as principal of both Reed and Bel Aire Schools. This change is designed to increase the alignment of our K-5 schools, improve articulation of Common Core Standards K-8, and to effectively guide our growing enrollment population to achieve the Vision of a RUSD Graduate Outcomes. Principal Purcell, along with Del Mar Principal Alan Vann Gardner and Assistant Principal Tanya Pearson will form a Leadership Team with some outstanding teacher leaders to guide all our schools.
Over 1600 students are projected for 2014-15, so we are excited to announce the reassignment of the following teacher leaders to new roles as Assistant Principals:
Dr. Mary Niesyn, who has taught 2nd grade Reed since 2004, is an expert in early childhood development, reading/language arts, instructional delivery, and curriculum development. Dr. Niesyn has also taught summer institutes in Korea, been a consultant for the Bay Area Writing Project, and is an adjunct Professor of Education at San Francisco State University. She has authored multiple books on teaching and learning and mentored student teachers during her career.
Ms. Lexie Cala, who has taught 4th grade and Digital Integration at Bel Aire since 2011, has extensive 3-12 grade teaching and administrative experience. Ms. Cala has also taught math and physics and has been a leader in developing effective programs using instructional technology (especially iPads) in elementary classrooms. Before coming to RUSD, Ms. Cala was a teacher and assistant principal at the Marin School of the Arts and Technology, as well as other charter schools in California.
Mr. David Sawyer, who has taught 5th grade and Information Media at Bel Aire since 2006, has upper elementary grade experience and has also taught middle school. His expertise in instructional technology and social/emotional intelligence development will be tapped to develop programs at all our schools. He has extensive experience teaching leadership strategies through environmental stewardship to young adults and children.
During the summer 2014, the Leadership Team will determine specific roles for each leader to maximize the utilization of special skills and talents each leader brings to the Team. Before students return in August, details on where administrators will be assigned, which administrator parents should contact for information or support, and how communication will be organized will be shared with staff and parents.