November 2, 2016

Posted by Peggy Riley on 12/6/2016

Del Mar News

November 2, 2016 

Dear Families:
Continuing "the conversation" from last week, here are some additional Q and A's about our mathematics program.  These questions are from recent notes I have received and conversations I have had with students and parents alike. I hope that this series of memos, as well as our upcoming Parent Education meeting (Wednesday morning November 9 @ 8:30am), will help address and alleviate concerns you may have.
Q:  My child feels s/he is not succeeding in math.  Does this reflect my child's ability?
A: The consensus amongst math teachers is that this year's program is more rigorous, with students being required to think more deeply and discuss their mathematic reasoning in ways that were not required of them in the past.  This year's program most accurately aligns with state standards of mathematical practices and end-of-year SBAC assessments.  This can be a difficult adjustment as students learn and grapple with math in new ways.
Q:  My child's test scores were low. How will this be reflected in the grade?
A: Students will take a final test for each unit of study.  The design of this unit test resembles the state SBAC assessments students take at the end of the year.  These tests consist of questions that measure if students are below, meet, or exceed grade level standards. Students are not expected to be able to answer every question on these end-of-unit tests, since some questions correlate with challenge problems that not all students will-or are expected to-complete as part of class.  Based on these tests, teachers receive accurate information about how students are performing so they can tailor instruction to meet all ability levels and needs. 
Please note that students' grades will reflect their knowledge with regard to grade level standards; grades will be higher than the raw test score.
Q:  How are students' grades determined?
A:  Grades are based on scores on tests, quizzes and projects in which students demonstrate their understanding and application of math concepts learned in class.    Teachers are designing additional summative assessments to complement the end of unit test that is part of the Pearson program.  Having multiple data points will provide a more accurate and fair picture of student achievement and progress-one big end of unit test will not be the sole or primary source of a student's grade.
Q: Why is homework assigned if it is not being graded? 
A:  Homework provides an opportunity for students to practice a skill they have not yet had the opportunity to master.  It is unfair to grade a student for something s/he is not yet expected to know or master.
It is important, however, for students to be in the habit of practicing, and completing and turning in their work on time.  Teachers check that work is completed, that students understand the material, and indicate that students are doing their homework in the Power School grade book.  We want to provide feedback to you, as parent, that your child is (or is not) staying on top of schoolwork.  Your child's second report card grade is a scholarly work habits and citizenship grade which reflects responsibility, independence, perseverance, respect, collaboration-traits we value and that are indicators of academic success. 
Q:  My child is finding use of iPads make it difficult to take notes.  Shouldn't there be use of paper and pencil for math work?
A:  All students use both tools-iPads -and- paper/pencil-in mathematics class.  Students have math notebooks; use scratch paper to solve problems, and sometimes use handout worksheets instead of, or in addition to, using iPads.
Green Transportation Wednesdays

Reed School District supports ways to reduce congestion and promote active and "green" transportation. Wednesdays are Green Transportation Days in Marin county and in many other places around the country. Ride the Bus, carpool, walk or bike to school. Lets see how much of a difference we can make!

PTA Updates 

Thankful Thursdays - 
Please help celebrate our 42 wonderful teachers by volunteering this week on Thankful Thursday.

Join PTA for the 2016-2017 school year and enjoy this Parent Ed event tonight!
"Raising Kids in a Digital World," with Todd Sarner, MFT
Wednesday, November 2nd 7:00pm-8:30 pm
Del Mar School gym 
This session is appropriate for parents of kids at all three schools! No RSVP necessary.
Upcoming Events:

Nov 11 - NO SCHOOL  - Veteran's Day
Nov. 16 - "Raising Resilient Girls"
Wednesday, 7-8:30 pm
Edna Maguire Elementary School
80 Lomita Drive, Mill Valley
Co-sponsored by the Reed Union School District PTA and It Takes a Village, Mill Valley
Nov 21 - Turkey Trot at 11:21am

Nov 29 - "Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age; Screening and Discussion"
Tuesday,  7:00-8:30 pm
Marin Country Day School
Sponsored by the MCDS but open to the RUSD Community (Parents Only)
Open to all, no registration required.

Save the Date: Friday, Dec 2nd - 
Winter Wonderland Dance - 7pm-9pm

PTA membershipplease click here
ChoiceLunchplease click here

Foundation Updates 

You can still order a 2016-2017 RUSD Directory and Smartphone App on-line for in class delivery. 
Go to to buy your RUSD Directory & Smartphone App. The Smartphone App is ready to download and you will receive an email with secure login information when you purchase the Directory App.
Grandparents/Special Friends Day at Reed and Bel Aire! 
Reed will host its Grandparents/Special Friends day on Monday, November 21st and Bel Aire will host its Grandparents/Special Friends day on Tuesday, November 22nd. Please ask your loved ones to RSVP to their invitation by November 16th with the name of each attendee and include your child's name and grade. Click here  for more information about this fun-filled event!
The Foundation's Pledge Day is November 17th. Support our efforts to raise $2 million! More than 1,500 students at our three schools count on The Foundation to ensure funding for teachers and programs in Art Education, PE, Music, Technology, Libraries, Spanish; a school psychologist, a Math TOSA, and more! Every Donation Counts - Help us reach our goal!