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End-Of-Year Message from Superintendent Zinn

Dear Staff, Parents, and Community,


It seems impossible to believe that another school year has come to an end. I wish that I could thank each and every one of you personally for your support of our schools and our District. There is such a unique and special spirit in Lafayette that I truly treasure and never take for granted.


As we move into what I hope will be many long and luxurious days of summer, I wanted to share a few recent highlights and important information.


In the area of personnel, we have a number of transitions taking place. I am very proud of the talented educators we have in this District.

  • As we close the year, we say a fond goodbye to Wendy Patterson, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, and wish her well in retirement. We are very pleased to welcome Lafayette Elementary School Principal, Mary Maddux, who will assume this position beginning July 1st. We are currently conducting a nationwide search to find the perfect principal for Lafayette Elementary.
  • Burton Valley Assistant Principal, Mette Thallaug, will transition into her new role as Principal at Springhill Elementary School beginning July 1st.  We thank Pat Gargiulo, who has done an outstanding job as the Interim Principal at Springhill this school year.
  • We welcome Ann Kim, reading specialist at Happy Valley, into the position of Assistant Principal at Burton Valley.
  • We also say a fond goodbye to John Egnor, our Director of Student Services, who now has a new position in special education closer to his home. Pat Gargiulo will move into this position as Interim Director of Student Services.
  • We welcome two experienced teachers as literacy coaches, Judy Jernigan from Lafayette Elementary and Meredith Dolley from Burton Valley, as Bev Lathrope and Kathy Barber, our former coaches, return to the classroom. In the area of math, we are pleased that Stanley math teacher, Michelle Giles, will be coaching full time next year. In addition, Tina Skuce, teacher at Lafayette Elementary School, will assume the role as Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) coach so that she can work with and support our newest teachers.
  • We are also pleased to have Lisa Delapo transition from her role as technology coach to her new role as Interim Assistant Director of Technology.  

A Few Key Highlights from the Year

  • We continue to engage in an in-depth analysis of our Facilities Master Plan. Community engagement meetings to share information and receive input will be held in the fall. The Facilities Master Plan and corresponding FAQs are available on our District website.
  • A total of seventeen teachers and administrators have been selected to attend the Columbia Teachers College Reading and Writing Project week long institute in New York. Those who attended last year shared that this is the most powerful training they have ever received, so we are looking forward to the positive impact this will have. We extend our deepest appreciation to LPIE for their generous support.
  • We continue to partner with the City of Lafayette and the Lafayette Police Department to focus on traffic at all of our schools. This year the District added three morning and afternoon crossing guards in high need areas to help calm traffic and promote safer walking to and from schools. While we know there is much work to be done in this area, we are diligently working to make improvements.
  • We are also partnering with the Police Department to address bicycle safety. Officers will be visiting all campuses in the fall to share important information with our students.
  • We are very pleased to be transitioning to Extended-Day Kindergarten when the school year begins. If you have a transitional kindergarten (TK) or kindergarten student beginning in the fall, you should have received information in the mail about our ‘Gentle Beginnings’ schedule designed to support the unique needs of our youngest students. Additional details about Extended-Day Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten can be found on our website.
  • The middle school is also moving forward with the implementation of a Block Schedule. Teachers and administrators have worked extremely hard to configure a schedule that is optimal for student learning. Information about this schedule is posted on the Stanley Middle School website.
  • Students diligently completed their first official round of testing this past spring using the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Districts will not receive results until sometime in August. To date, we have very little information from the State about scoring or how information will arrive and be shared with you. We will continue to keep you apprised when information becomes available.
  • All teachers will be participating in three full days of summer collaboration time with grade level teams and/or departments to further their work with the Common Core Standards. Teachers continually share how much this focused collaboration time with colleagues helps them to deepen and further their work.  We extend our gratitude to LPIE for their support of this time.

Recent Honors and Recognitions

  • Congratulations to Juanita McSweeney, 5th grade teacher at Happy Valley Elementary, who is the Lafayette School District’s Teacher of the Year for the 2015-2016 school year. We are proud to recognized her as an outstanding teacher and leader in our District.
  • Congratulations to Bob Athayde, Stanley Middle School music teacher, who is a quarterfinalist in the selection for the Grammy Foundation Music Educator Award. This award is to recognize current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education.
  • Many congratulations to Stanley Middle School! They officially received their Gold Ribbon School Award during a special ceremony in San Francisco last month.
  • Congratulations to Burton Valley Elementary whose focus on diverting waste at their school led to an honor from the County and the City of Lafayette for being the first school to achieve a diversion rate of 76%. Stanley Middle School Assistant Principal, Brian Mangold, also received an award from the City of Lafayette for his efforts in this area.
  • The Global Outreach Club (GRO) at Stanley was honored by a special visit from the National Director of the Peace Corps for their generous donation to ‘Let Girls Learn’, an important Peace Corps sponsored project. As part of this recognition, these students were also treated to a video from First Lady, Michelle Obama, personally giving them sincere thanks for their efforts and their donation.
  • Many congratulations to our 8th grade students who are about to begin another chapter in their lives. We wish them success and good fortune in the years ahead.

To those families whose students are returning to our District, we look forward to seeing you again when school begins on Tuesday, August 25th.  Summer mailers with detailed information about registration will be mailed during the first week of August.


May your summer be filled with much rest and joy.


Very respectfully,


Rachel Zinn, Superintendent