The days are getting longer, but I’m not sure that’s the reason we are able to pack more teaching and learning into each school day. I want to take this opportunity to clarify some important information as well as share some of the initiatives taking place throughout the district:
- With the passage of Proposition 30, educators across the State are now feeling cautiously optimistic. While there are not new revenues flowing into our district this school year, we did not have to endure a mid-year cut of $1.5 million. For the first time in five years, we are expecting a cost of living adjustment in 2013-14: a 1.6% increase!
- For the first time in many years, the Lafayette School District has a balanced budget. This isdue to a number of factors, strong fiscal management, including cost-cutting measures, local funding from LPIE and our parent organizations, and our community-supported parcel tax that represents over 15% of funding for Lafayette schools.
- We continue to work to implement the District’s 5-Year Strategic Plan, developed with parent, teacher and community input, and approved by the Board in 2012. As part of that work, the Board will identify priority action steps that will allow us to plan for short-term and long-term investments in programs and positions to help realize District Goals and Strategic Priorities and improve the quality of education for all students.
The Board Study Session scheduled for Saturday, January 26 has been cancelled to allow for more community input and data analysis. This matter will be taken up at our regularly scheduled Board meeting on February 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the Stanley Library.
- Be sure to offer much-deserved congratulations to Stanley teachers Bob Athayde and Loretta McNulty who were named California Music Educator Association honorees for jazz music and string educator, respectively.
- The teachers in the Lafayette School District are joining teacher in 48 states across the nation in the implementation of Common Core Standards, adopted by the State in 2010. These standards are designed to be more developmentally appropriate for students and to shift instruction so that there is a focus on critical concepts taught deeply and with rigor. The Lafayette School District has built a strong foundation for the implementation of the Common Core that is rooted in meaningful research-based practices. For a taste of what is happening in our classrooms, please be sure to attend one of our Math Parent Education Nights to be held from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Stanley Library on the following dates:
- For parents of 4thand 5thgrade students: January 29th
- For parents of Kindergarten and 1stgrade students: February 6th
- For parents of Middle School students: April 18th
- We have invested significant time and resources to improve student safety in our schools:
- We have entered into a partnership with the Contra Costa County Child Abuse Prevention Council to provide age-appropriate instruction to our students in child abuse prevention, sexual harassment prevention and bullying prevention.
- In collaboration with the Lafayette Police Department, we are refining our emergency drills and, with the support of our parent organizations, we are replenishing our emergency supplies at all school sites.
- We have purchased new locks for classroom doors throughout the District that enable teachers to lock their classrooms from inside their rooms without having to exit the classroom and use their keys to lock the doors.
- We have endured a wave of Norovirus. We will continue to exercise best cleaning practices, and we urge your children to wash their hands frequently and stay home when they are ill.
We are now more than halfway through the school year. I want to thank you for your ongoing support and involvement in our schools. Please stay involved, informed and healthy!
Fred Brill, Ed.D.