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Superintendent's Message

Lafayette School District

“Our students are creative thinkers and problem-solvers and are prepared to become responsible, ethical and productive citizens.”

 

Dear Lafayette Families and Community Members,

 

I am not sure how August arrived so quickly! It does not seem possible that the 2017-2018 school year is almost upon us. I hope you have had much rest and relaxation and are enjoying the last few days of a wonderful summer vacation.

As we move into the 2017-2018 school year, please note the following important information:

  • August Summer Mailer ~ In preparation for the first day of school on Monday, August 21st, your summer mailer packet should have arrived last week. Included in this mailer is important information from your child’s school principal, our District, Lafayette Partners in Education (LPIE), and your school’s Parent Organization. If you did not receive your packet, please contact the office manager at your school.
  • Online Registration ~ In your mailer you will also find instructions to access the district-wide online registration portal, RegHub.org. It is important that you review and update all information for your child. The Aeries.net Portal provides you an efficient way to update this information. In addition, the RegHub site also offers a convenient way to support LPIE and our Parent Organizations.
  • Support for Lafayette Partners in Education (LPIE) ~ An extremely important part of our District’s overall education funding comes from your donations to LPIE. I strongly encourage you to donate to both LPIE and your Parent Organization. This combined donation is absolutely critical to helping our District provide a wide range of important learning experiences for your child at every grade level. Even if you can’t give the entire amount, donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. Please read more about how your donation supports our District in the Annual Giving Campaign brochure included in your Summer Mailer.
  • TK and Kindergarten Schedules ~ If you have an incoming Transitional Kindergarten (TK) or Kindergarten student, you should have received information about the ‘Gentle Beginnings’ and Extended-Day TK/Kindergarten time schedules. Please contact the office at your school if you did not receive this information.
  • California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) ~ The District has received the individual student CAASPP results (for students in grades 3-8) which will be mailed during the week of August 7th. These results include the English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics results. Students in grades five and eight were given the pilot of the new California Science Test but the results will not be included in the scores this year. If you have questions or concerns about the results, please contact your child’s school.
  • Governing Board Vacancy ~ This summer we said goodbye to Governing Board member, Mark Kindhouse, whose employment took him to Southern California. As a result of Mark’s resignation, the Governing Board will be making a provisional appointment to the board at a Special Board Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 16th at 4:00 p.m. Please note this time change from the originally publicized time of 6:00p.m. At this meeting, the Board will interview all eligible applicants and will vote to determine who will be appointed to this position. This meeting is open to the public and will be held in the Stanley Middle School Library.
  • Attendance Information ~ A large portion of funding districts receive from the State is based on a formula called Average Daily Attendance (ADA). If your child does not attend school for a full day (or more), our district loses the current rate of $54.00 per day. Last year, our District lost a total of $307,892 in revenues due to student absences. While we absolutely want children to stay home whenever they are ill, we do ask that you consider this revenue loss when you are planning any type of vacation or time away from school. Many thanks in advance for your support.
  • Measure C Bond Update ~ We have had a busy summer with much needed renovation and modernization at our schools. At Burton Valley, Springhill, Lafayette, and Stanley re-roofing took place and will be continuing up to the start of school. At Happy Valley, work was done to create a walkway for the kindergarten classrooms, and at Springhill, science and music classrooms are being refurbished and grading is being done for a shade structure on the upper playground.  None of this would have been possible without your support of Measure C. We are extremely grateful to each of you for your on-going commitment to our schools.
  • District Budget ~ As many of you know, funding from the State continues to be woefully inadequate and inconsistent. As we move into the new school year, we are again looking at a deficit of over half a million dollars. To that end, I am convening a small group of interested staff, parents, and community members who can be thinking partners with me to explore possible ways to enhance revenues, consider effective methods of communication, and discuss the needs and challenges our District faces. This Superintendent’s ‘Think Tank’ will be facilitated by me and is designed to be solely advisory in nature. If you are interested in participating, please contact my Executive Assistant, Sharon Carman, at scarman@lafsd.org so that she can provide you with an application. 
  • District Survey ~ Many thanks to those of you who completed our District Parent Survey last spring. Your thoughtful feedback is so appreciated. We are in the process of compiling the results. I look forward to sharing them with you soon.
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Reminder ~ As many of you are aware, there was an adult pedestrian fatality this summer on the corner of Mt. Diablo Blvd. and Moraga Rd.  This tragic event reminds us to be extremely vigilant, especially as school begins. We ask that you take a few minutes to visit the links below, review, and share this important information with your child before school begins. Bicycle Safety   Pedestrian Tips (Tips for drivers are also included.)
  • The Total Solar Eclipse ~ We are aware that this incredible phenomenon is happening on Monday, August 21st. Your school site will be sharing information with you about safety precautions and activities that are taking place. For a free eight page printout about the eclipse, please go to NSTA.org/solarscience.
  • Creating a Culture of Kindness and Respect ~ I know that the world is full of news about bullying incidents, school shootings, and harassment issues. Administrators at each of our schools and I have continued to talk this summer about ways to deepen our commitment around the Six Pillars of Character, particularly with regards to embracing diversity and fostering a culture of kindness and respect. The principal at your site and I will be sharing more ideas and thoughts with you as the year begins.
  • Thank you ~ I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our school and district staff for the incredible work they have been doing over the summer. Administrators have been preparing for the opening of the year; teachers have been immersed in collaborative planning with grade level teams; custodians, maintenance, and our grounds staff have been working tirelessly to insure that our facilities and grounds are spotless and ready for the new year; office managers and district office staff have been busy enrolling families, verifying residency, and supporting sites; our technology staff has been diligently installing equipment to be sure it is ready for students and staff. There is a special energy and level of dedication and professionalism in our District that is truly second to none.

As I close out this lengthier than planned letter, I continue to be so inspired by your commitment and support for all of the work that is taking place in our District. It is truly an honor to serve you as your Superintendent. Please know that your input is always valued and welcome. Feel free to contact me at: rzinn@lafsd.org.

 

Warm regards and best wishes for a wonderful year,

 

Rachel Zinn, Superintendent

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Superintendent's 2016-17 Messages

August 9, 2016 Welcome to the 2016-2017 School Year

November 2, 2016 Reflections and Updates

November 2016 Thanksgiving Message

December 2016 Holiday Message

January 2017 Measure C Update

February 16, ...more