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Latest Board Update from the desk of Superintendent Jonathan P Raymond

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Teaching and Learning

Priority School Professional Development: Staffs of the six Superintendent’s Priority Schools gathered at the Serna Center this week for training with Rochelle Herring-Peniston, president of Transformation By Design. Faculty learned the use of Data Wise inquiry protocols, which assist in analyzing student work, and learned how to identify learning goals and teacher learning needs. The sessions used the teachings of Harvard researchers such as Kathryn Boudette, Richard Elmore and Brent Stephens as well as the work of Nancy Love, Linda Darling-Hammond and Walter Doyle.

Every Day Counts: Charlotte Chadwick, principal at John Bidwell School, is throwing down the gauntlet —on October 7, her school had nearly 100 percent attendance for both staff and students. All staff members were present and only three students out of 381 were absent, which equated to 99.993 percent. Almost exactly the same occurred on October 13, she notes, with the exception of one staff illness. Chadwick’s announcement kicks off a competition – can any school achieve 100 percent attendance this year?

CORE Launch: Superintendent Raymond was in Los Angeles on Monday for the launch of CORE (California Office to Reform Education), a nonprofit organization founded by the seven superintendents (including Superintendent Raymond) who authored California’s Race to the Top application. The group’s intention is to leverage the collective energy of these seven districts – which together serve more than a million students – to continue moving forward with reforms developed for RTTT despite the federal government’s denial of California’s bid. CORE aims to engage public school communities at the grassroots level in changes that will improve teaching and learning. Those change initiatives include implementation of the Common Core State Standards in math and English (which were approved by the state Board of Education in August); development of formative student assessments aligned to the new standards; and developing tools and processes to better serve teachers and principals.

Standards Discussed: Cesar Chavez Intermediate School’s fourth- and sixth-grade teachers held a “Standards Night” for parents last week in which they shared the results of the first benchmark tests in English and math and explained the purpose of real-time learning assessment and discussed learning expectations for students.

Cougars Hit the Right Note: The John F. Kennedy High School Marching Band competed in the Oakmont High School Invitational Marching Band Tournament and came in second place within their class. Individual student Chris Chin won first place in the Drum Major category.

LEED-ing the Way: Fifty businesses/organizations from throughout the area participated in “Career GPS,” a LEED (Linking Education and Economic Development)-sponsored event held Thursday at Luther Burbank High School and attended by Rosa Parks Middle School students. The event featured interactive exhibits by regional employers and a talk-show format panel presentation with industry experts.


Grant Money Received: SCUSD’s Planning and Construction department received word last week that the State Allocation Board approved the district’s joint-use grant application of $572,374 for the Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library at the School of Engineering and Sciences. The project is funded by Proposition 55.


Community Engagement

Community Meeting/Back-to-School Night at Hiram Johnson: Hiram Johnson High School held a community meeting on Thursday night prior to the school’s Back-to-School night. At the meeting, district staff presented an overview of plans to engage the school community in developing a shared vision for the school. A few parents in attendance expressed concerns about the changes at the school and the meeting format. The Back-to-School Night, which followed the community meeting, was very well attended by parents and staff.

Healthy Competition: Students from Pacific Elementary and Maple Elementary met on the soccer field on October 8, where they “kicked” up a lot of school spirit. The event (pictured below) was a joint effort between Pacific and Pacific Enrichment Program (PEP), the campus after-school program.

Safety Meeting: Maple Elementary School held a Community Meeting with staff from the district’s Safe Schools Office and representatives of the Sacramento Police Department on Wednesday, October 13. Community and parents learned how to be the eyes and ears of the neighborhood, the importance of reporting unusual activity and information on gang prevention. The officer in attendance also addressed issues of traffic around the school.

‘Target’-ing Literacy: Parkway Elementary School won a $2,000 grant from Target stores for an Early Literacy Program for grades K-3.

Upcoming Events

C.K. McClatchy Homecoming Saturday, October 16 – 10 a.m.

The school’s 74th annual homecoming parade, themed “Party at the Pyramids,” begins at 10 a.m. in the CKM parking lot, 3066 Freeport Blvd. From there, the floats, marching band and “royalty” cars head south as they wind through the Land Park neighborhood. The homecoming football games against the Hiram Johnson High School follow: JV at 11 a.m. and varsity at 1 p.m.

Author Dave Eggers at JFK Wednesday, October 20 – 1 p.m.

Dave Eggers, Pulitzer Prize finalist for his memoir “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” will speak with 450 John F. Kennedy High School students about his latest book, “Zeitoun,” a Los Angeles Times Book Award winner. Eggers’ appearance is sponsored by One Book Sacramento, a Sacramento Public Library program.

Health Fair Thursday, October 21 – 5 p.m.

Families will get free dental and vision screenings and other medical services and get an opportunity to sign up for health insurance or connect with health care providers. City of Sacramento Parks and Recreation will be providing entertainment. The fair is jointly sponsored by the City of Sacramento, Kaiser Medical Foundation and The Effort, a mental health and social services organization. The fair will be held at McClatchy.

Make a Difference Day Saturday, October 23 – 8:30 a.m.

Volunteer construction crews will be digging post holes, shoveling dirt and stacking cement blocks to create a brand new school garden at Bret Harte Elementary in Curtis Park, on Saturday – national Make a Difference Day. The work day will be organized like an old-fashioned barn-raising: Volunteers who participate will then take their newfound knowledge of garden installation to Luther Burbank High School, where they will rehabilitate a school garden there. The garden installation is a joint effort of several partners, including Bret Harte teachers and PTA, the Healthy Food Task Force, Sacramento Area Community Garden Coalition, Sierra Health and AmeriCorps.

Fall Graduation Tuesday, October 26 – 6 p.m.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell will be at the district’s annual Fall Graduation ceremony for students who completed all the requirements to earn a diploma last summer. Forty-nine students from throughout the district have been invited to attend with their families. The event will be held at the Charles A. Jones Skills Center, 5451 Lemon Hill Ave.

Hate Crimes Forum Thursday, October 28 – 3:30 p.m.

The 2nd Annual “Youth Against the Hate” forum, sponsored by SCUSD, Asian Resources and YouthRISE, will be held from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at McClatchy. The afternoon program will include a keynote address by Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, workshops for teens and their parents and spoken word poetry by members of Sacramento Youth Speaks.

Ethel I. Baker Library Makeover Friday, October 29 – 1 p.m.

More than 150 volunteers will put finishing touches on a new school library at Ethel I. Baker Elementary School before an official ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:45 p.m. The library makeover – one of 32 nationwide – is being made possible by Target and The Heart of America Foundation. The new library will have thousands of new books, new furniture, paint, carpet and technology. Additionally each student and their siblings will receive seven new books to take home to their personal library.

SCUSD Web Site http://www.scusd.edu/Pages/default.aspx

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