From the Superintendent
Greetings for the month of June,
The nice weather over the Memorial Day weekend, combined with the increased energy in our schools serve as reminders that the end of the school year is upon us. I want to thank the community for supporting our students, staff and the schools during a challenging, yet successful school year.
The Board of Education and I want to send our best wishes to our 1,885 seniors who will be graduating next week as these young men and women leave childhood behind. In many ways commencement is as close as we have to a ‘rite of passage’ in our society. We also send special congratulations to the first ever graduating class of Dougherty Valley High School. While every graduating class is special and important there is only one "first graduating class' of a high school!
As I have done in years past, several district administrators are joining me in conducting exit interviews with seniors who are picked at random. Based on the interviews to-date we can feel confident that the class of 2010 is well prepared for the opportunities and the challenges of a rapidly changing world. A special "thank you" goes to the teachers and staff members and to the parents who have shared their wisdom and life lessons to prepare the graduates for this moment.
To quickly summarize this past school year is difficult to do. On one hand we were consumed by the budget crisis and all the ramifications of this continuing crisis. But on the other hand, the school district and the schools continued to deliver the very best in education, as reflected by exceptional test results, incredible success in academic and athletic competitions, and an expanded infusion of technology into teaching and learning as we continue to examine what it means to be truly prepared for living and working in the 21st Century. Despite the financial meltdown, the children of this community have been well served by a dedicated and talented professional staff.
As for the budget crisis, we continue to struggle financially as the outlook continues to be grim for public education in California. To be fair, the only way we were able to maintain educational programs and keep class sizes from becoming even larger than they will be, is because all of our employees have agreed to salary concessions for next year. It is important that parents and the community not lose sight of this reality.
Finally, I would be remiss not to thank parents and community for your ongoing support for our schools and district. There is not a day that goes by that we are not mindful of the generous contributions of time, effort and money that are given to our schools and to the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation. During this time of financial stress these contributions are needed more than ever. Please know that we do not take them for granted.
I wish you all a safe and fun filled summer. We are looking forward to another successful school year ahead.
Superintendent of Schools
Board Moves Forward with Solar Initiative at Six Schools
The San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education unanimously approved a contract with SunPower Corp. to install high efficiency solar power systems totaling more than 3 megawatts at six schools in the district. The purchase of the systems will be financed using low interest Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCBs) available as a result of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The solar power generated by the systems is expected to offset an average of 80 percent of the electricity costs at each school, achieving an estimated savings of more than $2 million for the district in the first year.
“Our Board studied this carefully and was very thoughtful in its decision to bring a solar initiative into our district and to select SunPower as the provider,” said District Superintendent Steve Enoch. "We are confident that we are getting the most value over the minimum expected 25-year lifetime of these systems. We truly believe that we can maximize savings through these systems, while at the same time modeling thoughtful stewardship of our environment for our students and the community by producing clean, renewable solar power at our schools."
The six schools include:
California High School
Dougherty Valley High School
Monte Vista High School
San Ramon Valley High School
Diablo Vista Middle School
Gale Ranch Middle School
SunPower will be installing solar carport tracking systems that provide shade as well as generate solar electric power. The panels will be mounted on the trackers, which will follow the sun throughout the day, increasing sunlight capture over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements. The solar panels will be manufactured at SunPower’s new panel manufacturing facility in Milpitas, California. Construction completion is expected by Fall 2011.
SunPower will also be partnering with the district to provide lesson plans on energy, and use the systems as educational tools to help students understand solar power. SunPower has more than 550 solar power systems in operation or under contract globally. In the last year in California, educational customers have included the Los Angeles Unified School District, University of California, Merced, and Mendocino College.
New 2010-11 Calendar Includes "Budget Cut" Days
Based on negotiated agreements with the district's bargaining groups to support the district's budget for the 2010-11 school year, there will be a reduction of salaries for four (4) fewer work days (or other equivalent savings) for all employees, allowing the district to preserve most jobs and maintain most programs and services, while limiting the class size increases. This means that the students will be in school for 178 days next year rather than 180.
Click here for the revised 2010-11 Instructional Calendar.
The new calendar includes the following modifications for the 2010-2011 school year:
First "Budget-Cut (Employee Furlough) Day: September 3, 2010 (School Instructional Day): This Friday is linked to the Labor Day holiday weekend. This particular Friday typically has lower student and staff attendance. Utilizing this as a budget-cut day will help prevent loss of funding from poor attendance. There will be no school on Friday, September 3.
Second Budget-Cut Day: November 5, 2010 (elementary schools) and January 24, 2011 (secondary schools) (Staff Development Day): These are currently scheduled as non-student days for the schools identified above.
Third Budget-Cut Day: February 18, 2011 (School Instructional Day): This Friday is added to the currently scheduled President's Day holiday weekend and will provide a 4-day weekend. This Friday typically has lower student and staff attendance and using this as a budget day will help prevent loss of funding from poor attendance. There will be no school on Friday, February 18.
Fourth Budget-Cut Day: March 21, 2011 (Staff Development Day): This is the last Staff Development Day of the year. This is a non-student day.
In addition, top management (superintendents and district directors) have volunteered to take additional furlough days without pay.
San Ramon Valley Schools Improve Again on State API Rankings
San Ramon Valley schools once again showed significant improvement in the Academic Performance Index Base Report according to data released Thursday by the California Department of Education, with all scores averaging well above the state target.
The overall 2009 API base score for the district was 913, up from 901 the previous year. The state goal for all schools is 800 on the API.
All four comprehensive high schools within the San Ramon Valley Unified School District rank in the top 2% of all 2024 high schools within California listed with a 2009 Base API. All eight middle schools in the district rank in the top 5% of all 1,349 middle schools in the state with a 2009 Base API. Of the nine “subgroups” listed within the API results, SRVUSD ranks in the top 10 of all unified school districts in the state in eight of the categories. For both the “Special Education” and “English Learners” subgroups, SRVUSD has the second highest API score of all unified districts in California.
“The strong performance of our subgroups is especially gratifying,” said Superintendent Steven Enoch. “While student performance across the entire district is quite impressive, our students and staff are also doing an amazing job of narrowing the achievement gap among ethnic subgroups and students with disabilities.”
One hundred percent of the district’s comprehensive schools exceeded the state’s target of 800 API, with the vast majority of the schools scoring over 900. 31 of 34 schools in the district saw improvements in their scores over the 2008 Base API, with Country Club and Sycamore Valley showing the greatest improvements at the elementary level – 31 points over the previous year. Pine Valley saw the greatest gains at the middle school level (16 points), and each of the district’s high schools and alternative schools improved by more than 10 points. Del Amigo High School showed the greatest improvement of any school in the district - 77 points.
California also ranks schools in comparison to 100 schools with similar demographics. Schools are given a rank of 1 to 10, with a 5 representing the average of the schools with similar characteristics. 22 schools received a similar schools rank of at least 8, with Six (6) SRVUSD schools receiving a similar schools rank of 10 (Montair, Quail Run, Sycamore Valley and Vista Grande Elementary; Iron Horse and Windemere Ranch Middle).
For more information or to view school and district API results, go to: www.cde.ca.gov
Board Appoints New Principals
The San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education announced the selection of Janet Terranova as the new principal of Monte Vista High School in Danville. Terranova has spent the last two years as principal at Venture Independent Study School in San Ramon. She began teaching in the district in 1987, and spent four years as president of the San Ramon Valley Education Association (SRVEA) before entering administration as assistant principal at California High School in San Ramon.
“Monte Vista has an incredible history, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to build on its amazing success story,” said Terranova. “The staff, students and community there are what give this school such a great reputation.”
Terranova has been in education for more than 25 years as a teacher and school administrator. She holds teaching credentials and a Masters degree from the University of San Diego, and an administrative credential from California State University, Hayward.
In the same meeting, the Board of Education approved the appointment of Matt Hermann to succeed Terranova at Venture. Hermann has been principal at Montair Elementary School in Danville since 2000. He spent several years as an administrative intern and teacher on special assignment in the district, and was an English teacher at San Ramon Valley High School for ten years. Hermann as been an educator for 27 years.
“I am excited about the vision of Venture and what it represents,” said Hermann. “It fills a unique need in our community with an extremely dedicated and thoughtful group of staff members who are focused on the needs of students. These are the same things that I have appreciated about Montair and am sad to leave such a caring environment.”
Terranova and Hermann will both start their new positions in July.
“These are two people who have already proven themselves as excellent administrators and strong leaders in our district,” said Superintendent Steven Enoch. “I am confident that the staff and students at Monte Vista will continue to thrive under Janet’s leadership. As for Venture School, I believe that Matt’s core beliefs and leadership style make him the perfect fit for this school.”
SRVUSD Recent Educator Awards
Congratulations to these exceptional individuals! Please join us in applauding the honors and achievements of several SRVUSD educators.
Rotary, International clubs recognize outstanding teachers in our district every year. Named Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the Alamo Rotary for 2009-10 are:
Kenon Willis, San Ramon Valley High School math teacher and coach
Kathy Saca, Monte Vista High School Special Ed Resource teacher
Irma Volenec, librarian at Stone Valley Middle School
Susan Gray, Alamo Elementary School Reading Specialist
BJ Byrd, Rancho Romero Elementary physical education teacher
Paul Foucart, Principal at Creekside Elementary, is the Rotary Club of Danville/Sycamore Valley’s Outstanding Administrator of the Year
Patrice Norris, 4th grade teacher at Golden View Elementary, is the San Ramon Rotary Teacher of the Year. Ms. Norris was also nominated by her entire class and named Teacher of the Month by KKIQ Radio 101.7.
The following teachers were named Outstanding Educators for 2009-10 by Prudential Realty:
Jill Razzano, 6th grade core teacher at Charlotte Wood Middle School
Kathleen McCabe, 7th grade core teacher at Charlotte Wood Middle School
Leanne Cusack, Montair Elementary teacher, 3rd/4th grade level
Janice Forster, Vista Grande Elementary 1st grade teacher
Lynn Fernandez, Spanish teacher at Monte Vista High, has been selected as a Summer Scholar by the Nat’l. Endowment of the Humanities from a national applicant pool to attend the “Mesoamerican Cultures and Histories” four-week summer institute in Oaxaca, Mexico.
ACSA (American Council of School Administrators) recently had their 2010 awards ceremony, honoring the following individuals from our district:
Lydia Schneider, Coordinator for the Beginning Teacher Support & Assessment (BTSA) program, Teacher of the Year; and three ACSA Administrator of the Year awards:
Robert Scott, Principal at Sycamore Valley Elementary
John Walker, Assistant Principal at San Ramon Valley High School
Roberta Silverstein, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources (recently retired)
David Matley, Speech and Debate teacher at Monte Vista High School, received the coveted Fourth Diamond distinction by the National Forensic League, bestowed on educators whose students have earned more than one hundred thousand points in debate and contest speaking competitions.
Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Honor Society for women educators named four 1st or 2nd year teachers in the BTSA program winners of the Penne Ferrell Fund Award, which helps to finance books for a classroom library. SRVUSD represented one of the two top award-winning districts in the state! Congratulations to these new teachers:
Rachael Byron, English teacher at Dougherty Valley High School
Monina Salazar, 3rd grade teacher at Coyote Creek Elementary
Andrea Walsh, 2nd grade teacher at Creekside Elementary
Kristyn Wenzel, science teacher at Alamo Elementary (3rd to 5th grade)
John Korzick, engineering and robotics teacher at California High School is the 2010 Teacher of the Year for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. John was recently named one of the five finalists for Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year, which will be announced in the fall.
Get Ready For The Second Annual HERO Essay Competition
“HERO – Here Everyone Reaches Out.” – promotes the understanding of the importance of adults modeling positive, responsible behavior for young people. Last year three Seniors in the Class of 2010 were awarded scholarships for their winning essays describing the adult who made a difference in their academic and personal achievements.
The competition is open to all high school seniors in the SRVUSD who submit an essay for review to the HERO committee. The essays are due by November1, 2010, and the awards will be presented at the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Dinner in December. Do not miss this opportunity to recognize and thank a teacher, coach, parent, or mentor who has made a difference in your life!
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for the competition rules in the Fall 2010 SRVUSD Newsletter.