February 2010

 

 

 

From the Superintendent

Dear Parents and Community Members, Like so many other school districts, we too are facing a very critical financial crisis. The Governor has proposed a budget which is grounded in questionable assumptions and fuzzy analysis. While the Governor claimed to be protecting education, he is instead using an old “divide and rule” approach to divert attention away from the reality of a $1.6 billion cut to K-12 public education, which is on top of more than $17 billion in reductions to K-12 education over the last two years. As for our own district his proposal reduces funding $6.1 million for the 2010-11 school year.  

While reduction in funding from the State is not new to our district, the difference now is that we are spending down our reserves and Federal stimulus money and these funds will soon be gone. Because of a March 15th deadline for potential layoffs notices for certificated staff we face an intense timeline for decision making. 

Some immediate dates for consideration: 

  • February 1-8: Bargaining with our employee organizations scheduled 
  • February 2: School Board workshop   9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. , Education Center 
  • February 9: School Board meeting- 7:00 p.m., Location TBD  

What can you do right now? First, I encourage all of you to read the attached Q&A carefully. It is important that everyone be as knowledgeable as possible about our situation. Secondly, I encourage you to stay involved and supportive of the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation and the Ed Fund foundations at your child’s school as local support will be more critical than ever. Finally, you might want to call our local state legislators and ask what they are doing right now to keep public education viable in California. To be fair, they are only a small part of a much larger economic and political picture, but both of our local legislators campaigned in  large part as strong proponents of public education, and yet we now hear very little from them as we face this catastrophic situation.

They can be contacted as follows: 

  • Senator Mark DeSaulnier Capitol Office (916) 651-4007 / District Office (925) 942-6082 
  • Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (916) 319-2015 / District office: (925) 328-1515

    Every aspect of this budget situation is counter to what I believe is needed to serve students in the manner they deserve. I personally and professionally find this situation very upsetting as I believe we are risking the future of California because of the long-term damage to public education.  Please know that the Board of Education will do all they can to protect the programs that serve our students and to keep our valued teachers and others staff members employed as they serve the children of the community. We are also committed to keeping parents, staff and other community members fully informed as we work through these difficult decisions. 

    Thank you for your consideration, 

    Steven Enoch Superintendent of Schools

District High Schools Among Best in the Nation

US News & World Report releases “America’s Best High Schools”

Danville – US News & World Report recently released its annual “America’s Best High Schools” report, and the three eligible high schools in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District all received “Silver” status.

In the analysis of over 21,000 public high schools, California High School, Monte Vista High School and San Ramon Valley High School, were all awarded Silver status, placing them in the top 560 schools* in the nation. Dougherty Valley High School, the district’s newest comprehensive high school, has not had a graduating class and therefore was ineligible).

The 2010 report, posted December 2009 (primarily data from the 2007-08 school year) is based on results from a study in collaboration with “School Evaluation Services,” a K-12 education and data research and analysis firm. Top schools are placed into gold, silver, bronze or honorable mention categories (approx. 1,800 awards given).

The report is based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all its students well, not just those who are college bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of indicators.The first steps looked at state-wide results of student academic performance (primarily in reading and math), and also if the school’s disadvantaged students were faring better than the state average for similar students. The final step measured which schools produced the best college-level achievement for the highest percentages of their students.

For more information, visit: http://www.usnews.com/listings/directories/high-schools/index_html/

Status on Potential District Solar Project

SRVUSD recently appointed an advisory committee to continue to examine the school district's proposal of installing Solar Panel Shade Structures at various school site parking lots as part of the district being allocated $25 million in low interest "Qualified School Construction Bonds" (as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act).

The committee will make recommendations to the Superintendent on how to proceed with the proposal. The Superintendent will bring these recommendations to the Board of Education before the district decides whether or not go forward with the project. These steps will occur during the month of February 2010.

Click here for more information.

Read with SRVEF!!!

The San Ramon Valley Education Foundation proudly hosts our first ever Read-A-Thon. Our mission is to support Education while raising funds in our community in partnership with the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.

Read with SRVEF!!! is designed for our children to improve their reading skills by reading more frequently, trying different types of books, and having a blast in the process! Reading is fundamental in education and by increasing their enthusiasm to read, they will become more engaged in the learning process, thus increasing their performance in other areas of education as well.

Read with SRVEF!!! will kick off in February and will end after Read Across America Day on March 2nd. Pledge forms will be handed out to the students at their campus libraries on or before February 1, 2010 so that they may begin gaining sponsors. Goals will be based on total minutes read. Teachers will be encouraged to have specified reading times during the program, and also promote reading during off school hours. They may have separate contests within their classrooms to get the students rallied.

 

20% of the proceeds will go directly back to school libraries participating in Read with SRVEF.

Prizes for Top Pledges and Performers:

  • $1,000 library prize for Top 3 Performing Schools (# of minutes). The prize money must be redeemed at read. Booksellers in Blackhawk Plaza.
  • The Top 3 Schools (pledge money) will win an amazing pizza party and a $100 gift card from .read Booksellers.
  • Top Performing Class (# of minutes) at each school will get a Yogurt Party donated from Yogurtland in the Shops at Bishop Ranch.
  • Each pledge card turned in is eligible for a raffle prize from Rakestraw Books.
  • Individual prizes will be awarded for pledge money collected. See the amazing prize document.

For more information, visit www.srvef.org

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Presents SCIENCE ON SATURDAY

Starting January 30th

Students, teachers and parents are invited to attend Science on Saturday (SOS).  SOS is a five-week series of science talks with demonstrations highlighting cutting edge science at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).  The talks are offered FREE OF CHARGE. The program runs January 30 through February 27.

LOCATION: The Bankhead Theater, 2400 First Street, Livermore.
 
TIME: Two presentations on each Saturday: 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.

SEATING IS FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED: No pre-registration. Seating is limited. Come early to ensure a seat. 


PROGRAM FLIER:  Print the program flier in color or black and white from
http://education.llnl.gov/sos.

STUDENT NOTES WORKSHEET
:  Students receive a worksheet to record the details of the talk. The worksheet is hand stamped at the end of the session.

TEACHERS:  Receive a FREE copy of the Power Point slides and a DVD of the video recording of the talk by mail.  Be sure to complete a mailing label. 

JANUARY 30:     Fighting Super Bugs: Overcoming Antibiotic Resistance
FEBRUARY 6:     Distant Worlds: Making Images of Other Solar Systems

FEBRUARY 13:   Put It Back When You Are Done: Storing Carbon Dioxide in the Earth Not the Atmosphere
FEBRUARY 20:   Understanding Climate Change:  Seeing the Carbon Through the Trees
FEBRUARY 27:   Harnessing Fusion Energy:  The Power Of Light

CONTACT: Richard Farnsworth, Manager, Science Education Program (SEP) e-mail: farnsworth1@llnl.gov.

WEB SITE: Details about the program are available in January 2010 at http://education.llnl.gov/sos/

 

 

 

Important Dates

  • June 7-10: Final Exam Week
  • June 8: Board of Education Meeting, 7PM, SRVUSD Education Center
  • June 10: Last Day of School (Minimum Day)
  • June 11: High School Graduation/Teacher Work Day
  • June 18: First Day of Summer School (check district website)
  • June 29: Board of Education Meeting, 7PM, SRVUSD Education Center
  • August 23: First Day of School for 2010-11
  • For more information, visit www.srvusd.net