January 2010

From the Superintendent

January 4, 2010

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. -Oprah Winfrey  

 

Dear Parents,

 

Happy New Year! Whether you stayed home or traveled great distances over the holidays, I hope the time with the children home from school was all that you wanted it to be and that you feel good about the year ahead. I know as I think about 2010 I am very aware that the school district is preparing for both the opportunities and the challenges of a new year. 

 

Experience teaches us that every year does indeed bring us both opportunities and challenges. I am hopeful that our discussions can be more about the opportunities that come with being in such a fine school district, as clearly this is the right place to challenge ourselves and our students to be truly prepared for a changing world. One clear message that came out of the recent forums was that the San Ramon Valley USD is the perfect place to explore the “next level," which was extremely encouraging to hear. We are a district that takes pride in its accomplishments, but does not rest on its laurels as we face the demands of educating students for a successful global existence. As we begin 2010, I do hope we can all take a moment to appreciate the many positive elements of living in the San Ramon Valley, which I believe includes having such a fine school district to serve the students.

 

Now with that said, I must tell you that I spent some time over the break thinking about the continuing financial crisis the State faces and the impact this will have on the school district. I won’t hide the fact that it is ironic to be having great conversations about educating kids in the 21st Century while struggling with the reality that our school district, along with just about every other school district in the state, is approaching a financial cliff that is scary in size to say the least. While we have exciting ideas about reforming education, it is extremely disappointing that funding for public education places us in a position of struggling to preserve even the most basic of services our students deserve.

 

As I thought about this continuing crisis over the break, I concluded that we are best served by dealing with it straight up and not delaying action on the hope of some miracle happening down the road. My recommendation is that we grapple with the hard decisions in the month of January and early February, as these decisions will most likely impact jobs and salaries, programs, and quite possibly services for our students.

 

Unlike so many school districts up and down the state, we have managed to avoid the worst of the class size increases, program cuts, employee layoffs, and furlough days. We have done so by intentionally living off one-time money (reserves and stimulus funds), but this of course is not a long-term solution. This is not a time for blaming others or denying this situation, but rather for honest conversation and problem solving. My goal is to communicate directly with our employees and community and to work closely with the school board and with the leadership of our unions to chart a course of action that is thoughtful and realistic.

 

What I do know is that we have exceptional people, engaged employee organizations, a thoughtful and caring School Board and a community that cares about its schools. This reality does not make the crisis disappear, but it does give reason to be hopeful that we can navigate through these troubled waters in a manner that best protects the mission of our work.

 

I’m sorry to bring such a cautious message as we enter this new year. I know that financial concerns are not new for public education in California, but this economic downturn has seriously impacted the State of California and obviously all public services, including public education. We will work hard together and communicate openly as we thoughtfully consider all options during this challenging period of time.

 

Thank you for your consideration and thank you for your continuing support of our schools and our district.

  

Sincerely,

  

Steven Enoch

Superintendent of Schools 

San Ramon Valley Unified School District

 

Caution regarding posting and distributing videos/photos of students

SRVUSD supports the use of video and still photography by families to record their children's experiences in school events. However, in order to protect the privacy of their children and the children of other families, videos and photos should not be placed on internet sites in an unrestricted manner. For example, videos posted on "YouTube" should be flagged as "private" instead of "public." "Private" videos can be shared with specific family members and friends and will not be available to all YouTube users. Other photo and video sharing sites have similar privacy settings. Thank you for your understanding. 

 

Kindergarten registration begins January 11th.

Kindergarten enrollment for the 2010-11 school year will be held from January 11 through February 19, 2010.  Please refer to the district website for more information, and to access the enrollment forms needed to enroll at your school of residence.  Please contact Educational Services at 925-552-2914 if you have any questions regarding enrollment. 

 

Foundation announces first-ever Read-a-thon!

 

Get ready to read!

 

 

The San Ramon Valley Education Foundation will sponsor its first ever read-a-thon called Read with SRVEF throughout the month of February. Look for pledge forms and reading logs at your school libraries. Earn amazing prizes for reading, books for your library, and cash for the schools!

 

 

For more information, or to become a sponsor of Read with SRVEF contact Cristene Burr at Cristene@srvef.org

 

 

 

 

Attention all elementary school artists!

Street Smarts Poster Contest 

The 6th Annual Street Smarts Storybook Poster Contest presented by Sunset Development Company is here!  Elementary school children from throughout the San Ramon Valley are encouraged to draw illustrations for Street Smarts’ third traffic safety storybook, “The Giant’s Party” by local author Dana Mentink.  In the story, Jack climbs the beanstalk up to the giant’s castle and receives instructions to deliver party invitations to other storybook characters.  Jack learns about bicycle, scooter, skateboard, and rollerblade safety along the way.The winning illustrations will be featured in the final ten-page storybook and will be distributed to thousands of children in the San Ramon Valley at libraries and community centers. 

The ten winners will get their own treasure: a Flip Video Camcorder and art kit.  The winning artwork and final storybook will be unveiled at the Storybook Poster Contest Awards Ceremony on March 11, 2010 at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center.

Students in grades K-5 of all artistic abilities are encouraged to participate.  The contest ends February 8, 2010.  Entry forms and contest information can be picked up at your elementary school's front office, the Danville Community Center, Oak Hill Park Community Center, Danville Library, San Ramon Library and Dougherty Station Library.  For more information about the contest, please visit www.streetsmarts-srv.com or contact Nat Rojanasathira, Street Smarts Program Coordinator at 925-314-3382.

$8,000 grant to help fund "Classroom 2.0" Project

Professional Development Gift Awarded by LLNS

The Lawrence Livermore National Security Community Gift Program 2009 has awarded $8,000 for Teacher Professional Development for the district’s Classroom 2.0 Project. The Classroom 2.0 Project’s goal is to embed a cadre of demonstration 21st Century Teaching and Learning Classrooms in the SRVUSD upon which others will want to expand or emulate.

“The San Ramon Valley USD is deeply committed to preparing our students for a changing world. This contribution is sincerely appreciated, as is our ongoing relationship with the Lawrence Livermore Lab.” stated Superintendent of Schools, Steven Enoch.

The LLNS gift will enable the project teachers to participate in a variety of trainings and workshops over the next year to enhance their knowledge and skills in using current technology tools and resources with our digital youths. The SRVUSD is one of 21 community organizations or institutions that received a LLNS award for 2009. More information about the LLNS awards may be found at http://www.llnsllc.com/communityGiving/gifts.asp .

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