New teachers, new paint, new budget, new standards. There is a lot going on in the Walnut Creek School District this year. Superintendent Patricia Wool relays it all in a letter to parents.
Dear Walnut Creek School District Community,
Welcome to the 2013-14 school year! It is amazing how quickly the summer months fly by. We are excited about the opening of schools on Wednesday, August 28, and are busily putting the final touches on the classrooms and schools. Let me brief you on summer happenings.
Most of you received a mailed packet and email with your InfoSnap information and have completed online registration by now. WCI TRI-S is over, and Monday will be Welcome Back Days at most elementary schools.
NEW TEACHER COACHES
Congratulations to Alison Gomez who will join the strong elementary coach team of Stacy Freeman and Joy Inouye. And, Walnut Creek Intermediate School welcomes Shawna Matilla and Megan Lingo as new instructional coaches. Given our upcoming work on common core standards, we are delighted to have these coaches on board.
CURRICULUM: Common Core Standards
We plan to focus on a partial implementation of Common Core Standards this year: informational text, text dependent questions and text complexity. We plan to offer three parent meetings to help parents learn about the new common core standards and how these standards differ from the previous California standards.
On September 18 we will hold a common core standards meeting in the Parkmead Multipurpose Room for parents at Indian Valley, Parkmead and Walnut Heights. The meeting will be at 7:00 p.m.
On September 25 we will hold another meeting at Buena Vista for parents at Buena Vista and Murwood. The meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. in the BV Multipurpose Room.
Finally on October 23, we will hold a common core standards meeting at WCI in the gym at 7:00 p.m. for middle school parents. We hope that you will be able to attend one of these informative meetings.
We anticipate opening the district at approximately 3500 students. Grades l and 2 will be staffed at approximately 20:1. Grades K and 3 will be staffed at 25:1; grades 4 and 5 at 28:1. The middle school core classes will be approximately 30:1. Elementary principals will meet with me on Friday, August 30, to review numbers in each grade level and further balance classes. Thank you for bearing with us. The tight budget of the past years has necessitated being very careful with enrollment. We moved a few students to different schools due to high enrollment. We apologize for these moves; we know that they are unsettling.
We are fully staffed as of today. We have hired seventeen new teachers to round out the teaching staff. All new teachers started work on Friday, August 23. The full teaching staff will start on Monday, August 26.
Stuart House, Director of Construction and Maintenance, oversaw work at all of our schools this summer. Two elementary schools received one new portable each: Indian Valley and Buena Vista. There was outside painting done at all schools and the District Office. Roofing work was accomplished at Walnut Heights. For safety, we are installing public address outdoor speakers at sites. Many smaller projects were accomplished as well.
The Board approved the 2013-14 budget in June. Soon after, the legislature passed the Governor's new funding model. School districts will receive funds, not under a Revenue Limit system as in the past, but under a Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). For Walnut Creek School District, this means that we will receive approximately $30 more per pupil; however, we still are not back to the funding level of 2007 before the recession started.
We are looking forward to seeing our students on Wednesday, August 28. The rooms are spic and span, thanks to our wonderful custodial and maintenance staffs, and the teaching staff eagerly awaits our Walnut Creek children.
Looking forward to the 2013-14 year.
Sincerely,Patricia Wool, Ed.D.Superintendent
Walnut Creek School District