About this site

I was a Governing Board Member of the San Carlos School District, elected November 2007 and again in November 2011. This site was originally used for the purpose of communicating with school district constituents, however now it is used for surfacing ideas and expressing opinions on various subjects in education, politics, business, or otherwise.

Please note that any opinion express here is purely personal and does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of anyone else or any organization with which I am, or have been, associated.

I will not accept anonymous comments, and all persons who post comments must have a valid e-mail address. Note that I reserve the right to edit, reject, or delete posts based on spelling, grammar, readability, or my judgment of what is appropriate discourse.

 

August 2013
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The Big Buzz

Welcome back to school! Students arrive on campus on Wednesday, but teachers and other staff have been busy working for a while, many throughout the summer. The district has stepped up its emphasis on professional development, and there were more programs, internal conferences, and other PD opportunities for all staff than there have been in recent history. There is an excitement and “buzz” around the school district that I haven’t seen before, and I have had a number of staff members stop me personally and tell me how excited they are about the District’s new Strategic Plan, the upcoming plans on facilities (including the building of our new 4th-5th grade schools), and the associated professional development that has gone on this summer and is planned for the year. One teacher told me this past week it was the best she’d ever seen in her many years of service in this district! Obviously there is a lot to work on with teams developing actions plans to implement our 21st Century Education Vision as well as prepare for the coming Common Core Standards. The latter will not be an easy transition (including for parents) as we implement the new (and better) curriculum and assessments as prescribed by Common Core (officially beginning next school year, unless delayed by the state). It will change everything from daily curriculum to standardized test scores.

The other big news for this year was the passage of the Local Control Funding Formula. LCFF removes many of the “categorical” funding sources for schools and directs greater funding to districts with greater needs (in terms of more English language learners and students in poverty). This makes complete sense and is a good first step, but the state did not significantly increase overall education funding. So for districts such as San Carlos, our financial situation is still very tight with only a modest increase over last year (and still well below where funding was when I started on the board). So, we will continue to have to find creative solutions particularly as we implement some of the new ideas in our strategic plan.

I encourage you all to read my Spring end-of-year wrap-up, as those issues will continue to be our focus. I am already impressed by the pace of new implementation plans that are emerging from all school sites, so I suspect everyone will notice these changes throughout the year. Also, as I posted previously, this year in a school board election year (although not for me). I encourage everyone to read up on the issues and the candidates and to vote! See you around campus!

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