October 28, 2015
Dear Loma and CT Parents:
Thoughts from Tuesday Night
It’s raining! A little. I will take it! I have never looked forward to rainy day lunch as much as I am this month. I remember being a sixth grade teacher when the long drought of the 80’s – 90’s ended. I clearly recall the moment when I realized that my students had never learned to quietly amuse themselves indoors on a rainy day. Until that moment, it had never occurred to me that “rainy day recess” was a learned skill. That year, my sixth graders learned to play silent ball sitting on top of their desks, team Pictionary, and to engineer fly traps to feed our spider ranch. They also learned to puddle jump in PE.
I tell you this because without a gym during an El Nino winter, your kids are likely to get wet. I remember wondering if the parents of my students would mind sending in a change of clothes and a garbage bag on PE days. I remember wondering how it would all work on the bus rides home. I also vividly remember my students’ glee to be invited to go out and play in the rain. We had a great winter!
And now, here I am again hoping for the end to a California drought nearly a generation later. I am hopeful that in our mountain schools we can embrace the joy of playing in the rain. I am optimistic that our connection to the earth can allow us to tolerate the mud. I am confident that our “mountain kids” will thrive rather than wither. How cool would it be to have so much fun in the rain that our fingertips got wrinkles?
Please plan for your kids to get wet and occasionally muddy at school. Please support your kids’ teachers when they plan an activity indoors which requires the skills of rainy day recess or outdoors which may require a change of shoes and a towel. We are raising mountain kids. Let’s have some fun and make some memories. With any luck our boots, umbrellas, raincoats, “knock around shoes” and garbage bags will get a workout.
Speaking of the gym…. We are continuing to inch forward with the Department of the State Architect (DSA). Our top priority is to restore functionality of the gym, but there are actually multiple simultaneous approvals being sought. We are submitting one for the gym restoration and the demolition of the burned area. We have another for the location of a “temporary school” using portables for the classrooms and offices that were lost. And finally, we will file plans for the rehabilitation of the community center and classrooms.
We have now received an additional report from the structural engineer that will allow us to proceed to the next step with the DSA. We also have received proposed delivery dates in November for the portable units. These include an art room, a music room, a general purpose PE room (we had hoped for a true multipurpose room but that is not going to happen), a commercial kitchen, a set of restrooms, and office and conference areas. The “rainy day” lunch scenarios for CT English are complex and not very fun for students or teachers, but I trust that we will find a creative way forward.
Tom Levenhagen, our Director of Facilities and Maintenance, reported to the Board this month that the current best estimate for restoration of the gym side is June 1st. There is a large section of the gym roof and all the beams closest to the fire that must be replaced. Staging large-scale roof repairs during an El Nino will be interesting. You will likely be seeing the “temporary school” arriving in the parking lot and between the gym and Kinder playground during November. For those of us who have been around for a while, it will again look as it did while the CT campus was being rebuilt.
I can’t thank you enough for your support and your patience as we work our way through the labyrinth of rules and regulations. We have been counseled by others who have gone before us that it is better to go slowly and gain as much advance approval as possible rather than hurry forward and then be told, “No!” The gym/community center complex was completed before the Loma Prieta earthquake. Many, many regulations have changed since then – especially for Districts named “Loma Prieta.”
We are proud of our name and our mountain roots. We claim our tenacity and resilience. It also goes with that same territory that we receive a high level of “focus” from those charged with approving structures built to house children along the San Andreas and atop a mountain known to weather 80+ mph winds. Would we want them to care less? Would we want lower standards? We want strong, safe buildings that will endure and keep future generations safe. Of course we want less bureaucracy, but never at the expense of safety. We will keep at it. Thank you for your on-going support.
ü This Friday, October 30th is a minimum day at both schools. All students will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m.
ü Though our school calendar follows the attendance calendar of Los Gatos High School in many ways, we will end our school year on different dates in 2016. Los Gatos High School ends their school year on Thursday, June 2nd while our last day is June 8, 2016.
It Was Quite a Bash!
The Boo Bash was great fun this year. The weather allowed the event to be held outside, which proved to be a perfect venue for kids and costumes. Special thanks to the Mark and Cristin Vaughan for sharing amazing new games, Josh and Caren Hespeler for providing the Haunted House and new prizes, Nora Kim for organizing volunteers, Loma parent and CT student volunteers, Sherry McNamara for heading up the Snack Shack, Dave Choice for leading the Dunk Tank, and Michele Shahroody and Jenn Riese for ticket sales.
Rainy Day Pick-up Info from Mrs. Carino
Rain is rumored to be “around the corner”. I am dressing as El Nino for Halloween in a gesture of support and appreciation.
I also want to take a moment to support a smooth rainy day pick-up process
First, a word of thanks to the parent team for making the difficult task of moving traffic and picking up students look artful. Most all of you in cars have been patient while generously working to follow instructions from staff and making an effort to find the “pick-up rhythm”. To the amazement of us all, this makes for a quick and painless pick-up process. A very small portion of drivers haven’t quite found the rhythm (yet), driving a bit too fast or stopping instead of rolling on… All I can say is we’ll be patient and lead by example. Staff will continue to gently remind when and where needed.
On a Rainy Day:
I encourage you all to keep dry in your cars and allow us send your students to you.
The Process: We will keep our two-line pick-up process in tact.
CT Parents picking up CT students only, please continue to use the designated CT lane next to the busses. Students will be waiting under the breezeway roof. When teachers see you, they will send out your student.
Loma Parents picking up Loma students, continue to use the same lane and process for pick up. Drive up to the curb, a staff member will ask you for your student’s names and call into a teacher in the Loma Forum to release your student(s) to you.
CT/Loma Parents picking up students from both schools, use the Loma line. Please direct CT siblings of Loma students to make their way to the Loma Forum. Inform the staff member at the curb you are picking up both a Loma student and a CT sibling. The students will be dismissed together from the Forum to meet you at the curb.
Best wishes. I will be looking for my top ten favorite rainy day sights.
Wild Times @ CTE
Early Release EVERY Wednesday @ 1:30 pm
10/30/15 Minimum Day both schools 12:30 dismissal
11/4/15 Picture Make-up day & all Pano photo’s
11/6/15 Report Cards hand carried home by students
11/11/15 No School-Veteran’s Day
11/11/15 Charlie Brown LIVE Auditions for 7th grade students going on the Yosemite Trip.
11/13/15 CT Turkey Trot @ Noon on Loma Field
11/16 through 11/20/15 Seventh Graders in Yosemite
11/16 & 11/17 Charlie Brown Auditions 5-8pm Loma Forum
11/18 &11/19 Charlie Brown Call Backs 5-8pm Loma Forum
11/18/15 CT HSC mtg. room 7, 8:30-10:00 am
1//23/15 Charlie Brown cast list posted.
11/23 through 11/27/15 NO SCHOOL- Nov. Break
All other items, which were scheduled, are TBD because of community center/gym bld.