August 31, 2016
Thoughts from Tuesday Night
Dear Loma/CT Parents and Guardians:
It was a year ago tonight that the Community Center and Gym complex burned. I have thought about the anniversary of the fire quite a bit here in the early days of this school year. It’s given me the opportunity to reflect on the beginning of this year compared to last. The early days of the last school year were quite typical, exciting, full of anticipation. One set of miscalculation by teenage brains changed so much. Last year was defined in many ways by “the fire.” What I have been most impressed with over the course of the last 365 days is what was unscathed by the flames. Our nerves were frayed. Our days made longer and more complex at times. Many, many routines were disrupted – some even for the better. But, at the core of our mission to educate the students of Loma Prieta, the hearts of the teachers and staff never faltered. Our team was tested. I am proud to say we passed!
There could have been lots of complaining on the part of teachers, parents, and kids. There could have been much more anger and frustration which might have turned inward on the classroom experiences at both schools. But true to the spirit of Loma Prieta, individuals got busy problem solving while keeping in mind our gratitude to the firefighters and the community. I can still see the flames vividly in my memory. From the turn on Miller Cut-Off where I could first see our school ablaze across the landscape, to my drive up the entryway to view the fully engulfed structure filling the sky, those images will be with me for a long time. I remember standing with Tom Levenhagen and Kris Denues watching the silhouette of firefighters on the roof. I remember the puzzle of trying to understand what the fiery rain dripping inside the dance room was – melting curtains and ceiling materials we guessed. I watched, amazed, at the intense, billowing smoke pouring down towards Summit Woods. I imagine some of you were looking back up at us. Collectively we breathed a sigh of grateful relief that the fire was contained and our mountain saved by the professionalism on display that night.
The process of removing the burned structure and repairing the gym was frustratingly slow. But part of what I realized in the last weeks of summer as the teardown was complete and the foundation truly revealed, was just how incredibly strong the building was. It’s no wonder it withstood the quake of 1989. That foundation was built to last. The demolition contractors kept bringing in larger and larger equipment and bigger and bigger claws, hammers, rams, and more, to dismantle the base. Portions of the footings will likely never be moved. That’s what you want in a school building. The engineers, who were aware of growing seismic activity of that era, clearly did an incredible job making sure that the Community Center would withstand powerful shaking. The Bay Area was brought to its knees in the Loma Prieta Quake, but the Loma Prieta Community Center and Gymnasium stood its ground.
That’s how I feel about our schools when we face uncertain times and upon which we reflect in quieter times. Our structures are sound, strong, resilient, and built to last. We have a team of educators and support staff who are undeterred in their mission to bring your children a world-class education despite our challenges. We aren’t the biggest schools. We are under resourced for our goals. There is always more to do! But today, we stand together at the beginning of another school year looking forward, tested by time and nature, and knowing with great confidence that, “We’ve got this!” We have great schools, great people, great families and great kids. We are so fortunate to have each other – no matter what. Thanks for helping all of us make this school year the best one yet.
Loma Back to School Night Tonight!!!Loma families are invited tonight at 6:30. We begin in the amphitheater off the Forum. Back to School nights are a great way to find ways to be involved in your child's educational process. Please plan to arrive early. Parking will be at a premium. Your partnership with your kids' teachers makes a great year even better! See you here!
School Site Council News
School Site Council is a team of parents, teachers and staff that working across both schools to strengthen and support academic achievement and student success. The group
meets once a month to work towards annual goals. Last year, our goals included integrating data from Project Cornerstone into the schools and ongoing support for Common Core adoption. We were also thrilled to host a popular talk by Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of “How To Raise an Adult”.
This year, we will be working on ways to cultivate our school climate, foster academic achievement and support parent education opportunities. This committee is a great opportunity for parents to have an influence on curriculum and school climate, and to develop relationships with other parents, teachers and staff.
If you would like to attend, or have any questions about the School Site Council, please contact:
Hello fellow Loma families!This year Project Cornerstone is back with high hopes, big ideas, and we’d love to include you!
For those who aren’t familiar with Project Cornerstone it helps to build student’s skills in creating friendships, good decision making, taking care of their physical and emotional health, dealing with bullying behavior, and conflict resolution.
By developing these assets we create an inclusive, safe, and positive school environment which research has shown increases student achievement and learning engagement. We also increase the number of caring adults in our student’s lives, which helps them feel supported and valued.
At it’s core this is accomplished by trained volunteers who read and work with students in their classroom each month. This year Project Cornerstone will continue their lessons in the classroom, but is also looking to expand its presence into the hallways, onto the playground, and even into our homes and community.
Here are some of the ways you can help:
Read and work in your child’s classroom (Time commitment: ~3 hours/month)
Become a “Fun Visor”. Come when you can during the lunch time hour and help organize a positive activity: chess, board games, knitting, scrap booking, assemble a jump rope tournament, set up a basketball game, etc. (Time commitment: flexible number of noon time hours)
Help us organize. This year we’d like to start filming our short trainings to make them more accessible to Loma staff, volunteers, and families. We’d love help creating a YouTube channel and finding other ways to make our materials available over more mediums. (Time commitment: flexible, could be done at home)
Artistic? Help create some attractive posters for classrooms or other areas that can serve as a reminder for students (and adults!) of how we should be treating each other and what kind of attitudes we want to foster at our school. (Time commitment: flexible, could be done at home)
You can learn more about Project Cornerstone at http://www.projectcornerstone.org/html/missionhistory.html
If you are interested in joining our team or have more questions about Project Cornerstone please contact either of our Project Cornerstone leaders: Erin Asheghian at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ed Dee at Ed@eddee.net.
Loma After School Art Classes Postponed
Unfortunately the Lori Rose art classes on Tuesday and Thursday have been postponed until further notice. We are currently working to bring after school enrichment classes back to Loma. Stay tuned for updates on these. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Thank you for understanding,
Kids Club After School on Wednesdays
Our community partner, Mountain Bible Church, is again offering free after school programming. Formerly held in the Loma Prieta Community Center room, Kids Club will meet again this year at Mountain Bible Church. This is a non-denominational program and is not sponsored by the Loma Prieta School District. We provide this information in the spirit of community. Please see the attached registration form. Please contact Pastor John Haak for more information: MountainBible@gmail.com
Friday’s Hot Lunch – Taste Nutrition
Friday’s Hot Lunch at Loma provided by Taste Nutrition will start Friday, September 9th. In order for your child to receive hot lunch that Friday, you must order by Wednesday 7th. See attached flyer for information on how to order.
Loma’s Upcoming Events
9/2 Spirit day – wear your class color
9/5 Labor Day – NO SCHOOL
9/9 SOW Assembly 8:30a
9/14 Regular Board Meeting 7pm
9/16 Banana Slug Assembly