• March 8, 2017


    Dear Loma and CT Parents and Guardians:

    KEEP Our Schools Strong!

    Many of you know that I was raised in a journalism family.  Stories have been important to me in learning life lessons.  Last night, I was thinking about a memory of hearing the story of “Henny Penny and Chicken Little” when I was about four.  I remember exactly where I was on our back porch in Colorado when my dad explained the lesson of not yelling, “The sky is falling!” when it is not.  I take great caution in asking for parent donations to not overstate the need.  Today, I am asking for full participation in the KEEP Campaign. This year’s annual fundraising drive is essential to keep the sky from cracking.  Like our roads, the KEEP Campaign supports our educational infrastructure.  We are all living with what happens when infrastructure cannot be maintained.


    As I outlined a few weeks ago, the fiscal outlook for California schools is changing going into the 2017-18 school year.  We don’t get much from the state in good years.  This coming year, we are anticipating significant reductions in the already meager amounts we receive per student.  From a high of $530/ADA in 2015-16, to half that this year, we anticipate a drop to $48/ADA next year.  This represents a drop from $253,494 in 15-16 to $22,700 in 17-18.


    The news actually gets worse.  Typically, costs go up every year, but there are now new extraordinary costs being passed on to schools by the legislature at a time when our minimal state support is dropping to new lows.  Employer contributions to “statutory costs” (unemployment insurance, disability, pension costs, etc.) are rising quickly and are expected to rise to $.30 on the dollar.  These are mandated costs with no associated funding to support them.  These must be funded with local revenue. 


    It’s difficult for me to see so much of what we have worked to sustain and build during my time as Superintendent be placed at risk.  Without KEEP funding, cuts to essential programs will be made – absolutely.  The flexibility we have in our budget comes from KEEP and LPEF supported programs like libraries, technology support for innovative teachers, important “extra-curricular” offerings in music, art, PE, and support for students across a wide array of needs.  Below, and attached, is a message from LPEF kicking off the drive to KEEP our schools strong.  We will need you, all of you, to do what you can to help us sustain our great schools.  Thank you!


    Celebrating Loma Academics!

    Please join us for the Trimester 2 Academic Awards Assembly next Wednesday, March 15th at 8:30 am in the Loma Forum.  We will be honoring strong readers, writers, scientists and mathematicians.  Please join us as we celebrate our students’ many successes!


    Parent/Teacher Conferences and Minimum Days

    Next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (3/14-3/16) are Optional Parent/Teacher Conferences and Minimum Days for Loma Only. If you would like a conference, reach out to your child’s teacher as soon as possible. Please plan to pack an extra-large snack for those days since there is NO LUNCH break. CT English will be on a regular week schedule.


    LPEF KEEP! Campaign Announcement

    To Loma Prieta and CT English Parents and Guardians:


    It is with great pleasure that we, the Loma Public Education Fund, announce our KEEP! (Keep Excellent Education Programs) priorities and goals for the 2017-18 school year.


    Our goal is to raise $100,000, ambitious but very much in line with past KEEP! Campaigns. We simply can't get there without the widespread participation and generosity of our school parents and guardians. It is your contributions that make the education offered at our two schools well rounded, inclusive and comprehensive. As we have done in past years, we are embarking on this campaign in the final fiscal quarter of our fundraising calendar, which runs from July 1st through to June 30. All monies raised during that period are used for the following school year.


    The KEEP! direct-donation campaign delivers 100% of all funds raised directly to education and student-support programs at our two schools. Last year, KEEP! proceeds constituted approximately one-third of the annual total of $375,000 raised to fund these efforts. LPEF continues the work from its original charter: funding enhanced and diverse educational opportunities for our children. In consultation with administration and parents (conducted via polling) we have established the following funding priorities for the 2017-18 school year:


    Tier 1

    Developmental PE @ Loma

    Library Services @ CT

    Library Services @ Loma


    Tier 2

    K-8 Student Support Services and Counseling

    Core Flexibility and Elective Options for 8th Grade*


    Tier 3

    Music – K-5

    Core Flexibility and Elective Options for 6th and 7th Grade*


    Tier 4

    Technology Instruction: Educational Technology Specialist**

    Inclusive Enrichment for Grades 4-8***

    Art in Action


    You may have noticed that these priorities look similar to those of the 2015-16 school year. That is because they are the same. These programs and initiatives have proven themselves to be important components in our children's academic education and social development. We hope that you will contribute a KEEP! donation. Our suggested donation is $800 for one child and $1,200 for two or more, but any donation amount is greatly appreciated and will help our community reach the goal. Please visit our website at www.lpef.org/keep for donation information or complete a donation form from our website or in the school offices. These donations are also eligible for matching contributions from many corporations. Please check with your company if they can match. A receipt will be sent to you within a few days of receiving your donation.


    As always, if you have any questions or comments, please reach out to me at president@lpef.org, or another LPEF Volunteer Governing Board member.


    Thank you,


    Ben Abeln


    Loma Public Education Fund


    *Elective options could include Music, Leadership, Foreign Language, Advanced Math, Yearbook, etc.


    **Educational Technology Specialists work in elementary, middle and secondary public schools. These technology specialists help teachers and school administrations integrate and implement various technology-based learning tools for the instruction of students. They play a key role in identifying the best educational technology for all types of classroom applications, including the needs of special education students. They assist school administrations in identifying and correcting problems and deficiencies within their current technology-based programs.


    ***Inclusive Enrichment for Grades 4-8 - Coordinated activities such as performing arts, speech and

    debate, writing anthologies, math and science STEM or STEAM, Brainology, and more.


    Loma’s Upcoming Events

    3/10                 SoW assembly 8:30a

    3/10-3/11         James and the Giant Peach Production 7p

    3/12                 James and the Giant Peach Production 1p / Daylight Saving Time

    3/14-3/16         Optional Parent/Teacher Conferences / Minimum Days 12:30 dismissal - Loma Only

    3/15                 T2 Academic Awards Assembly 8:30a

    3/22                 5th Grade Field Trip

    3/23                 2nd Grade Field Trip