March 7, 2018
Dear Loma Families:
Thoughts from Tuesday Night
There have been many conversations initiated since the latest school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. As a school community, we join those across the nation who mourn the loss of life in this tragic incident. As I wrote previously, we remain committed to our top priority – your children’s safety. With this in mind, and with some trepidation, I want to address questions regarding procedures in place should any of our students choose to participate in the “walkout” planned on March 14th in solidarity with the Parkland, Florida survivors. I admit that this is a first for our school district, and finding a balance between honoring students’ rights and keeping our commitment to providing a safe and appropriate learning environment for all students when emotions run high is challenging. We must have a process that fulfills our obligations to student safety, maintenance of instructional programing, and support respectful differences of opinion that we can use consistently regardless of topic. The Santa Clara County Superintendents have all shared legal and experience driven guidance with our peers. The Santa Clara County Office of Education and the State Department of Education have all offered counsel as well.
We welcome the student voices in these difficult conversations. Increasing student voice is an important educational goal in the Loma Prieta District. Our youth are getting information and powerful images from a variety of sources. I believe this is critically important for young people to be in conversation on these topics with their parents as well as their peers. Having the support of parents to help digest the complexities of the surge in school violence is important for managing stress, navigating the political dialogue, and building solid family plans for different types of emergency situations. We encourage parents to talk with their children about meaningful ways to engage in civic dialogue and respectful discussion of emotional topics. If your child needs extra support, we can offer time with Stacy Blasi, our wonderful school counselor.
With regard to the walkout planned for March 14th at 10:00 am for 17 minutes, we ask for your help to encourage your kids to stay in class. We hope that you will talk to your children and encourage them to stay on campus and with their teachers. Our shared goal is to provide young people with opportunities for expression in a safe manner that respects the school environment and all perspectives. Students, of course, have a right to free speech and may choose to engage in the walkout. Students do not have the right to disrupt the learning of others. Acts of civil disobedience are, by their very nature, meant to break the rules. We would hope that students who choose to walk out do so after a conversation with you about the meaning of their actions. We hope that students understand the consequences of the choice rather than “follow their friends”. Students who choose to walk out will be provided with a space to gather in quiet solidarity. Their absence from class will be considered “unexcused” and dealt with as a “class cut”. Missed work or assignments will be dealt with per the syllabus for each instructor. Please know that teachers do not enjoy the same freedom of speech rights during the school day and are expected to remain in class delivering the scheduled content. As a school district, we cannot promote or endorse civil disobedience, nor can we discourage participation. It is our job to maintain an effective learning environment for all students. We plan to teach and hope your kids will be in class.
Loma Home and School Club News
2018 Family Science Day: Please mark your calendars. This year we will have our annual Family Science day on Saturday April 28th from 12pm-4pm in the Loma Forum.
We have some awesome exhibits to delight and inform parents and kids of all ages but would love to see what our wonderful mountain community members can offer.
We are looking for exhibits, displays and other things science related that are age appropriate for our K-5th grade school.
Please contact Ricardo @ firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to submit a project to be enjoyed by the community.
Movie Night: Please join us at the Loma Amphitheater on Friday March 16th for Movie Night. The movie will start at dusk, snacks will be sold to benefit Home and School Club events. (The event will be moved indoors if it is raining.)
2018 Jog-A-Thon sponsors: We are looking for sponsors for the our 31st annual Jog-A-Thon, please see attached letter for details.
The African Library Project
You will soon notice the arrival of boxes in the school lobby. They are to collect children’s books to send to Africa. We are very excited, as this will be the 12th library that will be sent from the Santa Cruz Mountains. Each library consists of 1,000 books so it requires everyone to look through their much-loved, very good condition books for K- 8th graders and bring to school the ones they no longer need. We know children love their books, but it is a wonderful feeling to know that a child will read their books who may never have read a book before. We have sent libraries to Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa and Sierra Leone. Can your child find these countries on a map? All the details about the project can be found at www.africanlibraryproject.org and I encourage you to play the slide show to see the impact of the libraries and the faces of the children as they lovingly handle the books when they arrive. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We always need volunteers. Bring on the books!!
Loma’s Upcoming Events
3/8 2nd grade field trip to Seacliff Beach (8:30-2)
3/8-3/9 3rd grade Star Gazing Party (5p-8a)
3/9 SoW assembly 8:30a
3/11 Daylight Saving Time – spring ahead one hour
3/13-3/15 Optional Parent/Teacher Conferences / Minimum Day, dismissal at 12:30 for Loma students only
3/16 SoW assembly 8:30