• December 3, 2014

     

    Dear Loma Parents/Guardians:

     

    North Campus Renovation Update – Please join us!

    General meeting on Wednesday, December 10th begins at 7:00 pm

     

    For the past year, our Board of Trustees has revisited the discussion about the condition of our buildings on the North Campus (opposite side of Summit Road). District facilities on that side of the road suffered in the years after the Loma Prieta Quake and have fallen into various states of disrepair causing both erosion in the quality of the physical assets and safety concerns. 

     

    Our Board of Trustees is actively engaged in developing a strategy to address the long-term facilities needs on both sides of our property. By focusing on improvements to the under utilized portion of the campus, we are planning to alleviate pressures on the “school side” of the road. Please join us next Wednesday evening, December 10th, at 7:00 pm in the Community Center to hear how plans are coming along and learn how both space and safety issues may be addressed.

     

    For those of you interested in the topic but who have not been regularly attending Board meetings, an overview is provided here.

     

    The topic of what to do with the facilities across the street has been an ongoing conversation that has come in waves over the last two decades often accompanying periods of growing enrollment and relative organizational stability.

     

    Several important fiscal milestones have been accomplished in the district during the last two years:

    ·         

     The passage of Measure H closed the structural deficit that plagued our capacity to offer core academic programs.

    ·          

    We refinanced our bond debt to reduce that burden on taxpayers.

    ·          

    We paid off (even a little early) the construction loan that allowed for the completion of the CT English Middle School.

     

    Our construction debts are paid. Our core academic programs are secured. Our District is now in the strongest financial position in many years. 

     

    At the same time, we are acutely aware of the fact that our schools are out of classroom space as our enrollment continues to grow.  We no longer have any classrooms in either school that are not used during the school day. For the first time in many years, we are now routinely saying “no” to school and community users who would like to access school facilities during the school day. The pressures on facilities are predicted to grow as enrollment increases. Additionally, our schools serve as hubs for the community to gather. Some days it feels as though every inch of space is used from early in the morning to late in the day with many facility requests being denied due to lack of space.

     

    The Board has considered adding portable buildings to the Loma campus. These temporary structures can alleviate needs for the short term but are of quickly diminishing value after the significant financial investment of installation. Beyond helping with a single need for classroom space, a temporary solution does nothing to preserve the permanent assets now wasting away on the North Campus or the safety and security concerns created by some of our structures.

     

    We have two usable buildings on the far end of the property that were slated years ago to house Kids and Co., but funding for needed repairs always fell short. We also have buildings across the street that have been waiting decades for removal of toxic materials. Also, our electrical service on that side of Summit road is outdated and in need of an upgrade. 

     

    There have been studies and plans developed through the years, but the financing of rebuilding the schools after the Loma Prieta Quake consumed the construction focus. Securing basic resources for core academics during the cycle of declining enrollment and the subsequent economic collapse impacting California took the remaining focus of strong, steady governance. Both those long-term endeavors are now complete so the Board has taken up the discussions of our need for additional space on the school side of the property and the continual decline of the facilities on the North Campus.

     

    After months of consideration and discussion of needs, opportunities, timing, plans, and financing options for the renovation of the North Campus, the Board is nearing important decision points. We hope that members of the school and broader communities will continue to be part of the discussion and planning efforts to secure safe, clean, and educationally appropriate facilities for years to come. Please plan to attend the upcoming Board Meeting on December 10th, and follow this project into the New Year. See you in the Community Center room by the gym at 7:00 pm.

     

    A Crazy Time of Year

    There are so many events happening on the mountain and in our surrounding communities in December, I have decided to provide a list of the ones I know about.  If I’ve missed your favorites, please don’t hesitate to send me information to include in next week’s update.  Stay safe and don’t forget to enjoy the holidays.

     

    Local December Events:

    December 5:

    42nd Annual Town Tree Lighting Ceremony, 5-7pm, Town Plaza Park, Los Gatos

     

    December. 6:

    Loma Prieta Holiday Craft Faire, 10-5pm Loma Prieta Gym/Community Center

    Loma Day at Peacock Tree Farm, 8-4:30pm, 17950 Mountain Charlie Rd.

    3rd Annual Interfaith Christmas Concert and Sing-A-Long, 7pm, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 23185 Summit Rd.

    58th Annual Los Gatos Children’s Christmas/Holidays Parade, 11am, Downtown Los Gatos

    Santa Cruz Holiday Parade, 10-12pm, Downtown Santa Cruz

    Capitola Village Holiday Open House and Tree Lighting Ceremony, 5:30pm, Capitola Village

    Scotts Valley Tree Lighting Festival, 2-7pm, 360 Kings Village Rd.

     

    December 7:

    Loma Prieta Holiday Craft Faire, 10-5pm Loma Prieta Gym/Community Center

    Merry Mountain Christmas: A Holiday Open House, 11-4pm, Presentation Center, 19480 Bear Creek Rd.

     

    December 13:

    Hanukah Lights Up The Night- An Evening of Fun and Philanthropy for All ages: One Million Light Foundation Distributing Solar Lights Worldwide, 7-9pm, Congregation Beth David, 19700 Prospect Rd. Saratoga

     

    December 14:

    Hanukah Snowstorm, 12-4pm, APJCC 14855 Oka Rd. Los Gatos

     

    December 15:

    Saratoga Community Band-Free Concert, 7:30-8:30pm, McAfee Theatre Saratoga High School

     

    December 18:

    Fratello Marionettes: “The Frog Prince”, 4pm, Los Gatos Library

     

    Rebecca’s Top Ten Favorites Week 14
    1. A second grader informed me that she does not call her teacher Mrs. Riccomini. She calls her “Mrs. Ricconicey”;
    2. The aroma of simmering soup and baking cookies wafting throughout the school as students participated in Thanksgiving rituals;
    3. High fives from enthusiastic kinders as they “trained” for the jog-a-thon by taking turns around the makeshift indoor track in the forum.  Thanks Coach Patino;
    4. A new resident inhabiting the front garden can be heard calling out in a croaky voice; 
    5. Civilized middle school students eating their lunch against the walls of the gym on a very rainy day;
    6. Mrs. D, the kinder yard duty, looking dapper in a luscious red raincoat; 
    7. A mixed collection of crows, blackbirds and juncos (I think) cheerfully cooing in harmony as they drank from separate puddles (“birds of a feather flock together”) on the Loma black top.   A beautiful sight and sound;
    8. Parents getting the hang of the Rainy Day Pick-Up routine both the drive-up parents and those who come indoors, entering from the left of the Loma stage then crossing in front of the stage to collect their children, and then exiting out through the library.  Thanks parents for your thoughtful cooperation;
    9. Students and teachers alike moving in stride, not missing a beat, in the midst of an early morning power outage.  Brilliant!  Mountain folks rock;
    10. Some Serious Rain! 

     

    Loma Home and School Club News

    SAVE THE DATE: Valerie Lewis and Hicklebee’s Book Fair, Thursday, December 11th 7pm Loma Community Center.

     

    Loma Home and School Club News

    The Loma Home and School Club is proud to present Valerie Lewis, Loma Grandparent, and co-owner of Hicklebee's Children's Books as our speaker for a magical evening of books for children.  Valerie is a lively speaker, and will talk about her favorite new books of the season.  Hicklebee's will have many of their wonderful books available that evening for purchase, with a portion of the sales coming back to Loma Prieta.  Invite your friends and we hope to see you there.  **If you are unable to attend in the evening - come by anytime after 12pm on Thursday to purchase books!**

     

    HOLIDAY GIFT CARDS FOR SALE!  Are you stumped for holiday gifts?  Why not give Gift Cards and earn $$ for Loma!  Here's how it works:

    1.  Go to http://www.lomaprietahsc.org/Documents/ScripOrderForm_Dec2014.pdf

    To download an order form;

    2.  Drop off your order form with your check made out to Loma HSC in the Loma Office;

    3.  We will also have Amazon, Target, Safeway, Starbucks and iTunes gift cards on hand throughout December so you can buy direct;

    4.  Email Nora Kim at norakimd@gmail.com for any questions.