February 11, 2015
Dear Loma Parents/Guardians:
BIIG News! High Speed Internet Coming to Loma and CT!
I am pleased to announce that Loma Prieta School District was successful in our bid for Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grant (BIIG) funding to bring fiber optic Internet connection to our mountain schools. This fall, the opportunity arose to compete for a slice of $27 million dollars in funding for the so-called “Last Mile” of connectivity for rural schools. Loma Prieta and C.T. English will now be able to secure high-speed fiber optic connections to the Internet.
Tom Torlakson, California State Superintendent of Schools, said in awarding the grants, "The real world thrives on interconnectivity and so must our children's education in order to prepare them for college and careers. With the help of this grant, even children in the farthest reaches of the state will have a chance to connect to the world around them."
The grant funding capitalizes on both pooled purchasing power and a well-developed team of experts who will work with our district to implement the upgrades. Resources from the K12 High Speed Network, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), and the Education Superhighway Initiative are being coordinated to help our schools have access to 21st century Internet connectivity. Being transferred to dedicated fiber for point-to-point connection between the schools and the Santa Clara County Office will allow our schools to save money on T1 lines and increase bandwidth up to 1GB/sec. This shift will also decrease the impact for other mountain users on local Comcast lines.
The funding and technical resources come at time when our schools are striving to increase instructional technology in classrooms and readying for new on-line student assessments across California. “Getting all school sites connected is critical because the new online system provides teachers more resources to improve instruction, improves students’ test-taking experience, and ensures that results are available to teachers, parents, and students much sooner than ever before,” said State Board of Education President Dr. Michael Kirst. Teachers, staff and students are all anxious to benefit from this opportunity, which should be in place by this fall.
Corey Kidwell, Superintendent
More Big News
The Board of Trustees has established the District calendar for the 2015-16 school year, and you will see some differences between this year and next year. The Board, on my recommendation of what is best for our K-8 students, is piloting a calendar that does not exactly mirror that of the Los Gatos-Saratoga High School District. We are piloting a few differences that we believe will benefit our students. Please know that the Board will be taking feedback next fall on these shifts and may return to our previous calendaring system.
The first departure from recent practice is that our school beginning and ending dates will not be aligned with Los Gatos High School next year. The high school calendar has crept earlier and earlier into August based on the academic needs of high school students, and we have felt the impact of not having a “ramp up” into the school year particularly for our youngest students. Los Gatos and Saratoga High Schools will begin on August 17th. Our students will return on August 19th. Our Fall Root Beer Social traditions will remain the same on the Friday before school begins.
Our December, Winter, and Spring breaks remain aligned with the high schools’, but we are also adding two additional non-school days to the Thanksgiving break giving students a full week off. A major factor developing this recommendation is the uncharacteristically high level of absenteeism on those days, which has contributed to the inflation of our truancy. Several other neighboring school districts have implemented this shift with very good results. We will be interested in seeing if we have similar positive benefits. Please see the full District calendar posted on our district website: https://www.loma.k12.ca.us/Page/771
Our partners at Parenting Continuum are inviting families with teenagers to join in an upcoming parenting class. Parenting Continuum is a great resource. If you are interested in strategies for working with your teen, please see the attached flyer. Mrs. Carino’s Top Ten for Feb 11, 2015
Mrs. Carino’s Top Ten for February 11, 2015
1. A Kindergartener runs in a circle and watches her shadow keeping pace alongside her;
2. Getting to know the upcoming Kinders;
3. Seventh grade students show off good manners during a well-deserved pizza party. A room filled with yes, please and thank you topped off with clean tables and pushed in chairs reminded me once again of how cool our mountain middle school students really are;
4. Walking into Mrs. Lyon’s class and stepping back in time as students explain to me how they are working to spin thread from wool that they had carded earlier;
5. Teachers at Loma have begun to visit each other’s classrooms and are smiling at what they are learning from each other;
6. The “tree shed” spread across Summit road was decorative evidence of the most recent and welcome storm;
7. A sixth grade boy gingerly protects a box of yummy single serving brownies nestled in white cupcake holders destined for the Leadership Fundraiser;
8. A wonderful, resplendent and super entertaining play with a truly amazing cast of characters each playing their role so well that the pages of C.S. Lewis’ book came to life before my eyes and even the stage kiss was pull off masterfully. Great Job!
9. Thanks to our hardworking maintenance team, the generator was rewired ready to go if needed. I think that is why our power stayed on for the play during the stormy weekend;
10. The First Annual Loma Bowl today paralleled the great professional games of this past NFL season. The game was a wonderful rivalry, a back and forth battle of touchdowns right down to the tying touchdown that was scored, just as the lunch bell was ringing. Thus, there is a rematch tomorrow…to be continued. In my book, all participants, including the coach, the parent referees, the fans and above all the players are all champions;