Wednesday May 27, 2015
Dear Loma & CT Families,
At Loma today, a student asked me if I, “Was still in the land of the grown-ups.” As the end of the year gets closer, the schedule accelerates, and I spend less time with kids. Spending time with the kids is the fun part of any job in education. Tony Arias and I were talking about that today after school. He and Debbie Shoemate have done an outstanding job as teacher leaders this year. The organizational support teacher leaders provide is not the fun part of education, but it makes the fun part with kids more possible and more effective. It takes talented people who love their time with kids to also be willing to give their time to the schools as a whole. Mr. Arias and Mrs. Shoemate not only did great things for kids in their classes this year, but they also stepped up for the team and all of us appreciate the extra time and talents they bring to Loma Prieta schools. It takes a mountain, and we have a great one.
This school year ends my 10th year on the mountain and in our schools. It’s hard to describe how quickly all those years slipped by. As we get ready to congratulate another round of students moving on to the next academic adventure, I want to stop and thank the teachers, staff, and trustees who have seen us through the last decade. There are few families left in our schools that remember how hard it was in 2005, or '06, or '07 when morale was low and our schools struggled. We lost good teachers and worked hard to find our academic footing. From 2007 until now, we have retained great teachers and staff, and recruited more, despite our struggle to offer competitive salaries. We will always be challenged to compete for talent.
We are fortunate to be able to compete by offering advantages no one else has - mountain kids, mountain families, and mountain schools. We have something special here. It is worth protecting: worth fighting for. Just ask any of our team who have come from larger districts like Elizabeth Lyon and Jo Murto. Ask anyone who stayed through tough times like Julie Bourque, Fran Edwards, Carolyn Dufort, or April Fulton. Ask Tony Arias why he stays. Ask Sharon Ammirati or Patty Smrt. Ask Kris Denues, or Vickie Ceiro, or Jodene Grabeel, or Kelli Cole and many more. The words might sound different, but the essence is the same. They love the kids, they love the mountain, they love our schools, and they take pride in what we accomplish on a shoestring budget, sweat equity, and sometimes a fair amount of duct tape.
As mountain families who expect great things from our schools, we will always have to do a little more, share a little more, slow down to say thank you a little more in order to preserve what is special. I want to say thank you to the amazing team that makes our schools a safe, nurturing place for learning. I want to thank the parents who both rolled up their sleeves to help in the classroom or encouraged their kids when homework was tough. To everyone who went on a field trip, let their child build their own science project, worked in snack shack, marked a lap, swung a golf club, shopped, sipped, danced, and got their child to school on time, I say thank you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It takes a mountain. We have a great one. Thanks for preserving traditions and creating new ones. Thanks for a year of memories, some tears, some victories, and some hills left to climb another day.
You have great kids. Thanks for entrusting their education to the Loma Prieta Team.
Graduation/Promotion/Dress Code/Party Reminders
We will have a full house next Thursday 6/4/15, with fifth grade promotion, awards ceremonies at the middle school, and graduation all happening that day. Come early as parking will be challenging and programs will run on time. Please remember that dress code will be enforced at all events. “Shrugs are all the rage,” I am told. We will have really ugly shawls available to cover shoulders if needed. Skirt lengths need to be long enough so that with extended arms, fingers touch fabric rather than skin. Please have students wear shoes they can actually manage on the stairs.
Rolling Lockers Such as ZucaHave Outgrown Their Welcome
Due to their large size and inflexible structure, rolling lockers have proven to be a safety concern both on the bus and in the classroom.
With the start of the 2015/2016 school year, Zucas and Zuca-type rolling lockers will no longer be premited on school buses nor in classrooms. Any rolling lockers that arrive on campus will reamin outside of the building along exterior classroom walls.
Smaller more flexible rolling backpacks will be premited on the bus and in classrooms.
Please plan accordingly for next year.
It Takes a Mountain!
Our partners at Building Blocks Cooperative Pre-School have asked for our engagement in their community survey. Adelia Barber has asked for your help in completing the survey below.
"Please help us improve our program by taking a survey about Building Blocks Preschool. We would love to hear from alumni, mountain families that did not choose or program, or anyone interested in early childhood education in our community. This survey should take under 3-5 minutes to complete and responses will be anonymous."
THE AFRICAN LIBRARY PROJECT
You may have noticed the arrival of boxes in the school lobbies. They are to collect children’s books for sending to Sierra Leone in West Africa. Only about 7% of the schools have libraries. Sierra Leone was hard hit with an epidemic of Ebola. Schools were closed for 7 months to minimize transition of the disease
We are very excited, as this will be the 9th library that will be sent from the Santa Cruz Mountains. Each library consists of 1,200 books so it requires everyone to look through their much-loved, very good condition books for K- 8th graders (especially the primary level) 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 and most recently South Africa. 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.
Here is the fact sheet on Sierra Leone. http://www.africanlibraryproject.org/images/SierraLeoneFactSheet2015.pdf
Good News from Hot Air!
AmeriGas and Bi-State Propane have a fundraising campaign for schools. If you buy propane from one of these companies, bring in the “community/school days receipt.”
AmeriGas and Bi-State Propane will total the gallons on the receipts and pay $0.02 per gallon, up to a maximum of $2,000 per year. This fundraiser runs through June 2015.
Get Your Game On is back for the 7th year! Be sure to sign-up to hold your place for four weeks of summer fun!"
CT lost & found is HUGE and overflowing! Please come claim your student’s water bottles, lunch bags, coats, sweatshirts, etc. before we donate them.
Wild Times @ CTE
Early Release EVERY Wednesday @ 1:30 pm
5/28/15 7th grade Renaissance Day
6/1/15 CT Yearbook Assembly 1:50pm in the Gym
6/2/15 Quarter 4 Recognition Assembly & Awards 1:30 Gym
6/3/15 CT Fun Day & 8th grade Boardwalk trip
6/4/15 Last Day of School-Minimum Day-12:30 dismissal
6/4/15 8th Grade Awards Assembly 11am Gym
6/4/15 8th grade Graduation 4pm Gym
School starts in August on Wednesday Aug. 19, 2015