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Community Message 11-22-2021
Posted 11/22/21

Dear Miller Creek Community,

 

 

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”

                                                                   -John F. Kennedy

 

November is here, and with it we enter a season of joyful expectation of time with family and friends and are especially excited that it looks different than a year ago. We are grateful for our entire Miller Creek community and the role each person plays in keeping our schools open and our staff and children healthy. This year has felt like a renaissance- with a return to in-person experiences that are familiar and comforting. Let’s pause and express gratitude for the little and big things in our schools that we are enjoying once again: classrooms teeming with inspiring teachers and eager learners; visiting welcoming school libraries and the magic of the art room; hearing young people create music together and the laughter of students during recess and lunch; and seeing our iconic yellow school buses head out as the sun rises. The everyday joy is clear at Lucas Valley, Mary E. Silveira, Vallecito and Miller Creek Middle School. Thank you to our teachers, principals, and staff for creating vibrant learning communities for our students. 

 

A special word of appreciation for our family partners including those that support our Home and School Clubs and Can Do! who find countless ways to support our students. Parent partnerships are essential to thriving schools. Donations to Can Do! support all of our students by enriching their school day. Can Do’s holiday online auction is underway and continues through December 2nd! Please visit the auction site, find some special purchases, and support our students.

 

As we move through December and return in January we enter an exciting and busy season. Students return to their established classrooms and are quickly able to re engage in focused learning. As school jams along, behind the scenes we begin intensive planning for the next school year which includes the opening of the Kindergarten enrollment process, working to adopt a school calendar, preparation of a 2nd interim financial report, and important initial staffing considerations. The Governor will release his budget proposal in January which informs the District’s process of budget development and recommended revisions to the second year of our Local Control Accountability Plan. Middle school students express interests in future elective courses which help to inform the creation of a master schedule which identifies student assignments for the next school year. The months of January through June hold a complex and interconnected system of planning that allows next year to run smoothly. 

As we engage in this process you can expect to hear periodic updates. There are a few issues that are interesting and that you may want to follow closely as we move toward implementation and/or decision-making in the spring:

  1. Vaccine Requirements

Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that once the vaccines are fully approved, students and staff would have until the next term to complete their vaccinations before they can attend school in person. State officials have said that July 1 is the earliest the mandate would be expected to begin. The district will be working closely with the Marin County Office of Education and Marin Public Health to determine procedures for implementing these regulations. 

  1. ParentSquare

We always strive for improved communication with families and are excited to move to a new communication platform called ParentSquare. ParentSquare is an easy-to-use tool that combines multiple communication streams into one easy-to-use interface for families and staff. It will provide a platform for everything including mass communications, urgent alerts, classroom communications, and services such as permission slips and calendar events. It is mobile friendly, allows for emails, text, and voice, and has 2-way translation in over 100 languages. Check out their 3 minute video (Spanish).

  1. Universal Transitional Kindergarten

 

The state’s new $2.7 billion universal TK program will gradually be made available to every 4-year-old in California. The implementation schedule starts with a planning year and identifies a rollout by 2025-26. We are working with the Marin County Office of Education, along with our neighboring Basic Aid Districts, on the requirements for this program and it is our understanding that the California Department of Education is preparing a comprehensive planning template that is due for release in December. Once received we will prepare an update for Trustees, possibly as early as the regular Board meeting on December 14th. 

 

  1. Middle School Math Pathways and the New State Framework

The projected timeline for the California Department of Education to adopt the state framework is April 2022. Curriculum frameworks provide guidance for implementing the standards adopted by the State Board of Education. Our Math Lead Team and middle school math department have been reading and considering chapters of the draft framework. We have scheduled a Study Session for the Board on December 8th to study the draft framework as well. This meeting is designed in a workshop format allowing trustees to focus on one topic. A Study Session is open to the public and public comments are invited during the Public Comment section of the agenda. It is not a meeting where trustees will take action on the math program or curriculum. Families will be provided opportunities in the new year to participate in a webinar to learn more about the framework, ask questions, and to hear how the District’s planning is progressing. 

 

Enjoy the holiday season with your friends and family and as you gather with others, please remain diligent in taking precautions to keep you and your loved ones healthy. To find tips about how to celebrate safely and help prevent a December surge, see the Public Health news release here.

 

We live and work in a special community. One that has shared values around creating fantastic schools for students. Today we are incredibly grateful.

 

Be well and enjoy the holiday.  

 

Becky Rosales | Superintendent

Kristy Treewater | Assistant Superintendent