School began Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. The time flew over the summer as we worked to prepare for the 2012-13 year. We are very excited about this year as we move deeper into the implementation of 21st Century Education.
"Welcome to Pacifica School District," an event for our new Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten and other students/families new to the District, was held on Aug. 18. Our attendance was up from last year (our first attempt), and believe the families left with a strong introduction to staff and schools. Thank you to Pacifica Education Foundation (PEF) for sponsoring the event.
During the summer we were able to fill all of our certificated positions. Along with finding wonderful teachers, we were able to fill the principal position at Ingrid B. Lacy and Cabrillo, as well as the Special Education Administrator position.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Ray Avila, Special Education Administrator; Mr. Donald West, Principal, IBL; and Mr. Tom Stafford, Principal, Cabrillo.
The summer was a great time for the new staff to get acclimated. You may recall Ms. Tina Van Raaphorst started her new position in PSD as Associate Superintendent, beginning July 1. She was able to plan for our opening year activities of providing introductory training for our new teachers that included balanced literacy, Synergy (the student information system), and assessments. With the hiring of Mr. Stafford as principal, we were able to fill the Music Director position for Vallemar and Cabrillo with Mr. Sean Salehi. Mr. Stafford will continue to coordinate the district music program.
In June, 2012, the Board of Trustees adopted five District goals for this coming year:
Curriculum: Focus on the Common Core Standards
1. Continue the Implementation of Balanced Literacy
2. Continue enhancement and alignment of math instruction
3. Continue to Implement 21st Century Learning Initiatives
4. Board Adoption of Select Curriculum Plans
5. Promote Health and Wellness
We will be continuing our work in English language arts and mathematics to teach to the State adopted common core standards. These standards are national standards, adopted by 45 states that support the focus on what students need to know and are able to do.
The promotion of Health and Wellness is multi-faceted. This year we will develop our Health Education Plan and focus on school climate that includes student behavior and digital citizenship. Additionally, we continue our work in environmental issues and safety.
The Safe Routes to School Grant, awarded to PSD last year, will assist us in implementing many activities that will encourage environmentally friendly and safe routes practices.
Also last June, the State passed the 2013 budget. Unfortunately, this budget contains mid-year cuts of $457 per student dependent on the outcome of the November election. From a District perspective, with the passage of the parcel tax renewal, the current five furlough days on our tentative calendar, and limiting our expenditures, we were able to submit a balanced budget. We are clearly struggling to provide a strong educational program and are extremely concerned with the District multi-year projections.
In closing, Pacifica School District continues the work to educate our students for an evolving world despite the fiscal uncertainties. The preliminary review of our test scores demonstrate continued growth. We thank our teachers, classified employees and administrators for their focused passion in providing service to our students and families. Additionally, we must thank our community for their wonderful support of the District.
Here’s to 2012-13!