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Superintendent

Community Update

December 2017

Dear LLESD Community,

 

This is the time of year to pause and count our blessings for all the good things that have happened in our lives and there are many reasons to be grateful. It is also a time to ponder how to comfort and support those who have suffered in the many recent natural disasters and horrific acts of violence that have occurred over the last several months. 

 

I am appreciative of our parents, teachers and staff who continually work together to support our students on a daily basis.  It is gratifying when I see parents, teachers, staff and students demonstrate kindness, grace, forgiveness, and tolerance in their daily interactions. 

 

I extend to you my best wishes this holiday season. Enjoy the holiday with your precious family and dear friends.

 

Sincerely,

Lisa Cesario

Superintendent

 

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Important Dates:  

         

December 13, 7:00pm             School Board Meeting at the District Office

December 14, 6:30pm            La Entrada Winter Concert at Hillview Middle School

December 18, 6:00pm             LLEF Kinder/ 1st Grade Holiday Party, at Las Lomitas Cano Hall

December 21                           Minimum Day

  • LL – 12:20 pm
  • LE – 11:30 am

 

December 22-January 5          Winter Holiday Break,

January 8                                 School Resumes

January 17, 7pm                      School Board Meeting at the District Office

 

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Construction Update:

 

Construction meetings happen weekly at both school sites so that we can monitor the work and make sure that disruptions are kept to a minimum.  Both construction firms are quite mindful that they are at a school site and communicate with us regularly.  We are pleased with the progress that is taking place and look forward to beautiful new buildings to support the learning and teaching in our district.

 

La Entrada Construction Update:

 

Construction at La Entrada is moving along.  The roof installation is nearly complete and they are working hard to frame the exterior walls and the first floor interior walls.  We can expect the framing of second floor interior walls to begin soon.  Installation for HVAC ductwork and plumbing is in the process of being installed.  All is on track to get these project items completed before the rainy season so that the construction schedule is not delayed. 

 

Las Lomitas Construction Update:

 

Construction at Las Lomitas for the new Kindergarten and two-story classroom wing is also progressing.  Our site team is busy excavating and installing rebar for the building’s foundation.  We have taken care to preserve the signature trees that have been identified around this project and have taken preemptive flood prevention measures to minimize the potential for rain impacts so the project can proceed through the winter storms.

 

Volunteer Info:

 

As a district, we are extremely fortunate to have the volunteer organizations in place to help our students on a daily basis. The PTA’s at both school sites, the Education Foundation and the Las Lomitas League are completely supported by volunteers and donate their time each and every week.  We appreciate the many volunteers for all that they do.  If you have not yet donated to the foundation, you may do so by clicking here.  If you are not yet a member of the PTA, you may do so by clicking here for Las Lomitas and here for La Entrada.

School Safety
:

 

As a reminder, attached is a quick one page instruction in the event of an emergency on one or both of our campuses. Both sites conduct safety drills on a regular basis and work with local police and fire to make sure they are included in our plans.  We also have an emergency broadcast system should we have the need to contact parents. If you have not opted into our text message system, you can do so by sending a text message to 67587, with the word “Yes” as the content of the message.  The safety of our students and staff is a top priority in our district.

Ongoing Professional Development:

 

We just spent two great days of professional development for our teachers.  Teachers were involved in a variety of training and worked to analyze student writing.  Each content area had a specific training that supported their work and all teachers had the opportunity to sign up for mini workshops relating the social and emotional well-being for children and for themselves.  We appreciated the time to work collaboratively and learn something new.
 

Design Thinking at Las Lomitas Elementary:
 

The group that is working on the school schedule at Las Lomitas is off and running, and they are using Design Thinking strategies and techniques.  The team participated in a two-day Design Thinking training in September and a Town Hall meeting in October.  Now they are concentrating their efforts on conducting focus groups and preparing to shadow students to gain an understanding of their day.  They will reconvene in December to put their Design Hats on, take all of the information they have gathered and begin designing for our district.  If you have any questions about the design process, please contact Alain Camou at acamou@llesd.org.
 

Registration for the 2018-19 School Year: 

 

We will begin the pre-registration process for incoming kindergarteners and new students on Tuesday, January 29, 2018.  Details can be found on the District Website.

 

Equity and Diversity Work

 

The issue of equity has been a topic in most conversations in our district as it relates to personnel, curriculum, schedules, construction, volunteerism, related associations, funding, budgets and community members. Last year, the Board adopted the following:

 

LLESD Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Diversity makes all of us stronger.

The Las Lomitas Elementary School District recognizes and celebrates diversity in the academic environment to foster cultural awareness, promote mutual understanding and respect, and provide role models for all students. We value the many cultures, ethnicities, national origins, socio-economic backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, ages, religions, abilities, political views, and other perspectives that are represented in our staff and student body. Learning and work environments are enriched and improved by the contributions, perspectives and presence of diverse participants and views.

In the classroom, the District supports the use of curriculum and practical experiences that reflect the diversity both within and beyond our school community in order to prepare its students to succeed in a multicultural world.

We strive to reflect this diversity in our faculty and staff by hiring the best employees of all backgrounds who bring their unique talents and skills into our District. We are proud to have a diverse group of educators and staff who provide students with the highest quality education. This commitment to diversity is reflected in District practices and activities that promote diversity and mutual respect within the District workforce and student body.

As part of our educational mission, we will continue to develop and support culturally competent, transformational educational leaders who exhibit the cultural awareness, attitudes, knowledge, and skills necessary to create a welcoming and inclusive learning environment. We believe that these leaders will create inspirational learning experiences that encourage and motivate all students and staff to achieve their highest levels of performance.

 

The above statement will continue to guide our work as we are constantly looking for ways to improve our practices as we meet the needs of our students, legal obligations and State compliance issues.  However, much is already in place!  One very significant facet of our equity work has been our partnership with The Museum of Tolerance.  This is work centered on advancing anti-bias education, inclusion, and equity through unique professional development programs. This training was made available to us with the intent of raising awareness of others, deeply examining one’s own beliefs, and promoting conversations about equity. Las Lomitas Elementary School District has been fortunate to receive grant funding to send more than 130 participants made up of teachers, administrators, board members, classified staff, and parent and community stakeholders to attend workshops at the Museum.  This work is helping us to increase our own individual awareness and knowledge in the areas of equity and diversity.  Using what we learn at the Museum, our goal is to build upon our strengths as we enhance district relationships and culture.

 

Additionally, we have programs in place at each school site to support our equity and inclusion work.  Project Cornerstone, Second Step, Leopards Week and Peaceful Playgrounds are such examples.

 

Our personnel department has updated and implemented several steps to ensure greater equity in the hiring process; widespread advertising and recruitment, job fair participation, interview questions, and interview committee training/preparation. We strive to find the very best candidates for all vacant positions.  Our process for hiring is rigorous and thorough.  We value our employees and desire to provide them a safe, positive working environment that is rewarding and satisfying.  

 

Our budgeting process, guided by the structure of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), provides specific funding and support for underserved populations such as Foster Youth, Homeless Students, Students with Special Needs and English Learners. While we do not have large populations of any of these groups of students, their needs are very important to us and we are committed to meeting the needs of each and every student. Our goal, for all students, is that they are informed and prepared to excel in the next levels of their educational endeavors.

 

As a community of learners, we will continue to look for ways to improve the teaching and learning in our schools, as well as hone our practices to better serve all of the populations of students in our care.  We are truly honored and humbled by this wonderful work of educating the children in this community.  Thank you for your ongoing support and trust.