The Local Control Accountability Plans for our schools are attached below.
Dear La Tercera Neighbors
Thanks to the passage of our school bonds, La Tercera Elementary School will undergo renovation construction during the summer. This year, the construction will be in two phases:
Superintendent Weekly Update
by Craig Conte on October 13
Growing up in Oregon, one of my most vivid and scary early childhood memories was of the Columbus Day storm in 1962. Unfortunately, I now have a fresher, more horrific reality to replace in my Columbus Day timeframe. The Sonoma County firestorm calamity that has befallen our area has been incredibly traumatic for both children and adults. I want to reassure all of our community that we will recover with time and make ourselves whole again.
Extraordinary events bring out the extraordinary goodness in people. This has been especially true of the district office staff and our leadership team. Dawn Walker, Lynda Williams, Becky Emanuel, Lisa Baughn, Sonya Wasden, Mary Lou Ramirez, Linda Wallace, Denise Irving and Larry Black have all been working long hours this week to check in on staff members and check their status. They all have also been monitoring weather reports, air quality information and local agencies public communications so that we could provide accurate and timely information to the staff and our school community.
Ellie Johnson came in to help with the Google mapping of the fire zones and an overlay of employee addresses so we could see who might be in danger. Maricela Rojas was my intrepid interpreter who saved me from mangling our Spanish announcements. All the Principals have been contacting folks and working this week to support their community and Gina Silveira has been a great command post resource even as her heart was deeply saddened by the devastation in her former school district near the Coffey Park neighborhood. The Miwok staff also quickly pulled together to support Resource Teacher, Kara Lemieux who lost her home by collecting money and setting up a donation site. Our former Nurse, Sharon Helmer, also lost her home and we are banding together to support her in any way we can.
This has been a tragically tough time. Eventually, as we work together, it will never be forgotten, but it will become just a memory.
Superintendent Weekly Update
by Craig Conte on October 6
Sometimes a meeting is more than just a meeting, it morphs into an event or celebration. Such was the case this Friday when the Emeril Lagasse Foundation (ELF) came to Old Adobe Charter to visit the school gardens and discuss a possible edible garden and teaching kitchen grant. I knew it would be special when sixth grade students started the meeting by reading a beautiful poem that was written about the garden while a colorful slideshow played behind them. Then the younger students led the visitors on a walking tour along the various paths that meander through the well-manicured planted rows and planter boxes brimming with vegetables, fruits and herbs.
The foundation members, some from Louisiana, and others from our local wineries, were impressed and visibly moved by the passion and ownership that students, teachers and parent volunteers demonstrated in showcasing the school gardens. Expanding the garden further and connecting it to a culinary teaching kitchen that celebrates food and the land it comes from is an exciting opportunity for Old Adobe Charter. Thanks to the several years of hard work by the school staff and community led by Garden Coordinator Beth Stoep and Garden/Science Facilitator Jacqueline Holley, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation grant may make that dream possible. Plus, how often can you say “that was a really nice meeting”?
This past week the kindergarten and first grade teachers all got together to talk math. Bridges Math. Fantastically facilitated by Gina Silveira, our new Director of Curriculum, the day focused on Bridges assessments, supporting struggling students, data and problems of practice (areas of difficulty within the curriculum). Teachers also enjoyed differentiated planning time in the afternoon session. Rumor has it that the first grade team was so enthralled in their working session that they continued right through their lunch break! What incredible concentration!
We also had some great Write Tools training all week long with Deb Lasse, our Write Tools coach. Deb led two half-day sessions for grade level teams from Miwok Valley, La Tercera, Loma Vista and Old Adobe on Monday through Wednesday. She then hustled over to Sonoma Mountain on Thursday and Friday for more work sessions with their grade level teams. I saw her on Friday afternoon and for some reason she looked a tad bit fatigued--must be coming down with something .
South County Consortium
Not everyone in our district is aware that we are part of a eight school district group in the Petaluma area that contributes to our own special education district called the South County Consortium. Petaluma City Schools is the district of record for the consortium and is the employer for all the staff members. The students, however, come from all over the Petaluma area covered by our eight school districts. This week, I attended my third board meeting for all eight of the superintendents in the group. I am always overjoyed to attend another meeting, but in this case I take a personalized interest in the consortium. My wife teaches in one our consortium classrooms at Mckinley Elementary. This is her 29th year in special education and her fourth year with the consortium. She raves about the quality of the instructional program and the leadership level of support that is provided within the consortium. Although originally conceived as a cost-saving alternative to the Sonoma County Office of Education special education programs it is very gratifying to see that we are also immensely improving the educational experience for our students.
Superintendent Weekly Update
by Craig Conte on September 29
It’s not often you meet a man with a thumb as green as Richard Fashbinder, our hard-working maintenance-landscaper extraordinaire! Just think about the mowing, trimming, pruning, weeding, planting and irrigation repair that is required to maintain your own yard. Now multiply that by a thousand and you get the idea of the Herculean effort required of this weed-whacking superman to maintain the landscaping on all 5 of our campuses plus the district office. It’s a good thing Richard has a degree in Ornamental Horticulture! You might not know this, but he also has a degree in History. That degree probably comes in handy as he tries to remember the tangled web of irrigation lines that constantly need valves and sprinkler heads replaced in our ever shifting adobe soil.
So, when you see Richard flying by on his mower or digging up that tough clay ground give him a wave and a big thank you. We are all glad he’s our talented, knowledgeable one-man landscaping crew!
All of our school libraries schedule Book Fairs every year. They’re a great way for students and families to preview and purchase the latest in children’s books in a variety of genres and they also help to fund library purchases of new books for the shelves. Behind the scenes of each and every book fair our school librarians work overtime with staff and volunteers to set up and take down the displays. Here is a picture of all boxes that will magically turn into one of those colorful book displays!
The librarians oversee the fair for extra hours before and after school in order to make sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to get a new book or two. They also work with teachers to create wish lists for their favorite new books to update classroom libraries. Our students and families love the book fairs and I love our librarians and all their helpers for making them happen!
Twenty-three EdCamps are scheduled this year and we just had our 5th one of the year this week. EdCamps are professional learning classes that happen after school and are open to all staff. We even pay our staff to attend the two hour classes! The classes are facilitated by Larry Black, our Technology Director and Gina Silveira, our Curriculum Director. Sometimes we bring in special instructors to facilitate the class. This last week we had our Illuminate Representative, Jill Albracht, facilitate a session on using Illuminate grade books. This year the EdCamps are moving to all our different campus locations. Please check the schedule on our website under the Staff tab or follow the link here.
Superintendent Weekly Update
by Craig Conte on September 22
After-school events are some of the best things about the Old Adobe District. This week I was lucky enough to be able to attend two different evening events at our schools. One of the events was the Friday Fun Night Dance at Loma Vista sponsored by the PTA. This dance was a family-themed dance party with a DJ. The kids and parents all enjoyed dancing together and the 6th graders sold snacks to keep the party going. Loma Vista holds a Friday Fun Night once a month and you should try to attend one of them because the fun never stops!
The other school event was the Star Party at La Tercera. No, Beyonce didn’t show up, but Venus and Saturn sure did! This party was assisted in the viewing of stars and planets by the Sonoma County Astronomy Society which brought fantastic telescopes to the school. The sun went down promptly at 7:13 pm and the stars showed up shortly afterwards. A big thanks to Kristy Corbett who coordinates many of the STEM-based after-school activities at La Tercera.
The track project at Old Adobe Charter has been many years in the making and is now nearing completion! The project was the dream child of the Old Adobe PTO 14 -15 years ago. The dream has finally become a reality due in great part to the efforts of Angie and Jim McCall who have overseen and coordinated the design and construction of the track. It is a bit smaller than the traditional ¼ mile oval, so you kids will need a few more laps to get your miles in! The official track dedication is scheduled for the first week in October and the first big track event is the Wednesday, October 11th Walk-and Run-athon.
The Petaluma Kiwanis Club announced their grants this week. They have generously granted a total of $6,570.91 to 22 teachers and other staff members in varying amounts up to $500.00. Some of these grants will help fund projects such as Novels for Girls in Lisa Beaudry’s class, Sensory Tools for Kara Lemieux’s class and a Lego Simple Machine Set for Juliet James’ class. The Old Adobe District community thanks the Kiwanis for all of their support over the years in the Micro-Grant Awards program!