Superintendent's September 2014 Update
To the Greater San Rafael City Schools Community:
This fall, San Rafael City Schools welcomed over 7,000 K-12 students to our schools. Our entire team and Board of Education wants this to be an exceptional year for our students and our district.
As we join the nation in shifting to Common Core standards, students will face rigor every day, but they also will be provided with support to be successful. We are dedicated to the children we serve and want them to have their greatest academic year ever.
Common Core is not a curriculum, but is a set of shared goals and expectations for what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. In California, the state Board of Education decides on the standards for all students, from kindergarten through high school. The department helps schools make sure that all students are meeting the standards. In 2010, more than 40 states adopted Common Core state standards for English and math.
Our local implementation may look slightly different from that of other districts, and Common Core was designed so that local experts (our instructional leaders and teachers) have some flexibility in the best ways to reach and teach our students. Our greatest efforts will be in helping students take responsibility for their own learning.
The reason is that we want children to excel, to be excited about learning and to become lifelong learners.
Our entire San Rafael City Schools team is singularly focused on helping children achieve so they can reach their dreams. Education is the gateway to success in life.
Parents will regularly receive information on what the academic expectations are for their students, how they can help, and what we are doing as an instructional team to prepare children for success. We'll have the opportunity to involve parents in some innovative ways through the Local Control and Accountability Plan. Each campus LCAP program will look a little different because each is constructed specific to that school community.
We know that meaningful parent support and involvement can bolster success in the classroom.
We warmly welcome and invite parents to be actively involved at their child's campus. Their principals will outline the many ways parents can help and we want them to be excited about their child's education.
Community support is an important component of our student success. Whether you sponsor an event, support a team or attend school activities, it means the world to our staff and students to see visible signs of community support.
If you would like to help a school but don't know where to start, please contact Theresa Allyn (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 492-3222.
It's an honor to serve children in the San Rafael City Schools. All children are welcome here with open arms. All children deserve the brightest futures we can deliver.
This writing originally appeared in the Marin Independent Journal as a Marin Voice: Helping children become lifelong learners
Michael Watenpaugh is superintendent of San Rafael City Schools. Natu Tuatagaloa is president of the district's Board of Education.
Michael Watenpaugh, Ed.D., Superintendent Natu Tuatagaloa, Board President