Dr. Fred Brill, Superintendent
Small Learning Communities in San Lorenzo High Schools
Eight SLC in SLzUSD. A step ahead in 21st Century Learning
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¡Ocho Academias para el Aprendizaje del Siglo XXI!
REACH Youth Center in Ashland
Open Letter from Superintendent Brill
We are now half-way through the school year, and 15% of the way through the 21st century! In the San Lorenzo Unified School District, there is powerful teaching and learning taking place each and every day. I have enjoyed my school visitations where I have observed students engaged in critical thinking and demonstrating their learning through group projects, presentations, and a variety of academic and creative endeavors. I want to applaud our teachers and support staff who bring such passion, urgency, and a commitment to ensure all of our students are prepared for college, career, and life-long learning.
Over the past month there have been many informal conversations and formal public dialogues to better understand the challenging race-related issues that have been plaguing our country for decades. I was moved by our students, parents, teachers and support staff who shared their personal stories and considered the roles and responsibilities we play in perpetuating, or improving, the current conditions in our community. There were many suggestions made about the specific actions we can take (individually, school-wide or community-wide) to create a safer, more positive, productive and equitable environment for our children and families to live, grow and thrive. Please monitor school and district communication channels to remain informed about opportunities to get involved in the important equity work taking place in our community.
For many years our students have participated in a poster contest sponsored by the Oro Loma Sanitary District. Unfortunately, in early December, Oro Loma Board member Laython Landis publicly made a racist comment (please see the San Leandro Times article on 1/8/15 for more details). Although the Oro Loma Board has censured Mr. Landis, the San Lorenzo Unified School District believes that it is important we send a strong message that we do not tolerate offensive speech from anyone, especially elected public officials. Therefore, San Lorenzo Unified is holding a parallel poster contest this year entitled, “Trash Racism.” We ask that all students who participate in the “Trash Racism” poster contest submit their posters to their school office by Thursday, March 12th. “Trash Racism” posters from three students from every school in our District will be displayed in our District Office. We will also submit all students’ “Trash Racism” posters to Oro Loma as entries into their contest as well as the “Recycling in Oro Loma is Easy” contest.
We have had a positive and long-standing relationship with the Oro Loma Sanitary District, and I am confident that we will continue to deepen and strengthen our partnership with them. Jason Warner, General Manager of the Oro Loma Sanitary District, expressed his shared commitment to serving the students and families in our community. He assured me that students who submit two different posters (one on trashing racism and one promoting recycling) will NOT be disqualified from the poster contest.
Our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) is currently being implemented throughout the District, with 27 strategic investments to achieve our District Goals. The good news is that we are expecting new, ongoing revenue for the 2015-16 school year. While some of these revenues are intended for general District operations and pay increases, the State mandates that our supplementary and concentration grant funds “be used to increase and improve the services” for our targeted subgroups: English learners, our students in families with low income, foster children, homeless children, African American, Latino/Hispanic and students with disabilities. Our revised LCAP will be approved by the Governing Board in June of 2015. We will be seeking input from all community stakeholder groups--staff, parents and students through school and district engagement meetings and surveys. I urge you to visit our LCAP Portal; stay informed and involved!
As we continually seek ways to create the conditions to support student learning, we know that healthy kids make better learners. Connecting families to health coverage will better all their lives. We have been asked by State Superintendent, Tom Torlakson, to inform families that open enrollment with Covered California ends on February 15, 2015.
Finally, I want to take this opportunity to offer some well-deserved acknowledgement for our recent Employees of the Quarter: Lynn Dillon, Teacher at Bohannon Middle School, and Matthew Chelucci, Plumber in Maintenance and Operations. Additionally, Principal Tovi Scruggs has been recognized as the Marcus Foster Memorial Award for Administrator Excellence for ACSA Region 6. These exceptional employees personify what it means to effectively serve and support the children and families in our community.
There is so much to be proud of here in San Lorenzo, and our service to the students and families is only getting better. I look forward to your continued support and involvement.
Fred Brill, Ed.D.
The San Lorenzo Unified School District teachers and staff will collaborate with families and the community to cultivate safe learning environments and ensure equitable opportunities and outcomes for all students
Students will become creative, collaborative, compassionate, resilient, well-informed and socially responsible advocates for equity and social justice as a result of their education, experience and support from educators, families and the community.
Kindergarten Information Nights start this month!
On January 9th, over 100 SLZUSD directors, administrators, teachers, and community partners started the new year by learning more about Restorative Practices (RP). The aim of Restorative Practices is to develop community and to manage conflict and tensions by building relationships and repairing harm. To learn more, click here. Led by Amos Clifford of The Center of Restorative Process, this day was a unique and powerful experience. Sitting together in a large circle, participants actively participated in a variety of restorative exercises including an appreciative inquiry where volunteers used a structured process to publicly thank and appreciate someone else in the group. The tone of the day was overwhelmingly positive and created a feeling of care and closeness that will in turn radiate out and impact our larger school community. Here is what people are saying about the day:
“I thought the last training we had was the best ever. We used to use classroom circles years ago and this will help us to start them again.”
“This is exactly where we should be spending more professional development time with teachers and staff.”
“The day helped me form a closer tie with my administrator and colleagues.”
“I now have a powerful tool to use in the classroom to resolve conflicts at the classroom level, build community, and share positive feelings about one another.”
Visit http://www.centerforrestorativeprocess.com/ to download a free Restorative Circles curriculum guide.
Additional SES Providers Available
Solar Panels District Wide
San Lorenzo Scholarship Foundation