Menlo Park City School District

Superintendent Update
January 13, 2017

Dear MPCSD Parents and Community,

We've hit the ground running in 2017!

Next Year's first day of school/calendar
The School Board met on January 10, and among other things, approved a partial calendar for the 2017-18 school year. The student start date will be Thursday, August 24, 2017. All major holidays and breaks will follow the Sequoia Union High School District calendar.

August 24, 2017
First day of school for all students.
November 22-24, 2017
Thanksgiving Break
December 21, 2017
Minimum Day
December 22, 2017 - January 5, 2018
Winter Break
February 19-23, 2018
Mid-Winter Break
April 9-13, 2018
Spring Break

Currently, the district is in negotiations with the teachers' union to determine the number and dates of professional development days, and we will publicize the entire calendar as soon as it is ready.   

Parent Speaker Series
The Winter MPCSD Speaker Series calendar is now complete.
Click here for the Series poster with dates, times, and descriptions of our exciting line-up. Print a copy and post at your home, place of business, or favorite coffee shop. You don't want to miss these outstanding speakers and events. On Monday, January 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Hillview PAC, join Susan Stone Belton , parent coach/speaker/author, as she shares her best advice for positive and effective discipline. Learn what discipline really means and really looks like, and why consistency is so important. Learn the 3 Steps to calmly and competently manage your child's behavior (and yours) in any situation. Refreshments and FREE childcare available. Speaker series is sponsored by PTOs and MPAEF.

Measure X Election Nears
As you know, the MPCSD Board placed a measure to authorize a Parcel Tax on the March 7, 2017 ballot. "Measure X" is the name of the Parcel Tax measure assigned by the San Mateo County Elections Office. We hope you will take the time to become educated about Measure X and the impacts the measure would have on the District.

The Measure X Parcel Tax would replace the expiring $207 Measure C Parcel Tax approved by voters in 2010 with a $360 parcel tax to expire after seven years. The tax authorized by Measure X would represent an increase of $153 per parcel, per year compared to what residents currently pay. As we have been informing parents and the community, the $2.8M funds generated by Measure X would allow MPCSD to continue to offer the world class education it currently provides. We encourage you to become informed about Measure X and to share the information you learn with your neighbors--including those who are not parents in the school district. Please visit our comprehensive FAQ page on the district website to learn more about the District's financial situation and the impacts of Measure X. For more information about the election, visit the   County Registrar of Voters' website .  

Please VOTE on March 7, 2017. In-person, precinct voting will be available, as well as absentee ballots for absentee voters.

January 10 Board meeting update
At the Board's regular January meeting, the Board reviewed information regarding the level of reductions and staff release/layoff options with or without a March 2017 Parcel Tax. The Board also approved the start date for the 2017-18 school year (see above), approved the audit for 2015-16, reviewed a Technology update , and more. Click here to view the meeting video.

Synthetic Field update
Concerns have been raised by the public regarding the safety (health) of crumb rubber infills in synthetics fields. Both the Federal EPA and California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment are conducting extensive studies on this issue. Thousands of these synthetic fields exist in our state and country. The District installed a synthetic field at Hillview School as a joint-use project with the City of Menlo Park in 2013. The City also has a synthetic field at Kelly Park. The District and City have been examining this issue during the past year. The City prepared a report on this topic at their November 16 Parks and Recreation Commission meeting and the District staff updated the School Board at the December 12 meeting. Reports from Federal and State agencies are expected in 2017 and 2019, respectively. The District will be following this matter closely and providing the School Board with options as additional information becomes available. As a proactive measure, MPCSD will work with Hillview School to educate the students about good hygiene when playing on the field. If you have any further questions, please contact Ahmad Sheikholeslami our Chief Business and Operations Officer.

Please enjoy your three-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend, and for those of you with incoming Kindergartners for 2017-18, Open Enrollment begins February 1.

Sincerely yours,

Maurice Ghysels

Every child achieves academic excellence
Every child becomes emotionally and physically stronger
Every child discovers and grows their talents
181 Encinal Avenue
Atherton, CA 94027

Maurice Ghysels, Ed.D.

Stacey Jones
Terry Thygesen
Joan Lambert
David Ackerman
Caroline Lucas

Vision Statement
Every  child achieves academic excellence. 
Every child becomes emotionally and physically stronger.  
Every child discovers and grows their talents.

The following upcoming Board meetings will be held at Hillview Middle School, PAC building, 1100 Elder Avenue, Menlo Park

February 15, 5:00 p.m.
March 14, 5:00 p.m.
April 18, 5:00 p.m.

For Board information including meeting calendar, agendas, minutes, member contact information, or to join the Board's email distribution list click here.