December 2019 Newsletter
Ready for Winter! Students at Luther Burbank Elementary show off their colorful hats, knitted by the Welfare League's "Mad Hatters," who donate hats to schools and hospitals.
A message from the Superintendent
I hope you are staying warm and dry as we finish up 2019 and head into a new decade. Thank you Luther Burbank Elementary for sharing this photo of some of their students in cozy, colorful hats!
 
Many of you have asked if we will have to make up school days because of evacuation and PG&E PSPS-related school closures, and how they would be made up. At the next school board meeting, our trustees will formally sign waiver requests related to those missed days. We will submit them to the California Department of Education, and we expect to hear back from the state in January. Until we are certain of the waiver request approval, any calendar changes are yet to be determined.
 
On a personal note, I will be on medical leave beginning December 20th for 4 to 6 weeks. Deputy Superintendent Rick Edson will be in charge until my return. I am excited about my healthy return and all we will accomplish in the second part of the school year.
 
I wish you a wonderful Winter Break, in which you get to spend some time with the people you love. Don’t forget to be back at school on January 6th! 

Dr. Diann Kitamura
Superintendent
IMPORTANT DATES

Dec. 17-19 - Minimum Days for High Schools only
Dec. 20 - No School for Middle/High Schools
Dec. 23-Jan. 3 - No School - Winter Break

A new Strategic Plan for our district
Board of Education
Our Board of Education recently adopted a new strategic plan, with priorities to guide the decisions of the Board and staff over the next five years. The Board started the process in April, and spent months getting input from students, parents, staff and community members. All of your comments and suggestions were considered. The plan went through several edits. The new mission, vision and strategic plan was approved on November 13, 2019. Click on the button below to take a look.
Important survey heading your way
YouthTruth
Did you know that your input helps influence our school district's priorities and spending? Every year, Santa Rosa City Schools and other districts throughout California conduct surveys of students, staff, and parents in order to create our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). This year, we'll all be taking the YouthTruth survey. This survey will not only provide input for the LCAP but also for the district and schools to understand student, staff, and parent perceptions about school. These perceptions are linked to academic outcomes, so it’s beneficial to know what your students are experiencing in our schools and classrooms. The survey will be open from January 6 to 31, 2020. We'll have more on how families can take the survey in our next newsletter.
Our Budget Advisory Committee
Our district has an active Budget Advisory Committee - made up of students, teachers, parents, administrators, and business and community members - that is meeting regularly to discuss the budget and make recommendations to the superintendent. (See the members of the committee on this BAC web page ) The superintendent works with the school board, which approves the interim and final budget. Our expenditures continue to outpace our revenues. We need to continue looking at our operating expenses in order to align our budget with the revenue we are receiving. The are several factors affecting both our expenditures and revenue, such as declining enrollment and a mandated increased cost of pensions. Thank you to these committee members for providing recommendations as we prepare for the First Interim report to the school board on December 11th.
State Seal of Biliteracy
golden seal
In 2012, California became the first state to implement a State Seal of Biliteracy program to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing one or more languages in addition to English. In this global economy, multilingualism is a tremendous asset. Every student, from English Learners to native English speakers who take World Languages in school, can set a goal to achieve this designation on their diploma. For more information, visit the CDE State Seal of Biliteracy web page or this video from Californians Together .
Numbers show increased access
In April 2018, our Board of Education approved graduation requirements for the Class of 2022 and beyond. Among other things, the requirements have increased access to common core state standards instruction that will allow students to apply to 4-year universities, if they choose to do so. A recent report to the Board showed some of that increase:
•The % of students enrolled in a college prep math course increased from 68% (2017-18) to 95% (2018-19)
•At least 9 in 10 students at each high school were enrolled in a college prep math course in 2018-19. In the previous year, it ranged from 56% to 80%, by school.
• Our district has seen significant increases in enrollment in college prep math courses among students in Special Education and English Language Learners.
November's award-winning students and staff
Each of our schools is showcased at a Board of Education meeting once a year. Those schools select an outstanding student, classified employee and certificated (teacher/counselor) employee to honor at the meeting.
In November, Montgomery High School, Herbert Slater Middle School and Brook Hill Elementary presented awards. Visit our Board of Education Awards web page to learn more about the staff and students who were honored.
Looking for a way to volunteer?
Volunteer as a Schools of Hope reading tutor and make a difference in a child's life in as little as 30 minutes per week! The United Way's Schools of Hope program is an early intervention program for children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade who are struggling with reading. Several of our schools have the program. Now they just need enough volunteers to make a difference for every child! For more information, visit www.unitedwaywinecountry.org  or call 707-528-4485.
For more news, follow us on social media:
@SRCSchools #SRCStogether #madeinsantarosa
Santa Rosa City Schools
211 Ridgway Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
707-890-3800
communication@srcs.k12.ca.us