February 2019 Newsletter
A message from the Superintendent
What stands out to me the most in our school district is how our teachers, staff, and administrators collaborate together to support the learning and social-emotional well-being of all our students. We recently have been in contract negotiations with the unions representing our classified staff and our teachers. You may have heard that the teachers union declared impasse to the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and asked for a state mediator. After hearing both sides, PERB has determined that negotiations should continue. We look forward to continued negotiations with both of our unions.

The Board of Education and I are committed to providing a compensation package with competitive salary and health benefits, while also maintaining a budget with a positive ending balance. However, you should know that our expenses keep increasing, far outpacing the money coming in from the state, our main source of income.
 
My utmost concern during our recent negotiation process is California’s lack of adequate per-student funding that pits labor and management against each other. California is currently in the bottom 10 nationally in per-student funding. I know that the SRCS budget deficit is   not the fault of our staff. Our budget deficit is due to the increase in unfunded services for our neediest students, in unfunded pension cost increases, and in the state operating schools at a 2008 funding level. Collectively we need to demand more funding from the state for long-term solutions. How might we do that together? I welcome your ideas.

The California School Boards Association has started a petition drive, and you can learn more on the website fullandfairfunding.org .

Diann Kitamura
Superintendent
Reminder: No School
February 18 - President's Day
Looking at school times and schedules
Handshake illustration
Recent negotiations have included more than salary and benefits. They have also involved the school day (“bell schedules”) and possibly creating one day a week when schools might end early (“early release days”) so that teachers can collaborate. Why are we looking at these types of changes? In regard to early release days, our teachers have worked hard to learn about Common Core State Standards, and this would allow a dedicated time to continue that work together. We have also listened to feedback from parents and families, who prefer that teachers not leave their classes for professional development. We believe that providing common planning time honors the professionalism of our staff. Looking at the school day and bell schedules honors the educational rights of our students. We are proposing that a committee be convened to study bell schedules. This process would allow us to look at how we provide more time for learning, address issues of transportation that impact our families, and ensure that we provide the state-required number of instructional minutes for all of our students in all of our schools. We will keep you updated about these important issues for families.
LCAP survey coming soon
Thought Exchange web page
Did you share your thoughts about our schools last year? Thousands of parents, students, teachers, staff and community members participated in our online LCAP Survey. They told us what they like about our schools and where we can improve. Information from the survey is used as we all set priorities for our schools for next year. This year's survey will be available online in late February. Look for an email inviting you to participate... or go to our website at the end of the month to find the LCAP Survey link!
Financial aid application deadline: March 2
Experts say that financial aid is key to college enrollment. Even if you don't think you need or qualify for financial aid, many colleges require that students fill out the forms to apply for it. Our high schools can help! Students and families can contact the College and Career Counselor at their school to receive FREE assistance in applying for financial aid. Click here for College and Career Center Contact Information . The application deadline for submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act is  March 2, 2019 .
Dates for summer programs
This summer, our district will be offering camps from Maker to Mariachi, and summer learning for students from transitional kindergarten through high school credit recovery. Information about registering for summer programs will be available soon.
To see what dates and times various programs will be held this summer, visit Summer Programs on our website.
Career Technical Education in high school
Santa Rosa City Schools offers a variety of Career Technical Education (CTE) Programs throughout the district. Students enrolled in a CTE program have the opportunity to learn real-world skills, get hands on experience, make connections with industry and business representatives, and participate in leadership development. In addition, some CTE programs provide students the opportunity to earn industry recognized certifications and college credit —while in high school. These programs provide a unique experience for all students and prepare them for both college  and  careers. To learn more about the CTE Programs offered, watch our video (above), visit your high school or check out the  CTE Programs  page or the  College and Career Readiness Guide  on our website. 
Reviewing textbooks for English language learners
Parents and teachers are invited to review proposed textbooks and other materials for possible use in English Language Development courses in our middle and high schools. The review period is February 25 – March 1, 2019. Click this  ELD Pilot Materials Flyer  to learn more. Instructional materials for Social Science (History, Economics, Government) will be available for review later this year; watch upcoming newsletters for details.
Look for SRCS at the educators job fair
March 2 Job Fair
Are you a credentialed teacher or intern looking for work, or do you know someone who is? Santa Rosa City Schools will be participating in an educators job fair at the Sonoma County Office of Education on March 2, 2019, from 9-11am. Stop by our booth and say hello. For more information about what to fill out and bring to the fair: scoe.org/jobfair
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