May/June 2018

In This Issue......
MSD Calendar
Governing Board  
Tues., May 8
7:00 PM, JM Library

Open House & Minimum Day at Elementaries TK-5
Thurs., May 17
Check school websites for more info  HERE

Cultural Proficiency Committee Meeting
Mon., May 21
3:30 PM, JM Library

FORE Our Schools 11th Annual Golf Tournament
Mon., May 21
HERE for more

Orientation for New MSD Board Candidates
Wed., May 23
6:30 PM, JM Library

Open House at JMIS
Minimum Day
for 6-8 grades only
Thurs., May 24
Spring Fling & Book Fair
5:00 PM
Open House Begins at 7:00 PM

Memorial Day Weekend
No School 
Mon., May 28

Governing Board  
Tues., June 5
7:00 PM, JM Library

JM  8th Grade Graduation
New Location 
Campo Gym
Thurs., June 7
5:30 PM

Last Day of School
Minimum Day All Students
Fri., June 8

Governing Board  
Meeting to Approve 2018-19 
LCAP & Budget
Tues., June 12
7:00 PM, JM Library

Did You Know?
~ A panel discussion on How to Talk with Your Kids About Race led by
Dr. Ardis Martin, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist is coming up May 9 at 7 PM in the Lafayette Library & Learning Center?

~ Teacher Appreciation Day is in May?

~ Ph.D. Dan Peters is presenting on Preparing Students for Life on Thurs., May 10, OIS Multi Purpose room - 80 Ivy Drive   6:30-8 PM?

~ The Moraga Community Faire & Car Show is May 12 - featuring a kids zone, pony rides and much much more? HERE

~ Moraga iKind Project is presenting the film "And Then They Came for Us" on May16 at 7 PM in the JM Auditorium? A discussion & panel will follow.  HERE

~ Spring music concerts are being held in May at each of our four schools? Please check their website calendars for dates & times -

~ Raptor, a data base program used to clear visitors and volunteers, is now being used on all school campuses?   Please bring your ID when signing in at the  school office every time you come on campus.

~ It is necessary to complete a Volunteer Clearance Form prior to volunteering in a MSD classroom? 

~ You can view MSD CA Assessment of Student Performance and Progress state scores, the top 1% of all districts,  HE RE ?

~ You can view a detailed report of MSD revenue and expenses?  See HERE, page 85.

MEF is benefiting every student, every day, and donations make it possible for students to explore, imagine, innovate and experiment in small classes, with dedicated experts and with opportunities not found in most public schools?

~ MSD is looking for substitute  teachers?   
Contact Lisa Crouch at
us.   More information about employment opportunities can be found HERE.

~   The MSD Newsletter is sent to District families and community members after monthly Board meetings and when communicating special announcements?Please note the Subscribe and Unsubscribe information at the end of the newsletter.

~ Measure V and Prop. 39 funds will be at work this summer replacing retaining walls , resurfacing a playground and replacing existing interior lighting in most classrooms?
Quick Links

Joaquin Moraga IS
MSD 2018 Teacher of the Year 
Karlene Steelman was recognized by the Governing Board on March 13 as the Moraga Teacher of the Year. For the past fourteen years, Ms. Steelman has been teaching math to 6th - 8th graders at Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School. Ms. Steelman is a leader within the math department and JM.  She actively collaborates and shares teaching methods and content. Her efforts to bring the Math Olympiad and STEM electives to JM have produced new opportunities for student exposure to mathematical problem solving and competitions. Ms. Steelman uses innovative programs to   increase engagement and understanding,  such as the Silicon Valley Math Initiative and co-teaching model to support students at all levels, Ms. Steelman will represent the Moraga School District in the Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year selection process.   
MSD 2018 Classified Employee of the Year
Los Perales School library media specialist Constance 
Russell was selected as the MSD's first Classified Employee of the Year.  Ms. Russell, whose enthusiasm for books and reading is frequently exhibited by her many costumes, has worked as LP's library media specialist for the past five years.  Her above and beyond work ethic, school and District involvement, and commitment to provide exemplary service to students, families and colleagues represent the ideals of this new award.  Book fairs with shopping, story time and dancing, Dot Day, Children's Book Week, Read Across America, read-ins with therapy dogs and celebrity authors are a sample of the many programs she has organized over the years. Ms. Russell was recognized as the Classified Employee of the Year at the April Governing Board meeting.
May is CAASPP Testing Month
The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) testing is underway in grades three through eight.  While the district has a broad testing window (April 30 - May 18), school sites determine site-specific testing windows.  Thank you for your help in making sure your child is in attendance and on time on test days.

Most students in grades three through eight will take the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment in English language arts/literacy and mathematics.  In addition, students in grades five and eight will take the California Science Test (CAST). The CAST test is in the field test phase, as California is in the process of implementing the California Next Generation Science Standards.

Parents can view the Practice Test to see the different types of questions that students will be given on the Smarter Balanced Assessments. The Practice Test is posted on the portal Practice and Training Tests Web page at .

To learn more about either the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments or the CAST, go to the California Department of Education Parent Guides to Understanding web page at
Governing Board Candidate Workshop 
Elections for the three seats on the five member Moraga School District Governing Board will be held on November 6, 2018. The three incumbent board members: Jon Nickens, Jim Obsitnik, and Heather O'Donnell are eligible to run for another term. Board president Richard Severy and Board member Joe Rosenbaum are in year two of a four-year term. Elected candidates will serve four-year terms commencing December 11, 2018. Information regarding election requirements can be found at the Contra Costa County Elections Department website, or HERE. The Moraga School District invites interested Moraga resident citizens to attend an informational program on May 23, 2018, at 7:00 PM at the Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School library to learn and ask questions about governing board roles, responsibilities, and time commitments. For more information, please contact the MSD at
Governing Board Meeting Highlights
Los Perales School principal Stephanie Richards, introduced four LP fifth grade students (Ellie, Chance, Nola, and Jasmine) who presented an overview of the benefits of participating in the school Leadership program, directed by teachers Terry Garcia and Christina Mignano. Students commented on how Leadership has helped build their confidence when speaking publicly; improved school culture and community by encouraging students to mix with those in other grade levels; and taught them the skills and importance of fundraising for charities.
~ The Moraga School District Governing Board approved Resolution 18-21, National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This resolution is an important reminder for all of us to invest in our students and be aware of their well-being.
~ The Child Abuse Prevention Council of Contra Costa County (CPAC), by means of an agreement with the Moraga School District, teaches a student safety program with the purpose of addressing child abuse, bullying, and sexual harassment prevention to students in grades 1, 3, 5, and 6, utilizing the Speak Up Be Safe program. CPAC program directors Carol Shenon and Denise Bettencourt provided an overview of the program implemented during the 2017-2018 school year.
~ The Governing Board approved proposals from CSDA Design Group to provide design and development architectural services for the Measure V Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School, Camino Pablo School, Los Perales School and Donald Rheem School modernization projects.
~ The MSD Child Care Directors delivered an annual update to the Board highlighting enrollment, programs, food menus, and student safety.  
~ Recognizing the importance of the Town of Moraga Stormwater Fee, the District dedicated time for public comment.  The Moraga Town mayor, a Town council member, a representative from and addressed the Board during public comment.   The MSD Governing Board will take action on the stormwater fee measure at the May 8 Governing Board meeting. 
~ The Moraga School District Governing Board approved Resolution 18-22, Adoption of Developer Fee Rate. After reviewing the Developer Fee Justification Study, the Governing Board approved the recommended increase the State Allocation Board established for the allowable maximum developer fee: residential development at $3.79 per square foot, and $0.61 per square foot for commercial/industrial development. The fees becomes effective on June 11, 2018.
~ The Governing Board adopted Resolution 18-23, Recognition of the Day of the Educators on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, as a district wide gesture of appreciation and gratitude for our talented, committed, skilled, and knowledgeable educators.
~ The Governing Board approved an agreement between Safe Havens International and the Moraga School District for Safe Havens International to conduct a comprehensive school safety, security and emergency preparedness study for all four schools and the District Office. 
~ The Governing Board approved an increase to the facility use rate schedule by 10% effective July 1, 2018. These fees are a result of rising costs, such as utilities and salaries, to maintain fields and facilities, and a decrease in District general funds available to maintain fields and facilities.
~ The Governing Board approved the allocation of former categorical bus transportation funds, from the Lamorinda School Bus Program to the District's General Fund.
Board agendas and minutes can be located on the MSD website, and under the menu heading "District."
MSD Committee Updates
All Moraga School District committee meetings are open to the public.  Meeting dates and times can be located on the front page of the MSD website.  See the posted calendar.  Dedicated website pages have been created for the four committees.  From the MSD homepage, click District and scroll to the committee.

~ The Wellness Committee, charged with developing a MSD Wellness Plan, met April 12 and reviewed the new Wellness Committee website portal, discussed and planned Social Emotional Learning initiatives, reviewed Wellness Plan development progress, and continued work to identify research and rationale to support future Wellness Committee recommendations. Please check the MSD website calendar for the next meeting date and time.

~ The Cultural Proficiency Committee (CPC) met April 30. A meeting recap includes:  The superintendent, after much committee deliberation regarding how the CPC will operate and who will serve on the CPC, explained the CPC will run in the same way as all other MSD committees.  Draft teacher, librarian and parent surveys were discussed and edited.  The parent survey will be administered in the fall and the teacher and librarian surveys will be administered in May.  In order to provide time for surveys to be completed, the CPC moved its May 21 meeting to May 30 at 7:00 PM at the JM library.  The additional time will also be used to summarize the survey data prior to the May 30 meeting.  Future meetings will focus on how and to what degree the MSD is implementing SB 48, the  Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act of 2012  and  California Healthy Youth Act .
  Next meeting: 5/30 at 7:00 PM at JM.

The Coordinating Council, charged with overseeing and developing the Local Control Accounting Plan, or our District's strategic plan, heard final action/service reports, and reviewed and recommended edits and additions to existing LCAP services and actions at the March 7 meeting.  A draft LCAP is posted HERE.  The MSD Governing Board will be presented a first read of the LCAP on June 5, followed by a request to approve the LCAP on June 12.  Coordinating Council meetings have concluded for the 2017-2018 school year.  If you are interested in offering suggestions and directly participating in the future direction of the MSD, please contact your child's principal.  Feedback can also be sent to

~ The Student Safety Committee, responsible for updating the MSD Comprehensive Safety Plan, completed the process to update next year's Safety Plan.  The Committee identified 18-19 goals: implement recommendations from the Safe Havens assessments, review the student dress code,    classroom management  staff development, parent and community education programs focusing on safety issues, and prioritizing safety drills and planning at least one drill to simulate parents picking up their children.

Moraga School District  |  1540 School Street   |  Moraga, CA 94556    |  Twitter: @MoragaSchDist

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