December 2017

In This Issue......
MSD Calendar
Students Return From Winter Break  
Tues., Jan. 2, 2018
AUSD Superintendent John Nickerson
Facilitates Town Hall -
Student Attendance Calendar Change for 2019-2020
Mon., Jan. 8
11:00 AM, JM Aud

Governing Board  
Tues., Jan. 9
7:00 PM, JM Library

Wellness Committee
Thurs., Jan. 11
6:30 PM
 JM Library, Malucelli 

Martin Luther King Day
Mon., Jan. 15
Schools & Offices Closed

End of First Semester
Fri., Jan. 19
JM Minimum Day Only

Staff Development Day
Mon., Jan. 22
Non Student Day

Cultural Proficiency Committee Meeting
Mon., Jan. 29
3:30 PM, JM Library

Special Governing Board Meeting On Communication
Tues., Jan. 30
6:30 PM, JM Library
Did You Know?
~ The Acalanes School District is considering an earlier start to the 2019 - 2020 school year, perhaps mid August?
Attend the Town Hall discussion on Monday, January 8 at 11:00 AM in the JM auditorium to learn more.

~ JM Leadership students frequently attend and participate in MSD committee and Governing Board meetings?  

~ The MSD Governing Board visits all schools and the District Office during the school year?

~ The Second Semester of 2017-18 begins Tues., Jan. 23?

~ MSD's enrollment is 1834, about 50 less students compared to last year, and the decrease is a result of an exceptionally large 2017 8th grade class?

~ Its been twenty years since CA implemented class size reduction?  Class size in the MSD ranged from 28-32 students, TK-8.  Class size decreased to 20, grades K-3 in 1997, and increased to 24 about four years ago.

~ JM offers more elective classes, thanks to MEF, than any other local school district?

~ TK/Kindergarten registration takes place on Feb. 1 and 2?

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

~ 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.

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

~ Members of the Governing Board attend District committee meetings and one serves on the Lamorinda Bus Transportation Agency?

~ The MSD District Office, 1540 School Street, is rented from AT&T and is located one block from Willow Spring Church, which served the  Moraga Valley as a school from 1917 to 1958?
Quick Links

Joaquin Moraga IS

Calendar Task Force - Town Hall Meeting
Our high school district, the Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD), has initiated a task force with teacher, administrator and parent representatives from partner school districts to examine the school year calendar. Task force partner school districts include Moraga, Orinda Union, Lafayette, Canyon and Walnut Creek.  The task force is addressing whether the current calendar is optimal for our students and community, or are there alternatives that would better suit the collective interests.

In recognition that the school year calendar should not be just a high school district decision, the Moraga School District and the other TK-8 partner districts have actively joined the conversation.

The task force work and findings for the 2019-2020 school year calendar adoption is anticipated to be considered by school boards in the spring of 2018.  

The AUHSD has created a  web-based resource  to inform the community of the task force work and progress.   A FAQ document  provides additional information regarding the calendar questions. Information including background, calendar history, and interests can be viewed here. The task force will be administering surveys in the coming months to TK-12 parents and staff.  We will communicate with our parent community when these surveys are available.  

If you are interested in hearing more about school year calendar considerations and/or wish to ask questions or provide input, the MSD is hosting a "town hall style" meeting at the JM Auditorium on Monday, January 8, 2018 at 11:00 AM.  The meeting will include a presentation from AUHSD superintendent John Nickerson and an opportunity for questions.
Update: Measure V Bond at Work
The Moraga School District web site includes project updates with before and after pictures of all projects.  For more information, click here.  The most recent project, JM's Building G roof replacement, was completed in November.  The Measure V Citizen Bond Oversight Committee conducted site inspections before the project began, mid-project and after the roof was replaced.  

After several months of meeting with staff, parents and administration, and facility inspections conducted by architects and engineers, CSDA Design Group will present a comprehensive construction plan to the Governing Board at the January 9, 2018 Board meeting.  The plan includes the prioritization of specific projects, such as seismic renovation and classroom modernization, as well as a timeline for projects at all schools.  
MSD Messages
In mid-October 2017, a California state law came into effect that requires water testing in all California public schools.   Based on guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency, school drinking water fixtures that exceed 15 parts lead per billion 'exceed the actionable level'.  The East Bay Municipal Utility District tested all MSD schools  in November 2017.  All tests revealed levels well below the 15 parts per billion limit.  An EBMUD Lead Sampling for K-12 Schools: Background and Fact Sheet can be located HERE.  Results for all MSD schools can be found HERE.
All MSD committee agendas and minutes can be found on the MSD website - here.  All committees are advisory and develop recommendations for Governing Board approval.
Wellness Committee Update: Next meeting is 1/11/18 at JM at 6:30 PM.  The WC continues to develop a MSD Wellness Plan and will recommend draft language that student birthday celebrations are held with alternatives to food and school staff not use food as an incentive or reward for behaviors or performance. The WC plans to present the Wellness Plan to the Governing Board this spring.
Cultural Proficiency Committee Update : Next meeting is 1/29/18 at JM at 3:30 PM.  The CPC recommended three standards upon which the MSD will measure its Cultural Proficiency: (1)  Students, families, and staff value human differences and varied perspectives, and own their responsibility to respect others. (2) Curriculum and programs reflect the broad diversity within our local, national, and international communities. (3) C lear and transparent systems are established to address concerns about meeting the goals in this charter, and about the cultural climate as a whole.  The CPC is developing indicators for each standard and will then identify existing programs and services supporting indicators.  An improvement plan will also be developed where there are gaps.  CPC meetings have been well attended.  While Committee work has focused on the development of standards, Committee and public comment has expressed concern about committee training, changing curriculum, the need to survey the District community and hiring standards.
Coordinating Council Update:  Next meeting is 3/7/18 at 3:30 PM at CP.  The CC recently received an update on LCAP progress and heard reports on the CA Assessment of Student Performance and Progress state scores, the CA Healthy Kids Survey and the CA School Dashboard.  
~ Student Safety CommitteeNext meeting is 2/21/18 at CP at 3:30.  The SSC recently reviewed new active shooter procedures as part of the annual update to the Comprehensive Safety Plan.  The SSC reviewed a draft yard duty handbook designed to improve supervision and student safety.
November and December
Governing Board Meeting Highlights
The following are highlights from the November 14 Governing Board meeting: 

~ The Governing Board approved the collective bargaining agreement between the Moraga School District and the Moraga Teachers Association.
Per an Energy Expenditure Plan for Proposition 39 energy funding, the Governing Board approved a proposal with consultant ARC Alternatives for solar power procurement support.
The Governing Board approved Board policies related to: Philosophy, the Superintendent's Contract, Certification, Staff Teaching English Learners, Controversial Issues, Education for English Learners, the Board President.  Click  here for more.
Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Dr. Carolyn Parker, presented an overview of the 2017 California Assessment of Student Performance & Progress (CAASPP) results noting strengths, challenges and next steps. Click here for more.
Dr. Carolyn Parker reviewed the data collected from the California Healthy Kids Survey that is  administered every two years to 5th and 7th grade students. Goals for improvement were presented. Click here for more.

The following are highlights from the December 12 Governing Board meeting:

The Governing Board approved Richard Severy as 2018 Board President, and Joe Rosenbaum as Vice President.
The Governing Board approved the meeting dates for 2018. Click here for dates.
The following Governing Board members were selected and approved to serve on District committees: Coordinating Council Committee - Heather O'Donnell; Student Safety Committee - Richard Severy; Wellness Committee - Joe Rosenbaum; Cultural Proficiency Committee - Jon Nickens, and Lamorinda School Bus Transportation Agency - Heather O'Donnell, and Jon Nickens as alternate.
LP parent, Liz Daugherty, was recognized for completing three months of full time volunteer service as part of a sabbatical from her career to assist the District with changes pursuant to AB 1369 the "Frazier Bill", and the new California Dyslexia Guidelines.
Chief Business Official, Daniela Parasidis, presented the 2017-18 First Interim Report. The Governing Board approved the positive certification that the District will be able to meet its financial obligations for the current and two subsequent fiscal years.
Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Dr. Carolyn Parker, provided an overview of the 2017 California School Dashboard,
The following Board policies were approved: Governing Board Elections, Uniform Complaint Procedures, Nondiscrimination/Harassment, Athletic Competition and Suicide Prevention. For more information, click here.
The Student Attendance Calendar was approved for 2018-19. Click here to view.
Board agendas and minutes can be located on the MSD website, and under the menu heading "District."
MSD Newsletter
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.
Moraga School District  |  1540 School Street   |  Moraga, CA 94556    |  Twitter: @MoragaSchDist

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