September 2018

In This Issue......
MSD Calendar
Coordinating Council
Thurs., September 20
3:30-5:00 PM
JM Library

Cultural Proficiency
Committee Meeting
Mon., September 24
3:30-5:00 PM
Los Perales School Rm 4

Enrollment and Class Size Presentation
Tues., September 25
7:00 PM, JM Library

Student Wellness Committee Meeting
Thurs., September 27
3:30 PM, Rheem School  Rm 25

Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee Meeting
Thurs., October 4
6:30 - 8:30 PM
JM Library

Staff Development Day
No School for Students
Mon., October  8

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

Student Safety Committee Meeting
Wed., October 10
3:30 PM, Camino Pablo School Room 24

Enrollment and Class Size Workshop
Thurs., October 11
7:00 PM, JM Library

Student Wellness Committee Meeting
Thurs., October 25
3:30 PM, Rheem School Rm 25

First Quarter Ends
at JMIS 
Fri., October 26
Did You Know?
~ October 18 is the California annual ShakeOut drill, an opportunity for our schools to learn and practice how to prepare for major earthquakes? 

~ ELL students and parents are invited to an International Potluck on October 25, Los Perales School, room 4 at 5 PM?

~ MSD encourages promoting and teaching the Life Skills, a District-wide program, to prevent bullying? October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

~ Every School Day Counts and your school principal has a number of ideas and resources to support improved attendance?

~ You may call the school attendance line to report a child's absence or notify the office of an early pick-up?

~ Former MSD class of 2006 (Campo 2010) grad, Erika Henningsen, is starring in the Broadway play Mean Girls as Cady Heron?

~ Prop. 39 (Clean Energy and Jobs Act) funds were used this past summer to replace replace existing interior lighting in most classrooms and offices? 

~ 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.

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 hired its first elementary school counselor and with 100% support of the Moraga Education Foundation?

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

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

~ 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? 
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 and were included in the parent online registration packet.  Dedicated website pages have been created for each committee.  From the MSD homepage, click District and scroll to the committee.

Wellness Committee
The Governing Board approved MSD's first Wellness Plan in June 2018.  Wellness Committee 18-19 goals include increasing use of CA Department of Education Nutrition Guidelines, celebrating student birthdays without food; assessing the physical education program to determine consistency with state standards, selecting and implementing a Social Emotional Learning TK-8 program, and providing students and teachers education about vaping/e-cigarettes.  The first meeting of the year is September 27 at Rheem School, 3:30 PM.

Cultural Proficiency Committee
The CPC will meet September 24 at Los Perales, 3:30 PM. Future meetings will focus on spring 2018 survey results and how the MSD is implementing SB 48, the  Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act of 2012 and  California Healthy Youth Act.

Coordinating Council
The CC, charged with overseeing and developing the Local Control Accounting Plan (LCAP), or our District's strategic plan, meets September 20 at the JM library, 3:30 PM, and will review the 2018-2019 LCAP goals, actions and services.  The  LCAP is located on the MSD homepage.  LCAP feedback can also be sent to:

Student Safety Committee 
The SSC is responsible for updating the MSD Comprehensive Safety Plan, and will meet on October 10 at CP, 3:30 PM.  2018-2019 goals include selecting and implementing recommendations from the Safe Havens report; reviewing and updating the dress code; teacher safety training; parent safety education and increasing simulations as part of school emergency drills.
Quick Links

Joaquin Moraga IS
Attendance Matters
Influencing School Success 
The Moraga School District is making a special effort to ensure that all students fully benefit from their education by attending school regularly. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school-and themselves. Your student can start building this habit in transitional kindergarten or kindergarten so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Consistent attendance will help children do well in middle school, high
school, college, and at work.

Did You Know?
Starting in kindergarten, too many absences (excused and unexcused) can cause children to fall behind in school.
Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) increases the chance that your student will not read or master math at the same level as their peers.
Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.
By being present at school, your child learns valuable social skills and has the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with other students and school staff.
Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
~ By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
Trips and vacations are not deemed to be excused and are the leading causes for the MSD to notify parents that their child is truant.

The Moraga School District has responsibilities related to monitoring attendance and notifying families of absences at certain thresholds:

*California Education Code §48260 defines a truant as any student who is absent from school without a valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for
more than a 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof. The Moraga School District is  required to notify families upon a student's initial classification as a truant (§48260.5).

*California Education Code §48263.6 defines a chronic truant as a student who is absent from school without a valid excuse for ten percent or more of the school days in one  school year, from the date of enrollment to the current date. The District is required to hold at least one conference with the student's parent or guardian (§48262).

We know that there are a wide variety of reasons that students are absent from school, from health concerns to transportation challenges. There are many people in our schools prepared to help you if you or your student face challenges in getting to school regularly or on time. We promise to track attendance daily, to notice when your student is missing from class, communicate with you to understand why they were absent, and to identify barriers and supports available to overcome challenges you may face in helping your student attend school.
New Curriculum on Horizon
Teachers, staff and parents will be reviewing five different curriculum this school year, including K-5 Science, 6-8 Science, 6-8 History/Social Studies, 7-8 French and 5th grade Health programs.  Curriculum, in the form of textbooks, materials and equipment is selected for review by teacher and staff committees and from a CA Department of Education matrix.  Teachers then pilot the curriculum and review their findings against standards.  Parents will have an opportunity to review the materials prior to the Governing Board receiving recommendations to adopt curriculum.  Notice of these opportunities will be posted in school, PTA and District newsletters.  Our goal is to present recommendations to the Governing Board in April or May 2019.
New Governing Board Members
The District is pleased to welcome new Governing Board members Heather Davis and John Giordani.  Both will take office at the December 11, 2018, Governing Board meeting.  Current Board member Jon Nickens will begin a second term in December.  President Richard Severy and Vice President Joe Rosenbaum are in the second year of four year terms.

The MSD Governing Board had three vacancies for the November 6, 2018 election.  However, no election will be held as the three Board vacancies have been filled by Ms. Davis, Mr. Giordani and Mr. Nickens.
Enrollment and Class Size 
Presentation and Workshop
The District will hold two evening programs addressing enrollment protocols and class size.  On September 25, 2018, at 7:00 PM at the JM library, information will be presented on enrollment and registration systems and class size.  On October 11 at 7:00 PM at the JM library, a workshop will be facilitated seeking input from parents to improve enrollment and registration systems and communication, and discuss ideas to reduce class size. 
Measure V Tax Dollars at Work
The support from the Moraga community in passing Measure V is already making a positive impact at all school sites and more improvements are on the way.  A roof replacement at JM, resurfaced playgrounds at JM and LP, new retaining walls at CP and LP, and new cafeteria tables and benches at our three elementary schools are examples of Measure V funds "at work".  

On October 9, Design and Development plans for CP and Rheem will be presented to the Governing Board for review.  These plans include a detailed description of seismic improvements, classroom enhancements and infrastructure upgrades.  

The Design and Development plans are an outcome of input received from parents and staff.  As the Distirct has progressed from schematics to designs, the scope of projects reflects the allocation of Measure V funds for each site.  
August and September
Governing Board Meeting Highlights
Superintendent Burns reported on the status of Measure V and Proposition 39 projects.
~ Superintendent Burns provided an update on enrollment and projected enrollment.  MSDs enrollment is 1,850, about 20 students more than projected.  
~ Chief Business Official Daniela Parasidis presented for public view, in accordance with Education Code 42127(h), revisions to the adopted budget within 45 days after the Governor signed the annual Budget Act.  The 45 Day Revised Budget is located HERE.
~ The First and Second Readings for new and updated MSD Board policies were reviewed and adopted to ensure policies are current with changes in law. MSD Board Policies are located HERE.
~ Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School Assistant Principal David Lanuza presented a report on school suspension and expulsion rates, best practices for disciplinary alternatives to both, and the proactive measures staff uses to manage discipline.  
~ The Moraga School District Governing Board held a public hearing to approve Resolution 19-13, which states all students have sufficient materials and textbooks needed for their classes.
~ JM Athletic Directors Ms. McNeil and Ms. Johnston delivered a presentation to the Board on the JM After School Sports program
~ The Board discussed the use of school facilities to provide enrichment programs to students before the instructional day begins. The Board agreed to pilot a before school program at Camino Pablo this school year and will evalute the program in the spring.
~ Superintendent Burns honored retiring JM Physical Education teacher Lisa Barber and CP Kindergarten teacher Karol Robinson for their service to Moraga School District students.
~ The Governing Board approved Resolution 19-14 in support of October - National Bullying Prevention Month.

Board agendas and minutes are located on the MSD website, 
and under the menu heading "District."

Student Safety 
The MSD Student Safety Committee (SSC) annually updates the District's Comprehensive Safety Plan and identifies goals for the coming school year.  A list of SSC goals can be found in the left column of this newsletter under the heading Committee Updates.

A 2018-2019 goal calls for providing parent education in the area of local safety ordinances.  For your information, on March 14, 2018, the Moraga Town Council adopted an ordinance requiring that firearms stored in a residence must be stored in a locked container or disabled with a trigger or cable lock when the gun is not being carried or under the immediate control of the owner.  To comply with the law, a gun lock must be a type listed on the California Department of Justice's (DOJ) roster of approved firearms safety devices. You can find more information about approved safety devices here . The full text of the ordinance is here Safe storage of firearms protects lives by preventing accidental shootings, school shootings, suicides, and gun theft. 

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

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