October 2018 Newsletter
A message from the Superintendent
As we approached October 8th , many of our students and staff told me that they didn't want to call it the anniversary of the wildfires. They would like it to be known as “a year later” and that they are survivors and not victims. I think that our families and staff are more than survivors, they are thrivers! They have demonstrated “paying it forward” in so many ways. That's why my message this month is about paying it forward. In the movie "Paying It Forward," a simple school assignment was given to look at the world around you and fix something you don’t like using these three rules:

  • It has to be something that really helps people
  • Something they can't do by themselves
  • Do it for them, and they do it for three other people

I think it is safe to say that the impact of the October 2017 fires was something we didn’t expect and certainly didn’t like; however, one year later, there has been so much evidence of people helping people, especially those that might not have survived without the help from others. Now our focus is on how we help others as we pay forward all of the love, strength, kindness and generosity so many showed to Santa Rosa and Santa Rosa City Schools. Some examples: students and the faith-based community built 100 sheds at Piner High School (pictured above) and offered them free to fire survivors; students from Maria Carrillo High School worked to clean up trash in the Coffey Park area; and students from Hidden Valley Elementary are creating care boxes for fire-surviving children in the Redding area.

These wonderful acts of “paying it forward’ are the focus for our thrivers. The ripple effect this will create proves how we can turn something so devastating into something that so beautifully demonstrates the hope and promise of the future in our community.

Diann Kitamura
IWC now open Tuesdays, Wednesdays
The Integrated Wellness Center provides free counseling, school nurse services, and tutoring for families. The services are available for any students and families in the area, not just in our district. No personal information is collected. Come in for support! The Integrated Wellness Center is located at 2232 Lomitas Avenue, open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30 - 5:30pm. Call 707-284-8225 for information.
CAASPP alternative testing
Laptop graphic
Because our schools were closed for three weeks last year, our district requested and received a waiver from CAASPP standardized testing last spring from the California Department of Education. As part of the waiver agreement, the state asked us to administer a local assessment in English Language Arts and Mathematics this fall. Grades 3-11 will be tested. Although CAASPP testing usually does not include grades 9 and 10, those grades will be part of this testing to provide districtwide baseline data. Middle schools and high schools will administer the 2-hour tests in late October, and elementary schools will administer them in early November.
Seniors: apply for financial aid for college
Piner Cash for College meeting
Each high school is hosting a FREE Cash for College Night to support students with accessing financial aid, which is key to college enrollment. Students and families can receive assistance completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act application. Ridgway and Piner have completed their Cash for College Nights, but there are several others coming up:
  • Elsie Allen HS: October 23 at 6pm in the College & Career Center
  • Maria Carrillo HS: November 8 at 6pm in the Library
  • Montgomery HS: November 15 at 6pm in the Student Union
  • Santa Rosa HS: November 29 at 6:30pm in the MPR
If you can't make it to a Cash for College night, visit the College & Career Center at each high school for additional support and information during the application window, which is from October 1, 2018 through March 2, 2019. 
New this year:  A mobile-friendly version of the  fafsa.gov  website and a mobile app is now available! Watch this video about the mobile app !
Classroom safety locks
The classroom safety door lock project is set to begin by early November, replacing classroom door locks so that they can be locked from the outside, and also from the inside in the event of an emergency. The project will be paid for with bond money from Measures I & L. The large project will start with five schools, and will continue in phases until all classroom doors are equipped with the new hardware.
Volunteering in our schools
Burbank Elementary courtyard with flagpole
We are always looking for excellent volunteers to help with our students. Start by contacting the school where you'd like to volunteer. If you are volunteering only occasionally and are never alone with the students (helping with a class party, for example, or chaperoning a daytime field trip) your on-boarding process may take only a week or so. If you are a regular classroom volunteer, like a weekly tutor, art docent, or overnight chaperone, you will need to be fingerprinted, have a TB test and complete Mandated Reporter training.
Athletic volunteers must complete additional clearances before they can coach. SRCS covers fees for fingerprinting and TB testing. Please contact Mary Alyce Stephens, mstephens@srcs.k12.ca.us or 707-890-3800 x80607, with any questions. Your time spent with our students is appreciated!
New phone number for district office
new phone
Our districtwide phone system upgrade is almost complete. The district office now has a new phone number: 707-890-3800 . Now, w hen you call any of our schools or the district office, you will be able to use a directory to search for the person you want to find. The upgrade from three outdated phone systems to one districtwide integrated system has been paid for by Bond Measures I & L. Thank you to the voters of Santa Rosa for updating this critical communication tool!
America's Healthiest Schools Awards
collage of 4 elementary schools that won award
Congratulations to our four elementary schools that won America's Healthiest Schools Awards: Abraham Lincoln, Helen Lehman, James Monroe, and Proctor Terrace! The schools are among only ten in the Bay Area to be recognized by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation , a national organization that empowers kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. The schools had to meet criteria including: serving healthier meals and snacks, getting students moving, offering high-quality health and physical education, and empowering school leaders to be healthy role models. Learn more in this Press Democrat article .
Excellence in Education Awards: Elementary
Elementary winners of Excellence in Education awards
Just before the school year began, teachers and community leaders gathered for the annual Excellence In Education Awards, sponsored by the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber. Outstanding teachers were nominated from pre-school to college level, and winners were chosen in each category. In elementary education, Indy Monday from Brook Hill Elementary and Mike Persinger from James Monroe Elementary took top honors.
Report cards coming soon!
Report cards in boxes to go to post office
Report cards for middle school and high school students will be mailed at the end of October. Elementary students will bring home report cards in mid-November. Parents who don't want to wait for the paper report cards, can check grades, attendance and more on the Illuminate Education parent portal . If you still need to set up your parent portal account, contact your child’s school (elementary school secretary or middle/high school registrar) for your access code.
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Santa Rosa City Schools
211 Ridgway Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95401