District Newsletter - September 20, 2023

Supporting all students to engage, achieve, and thrive.

Dear MPCSD Families,

At least three mornings a week, I start my day at one of our incredible schools. I love the sights and sounds of a bustling school campus and find them especially fulfilling as a superintendent. What I am really proud of is how every school is intentionally building a culture of belonging. My hope is that your children are adjusting to their schedules, building healthy and collaborative relationships, and engaging in meaningful learning experiences. If your child is struggling with the transition back to school, remember they are not alone. Transitions can take time and we are here for your family. Feel free to reach out to the classroom teacher or school counselor for advice and support. 

One of my 2023-24 goals is developing a strong, inspiring, and student-centered strategic vision. MPCSD continues to move in a promising direction: our academic outcomes are strong and steady, we have a comprehensive curriculum including many learning opportunities with interest-based options for our students, and we prioritize SEL and mental health. With that said, strategic visioning allows us to orient the organization moving forward, prioritize long-term goals that are anchored in the values of our community, and ensure an excellent education for our students through intentional actions. 

What skills and mindsets will our students need to be world-ready? What is great about your family’s experience in MPCSD schools that is necessary to preserve in the coming years? We need your perspective, so please complete our short Defining our Future Survey. If you are interested in getting more involved in this work, please join me for one of the following in-person Strategic Visioning Round Table Discussions:

  • November 6, 2023, 9-10 a.m. @TERC (181 Encinal Avenue)
  • November 14, 2023, 7-8 p.m. @TERC (181 Encinal Avenue)

All students deserve to have schooling experiences and learning environments that support them in building the confidence and skills necessary to successfully pursue their future interests, develop healthy relationships, and be world-ready.

Looking forward to our future!

Kristen Gracia

CLICK HERE NOW: Defining Our Future Survey

Take 5 minutes and help shape MPCSD’s future direction! Provide us with your perspective on what matters most to you when it comes to your child(ren)'s education so MPCSD can improve and innovate moving forward.

Challenge Accepted! Donate Today to the OCC

A small group of district families has made us an incredible offer: If 250 families that haven’t yet donated this year donate to the One Community Campaign TODAY (Wednesday, September 20), we will unlock a $150,000 gift to our schools! We only have ONE DAY to meet this ambitious challenge – will you make a gift today?

Our goal for the OCC is 100% participation. While the suggested donation is $2,000 per student, EVERY donation has an impact on our students’ education. Every single gift matters, no matter the size. Please donate today to meet this challenge and unlock this generous gift.

There are many ways to give. You can pledge now to pay by March 1, donate using an eCheck, credit card, Venmo, Paypal, donate stock, pay monthly, or mail a check made out to “One Community Campaign.” How’s that for easy?

Click here to make your donation now. 

Creating Connection & Bridging Divides in Our Community

Join Stanford Professor Geoffrey Cohen as he discusses highlights from his book Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides

We know that a sense of belonging is a fundamental human need, and that a strong sense of belonging at school helps children engage, achieve, and thrive. As MPCSD anchors this school year around the importance of belonging, we are excited to welcome Professor Cohen in conversation with Superintendent Gracia. Professor Cohen will share his expertise about how we can create the conditions of belonging so our community feels more connected, valued, and engaged. He will also be available to sign his book following the discussion.

You don't want to miss this incredible opportunity! We will see you October 3, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. at the Hillview PAC. More information here.

Parent Engagement Opportunities

LCAP+ Equity Advisory Team

The Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) is a state-required document that every school district writes on a three-year basis to outline how it will use its budget resources to address set goals relating to educational delivery and improvement. The LCAP focuses on how districts meet the needs of underrepresented students. It also encourages community support and parent engagement by utilizing an advisory team to inform the goals, and plans for meeting them, that the district sets forth.

MPCSD's LCAP+ Equity Advisory Team is looking for new members. If you want an opportunity to have a voice in making a difference in the lives of our students in need, please consider joining this team. This year, our team will be working towards providing input on a new three year LCAP. If you are interested, please sign up here.

Foundational Literacy Skills Materials Adoption Committee

At MPCSD, we use the most current research to guide our decisions about curriculum and instruction for our wide range of students. When new research becomes available, we read, discuss, and look at our student data to see what, if any, adjustments to our programs need to be made. 

Last year we reflected on MPCSD’s literacy landscape. District leaders spoke with various groups and presented at a school board meeting regarding our current foundational literacy skills approaches. We have found a need for stronger cohesion in the use of materials. Educational Services will be forming a Foundational Literacy Skills Materials Adoption Committee to identify the best set of materials for teachers to use in the classroom that will serve our students. 

If you want to serve on the Foundational Literacy Skills Materials Adoption committee, please sign up here for the 2023-24 school year. We are looking for two parents from each elementary school. We will accept parents on a first come, first served basis due to space limitations.

Celebrating Hispanic & Latino Heritage

Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Did you know that 20% of MPCSD students and 28% of our staff identify as Hispanic/Latino? We honor the many Hispanic and Latino Americans who have been integral to the prosperity of the U.S. Their contributions are immeasurable and they have left an indelible mark on the U.S. culture and economy. Learn more about the importance of Hispanic Heritage Month.

For Your Information

School Wellness Practice Update

MPCSD is committed to the optimal development of every student and the creation of positive, safe, and health-promoting learning environments. Please read the required wellness guidelines as well as MPCSD Wellness Policy.

Annual Notice

The district provides the Annual Notification for Parent/Guardians during the enrollment/re-enrollment period to notify you of your rights and responsibilities. A copy of this has been posted on the MPCSD website

San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women

The commission would like county residents to share how the need for child care has impacted them – currently or in the past. This information will inform the Commission's report to the Board of Supervisors on child care access, funding, and other aspects of caregiving that impact the economic security of women in San Mateo County. Take the survey asap here in English, Spanish, or Chinese.

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Kristen Gracia, Superintendent | mpcsd.org

Governing Board

David Ackerman, President

Francesca Segrè, Vice President

Sherwin Chen

Scott Saywell

Jed Scolnick