Dear Gateway Community,
Welcome back to school and Happy Fall! Thanks to our stellar students, teachers, parents, faculty and staff, our school year launched more smoothly than ever. Already our halls are filled with the kind of spirit and enthusiasm that makes me proud to serve this great organization.
And welcome to the new format of The Gate. Over the summer, the leadership team at Gateway talked about how to best serve our community as part of our widening strategic initiatives. Part of that discussion focused on The Gate and the stories we share. We decided that The Gate should do more than highlight the best in our schools. It should also serve as a reference for the best practices we employ on a daily basis and some of the results we see from using them.
In this issue we start from the beginning of the year and explore just what it means to teach kids about college prep. We get to see the transition from 6th to 8th grade through the eyes of a student. We visit a charged piece of curriculum that had both teachers and students toeing the line of tough, but necessary, conversations. And we also take a closer look at the origin and intent of one of our clubs, The Burl Toler Scholars. Finally, I have outlined in further detail some of our broader aims and directives. I hope you will find them as exciting as we do.
One last thing to note: as you probably already know, California has adopted new academic standards, the Common Core State Standards, that will go into effect for the 2014-2015 school year. Overall, we believe this is a positive change for California students because the Common Core and the associated new standardized tests will emphasize deep learning and critical thinking over rote memorization. The new standards will help schools like Gateway focus on what matters most: preparing students for success in college and beyond. We will keep you informed as we continue to learn how these changes will be implemented. For now, I recommend you take a look at this video to learn more about the objectives of the Common Core State Standards or visit the Common Core website for more details.
All of us at Gateway Public Schools look forward to a tremendous year ahead. Thank you for being a part of what we do.
Executive Director, Gateway Public Schools