Superintendent's Community Newsletter - November 2019
Dear San Carlos School District Community,
As we all prepare to take some time off from school to be with family and friends, I want you to know how thankful I am to be part of this wonderful San Carlos community and school district. Living and working in San Carlos has provided me and my family the opportunity to experience the warmth, friendliness, and joy that the City of Good Living provides for our 3400 students and their families. San Carlos is a special place because of the people. I am grateful to serve our students, parents, teachers and staff in the San Carlos School District and truly appreciate the support our San Carlos community provides to our outstanding neighborhood schools!
As always, thank you for your support and please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or comments.
Michelle Harmeier, Ed.D.
Thank you for your support on SCEF Day!
I was excited to see so many smiling faces wearing green and sporting mustaches last Wednesday! Thank you to families for your support of our schools and thank you to SCEF for partnering with our parents and community to support core and innovative programs that are vital to an exceptional education. Grants are used to maintain smaller K-3 class size and help cover the costs of providing librarians, counselors, music teachers, technology support and more. It truly takes a village!
Welcome New School Board Member
We are pleased to announce that Wendy Dougherty has been appointed as the newest member of the SCSD School Board. Ms. Dougherty has a remarkable track record of support to our schools. The expertise she has garnered through her professional career and her commitment to our students will serve the district well. We are extremely fortunate to welcome her to the board!
Parcel Tax Renewal Information
San Carlos School District is committed to providing an innovative and engaging learning experience. Exceptional teachers, small class sizes, challenging instructional programs, dedicated parent volunteers, and outstanding science, art, and music programs have prepared generations of local children to succeed in high school, college, and career. Our goal is to continue that proud tradition.
The level of school funding provided by the State of California is one of the lowest in the nation, and the San Carlos School District is one of the lowest funded in the State and in San Mateo County. Fortunately, voters have helped to fill the funding gap for our local SCSD schools. Community support of Measure P, a $246.60 parcel tax (per-parcel/per-year) supports students’ in grades TK-8 and maintains high-quality educational programs, including math, reading, and writing, and hands-on science instruction; attracts and retains qualified and experienced teachers; and supports art, music, libraries, and a well-rounded education.
Without Measure P, some existing local school funding will expire and disappear from SCSD school budgets. This will require SCSD to make drastic cuts to academic programs, increase class sizes and maintain only basics. It is clear we need additional local revenue to fund our core priorities. Accordingly, the San Carlos School District Board will be deciding at its November 21st meeting what to ask of our community to support the renewal and increase of our local parcel tax so we may continue to protect the high quality of education in our schools.
To learn more about the Parcel Tax, visit our website scsdk8.org - 2019-2020 Parcel Tax Information OR contact: Cathy Eitel, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent by phone: (650) 590-5935 OR by email: email@example.com.
Air Quality Protocols and PG&E Power Outages
Thank you for your patience, feedback and support as we manage PG&E power shutdowns and poor air quality days. In talking with parents, there was interest expressed in knowing more about how San Mateo County and school districts work together in situations that affect all of us. Within our district, we have our own method of connecting with site leadership and families. Principals initiate emergency protocols (such as Shelter-in-Place) with staff and messages are then sent to families using our SchoolMessenger notification system. We also post information on all school websites, the district website at www.scsdk8.org and on our social media pages – Facebook & Twitter. We believe it is crucial to communicate in as many ways as possible in order to reach our parents on the platform where they best receive information. I encourage you to read through our Air Quality Protocols housed on our website to learn more about our processes.
Teacher Laptop Replacement
Our teacher laptops have lasted well beyond the regular lifespan of a workplace computer and these eight-year-old machines will be replaced soon. The Board recently approved a three-year lease-to buy-contract enabling us to purchase new teacher laptops for all teachers this year. The replacement process will begin at the end of January and all teachers should have their new laptops by spring. We are pleased to be able to provide teachers the tools they need to be productive and creative educators.
Budget Advisory Committee Update
Last year at this time we formed a Superintendent’s Budget Advisory Committee to examine our district budget and provide input on necessary reductions of expenditures as we experienced a decline in enrollment, flat funding from the State, and increasing costs. We continue to face budget challenges this year. We are continuing to meet monthly, 3:45-5:30 pm and have held two meetings so far. You can review the meeting documents on our website here. We invite parents, teachers, classified staff, administrators, and community members to join and want to make sure all schools have representation on the committee. We are still looking for volunteers, if you would like to join the committee, please contact your school principal or Cathy Eitel, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent by phone: (650) 590-5935 OR by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nov 21 School Board Meeting - 7:00 pm - District Office
Nov 25 - 29 Thanksgiving Break, No School
Dec 5 School Board Meeting - 7:00 pm - District Office
Dec. 10 MPA/TL Winter Band Concert - 5:30 PM
Dec. 10 CMS Winter Orchestra Concert - 7:00 PM
Dec. 11 CMS Winter Band Concert - 7:00 PM
Dec. 11 MPA/TL Winter Orchestra Concert - 6:00 PM
Highlights of Recent School Board Meetings
November 7, 2019
- Spotlight on Excellence recognized two outstanding district programs
- Technology Curriculum Integration Cadre (TCIC)
- SCEF Faculty & Friends Concert
- Parcel tax exploration update and discussion
- Preschool expansion update
- Approval of the District Nurse salary schedule
- Approval of the contract with Apple Computer, Inc. to replace teacher laptops
- Approval of the amended agreement with Beacon Consulting Group to complete Prop. 39 work for the entire district
October 29, 2019
- Special Board Meeting to receive survey results to determine the feasibility of adding a ballot measure to a future election.
October 24, 2019
- Spotlight on Excellence recognized two outstanding district programs
- Week of the School Administrator
- San Carlos Preschool Teaching Staff
- Reviewed results and key findings from the 2019 Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) in the areas of English Language Arts (ELA) & Mathematics
- Discussion of a process for addressing recently raised SCTA concerns
- Discussion of the progress of the parcel tax renewal exploration process
- Discussion of the Prop 30 solar installation project at Tierra Linda and Mariposa
To review board recorded videos, presentations and upcoming agendas - go to the Board Meetings page of the SCSD website.