August 13, 2019
Dear SCSD Families,
I am thrilled to welcome you back to school next week! The summer went by quickly, but we are ready and eager to get back in the classroom for another outstanding year! School starts Wednesday, August 21 with a minimum day to ease back into the school year routine.
Our principals and teachers will begin the year together this week with a dedicated day of learning and professional development for district-wide initiatives. We are continuing to use the Strategic Plan to guide our continued focus on educating the whole child and preparing them for high school and beyond.
Our elementary teachers are digging deeper into using all of the components of Readers and Writers Workshop and a Project Based learning approach to support personalized learning in Language Arts and other subject areas. Elementary and middle school staff are revisiting the social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, 2nd Step and Newsela SEL so they can confidently integrate SEL into their classrooms throughout the year. Our middle schools are preparing to kick off a culture enhancing program called W.E.B. (Where Everyone Belongs) for the first time to support the transition of 6th graders to middle school by inviting 8th grade leaders to mentor and support the entire 6th grade class. Our middle school staff are also engaging in Circle Up Training to continue ongoing conversations about conflict resolution, diversity and equity, and restorative practices so we can cultivate happy, thriving, and stress-free school communities.
Mariposa Upper Elementary School is officially opening and looks beautiful! The opening of the 4th-5th grade school completes the district reconfiguration plan. This also marks the completion of the first phase of the Facilities Master Plan by modernizing four of eight schools in the district. Principal Alex Friel will welcome new 4th-5th graders from Arundel and Heather next week and invites our entire community to the Mariposa Dedication Ceremony on Friday, August 23 at 5:30 pm.
Our SMART-E after school program is kicking off the year with a new leader, Director Amber Farinha. We are continuing to work with our partners to expand our before and after school enrichment offerings for students. San Carlos Belmont After School program will expand their enrollment this year at all four elementary schools. KidzToPros (KTP) will offer morning programs at the four elementary schools and Mariposa this year, and they will offer afterschool programs at Arroyo and Mariposa. KTP will again offer specialized enrichment classes during the Fall, Winter, and Spring sessions, with Fall classes beginning mid-September. We are committed to providing quality before/after school care and enrichment for students whose parents need the supervision support, and also will provide enrichment opportunities to extend learning, play, fun and social development beyond the school day. As the demand for care increases and our district enrollment grows, we strive to have a place for all who need and want this service.
Our San Carlos Preschool program is also growing! We will open two new classes at Brittan Acres this year allowing more students to become part of our SCSD family as preschoolers.
The San Carlos Decade
Over the past ten years, our district has transformed its approach to education and our teachers have taken the lead on 21st century learning approaches. Most importantly, our staff provides a warm, nurturing, enriching, engaging, and challenging learning environment for our students. Please join me in recognizing and celebrating their hard work, and the great things happening at each grade level and department in every school across the district!
Our students can start their educational career with us in our preschool program and progress through their San Carlos Decade with their friends in small, neighborhood schools where they will be well prepared to follow a college and career pathway when they leave us for their high school experiences. By the way, our first preschool class will be promoting from 8th grade this June, making them the first group of students to experience the complete San Carlos Decade!
I feel so fortunate to be part of a small school district with small schools, where our teachers, parents, the San Carlos Education Foundation (SCEF) and the community of San Carlos work well together to create the best possible educational experience for every learner in SCSD! I look forward to working with you this year. I hope to see you at our upcoming SCEF New Family Welcome Nights, PTA Welcome Back events, and Back To School Night presentations during the next few weeks.
Michelle Harmeier, Ed.D.