February 2106

Happy February, Walnut Acres Parents,

Your voice is requested!

IT’S TIME TO COLLECT YOUR INPUT about how well Walnut Acres is activating the 6 C’s (collaboration, communication, critical and creative thinking, global citizenship and content mastery), implementing the instructional practices we have been learning, and creating a safe, nurturing, and challenging learning environment!

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey on the front page of our school website (or click here). Your opinion matters, so please take the time to share your thoughts with us by 2/26/16. We will also be collecting survey results from our students during computer lab, and the data results will add to our progress analysis. As we do each year, the survey results will be shared graphically on our website this spring for the public to view.

Meanwhile, compiled responses will support analysis of our current safety plan and school site plan. (Both these plans are public documents on the district website.) The Safety Plan enumerates annual goals to promote physical and social/emotional site safety as developed by our school safety committee and School Site Council (SSC). This plan also details emergency procedures.

The site plan, known as the School Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) is a 3-year plan, reviewed and approved annually by the SSC, which dictates budget development, professional growth topics, and types of materials and supplies (including technology) to be purchased. Three-year goals and annual objectives target our transformative vision and guide us to appropriate budget expenditures to support our work.

Your survey input will be valuable data as we analyze SPSA and Safety Plan goal achievement, define our needs, and target next steps toward our 21st century transformation to become a dynamic, student-owned, challenging, nurturing, 6 C learning community.

The superintendent wants to hear from you, too!

Our Superintendent, Dr. Nellie Meyer, also wants your input regarding district goals. She has been facilitating a series of meetings around the district to share the district LCAP (Local Control Achievement Plan) and gather community input about these plans and potential improvements to them. There are two meetings left this year and you are invited to share your input at either of them as your schedule allows:

Thursday                    2/18/16           5:30 p.m.        Willow Creek Center

Wednesday               4/6/16            6:00 p.m.        Northgate High School

And the state has information for you…

California Common Core State Standards (CCSS) brochures are available to parents, guardians, and other community members. The eight new brochures, four in each subject area, are organized by grade spans (K–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12) and provide insights into what students will be learning. The brochures were developed on behalf of the Consortium for the Implementation of the Common Core under the leadership of the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division of the California Department of Education and the Sacramento County Office of Education.

The brochures on the mathematics standards showcase example problems, and the brochures on the ELA/Literacy standards highlight the progression of learning through the grade levels. Each brochure also provides suggestions for parents/guardians to support their students’ learning and a list of additional resources.

The brochures can be downloaded from the Sacramento County Office of Education Web page individually and they are provided to you below:

English Language Arts/Literacy (Grades K–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12)

Mathematics (Grades K–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12)

Almost last, but not least…

My thanks to all who are planning to support the PFC Auction on 3/4/16 at the Hilton! I understand that the PFC savings funds (known as “Strategic Planning funds”) have been spent each of the last few years as the PFC continued to maintain a very high level of support to our school with expenditures that exceeded intake.  The Strategic Planning Committee has now met and officially determined what PFC budget-watchers knew was coming – the savings account is too small to continue drawing from the account for next year’s PFC budget.  They recommend that the remaining funds be kept for a “rainy day” account. I realize that means inevitable cuts to the 2016-17 PFC budget. I appreciate that parents are valiantly working to make budget reductions as painless as possible with a very successful Auction. I salute the dedicated Auction leaders, the hard-working volunteers, and the many folks who plan to support the event. I look forward to seeing you there.

What it’s all about

One of our children wished me a Happy Valentine’s Day early last week. I asked her why she was sharing Valentine wishes so far in advance and she responded that she had so much love inside her that it would take more than one day to share it all!

I hope you and your beautiful children enjoyed a very Happy Valentine’s Day and that you appreciate that it will take a lifetime to share your love with one another. As the wonderful psychologist Virginia Satir once wrote, “Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible — the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.”

With affection,

Colleen Dowd, principal