March 2017 Principal's Message
Two topics that I would like to cover with this month’s message: Time Management Worksheet and Parent Input for the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)
We have a tool that is not widely used or known called the Time Management Worksheet. This worksheet allows students and families to list out what things might impact them on a daily basis when choosing classes for next year. The form lists out the 7 days of the week in timely increments and those filling it out should put down class time, extracurriculars, work obligations, homework time and any other outside activity that might impact the hours in the day. The object of this activity is to see how much time is really needed to do all the things a student wants to do and make sure they have enough time to eat, sleep and be with family. Normally this activity is done with a counselor who goes over estimates for homework depending on the courses you are looking to take. I am borrowing an estimate sheet, the Homework Calculation Guide, (please click this link) from another school in our district to make it easier for you to do this, but please know that this might not match up perfectly with what we offer. Please know that our site and the district are looking at streamlining this activity so that it is similar no matter what school your student(s) attends in the hopes that we can make this a more widespread activity. I hope you find this tool useful, and let me know if you have any questions or suggestions on how to make this better or more useful.
Now for our second topic: Parent Input on the LCAP. First, a little background. The LCAP is part of the Local Control Funding Formula designed by Governor Brown a few years back to fund schools on a more equitable basis. Every school must update on a yearly basis, their Local Control Accountability Plan. We talk to a variety of stakeholders to get their feedback, ideas, concerns and suggestions to help make our plan and school the best that it can be. There are two opportunities where parents will be able to talk directly to district office and site personnel to have their input recorded for use in the writing process. The first opportunity will be at our School Site Council meeting on Tuesday, March 14th from 5pm to 6pm (location will depend on how many people attend but we will start in the staff lounge behind the cafeteria, near the boys’ locker room). The second will be at a PTSA meeting on May 17th at 6:45pm in the school cafeteria. You do not need to be a member of either the School Site Council or the PTSA to attend, and we hope that you can find the time to be part of this important process.
The current 15-16 LCAP (which is located on our District Website and can be found by clicking this link) has 4 overarching goals:
- Sustain generally high student performance while ensuring high levels of learning from every student.
- All students will have access to a guaranteed and viable curriculum designed to help them pursue their passions and interests while preparing them for college and careers.
- Every student will feel safe, cared about, and both academically and socially engaged in school.
- Parents, students, and other community stakeholders will have a variety of opportunities to learn about and give feedback on school and District priorities, expenditures, and programs.
If you do look over the LCAP document, you will see that it is long and detailed with action items listed for the next three years even though we have to update each year. At these meetings, we will be asking for your input in regard to these four goals. If you are not able to make either of those meetings but would still like to give your opinion please feel free to send me your thoughts. If you are planning on attending and would just like a little more information about those four goals, I will provide a brief description of what each goal means and possible areas to consider.
For the first goal (Sustain generally high student performance while ensuring high levels of learning from every student), this refers to our instructional and curricular programs being standards-based and rigorous, yet providing enough supports for those students who need interventions or to be platforms for students to extend their learning. Our teachers address this goal through their collaborative work on our late start Mondays by answering the questions of what do we want students to know and be able to do? What strategies do skillful teachers use to ensure that students are exposed to and understand these skills? What assessments do we use to measure the effectiveness of these goals? What do we do when students don’t understand these essential standards? What do we do when they do understand them? So ideas and suggestions about instructional practices, assessments, interventions, extensions or classroom expectations would be appropriate.
The second goal (All students will have access to a guaranteed and viable curriculum designed to help them pursue their passions and interests while preparing them for college and careers) refers more to the types of classes, programs, clubs, extra-curricular activities that we offer here at Homestead as well as ensure that all teachers are qualified and receive appropriate professional development. Feedback on what we have or need to have to make sure that students are prepared and able to move on to life after high school is also sought out in this section
Ideas and opinions about the third goal (Every student will feel safe, cared about, and both academically and socially engaged in school) is a wide ranging goal that looks at everything regarding school climate such as the physical state of the campus, rules and regulations, emergency plans and preparedness, discipline, mental health, school schedule, attendance and access to outside resources for support and more.
The fourth and final goal (Parents, students, and other community stakeholders will have a variety of opportunities to learn about and give feedback on school and District priorities, expenditures, and programs) covers all the possible ways that we do and should allow for our stakeholders to have a say in what we do here on campus. Coming to these meetings or sending me your thoughts are two excellent ways to help us fulfill this goal as well as the other three.
I hope you find the Time Management Worksheet helpful as you finalize your choices for scheduling next year’s courses and that you are able to give us your input regarding the LCAP. Thanks for reading and hope to see or hear from you soon.
February 2017 Principal's Message
Dear Homestead --
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