Shoreline Unified Regular Board Meeting
June 18th, 2015
6PM @West Marin
Board of Trustees election Information
Timeline (eng) - Updated 3.30
Timeline (Esp) - Updated 3.30
Please Read the following letter to parents concerning the spread of measles and encouraging parents to consider vaccinations
March 12th 2015
Superintendent's Message ~ March 2015
Below is an EXCELLENT article by my good friend, Rick Phelan - who is the Program Director for Technology in Learning at the Sonoma County Office of Education. Also, in this newsletter are reports on GOOD Things Happening at Bodega Bay school and Inverness School
Smarter Balanced Assessments – Spring 2015
This year, California public schools are moving to new end-of-year assessments in English and mathematics, known as the Smarter Balanced Assessments. These assessments are focused on the Common Core State Standards and will be administered through a computerized testing system. In Spring 2015, the state will report student achievement scores and aggregated school reports from the new assessment system. This blog post provides information about the assessments that would be appropriate for sharing with parents and other members of a school community with a goal of helping them understand the new assessment system.
These are computer-based assessments
Students in grades 3-8 and 11 will use computers or tablets to take the state assessments. Along with traditional multiple-choice responses, there are at least six other questions types, including constructed written responses. Computer testing with these types of response options are new for many students.
Test scores will be reported this spring
This is first year that public schools are being held accountable for fully implementing the Common Core Standards in English and mathematics—and the first time that scores from tests aligned to those standards will be reported. Over the past few years, educators have been working to develop knowledge, skills, and new teaching repertories to support the standards.
Thinking will be measured in four domains
The new state assessment encourages thinking in four domains: 1) Recall and basic comprehension, 2) Application of concepts involving some mental processing, 3) Applications requiring more abstract thinking/reasoning and more complex inferences, and 4) Extended analysis that requires synthesis and analysis across multiple contexts and non-routine applications
Questions that require abstract thinking, synthesis, and analysis will comprise 50-60% of the new state assessments. This is a dramatic increase in rigor over past state assessments. In short, we are expecting students to think and process information differently than in the past.
Proficiency levels are set high
California has set high proficiency levels on the new state assessments. Joseph Willhoft, one of the test project directors, says that “because the new content standards set higher expectations for students and the new tests are designed to assess student performance against these higher expectations, the bar has been raised.”
Based on projections from the 2014 Smarter Balanced field tests conducted in California and 21 other states, it is likely that fewer students will score at the higher achievement levels on the new assessments, especially in the first few years. However, a drop in test scores doesn’t mean students are sliding backwards or learning less. Rather, it gives us a more accurate measure of where students are on the path to success based on expectations that are designed to prepare them to compete nationally and globally. Educators and parents should see the results as a new start.
Results can’t be compared to earlier state assessments
Assessment experts urge discretion when comparing performance on the new assessments with past California Standards Tests because the new assessments are measuring different content and skills. Deborah V.H. Sigman, Rocklin Unified School District deputy superintendent and a member of the executive committee for the new assessments, defended the new higher standards when she said, “We have an opportunity to change what assessment means inside our classrooms, an opportunity to make it really be about improving teaching and learning.”
State assessments are just one measure
Parents, teachers, and schools will receive reports from the new tests in late spring, with student data reported in two significant ways. In order to comply with the federally required No Child Left Behind Act, California is required to provide both scale score results and achievement levels for students. These results should be looked at in context with other metrics—including local district assessments, report card grades, and portfolios of student work—to determine how well students are learning.
Test Construction & Reporting
With the Common Core Standards for English-language arts and mathematics, learning activities are organized and sequenced from grade to grade to build understanding for students. Success with standards at each grade level ensures that students are ready for the next grade, ultimately leading to readiness for college and careers. Smarter Balanced assessments are one tool that schools can use to gauge student learning relative to the Common Core Standards.
Each question on the new assessments is focused on one or more claims related to a student’s understanding of English language arts or mathematics.
English Language Arts Claims
- Claim 1, Reading
Students can read closely and analytically to comprehend a range of increasingly complex literary and informational texts.
- Claim 2, Writing
Students can produce effective and well-grounded writing for a range of purposes and audiences.
- Claim 3, Speaking and Listening
Students can employ effective speaking and listening skills for a range of purposes and audiences.
- Claim 4, Research/Inquiry
Students can engage in research and inquiry to investigate topics, and to analyze, integrate, and present information.
- Claim 1, Concepts and Procedures
Students can explain and apply mathematical concepts and interpret and carry out mathematical procedures with precision and fluency.
- Claim 2, Problem Solving
Students can solve a range of complex well-posed problems in pure and applied mathematics, making productive use of knowledge and problem solving strategies.
- Claim 3, Communicating Reasoning
Students can clearly and precisely construct viable arguments to support their own reasoning and to critique the reasoning of others.
- Claim 4, Modeling and Data Analysis
Students can analyze complex, real-world scenarios and can construct and use mathematical models to interpret and solve problems.
Performance Relative to the Claims
Reports for teachers and parents will contain information on student performance relative to each of the English language arts and mathematics claims. Student performance will be reported as:
—At or near standard
Overall Score Reports
In addition, the reports will provide an overall score for student progress in English Language Arts and mathematics. This overall score will indicate the student’s level of understanding in each content area.
—Level 1, Student demonstrates minimal understanding
—Level 2, Student demonstrates partial understanding
—Level 3, Student demonstrates adequate understanding
—Level 4, Student demonstrates thorough understanding
Test officials encourage examination of these metrics in combination with other student performance information such as progress reports, local curriculum-based measures, and portfolios. Tony Alpert, an official from the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium, says that “…instructional decisions should not be exclusively based on end-of-year Smarter Balanced Consortium tests.”
National PTA resources
Assessment and Common Core Video
Moving Beyond the Bubble, Assessment Factsheet (pdf)
Parent notification letters
CDE provides a parent notification letter in English (doc) and Spanish (doc). The letters can be adapted by using school letterhead and inserting needed information where bold type appears.
Presentations for parents and community groups
Reporting system overview
This six-page guide (pdf) provides a visual overview of the reports, which will be accessed online. It shows how individual student, grade, school, district, and state reports will be displayed.
Sample article for school/district newsletter
This sample article (doc) can be customized reproduced in school newsletters. It is available in English and Spanish.
Sample parent letters
This sample parent letter (doc) from Calistoga Joint Unified School District can be customized and reproduced in English and Spanish.
The Oak Grove School District in San Jose provides another sample parent letter (doc) that highlights important information about SBAC testing.
SBAC Talking Points PowerPoint
The short PowerPoint Presentation highlights important points for discussion with parents and other stakeholders.
Bodega Bay School
Mr. Josh Risely enjoys teaching and could not imagine a different career. The last three years here at Bodega Bay School have been a growing experience for him . He’s learned to teach a multi-grade class and incorporate the new Common Core Standards. According to Mr. Risely, “I enjoy working as a team with Loretta Smith and the excellent BBS staff.”
Continuing, Mr. Risely states, “One thing I have always believed as a teacher is students need to be motivated to learn. I always keep the curriculum interesting through activities and projects. Years ago when I was in the credential program at Sonoma State University, it was emphasized that kids need classroom environments that are safe, welcoming, and have a sense of belonging (developmental psychology studies). I strive to make my class a friendly, safe environment where everyone is treated fairly and there is always something fun or interesting happening.”
Recently, he had a States Food Day party to celebrate his students’ completion of their state reports. For this party each student brought in a food to represent their state to share with the class.
The reports included hand drawn maps, and Power Point presentations, which were presented to classmates, parents, staff, and Ms. Smith’s K-2 students. It was quite a production and his students really did an excellent job!
According to Mr. Risely, Students are excited about their 3D solar systems they will be creating in science class next week. After reading the chapter unit on astronomy and our solar system, They will be constructing and painting the sun and planets using smooth foam spheres and wooden rods.
Another project that that he is excited about is the new outdoor classroom and Coast Miwok hut. The maintenance staff has already cleared the outdoor amphitheater, which had become grown over and unusable. There are now irises blooming and nice benches to sit on. With the help of Dale Webster – School Custodian and local surfer, they have picked up the donated redwood slabs and are collecting the final materials to construct a Miwok “kotcas” hut. Mr. Risely got the idea from visiting Kule Loklo in Point Reyes and thought it would be great to do some “living history” assignments next fall!
We certainly are fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated teacher as Mr. Josh Risely in the Shoreline USD!!!
My, how I love to visit Inverness School. First of all, you would never think that a school could be situated in such a lovely location. Once you visit the site and meet the wonderful people who work there – you walk away saying to yourself “what a great place for kids!!!”. Inverness school houses grades Transition to Kindergarten (TK), Kindergarten and First grade for all of the students who live in the southern end of the Shoreline USD (Point Reyes Station, Inverness, Olema etc.) Some of the fabulous people that work there are Chris Greene (long time School Secretary), Dolores Gonzalez (Instructional Aide), Ana Maria Ramirez (Instructional Aide), Melissa Riley (Kinder Teacher) and DeeLynn Armstrong (First Grade teacher). The following is a brief summary of some of the good things they are doing:
Kindergarten and transitional kindergarten students have been learning about the everyday heroes that help our community so everyone has what they need. A month ago we walked through the town of Point Reyes Station with our 4th grade buddies. The children stopped in front if each business and discussed the function of that business for people in the community. Teachers took photos of the children in front of the buildings and today the 4th graders and kindergarteners used the photos, cardboard and paper to construct a model of the town of Point Reyes.
The first grade students have been experiencing the beauty of our surroundings by exploring the many hiking trails from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. During our first hike, the students were introduced to the lifestyle of the Native American people by visiting the Kule Loklo Village. The second hike was a trip around the Earthquake Trail in which the first grade students were able to read the informational signs created by students who attended West Marin School. A trek on the Woodpecker Trail to search for evidence of Acorn Woodpeckers and Red Breasted Sapsuckers completed our first grade trilogy. We look forward to our last hike of the year accompanied by the Inverness Kindergarteners to Divide Meadows for celebration of Earth Day!
I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into that sweet little school in Inverness!!
NEXT MONTH: We will highlight Tomales High School!!
February 4th 2014
Superintendent's Message ~ February 2015
Hope this update finds you all healthy and your children prospering in our schools! In the matter of “healthy”, as I am sure you are aware, we are in the midst of a measles outbreak in California. Thus far, Marin County has seen very little of its spread but that could change and I want to assure you that we have established very clear protocols in each of our schools if there are any reported cases. We do want to encourage all of our families to get the necessary vaccines to protect your children and other children.
In the matter of your children “prospering” in our schools, I’d like to share with you some of the new programs that are being offered to our students in Shoreline.
Tomales Elementary School
Led by our stellar Physical Education teacher Mike Fritsche - every student, staff member and even I (once in a while!) gather on the blacktop to participate in the The My School In Motion program which is a school-wide daily fitness, nutrition, health and wellness program performed at the beginning of every school day. The program is grounded in the most current scientific research that links physical activity to improved student-learning outcomes. It features movement routines set to a wide range of fun and engaging music specifically designed to stimulate brain activity.
The movement routines integrate cardio-respiratory, muscular conditioning, and flexibility exercises, including yoga, plyometrics, isometrics, and skill-based movements. The program also incorporates fitness, nutrition, health and wellness, and cross-curricular messages. The cognitive components of the program are delivered through “repeat-after-me/do after me” and “call-and-response” techniques – linking messages with kinesthetic movement – all designed to foster student learning.
All facets of the program are designed to bolster students’ self-esteem and promote personal wellbeing. The various physical tasks are designed so that every student can be successful performing them, regardless of grade level, age, fitness level, experience, or special needs. My School In Motion is designed to support both physical education and health education for grades K-12 and is aligned with the National Physical Education Content Standards and the National Health Education Content Standards as well as state physical education and health education content standards. The program is customizable and scalable for individual schools. We encourage our parents to drop by at 8:30 am and join in……
Also being piloted this year is a Literacy Program for our pre K – 3 students known as Footsteps 2Brilliance. Led by principal Jim Patterson, a cadre of TES teachers are implementing a program that addresses the need of literacy skills for all of our students. Footsteps2Brilliance, is an Academic Language Program for Students (ALPS) combines the sound cognitive pedagogy that builds strong literacy and critical thinking skills into a dynamic 24/7 ‘anytime/anywhere’ learning environment that engages today’s student. Enabling unprecedented collaboration between school and home, it ensures students get the skills they need to prosper in the 21st century global economy.
West Marin School
Similar to TES, West Marin School is offering the We P.E. program which is led each morning by our district’s other outstanding PE teacher, Chris Eckert. Students and staff alike join in a morning stretch and jog for 10-15 minutes. Student then “Walk to Read” to a designated classroom and pull out their favorite book and read for a half an hour.
The other very exciting program which has been ramped up this year is the Music Program which is taught by our very talented music instructor David Whitney. The following is Mr. Whitney’s Report: The West Marin School music program is in full swing. The program is serving all 155 students at both campuses, twice a week. Students at the K-1 level are showing remarkable growth in a variety of areas including: listening, movement, echo clapping, sight- reading rhythms, singing, and cooperation. There will be a Spring Concert for the Inverness School parents in May. 2nd through 5th graders are working hard to increase their musicianship on various instruments, including: clave, tambourine, triangle, boomwahackers, strumsticks, and ukuleles.
The three middle school rock bands are all very impressive, putting the finishing touches on current songs, and starting new ones. Spring Concert dates to be determined. Middle school music lab chose to play buckets, as the instrument to learn about working together in a musical ensemble.The middle school music technology class is learning the recording process from the standpoint of the recording engineer, and the music producer. They are setting up sessions, and digitally recording them. Next step; mixing what we record! As you can see music is everywhere at West Marin School!!
Tomales High School
This year is an accreditation year which means that the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (known as WASC) will be paying THS a visit in mid April to accredit the school. We all feel very positive about this upcoming visit and everyone at the school has been busy preparing for it –for the past 2 years! Along with this THS has also been the recipient of Career and Technical Education (CTEC) grant which has provided us the opportunity to create an Agricultural Career Path with the leadership of Bill Costanzo through THS. This Pathway is being piloted this year and we are collaborating with math, science, language arts and social science teachers to supplement their respective curriculum with projects that would support the Ag Pathway. We are also looking to our business community to further support the pathway by offering internships/job shadowing opportunities for our students. Of course there are many other wonderful opportunities for students at THS – please visit their website to discover……
Next Month I will highlight Inverness School and Bodega Bay School!
Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)
Year two of our LCAP will launch involving all of the district’s stakeholders on Tuesday, February 24th at Tomales High School beginning at 6 pm. We invite ANYONE from our community that would like to participate to join us as we review last year’s plan to see how we did and revise/rewrite this year’s plan to better meet the needs of the student’s in our district. I have attached a brief description of what we will be accomplishing in the three separate meetings that will occur over the next two month. Please complete this on-line form ….feel free to e-mail me if you any questions at:
With the greatest respect,
Here are some recent questions that have been presented. Please feel free to send in any additional questions. The next Budget Committee meeting will be on Tuesday, November 25th at West Marin School. We will simulcast to TES. Hope to see you there.
Here is the first of what I hope will be a regular (bi-weekly or as needed) communication with staff regarding the fiscal challenges that we are facing and how we will, together, work through these challenges. Please let me know if you are planning on attending our Budget Committee meeting on Tuesday, October 21st at 3:35 pm at TES.
Formation of New Budget Committee
I feel it is very important as we navigate through this Budget Crisis that we are in that we provide regular scheduled opportunities for staff, parents, board members and community members to meet to further discuss ways and means of addressing our structural deficit. All ideas put forward to date need to be considered and honored and if feasible, implemented as quickly as possible. The Following will be posted throughout the district.
Call to Action--We will be forming a new Budget Committee to begin the task of working through all the options available to the district as we try to collectively and positively address our situation. Please e-mail me if you would like to participate so that I/we can plan accordingly (handouts, refreshments, etc. ). Our first meeting will be Tuesday, October 21 at TES in the Assembly room – 3:45 – 5 pm. I anticipate that we will try to meet every other week as we together continue to explore creative ways to cut costs and generate revenue. We will alternates meeting locations between TES and WMS. Please check Web Site for further information.
Superintendent's Message ~ August 2014
Interesting and exciting times are what the Shoreline Unified School District will be facing in the 2014-2015 school year. It will be interesting because we face some budget challenges that will require all of us to come together as a school community to resolve. I am hoping that the process will be inclusive of all stakeholders and result in a financially healthy school district for the future. The ad hoc budget committee met at the beginning of summer and came up with 39 areas for the district to consider making cuts in. These recommendations have been reviewed by the district's Admin Team, some board members and the Marin County Office of Education. A proposal based on these recommendations will be presented to the board at the Thursday, August 21st board meeting. The future for the district is exciting because I KNOW we will together figure out how to resolve our budget crisis and because we have a wonderful and supportive staff who ALL want what is best for the children of the district. That means that while we are all committed to implementing the new Common Core State Standards that we are looking for ways that are innovative and student-engaging in order to do so. Expect to hear about how technology is being used more and more in the classroom as a tool for instruction. Expect to hear how students are being taught using Project Based Learning approaches to teaching/learning. Expect to hear that our classrooms are evolving into places where children are learning all the necessary skills to prepare them for the workplace of the 21st century.
I look forward to facing all of the challenges and opportunities together with you. As always, as we promote the Shoreline USD as a place where all families are welcome and honored, please never hesitate to contact me for any reason.
Superintendent's Message ~ June 2014
As we wrap up the 2013-2014 school year, I would like to point out some of the many successes that we in the Shoreline USD experienced this year.
Common Core implementation - especially in English Language Arts K -12. Teachers received extensive training in the implementation of the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards during 2013-2014 and began the mission of implementing these standards. One of the successes that I would like to bring to your attention is the Common Core based Report Card which was researched and developed at West Marin/Inverness Schools this past year. All of this wonderful needed work will be shared with and replicated at Tomales/Bodega Bay schools during 2014-2015.
Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) – Again, we want to thank all of the parents, teachers, staff, community members and board members who participated in the development of this plan. As we go forward into the future, this plan will be the “sounding board” of much of what we do. As a district, we look forward to accomplishing all of the items set as goals in the plan: High Academic and College and Career readiness for ALL students in the district; Safe and Supportive School Culture for ALL students in the district; Safe and Adequate Facilities; More Involvement/Inclusion of ALL Parents in the District.
Wellness Committee - led by Board Member Jill Sartori, was a committee of up to 20 members that met on a monthly basis this past year and tackled issues such as: updating/customizing the district’s Wellness Policy, purchasing locally grown food, peaceful playgrounds – play first then eat, zero-waste programs in all of our schools, improved food quality in our food service program, counseling/psychological services for students, alcohol/drug awareness and student/parent education around these issues, kitchen facilities, ….to name just a few. The committee will continue to meet on a monthly basis during 2014-2015 for the purpose of effecting positive change in all the areas of student wellness.
New Faces in the District – As many of you are aware we hired our new Transportation Director, George Borges last summer. George had some big shoes to fill in replacing Charlie Lord—the outgoing Director. I am happy to report that George has done an excellent job and, along the way, he has managed, through a state transportation grant, to bring two brand new busses to our district to replace two of our old and soon to be retired busses. Also, with Technology becoming more and more important as we implement the Common Core State Standards and assess those standards with the technology-based Smarter Balanced Assessment AND continue to transform our schools into 21st century learning environments – we hired our new Technology Coordinator Ryan Corrigan, who is responsible for most of the technology in the district, the district’s web site and keeping us all abreast of the latest technology adaptations for schools.
What to expect in 2014-2015
Lots of change for the betterment of each and every school and student in the district! Continual Common Core Implementation especially in the Math curriculum. Teachers will be exploring a new supplemental Math curriculum known as “Engage New York”—check it out and let us know your thoughts. We also plan on having expanded articulation between all disciplines throughout all the schools (K – 12). This will be the first year that we will have a full-time Music instructor at West Marin School/Inverness School—it will be fun to watch all the positive impacts that will have at WMS/INV. Tomales Elementary School will have a new principal, Mr. James Patterson. Actually Mr. Patterson is not new to the district as he has , over the years, been the Principal at Tomales High School, West Marin School and Tomales Elementary School (TES) . Jim brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience that, I am certain, will propel TES into new beginnings. At Tomales High School we will continue our work with the Marin County Office of Education regarding Career Paths. We recently were notified that we were chosen to participate in a grant award that will provide us with funds to further explore Career Paths. Also, this is an Accreditation year (WASC) at Tomales High School so the staff there will be preparing all year for a visit from the WASC team in late April.
Needless to say, there are plenty of wonderful things happening and about to happen in the Shoreline Unified School District. I am so happy to say that I will be here to navigate and see the district through the many changes that will result in the Shoreline USD being the very best place for students to attend school. I look forward to working with all of you as we make this happen!
Dear LCAP committee member
Attached is the DRAFT of our Local Control Accountability Plan as it appears in the California Department of Education’s Template. Please review the document and share back with me your: thoughts, concerns, additions, subtractions, matters that were discussed BUT not mentioned, matters that may need more emphasis, etc. Most importantly does it capture the voice of what was said during the three meetings of goal setting and action planning. Please remember it is a three year plan and things may change as we go forward. Thank you for assisting us with this most important Plan AND TOOL that will be used for monitoring progress.
Thomas W. Stubbs,
Shoreline Unified School District
Querido miembro del comité de LCAP
Encontrará adjunto el ESBOZO de nuestro Plan de Responsabilidad de Control Local como aparece en la plantilla del Departamento de Educación de California. Por favor, revise el dicumento y comparta conmigo sus: pensamientos, inquietudes, añadiduras, sustracciones, asuntos que se analizaron PERO que no se mencionan, asuntos que se deben enfatizar más, etc. Aún más importante, vea si se capta el espíritu de lo expuesto en el transcurso de las tres reuniones en las que se pusieron los objetivos y los planes de acción. Por favor, recuerde que este es un plan de tres años de duración y que las cosas pueden cambiar a medida que avanzamos. Gracias por ayudarnos con este importantísimo plan Y HERRAMIENTA que se utilizará para supervisar el progreso.
Thomas W. Stubbs,
Shoreline Unified School District
April 1, 2014
Dear Shoreline Parents:
We want to take a moment and thank the so many of you that chose to participate in our first attempt at developing the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). We just concluded the third and final meeting whereby we had over 40 participants helping the school district develop a plan that will hopefully reflect the hearts and wishes of everyone in the school district.
Developing & Designing a Plan That Meets Student Needs-Local Control Accountability Plan
The State requires that all California school districts engage parents, educators, employees, and the community to establish a Local Accountability Plan. In these plans, districts will describe their overall vision for students, outline their annual goals and enumerate the specific actions they will take to achieve their goals. Part of this includes a financial accounting for the use of the budget as well annual assessments that measure how well the strategies in the plan were able to improve student outcomes.
What Does The State Require To Be Included In These Plans?
School districts are responsible for developing goals and actions in eight priority areas defined by the State:
- Williams Act–Providing credentialed teachers, instructional materials that align with state standards, and safe facilities for all students
- Academic Content and Performance Standards–implementing California’s Common Core State Standards
- Parental Involvement–involving parents in their student’s educational programs and in the decision-making process of the district
4. Pupil Achievement— improving student outcomes and increasing college and career readiness.
5. Pupil Engagement—supporting students in consistent school attendance
6. School Climate–nurturing students in a healthy school environment where they feel safe
7. Access and Enrollment—ensuring access for all students to classes
8. Pupil Outcomes–measuring student progress and outcomes to guide the teaching
The three overarching areas of focus that we addressed in our meetings were: 1) The Conditions for Learning which focused upon facilities, sufficiency of teaching materials, and teacher quality. 2) Pupil Outcomes which focused on student achievement according to overall performance and breakdowns by sub-groups (English Language Learners, Socio-Disadvantaged students, and Educationally Handicapped students). 3) Engagement which focused on how well do our school actively engage parents to be involved in the school and students to want to be at school engaged in their learning. Our efforts over the past month resulted in the Preliminary Goals that you can see in this link- LCAP Planning – Data Analysis. We will be reporting to the school board the result of our initial efforts at the April 17th board meeting. We will be taking all the information generated in our LCAP meetings and be “fitting” that information into the LCAP template which will go to the board for approval at the May board meeting. All information and the eventual finalized LCAP Plan will be shared with the general public when completed.
Thanks again to all of you that participated in our first LCAP effort. Stay tuned to this site as we further develop the LCAP with not only GOALS but also a three year action plan for the district.
Tom Stubbs, Superintendent