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March 17, 2015

Dear Horrall/LEAD Families and Community,

Important Reminders: Minimum Days this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, March 18, 19, 20. Dismissal TK-3 at 12:20 and 4/5 at 12:28 all three days. Spring Break: Monday, March 30-Friday, April 3rd.  School resumes Tuesday, April 7th.

This is one of our last newsletters that will refer to our school community as Horrall/LEAD. As of June 30th, our transition year will come to a close and we officially begin July 1, 2015 as LEAD Elementary, a magnet school focused on Literacy, Enrichment, Academics and Digital Arts. Our staff and school community have been preparing for this for almost three years, with focused professional development for teachers and analysis of data that drives teaching practices and content. Horrall School when I arrived in the fall of 2012 had troublesome scores on the state accountability tests, STAR, and was what, I referred to, as a “Diamond in the Rough.” I immediately recognized a loving community, adorable children, a teaching and classified staff who were here for the right reasons. We jumped in and together, as a Professional Learning Community, took “Baby Steps” and were on our way!  How did we together accomplish all of this?

  • We encouraged the teachers’ creativity, knowledge, dedication and desire to learn more in the content areas of teaching writing and reading.
  • We provided professional development in all areas of literacy including the Writers’ and Readers” Workshop Model out of Columbia University Teachers’ College, Reading Recovery for our Intervention Teacher, Guided Reading, Running Records and the incorporation of technology with a balanced approach.
  • We began to purchase devices and invest in people and positions to enhance this learning.
  • We empowered teachers to lead at the site, district and community levels.  
  • Through a complete school reconstitution, we built community and trust, continued our partnership with PIP, started an After School Academic Center,  set high expectations for ALL,  gathered input from teacher and parent surveys, incorporated new systems, improved communication, established on-going collaboration within the school and community including monthly newsletters, more parent education opportunities and monthly PTA/Principal Coffees  Our new parking lot and campus security both have added to our increased sense of safety on our campus.
  • We researched and implemented additional community resources such as the Family Resource Center, CuriOdyessey, Guide Wire, Cal State Hayward, Reading Bug and the Khan Academy.
  • We set academic and growth goals with educators and students.
  • We formed new committees including vertical teams at staff meetings and a Site Student Services Team that meets weekly!
  • We “got the word out” about our wonderful and unique community school.
  • We created new positions such as Tech Coordinator, T.O.S.A., and Digital Arts Coordinator, and focused on our children, our most precious resources.
  • We implemented a full day Kindergarten.
  • We have begun teacher training around incorporating Digital Arts into our curriculum and enrichment opportunities.
  • We are the prototype for the new District school web sites; ours will be unveiled in April!
  • We created a new vision for our school that builds on the strengths of our community and enriches and refines it so that we can become a state of the art school for our community and beyond.  

A caring, hard-working parent community immediately pitched in and over the course of the last few years:

  • Created and designed a new library, the center of Literacy for our community
  • Refurbished a small room laden with broken chairs, outdated technology equipment and boxes of discarded materials into an iPad Lab.
  • Our PTA will be refurbishing the red Horrall Sign from the front of the school into a “Buddy Bench” for the play yard where students will sit when they need the company of a friend or an adult.
  • PTA will be assisting with the creation of a “Little Lending Library” for the front of the school where community members, young and old, can borrow books, donate books, and if they feel like it, sit under our beautiful shade tree and relax and read!

Thank you for your continued support!


~Pattie Dullea