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November 10, 2015

Dear LEAD Families and Community,

CONGRATULATIONS!! LEAD Elementary celebrates being named one of the Top Bay Area Schools by "Innovate Public Schools." Of the 1200 public schools in the Bay Area, 573 serve a significant proportion of underserved students, but only 54 of the 573 had a higher percentage of these underserved students meet or exceed the state average for all students in English or math based on the 2015 CAASSP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress). As you know, the CAASSP is designed to measure student mastery of the new Common Core State Standards and 2015 provided us with baseline scores. As expected, this new test was more challenging because the new standards require more critical thinking skills and represent a significant shift in teaching and learning. LEAD is being recognized for beginning to close the achievement gap and we are one of the few public non charters to achieve this honor.

This recognition is a credit to our teaching staff and our many efforts as a school community to "LEAD" and be the best we can be. With Parent Education and partnerships, high expectations with built in support and rigor, an emphasis on regular attendance and being on time to school, Early Literacy Best Practices, real world problem solving in math, full day Kindergarten, strategic hiring and retention of the best teachers, a culture where children know and believe in the 3 Pillars (our belief system) of " Taking Care of Each Other, Taking Care of Ourselves, and Taking Care of This Place," and teachers working countless hours learning, preparing and delivering high quality lessons that align with the new standards, we are making a difference.

More CONGRATULATIONS are in order for Rebecca Slater, 5th grade master teacher! We learned this past weekend that she has been named an exemplary teacher by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Rebecca went through a rigorous two year process which included creating, writing and submitting lessons that met the criteria set by the National Board, samples of student work, written reflections, videos of lessons taught, and ongoing meetings with coaches who critiqued her work based on best practices in teaching and learning. This is an extraordinary honor! I went through the National Board process in 1999 with renewal in 2009 and it is one of my proudest achievements as an educator. Please join me in thanking and congratulating Rebecca; her efforts and work allowed her to refine her own teaching and learning which in turn benefits the many students she teaches, and colleagues with whom she works. Hooray!

SCHOOL TOURS: Please spread the word! We will be hosting school tours for new TK/K families, families new to our neighborhood, and others who may be interested on Wednesday mornings November 18 and 25, December 2, 9, 16 and January 6 from 10-11:00. Please call the LEAD office at 650-312-7550 to make an appointment. We look forward to having everyone see firsthand the great work we are doing.

PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES: You will be receiving appointment slips from your child's teacher this Tuesday. Please honor the time set aside for you to confer and learn about your child’s first trimester progress and how you can support this progress at home. Each teacher will have available for you formative and summative assessment data, DRA, Galileo, Early Literacy and information regarding attendance and homework completion. MINIMUM DAYS: Wednesdays November 18th through November 25th. ALL 6 days are MINIMUM DAYS with dismissal for grades TK/K at 12:10, Grades 1-3 at 12:20 and grades 4/5 at 12:40. Please ensure that your children are picked up on time so teachers and staff attending conferences have time to eat before they begin their long afternoons of conferring on behalf of our school and your children.

VETERANS DAY: School holiday this Wednesday, November 11th. No school and we welcome you back bright and early on Thursday, November 12th, with students in line by 8:05 and seated in class and ready to learn at 8:10.

PRINCIPAL COFFEE CHAT: This Friday at 8:15 in the LGI. Make it a commitment to come and learn more about our Enrichment and Tech/Digital Arts Integration and Opportunities, 5th grade Science Student Skit, ELAC/PTA updates and time for "Q and A" with input on Halloween, the October Break, and parent education opportunities.

As we all pause to give THANKS this month of November, we take the time to thank all of you for your support and engagement in our school community. We ALL make a great team!


Pattie Dullea
Principal LEAD Elementary School