Novato Unified School District's Blog

Novato Unified School District's thoughts and ruminations Flag as Inappropriate

Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors. What's on your mind? What's on your mind? Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell something
Posts awaiting your approval 0
Marie Rios March 22, 2014 at 08:06 am
My son attends SJMS and really loved this. Lots of great colleges and some he would not have evenRead More considered. The college conversation is starting which is pretty cool. Thank you for all the teachers and staff that put this together.
Natalie Dybeck, Lauren O’Brien, Therese Cullen, Chloe Cheng, Lauren Bollinger
Trish Boorstein February 8, 2014 at 10:21 am
Congratulations Chloe and the other girls! What an honor and privilege. Remember the only obstaclesRead More you ever encounter in journalism are self imposed.
Chloe Cheng February 8, 2014 at 06:55 pm
"We Do Not Live in a Post-Racial Age", "San Marin Shifts Its Views Toward the LGBTRead More Community", and "What's Up? The Spiritual Spectrum of San Marin" can be found in the November issue of San Marin's student-run newspaper, The Pony Express: http://issuu.com/sanmarinponyexpress/docs/the_official_book The Global Glimpse and Amigos De Las Americas articles can be found in the September issue: http://issuu.com/sanmarinponyexpress/docs/homecoming_book
Sylvia Barry February 9, 2014 at 12:36 am
Thanks, Chloe, for sharing these wonderful articles. The Journalism teacher, Mr. Scott MacLeod, didRead More a wonderful job teaching and guiding his students. Please support San Marin Pony Express. https://www.facebook.com/SanMarinPonyExpress
Tina McMillan May 24, 2013 at 10:14 am
How do these changes effect the assumptions made throughout the year. For example: "Even withRead More the passage of Proposition 30, NUSD is projected to deficit spend $2.9 million in the 2013-14 year." then later "A recommendation to staff at 22:1 at K-3 grades is included in the recommended budget savings. With the early retirement incentive for certificated employees and teacher resignations, an estimated savings of $900,000 will be achieved without any reduction in staff through the layoff process." and then again "Total budget savings and enhancements as recommended by the Committee amounted to $2.2 million. In addition to the change in staffing ratios, an increase in state revenues is expected in the amount of $700,000 based on an expected Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) of 1.65%. Again, the power point presented on February 12 can be found here." The CFO Corner blogs are informative but as they go from one budget assumption to the next and the next and the next we vacillate between multimillion dollar shortfalls, teacher lay offs and assumptions that any school choice will ultimately lead to school closure. It would be helpful if there was some reconciliation between budget meetings to show exactly how much we need to increase our budget in order to avoid going into our reserves; how much we have in cash in our reserves and how the value of the San Marin property might increase reserves or provide workforce housing to teachers; how school choice can be implemented rather than discouraged; how it is that the old curriculum which was touted as being exceptional will be changed to match new core standards; what the cost will be of introducing curriculum changes that include less fictional material as well as new testing; and as much as possible data presented that can be easily understood.
TAK March 12, 2013 at 07:42 pm
Terry is an exceptional leader and person. She has made PV the special place that it is. She hasRead More instilled a love of learning for our kids, has created an amazing sense of community and pride and has made huge strides for advancing GATE strategies. She will be a hard act to follow and will be sorely missed.
Edwin Drake March 24, 2013 at 06:15 am
Thank god!
NovatoAVID April 12, 2013 at 12:21 pm
Great school...with strong parent support
Gram March 1, 2013 at 11:59 am
Wonderful!! And thank you to Ray Mayoral.....
henry March 1, 2013 at 01:27 pm
"When I was a student at San Marin I had to sit under the trees in the rain and the wind andRead More eat my breakfast burrito. Sometimes my hot dog would be 5 degrees colder by the time I got to the overhang by the gym to sit down on the cold concrete at lunch. Nowadays, these kids these days have actual seats! A room to eat in. They even have fruit and salads!" Anonymous SM student :)
Susan Wreden March 1, 2013 at 02:35 pm
When I was at San Marin they sold donuts and other junk food, there were soda machines, candyRead More machines, and there was a student smoking area!
K8Teacher February 26, 2013 at 11:57 am
Announced in 2009, the Common Core State Standards Initiative, sponsored by the National GovernorsRead More Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, is the latest development in what is now a 20-year trend in which states are being held to standards-based mandatory tests of student achievement. The initiative's purpose is to "provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them." The standards are supposed to be relevant to the real world, reflect the knowledge and skills that students need for success in college and careers, and place them in a position in which they can compete in a global economy. Some supportive funding is coming from the governors and state schools chiefs, with additional support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and others.
K8Teacher February 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm
These new Standards were developed by states and for states; built upon strengths and lessonsRead More learned in states and the experiences of teachers, content experts, and leading thinkers; and feedback from the general public. They were informed by other top performing countries, and grounded in research and evidence. The CCSS were developed for English-language arts and mathematics, kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Tina McMillan February 26, 2013 at 02:41 pm
The Skills Stranglehold by E. D. Hirsch, Jr. February 21st, 2013Read More http://blog.coreknowledge.org/2013/02/21/the-skills-stranglehold/ "It’s not like it wasn’t obvious already, but today’s Metlife Survey of the American Teacher confirms that the nation’s teachers are demoralized. How could it be otherwise, with pressure to build the Common Core plane while flying it and also facing new evaluation and accountability requirements? I don’t want to brush off any of these very real problems, but I do want to suggest that they are not the heart of the matter. Fundamentally, the problem educators face is freeing themselves from the skills stranglehold. It is preventing them from understanding the Common Core standards, preventing them from meeting their own goals as professionals, and preventing them from closing achievement gaps between poor and privileged students. We see evidence of it everywhere, especially in the MetLife survey. Nine in ten teachers and principals say they are knowledgeable about the Common Core standards, and a majority of teachers say they are already using them a great deal. At the same time, teachers, especially in later grades, are not all that confident about the effect the Common Core will have." The report states (p. 65): Preparing Students for College and Careers A Survey of Teachers, Students, Parents and Fortune 1000 Executives http://eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED519278.pdf
Betty Pancakes November 28, 2012 at 06:40 pm
How or why is anyone who disagrees with you a troll, preytell? How or why is somebody who declinesRead More to state his or her name not worthy of being a part of the discussion? Isn't that why we have private voting booths? So you don't have to in a very public setting reveal where your allegiances lie? Celebrities are NOTORIOUS for making sweeping public statements about how they love one candidate or the other ... but are said to vote very differently. Frankly, I understand ... I want to state my opposition to oysters or any other old thing without having to make things uncomfortable for myself at the grocery store, thankyouverymuch.
Cindy Harris December 6, 2012 at 11:58 am
We attended the info meeting last night. It was exciting to hear about the program; it seemsRead More planned and organized and I really liked how Mr. Littlefield has already engaged parents, professionals and businesses in the planning stages to help the program succeed. There is another info meeting tonight (Thursday) at 7pm. Students are welcomed to attend as well!
Jim Welte December 6, 2012 at 04:07 pm
Hi all - thanks for the comments on this story. We ask that you please stay on topic - the STEMRead More program - and not get into personal quarrels that don't serve the larger discussion. Thank you.
Tina McMillan November 7, 2012 at 03:35 am
Did the superintendent use the words white flight and specifically say that the NBEF charter is theRead More result of white flight?
NUSD parent/ employee November 7, 2012 at 03:42 am
She used the words white flight about families who leave NUSD due to program improvement status/Read More test scores. She did not say that the NBEF charter is the result of white flight.
Tina McMillan November 7, 2012 at 04:13 am
I know families with children in private schools and it is not about white flight, it is about howRead More they value education and in many cases wanting choices that don't exist in our district as it is currently structured. If Shalee actually believes that then she has underestimated the integrity and intelligence of 10% of Novato families with children in private schools. This kind of thinking reflects far more on the person making the allegations than the people being spoken about. Both my boys went through NUSD schools but they had friends in private schools just as I still have friends with children in private schools. How very disappointing that our superintendent chooses to blame white flight on any parent.
Dave Robertson October 10, 2012 at 04:41 pm
Proposition 30 is obscene. These increases put California in the ball park of NYC as far as stateRead More and local taxes go. Businesses and individuals are leaving the state already as the result of our bloated budgets and fiscal cash crises and the enormous tax burden we are all required to pay. The only exception to this is Silicon Valley, though more business would likely stay there if our state weren't in such a mess. Mark Schoenbaum above hit the nail on the head. California governments are compulsive spenders and cannot control what they do. Why do public sector employees get a pension at all when the bulk of the private sector gets noting but Social Security? This double standard is simply wrong! Why do states like Maryland and Virginia have top state tax rates in the 6-7% range, but California cannot survive on 9.3%? So the answer is to follow Obama (and the Europeans) with "stick it to the wealthy" fixes? Who will they tax when this money runs out? Why can't California face the reality that our government is bloated across the boards and will not even try to make ends meet? Our current fiscal crises - at the national, state, and personal levels - will not improve by raising taxes, let alone on a single demographic group. The entire western world is overspent trying to turn it's society into the ultimate safety-net utopia. The 21st century phenomenon of bloated governments and increased taxes to be squandered is getting really tiring!
Patty Maher October 11, 2012 at 04:00 pm
It is my understanding that school districts are prohibited by law from "engaging in anyRead More political advocacy using public resources." This information provided by the CFO was sent out via the district's email distribution list. Ms. Maloney quite likely penned this on "company" time. With statements such as "It is time to reevaluate how California funds schools and essential public services and to provide adequate per-pupil funding to ensure all California students have the opportunity for quality education" and the concluding laundry list of what will happen if Prop 30 fails, it appears a line has been crossed from informational to advocacy. Or am I misreading it?
TAK October 15, 2012 at 02:08 pm
Patty - usually I agree with you 100%. Not on this one. I believe that the majority of the communityRead More has no idea of the specific impacts of this proposition not passing on our local schools. Larger class sizes, two weeks less instruction per year, closure of a school. This is NOT GOOD. I am glad that Ms. Maloney has spoken out about the effects. It would be irresponsible for NUSD not to have figured out what their contingency plan is if this fails. Why not make that public now? I want parents and the community to know this NOW while they have time to vote, rather than show up at NUSD meetings in April mad at the District and demanding something different. If you read the opinion carefully, Ms. Maloney does NOT advocate a vote in favor of these taxes. But it is time for the Sate to reprioritize spending for education. I think whether or not you support prop 30 you can agree with this statement. No one wants more taxes. The reality of the state and district budget stinks. But, I for one am willing to support this proposition whole heartedly. I don't think we can afford not to.
Maria Escobar September 18, 2012 at 03:43 am
How many of you received another tax in the mail by the Fire Dept? $150.00 more a year thanks toRead More Gov. Brown, while some retired firefighters are getting hundreds of thousands a year in retirement. Tax, Tax, Tax is Brown's motto. I look at what is taken out of my paycheck every two weeks. Where is the money going? Not to the schools, butto the big fat pensions of the politicians and government workers, not the children. The children will suffer as always. I feel badly, but I can't vote to tax myself anymore.
Tina McMillan September 18, 2012 at 04:20 am
Maria I don't blame you or anyone else that is tired of the tax, tax, tax attitudes in Sacramento.Read More I am afraid that the local schools have already lost so many tax dollars due to the state withholding payment of the ADA due to the budget crisis. In city's like Larkspur and Ross their property more than pay for their schools. Novato is a low wealth district so we only get a fraction of the ADA of the Southern Marin cities. It is a horrible choice to have to make. I understand.
Mark Schoenbaum September 18, 2012 at 11:25 am
That's what the democratic legislature and governor do, they threaten to cut of funding for childrenRead More and elderly in order to coerce the public into voting to tax themselves further because they are busy spending the money they have got on pensions, high speed rail, and non-citizens. The state does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.
Karen September 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm
* No more textbooks and heavy backpacks. Perhaps more kids could bike or walk to school. * My kidsRead More are always on their iPods communicating with their friends. Stupid comments, sure, but they are also asking questions about the homework they are doing together, discussing their day, and generally connecting with others. I think that the kid who has less to say might also feel less awkward.
Regina Bianucci Rus CPA September 14, 2012 at 03:04 pm
cooperation, collaboration and communication - As a business owner and parent, I appreciate theRead More focus on these concepts. Our children will need all of this and more (skills in math, science and writing) to succeed. Working in small groups will be the best practice for all of this and I hope to see more of this as my 5th grader enters middle school next year, and in high school. Lots of corss-subject group projects (math/science; english/history) projects are great practice. Using technology will not be a luxury, but required.
Roger September 16, 2012 at 09:45 pm
LP, when can the community expect to see the presentation?
Cindi Bunten August 30, 2012 at 09:20 pm
Ditto! Also, please encourage parents to keep sick children home so they don't go to school andRead More make more kids sick. It's a vicious cycle that can be broken by EVERYONE staying home when they are sick.
Novato Chess Club September 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm
Money never educated a child more than effort...the problem is not what is going on during school,Read More but the lack of attention to study and detail after school.....we can put more resources into afterschool...that way we meet the bottomline, kids learning! The reality is most kids are not learning at the "level they should be"; whether they are there or not
Michelle March 25, 2013 at 02:10 pm
This policy is new to us, as we just moved here from out of state. I have been harassed by both ofRead More my kids schools & this morning I was asked what she was supposed to put for a reason, when I told her I was sick and couldn't get my student there, as if I wasn't feeling bad enough now I could add guilt! I'm sorry there is no money for busing and if your losing 1000's a day over sick kids, it sounds like harassing parents is the last place you should go for your administrative mis-management of funds!
ZorbaGT September 24, 2012 at 05:10 pm
Parnell.....time for bottle and diaper change!....LOL!
ex principal September 25, 2012 at 05:03 pm
Mr. Parnell, maybe your neighbors in Hamilton are worthy of your time apologizing for your repeatedRead More attempts to publicly malign their school. Maybe you can explain to all of them, those who put so much effort into making it the successful program that it is today. As you say, coming from a long line of teachers, I'm wondering if any of your relatives ever had a class problem with bullying or any other potential safety issues large groups of children have. I wonder if you would have the "courage" to publicly disparage them? glass houses Mr Parnell......on top of your ivory tower
ex principal September 25, 2012 at 05:03 pm
Mr. Parnell, maybe your neighbors in Hamilton are worthy of your time apologizing for your repeatedRead More attempts to publicly malign their school. Maybe you can explain to all of them, those who put so much effort into making it the successful program that it is today. As you say, coming from a long line of teachers, I'm wondering if any of your relatives ever had a class problem with bullying or any other potential safety issues large groups of children have. I wonder if you would have the "courage" to publicly disparage them? glass houses Mr Parnell......on top of your ivory tower
Jeffrey Vaillant August 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm
If NUSD means "wellness" as in healthy foods on campus, then it needs to support fully theRead More food service program rather than the bottom dollar line as it did last year by allowing more sugar items in vending machines!
See more »