Principal Makela’s Message – February 2014

Download Me! News - February 2014 Edition
Download Me! News
February 2014 Edition (PDF)

Come by Principal Makela’s Monthly Principal Tea – this Friday, February 7th at 8:30am in the Library

Dear Madera Families:

You’ll notice the monthly newsletter‘s masthead looks a bit different this month. ME! It’s Madera Elementary, a school made up of nearly 550 children, their families, teachers, and staff members, each one contributing their own particular passions and skills to create a vibrant and growing WE! Our community, our WE!, like the tree in the graphic, is held strong and is growing by roots of values and vision, history and tradition. Roots, we know, are vitally important for any tree to survive. Roots anchor a tree in the ground, keeping it straight and stable. Through the roots, trees are fed and therefore grow and develop.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer.
– Harriet Tubman

Over the past weeks and months, we’ve been considering the vision for our school, dreaming about what might be and what we might create together. Though it’s a bit of a daunting task, some things are becoming clearer as we delve in. The Arts, Technology and Science Committees, with the support of the SSC and PTA, for example, are working to define and envision plans that engage and challenge the children, providing opportunities to think creatively and deeply. We’re trying to be thoughtful about what and why we do what we do and how we do it. It’s exciting and good thinking!

You may know, our school district, state and country are also looking at things a bit differently. In our district, the new strategic plan will serve to guide future work. It’s a very full plan, with many good recommendations. Yet, how the plan gets implemented exactly is yet to be determined. The new method of state funding, Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), will certainly impact those decisions and still another layer of change and substantial impact are the Common Core State Standards which are to be fully implemented in the 2014-2015 school year and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that are coming. Watch for more information and opportunities for discussion about all of these in the future. In the meantime, if you want a taste of how different it is, try out the practice assessments found on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) website. Our teachers and 3rd-6th grade students tried it out last week and found it very, very interesting.

Thank you, as always, for contributing to the WE! Thank you for your input as we develop plans that strengthen the roots of our tree and prune so that we might grow and flourish.

Happy February!

Alison

One School, One Community, One Team

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