PCLS Learning & Teaching Update

June 5, 2016

Important this week

Many updates and lots of information to share this week. Bear with me; all of this is really important:

Questions about next year: Several of you have approached me with questions about your positions for next year. We are in a holding pattern until the state legislature passes the budget. I hear you that the uncertainty causes stress and makes it difficult to plan and prepare. Waiting for information at this time of year is certainly not ideal. Chris and I hope to have information for you by the last day of school.

Postcards for Legislators: This week, we'll begin an important postcard/letter drive to help our families communicate their feelings on the budget cuts that are looming. Below you'll find a letter from me explaining in more detail. Short version: make sure the postcards & letters go home as soon as you get them and do all you can to encourage families to return them right away. We will have one day turnaround so they can be sorted and delivered to the state house. Families should keep the letter attached to the postcards.

Library Closed This Week: Lisa will be conducting inventory. There will be no book return this week, and no classes running in the library. Below is a schedule for where library classes will go for Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. Thank you Michelle, Frances & Stacy for stepping in to pick up extra specials sections during this time.

Behavior Plans Request: If you see a student escalated in the hallway, please allow the "lead" for that student to handle the situation. This allows for consistency in approach. The lead is likely to be Christian, Booth, or Marianella. They will let you know if they need assistance. For next year, we'll have a clear flowchart of who is to assist during escalated situations.

Emergency Drills: We have 6 more to go this year. These include fire drills, lockdowns, and evacuation drills. Sindy is forwarding emergency instructions to you shortly. Please review these with your classes so you are ready for whichever drill may come.

Assessment Folders: How can we make this system simpler? Please talk amongst your grade level and let me know what you think needs to be saved for the following year and what we could let go of. Note: we now have a literacy data wall and a math data wall (to be shared soon) and we store the results of Aimsweb & F & P (and PARCC) there for all grades. Note also that teachers can access report cards for all students on Skyward (for prior years too).

Action Items this week:

Coming Up:

  • Seniors visit our MMM June 13th!
  • Final Town Meeting & Step Up Day June 17th

Charter School Budget Cuts

Dear Teachers:

As you know from our Head of School's message on Thursday, we as a charter school in Rhode Island stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding if the funding formula for charter schools that currently underpins the state's allocation is passed this month in the General Assembly. Thus it is URGENT and extremely IMPORTANT that our families' voices are heard with their legislators whom they have voted into office.

By Wednesday, June 8th, you will receive in your advisories, packets that must be send home with students and the signed post cards that are affixed to an explanatory letter to families will need to be returned to the main office at your school the next day, June 9th. They will be collected, sorted and hand-delivered to the senators and representatives at the State House who represent our Providence families.

The bi-lingual letter will explain to parents/guardians the urgency and importance of their signing the post card and the dire consequences of legitimizing the unfairly-altered funding formula to charter schools like ours. The state budget will be under discussion over the next few weeks, with a final vote taken before the state's fiscal year end: June 30.

You may notice that you might not have a packet for all of your students. Because our 774 students are the children of 508 families in our school, we have addressed a packet to the parent/guardian of the youngest child in the family.

Please distribute the packets on Wednesday, June 8th and STRONGLY encourage your students to return them the next day, such that each family who benefits from a Paul Cuffee education may voice their opinion that such a wonderful benefit be sustained at a fairly funded level.

Thank you.