Old Adobe Educator Weekly Round-Up

Monday 1/11/21 - Friday 1/15/21

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Even in the Midst of Civil Unrest and Domestic Terrorism, We Must Be an Organization that is Obsessed with Adult Learning

Dear Educators,

Last week as we began the new year with renewed hope and optimism, the world beyond our walls has crept in through the crevices of the virtual walls of our classrooms. This time in the form of violence and an assault on our democracy. What happened last week matters and providing space for discussion and conversation in class provides students with a sense of empowerment, so their own emotions and lived experiences are being centered in their own education. As students all across the nation watched America's ugliness, teachers have had to address what happened at the Capitol. As schools are no exception to racialized justice systems, and educators are not immune from the biases our nation has fomented, teachers are always, in a sense, the nation’s first responders to world historical developments.

The recent insurrection at the Capitol will likely be remembered in history books as it is only the second time in American history that people have ever stormed the U.S. Capitol building. We witnessed our national officials be evacuated in gas masks to protect them from tear gas released by the domestic terrorist who had the ability to do far worse. Not once during the Civil War did confederate flags enter the Capitol. That, too, will be a new historical fact from Wednesday's turmoil.

The SCOE Educational Support Services and communications teams compiled some resources and recommendations for discussing what happened with students (for teachers) and children (for parents). You can access the news post and resources here. Please feel free to share them with all in community.


We are all on this Equity Leadership journey together and we will continue to focus on mindset before process. Mindset drives behaviors and behaviors drives results. As we lock in during this second semester we are poised to make a deeper impact in the lives of our students as we inch closer to our goal of ensuring that all students are on the path to be college, career, community and life- ready.

Thanks to all for being present at the Professional Learning Day last week. It was a wondering day of learning and collaboration. We must be an organization that is obsessed with adult learning because as we improve, we can change the outcomes for students. Equity and justice are in the details of teaching and learning and every minute of coaching provided in assisting teachers in being the best version of themselves they can be, moves us closer to our goal.

As we continue to move forward we will maintain the priority of developing the capacity of school leaders, teachers, and support staff to create rich, engaging experiences for students. Providing a balanced set of professional learning experiences at the district and school level that are aligned with district and school strategic goals is key to this continuous improvement process. It will be mission critical for us to provide mentoring for teachers along with differentiating time and experiences for professional development. Finally, with our ongoing efforts of changing mindsets to drive behavior to change results, our role with our leader to leader coaching model is to assist school leaders in developing school culture based on the belief that students can succeed at high levels when they have a sense of belonging and support, can relate their learning activities to their goals and are supported to make greater efforts to succeed. At the core, this obsession with adult learning is all about improving and increasing the skill and the will of the adults in our system to improve outcomes for students.

Some of our major efforts as we work to improve is to build on the support and development of leaders in our system. John Hattie’s research clearly identifies the school administrator as an important aspect of teaching and learning. As the instructional leaders at our sites , we are counting on Old Adobe school administrators to lead the work of closing gaps and ensure equity for all students.

The challenges before us are not simple and we must raise the bar individually and collectively as a District to be #OldAdobeStrong.

Let’s dig in...This amazing journey will reap huge benefits for our students!

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” MLK

#eachandeverystudent #OldAdobeStrong

Superintendent Lowery

Superintendent Office Hours Coffee Chat

Sign up for brief meet and greet, to share and idea or ask a question.


Construction Update

Winter break was a welcome rest from distance learning for all of us, but no rest for the construction team at Loma Vista!

Walls, insulation and mechanical and electrical are going into the new building! This week, power was severed so that the new switchgear for the electrical capacity on site could be moved and was reactivated by Wednesday afternoon. Scaffolding is up ready for stucco to begin, weather permitting. We are ahead of schedule and will be moving on to the next phase of construction earlier than anticipated!


The Child Development Department is happy to be back to work with students!

To prepare to welcome students back, the Kids Care team took full advantage of the Professional Learning day on Tuesday, January 5th. Gathering as site teams, they joined the All District sessions in the morning to hear the Welcome from Superintendent Lowery and to participate in the Tools for Self-Care & Wellness workshop and the Equity Leadership keynote. For the grade-level specific sessions the teams participated in a two-part workshop titled Promoting Optimal Engagement & Motivation in Students. Designed by Director Rebecca Hachmyer, this workshop introduced motivation as a mechanism to facilitate engaged learning and to promote a smoothly-running classroom community. It offered concrete strategies for supporting and shifting motivation in order to increase “buy-in” from students.

In Bright Futures Preschool Miss Selfa and Miss Michelle are encouraging students and families to explore letters (in recent weeks moving from letters F to E to H in an evidence-informed approach to letter recognition) as well as stories, science, and more through the recent themes: Apples and Worms, The Winter Season, and Houses.

Congratulations to Carrie Kent who welcomed a new grandbaby in December!


If you have traveled outside of the state over the winter holidays, please remember that current Public Health guidance recommends that you practice self-quarantine for 14 days after your arrival home, and limit interactions to your immediate household during that time. More information about how to practice self-quarantine can be found here.

Please remember to register for the Frontline Health Portal if you have not yet done so. If you have already registered, you may begin completing the daily health screening through Frontline when you return to work, and will no longer need to use the district's Google form. If you encounter any issues with registering or with completing the Frontline daily health screening, please contact Covid-19 Technician Cynthia Granato at cgranato@oldadobe.org.


Follow up From Teacher PD Day

If you haven’t had a chance to provide feedback on our January 5th professional learning day, please head to the January 5th 2021 Professional Learning Feedback Form to do so. We value your input and use the data to inform future professional learning days.

Facilitators are updating their materials in our shared January 5th 2021 Professional Learning Day Drive folder for each of the professional learning sessions. Please let us know if you have any issues accessing any of the materials.

The Nearpod team provided us with additional resources. There are several great webinars that go deeper with Nearpod and provide support for English Language Learners. The webinars can also be accessed within our Drive folder Nearpod Training Compilation folder.


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The Food Pantry currently serves 120 families in our district community.

We need more volunteers to ensure that we can continue this service and provide this much needed resource.

Please sign up by clicking the button below.


The Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which also included the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act were effective April 1, 2020 and applied to leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Those benefits were not extended beyond December 31, 2020, and are no longer available. However, if you have need of additional leave, you may refer to the OATA/CSEA contracts and/or the MOU agreed to by the unions and the district for details. You can also reach Sonya Wasden in Human Resources at 707-765-4327 or by email at swasden@oldadobe.org for further information.


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Recently many of our special education teachers and RTI teachers attended training on the Orton Gillingham Approach to reading instruction. Our RSP and RTI teachers are engaged in partnering with general education teachers to intervene when students are struggling with learning to read. As a means of continuing to build their capacity to improve the skills of struggling readers, these teachers attended the week-long professional development opportunity.

In 2016 the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Board of Directors identified “Structured Literacy” as a term that encompasses approaches to reading instruction that conform with IDA’s Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. Although there are many approaches with different names that fall under the “Structured Literacy” umbrella—for example, Orton-Gillingham, Simultaneous Multisensory, Explicit Phonics—all have common content (what is taught) and principles of instruction (how it is taught).

The Orton-Gillingham Approach is a direct, explicit, multisensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive way to teach literacy when reading, writing, and spelling does not come easy to students, such as those with dyslexia. It is an approach, not a method or program. In the hands of a well-trained and experienced instructor, it is a powerful tool of exceptional breadth, depth, and flexibility.

The Approach is named after foundational and seminal contributions of Samuel T. Orton and Anna Gillingham, a neuropsychiatrist and pathologist and gifted educator and psychologist respectively. Their work and published materials provided the foundation for student instruction and teacher training for what became known as the Orton-Gillingham Approach.

The Orton-Gillingham Approach is focused on the learning needs of the individual students. Lessons and materials are designed to work with students at their level. Instruction, pacing and the introduction of new materials is based on their individual strengths and weaknesses. Students with dyslexia or reading difficulty need to master the same basic knowledge about language and its relationship to our writing system as any who seek to become strong readers and writers. However, because of their reading difficulties, they need more help than most people in sorting, recognizing, and organizing the raw materials of language for thinking and use. Language elements that other learners acquire more easily must be taught directly and systematically. The Orton Gillingham Approach does just this.


We are not far away from updating our Layer 2 infrastructure, which will positively contribute to connectivity uptime. Scheduled installation is slated for the 3rd week of January.


January 11, 2021 - January 15, 2021

Monday, 1/11

Miwok Valley PTO Meeting @ 6:30 PM

Tuesday, 1/12

La Tercera PTA Meeting @ 6:30 PM

Wednesday, 1/13

Loma Vista Whole School Assembly @ 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Old Adobe Community Meeting @ 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Sonoma Mtn School Community Gathering @ 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Equity Coaliiton Meeting @ 3:00 PM

Thursday, 1/14

Board Of Trustees Meeting @ 6:00 PM

Friday, 1/15

School Virtual Tours

Teachers Missing the School Life Be Like...