Tam District Family Newsletter

September 2019

October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

For the past several months, we at the District have been discussing the ideas of respect and responsibility and the ways in which we can model these through our actions in order to set good examples for our students. This is part of our larger initiative of creating more inclusive and welcoming campus cultures. While we have made progress, we still have work to do to ensure our young adults learn how to be kind and empathetic. Recent events across our district underscore the need for all adults to reinforce messages of kindness and inclusivity. The Make Caring Common Project's list of resources is linked here, and below are additional resources for families and educators.

Here are some things your student can consider doing to help prevent bullying and increase the sense of belonging and inclusivity on our campuses.

  • Week of October 7th-Meet Someone New At School. Students are encouraged to make friends with someone they may not know and who may seem isolated.
  • Week of October 15th-Stand Up for Others. Stand up for someone who is being bullied or get an adult to help. Please click here for information on how to be an Up-stander.
  • Week of October 21st: Include Others. Include everyone at lunch and other activities #nooneeatsalone week.
  • Week of October 28th: Start a Conversation with your Peers. Start a conversation with your peers about improving the culture of your school.

Tam District's Bullying Policies are linked here.

For more resources on bullying prevention and reducing bias, please visit these websites:

Congratulations to our National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Congratulations to our National Merit Scholarship semifinalists on their impressive accomplishment.

  • Benjamin Wall-Feng: Tamalpais High School
  • Ariana Brisco-Schofield: Sir Francis Drake High School
  • Drake Goodman, Eva Oppenheim, Ryan Redmond, Owen Ross, Abigail Strausbaugh Hjelmstad: Redwood High School

Tam District Earns Highest Rating Possible from Moody's

The Tam District has earned an Aaa rating from Moody's for the refunding of existing municipal bonds (the District is NOT pursuing a new bond campaign at this time). The Aaa is the highest rating the District can earn. Below is the summary from Moody's credit option.

"Summary: Tamalpais Union High School District, CA (Aaa stable) has a large and growing tax base, benefiting from unusually strong resident wealth and income measures and the district’s location within the vibrant Bay Area economy. Deeply entrenched in community-funded status, the district's financial operation benefits from the resulting financial flexibility. The district's management is strong, having proactively addressed a developing structural deficit resulting from enrollment growth outpacing tax base growth, by both securing new revenue and cutting expenditures. We expect these operational changes will sustain the district’s strong financial position in the near term. The district has very low level of debt and moderate pension liability. On September 11, we assigned an initial rating of Aaa with a stable outlook to the district's general obligation bonds."

Please see the full credit opinion from Moody's linked here.

The Importance of Strong Attendance

As we enter October, I want to remind our community of the strong connection between positive school attendance and student achievement. The District understands that sometimes it is in the best interest of a student to be absent, and we strongly encourage parents to minimize the number of missed school days, when possible. For information on the impact of absences on student achievement, please see this fact sheet from the Attendance Matters Project.

Your student's attendance can be viewed on Home Access, for instructions on how to set up a home access account, please click here.

If you have questions or would like some support for your student around attendance, please contact your student's school site administration team.

PG&E "Public Safety Power Shut Off "Program

As many of you are likely already aware, PG&E has implemented a new program in an effort to reduce the risk of wildfires. The new program, which is called "Public Safety Power Shut Off" (PSPS), may be implemented during high risk conditions such as gusty winds accompanied by low humidity. For more information on this program, please visit PG&E's website linked here.

Additionally, for information on current public safety power shutoffs, please visit the PG&E weather awareness website linked here.

Please see the following information regarding District actions during power outages:

  • If power is turned off while school is in session, whenever possible, we will keep students in class through the end of the regular school day.
  • If there is a confirmed power shutdown scheduled for a school day the District will close the schools affected and communicate the closures as soon as possible.
  • In the event of a power shutdown, if power is restored prior to 5am on a given school day, the District will continue with regular school activities.
  • All information related to school closures and reopening will be posted to our District and school websites.
  • We will also provide information via Twitter. The Twitter account for the district is: @TamSupt.

The impact of power shut offs may vary from school to school and if one school in the District is closed due to a loss of power, other schools within the District that have power will remain open.

Tam District Board Explores Potential Parcel Tax Renewal

Over the last several board meetings, the Tam District Board of Trustees has discussed a potential parcel tax renewal. The Tam District's current parcel tax is set to expire in June of 2022.

The current parcel tax:

  • Provides $16.8 million annually
  • Accounts for 17% of annual budget
  • Provides funding to attract and retain high-quality teachers, support academic programs, provide excellent instruction and art/music programming, and prepare students for college and careers.

The Board is considering a renewal of the existing parcel tax with an increase of $190 per year, which would generate an additional $6 million annually (starting in 2020-21), for a 10 year term. This amount was derived from budget analysis and would maintain the programs our community values, maintain a balanced budget, and provide reserve levels at the board approved amount.

To view the presentation made to the Board of Trustees in September regarding a potential parcel tax renewal, please click here. The Board has not yet taken action on this topic.

Important Health Warnings

Fentanyl Related Overdoses: Please find important information from RxSafe Marin regarding an increase in fentanyl related overdoses link here in English and Spanish.

New Vaping Warnings: In recent months, there have been reports of serious respiratory illness, several that have resulted in death, believed to be caused by vaping. The California Department of Health issued a new advisory this week, which is linked here. We encourage you to speak with your student about the dangers of vaping.

Some Resources for Parents

Below are articles that we have found useful for our own continued learning. We hope you, too, find them informative.

parent and community education events

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Courageous Conversations About Race: Intro for Parents

October 2nd


Kent Middle School

800 College Ave

Kentfield, CA

This introduction to Courageous Conversation About Race is designed to help parents, staff, and community leaders understand the impact of race on their lives and investigate the role that racism plays in institutionalizing achievement disparities. Take home practical, creative ideas for how you can engage your family, friends and school community to engage, sustain and deepen Courageous Conversations About Race in our district.

Show up, and show your kids that adults can “be the change” too! Spanish translation available. All parents and caregivers welcome.

Please click here for registration information.

Resilient Families: Navigating Substance Use & Abuse through the Teen Years

Join Huckleberry Youth Programs and TUHSD Wellness to begin a dialogue between teens and their parents/caregivers about substance use and abuse. In this 90 minute workshop, we will introduce families to the landscape of teen substance use and abuse in Marin County, information about adolescent development, and strategies to help build communication and understanding between youth and their caregivers. Intended for caregivers and their teens to attend together, Resilient Families is intended as a first step in establishing a common ground around this pressing issue.

Join us for this unique opportunity to come together with your teens to talk about drugs and alcohol.

What: Resilient Families: Navigating Substance Use & Abuse through the Teen Years

Who: Teens with their parents/caregivers (families) – We ask that you come together!

When: October 22, 2019 6:30-8pm

Where: Kreps Conference Center (TUHSD District Office, Back Lot of Redwood HS)

How: Maximum of 35 families.

Please RSVP for one family here:


Teen Wellness Film Series

  • November 12, 2019Teen Wellness Film SeriesScreenagers NEXT CHAPTER: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience at the Smith Rafael Film Center at 7:00pm. Screening + Panel Discussion. Presented by CFI Education and TUHSD Wellness - Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente

    March 3, 2020 – Teen Wellness Film SeriesNot Alone at the Smith Rafael Film Center at 7:00pm. Screening + Panel Discussion. Presented by CFI Education and TUHSD Wellness - Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente

    April 21, 2020 - Teen Wellness Film Series – Film TBA at the Smith Rafael Film Center at 7:00pm. Screening + Panel Discussion. Presented by CFI Education and TUHSD Wellness - Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente

The link for purchasing tickets is not yet available, but will be emailed out when it is.

School Calendar Reminders

  • October 2nd is a minimum day-please see your school's website for student release times
  • October 9th: No School-All school sites will be closed for the day
  • Here is a link to our year long school calendar.