Tam District Family Newsletter
Welcome to the 2019-20 School Year
The start of a new school year always fills me with excitement and anticipation. It is such a gift to have the opportunity to start each year fresh, while building upon our previous experiences. Foundational to the success of our students are strong relationships with the adults on campus as well as with their schoolmates. Therefore, this year we will be making concerted efforts to build strong relationships with each of our students. Strong relationships improve student learning, improve campus climate and culture and create a sense of safety.
While keeping the topic of strong relationships central, I want to revisit some of the themes that we, as a district, emphasized last year. Specifically, in my June newsletter, I wrote about respect and responsibility and shared some book titles I had planned to read over the summer, along with a link to the Ted Talk "The Danger of a Single Story". I found the information very informative and am carrying new learning into this year. In particular, the readings prompted me to reflect on how I demonstrate respect and responsibility through my actions, decision-making processes and communications. I truly believe that all people deserve our respect. That should be our default starting place. Further, I believe it is my responsibility to see the humanity in all people and strive to make personal connections in service of creating a more inclusive and welcoming community for all. When we take the time to build a relationship with someone, we are more open to hearing that person's perspective and more open to learning from and embracing those around us.
Last year, by way of introduction as your new superintendent, I shared my core values with the community. I think they are worth reiterating here as I believe they demonstrate the ways in which I strive to be respectful and responsible:
Inclusion: I believe all students and adults have assets that they bring to our learning community environment and that it is our collective job to uncover those and amplify them. Students and adults succeed best when they feel included and valued.
Equity: All students can learn at high levels given proper time and support. Some students may need more support and time than others and we must provide the appropriate resources in order to disrupt current patterns of achievement.
Continuous Improvement: In order to be successful in achieving our goals, I seek and accept feedback, reflect on my practices, and make adjustments based on the information provided. It is important for the Superintendent to model the habits of continuous improvement.
Collaboration: True collaboration engenders high levels of trust and efficiency. Learning is a social process and we learn best when doing so with others. For a school district to operate at its fullest capacity, leadership and decision-making must be shared.
Caring: To best prepare students to enter into society as positive, engaged participants, we must model empathy and compassion for others.
I believe if I adhere to the values above, I will have the opportunity to build strong relationships with staff, students, parents and community members. After visiting each of our five high schools at the start of the school year, I feel inspired and eager to continue to learn and grow as a person, a leader, and a community member.
Local Control and Accountability Plan Committee Volunteers Needed
A Safe School Year
However, safety extends beyond our campuses. I am providing some information below about proper firearm storage. Unfortunately, statistics show that unsecured firearms increase the risk of young adults using them to harm themselves or others. According to the Center for Disease Control, firearms are the 2nd leading cause of death for teens and children ages 1- 19. Access to lethality can be curbed with proper firearm storage. Additionally, each of our local law enforcement agencies offer legally-compliant trigger locks, free-of-charge to the public. Please contact your local police department to access this program.
Below is information published by the State of California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra.
California recognizes the importance of safe storage by requiring that all firearms sold in California be accompanied by a DOJ-approved firearms safety device or proof that the purchaser owns a gun safe that meets regulatory standards established by the Department. The current list of DOJ-approved firearms safety devices and the gun safe standards can be viewed by visiting http://oag.ca.gov/firearms/fsdcertlist.
If you see or hear something that may cause a safety concern, please let us know via one of our confidential tip lines.
Drake's tip line: 415-458-3416
Redwood's tip line: 415-945-3693
San Andreas' tip line: 415-945-3775
Tam's tip line:415-380-3507
Tamiscal's tip line: 415-945-3765
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. For information on suicide prevention please click here.
Parent & Caregiver Event:
TALK SAVES LIVES – Suicide Prevention Presentation
6:30pm – 8pm in Kreps Conference Center
Suicide can be prevented. This presentation will cover what we know about this leading cause of death, the most up to date research on prevention, and what we can all do to fight suicide. Participants will learn the common risk factors for suicide, how to spot the warning signs in others, and how to keep ourselves, our loved ones and those in our community safe.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Counseling and Wellness Centers are available to all students for support throughout the year. Please see the Counseling and Wellness website for details on services available and to get more information. The District holds suicide prevention awareness campaigns across the year with specific stress reduction strategy workshops during final exams, college application deadlines and other known times of heightened stress for students. Our Counseling and Wellness staff will send out information periodically to provide information to parents and guardians.
This year, each student's school ID has the national suicide hotline printed on the back. Please see additional crisis resources below.
- If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.
- If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
- If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.
Parcel Tax Oversight Committee Participation Opportunity
Next Generation Science Standards Implementation
Instructional Coaching and Professional Learning
Please see our purpose and theory of action statements below.
Instructional Coaching Collective Purpose:
To improve learning for all students while narrowing opportunity and achievement gaps.
Instructional Coaching Theory of Action:
If instructional coaches provide support for educators to reflect upon and deepen their instructional practices, then students will master core competencies and achievement gaps will narrow.
What are we hoping to accomplish through coaching?
Improve student learning
Narrow gaps in student opportunity and achievement
Improve adult learning
Improve the instructional delivery of state-adopted content standards
Improve school and classroom culture
PG&E's WildFire Prevention Initiative and Potential Impact on Schools
PG&E will try to provide up to 48 hours notice if the power to one or more of our schools is to be shut off, but they cannot guarantee that timeline. In the event that we are notified of a power shutdown prior to school, we will send out immediate notification via our BlackBoard mass notification system. These messages will be sent via email and text. Should power be turned off while school is in session, whenever possible, we plan to keep students in class through the end of the day and will communicate to all guardians the disposition of school for the next day, unless the power shutdown occurs on a Friday, in which case will communicate whether or not schools will be closed on the following Monday by Sunday evening, again via email and text. We will also provide information via Twitter. The Twitter account for the district is: @TamSupt
This is a new program and as such there will be a learning curve for all of us and we ask for your patience as we adjust.
Back to school night Dates
Drake High: Thursday, August 29th at 6:30pm
Tam High: Thursday, September 5th at 6pm
Redwood High: Thursday, September 12th, 6:30pm
Tamiscal High: Thursday, September 19th at 6pm
San Andreas High: Thursday, September 26th at 6pm