Superintendent's Newsletter

November 2018

RCSD Tagline

From the Desk of Superintendent Dr. John Baker:

Dear RCSD Community,

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year!

I hope that you enjoyed time off with loved ones and plenty of fun and rest this summer.

We are only a few days away from August 20 and we are excited to welcome your children back into our classrooms for another great year of teaching and learning! Many of our RCSD children will be greeted on their first day of school by some fantastic educators who were named principals during the spring and summer, some great teachers that have joined our school district, and our great classified staff who each day support the magic that happens in the classroom.

Our new school leaders have many years of teaching and leadership experience and will now be at the helm of Fair Oaks Community School, Roosevelt School, Roy Cloud School, and Taft Community School. You will also enjoy meeting new assistant principals at Hoover, Kennedy, North Star Academy, Roy Cloud, and Selby Lane schools. In addition, we filled some key roles at the district office--our assistant director of special education and our chief business officer vacancies.

As you know, we are committed to our vision of educating every child for success.

The RCSD leadership team was hard at work with our principals and assistant principals in early June and again in late July reviewing, training, and planning for this school year. RCSD has made great strides in recent years for the success of our students and we will continue to build on that work.

This year, we have embarked on a process of continuous improvement similarly to what corporations in other industries do to stay focused on the organization’s mission. Redwood City, the Peninsula, and the Bay Area continue to change and we must adjust to that change while keeping the classroom and our students at the center of our work. We are taking this opportunity to plan for the future to keep providing a high-quality education to our students as a smaller and leaner district due to a shift in enrollment and the financial obligations all California districts are facing. We thank our parents and staff from all of our sites who will be engaged in this work as part of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council. We invite you to stay up to date and engaged as we plan for our future. Please be on the lookout for updates that will come from the district and straight into your inbox. We’ll also have the opportunity to converse during the upcoming Coffee with the Superintendent gatherings and other community events.

I will be out at sites on August 20 greeting our students, teachers, staff, and supporting our school principals with the joys of a first day of school! Please say hi! I am excited about the new school year and I look forward to working with you as we prepare your child for success!

Wishing you a successful 2018-19,

John Baker

District News and Headlines

RCSD School Principals Welcome Our Students Back to School

RCSD Welcomes 65 Teacher Super Heroes

District Honors Employees and Their Years of Service to RCSD Children

Redwood City Council Honors RCSD with Welcoming Star Award

The award honors the district's work with its community schools, which is a national research-based model designed to close the achievement and equity gap in underserved communities. RCSD operates six community schools.

Member of the RCSD Board of Trustees Alisa MacAvoy was in attendance and accepted the award on behalf of the district.

Read the full story here.

Veteran Educators Take New Roles Starting in 2018-19

Some new smiling faces will welcome students at their schools come August 20!

Four veteran educators will be at the helm of RCSD schools this new school year with Ms. Tina Mercer being the latest educator to be named a school principal for the 2018-19 school year. RCSD Superintendent Dr. John Baker announced the appointment of Ms. Mercer during the summer as Roosevelt School’s new principal.

Ms. Mercer joins five other educators who were named school leaders earlier this spring including Fair Oaks Community School Principal Julie Thompson, Roy Cloud School Principal Diane Prystas, Roy Cloud Assistant Principal Kristy Jackson, Taft Community School Principal Anna Herrera, and Selby Lane Assistant Principal Leslie Daniele.

Former Roosevelt School Principal Dr. Rosemary Wood is moving to the District Office as Assistant Director of the Department of Special Education.

In addition, Lupe Guzmán, Assistant Principal of Hoover Community School, transfers from Kennedy Middle School to fill the vacancy created by the promotion of Ms. Mercer.

Beth Bonfiglio, a private school principal, joins RCSD as assistant principal at Kennedy Middle School and Erin Kekos, who serves MIT as an assistant principal, will now split her time and also support North Star Academy.

Priscilla Aquino-Dichoso joins RCSD from the San Mateo County Office of Education as the district's new Chief Business Officer.

Read here about the experience and training that these leaders bring to their new roles and the students and communities they will serve.

Meet Principal Thompson as she Welcomes her Students

Meet Principal Mercer as she Welcomes her Students

Meet Principal Prystas and Assistant Principal Jackson as they Welcome their Students

Meet Principal Herrera as she Welcomes Her Students

Meet Assistant Principal Guzmán as she Welcomes her Students with Principal Carranza

Meet Assistant Principal Daniele as she Welcomes her Students with Principal Sedar

RCSD Parents and Students Ready for New Year by Participating in Maze Day Back to School Activities Across the District

All RCSD schools held back-to-school activities, also known as Maze Day on most campuses, during the week prior to the first day of school on August 20. These activities are always a great way to get ready for the school year as students can learn their room number(s) and meet their teacher(s); see old friends and make new ones; review and update back to school emergency contact information; fill out lunch and after school program applications; and learn about supplies, schedules, and traffic procedures. Adelante Spanish Immersion School will hold its Maze Day this weekend. Parents who were not able to attend are encouraged to visit their school's main office first thing on Monday morning.

Have you Heard?

Garfield Gets a Kaboom! Playground

Continuing Coverage

Planning for Our Future - A Charge to the Superintendent's Advisory Council

The Superintendent's Advisory Council, comprised of at least one staff/faculty member and one parent per each RCSD school, is hard at work this school year helping RCSD rethink how to deliver an innovative education given current challenges experienced by RCSD and throughout California. We invite you to stay up to date on its work by reading the latest updates here.

Update, Tuesday, August 14, 2018:

The Superintendent's Advisory Council met Monday, August 13, 2018, for its first meeting scheduled for the 2018-19 school year. During this meeting, members heard a presentation about RCSD's long history of serving a community rich with history and change. The presentation included details about how the school district has adapted to serve its evolving community. In addition, five subcommittees were formed. The subcommittees are: Budget, Geographic Access, Academic Rigor, Program Demand, and Evaluation of Program Services.

The committee is studying several challenges and will suggest solutions to the superintendent and the Board of Trustees that integrate budget, programming, and enrollment considerations. RCSD staff, parents, and community members will have several opportunities to provide input later this fall. Details will be available closer to the date.

Continue to read the Superintendent's Newsletter or this blog to stay up to date.

Regular Board Meeting

Wednesday, Aug. 15th 2018 at 7pm

750 Bradford Street

Redwood City, CA

Special Board Meeting

Friday, Aug. 24th 2018 at 9am-3pm

350 Convention Way

Redwood City, CA

Regular Board Meeting

Wednesday, Aug. 29th 2018 at 7pm

750 Bradford Street

Redwood City, CA

Coffee with the Superintendent: Clifford School - September 7

Friday, Sep. 7th 2018 at 8:30-9:30am

225 Clifford Avenue

Redwood City, CA

Coffee with the Superintendent: Garfield Community School - September 10

Monday, Sep. 10th 2018 at 8:30-9:30am

3600 Middlefield Road

Menlo Park, CA

Regular Board Meeting - September 12

Wednesday, Sep. 12th 2018 at 7pm

750 Bradford Street

Redwood City, CA

Coffee with the Superintendent: Adelante Spanish Immersion School - September 14

Friday, Sep. 14th 2018 at 8:30-9:30am

3150 Granger Way

Redwood City, CA

Coffee with the Superintendent: Henry Ford Elementary School - September 17

Monday, Sep. 17th 2018 at 8:30-9:30am

2498 Massachusetts Avenue

Redwood City, CA

Coffee with the Superintendent: John Gill Elementary School - September 21

Friday, Sep. 21st 2018 at 8:30-9:30am

555 Avenue Del Ora

Redwood City, CA

Coffee with the Superintendent: Orion Alternative Elementary School - September 24

Monday, Sep. 24th 2018 at 8:30-9:30am

815 Allerton Street

Redwood City, CA

Coffee with the Superintendent: Hawes Elementary School - September 28

Friday, Sep. 28th 2018 at 8:30-9:30am

909 Roosevelt Avenue

Redwood City, CA

Give to the Foundation that Gives Back to Education

The Redwood City Education Foundation raises gap funds so that all students in the Redwood City School District can thrive.