The SMMUSD Wave- Jan 2023
A Message from the Interim Superintendent
The Good Work Continues
Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff, Students and Community Members,
I write to welcome everyone into the new calendar year and take a moment to introduce myself as your interim superintendent. Currently, I am in my 24th year in SMMUSD. I have been fortunate to serve as an administrator at the district office, Malibu High School and at Santa Monica High School. I bring to the interim position historical knowledge and a commitment to support our schools, district office and communities during this time of transition. I have been fortunate to work with several excellent superintendents, including most recently Dr. Ben Drati. I am humbled that the Board of Education has placed trust in me for this interim assignment, and will do my best to ensure that the amazing work of the District will continue.
The second half of the school year is underway. Our students and staff have returned to school and our students are learning. Each of our schools and departments are led by excellent educators and leaders who are engaged with students and staff each and every day. I have always believed in the philosophy that there are two roles in a school district: to teach and to support teaching – all in the broadest sense of what support means. I am confident that our teachers, support staff and administrations will continue to engage in the professional practices and professional learning that are described in each school’s plan for strengthening student achievement and addressing achievement and opportunity gaps.
We will continue our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion at the classroom, school site and district levels. We will also continue to provide social-emotional learning experiences for students, and support them as we continue to cope with the on-going health crisis and other issues that affect the well-being of our young people. With the continued support of parents and our communities, our schools will continue to thrive during this time of transition. The good work will continue.
In the coming months our District team and site administrators will be working with the Board of Education to plan for the 2023-24 school year. You will be hearing an update from our school board soon regarding the process for selecting a new superintendent.
I wish families and staff a great and productive semester ahead with our ongoing focus on student success and wellbeing.
Mark O. Kelly, Ed.D.
You can read prior Superintendent Messages here.
Reminder: Make Mental Health a Priority
As students of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) prepare to start 2023, it is essential to remember to make mental health a priority. SMMUSD provides students and families with several services and resources.
Read more about the services and resources available to students here: https://bit.ly/MentalHealthReminder
SMMUSD Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten Roundup Planned for Jan. 26, 2023
Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Kindergarten Roundup, as the yearly event is called, is an opportunity for Santa Monica and Malibu parents of children entering TK or kindergarten for the upcoming year to meet the principal and teachers of their neighborhood school, learn about before and after school care, and begin the registration process for the school year.
Round up time on Jan. 26 varies by school and is listed on this flyer.
Find your neighborhood school based on your residence:
Read more here: https://bit.ly/Roundup2023PR
SMMUSD Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Vision
The video below highlights the context and key developments led by the District's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Change Group. The work began in 2020 with middle school principals who came together to positively react to current systems which have failed to meet the needs of students who have historically been marginalized for decades across the district and our nation. The proposed strategy is designed to encourage reexamining the current system by all constituents involved – interested staff, administration, school board, and parents – in shaping the system and making the necessary changes through the lens of DEI.
This video was featured in the DEI Change Group's presentation to the Board of Education on Nov. 3, 2022. See the entire presentation here from 0:22:15 - 1:47:57.
The SMMUSD Spotlight
Jacqueline Papale, Webster Elementary School TK Teacher
Meet Jacqueline Papale, Webster Elementary School’s TK teacher, who loves her students and her job as a teacher. Her fun and creative classroom projects are infused with messages of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), while also targeting the development of social and emotional learning skills.
Read more about Papale here: https://bit.ly/JacquelinePapale-Spotlight
SMMUSD to Host Campus Facility California Environmental Quality Act Review Community Meetings: McKinley and Grant
Join Us! The SMMUSD invites parents, staff, students and community members to participate in the Environmental Impact Review of campus facility plans. The District is planning educational improvements at McKinley Elementary School and Grant Elementary School. We are holding in-person meetings on Jan. 31 for McKinley and Feb. 7 for Grant to accept comments from the community.
For more information visit: https://bit.ly/CEQApr2023.
Register for upcoming community meetings here.
SMMUSD Campus Environmental Impact Community Meetings Held: Rogers, JAMS and Franklin
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) held in-person community meetings in December at Will Rogers Learning Community, John Adams Middle School (JAMS) and Franklin Elementary School. The District received feedback at these meetings from parents, students, staff and members of the community regarding the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process, the Initial Study (IS) and the Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) for planned facility improvements at each school site.
Read more here.
SMMUSD Continues to Make Progress with Sustainability Commitment
Keeping the promise! The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) has maintained its commitment to educating, implementing and promoting sustainability with initiatives such as the Metro GoPass program, water and energy conservation and Bike It! Walk It! Bus It! Campaign.
To learn more about SMMUSD’s sustainability initiatives here.
Read the SMMUSD Sustainability Plan here.