Welcome to the New School Year
Dr. Joe Jaconette
As we welcome students to school this year, I want you to know that the Orinda Union School District has been working hard all summer to provide the children of Orinda with a fantastic educational experience.
I want to highlight some of our efforts as we continue along the path of educational excellence. We participate in a robust number of programs for professional development including the Columbia Teachers College Reading/Writing Project, the partnership with the Lawrence Hall of Science, and math workshops as we implement the new Common Core math standards.
We are continuously improving our technology infrastructure at all five school sites as we upgrade both the capacity and the speed to handle the increased demands placed upon our district. Twenty-first Century Learning requires that we stay ahead of this ever-growing need. We are pleased this year to have the services of a new Director of Technology, Mr. Raymond Mar; a position that we share with the Moraga School District.
We have been hard at work this summer improving our facilities at all school sites. Many health and safety improvements recommended last year by our Facilities Task Force include upgraded student restrooms, repaved playground/parking lots, and new school roofs. Other significant work is being done but is less visible, including water line repairs, hillside grading and drainage improvements, and new retaining wall installations. As well, your school board is studying energy efficiency solutions including solar installation, replacing portable classrooms, and air conditioning solutions for classrooms.
This summer, our district office relocated to its new building back at 8 Altarinda Road, which combines space for the maintenance, technology, and some instructional staff. This was a very collaborative effort with the City of Orinda and Pulte Homes providing a new recreation field and revenue money for district facilities projects.
In addition, this summer we recruited and selected 12 new teachers and two new administrators, Adam Saville, principal of Wagner Ranch School and Jennifer Woodman, Director of Special Services/Personnel.
Many challenges lie ahead as we strive to remain one of the top elementary school districts in the state. The implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the conversion to the new Local Control Funding Formula remain high priorities. As all five of our schools are California Distinguished School award winners and we maintain small class sizes including our 20:1 student/teacher ratio in K-3, I want to acknowledge that none of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of our teachers, administrators, and support staff. It is also important to recognize both the Educational Foundation of Orinda and our five Parent Clubs, as they provide critical funding and energy supporting district efforts.
It is gratifying to see so many students that attended OUSD schools graduate from Miramonte High School on their way to the top universities and colleges in the country.
I am humbled to work in a community that places such a high value on education and I am proud to lead this exceptional group of professionals as we begin another school year.