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End of Year Message



Dr. Joe Jaconette

Welcome to the 2015-2016 School Year!
We enjoyed a successful opening in August. This week all schools will have completed their Back to School Nights. We hope this opportunity to meet and greet principals, teachers, and other parents provided you with a glimpse into the academic and enrichment programs your children will engage in this year. We thank you for your participation and your continuing support of our schools and programs.

Orinda Schools Exceed State Standards on CAASPP
In the Spring of 2015, Orinda students, in Grades 3-8 took part in the 2015 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), the new computer-based tests for English language arts/literacy and mathematics.  The results on these new tests include a wider variety of questions than the multiple-choice tests they replaced, requiring students to explain how they solve problems, think critically, and write analytically. Therefore, the results on the CAASPP are fundamentally different and cannot be compared with any former scores from the previous system for testing. Instead, these new scores are a starting point—a baseline for the progress students will make over time.

With the release of the CAASPP scores this week, we are especially proud of our teachers, administrators, staff, and parents who have collectively supported Orinda students to meet and exceed state achievement levels in this first year of testing.  We are especially pleased that such a high percentage of our students are exceeding state standards.



Meets & Exceeds


Meets & Exceeds

English Language Arts







Grade 5 - 98%

Grade 8 - 92%

Grade 5 - 55%

Grade 8 - 64%


Individual student reports will be mailed home to parents by US mail within the next couple of weeks. Individual school and grade level results are available on the district website.

Speak Up Be Safe Program
In 2013, Orinda Union School District entered into a partnership with the Lafayette School District, the Moraga School District, and the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Contra Costa County to deliver an instructional program for all three districts in the areas of bullying prevention, child abuse prevention, and child sexual abuse prevention. The Orinda Board of Trustees has renewed this agreement to continue the partnership for the 2015-16 school year.

The instructional program, called Speak Up Be Safe will be delivered to students in Grades 1, 3, 5, and 6. The Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe Program is a research-based, comprehensive child abuse and bullying prevention education curriculum equipping students nationwide with skills they need to play a significant role in the prevention or interruption of abuse and bullying. Speak Up Be Safe is a prevention education program that addresses all forms of child abuse including bullying, cyberbullying/technology safety, and sexual harassment at an age appropriate level.

Through the use of integrated student materials, the program is delivered in two lessons that introduce and reinforce five safety rules: 1) It’s MY body; 2) Ask an adult if I am safe; 3) I have choices; 4) Tell someone; and 5) It’s NEVER my fault. Carol Shenon, the Child Safety Coordinator of the Child Abuse Prevention Council will deliver these two lessons.  Classroom teachers are present for each lesson and will also provide reinforcement activities to students. Parents are notified when lessons will take place and parents will also be provided with information and safety tips for reinforcement discussions and activities at home.

A Steering Committee comprised of teachers, parents, and administrator representatives from all three districts meet quarterly to advise, monitor, and evaluate program implementation.

In addition, the Orinda school board will form an additional committee to evaluate the current program, Speak Up Be Safe, as it pertains to Orinda students.

Student participation in this program is voluntary, which means parents can choose not to have their child participate. This fall, parents will receive a letter with information about the program and the opportunity to opt out if they choose to do so.

All Orinda parents are invited to attend our Parent Information Night. Please plan to join us on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the OIS Multipurpose Room to learn more about the lessons that will be delivered in Orinda classrooms.

To view the grade level lessons, click here. These lessons are also maintained in a complete detailed binder at each school and at the district office for parent and community viewing.

Healthy Food Alternatives at School
At Parent Club meetings and at each of the elementary Back to School nights, teachers and principals are including parents in the discussion for taking steps to reduce the amount of unhealthy snacks served to students, with a particular focus on reducing sugary foods and/or snacks in the classroom. From birthdays to holiday parties, there are many celebrations at school. The fun often comes along with less than healthy foods. Offering so many treats so often can contribute to unhealthy eating habits and affect academic performance. It is important that all celebrations at school be in alignment with Orinda Union School District Board Policy 3550 which values good nutrition, an active lifestyle, and the overall health and wellbeing of our students. Orinda schools are taking steps to reduce the amount of unhealthy snacks served to students. All five schools are implementing practices that include “alternatives to food” for birthday celebrations in school. For all other traditional and important cultural events, each school will be working with their parent groups to serve healthier food options to sugar. With a few easy changes, we can shift the focus of school celebrations from unhealthy to healthy fun.


Please note the change in date: This month's meeting will be held the third Tuesday of the month, not the second Monday.

6:00 P.M. Open Session
Conference Room A
Orinda Union School District Office
8 Altarinda Road

Items of interest to the public include:

  • 2014-2015 Budget - Unaudited Actuals
  • Speak Up Be Safe Safety Committee
  • Board Priorities and Protocols
  • Parcel Tax Citizens' Oversight Committee Report

Wishing you all a great school year!

Dr. Joe Jaconette