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News

Audience: News and News

April 6, 2018


State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson recently announced the elementary schools honored as California Distinguished Schools for 2018. Orinda Union School District’s Del Rey Elementary, Glorietta Elementary, and Wagner Ranch Elementary are three of the seven elementary schools designated as Distinguished Schools in Contra Costa County. Del Rey, Glorietta, and Wagner Ranch qualified to apply for the honor based on outstanding student academic performance, high participation rates on state testing, and low student suspension rates. Principals of each nominated school collaborated with a school site team to complete an application in which they described a model practice at the school, how the practice was implemented and monitored, and the results of its implementation on students and staff.


A total of 287 elementary schools have been awarded the 2018 Distinguished Schools designation across the state. The California Distinguished Schools Program alternates every other year between elementary and secondary (middle and high) schools and is returning after a three-year break. In May, the California Department of Education is hosting a California School Recognition Program Awards Ceremony to honor schools that are 2018 California Distinguished Schools and recipients of other prestigious honors.


On behalf of her fellow members on the Board of Trustees, Orinda USD Board President Carol Brown stated, “We are so very proud of this recognition of Del Rey, Glorietta, and Wagner Ranch Elementary Schools. Our teachers and staff, talented students, and committed parents work in partnership to provide extraordinary learning environments across the District. We are thankful to serve as Trustees in a community that strongly values and supports public education.”


Added Dr. Carolyn Seaton, Superintendent of Schools, “When I joined Orinda USD in 2016, I quickly discovered the commitment to excellence and continuous growth at all Orinda USD schools. Del Rey, Glorietta, and Wagner Ranch teachers are to be commended for their dedication to providing students with a rigorous curriculum that ignites their curiosity for learning while also nurturing their social/emotional growth.”

 

To view the list of all 2018 California Distinguished Schools awardees and learn more about the program, click here.


###


About the Orinda Union School District

Orinda Union School District is one of the highest performing school districts in the State of California. Orinda USD serves approximately 2,500 students from transitional kindergarten to eighth grade at five school campuses four elementary schools and one middle school. Three Orinda USD elementary schools have been honored as 2018 California Distinguished Schools: Del Rey, Glorietta, and Wagner Ranch. Orinda Intermediate School was named a California Gold Ribbon School in 2015. Del Rey Elementary School earned National Blue Ribbon School status in 2015. All five Orinda USD schools have been honored by the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence as California Honor Roll Schools based on student achievement data. In addition to outstanding students and excellent teachers and staff, Orinda Union School District is extremely fortunate to have a high level of parental involvement in the schools and strong community partnerships as evidenced by the support provided by Parent Clubs, the Educational Foundation of Orinda, and the City of Orinda. More information about Orinda USD is available at http://www.orindaschools.org

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Posted by: Debbie Jamieson
Published: 4/6/18




Audience: News and News

March 28, 2018

The Orinda Union School District (OUSD) Board of Trustees recognizes that attracting and retaining the most talented teachers, staff, and administrators is of utmost importance to maintaining educational excellence. Unfortunately, limited state funding for OUSD teacher and other employee salaries has not kept pace with the cost of living in, or commuting to, Orinda. 


At their recent March meeting, the OUSD Board approved a resolution to partner with Landed, a San Francisco-based startup that helps school personnel purchase homes through a down payment assistance program. The program provides half of the down payment on a home, up to $120,000 per household, in exchange for a portion of the gain or loss in the value of the home when the home is sold. Landed’s down payment support will be available to all teachers, administrators, and staff who have worked for Orinda Union School District for at least two years and can contribute their own 10% down payment. 


“Orinda is one of least affordable cities in the Bay Area,” noted Orinda Union School District Board President Carol Brown. “Without innovative solutions like Landed, most of our educators cannot afford to live in or near our community. We believe Landed will be a valuable tool to improve district retention by providing educators with a pathway to home ownership.” 


OUSD Superintendent Dr. Carolyn Seaton added, “Orinda Union School District receives among the lowest per pupil state funding of all public school districts in California. Consequently, it is challenging to offer competitive salaries for our teachers and other employees. Fortunately, Landed offers an opportunity to provide Orinda teachers and staff with assistance for a down payment on a home at no cost to the district.” 


Last year, Landed received a $5 million investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to help educators in three public school districts on the Peninsula buy homes. Thanks to subsequent partnerships with large foundations, Landed has established the U.S. Educator Housing Fund to bring down payment support to educators in expensive cities around the country. Since its founding in 2015, Landed has already helped over forty educators purchase homes in San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and other cities across California. 


“We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with the Orinda Union School District,” said Landed Head of Engagement Nikki Lowy. “We believe in upholding the essential professionals who uphold all of us. While we recognize that Landed is just one of many solutions needed to address the housing crisis in the East Bay, we’re excited to offer a new tool to help Orinda educators live in or near the beautiful community they serve.”


An informational session will be held with Orinda Union School District employees in April. In the interim, interested OUSD educators can apply for Landed support today at www.landed.com/interest. 


###


About the Orinda Union School District 
Orinda Union School District is one of the highest performing school districts in the State of California. Orinda USD serves approximately 2,500 students from transitional kindergarten to eighth grade at five school campuses— four elementary schools and one middle school. Three Orinda USD elementary schools have been honored as 2018 California Distinguished Schools: Del Rey, Glorietta, and Wagner Ranch. Orinda Intermediate School was named a California Gold Ribbon School in 2015. Del Rey Elementary School earned National Blue Ribbon School status in 2015. All five Orinda USD schools have been honored by the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence as California Honor Roll Schools based on student achievement data. In addition to outstanding students and excellent teachers and staff, Orinda Union School District is extremely fortunate to have a high level of parental involvement in the schools and strong community partnerships as evidenced by the support provided by Parent Clubs, the Educational Foundation of Orinda, and the City of Orinda. More information about Orinda USD is available at http://www.orindaschools.org.


About Landed 
Landed is on a mission to help essential professionals, starting with educators, build financial security near the communities they serve. One of the ways we do this is by investing equity alongside educators when they are ready to buy a home. We call this shared equity down payment assistance. Here's how it works. Recent news coverage about Landed can be found in the Wall Street Journal, on NPR, and in the San Jose Mercury News. Helping great educators become homeowners keeps them in the classroom and improves student outcomes. That's why Landed is financially supported by great organizations like the DRK Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. More information about Landed is available at www.landed.com.

 

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Posted by: Debbie Jamieson
Published: 4/4/18




Audience: News and News

The Orinda Union School District seeks applicants to serve on its Parcel Tax Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee.  Currently there is a two-year term vacancy.  The committee meets twice annually during normal business hours. The primary objective and purpose of this committee is to ensure that the parcel tax proceeds are spent for their authorized purpose and to report annually to the Board of Trustees and the public regarding the expenditure of such funds.

 

If interested, please submit an application to:

Orinda Union School District

Attn:  Debbie Jamieson

8 Altarinda Road

Orinda, CA 94563

or via email to djamieson@orinda.k12.ca.us

or by fax to (925) 254-5261.

 

Applications are available here

or by email from djamieson@orinda.k12.ca.us

 

Application Deadline:

Friday, March 23, 2018, by Noon

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Posted by: Dr. Carolyn Seaton
Published: 1/30/18




Audience: News, News, Homepage and Homepage

On January 8th the Orinda Governing Board approved the 2018-2019 School Year Calendar.  The calendar was developed with input from the Curriculum Committee and aligns with the 2018-2019 Acalanes District calendar.  

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Posted by: Dr. Carolyn Seaton, District Admin, Orinda Union School District
Published: 1/10/18




Audience: News and News

September 29, 2017


This week the California Department of Education released the results of last spring’s 2017 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) online tests in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. This is the third year of CAASPP online testing for California’s public school students in grades three through eight and eleven. Scores on these assessments fall into one of four achievement levels: standard exceeded, standard met, standard nearly met, and standard not met.


Orinda Union School District serves children in grades TK through eight. Of the third through eighth grade students tested, 86% of students met or exceeded standards in ELA, and 84% met that same benchmark in mathematics on the 2017 CAASPP assessments. Orinda Union School District’s scores place it among the top of all CA school districts in both ELA and math.


Orinda USD Superintendent Dr. Carolyn Seaton commented, “Our students’ scores on the 2017 CAASPP assessments in ELA and mathematics reflect outstanding teaching, strong instructional leadership, involved and supportive parents, and engaged students. The latest CAASPP assessment scores are one of many examples that reflect the robust and vibrant educational communities that exist at all five Orinda USD schools.


Orinda USD Board President Jason Kaune added, “On behalf of the Board, I congratulate our students and thank our teachers and staff for maintaining these achievement levels. The Board remains committed to providing the resources and support necessary to continue a long tradition of excellence in our Orinda public schools.”

 

David Schrag, Director of Curriculum and Instruction noted, “We are lucky to be in a place where teachers, parents, and our school community collaborate to provide a rich and engaging educational experience for all of our students. We are extremely proud that our students are showing strong progress on the CAASPP assessment. While we strive to provide an exceptional academic experience for all Orinda USD students, we are equally inspired to support students in becoming creative, ethical, and compassionate human beings.”


Mr. Schrag will be presenting an overview of Orinda’s CAASPP results to the Board of Trustees at their regular meeting on October 9th. To view comparative CAASPP results by school or district as published by EdSource, click here. To access the State Superintendent’s press release on the 2017 CAASPP results, click here.

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 10/2/17




Audience: News, News, Homepage and Homepage


 

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Posted by: Debbie Jamieson, District Admin, Orinda Union School District
Published: 8/29/17




Audience: News and News

Pictured from left to right are Del Rey Head Custodian Steve Eydam, Board Vice President Carol Brown, Superintendent Carolyn Seaton, and Board Member Cara Hoxie

 

At the Welcome Back Luncheon held on August 18, 2017, all employees who have completed 5, 10, and 15 years of service in Orinda were recognized with a special pin. Beginning with the 20th year of service, employees who have completed 20-24 years in the District were acknowledged and honored with a 20 year pin. OUSD staff who completed 25-29 years and 30-34 years of service received their 25 and 30 year pins, respectively. Steve Eydam, Head Custodian and the heart and soul of Del Rey School, was honored with a standing ovation and his 35 year pin for his phenomenal 39 years of service to OUSD.  

 

5 Year Pin

Scott Adams
Ashleigh Briant
Michelle Brobak
Sue Carpenter
Tracy Champion
Erin Crowe
Linda Edley
Judy Huston
Dawn Kurisu
Greg Mazmanian
Susan McGill
David Morritt

 

10 Year Pin

Josh DeFeo

Carina Hanley

Sue Hoover

Michelle Kalafatis

Maple Lai

Kathy Schwarz

Kirsten Theurer

Rebecca Wilson

 

15 Year Pin

Mike Agers

Michelle Bournonville

Annalisa Brucker-Harrington

Shirley Glotch

Cindy McCullough

Eric Page

Susan Randall

 

20 Year Pin (20-24 Completed Years of Service)

Jim Bartleman

Connie Boero

Sebastian Broekman

Kim Burris

Susan Chapple

Terry Eubanks

Karen Fazio

Laura Foxworthy

Kathy Frenklach

Lona Hornbuckle

Stacy Howard

Debra Jockisch

Suzy Kisch

Anne Marie Kniel

Ron Langer

Carol Levin

Alfred Machacon

Tricia Newhart

Chris Ortiz

Katherine Palmer-Collins

Ron Pickett

Julie Ritzman

Patty Rostampour

Alison Waterman

 

25 Year Pin (25-29 Completed Years of Service)

Sue Boudreau

Niva Dotan

Adam Miller

Mark Mortenson

Atalya Rubin

Anita Scalise

Terry Schrittwieser

Ray Szeliga

Patsy Templeton

Susan Weiss

 

30 Year Pin (30-34 Completed Years of Service)

Cheryl McNair

Nga Nguyen

Mary Risso

Colleen Sullivan

 

35 Year Pin (39 Years of Service)

Steve Eydam

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 8/25/17




Audience: News and News


 

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 8/9/17




Audience: News and News


 

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 5/30/17




Audience: News and News

May 11, 2017

 


 


The Orinda Union School District is excited to announce the appointment of Mr. David Schrag as its new Director of Curriculum and Instruction. The Board of Trustees unanimously approved his appointment at their May 8, 2017, Board Meeting. Mr. Schrag will begin on July 1, 2017.


Mr. Schrag started his career in education as a fifth and sixth grade teacher in the Hayward Unified School District. He was quickly recognized as a teacher leader and mentored colleagues in the areas of differentiated instruction, assessments, coordinated team teaching, and cross-age tutoring by students. Following eight years of service as a teacher, Mr. Schrag was hired as the Vice Principal of Ralston Middle School in the Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School District. Since 2007, he has served as Principal of Stanley Middle School in the Lafayette School District. Under Mr. Schrag’s leadership, Stanley Middle School was honored as a California Gold Medal School and twice as a California Distinguished School.


Mr. Schrag earned his Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of California, Davis, and his Master of Arts in Education, Administration, and Policy Analysis at Stanford University. He has demonstrated success in shaping a school culture that focuses on the success and health of the whole child. As Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Mr. Schrag looks forward to implementing a collaborative approach through which all stakeholder perspectives will be honored and will contribute to building and executing a shared vision for all of Orinda’s K-8 students.


When asked about his new position, Mr. Schrag expressed his enthusiasm to begin this important work. “I'm greatly honored and excited to be a part of the Orinda Union School District team.” Added Schrag, “Orinda USD represents educational excellence, and I am deeply committed to upholding the District’s and community's high expectations for its schools. I am indebted to the Stanley Middle School community in the Lafayette School District for providing me with the opportunity to work with amazing students, staff, parents, administrators, and community members for the past ten years. I am very proud of our many collective achievements and look forward to implementing what I have learned in my new position.”


The position of Director of Curriculum and Instruction was posted in February following the announcement of revered Orinda USD Director Kathy Marshall’s retirement. An impressive sixty-five candidates submitted applications. Mr. Schrag was one of eight candidates selected to interview before a committee comprised of administrators, teachers, and parents. He emerged as one of the finalists interviewed by the Superintendent and other District leadership. Ultimately, Mr. Schrag was recommended to the Board of Trustees to fill this important vacancy because of his vision for teaching and learning in Orinda schools and his impressive record of innovative, student-centered initiatives in Lafayette.


Jason Kaune, Orinda Union School District’s Board President, stated, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Orinda USD, I am delighted to welcome David Schrag to our District. David’s background and experience make him a perfect match for this position. I am confident that he will collaborate with all members of our school community to build upon the lasting legacy of Ms. Kathy Marshall.”


“Several outstanding candidates applied for this position,” stated Dr. Carolyn Seaton, Superintendent. “Mr. Schrag impressed me as an exceptional instructional leader, a colleague who will work extraordinarily well with all employees, and as an educator who always places students first in his decision-making process. He possesses the organizational, communication, and technical skills required to be highly successful as Director of Curriculum and Instruction.”


David Schrag resides in nearby Walnut Creek with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children.

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 5/11/17




Audience: News and News


 

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 2/21/17




Audience: News and News


 

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 11/7/16




Audience: News, News, Homepage and Homepage

 

eGovernance Solution Enables District to

Save Time, Money and Increase Governing Body Effectiveness

http://www.boarddocs.com/ca/orinda/Board.nsf/Public

 

SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 — ORINDA UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT is leveraging the power of the Internet to greatly improve the governance process while saving time, taxpayer dollars and the environment. This new eGovernance initiative will replace the old and costly method of compiling, printing, binding and distributing paper agenda packets by hand. The remarkably powerful, easy-to-use solution will enable the organization to maximize the effectiveness of their board meetings with increased transparency, providing a basis for better and more open communication with the public, while increasing productivity and incurring cost savings.

 

The paperless meeting solution, called “BoardDocs®”, was initially developed in the year 2000 for a Georgia school district. Since then, hundreds of governing bodies nationwide have adopted the system. By making meeting agendas and supporting documents available on the Internet, ORINDA UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT will be able distribute documents associated with board meetings more efficiently, at a dramatically reduced cost to the organization.

 

Electronic distribution will not only save time and resources, but it will also provide easy public access via the District’s web site to agenda items and supporting documents. After the meeting, individuals can review the agenda items and see what action the governing body took, along with voting results. All documents associated with the meeting are automatically archived and can be accessed by meeting date or by using the system’s comprehensive search feature.

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach, District Admin, Orinda Union School District
Published: 9/8/16




Audience: News, News, Homepage and Homepage

Dr. Carolyn Seaton, Superintendent

August 30, 2016

 

The California Department of Education recently released the results of last spring’s 2016 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) online tests in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics.  This is the second year of CAASPP online testing for California’s public school students in grades three through eight and eleven.  Scores on these assessments fall into one of four achievement levels: standard exceeded, standard met, standard nearly met, and standard not met.

 

Orinda USD serves students in grades K-8.  The following table reflects the percentages of Orinda USD students in grades 3-8 who received a score of standard exceeded or standard met for 2015 and 2016 in ELA and math:

 

Percent of State Standards Exceeded or Met

 

 

ELA

Math

Grade Level

2015

2016

2015

2016

3

87%

87%

89%

91%

4

88%

93%

89%

93%

5

88%

89%

83%

83%

6

87%

87%

77%

82%

7

86%

88%

80%

78%

8

86%

83%

82%

84%

Overall OUSD

87%

87%

83%

86%

Overall Contra Costa County

52%

55%

43%

45%

Overall State of CA

44%

49%

33%

37%

 

With 87% of students meeting or exceeding standards in ELA and 86% in mathematics on the 2016 CAASPP assessments, Orinda USD remains one of the highest performing school districts in the state.

 

Orinda USD Superintendent Dr. Carolyn Seaton commented, “I applaud our teachers and instructional leaders for the incredible amount of work they have dedicated toward learning and implementing best instructional practices for teaching California’s content standards in English language arts and mathematics.  I look forward to studying the data further to determine where we excel and our areas of needed improvement.”

 

Orinda USD Board President Julie Rossiter added, “The Board remains committed to providing our teachers with high quality professional development and instructional materials that support teaching challenging and innovative curriculum.  We applaud the rigorous standards of the CAASPP, and we look forward to doing all that we can to help all Orinda students meet or exceed standards on future CAASPP assessments.”

 

Kathy Marshall, Director of Curriculum and Instruction noted, “As a district, we are committed to providing ongoing, in-depth learning experiences that engage students toward mastery of the California standards.  Teachers and parents are truly collaborative partners in this process, and we are so proud of our students as they “show what they know” by demonstrating their knowledge and abilities on this new state assessment.

 

Ms. Marshall will be presenting an overview of Orinda’s CAASPP results to the Board of Trustees at their regular meeting on September 12th.  To learn more about Orinda USD’s CAASPP program including how to interpret student score reports and the testing window for 2017, click here.  To access the State Superintendent’s press release on the 2016 CAASPP results, click here.

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach, District Admin, Orinda Union School District
Published: 9/1/16




Audience: News, News, Homepage and Homepage


 

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach, District Admin, Orinda Union School District
Published: 8/24/16




Audience: News and News

A Note of Appreciation

I want to take this opportunity to thank the Orinda community for the incredibly warm welcome I have received since beginning my new position as Superintendent of Schools on May 2.  Many of you have likely heard of Jim Collins and the book he authored, Good to Great.  My goal is to collaborate with all Orinda USD stakeholders to take our District from great to extraordinary.  Since my arrival, I have been incredibly impressed by our teachers' rigorous and creative instructional practices, our knowledgeable and dedicated support staff, the support of our parents and community, and the visionary site and district leaders who are committed to implementing researched based programs and practices to ensure our students are prepared for their future. 

 

Though I have held several administrative positions during my 32 years in education - middle school Assistant Principal and Principal, Executive Director of Educational Services, Executive Director of Human Resources, and now Superintendent of Schools, I am a teacher at my core.  I have had the privilege of serving as a fifth grade teacher, an elementary science specialist, a middle school gifted and talented specialist, and a middle school science, math, English, and language arts teacher.  I know firsthand the magic that can occur in a classroom when students discover a new concept or skill.  Every day Orinda parents and guardians are entrusting their most precious resource, their children, to Orinda USD educators and staff.  My pledge to the Orinda community is that I will use the lens of what is best for our students to guide every decision. 

 

I am eager to meet and get to know many of you as I begin to familiarize myself with our schools and community.   

Honoring Our Retirees

We have six treasured Orinda USD employees who are retiring after many years of dedicated service to our students and our District.  They are:

  • Terri Brasch, Fourth Grade Teacher, Del Rey
  • Sandra Buscheck, Second Grade Teacher, Del Rey
  • Ted Harwood, Woodshop Teacher, Orinda Intermediate
  • Maribeth Renno, School Secretary, Sleepy Hollow
  • Catherine Shipp, Kindergarten Teacher, Sleepy Hollow
  • Bethany Valentine, Second Grade Teacher, Del Rey

These dedicated members of our Orinda USD family have provided 81 collective years of service.  They have contributed so much to educating, mentoring, guiding, and supporting students and staff.  Their effect is immeasurable, and our District will not be the same without them.  They will be honored at the Board of Trustees' June 13th meeting.  We wish all of them well as they begin this exciting new chapter in their lives. 

Orinda USD Secures Credit Rating Upgrade 

and Refinances Existing Bonds to

Reduce Taxpayers' Bills

Earlier this week, the District sold $8.16 million of refunding general obligation bonds in order to generate savings for taxpayers.  Due to historically low interest rates in the municipal bond market combined with high investor demand for the District's bonds, the refinancing resulted in savings greater than expected.  Investor reception was further helped by a credit upgrade from Standard & Poor's to "AA+," the highest rating of all Contra Costa County school districts. Through this refinancing, property owners in the District will save over $975,000 (in today's dollars), which equates to roughly $120 for the median homeowner in the District over the remaining term of the bonds (based on fiscal year 2015/16 assessed value data).

 

In a school district general obligation bond refunding, similar to refinancing a home mortgage to a lower interest rate, proceeds of the new bonds are used to retire the older bonds.  Unlike refinancing a mortgage, the term of the original debt is not extended.  With municipal bond rates near historic lows, the District was able to refinance at an all-in cost of 0.97 percent compared to prior interest rates ranging from 4.5 to 5.0 percent on the original bonds issued in 1998 and 2001.  The lower interest rates reduce the debt service payments, which results in savings to taxpayers. 

 

The refunding reflects the commitment of our Board to manage its bond program, which is funded by taxpayer dollars, effectively. As the 1995 bond measure is paid off in the next 6.5 years, this refunding is a final step to ensure remaining payments are as low as possible.

 

Regarding the District's credit rating upgrade and subsequent savings to taxpayers from bond refunding, Board President Julie Rossiter stated, "The Orinda School Board takes its fiduciary responsibility seriously.  We know that Orinda taxpayers count on us to be dedicated stewards of public funds, and the District's recent credit rating increase and bond refunding results demonstrate our commitment to meeting those expectations."  

Kindergarten Students' Advice for OIS Eighth Grade Students

Yesterday I had the honor of speaking to our eighth grade students during the OIS Promotion Ceremony.  As I pondered what to say to our students as they were completing their middle school experience and preparing to move on to high school, I reflected on their first year in our schools, Kindergarten.  Many of us have heard of the book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum.  I decided that I would meet with Kindergarten students at all four of our elementary schools to ask them what advice they might have to help eighth grade students to be successful and happy at the high school.  Perhaps not surprisingly, the students' advice was spot on.  Some of my favorite tips that our Kindergarteners provided for their older peers included:

  • Don't be a bully.
  • Don't take things that are not yours. 
  • Don't look at somebody else's paper. Just ask for help. 
  • Don't play rock, paper, scissors when the teacher is teaching something important like math. 
  • Include other people. 
  • If you have a problem, don't blame someone else. If you know something was your fault, say, "I'm sorry."
  • Introduce yourself to people you don't know. 
  • If you see a friend who is sad, invite them to play Pokémon.  That will cheer them up. 
  • Always be yourself. 
  • Go to bed at your bedtime.
  • Sound out the words you don't know yet.
  • Don't brag about your work.
  • Don't get upset if you don't win. 
  • Let everyone play. 
  • When you miss your old school and your teachers, go back and visit. 
  • If you're in trouble, don't hide or run. It's just going to get worse.
  • Be empathetic. Try to understand how other people feel. 

I so appreciate the Kindergarten teachers and Principals at Del Rey, Glorietta, Sleepy Hollow, and Wagner Ranch for providing me with the opportunity to meet with and be inspired by these sage young students at such a busy time of year.  The OIS Promotion Ceremony is truly a community event.  The students behaved wonderfully, and the student speakers were so eloquent and poised.  As I said at the end of my speech, "Congratulations, OIS Class of 2016.  Make us proud!"  

 

Please feel free to contact me with your ideas, questions, and/or concerns.  I look forward to an excellent school year ahead.  Enjoy the summer and encourage your children to read as often as possible. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Carolyn Seaton, Ed.D

Superintendent of Schools

Orinda Union School District

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 6/13/16




Audience: News and News

June 10, 2016

 

Earlier this week, the Orinda Union School District sold $8.16 million of refunding general obligation bonds in order to generate savings for taxpayers.  The financing will close later this month on June 22, 2016.

 

Due to historically low interest rates in the municipal bond market combined with high investor demand for the District’s bonds, the refinancing resulted in savings greater than expected. Investor reception was further helped by a credit upgrade from Standard & Poor’s to “AA+,” the highest rating of all Contra Costa County school districts. Through this refinancing, property owners in the District will save over $975,000 (in today’s dollars), which equates to roughly $120 for the median homeowner in the District over the remaining term of the bonds (based on fiscal year 2015/16 assessed value data).

 

In a school district general obligation bond refunding, similar to refinancing a home mortgage to a lower interest rate, proceeds of the new bonds are used to retire the older bonds.  Unlike refinancing a mortgage, the term of the original debt is not extended.  With municipal bond rates near historic lows, the District was able to refinance at an all-in cost of 0.97 percent compared to prior interest rates ranging from 4.5 to 5.0 percent on the original bonds issued in 1998 and 2001.  The lower interest rates reduce the debt service payments, which results in savings to taxpayers. 

 

The refunding reflects the commitment of the Orinda Union School District Board of Trustees to manage its bond program, which is funded by taxpayer dollars, effectively. As the 1995 bond measure is paid off in the next 6.5 years, this refunding is a final step to ensure remaining payments are as low as possible. The results of this bond sale highlight the District’s high credit rating as a result of sound fiscal management, and its stewardship of the taxpayers’ interests.

 

Regarding the District’s credit rating upgrade and subsequent savings to taxpayers from bond refunding, Board President Julie Rossiter stated, “The Orinda School Board takes its fiduciary responsibility seriously.  We know that Orinda taxpayers count on us to be dedicated stewards of public funds, and the District’s recent credit rating increase and bond refunding results demonstrate our commitment to meeting those expectations.” 

 

According to Dr. Carolyn Seaton, Orinda USD’s new Superintendent of Schools, “While numerous factors contributed to the district’s increased credit rating, strong community support and a history of fiscally sound budgetary practices were undoubtedly significant factors in the ultimate decision to award Orinda USD with an AA+ rating.”

Orinda USD’s Director of Business Services, Teresa Sidrian, added, "The refunding of the bonds was executed through a competitive bid process.  I was thrilled to learn that the interest rate from the winning bid came in so low, and that the citizens of Orinda will benefit from lower property taxes.”

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 6/10/16