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News

Audience: 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


 

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




Audience: News


 

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




Audience: Homepage and News

 

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
Published: 9/8/16




Audience: Homepage and News

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
Published: 9/1/16




Audience: Homepage and News


 

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 8/24/16




Audience: 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

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




Audience: Homepage and News

The past two months have been among the most active in our school year. While the fine details of teaching and learning continue to take place each and every day in Orinda classrooms, many other activities have been occurring at the district office as a result of district and community meetings. I would like to share a broad-stroke view and key highlights of current initiatives and programs:

 

FACILITIES PROJECTS

Facilities projects are currently taking place at each school site utilizing funds received from the 2013 Pulte Project (Fund 40), Developer Fees (received as a result of new housing developments), Prop 39 Energy Efficiency, and Clean Renewable Energy Bonds.

 

Our district has contracted with Sun, Light, and Power to install solar panels at each of our schools. The process to install solar panels began in 2014 following a series of school-community meetings that helped to establish a priority list of facility projects. This was followed by a feasibility study conducted by solar energy consultants, Terra Verde Renewable Partners. Terra Verde assisted the district in qualifying for Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBS) which will fund the project from the PG&E savings at no cost to taxpayers. The CREBS bonds are being used to provide solar panels at all five school sites this summer. Plans are in process for construction to begin on June 13, 2016.

 

A webpage has been set up to keep parents and the community informed about the progress of the solar installation.  Click on the constructions project webpage to learn more about the background of the solar project and other projects taking place in Orinda Schools.

 

LOCAL CONTROL ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN (LCAP)

An essential component of the LCAP process is gathering input from our stakeholders throughout the development of the Plan. During the months of March and April, our district staff is consulting with parents, teachers, students, and community members to develop the annual update for the LCAP. The district LCAP goal focus areas are:

  • Student Achievement
  • Professional Development
  • School Safety & Climate
  • Instructional Technology

Opportunities for additional parent and community feedback will be gathered through school site surveys, and between May 10-31, we will receive and respond to public comments. The Plan is scheduled to be presented to the school board for approval in June. Please visit our LCAP webpage for continuing updates.

 

ORINDA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL

BLOCK SCHEDULE FOR 2016-2017

On March 14th at their regular meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the implementation of a block schedule at Orinda Intermediate School for the 2016-2017 school year. The transition to a block schedule for OIS students has been an ongoing process that has included research, school observations, a three-week pilot, surveys and meetings with OIS teachers, staff, site council, union leadership, and the OIS Parent Club. The new block schedule will be discussed in more detail at the upcoming fifth grade Parent Information Night on April 21 at 7:00 pm in the OIS multipurpose room. All fifth grade families are invited to attend.

 

TENTH ANNUAL ART AMBASSADORS EXHIBIT

Students from all five Orinda schools will have artwork on display from April 4 - April 30 at the Orinda Library Art Gallery. For the past ten years EFO, the

Lamorinda Arts Council and Orinda art teachers have been working in partnership to create this gallery experience for students. The theme "Then and Now" will also feature early and current works by Miramonte High School students. The opening Artist Reception for the Tenth Annual Art Ambassadors Exhibit will take place on Wed, April 20, 4:30-6:30pm at the Orinda Library Community Center. The reception will include a "welcoming" performance provided by the OIS Jazz Ensemble followed by a choral student performance and an opportunity to meet the student artists. Click here to view the flyer.

 

CA ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE AND PROGRESS (CAASPP)

The district will be administering the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) this spring. Our district testing window is April 25 - May 27. More information, with a link to the Practice Tests, is posted on the CAASPP Testing Page of the district website.

 

HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE SPRING BREAK

In recognition of the hard work, support, and dedication of our employees, parents, and community partners, I am mindful of how wonderful a break can be! Schools will be closed April 4-8 and will resume Monday, April 11.

I wish all of our staff and families a safe and enjoyable spring holiday.


Sincerely,

Kathy Marshall

Interim Superintendent

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Posted by: Kathy Marshall
Published: 4/1/16




Audience: News and Homepage

February 19, 2016

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

 

We want to make you aware of a recent court case in which the California Department of Education (CDE) has been ordered by the court to release all the student data that CDE has collected on general and special education students since January 1, 2008. This case has received significant attention and is impacting all school districts across the state.

 

As a parent/guardian, you have the right to object to the disclosure of your child's protected personal information and records by notifying the court in writing by April 1, 2016. To notify the court, parents/guardians may complete and mail in an Opt-Out Form from the CDE website: Opt-Out Form.  The form must be sent via regular mail to the court by April 1, 2016 (return address and instructions are at the bottom of the form).

 

Please note that Orinda Union School District was not involved in the lawsuit, and is not the subject of any of the suit's allegations. OUSD is not involved in this release of data, nor collection of the objection form. Also, please be aware that our district no longer collects student social security numbers. Instead, we use a state-issued unique student identification number.

 

For more information regarding the release of this data and how you can file an objection with the court visit: http://www.cde.ca.gov/morganhillcase. You may also contact the California Department of Education at 916-319-0800.

 

Click here to read State Superintendent Torlakson’s message regarding this matter.

 

Sincerely,

Kathy Marshall

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 2/19/16




Audience: Homepage and News

CarolynSeaton.jpg
 

The Board of Trustees is excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Carolyn Seaton as the next Superintendent of the Orinda Union School District. Dr. Seaton currently serves as Executive Director of Human Resources for the Manhattan Beach Unified School District. Dr. Seaton will begin serving as Superintendent on May 2, 2016. She will succeed Dr. Joe Jaconette, who has served as the District’s Superintendent for more than eight years.

 

The process of selecting the next Superintendent for Orinda was truly a community effort. The Board is extremely grateful to everyone who contributed their ideas and opinions during the search process. This input was critical in helping guide the Board in making this appointment.

 

The input from the community indicated that the next Superintendent of the Orinda Union School District must be a dynamic, confident, skilled and articulate leader who can establish a collaborative culture. The community input also established the importance of selecting a Superintendent who is visionary, progressive and forward-thinking.

 

The Board unanimously concluded that the clear choice for Orinda is Carolyn Seaton. “The Board conducted a thorough search based on extensive input from our community,” said Board President Julie Rossiter.  “Carolyn Seaton rose to the top of an impressive field. She truly embodies the leadership characteristics most valued by our community.”

 

The Board found that Dr.. Seaton has an inspiring vision to move our already high-performing district forward on a path of excellence. Her unique combination of experience, skills and values will serve our District and enhance opportunities for all our students. The Board was incredibly impressed with Carolyn's dedication to listening to all viewpoints, her ability to solve problems, her skill at communicating effectively with all stakeholders and her interest in increasing the leadership capacity of those around her. She is experienced in leading schools to create and build upon strong programs, and to develop them into extraordinary learning opportunities that exemplify superior standards of student achievement and community.

 

Carolyn Seaton is in her 32nd year as an educator.  She began her career in public education as an elementary school teacher in Texas in 1984, where she served as a fifth grade teacher, an elementary science specialist and a gifted programs specialist.  Prior to her current position in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District as Executive Director of Human Resources, she served in Manhattan Beach as a middle school teacher, as assistant principal and then principal of the middle school, and spent nine years as the Executive Director of Educational Services.

 

The Board received a compelling tribute from a teacher in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District that speaks eloquently to the type of leader we welcome to Orinda.  Citing her compassion, personal touch, kindness and warmth, the teacher remarked at how Carolyn left an indelible mark on her teaching practice.  She closed, "Carolyn Seaton is truly a gem, and I believe she would be an invaluable asset to, and phenomenal leader for your school district."  The Board could not agree more with the teachers, staff and parents who have collaborated with Carolyn in the past and who highly recommended her to our community to help shape the Orinda Union School District’s next chapter in an ever-changing world.

 

Dr. Seaton received a B.A. in History from Southern Methodist University, an M.A. in Education from the University of North Texas, and her Ed.D. in K-12 Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California. Her doctoral dissertation is titled “Transformational Technology Practices in K-12 Schools.”

 

“I am honored to serve as Orinda Union School District’s next Superintendent of Schools,” Carolyn Seaton stated.  “I look forward to partnering with district, school, community, and business organizations to expand the educational opportunities available for our students.  I am passionate about teaching and learning and committed to providing Orinda’s children with the educational experiences that will best prepare them for college, career and life.”

 

Please join us in warmly welcoming Dr. Carolyn Seaton to our community.

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 2/9/16




Audience: Homepage and News

Kathy Marshall.jpg
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wish to thank the Orinda school community for your warm welcome and enthusiastic response to my appointment as the Interim Superintendent for our district.  It has been an honor to work with many of you over the past four years in many facets of our curriculum and instructional programs. I now look forward to an even broader landscape of opportunity to serve and support the other important areas for our district, our schools, and the greater Orinda community.

 

While we are all embarking on the exciting transition toward welcoming a new superintendent, I will continue to guide our education-focused community into the future. We will strive for continuing excellence in our curriculum and programs for students, high quality professional development for teachers, strategic planning for the future of our facilities, and address our technology needs while being mindful of our expenditures and fiscal resources. 

 

I will work diligently each day to strengthen our relationships and ensure that our ongoing efforts for collaboration flourish in an atmosphere of respect, innovation, and creativity.

 

At the core of all that we do, I will continuously ask the same question at the onset, “What will be best for Orinda students?”

 

This simple question, and the answer, is essentially informed by our Mission:

 

Building on a tradition of educational excellence and strong community support, we will inspire and challenge each student through strong academics and continuously improving programs that will develop the character and abilities needed to shape an ever changing world.

 

I will pay close attention to the needs of our school communities and the goals that our Board, staff, teachers, parents and community envision for our schools. I will communicate these aspirations to the new incoming Superintendent.

 

I offer sincere appreciation to our Board of Trustees for their vote of confidence and the trust they have placed in me. I offer my heartfelt thanks to our leadership team, our teachers, our district and site support staff, and our community partners.

 

To the students, teachers, staff, and families of Del Rey, Glorietta, Sleepy Hollow, Wagner Ranch, and Orinda Intermediate School - you inspire me each and every day.  Each one of our schools is a dynamic and progressive learning community. We will continue our journey on the road to excellence by bringing out the best in each other and ourselves. 

 

I am honored, and humbled, to continue in this leadership role as your Interim Superintendent.

 

Sincerely,

Kathy Marshall
Interim Superintendent
Orinda Union School District

 

“ A great preparation for tomorrow is the best use of today.”

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Posted by: Kathy Marshall
Published: 2/1/16




Audience: Homepage and News

Kathy Marshall.jpg

The Orinda School Board is pleased to announce the selection of Kathy Marshall as Interim Superintendent, pending the successful negotiation of an employment agreement and Board approval of the agreement at its next regularly scheduled meeting on February 8, 2016. Ms. Marshall will serve as Interim Superintendent following the retirement of Dr. Joe Jaconette on January 31, 2016, and will continue in that role until the District’s incoming Superintendent joins the District.

 

Ms. Marshall is currently the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Orinda Union School District, and has served in that role since 2011. Prior to joining the Orinda School District, Ms. Marshall had a long and distinguished career as an educator. She spent fifteen years as a teacher before moving into a number of administrative positions, including elementary school principal, district GATE coordinator, categorical program director, county special education program manager, GATE coordinator on special assignment for the CA Department of Education and, more recently, Executive Director of K-12 Curriculum and Instruction for the Novato Unified School District.

 

Ms. Marshall has a Master’s Degree in Education Administration, a Multiple Subjects Credential, a Designated Subjects Credential, and an Administrative Credential. She received her certification from the Association of California School Administrators (“ACSA”) Superintendents Academy in 2010.

 

When considering options for the transition, the Board recognized the remarkable talent and experience on the District’s leadership team. Ms. Marshall is highly respected throughout the community as an accomplished educational leader. Her appointment as Interim Superintendent will ensure the District maintains momentum on its goals and conducts business consistent with its mission. “Kathy Marshall’s experience, positive influence and leadership will be crucial in maintaining consistency and continuity in the school district during this transition period,” said Board President Julie Rossiter.

 

Ms. Marshall will also continue in her role as Director of Curriculum and Instruction during the Interim Superintendent period. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to support the Orinda School District during this transition period, and I am confident we will continue on a path of excellence,” Ms. Marshall stated. Please join us in welcoming Ms. Marshall in this new role.

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 1/22/16




Audience: Homepage and News

The Board of Trustees is pleased to report that its search for the next Superintendent of the Orinda Union School District has reached the final stages – on schedule and with a sense of excitement. The Board hopes to introduce a new Superintendent to the community on February 8, 2016 at the next regularly scheduled board meeting.

 

The process of selecting the next Superintendent was truly a community effort. It began last fall when the Board selected the search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates to conduct the superintendent search. Based on community input received through numerous stakeholder input meetings, a community forum and an online survey, the Board of Trustees accepted a Leadership Profile Report identifying the desired qualities of a new superintendent. The Board of Trustees is grateful to the over 400 parents, teachers, administrators, staff, students and community members who contributed their ideas and opinions during the search process. This input was invaluable for the Board in the process of selecting the next Superintendent. The Leadership Profile Report served as a guide for the Board in the next steps of the search.

 

The Board then began the confidential phase of the search, receiving a wide range of highly qualified candidates for review. After a thorough screening process, the Board interviewed five candidates during the first week of January. Three finalists were then brought back for additional interviews. The Board selected a final candidate on Saturday, January 16th. The selection remains confidential as the Board conducts the final phases of the reference-checking process and pending negotiations of an employment agreement. We ask everyone to please respect the confidentiality of this final phase.

 

This is a time of exciting change and transition for our District. At our January 11th board meeting, we held a reception honoring our outgoing Superintendent, Dr. Joe Jaconette, who will be retiring at the end of this month after serving our District for eight years. We have identified interim leadership for the transition, and we will introduce our new Superintendent in the near future. Please expect more announcements in the days ahead.

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 1/19/16




Audience: News

We are happy to report that the Orinda School Board’s search for the next Superintendent for our District is proceeding on schedule. Advertising and recruiting for the position have been conducted, and we are entering the next phase of our search process: the interviews.

 

At a Special Board Meeting on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, the Board met with Bill Levinson and Barbara Young from our search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates.  The first part of the meeting was an open session, during which HYA reviewed all aspects of the first and second interview processes and discussed the remaining steps in the search.

 

The second part of the meeting was a closed session to review the questions for the first interview and to present the slate of recommended candidates to the Board.  We are pleased to report that 35 completed applications were submitted by candidates.  After reviewing and analyzing the applications, HYA conducted screening interviews with 11 of those applicants.  Based on those interviews, HYA narrowed down the list and presented us detailed briefs on the slate of candidates they identified as most qualified for the position.

 

The Board’s first round of interviews with the finalists is scheduled to take place January 7-9, 2016. Second interviews will take place January 13-16.  Please refer to the Superintendent Search Calendar for more details. The Board is very excited to begin this phase of the search, and is extremely appreciative of the support of our community as we move along in this process.

 

In conjunction with our search for a new Superintendent, the Board at its December 14th regular board meeting approved by a 4-1 vote the Seventh Addendum to the Superintendent's Employment Contract. The Seventh Addendum restructured Dr. Jaconette's contract to clarify his compensation.  This restructuring gives the Board more opportunities in its negotiations with a new Superintendent.

 

Under Dr. Jaconette's employment contract, which was entered into with the District in 2007, he was provided a base salary amount and an additional amount of salary in lieu of health benefits. The language in his contract providing this additional amount specifically states that it is included “as salary.”

 

By restructuring the Superintendent’s contract, the Board is not increasing Dr. Jaconette's salary.  Dr. Jaconette has always received his base salary plus the additional salary amount. The restructure merely reflects the fact that the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) recently changed some of it rules, and allows the District to honor the terms of its agreement with Dr. Jaconette.

 

This year, CalSTRS changed its definition of "creditable compensation,”  which is the phrase used to indicate compensation used in a retiree’s benefit calculation.  From 2015 forward, certain benefits, such as cash received in lieu of health and welfare benefits, are no longer included as “creditable compensation” when calculating CalSTRS retiree benefits. However, in making this rule change, CalSTRS gave school districts a one-year window to restructure their employment contracts to reflect the value of this previously-included benefit in their employees' base salary.  Since Dr. Jaconette’s contract specifically provides for this additional amount of salary, the Board approved a restructured contract that reflected this contract language.

 

Please continue to watch for updates and to check on the Superintendent Search page on the OUSD website for more information as we proceed with our Superintendent search process. Thank you to all who have participated in this important process.

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 12/17/15




Audience: Homepage and News

The last two weeks have been active and productive ones for both the Board and its search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, in the superintendent search process.  On October 26, 27 & 28, HYA partners Bill Levinson and Barbara Young conducted interviews and hosted over forty meetings with various school and community groups exploring four key issues: (1) identifying the district's strengths, (2) pinpointing the challenges the new superintendent will face, (3) determining the desired qualities of a new superintendent, and (4) identifying possible candidates.  In all, 128 individuals participated in those interviews and meetings. In addition, the online survey was highly successful, with 452 responses.

 

Thank you to all who participated in the interviews, meetings and survey.  The Board greatly appreciates your input and the thoughtfulness of your responses.

 

A detailed analysis of the interview and survey results, and the resulting profile of the District’s model superintendent candidate, can be found in the Leadership Profile Report from HYA, which was presented to the Board at its November 9, 2015 meeting.

 

Now that the Leadership Profile is complete, advertising and recruiting for the position will continue to be conducted by HYA.  Bill Levinson and Barbara Young will conduct screening interviews with those candidates identified as the best fit for our community on December 1 & 7.  At a special board meeting on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, HYA will present the slate of candidates to the Board.  The Board anticipates that first interviews with the finalists will take place on January 8 & 9, 2016, and that second interviews will take place on January 13, 14 & 15.  Please refer to the Superintendent Search Calendar for more details.

 

Please continue to watch for updates and to check on the Superintendent Search page on the OUSD website for more information as we proceed with this critical choice for our school district and our community.  Again, thank you to all who have participated in this important process.

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 11/12/15




Audience: Homepage and News

Click here to view the newsletter.

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 10/28/15




Audience: Homepage and News

Leadership Profile Interviews
October 26, 27, 28

A key step in Superintendent Search process is to identify the characteristics the consultants will be seeking in our new superintendent. The following key stakeholders will  be interviewed by Barbara Young and Bill Levinson from Hazard, Young, & Attea (HYA). Individuals and groups include but are not limited to:

  • School Board Members Past & Present
  • Superintendent
  • District Administrators and District Office Staff
  • School Administrators
  • Certificated Staff
  • Classified Staff
  • Parent Club Leadership
  • EFO Executive Board
  • OEA Leadership
  • CSEA Leadership
  • City Leadership
  • Rotary
  • Former School Board Members
  • OIS Student Leadership
  • Friends of Wagner Ranch Nature Area
  • Orinda Technology Advisory Committee
  • Parents of Individuals in Special Education

The meetings with the search consultants will focus on the following four questions: 

  1. What are the district's strengths?
  2. What are the challenges that the new superintendent will face?
  3. What qualities are you looking for in a superintendent?
  4. Do you know of any possible candidates?

Community Forum
October 26 - 7:00pm
District Office Conference Room A                                                          

The School Board would greatly appreciate your input and assistance to identify the characteristics the consultants will be seeking in our new superintendent. We, therefore, invite anyone interested to participate in this process by attending. This forum, which will be facilitated by a member of our consultant firm, will be  held on Monday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the District Office, 8 Altarinda Road.

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 10/21/15




Audience: Homepage and News

The Board met at the district office on Thursday, October 15, 2015 with Bill Levinson and Barbara Young from Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA) for an open and closed session to discuss the superintendent search process.  A number of community members and teachers were also in attendance for the open portion of the meeting.

Discussion covered the search calendar and components of the search process. Dates were set for the entire search process, including state and national advertising deadlines, meetings to gather stakeholder and community input on the characteristics of the new superintendent, an online survey for the public, and rounds of interviews with candidates. Stakeholder groups and organizations for HYA meetings were identified.

Date and times have been set for the community and certificated staff forums. HYA will be facilitating these meetings. Both meetings will take place at the District Office, Conference Room A, 8 Altarinda Road.

Certificated Staff Forum – Monday, October 26th, 4:00 p.m.

Community Forum - Monday, October 26th, 7:00 p.m.


We will update the community with meeting times for additional stakeholder groups as those times are set. A complete schedule of interview dates and times will be released shortly.  A page has been added to the OUSD website to provide updates and information to the public about the search process.  The Board will be actively communicating via Constant Contact, Friday school e-news, and other community news outlets throughout the process.

Watch for updates for opportunities to participate in this critical choice for our school district and our community.

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 10/16/15




Audience: News and Homepage

Del Rey Elementary School has been honored as a National Blue Ribbon School today. It is one of 335 schools in the nation awarded this distinction by the U.S. Department of Education.

Del Rey is the first school in our district to receive this type of national recognition. All schools in the district were previously recognized as a California Distinguished Schools. The district is proud of the success achieved by the students and staff at Del Rey. We know the award confirms the work of students, educators, and parents in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private schools where students achieve very high learning standards. Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state's highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

The school will be recognized at a ceremony on November 9-10 in Washington, D.C.

Sincerely,

Dr. Joe Jaconette
Superintendent

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 9/29/15




Audience: Homepage and News

Orinda Union School District is excited to announce the launch of a districtwide solar project. Solar shade structures will be installed at each district school including Glorietta Elementary, Del Rey Elementary, Sleepy Hollow Elementary, Wagner Ranch Elementary, and Orinda Intermediate. Once the solar shade structures start producing energy, the district’s PG&E electricity costs will be significantly reduced. In addition to the solar shade structures paying for themselves, as PG&E rates go up, the district will avoid those cost increases, resulting in savings of close to $3,000,000 districtwide over the next 25 years.

In addition to the financial benefits to the district, the solar shade structures to be installed over parking lots and play areas will provide significant weather relief to children and parents. Additional benefits include a sizable reduction in the gallons of water per year used to cool traditional power plants and chemicals causing air pollution. Examples of solar shade structures at other schools can be found at www.tvrpllc.com/our-clients.php by clicking on the links for the projects.

The district has already been approved to finance the project through “Clean Renewable Energy Bonds” which is a funding method that allows the district to finance the purchase of their renewable energy project at very low interest rates. The district has released a request for proposal (RFP) to solicit bids from solar contractors to install the solar panels. One of the key criteria for selecting the contractor will be a track record of safety and minimal disruption of day to day school operations. Once the contractor has been selected, the district’s project manager and district and school site leadership will meet regularly to monitor the construction process and ensure effective communication with the school community and neighborhood.

Meetings have been scheduled at each school site to inform the school community and to receive public comment on the proposed solar array shade structures, to be held:

  • Thu, Oct 1, 5:30pm – Orinda Intermediate
  • Tue, Oct 6, 7:00pm – Glorietta
  • Wed, Oct 7, 5:30pm – Del Rey
  • Wed, Oct 7, 7:00pm – Sleepy Hollow
  • Thu, Oct 8, 7:00pm – Wagner Ranch

If you have any question, please contact Stuart House, Director of Facilities at shouse@orinda.k12.ca.us or (925) 258-6203.

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 9/29/15




Audience: Homepage and News

September 17, 2015

Since 2007, it has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your Superintendent of Orinda schools. Our district is a community of outstanding teachers, administrators, board members, staff, parents and most preciously our students.  Our community deeply trusts and supports us to do the best for our youth. Together we have created the finest school district in California.
 

As a school community, we have worked together to promote exemplary educational programs for our students. We pride ourselves as educating the whole child. We celebrate learning through experiences in art, music, and athletics.

The recent release of the new state test scores validates our standing as one of the highest achieving districts in the state. The state standards are deep and rigorous, and students demonstrated amazing success.
 

During the last eight years, all of our schools have received recognition as California Distinguished Schools and Honor Roll Scholar Schools.  OIS received Gold Ribbon recognition. Del Rey School is a National Blue Ribbon Nominee. Our students shine in achievement as a result of everyone’s dedicated efforts. Working together, we have seen an increase in the availability of technological tools available to our students and staff to enhance learning experiences in our classrooms across the district.
 

During difficult economic years, working together, with parent clubs and EFO, we have maintained balanced budgets, without sacrificing academic excellence. Our community has supported us with additional tax revenues to keep our class sizes low and support teachers with classroom instruction.
 

The circumstances in my personal life are currently changing as my family has decided to relocate to the central coast. At the end of December, I will have reached my age of retirement. After 18 years as a superintendent and 34 years as an educator, I will retire effective January 31, 2016. I plan to continue to make positive contributions in other capacities to help educational communities.
 

We have a dedicated leadership team in place. I will continue to serve the district during the transition in leadership. I know the district and our students will continue to thrive. Collaborating with you to serve our students has been a great experience. There is much to be proud of in our district. As I reflect on my tenure, I am most proud of our students, who are the heart and soul of our schools.
 

Sincerely,
Dr. Joe Jaconette
Superintendent

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 9/17/15




Audience: Homepage and News

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.

 

Districtwide

Meets & Exceeds

State

Meets & Exceeds

English Language Arts

87%

44%

Mathematics

83%

33%

Science

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.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES - Tuesday, September 15, 2015

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!

Sincerely,
Dr. Joe Jaconette
Superintendent

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 9/9/15




Audience: Homepage and News
This past spring, the district submitted a general waiver request to the California Department of Education to waive Education Code section 37202(a), Equity Length of Time.  According to EC 37202(a), Transitional Kindergarten (TK) programs must be of equal length to any kindergarten programs operated by the same district, unless there is an approved state board of education waiver on file.
 
The district's waiver request, allowing TK students to attend school for fewer minutes than kindergarten students, was approved by the State Board of Education on July 8, 2015.  A condition of the approval process requires our district to send parents this message.
 
Transitional Kindergarten will not have added minutes, butwill maintain the same schedule as in previous years. The instructional minutes for Transitional Kindergarten will be 210 minutes (3.5 hours).
 
The new Extended Day Kindergarten schedule will begin this year at all four elementary schools. This program will include an additional fifty-five minutes of daily instruction and a forty-five minute lunch/recess.  The early/late bird schedule for small group instruction will begin on September 22, 2015.These new schedules will help our teachers to continue to design high quality instruction to serve the individual needs of our students.
 
More specific information about your child's kindergarten and transitional kindergarten schedule will be provided in the coming weeks from your child's school. Please contact Kathy Marshall, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, or your school principal if you have questions about these programs.
 
Sincerely,
Dr. Joe Jaconette
Superintendent
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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 8/7/15




Audience: Homepage and News

New Residency Verification Requirement for Students Entering Grades K, 3, & 6

The school board revised the district requirements for proof of residency (Administrative Regulation 5111.1—Criteria for Residency) at the April 13, 2015 board meeting. Beginning this year, in addition to each student new to the district, every student entering kindergarten, third grade, and sixth grade shall provide proof of residency.  School sites will be notifying parents of the time frame to turn in the necessary documentation.

Jim Manheimer Appointed New Principal at Wagner Ranch Elementary School

At the June 8th board meeting, the school board unanimously voted to appoint Jim Manheimer as principal of Wagner Ranch Elementary School. The recommendation was made after using a selection process that included a committee comprised of representatives of teachers, classified staff, and administrators. Mr. Manheimer is an educator with extensive knowledge of curriculum and strong leadership skills. His experience spans nearly three decades, and includes four years as an elementary school principal, nine years of additional administrator experience, and 11 years as an elementary classroom teacher. Mr. Manheimer has served students with diverse needs, in varying socioeconomic school settings. He has worked for neighboring districts including San Ramon Valley, Lafayette, Alameda, and Martinez. Most recently, following a lifelong dream, he moved with his family to Asia, and taught fifth grade students in a rural village in Cambodia. We welcome Jim Manheimer to our Leadership Team beginning July 1, 2015.

 

Teacher of the Year Vickie Hilty

Congratulations to Vickie Hilty, teacher at Sleepy Hollow Elementary School. Ms. Hilty was selected as our district Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Hilty has over 15 years of excellent teaching experience. She was recently honored by the Orinda Rotary Club and will receive further recognition at a Contra Costa County Office of Education dinner in September 2015.

 

Awards

This year the Contra Costa County Office of Education, in collaboration with the Association of California School Administrators, recognized Debbie Wong - Wagner Ranch School Secretary, Mike Lent - Maintenance Craftsman, and Partner in Educational Excellence - OIS Parent Michael Donner. Debbie Wong also received the California Association of School Business Officials award. Congratulations to these worthy nominees.

 

2014-2015 Retirees

Golden Bell presentations were made at the June 8th school board meeting to teachers Bonnie Fend, Barbara Gunderson, and Claire Tosio; instructional aide Karen Cousins; and Director of Facilities Ed Silvas, thanking them for their years of dedicated service, and wishing them well in the future.

 

CBEE Honor Roll Schools

The Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE) has once again named all five of our schools as “Honor Roll Scholar Schools” for 2014 due to consistent high levels of student academic achievement.

 

My best wishes to you all for a safe and relaxing summer break.

Dr. Joe Jaconette
Superintendent

 

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 6/11/15




Audience: Homepage and News

As we approach the conclusion of a successful school year, I would like to share some information that highlights examples of collaboration.  Teachers, parents, administrators; working together, supported by our partners—EFO and Parent Clubs, make a difference.

 

OIS Receives CA Gold Ribbon School Award

Congratulations to OIS for being honored in the new state recognition program. OIS will be recognized at a state regional celebration in San Francisco later this month.

 

Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)

Last year, our district adopted a three year Local Control Accountability Plan.  The Annual Update for 2014-15 includes details regarding outcomes of district actions and expenditures from the current year, and an outline of goals, actions, and expenditures for the next three years. The LCAP was developed with feedback and input from stakeholder groups including staff, parents, and students. A public hearing was held May 11, 2015 at the regular school board meeting where the draft of this plan was reviewed. Currently, the public is invited to provide input to the LCAP through May 31.  For more information, please visit the LCAP webpage on our website at www.orindaschools.org  

 

Kindergarten 2015-2016

This spring, a committee was formed to study the feasibility of an extended day model for kindergarten. An extended day for kindergarten (EDK) is a program that exceeds four hours of instructional time. The committee presented options for extending the kindergarten day from 3.5 hours to 5 hours. This includes a kindergarten only lunch/recess and 55 additional classroom minutes.  At the May school board meeting, a resolution was adopted for operating an EDK program. The resolution outlines the commitment to maintain an integrated, experiential, developmentally appropriate program. The extended day includes ample opportunities for active and quiet activities through “hands-on” teaching methods designed around the abilities and interests of the children in the program. A sample of instructional activities within the extended day schedule is located on the Kindergarten Schedule webpage. A board policy will be presented for action in June so that the new program could begin in the fall.

 

K-8 Math Textbook Adoption

After a yearlong study and piloting of new state-adopted mathematics programs, the school board took action to adopt the following new books:

K-5—Math Expressions, Common Core by Houghton-Mifflin/Harcourt

6-8—Big Ideas Mathematics by Big Ideas Learning, Houghton-Mifflin/Harcourt

6-8—Core Connections by College Preparatory Mathematics

The new materials will provide Orinda students with a content rich, coherent, and comprehensive math experience at all levels and courses of study.

 

Sincerely,
Dr. Joe Jaconette
Superintendent

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 5/26/15




Audience: News

Del Rey School Lock Down Incident

I was visiting the school on the morning of March 4, when a student reported to a teacher that a man walking down the west side creek, near the school, was holding a gun. A school "lock down" was initiated and the police were called. The Orinda Police came and conducted a thorough search using a CHP helicopter and a police canine team to assist officers on the site. Our district office emergency system notified Del Rey emergency contact numbers about the school incident. Orinda Police notified the community about the situation. It is a challenge to be trapped inside the building, hovering below windows and furniture, as officers with weapons drawn sweep through the site. We were all relieved when the police notified us that the campus was clear and no person or weapon was found. Emergency notification systems again alerted that the school was cleared. All students and staff were safe as they resumed their schedule for the remainder of the afternoon.

I had the opportunity to observe and participate as the emergency systems were placed into action at the school. I commend the school office staff, principal, teachers, and support staff for their quick action, to protect the health and safety of all people at the site. Our teachers were champions at caring for our students during this challenging ordeal. The school had previously conducted drills to prepare for this type of event. The preparations were successful, as staff and students demonstrated that they knew what to do.

I commend the Orinda Police Department for their response and dedication to put their own lives on the line to protect our school. We were impressed with their care and professionalism.

I commend the students and parents for their cooperation as they had to endure this difficult and uncomfortable incident that fortunately concluded with a safe outcome.

I visited the school the next day as the police continued to patrol the school and neighborhood to keep everyone safe. The principal and the school psychologist met with students and staff to provide any assistance. This incident reinforces the need to continue our efforts to prepare for such emergencies.


Improving Compensation for District Employee

OUSD is pleased to have settled collective bargaining for 2013-14 with a compensation package that provides teachers with an ongoing salary increase of 3% retroactive to October 2013. The package includes a one-time off the salary schedule individual stipend of $3,475 as well as an increased health care benefit cap of $1,400 per month. Compensation improvements for other employee groups are scheduled for action in March.


Local Control Accountability Plan

An important component of the LCAP process is gathering stakeholder input in the development of the Plan. During the months of March and April, our district will be consulting with parents, teachers, and community members to develop the annual update for the LCAP. Opportunities for parent and community comments and feedback will be gathered through school site surveys. In May, we will receive and respond to public comments. The Plan is scheduled to be presented to the school board for approval in June.

The Update, referred to as the LCAP Annual Update, uses a new state template to document this year's progress made towards expected outcomes for students. The district work with the LCAP follows a timeline for completion that was developed in November 2014. Please visit our webpage for continuing updates on the progress for our LCAP.


California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress

This spring, students in grades 3-8 will take part in the first statewide administration of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). Students will use computers to take this new state assessment that was field tested last year. Developed by the SMARTER Balanced Consortium, the CAASPP assessments will use computer-adaptive technology to provide more timely and accurate information about student performance. Our district testing window is April 13-May 29. Over the next few months students will be provided with opportunities to engage with the online practice and training tests that are also available to parents at home.

The new CAASPP test scores will measure student progress on the new Common Core Standards, and the interpretation of student results will be based on new achievement levels. Results will be used to establish a baseline for measuring student growth over time providing important information to guide student learning. More information is available on the Smarter Balanced Consortium website

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Posted by: Kathy Frenklach
Published: 3/11/15