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Moreland School District
4711 Campbell Avenue
San Jose, CA 95130-1790
Phone: (408) 874-2900
Fax: (408) 374-8827

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Superintendent's Message - March 2014

There are many significant changes coming to education in California this year – the new standardized online assessments for our students, the Local Control Funding Formula, the Local Control Accountability Plan, and more.  Parents and community members will begin to notice some of these changes this spring.

As reported previously, student testing is changing.  In April, our students will begin taking an online field test of the Smarter Balanced Assessments, which is part of California’s effort to have students practice these new tests in English Language Arts and Math.  The state will not compile individual school scores or student scores this year – this field test is really a “test of the test,” not of our students.  The real test is not scheduled to be administered until the spring of 2015. 

We are preparing ourselves and our students to take these new tests.  The state is offering a “training test,” which gives students an opportunity to learn more about how they can utilize certain computer functions to answer particular questions.  Students will also have an opportunity to take a “practice test,” which gives the students an opportunity to practice some of the questions and get a sense of the content.  Please take a look at both the training test and practice test: http://bit.ly/SmarterPractice

As we talked about previously, the state has now adopted a Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) for allocating funds to school districts.  In its simplest form, this new formula gives school districts more latitude over how it spends some state funds which were previously given to school districts in categorical funds which carried specific mandates.  The LCFF formula now gives each district a certain level of base funding for each student, varying the amount only by the grade level band.  On top of the base level funding, the state is also awarding additional funding to school districts in the form of supplemental grants and concentration grants.   These funds are allocated to school districts through a formula based on the number of low socio-economic (low SES) students, English Language Learners (ELL’s) and foster youth within the District.  The amount you receive from these two grants varies by the number of the District’s students that fall within these three classifications. 

The Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) is a planning and reporting vehicle for discussing our school funding with all of our stakeholders, and measuring our progress as a high-performing school district.  Towards our goal of making the LCAP an effective and transparent mechanism, we have established an LCAP task force, which will be meeting with stakeholders in a series of meetings at each of our school sites, to share information and elicit feedback and ideas.  If you would like to attend one of these meetings, please check the schedule here: http://www.moreland.org/LCAPCommunityFeedback.html      

Finally, with respect to re-opening Latimer in the fall, the Board and school district continue to work diligently to address the concerns and suggestions offered by community members concerning the school boundaries needed to facilitate the new school.  We hope to have a final recommendation regarding school boundaries for the Board to consider at their meeting on March 25th.  It’s conceivable that the decision could come later in April, but we hope to finalize it late this month.

There are many questions surrounding all of these decisions, and we have attempted to address them through information posted on our website – if you click on the green square on the front page it will take you to a number of documents on the subject.  For the most up-to-date information, please go to our FAQs document: http://www.moreland.org/OpeningaSchool2013.html 

In the meantime, our open enrollment period has begun and we will continue to register new students through the end of the month.  For more information, visit: http://www.moreland.org/p_enroll.html .

Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate all of these critical changes. 

Sincerely, 

Mark Barmore
Superintendent of Schools  

 

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Mark Barmore
Superintendent
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