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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 2015

Dear Parents and Guardians:

We have two big pieces of news for you this month.

Our new K-8 Campus – Latimer !
I am very pleased to announce that we are converting Latimer Elementary School to a TK through 8th grade school, beginning this fall with sixth grade.  The Board of Trustees made this decision last week, in response to anticipated growth in our middle school grades over the next several years.  We are excited about this decision, and feel that it meets the needs of our students and the interests of our community.  Our comprehensive middle school, Moreland Middle, is very popular, as is our existing K-8 campus, Easterbrook Discovery School.  We feel that an additional K-8 option at Latimer will fulfill a growing demand for this type of school, and further reduce enrollment pressure on Moreland Middle.  Open enrollment begins this week, and we expect there to be plenty of interest in all of our middle school alternatives.  Please see  http://www.moreland.org/p_enroll.html for more details.

Here Come the New State Assessments!
We have been talking about the new Smarter Balanced Assessments for quite some time, and they are now here.  The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) encompasses several Smarter Balanced components.  We have the end-of-year summative assessments coming next month; a resource bank of tools and resources in the state’s Digital Library for teachers; and interim assessments designed to support teaching and learning throughout the year.  These latter, interim assessments were recently made available and we are using them with students now.  Moreover, students in grades 3-8 have been participating in our ongoing benchmark assessments, which mirror the testing conditions of the Smarter Balanced Assessments.   And of course, all of these new assessments are aligned to the new Common Core State Standards. 

Students in grades 3-8 will participate in the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment starting next month.  The assessment window for testing is April 13 to May 22.  It is critical that you do not schedule any unnecessary trips or appointments during this time, since it will not be possible for students to make-up any missed exams after the testing window closes.  Thank you for your support during this important time frame.  

We realize that the new assessments, and the Common Core State Standards guiding them, will be a new challenge for our students.   We fully expect performance to dip from previous highs, and we cannot compare these new test results with the past California Standards Test (CST).  This will be a new baseline for all of our students, and we fully expect that with time, support and practice, all of our students will make significant progress with the new assessments.   Look for more information in your school’s newsletter or on the District’s website.  See also, for further information about CAASPP, http://www.caaspp.org/ , or Smarter Balanced http://www.smarterbalanced.org/parents-students/.


And finally, remember that Sunday, March 8 marks the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, and we will all have to set our clocks one hour ahead on Sunday night.

Have a wonderful March and I look forward to seeing you at school.

Regards,

Mark Barmore
Superintendent of Schools

 

 

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Mark Barmore
Superintendent
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