Moreland School District
4711 Campbell Avenue
San Jose, CA 95130-1790
Phone: (408) 874-2900
Fax: (408) 374-8827
Superintendent's Message - February 2014
As we excitedly reported in December, the Board of Trustees has decided to re-open Latimer Elementary School in response to our growing enrollment here in Moreland. Nancy Cisler, the principal at Country Lane Elementary, has agreed to lead this new school community at Latimer, and she will transition to her new position this month. She will soon be hiring teachers for Latimer, choosing primarily among the many fine teachers we have at all of our other successful schools here in Moreland. Many of our teachers have already inquired about joining this new school. We hope to identify the new teachers sometime in March.
Latimer will be a project based learning (PBL) environment, designed specifically to meet the new rigorous common core standards, as well as promote the 21st century skills our students need to succeed in high school, college and beyond. We are working with the Buck Institute for Education (bie.org) on this exciting endeavor, and we will ultimately be offering PBL at all of our schools. Significantly, PBL offers an instructional platform that lends itself to any area of study. As Ms. Cisler and her new staff develop their mission and vision for Latimer, they may choose to focus on one or more particular areas of study (E.g., STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art, or math). In order to facilitate this self-exploration among the new staff, Latimer will start small. We may begin with just TK-2nd grade classes, and grow one grade level each year after that until it’s a fully enrolled K-5 campus. In the first year, we may only have 150-200 students, which will create an intimate environment, and enable the staff to offer a great deal of personal support for each student.
We are also moving quickly ahead to modernize the new Latimer campus. The facility is already in good shape, but we want our facilities at the new school to mirror those on our other campuses. We hope to begin the first phase of modernization this spring, including state of the art audio-visual equipment and computers in the classrooms, new paint and tile work, a new playground, and a new synthetic field.
The District and the Board are still grappling with the extraordinarily difficult decisions regarding boundaries for the new school. Thus far, we have convened four public meetings where the issue has been discussed at length, and we have reviewed more than ten different boundary scenarios, prepared with the help of the Dolinka Consulting Group. We understand that there are many anxious parents and community members, worried about how they may be affected by any new boundaries. And we regret that some parents may not get the school they had previously hoped to obtain. The Board is committed to reducing the size of Country Lane and Baker elementary schools, which have each grown to nearly 750 students. The Board has been clear about this objective for several years, and this reduction in enrollment at these two schools will impact a number of families. Nevertheless, we are very excited about the alternatives available to these families, including Latimer.
It is our sincere hope that we will be able to “grandfather in” any families with incoming kindergarten students next fall. By that, I mean that if you currently have (as of December 10, 2013) a TK-4th grade student already enrolled in your neighborhood Moreland school, we hope to allow your incoming kindergarten student to attend the same school as your other child(ren). After the boundary decision is reached on February 11th, we will survey our parents within the new Latimer boundaries to ascertain their school preferences. Based on our findings, we should be able to confirm our ability to “grandfather in” our existing elementary school parents sometime in March.
We expect Latimer to be a very attractive option for our parents, and we hope that the open enrollment process will enable families from all over Moreland to be a part of this exciting new school community.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we prepare for our new school. We will have more news soon.
Discovery Charter School Agreement
2013-14 School Year Spanish
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