Linda Kimble

August 2015

Dear AESD Friends:

Welcome to the 2015-16 school year! We hope your summer was relaxing and enjoyable.

We have much to look forward to in the 2015-16 school year. Each of our schools is in the process of creating a distinguishing practice, or area of focus that will enhance and expand the learning experience for students. Some schools have chosen to focus on health and fitness, while others are promoting student leadership. Some schools will have a Visual and Performing Arts focus, while others will concentrate on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) instruction. Dual Immersion will be the emphasis at some schools, while others will create project based learning opportunities or focus on developing student authors and writers. These areas of emphasis will distinguish one school from another, and will create expanded learning for students. All schools will continue to focus on building and sustaining safe and caring positive cultures in support of the success of all.

We are pleased to have added personnel to support our elementary schools. Now our schools all have full-time Vice Principals, and are enjoying the additional help of school nurses, additional office assistance, and additional help in the areas of counseling and mental health services. Last year we were able to expand library services and support in the area of technology. We anticipate these changes will make a significant difference in our ability to best support students.

In alignment with the Board goal that all students have access to music instruction during the school day within three years, we have full-time general music and instrumental music at five of our schools, and will be adding positions in the coming years. In addition, 13 of the schools that do not have music teachers on staff will continue to have after school music offerings.

Through our Local Control Accountability Program (LCAP), we were able to fund one field trip per student. Each student will have the opportunity to attend a fieldtrip at one of the Inside the Outdoors day trips. Inside the Outdoors programs take lessons from the classroom and create fun, unforget- table hands-on experiences about science and nature. These are powerful moments that leave children with a lifelong enthusiasm for the environment.

Construction continues in AESD. At the present time, Stoddard construction is under way. The school site will benefit from modernization, and new outdoor play space. Revere Elementary is being upgraded for seismic improvements and improved technology. A new playground will be installed at Henry mid-year this year. Many additional improvements continue and are too numerous to list here. Hats off to our construction, technology, and M&O (maintenance and operations) teams for their hard work making great learning environments in AESD.

Transitioning to the Common Core Curriculum continues to be a major area of emphasis for our teaching staff. The Common Core challenges us to think more deeply, more critically, and with greater complexity as we approach creative and multiple solutions to projects and problems students are tasked to complete.
Welcome to the 2015-16 school year! We look forward to an exciting year of learning and growing in AESD.

Yours on behalf of our students,
Dr Linda Kimble