A lot to be thankful for
During this time of giving thanks, we have a great deal for which to be thankful. Clearly, we face our challenges on many levels, but we also have a strong community standing with us in support of our school district.
Last week, the volunteer staff from Plein Air handed principals checks totaling $77,000 to support visual and performing arts education in all our schools, and the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation hosted an evening for community donors, presenting a “Case of Giving” based on our district’s critical benchmarks (pre-school for all, reading at grade level by the end of third grade, proficient in English and math by sixth grade, ready for college prep work by ninth grade and college and career ready by graduation.)
Since the beginning of this school year, more than 30 elementary teachers are participating in the Exploratorium Project – integrating science and English Language Development, thanks to our federal Investing in Innovations grant.
We started our Schools of Hope tutoring program at all elementary schools (tutoring first grade students who need additional learning time) and our AVANCE program is going strong, working with parents of children up to the age of three to strengthen families through effective parent education and support programs. Both programs are funded through the generosity of our community.
We also have a second year of the Ernest Bates Foundation and the Vadasz Family Foundation pre-school funding, totaling $50,000.
Our middle-school gardens continue to receive strong support in the community, as noted last week in the Index-Tribune. And our high school programs, including freshman teams and the new engineering, design and technology linked-learning pathway, as well as our College and Career Center, are all receiving positive community support and attention.
We also thank the Vadasz Family Foundation for their support of the “Our Schools Page,” on which you are reading this article – a place to share all the wonderful happenings in our classrooms and schools.
I have said many times that we cannot depend on Sacramento and that we must look to our community for continued support – both financially and with their contributions of time and energy put into our programs. This is taking place because the community is very supportive of our school district and the direction in which we are heading. We should all be very thankful and grateful for their commitment toward public education.
• • •
Louann Carlomagno is superintendent of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District.