Welcome Back to School

Dear Families,

Welcome to the 2012-13 school year!

We look forward to a great year with incredible students who are supported by an extraordinary partnership of education professionals, support staff, families and the broader Piedmont community. This partnership has made it possible to create and deliver an excellent academic program, with an emphasis on continuous improvement in educational programming by providing a learning environment that promotes respect, encourages personal responsibility and healthy life choices for all students in a safe environment, and helps prepare students for the next chapter in their lives. This partnership has also made it possible to maintain the academic program despite severe, unprecedented reductions in State education funding. During these extremely difficult economic times, students continue to be our shared first priority. Keeping the focus on students by pooling resources for the optimum collective impact has allowed Piedmont Schools to continue to remain strong and grow.

I want to thank all parents, staff, community members/organizations and students for the remarkable collaboration and support that allow us to move into 2012-13 with core programs for students remaining strong. What occurs on site and in the classroom among principals, teachers, support staff and students, along with family support, is what define us as an educational community that promotes achievement and opportunity for all students.

The District Goals and Commitments continue to support the work of the past few years that addresses the six major themes from Shaping Our Future (our mission statement): academic excellence; program adaptability; individual potential; global citizenry; resilience; and community building. As stated in the Diversity Task Force mission statement, “We are committed to providing a safe, nurturing learning environment where every member of the Piedmont schools feels respected. We strive to increase everyone’s sense of inclusion in our community.”

The same collaboration and partnership that successfully created and maintained the high quality of education in Piedmont must continue if we are to mitigate the impact of the lack of adequate State funding on the quality of education in our schools. We invite your participation in the ongoing conversations with staff, parents, students and the community to review and refine current practices and explore new programs and practices to ensure that the academic program is financially sustainable. This is critical as we face possible “trigger cuts” from the State in November and will be going out to request the community continue their almost thirty years of support by renewing the Parcel Tax in 2013. In addition to School Board meetings, please check the District website for opportunities to participate in District programs such as the Budget Advisory Committee, Parcel Tax Advisory Committee, Curriculum Review Committee, Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Advisory Committee, District Language Acquisition Committee (DLAC), District Advisory Committee (DAC) for special education services, and other support groups.

The District is also pleased to start this year with the completion of the closing phase of our Seismic Safety Bond Program with the move back to the seismically strengthened Beach Elementary School. The next transition from the Bond Program is to close all projects and approve the best financing options to maximize the $56M in bonds issued while minimizing the impact to Piedmont Community taxpayers.

Thank you for your involvement and support. We look forward to building upon our continued partnership with you in all aspects of your child’s education. We anticipate improved communication this year with our streamlined school newsletters that include school/site information only. Information on after-school and community-based programs (e.g., club sports, scouts) can be found here on the Piedmont Portal, an online gateway for K-12 parents and greater community members for valuable information and direct links.

Sincerely,

Constance Hubbard
PUSD Superintendent