We at Genevieve Didion K-8 School are justly proud of our heritage of academic excellence. Our mission is to provide a meaningful and challenging curriculum that addresses the academic and social needs of all of our students, and that builds a solid foundation for further educational success and effective citizenship.
On behalf of the entire Genevieve Didion staff, it’s my pleasure to welcome you all back to the 2015-2016 school year! At this writing we’ve been back in session for 9 days, and it was great to see so many of you on campus and at our Back To School Night events. As I mentioned then, we are off to a smooth start. The only down note has been our over-enrollment issue, most pronounced at the 1st grade level. (Looking at last year’s welcome back letter, I see that it was already a problem at this same time in the kindergarten.
Once again, the standardized testing season is nearly upon us. Our new
testing system is now called the California Assessment of Student
Performance and Progress, or CAASPP for short. This new system has now totally replaced the STAR program. The Smarter Balanced Assessments in English-language arts and Math—the centerpiece of the CAASPP program—will be given to all students in grades 3–8 and 11, and students in grades 5, 8, and 10 will also take paper-and-pencil Science tests. All of the Smarter Balanced Assessments are computer-based.
Parent-teacher conferences are critically important in keeping our parents informed and an active part of their child’s education. They serve three purposes: the teacher’s report on the student’s academic and social progress to date, an opportunity for parents to get questions answered and share information that might be useful to the teacher, and finally, recommendations from the teacher on how the parents can support their child’s progress at home. For these reasons, our staff schedules these conferences with the parents of every single child in their classes.
The start of a new school year is a good time to remind children of the importance of exercising caution as they walk to and from school. By being aware of their surroundings at all times, following some simple guidelines, and reporting anything unusual, our kids can do much to maintain their safety. Please go over these guidelines with your children, and we will revisit them at school regularly as well:
There is safety in numbers- avoid walking alone, to and from school.
Avoid shortcuts- walk only in safe, open areas. This includes well-lit areas after the sun goes down.
Never go into anyone’s home or car that is not known to you.
If approached or followed by a car, walk or run in the opposite direction and seek help. Should someone in the car speak to you, do not answer.
Remain alert to your surroundings at all times. Trust your instincts.
Always report suspicious behavior to home and school.
As you are likely aware, on the evening of October 23rd, our district’s Business Services Office held its first in a series of community budget forums here at Didion. The purpose of the meeting was to clarify the district’s current financial health and to explore the coming changes under our state’s new Local Control Funding Formula.
Chief Business Officer Ken Forrest did a thorough job of presenting information on these topics, as well as answering questions from those in attendance. Shortly into the presentation, the conversation shifted to, “How will these changes affect Didion School?”
On behalf of the entire Didion staff, it’s my pleasure to welcome you to the 2012‐2013 school year.It was gratifying to see such a wonderful turnout for our Back to School Night events last week. After three weeks, I’m happy to report that we are off to a great start. For the first time in recent memory, we did not have to send any of our neighborhood children away due to overcrowding.This is a very positive development, especially in light of the fact that the district has had to severely cut back on the bussing for these children.We are full though for all intents and purposes and will likely remain that way.