December 29, 2022
Welcome to McKinleyville Schools!
As we close out another year, I am excited for all that lies before our district in 2023. We have many current programs to be proud of as well as many ambitious goals we are working towards.
Our schools offer the very best for our families, including:
Research Based Literacy Instruction for ALL. In 2021 every single TK-5th grade teacher in our district took on a HUGE professional learning challenge. They are still steadily working through nearly 160 hours of training in the Science of Reading. By the end of this school year, all of our veteran staff will be LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) trained and we will offer the training to any new staff beginning in the fall of 2023. This is the gold standard for reading teachers and we are so very proud of our staff for their commitment!
Multi-tiered Systems of Support. All of our school staff have been trained in MTSS and our site and district Leadership teams use data to design programs to support students and staff. Students are provided the proactive support they need to succeed both academically as well as socially and emotionally. Last fall all three schools were recognized for their implementation of MTSS by the CA PBIS Coalition!
Expanded Learning Programs. ELP provides expanded learning opportunities before school, after school, during week long breaks and during the summer recess. Students are provided with enrichment of all kinds, snacks and supper service, field trips, and sports programs starting as early as TK/Kindergarten. All programming is currently free of charge due to increased funding at the state level.
Extensive Elective Programs at McKinleyville Middle School. A dedicated middle school program allows MMS to offer a full time school counselor, a full array of athletic teams, lab science, subject area expert teachers and an extensive array of electives including: a full Art studio with units in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, screen printing and more; Music classes including band, guitar class, and choir; a Maker’s Lab, Spanish Language through high school level two, Drama, Leadership, Journalism/Newspaper, Yearbook, Garden Classes in our massive school garden, as well as academic and homework supports.
Art and Music Programs are expanding at all school sites. This year we have welcomed part time music at both Dow’s and Morris schools and we plan to expand to a full time music teacher in the fall of 2023. Additionally, state funding will provide a full time elementary Art teacher starting in the fall of 2023!
STEAM and Spanish Immersion Options for all students. McKinleyville Schools has offered Spanish Immersion for over 20 years. Our Spanish Immersion students learn to read and write in Spanish in Kindergarten and first grade and then move to a 50/50 Spanish/English Model in 3rd grade. Immersion students are offered academic Spanish at the middle school level and many test into Spanish three in high school. We also offer a STEAM focus in our school Kindergarten-Fifth grade. Students are given opportunities to use the Design Engineering Process to problem solve weekly. Our middle school students visit our little learners to provide collaborative STEAM learning a few times each year and our STEAM focused students can continue their learning in middle school by taking a Maker’s Lab elective or an advanced Art class.
And we aren’t stopping there! We have big goals for the coming year, including:
Expansion of Transitional Kindergarten to include ALL four year olds. While the State of California doesn’t require a full expansion of our TK programs until the 2025-26 school year, McKinleyville Schools will accept all students who turn four by September 1 starting in the fall of 2023 to better serve our community.
Full Curriculum Review and Update. While we are currently in compliance with state requirements, our District Leadership Team has begun the process of reviewing our curriculum to ensure that we are providing cohesive and up to date materials in every subject area. Teachers and county experts will be key to this process.
District Wide Communication Plan Development. Our District Administration Team is working to develop a clear
communication plan that keeps families informed and engaged in their student’s education. This includes regular updates, reports on student achievement data, and improved communication in the event of an emergency.
Staff Recognition and Reward System Development. We are also committed to creating an exceptional working environment for our employees. This year we will work to create a system for recognizing staff excellence and improvement.
Full Board Policy Review and Update. Our district staff will take on the task of updating the approximately 2000 pages of board policy to ensure that the entire document is both compliant and relevant. Our school board will review these policies and then we will post them to our website in a format that is easier for families to navigate.
I am grateful to our families and staff for your support and feedback and I look forward to working with all of you in 2023. Wishing you all a very happy new year!
Ms. Julie Giannini Previde