August 3, 2023
Welcome to McKinleyville Schools and the 2023-24 School Year! We are excited to welcome our students and staff back to school!
Our schools offer the very best for our families, including:
Research Based Literacy Instruction for ALL. Over the last two years our elementary teachers took on a HUGE professional learning challenge. The vast majority have completed over 160 hours of training in the Science of Reading. Most of our veteran staff are 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 will expand to a full time music and full time art teacher for our TK-5 students. Students at all three schools will have access to high quality art and music during the school day!
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.
Expansion of Transitional Kindergarten. McKinleyville Schools are ahead of the scheduled rollout of universal TK for all four year olds and will be welcoming over 85 TK students to Dow’s Prairie this fall.
Full Board Policy Review and Update. Our district staff has completed 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 this fall and then we will post them to our website in a format that is easier for families to navigate.
And we aren’t stopping there! We have big goals for the coming year, including:
Update to Vision, Mission and Priorities. During the fall of 2023, MUSD will be gathering input from our staff, students, families, and community members to update our Vision and Mission and to set our priorities for the next decade.
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.
I am grateful to work in this community and I welcome you to contact me if I can be of service.
Ms. Julie Giannini Previde