Monday, August 1, 2011

Good News, Bad News 2011-2012

Good News should always come first. Principal Tracie Noriega of Alvarado Elementary has been selected for a pilot test of National Board Certification for principals. She is among 240 principals selected from more than 700 applicants from 19 states. The program hopes to establish leadership research-based standards, identify effective school leaders, and elevate the profession. Congratulations Tracie!

Due to the state of California's budget problems, New Haven was required to lay off 70 teachers at the end of the 2011 school year. However, many of the Alvarado teachers who were laid off at the end of the year have been able to be rehired. Alvarado also added a part-time Assistant Principal, Mistee Hightower-Guzman, to the staff.

Mistee Hightower-Guzman

Pat Pedroze is the new Resource Specialist and Yurani Maycotte DePerez is the new office Assistant, For a while, the plan was to lay of the media specialists at the middle schools but that plan was ultimately scrapped.

Now for the Bad News. The instructional year has been reduced from 180 days to 175 days. Students will receive five fewer days of instruction this year. This means all employees will be making less money because they will be taking six unpaid furlough days. This also means that parents who have their children in day care may have to pay for more days in day care as their children will not be in school as many days. There are still fewer teachers, so the class size reduction ratio in grades kinder through third grade took a big hit. Class sizes will increase. Kindergarten will increase 25 to 1. First and second grades will be 25 to 1. Third grade will increase 30 to 1. Last year third grade was 25 to 1. There is no limit on class size for fourth or fifth grade.

The Good News is as the new year begins, your child's teacher will do everything possible to make the school experience the best for each child. The changes discussed above mean that the teacher will revamp their program to meet each child's needs academically and socially. This is a challenge Alvarado teachers are very capable of meeting.

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