To FCUSD Parents and Staff,
Welcome to the 2012-13 school year. We are so proud of our school district. Students excel because parents, teachers, staff and communities do a remarkable job setting high expectations and supporting them to achieve academic success.
Although the economy of our state and nation is faced with a number of challenges, Folsom Cordova Unified School District (FCUSD) continues to be blessed! We have great teachers who are dedicated to teaching every learner of every age. We have numerous teaching techniques and interventions to utilize with our diverse and changing population of learners. We are building the new Common Core Standards into our curriculum in order to be prepared for the 2014 full implementation. We have great support staff members who provide necessary educational and related services to enhance the learning environment and create a positive school culture.
I want to acknowledge the extra time and effort put forth by all employees as a result of budget cuts. Our employees have sacrificed in two ways: first, greater workloads and higher class sizes because of the layoff of many fine employees, and second, through the absorption of furlough days over the past three years. And, if the Governor’s Proposition 30 doesn’t pass in November, we will again be faced with the reduction of the instructional year by up to six additional furlough days, a loss of learning time that will impact current students and their performance.
Parents have also been asked to contribute more time and money to their children’s education. Whether it is through donations of class supplies and for activities, or fund-raising with the PTAs, clubs and sports teams, families have stepped up to help with the funding gap created by the state’s 22% reduction in education funding. We thank parents for the continued support and belief that education is a high priority, even when it does not seem to be a high priority for the Governor and Legislature.
In August, we received the California standards test scores (CSTs) and I’m pleased to report that FCUSD scores surpassed state and county averages in all areas. And the district-wide Academic Performance Index (API) is anticipated to reach an all-time high when released by the state in October.
Although faced with fiscal constraints and budget cuts, we are still to develop new focuses, with very little financial investment. Staff development for our teachers and one time expenditures from grants and district resources provide the foundation for the new programs.
- In 2012-13 Cordova High became a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program (grades 11-12). Administration and teachers will spend a full year developing new units and coursework that meet the rigorous expectations of IB. The following year, Mitchell and CHS will prepare for the middle years program (grades 6-10).
- The Gateway Academy at Theodore Judah and Mather Heights Elementary Schools provide academic rigor and challenge to motivated GATE and other high achieving students in grades 1-5. The Intel Corporation provided technology to enhance instruction and integrate learning activities with technology. Additionally, students will enter a pathway to honors and pre-AP (Advanced Placement) courses at Sutter and Mitchell Middle Schools.
- Junior Kindergarten programs are available at Blanche Sprentz, Rancho Cordova, White Rock, Carl Sundahl and Folsom Hills Elementary Schools. The first of a two-year kindergarten program, students focus on social and emotional development, physical and motor development, as well as academic skills needed to prepare for kindergarten.
- The foreign language magnet programs at Folsom Hills and Cordova Gardens Elementary Schools have been expanded into the middle schools, Sutter and Mills. Rounding out the Language Enrichment and Advanced Pathway (LEAP) program at Sutter, Spanish and pre-AP courses will prepare students for the visual and performing arts, language and Advanced Placement programs at Folsom High School. Students from Cordova Gardens may choose Mills for Spanish or Mitchell for pre-AP coursework, with IB to be available in 2014-15 at Mitchell.
- The new Global Program Studies (GPS) at Folsom High School utilizes a common thread of world perspectives across the subject areas with the infusion of an international studies curriculum. For example, GPS students analyze the critical issues of global water supply, navigate the historical development of the international language of mathematics, and focus on the social, political, geographic and economic changes in the global community. There are summer travel opportunities, international business partnerships, and guest lecturers.
We are fortunate to have dedicated teachers, administrators and support personnel to develop and implement these new and expanded opportunities for our students. We may be suffering from a lack of financial resources, but our human resources are a treasure to the district.
As you may know, our funding level is directly tied to state revenues and Proposition 30. If Proposition 30 doesn’t pass in November, our revenue will be reduced by $8 million, or another 6%, effective January of this school year.
Even with the cloud of fiscal uncertainty at the state level, this year, as every year, we commit ourselves to providing the very best educational experience possible. Our focus is on continuous improvement and communication. We will update you through school newsletters, websites, phone and text messages, and community meetings, including the monthly Superintendent’s Communication Committee. Please take a moment to visit our new district and school websites. You will find them more parent-friendly and very informative.
Thank you for being dedicated parents and employees. We are blessed because of your daily efforts. I look forward to seeing you in our schools!