Dear Folsom Cordova family:
It is so heartwarming to see our schools buzzing with life. Students and families reconnecting with beloved teachers, parents of kindergartners holding back tears, and high school seniors excited to complete this final chapter, are all among the familiar scenes we are treated to this time of year.
Of course, our teachers and staff were hard at work during the summer preparing for this week’s successful start. The last school year had barely finished when teachers and principals returned to work to begin implementing new school leadership teams called Professional Learning Communities: teams of teachers that will collaborate regularly throughout the year to discuss student progress and targeted interventions. Some spent the summer providing extended learning opportunities for students. And others sacrificed their time off to ensure students wouldn’t fall behind - like Natoma Station Elementary’s Judy Fletcher, who went above and beyond to organize a weekly summer reading group that made sure students retained vital reading and comprehension skills.
This year promises continued changes that will require all of us working together. In September, our students and families will receive the first results from last spring’s assessments under the state’s new, more rigorous content standards. These test results are just one tool teachers and families can use to better understand how well students are performing. They are also too fundamentally different in the skills they measure to compare to any previous standardized tests. I encourage you to visit www.fcusd.org/testing to learn more about what to expect when results are released in the coming weeks.
Our schools also recognize that equally important to classroom instruction is a positive school climate, where students are provided a safe, welcome, and inclusive place to learn and succeed. Students and staff are kicking off numerous character education and positive behavior initiatives to support this effort across the District - accented by the district-wide “Cool 2B Kind” week, Aug. 31-Sept. 4. The ongoing work is led by our Child Welfare Office and our Character Education and Bullying Prevention Task Force. More information and resources for students, staff, and families can be found at www.fcusd.org/character.
Like these inspiring 2015 graduates, our students are dreamers, innovators, and scholars, and they have myriad goals. Many have overcome serious hurdles to achieve them. Each year our dedicated teachers, staff, and families work tirelessly to set our students on a path to success. Together, we can make this year our best yet.