I have started my March message several times over the past ten days, only to find, by the end of the day, there is something new or different to add. Reality is, from now until the end of the school year, there will be many, many changes as information becomes available on budget and numbers, and policies and procedures. Please know we are committed to giving you updates in a timely manner, but we are very often only the messengers, with many things out of our hands. Having said that, March is a busy month, and we have lots of requests on ways you can help us out, which won’t take too much of your time.

First and most importantly, we must know as soon as possible if your child will be returning next year. It is estimated we will lose seven teaching positions based upon the District’s predicted opening enrollment of 690 students at Castlebay. We have held enrollment at 820 since returning in January. We would like to show the District “proof” that we are expecting more than 690 students next August, to try and save a position.

Next, you will be getting the District’s School Experience Report Card today (sent with the eldest sibling). Last year we only had a 39% return rate from our parents. Although there are no financial “rewards” attached to this survey, it is the basis for MANY decisions at our school and I cannot emphasize enough how important your feedback is. Based on last years’ results, I have made several changes to address what 39% of you perceived as needs at this school. The survey is short. I will be awarding Popsicle parties to the first rooms to get 100% of their surveys back; but my hope is you will fill out this survey because you know I read your feedback and take it seriously. All forms are anonymous.

Another survey on our website is the LAUSD homework survey. Homework has been a hot topic for years. I encourage you to take this quick survey and let the District know how you feel about time spent on homework.

Finally, it is highly likely that school nurses will have their time cut even more. The office has flyers addressing this issue.

On a different topic, report cards will be sent home March 23rd. Many of you were made aware that our School Site Council voted to conduct Parent/Teacher conferences which were to take place in conjunction with handing out report cards. Because of our quick decision to apply for Affiliated Charter status, our last few weeks have been consumed with writing this very lengthy application and I have decided not to require teachers to schedule 24-36 conferences on top of this extra work. I would, however, like to invite any of you to request a conference with your child’s teacher over the next couple of weeks. Next fall, Parent/Teacher conferences will be built into the school calendar for the first week of December.

Thank you for getting through this lengthy March newsletter! Please remember, in this time of uncertainty and change, your beautiful children are the ones who make it all worthwhile for us. It is such a privilege to be surrounded by such creative, smart, and interesting children, who warm our hearts each time they smile.

Victoria Littlejohn

Download: March 2012

Dates to Remember

  • 3/23 Report Cards go home
  • 3/26 “Move It! Monday” –wear your tennis shoes!
  • 3/30 Cesar Chavez Day- holiday
  • 4/2-4/6 Spring Break
  • 4/9 School Resumes
  • 4/16 Patriotic Assembly
  • 4/19 Spring Emergency Exercise: “Lockdown”
  • 4/26 All School picnic/star gazing/literacy night
   
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