Welcome back to school! It is my privilege to kick off another great year of learning at Oak Ridge Elementary School. I am so very proud of what we have accomplished over the last two years. We have worked hard to shift to a student centered approach to teaching and learning, to build effective teams, and to strengthen the relationship between the school and each of our families. We look forward to building upon our successes in 2012-213. It’s going to be another outstanding year for our students.
We have changed out schedule to better meet the learning needs of our students. This year, our school day will be from 8:30 AM to 3:15 PM for students in grades 1-6. Our new schedule will give our students an extra 45 minutes in school each day. This will provide more reading and math instruction, more frequent small group teaching, and greater opportunity for our students to learn the content in meaningful ways. Our kindergarten day will also be extended. Kindergarten students will begin at 8:30 and finish at 2:00 PM.
We are excited about receiving a School Improvement Grant for the 2012-2013 school year. In addition to extending our learning time, the grant will help us rebuild technology at our school (including the addition of new ipads and Macbooks), add reading support teachers, and enable us to purchase additional reading materials for all students. During this time of declining school dollars, we feel very fortunate to have the resources to actually add to our programs and staff. Oak Ridge students will benefit from these additions immediately.
We are also thrilled to bring City Year back to Oak Ridge this year. City Year is a non-profit organization that works with 17-23 year olds developing their sense of service. We will have nine City Year corps members working at our school all day. Corps members serve as tutors, role models, and mentor s for each classroom in 3rd-6th grade. We were the first school in Sacramento to start working with City Year last year, and we could not be happier with their return in 2012-2013.
We have developed thriving relationships with our families. Home Visits were a big part of this success. Oak Ridge staff completed nearly 200 Home Visits in 2011-2012. We thank our families for opening up their doors and inviting us inside. Home Visits will continue this year. Please don’t waste any time setting up a Home Visit with your teacher. Home Visits help our families and our teachers build meaningful relationships. Families and teachers connect in ways that cannot be put in words. I encourage you to be the first in your neighborhood to complete a Home Visit this year!
Teaching is complicated and involves many partners in learning. We thank each of our parents for getting involved in learning. You are your child’s number one teacher. There will be countless opportunities to be engaged in school this year. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to educate your children. We thank our families, our community partners, and our staff for helping all students reach their potential and thrive academically.