Editor's note: The following message is posted on the SSFUSD official Web site. To find out more information about the upcoming school year, click here.
Dear Students, Parents, Staff, and Community of South San Francisco,
Welcome to the new 2012-2013 school year! I hope all of you had a wonderful summer and I hope some of you had an opportunity to relax and enjoy some of the wonderful weather we have had in the past few weeks.
I would like to thank you for all the support and trust I have received from many of you during my first year as superintendent of South San Francisco Unified School District. It has been an honor and a privilege to work for this community in this capacity. The administration, teachers and support personnel of the district are ready for the start of a new academic year.
There are a few pieces of information that I would like to share with you:
1) Measure J Update:
As most of you know, Measure J is our $162,000,000 Bond for renovation and improvement of our facilities. This summer we completed Phase I, which consisted of improving our energy consumption throughout the district. All 15 sites now have solar energy and many have additional energy saving devices that will help in reducing our carbon footprint and at the same time will save our district about $1,000,000 per year in utility expenses for the next 20 years. We have started the plans for Phase II. Phase II is all about renovating and improving our facilities. We are just about finished identifying the educational standards for our buildings at each of our elementary schools. We are looking at construction and renovation projects that will include the removal of old portable classrooms and the procurement of modular rooms that will best serve the students. We are also looking to improve our athletic facilities at the high schools, since the athletic fields have not been revamped for several years. I expect to see significant activity throughout the district in late spring and summer this coming year. I will keep you informed as progress is made.
2) State Budget:
As you are well aware, this is the fifth year in a row that the State of California has made deep cuts to public education. In the past few years California has lost more than 10% of our teachers and a great percentage of classified and administrative employees. School districts throughout California have increased class sizes, and reduced the calendar year for instruction. In anticipation to another “rough” economic year, districts are now permitted to reduce the school year from 180 days to 160 days. This significant and unprecedented reduction is the equivalent of a full month of instruction!
There is a significant piece of legislation on the November ballot: Proposition 30, also known as “Governor Brown’s Initiative”. If proposition 30 does not pass the funding for public education in California will be significantly reduced. The impact to our district will be in the neighborhood of 4.1 million dollars for the current year. SSFUSD is already looking at the different scenarios in order to respond in a timely manner to our new realities. The Board and the administration will have to make some difficult decisions in the event the reductions occur. We have begun the discussions and to gather as much information as possible to implement any reductions. Please be reassured that if and when cuts and program alterations need to happen, we will try our best to strive to continue to provide our students with excellent educational services.
3) New administrators:
We have a few new administrators throughout the sites this year and I would like to welcome them to our family. I know that the parents and the community will welcome them all as well.
Ms. Irene Preciado, Director of Special Projects, Categorical and Eng. Learners Programs
Dr. David Putney, Principal @ El Camino High School
Mr. Jose Gomez, Assistant Principal @ El Camino High School
Mr. Israel Castillo, Principal @ Spruce Elementary School
Ms. Shana Yoshimoto, Assistant Principal @ Spruce Elementary School
Ms. Kennelyn Celeste, Principal @ Los Cerritos Elementary School
Mr. Richard Gutierrez, Assistant Principal @ South San Francisco High School
I am looking forward to an exciting and rewarding new academic year!