Superintendent's Letter June 3, 2013
Dear Alameda Community,
As we wrap up another school year with much to celebrate, we thank you for continuing to support our schools and students in so many ways. Our commitment to working together through the very difficult financial times of the past few years has kept us moving in the right direction. Due to the collective efforts of our community and all of our employees, our students are continuing to succeed and improve.
Continuing Academic Successes and Improvements
Late last month the State released additional 2012 Academic Performance Index (API) information, including "similar schools" rankings for individual schools across the State. The numbers demonstrate overall improvement in the District, show that most AUSD schools rank higher than similar schools in California, and confirm that most of our schools also improved their rank relative to similar schools in the State.
Earlier this year, the State released results showing that the District improved its API from 841 in 2011 to 847 in 2012, building on the district's API growth in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Those earlier 2012 API results showed gains district-wide in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math and also significant improvement among several subgroups of students, most notably among African American/Black students and Latino students.
The latest similar schools data shows excellent performance in different types of schools serving different student populations in different places across the District. For example, both Bay Farm Elementary and Alameda Science and Technology Institute, the District's early college magnet high school located on the campus of the College of Alameda, received outstanding overall statewide ranks of 10 out of 10 and also impressive similar schools ranks of 9 out of 10. Ruby Bridges and Lum Elementary also received similar schools scores of 9 out of 10. API scores, similar schools rankings, and other test data are posted on the California Department of Education website at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ar/.
Congratulations to the Class of 2013
Earlier this spring we shared some good news with the community about the AUSD Class of 2013, including examples of the many great colleges and universities where students had been accepted for admission as well as some of the impressive honors and scholarships students were winning. Now that graduation is just days away and the high schools have completed the annual Senior Surveys of their graduating classes, we have a good sense of the specific plans of our seniors.
The vast majority of the Class of 2013 will be heading to college, with most attending four year colleges or universities in the fall. Our Senior Surveys confirm that next fall our AUSD graduates will be attending nearly every UC and CSU campus and many other excellent public and private institutions across the country, including American, Arizona State, Biola, Boston University, BYU, Brown, Colgate, Cornell, Clarke Atlanta,Dominican, Evergreen State, Expression College for Digital Arts, FIDM, Fordham, George Washington, Grand Canyon, Hampshire, Harvard, Harvey Mudd, Hofstra, Holy Names, Howard, Indiana Bloomington, Johnson and Wales, Liberty, Loyola Marymount, Mills, NYU, Northern Arizona, Oberlin, Occidental, Oregon State, Pace, Penn, Purdue, Quinnipiac, Redlands, St. Mary's, Smith, Southeastern, Stanford, Tulane, Utah, University of British Columbia, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Denver, University of Hamburg, University of Hawaii, University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of Nevada Reno, University of Pacific, University of Portland, University of San Francisco, University of Santa Clara, University of Washington, Virginia Tech, Wellesley, Wesleyan, Whittier, and Willamette.
Many AUSD graduates will be attending community college with the intention of transferring later to a four year college or university, while others will be attending a community college seeking an A.A. degree or entering a two year career training or vocational program. Others will be heading straight to the workforce. Alameda's tradition of military service will also continue as several graduates will proudly serve our country in the military in a variety of capacities, including members of the Class of 2013 who will be enrolling next fall at the United States Military (West Point) and the Air Force Academy. Congratulations to the Class of 2013!
Thank You to Our Great Teachers and Staff
As we prepare to graduate our 12th graders and promote our 5th and 8th graders, we hope all in the community will join us in thanking our teachers, staff, and administrators for their dedication and commitment in all they do for students every day. We are proud to see how all the hard work has contributed to the many student successes we celebrate this time of year. Thank you!
Labor Agreement with Alameda Education Association Allows Greater Focus on Classroom
This spring bargaining teams representing the District and the Alameda Education Association (AEA) reached an agreement fully resolving successor contract negotiations between the parties. That labor agreement provides a well-deserved increase in compensation for teachers, protects the fiscal health of the school district, and has allowed all of us to have an even greater focus on doing all we can in the classroom to serve Alameda's students.
Calendars Now Set for the Next Three School Years
As part of the new labor agreement between the District and AEA, we now have calendars in place for the next three school years. The 2013-14 school year calendar is posted on our website on both the home page and the Parent Resource page here: http://www.alameda.k12.ca.us/Resources . The calendars for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years are also posted on the Parent Resource page of our website.
The first day for students next school year will be Monday, August 26. Students and families will have a full week break at Thanksgiving and the last day of school next year will be Thursday, June 12, 2014. The 2014-15 and 2015-16 calendars also have the first day of school for students on the Monday before Labor Day and include a full week break at Thanksgiving. We hope having the next three years of calendars now approved and posted will help families, teachers, staff, and our community partners with planning for the future.
Have a Great Summer
Thank you once again to Alameda for being such a wonderful community for our young people. Next year, we will continue to work together to build upon our many successes and rise to the challenges that we face in public education.
Have a safe and fun summer!
Superintendent of Schools