September 2012

posted Sep 10, 2012, 10:46 AM by Anna Saunders   [ updated Sep 10, 2012, 10:46 AM by PFC Webmaster ]

Welcome back, Walnut Acres Parents,

We look forward to another year of parent and teacher collaboration to give every student a great learning experience! Working together we will continue our movement forward as a 21st Century Learning Community in order to prepare our children for the fast-changing, digitally-based, very connected world in which they will live and lead.

A couple of items are worth repeating from BTSN presentations. First, to support our transformation efforts, the MDUSD district leadership gave Walnut Acres a priority designation to receive a state-of-the-art 10 GB backbone that includes new and faster switches and commercial grade wireless access points throughout the school.  That Measure C work has just been completed and will allow us to serve as a 21st Century model and pilot for other schools. To put this technological advancement in perspective, no other school among nearby districts (except American Canyon High School) has a system as strong. The new network should allow us to have any student online with great speed and maintained connections despite large numbers of other students on line simultaneously. We are very grateful to our district leadership for their support of our 21st Century efforts!  

Second, over the summer we also made progress implementing the plans from last spring’s Fund-A-Need (Thank you generous parents!) New athletic equipment was purchased, a plan to refresh the playground was designed (thanks, Ms. Rubenstein), and our basketball backboards were repainted with district funds. (For this, we thank MDUSD Maintenance & Operations personnel.) The district also laid asphalt along most of the fourth turn of our track to alleviate the constant mud puddle under the solar panel. I hope you notice this upgrade in cleaner clothes this year! 

As we work at school to establish 2012-13 school routines, we urge you support your child’s mastery of school procedures by discussing the 2012-13 Student Conduct Handbook with your student, getting your child to school on time every day, and following the drop-off and pick-up directions designated in the Handbook. (Click here to view the Handbook on the Walnut Acres website.) Please clearly communicate that all rules are in place to keep students safe. I particularly urge you to very carefully comply with school driving rules.

Heads up on a new district opportunity that could benefit your family routines at home…Parents may pay for MDUSD lunches through a program called My School Bucks. Click here to connect to this information. Using this site you will be able to view your balance, pay through multiple methods, and receive e-mail alerts when your balance is low.

A few other beginning-of-the-year reminders...

*Because MDUSD does not carry medical insurance for students injured on school premises, the District has approved an optional medical and dental insurance plan for presentation to parents. Click here , then click on the 5th item in the left column to see the letter from Dr. Lawrence with further details of the plan.

*Click here to get to the Student Services page on the website that has information regarding TDAP vaccinations required by law. Clicking on the heading in capital letters at the top of the page will give you information about community providers for immunizations and TB testing.

*5th grade students will be taught family life science this spring. The focus of the discussion will be how bodies change and why. Materials used in this instruction are available for inspection and preview at the District Instructional Media Center at Willow Creek Center, at 1026 Mohr Lane, Concord, Monday-Friday, 10/8-10/12 from 8-4:30 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. and 1/28-2/1 during the same time frame.

*The CAC (Community Advisory Committee) is comprised of folks specifically interested in special education services. You are welcome to join CAC meetings from 7-9:00 p.m. at the district office monthly. The next meeting is 10/7 from 7-9:00 p.m. in the District Board Room, 1936 Carlotta Dr., Concord.

I know that your hopes for your child’s learning this year are high. We will do our best to meet your expectations by teaching our children content mastery, and the 6 C’s that they need to be successful adults. I hope they also hear from all of us in a million little ways the message of Pablo Casals, “You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. You have the capacity for anything.”  

Thank you for sharing your little marvel with us, and thank you for being our partners on this educational journey! Here’s to 2012-13!


Colleen Dowd