December 16, 2022
Dear PUSD Community,
The Holiday Season is here and so much has happened in a month. The district is moving along with the Superintendent Search and community engagement has been completed. In addition to parent, staff and community meetings with the search firm, over 400 individuals completed a survey identifying qualities they would like to see in the next superintendent. The position has been posted and applications will be brought to the Board on February 1 for review. Thank you to everyone for your feedback and assistance in this process.
In our School Board community engagement meetings in October, there were parents who felt strongly that rigor and excellence needed to be addressed in the District’s Vision, Mission and Core Values. But what became clear was we all have different definitions of what those values are and how to represent them both in the district and classroom. Does that mean that Piedmont needs to have a certain number of Advanced Placement courses? Does this mean we need to hit a certain mark on State standardized tests? Finally, does rigor and excellence go beyond academics to include social and emotional welfare as well as equity and inclusivity?
Getting everyone on the same page is important. To do this, I will be meeting with teachers, administrators and the Superintendent’s Community Advisory Committee to develop an operating definition of rigor and excellence. I will then bring parents into the conversation through several community meetings. Following this dialogue, I will bring to the Board a plan of what rigor and excellence looks like in Piedmont. My goal is to have all stakeholders on the same page and operating under the same definitions. This will become part of a foundation on which we can build and sustain as our district moves forward under the next superintendent.
On December 15, the state released data as part of its accountability reporting system known as the California School Dashboard. The Dashboard is an online tool to help communities identify strengths and weaknesses and pinpoint student groups that may need support. In its sixth year, it reports status on multiple measures of academic and school climate. The Dashboard also focuses on the state priority of closing the performance differences among student groups' (e.g. race/ethnicity, socioeconomically disadvantaged, English Learners [ELs]) performance. Piedmont continues to demonstrate excellence across multiple measures. With the impact of the pandemic changing the landscape of learning, communities are encouraged to consider these results a new baseline and to reflect and engage with their districts in moving forward to support all students. You can review the dashboard at http://www.caschooldashboard.org. PUSD’s results will be presented to the Board on January 11.
We just completed our 1st Interim Budget Report. The report gives us a clearer picture of where our finances are. After giving 7.5% salary increases, a $1,500 one-time bonus and an increase in health care benefits to all staff, we were still able to receive a positive certification. A positive certification means that we are able to meet all of our financial obligations this year and the two subsequent years. You can read more about the background of the Report and view a slidedeck from Wednesday’s Board presentation.
Over the past six months, I have enjoyed meeting with the many amazing organizations that work tirelessly to support our students and staff. I want to take a moment to especially thank the Piedmont Education Foundation that has impressed me beyond belief. Its impact on PUSD can be seen on every campus and in every classroom, and felt by every student and staff member. As its 2022 Giving Campaign comes to a close this month, I invite you to consider making a donation and see the difference it can make. Visit www.piedmontedfoundation.org/donate for more information.
Finally, as Winter Break approaches, I ask for your help in continuing to provide a safe environment for students and staff. With COVID cases on the rise, we are asking families to test their students prior to returning to school on January 9. Schools will be distributing tests to all students next week. Please plan to test on January 7-8 and report any positive cases on the District’s COVID self reporting form and on Primary.
I wish you all a happy and safe Holiday Season. Enjoy your break and we’ll see you in the New Year!
After a nationwide search and extensive community engagement, the Piedmont Board of Education has selected Dr. Jennifer Hawn to serve as the District’s next Superintendent.
Piedmont Bird Calling Contest returns Thursday, March 30.
Weekly case rate for staff and students
Beach, Havens and Wildwood Elementary Schools were selected as California Distinguished Schools for 2023