August 20, 2012
On behalf of the Hollister School District Board of Trustees, and all of our faculty and staff, I would like to welcome you and your children to the Hollister School District for the 2012-2013 school year.
There will be a few changes this year you should be aware of.
First, the District will provide bus transportation this year, after initially choosing to end that service.
- State funding for transportation was projected to end last year, but was, in the end, included in the State budget.
- We needed to reduce the number of busses and change the routes, but we are pleased that we can provide school busses again this year.
- You will notice a new name on the school busses that serve our students. After 50 years of excellent service from Tiffany Transportation, the Hollister School District awarded a contract to First Student Transportation for regular and special education bus transportation.
- Contact our Transportation Department at (831) 630-6348 if you have any questions.
Changes in our school sites include:
- The Hollister Dual Language Academy (HDLA) was recognized late this past spring as a California Distinguished School. I know the faculty, staff and administration of the Hollister Dual Language Academy worked very hard to provide a very high quality program that distinguished the HDLA from other great schools in our district and schools throughout our state.
- Thursday Early Release Days will now include seventh and eighth grade students. Beginning this school year, students at Rancho San Justo Middle School, Marguerite Maze Middle School, Calaveras School and the Accelerated Achievement Academy will join all other grades in each school of our district to dismiss students earlier than the rest of the week. The early release time will provide teachers with time to collaborate to improve teaching and student learning.
- Ms. Elaine Klauer has joined the District as the new principal at Rancho San Justo Middle School.
- Ms. Jananne Gaver will be the new principal at R.O. Hardin School.
- Calaveras School and the Accelerated Achievement Academy will introduce student uniforms this year, along with R.O. Hardin School, which adopted school uniforms last year.
There are new federal guidelines for our student nutrition programs:
- We will meet the National School Lunch Program guidelines by providing even more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in our school lunches.
- New meal standards set specific calorie limits to provide age-specific meals for grades K-5 and 6-8.
- Sodium in school meals will be gradually reduced
- For more information about our student nutrition program, or to see if your child is eligible for meals through the National School Lunch Program you can call (831) 630-6388
The Hollister School District has added a transitional kindergarten (TK) class at R.O. Hardin School. The transitional kindergarten:
- Is designed to provide developmentally appropriate instruction to the youngest five year olds. The birth date cut off for kindergarten enrollment has moved from December 2, to the current November 1. That means children enrolling this year must turn 5 on or before November 1st. The date will change each year until two years from now when children entering kindergarten must turn five on or before September 1.
- The curricula for transitional kindergarten will include instruction that includes modified California Content Standards for kindergarten, along with other developmentally appropriate instruction.
- The transitional kindergarten program is the first of a two year kindergarten program. Students in the TK program will complete one school year in the transitional kindergarten, and then will enter regular kindergarten the following year. Please call (831) 630-6324 for more information.
The Hollister School District will begin to prepare this year for the new California Common Core Standards.
· The common core standards are a new nation-wide set of standards for schools which have been adopted by California and forty-four other states.
· The California Common Core Standards will be aligned with a new assessment system known as the Smarter Balanced Assessment, which begin use in the 2014-2015 school year.
Finally, the Hollister School District will continue this year to invest in teacher and principal training that will improve student learning. The additional time our district's seventh and eighth grade teachers will have this year to collaborate and refine what we want our students to know, and how we will know when they have learned it, will help us to ensure that every child will lea rn what they need to know.
Best wishes to you and your child(ren) in the 2012-2013 school year in the Hollister School District.
Gary L. McIntire, Ed.D.