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Board of Trustees Election, COVID Updates: Notifications and Testing, and Lucy Caulkins Reading and Writing Workshop


Dear LCMSD Community,

I hope your week is off to a great start! Here are the updates for today.

Take care,

Dr. Brett Geithman

Board of Trustees Election

For the November 8, 2022 election, LCMSD will have four open seats on the Board of Trustees; three of which will be four-year terms and one will be a two-year term. Interested candidates may file paperwork with the Marin County Elections Department between July 18 and August 12. Here is information on becoming a Trustee. Additionally, President Annie Sherman and Superintendent Brett Geithman will be at the following schools between 8:00-8:30am to answer any questions and/or provide more information: Tuesday (5/24) at Cove in the drop-off loop; Thursday (5/26) at Neil Cummins in front of the office; and Friday (5/27) at Hall in front of the office. Please know you can email and/or for further information.

COVID Updates: Notifications and Testing

The email continues to receive positive test results from families on a regular basis. Classes with 3 or more active cases will receive a class specific email with instructions. There have been two classes where we have decided to require masking for a set period of time, as well as testing and proof of a negative result. We appreciate all of the flexibility and understanding from our families and staff. To continue providing families with access to testing, we will be sending home another set of tests. These are to be used for symptomatic students/staff or if directed by the school to administer before a school event or based on a classroom exposure. Be on the lookout for these tests over the next week, as well as any COVID related communications. 

Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing Workshop

Over the weekend, the New York Times published this article regarding Lucy Calkins’s approach to literacy instruction. As you might be aware, LCMSD has implemented the Lucy Calkins Readers and Writers Workshop methodology in grades K-8. 

The article notes a “loosely defined” approach to balanced literacy and goes on to highlight the lack of phonics instruction, a research-based approach to teaching reading. While LCMSD has embraced Readers and Writers Workshop, we also have implemented a clearly defined approach to balanced literacy. This includes our April 22, 2019 adoption of a K-2 phonics, spelling, and word study curriculum:

  • Fountas and Pinnell Phonics, Spelling and Word Study curriculum: This curriculum is used daily to provide differentiated phonics instruction.
  • Units of Study in Phonics to supplement Fountas and Pinnell: This curriculum is used selectively during Readers and Writers Workshop units to provide whole group instruction.

Teachers in grades 3-8 also provide phonics, spelling, and word study instruction that is aligned with the standards through a variety of resources. Other examples of our defined balanced literacy approach include shared reading, guided reading, interactive read aloud, grand conversations, and interactive writing (primary grades). While our LCMSD trainers from Momentum in Teaching studied directly under the late Kathleen Tolan, former Senior Deputy Director of the Columbia University Reading and Writing Project, they adapted their overall approach to literacy instruction due to their concurrent study of Gay Sue Pinnell and other leaders in literacy instruction. Additionally, when LCMSD adopted Readers and Writers Workshop as our instructional model, we also cited the need for a defined approach to balanced literacy instruction that includes phonics, as well as the other components mentioned above. 

In terms of our next steps. . . LCMSD is committed to implementing research-based instructional strategies. We will be purchasing the updated Lucy Calkins Units of Study and will continue to implement our phonics, spelling, and word study curriculum. Additionally, we will continue assessing students using the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System and providing interventions through the Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention Program. Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your site principal. 


Board of Trustees

Annie Sherman, President

Eric Schmautz, Vice President

Monica Cañas, Clerk

Amir Movafaghi

Sarah Mueller