March 1, 2019 LCMSD Newsletter

In this edition . . . Hall Middle Receives National Award, Budget Town Hall Meeting, Momo Challenge, and Board Meeting Updates

Hall Middle School Receives National Award

Hall Middle School has just been named one of only 16 middle schools in California as a "School to Watch" (STW) - the only newly designated STW in the Bay Area and first ever in Marin. This gives a new spin to Hall's motto "We are One!" On March 14th, Hall Middle School will be celebrated in Sacramento for this nationally recognized distinction. This process began with a 64-page application that documents several years of work. It was followed by a visit from the Schools to Watch Team where they observed classrooms and engaged in discussions with students, staff, parents, administrators, and Trustees. The process was highly-rigorous and we commend Principal Saibel and the Hall Middle School staff for the many extra hours they poured into receiving this honor. Schools to Watch defines a high-performing middle school as possessing three elements:
  • They are academically excellent — these schools challenge all students to use their minds well
  • They are developmentally responsive — these schools are sensitive to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescence
  • They are socially equitable — these schools are democratic and fair, providing every student with high-quality teachers, resources, and supports

In the words of State Superintendent of Instruction Tony Thurmond: "These middle schools make a great impact on students, and I want to thank the staff, administrators, teachers, and parents at these schools for ensuring all students get the education they need to realize their potential. These schools study and support students’ needs, which helps close achievement gaps and creates a better future for these young students."

Congratulations to the Hall Middle School students, staff, and parents for this incredible achievement - one that truly reflects the LCMSD community as a whole.

Budget Town Hall Meetings: March 4th & 5th

We understand that additional questions and concerns have risen since our staff meetings (January 22, 24, 29; February 25, 27) and parent meetings (February 4, 5, 6) on the reductions.

We want to hear your feedback, address your concerns, and answer any questions you might still have regarding the budget reductions. Since Board Meetings (such as the one scheduled on March 6th) aren't a discussion with the public, but rather a meeting of the Board held in public, Trustees and the Superintendent cannot respond to public comments. This makes the process awkward and can leave speakers feeling unheard.

If you have remaining questions/concerns, we hope you can join us on either March 4th from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. in the Cove Gallery or March 5th from 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. in the Hall Middle School Library.

Here is more information regarding budget reductions.

Momo Challenge

By now you have probably heard your child or other parents talking about the Momo Challenge. Common Sense Media says, “This frightening social media challenge appears with an unforgettable, horrifying picture of a statue of a bird (that looks like a girl) and allegedly encourages kids to perform increasingly risky and harmful tasks, including hurting themselves. It can pop up in a variety of places but seems to center around Whatsapp, where a user is sent a link to click on. It's not new but resurfaces occasionally. Though some articles mention reports of kids actually harming or killing themselves as a result of the challenge, they are unsubstantiated. Some reports indicate it's actually a way for hackers to get access to devices, which poses a whole separate set of risks.”

Here is another article on social media challenges we want you to be aware of:

13 Challenges Your Kid Already Knows About by Common Sense Media

Board Meeting Updates

At the February 13 Meeting - Trustees approved a Resolution for certificated reductions/layoffs. Additionally, Principal Saibel provided an update on Hall Middle School's transition to standards-based grading.
For the March 6 Meeting - Trustees will be voting on a Resolution for classified reductions/layoffs, the recommended Hall/Neil Cummins Assistant Principal for 2019-20, and the Second Interim Budget.

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Larkspur-Corte Madera School District Board of Trustees
Sarah Mueller, President; Jill Sellers, Vice President;
Monica Cañas; Katherine Chan; Katie Zwarg

Dr. Brett Geithman