Neil Cummins Weekly, Week of May 12, 2024

Neil Cummins Weekly May 12, 2024


Upcoming Dates and Events

May 15 Board Meeting 6:00pm Hall Library

May 14 Superintendent LCAP Feedback Meeting 5:30pm Hall Library - more info below

May 17 Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast 8:15am Hawks’ Garden - more info below 

Principal Message


Dear Neil Cummins Elementary School Community,

It is with mixed emotions that I share some exciting yet  bittersweet news with you today. After years of dedicated service and countless contributions to our school, we will be bidding farewell to three beloved members of our teaching staff as they embark on the next chapter of their lives. Janet Pollack, Liza Mathews, and Lori Restani will all be retiring at the end of the 2023-2024 school year..

Ms. Pollack, Ms. Mathews, and Ms. Restani have contributed to the heartbeat of Neil Cummins Elementary, each bringing their unique talents, passion, and commitment to the education and growth of our students. Their impact extends far beyond the classroom walls, shaping the lives of countless children and leaving an indelible mark on our school community.

While we will undoubtedly miss their presence in our hallways, we take solace in knowing that Janet, Liza, and Lori leave behind a legacy that will endure for years to come. Their impact on our students, our staff, and our school community is immeasurable, and they will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Please join me in expressing our deepest gratitude to Janet, Liza, and Lori for their years of service, their unwavering dedication, and the countless lives they have touched along the way. We wish them all the best in their well-deserved retirement and know that they will continue to inspire and uplift others wherever their journey may take them.

With heartfelt appreciation,

Kyle Shaw

Neil Cummins Elementary Principal

CAASPP Testing Begins Next Week For 3rd-5th Grade Students

Testing Schedule- Testing will occur in the morning between roughly 10:00am Tuesday- Thursday.  ELA (Reading and Writing) is the week of 5/13, Math is the week of 5/20, and 5th grade also has a Science test. 

Home Support- Staff, students and parents form one team to ensure that kids are well-rested and ready to give their best effort over the next couple of weeks. Teachers will make every effort to reduce stress on students. At home, please encourage healthy breakfasts and getting to bed early. Our children look to us in these situations that can be stressful; please provide calm reassurance and perspective that they can do this and we believe in them. Please have students bring books to read if they finish early. 

Arrive on Time- Bring students to school on time (please don’t schedule morning appointments). Each morning, teachers will be creating a safe, comfortable environment to transition students into the tests. Late arrivals will be unsettling to your child and will be disruptive to the testing environment. If you must pick your child up for an appointment, please do so after testing. 


Testing Approach/ Philosophy- At NC, we focus on the whole child, and we use multiple measures to determine a child’s progress and proficiency. CAASPP results offer some insights into student learning: by individual, by grade level, by content strand, and as a whole school. It will help us look at trends and see how we can adjust to meet student needs moving forward. The scores are not used to determine whether a student moves on to the next grade.

We ask that we, as the adults in their lives, remind our students that they have been working hard, problem-solving, learning different strategies, showing their work and practicing their skills all year. Whatever task is before them, they should put their best effort forth, believe in themselves and know that they can do this. They have a team of teachers, parents and their principal cheering them on! 

Annual LCAP Survey Results Summary for Neil Cummins

Thank you to the Cove families that responded to the LCMSD Annual Parent Survey in March. The goals of this survey were to understand how parents, students and staff are experiencing Neil Cummins, to determine how we are progressing toward our school and district goals and to help Neil Cummins and LCMSD continue to improve.  

A summary of Neil Cummins results can be found here.  Here are the LCAP Survey Results District Summary that was presented at the Board meeting on 4/24. I am happy to share that some of the feedback aligns with areas that we are already acting on as a school and district. These include revising our reading instruction and curriculum to align with the science of reading, hiring additional math and reading intervention personnel for the next 2 years to address gaps that developed during Covid, adding musical theater using prop 28 funding, and improving campus safety through the guidance of our district Safety Task Force.

Thank you to all who participated in this survey.

Board Updates: On May 13, 2024 the Board will meet at 11:00 in Room 401 at Hall to initiate a long-term visioning process. This endeavour will include students later this month and parents/staff/community members in the fall. Stay tuned! Additionally, on May 15, 2024 the Board will meet at 6:00 in the Hall Library. Golden Bell Awards and retirees will be celebrated. Trustees will be presented with the Local Control Accountability (LCAP) draft, as well as the 2024-25 draft LCAP annual update. The Board will vote on district-wide common assessments (iReady) in mathematics and literacy, as well as a National Gun Violence Awareness Day Resolution. The meeting will be live streamed via Zoom (link; passcode - lcmsd). Please know, public comments will only be taken by in person attendees; public comments via Zoom will not be available. We hope to see you there. All agendas can be found here.

Superintendent Coffee Chat Part 2: May 14 from 5:30-6:30 in the Hall Library On May 2, the coffee chat was focused on gathering feedback on our draft goals (LCAP) for 2024-25. Additionally, LCAP survey results were shared. We appreciate all of the input during this meeting. Due to the high engagement, we have scheduled an additional session (minus the coffee) on May 14 from 5:30 to 6:30 in the Hall Library to gather feedback. We will have a brief overview, followed by Q&A/feedback on our goals, and then will open the conversation to any and all topics. We hope to see you there!
School & PTO News

Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast May 17 Calling all volunteers from the entire 2023-24 school year! Have you volunteered in the classroom this year, driven on a field trip, helped out at an event or with staff appreciation? If you’ve volunteered in any capacity this year, PTO would like to say thank you! Please join us in the garden Friday, May 17,  from 8:15-9:30am, for a casual breakfast and coffee to show our appreciation for you. 

Neil Cummins Yearbook! Do you love to take photos? Do you want to help layout our yearbook? We need volunteers to produce next year’s yearbook, and, we would love feedback from you on what you want in the yearbook - please take this brief survey:

For those that purchased this year's yearbook, they will be distributed close to the end of the year.  If you forgot, there is a limited number available for purchase for $40 on a first-come-first-served basis by stopping by the front office

Questions?: Contact us:

📚From the Library Thank you to everyone who donated to the Neil Cummins Library Birthday Book Program this year. We appreciate your generous support! We will begin again in August for July birthdays onwards. 

Safe Routes Bike Hero Nominations for the Safe Routes’ Bike Hero Award are now open until May 31st. Bike Heroes are great “roll” models: They are students who get up early to ride regularly, inspire others to bike, obey all rules of the road, and have FUN biking. We’re awarding $50 gift cards. NOMINATE YOUR BIKE HERO HERE       

We are still basking in the glow of the amazing Spring Festival!  From the delicious critter cones courtesy of Dr. Stephanie Hardwick and Mt. Tam Pediatric Dentistry, scrumptious food from El Yucateco Taco Truck, to the super fun games hosted by Coach Arroyo and Coach Geithman, and creative crafting stations offered by Steve & Kate's and Twin Cities Community Preschool, it was a great time had by all.  We also want to offer a big thanks to our brave splash tank participants, including Mr. Shaw, Mr. Gapinski, Amir Movafaghi from the LCMSD Board of Directors, Joe Crane from Twin Cities Little League, Rica from Corte Madera Parks & Rec and Ben Guilick from Twin Cities Girls Softball.  We are so appreciative of all our incredible partners.  Please support those that support our community!  

Hawks’ Garden  🌼
Join us on the Eco-Friendly Garden Tour on May 18 in the Hawks’ Garden and at Refugia Marin’s Native Habitat Garden reserve your free spot here. 

Visit Hawks' Garden Club for all events and latest news. 

🍳Shop with Good Eggs to give back to Neil Cummins! Good Eggs is a game-changing online market that delivers local produce, organic groceries, chef-prepared meals, and easy meal kits straight to your door. It’s all the quality and transparency of a farmer’s market, with the speed and convenience of online ordering. Shop here and enter GoodEggsForNeilCummins at checkout for  5% of your order's total value to go back to NC. 

LCMSD and NC PTO are on Social Media! Follow us on instagram or like us on Facebook.
Spark News

Sparkle & Shine: Thank you to all who joined us on Friday night at Sparkle and Shine, our biggest fundraiser of the year! Your presence and support made the event truly sparkle with joy and generosity. 

Fund-a-Need: For those who couldn't attend, don't worry – you can still contribute by donating to our Fund-A-Need - Teacher Mini Grants! Your donation will provide new opportunities for our teachers and staff to apply for grants to fund experiences, classroom materials, technology and more to help teachers follow their passions and deepen student engagement. Support this year’s Fund-a-Need here.

Over $100K in outstanding pledges: If you are a family who has made a pledge to the 2023-2024 Annual Giving campaign and haven’t yet completed your payment, please make your donation by May 31. Your pledge plays a vital role in our ability to reach our $1.5M goal. We are counting on your contribution to make it happen. Thank you for your ongoing support and dedication to our students, teachers and schools.

Follow SPARK on Instagram & Facebook to stay up to date with all the latest news, events and opportunities to get involved.
Community News

Click here for our Community News page that includes:
-Marin Foster Care’s 6th Annual Dance-a-thon Needs Volunteers to Help
-Eco-Friendly Garden Tour 
-Larkspur Summer Music in the Park 
-Summer Classes and Private Tutoring with Ms Peterson from The Cove 
-Legarza Summer Camps
-Twin Cities Co-op Preschool May Play Date and Summer Camp

-NBBA Summer Camps 
-Dave Fromer Soccer 
-Bloom Clothing Donations 
-June Volleyball Camp for Boys and Girls 

-Mountain Camp Marin 
-Steve and Kate’s Summer Camp 
-Gretchen Klein Piano Lessons 
-Corte Madera Library Ongoing Programs

-Corte Madera Parks and Rec Summer Camps 


58 Mohawk, Corte Madera, CA 94925 | Phone 415-927-6965

The Neil Cummins Weekly is a digital bulletin published by the NC PTO and distributed to the school community each Sunday via email. To submit an article, email the Editor at Articles must be received by Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. in order to be included in the next Sunday's issue.To receive a subscription to The Neil Cummins Weekly or to change your email address, send a note to  Need more information? Contact The Weekly Editor at or visit one of the following websites: 
Neil CumminsLarkspur- Corte Madera School DistrictNeil Cummins PTO or SPARK.


© 2023-2024 Larkspur-Corte Madera School District. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy