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Superintendent » Superintendent's Monthly Update

Superintendent's Monthly Update

Dear Parents,
We have completed a few successful weeks of school and Labor Day weekend is upon us. Los Gatos Schools are off to a great start, and I wanted to provide an end of August update.
School Bus Pilot Program
It's not too late to sign up for the school bus pilot program. Los Gatos parents have said "Yes" to the idea of a School Bus Program from the beginning and seats for the three potential bus routes are filling up fast. There are still a few seats available on each route on a first come, first served basis. Fisher parents in particular may want to take a look at the bus option. This will be a great way to avoid the traffic around the middle school every day. There are only a few days left to sign up, so do not wait. Please visit the website for the schedule and bus stop information:
Fisher Fields Update
The newly installed track and field is complete and looks stunning! However, the grass sod on the field is still taking root and will not be available until October. A new facilities fee was recently adopted by the board that closely resembles the fees that were implemented when the gymnasium complex was built. Fees will increase on a "phase-in" plan to enable proper maintenance of the new facility.
Professional Development
Los Gatos Union School District kicked off the 2018-19 school year with an invigorating day of professional learning. On August 14th, all LGUSD teachers participated in three conference-style sessions. Highlights of the day included sessions on cyber security/website accessibility, introductions to new curriculum materials in English Language Arts, supporting student engagement using technology tools, art integration, mathematical fluency, social-emotional learning, and managing the digital classroom.
Chemical Herbicides and Pesticides
In past years, the Los Gatos Union School District has used Roundup weed killer to control weed growth around the perimeter of school sites. It was used sparingly, mostly along perimeter fencing, and was applied only during school breaks by a licensed applicator in accordance with the Healthy Schools Act and the Department of Pesticide Regulations.
Due to increasing concerns about the use of Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, the Los Gatos Union School District, beginning July 1, 2018, eliminated the use of Roundup and all Glyphosate products at all sites and removed it from the District's list of pesticides on the District's IPM plan.
In addition, beginning immediately, all chemical-based pesticide and herbicide products will be replaced with natural and organic alternatives.
Classroom Visits
Since school has begun, I've had the opportunity to visit several classrooms across the district and to observe lessons. Among some highlights: kindergarten students singing their hearts out, 2nd grade growth mindset instructional program, middle school science activities/labs, counseling social emotional development lessons for elementary grades, and rich literacy instruction to name just a few. Teachers are off to a great start and the instructional lessons are thoughtfully prepared and expertly delivered.
Theme for the Year
At the August 13th Opening Day program for staff, I shared the theme for the coming year. With the instability of the past year, the highest priority is "healing and building relationships". Throughout my eighteen years as superintendent, I've continually observed that when staff and parents develop a relationship of trust, anything is possible. In other words, there is not a mountain "too high" or a problem too severe that cannot be tackled.
I hope you all have a nice upcoming Labor Day weekend with your families.
Yours in education,
Paul Johnson