Welcome to the 2nd Semester of the 2018-2019 school year! Though every year has its challenges, and every experience is individual, I think this has been a great start! The rearrangement of rooms has promoted grade-level teaming and quieter hallways, we’ve had amazing experiences with mindfulness trainings, guest speakers and more, the Kinesthetic Learning Lab (our REACH program) is a hit, we’ve been digging deep into restorative justice, which has the potential to enhance our already strong school climate, and more!
I thought I’d take this time to remind families that we are a Title I “Schoolwide” School, and what that means. Title I is a federal fund that provides additional money to schools for each child whose family qualifies for free/reduced lunch. The last I heard, it was about $1,500 per child. “Schoolwide” refers to the large percentage of students who qualify for free/reduced lunch - smaller percentages receive Title I “Targeted” dollars.
We use that money to pay for a wide range of things, from reading intervention programs, staff, class size reduction, our clinical psychologist, books, Whoopensocker and other experiences, parent events, field trips, and more. To help you connect names with a budget, Ms. Ashley, Katrina and Fabian (our reading interventionists), Mr. Will, Dr. Jason, Ms. Golden (our Advanced Learning Specialist), and Ms. Joanna all are funded (at least partially) through Title I.
Since we became a “CEP” school, we have seen our Title I dollars reduce. The Community Eligibility Provision means that we have enough students receiving free/reduced lunch that we become an “all free lunch” school. One can understand why fewer people provide documentation that their family would qualify for free/reduced lunch, but it does have an impact on our school - we lost about $50,000 in Title I funding in our first year of becoming a CEP school.
An expectation of any Title I Schoolwide school is to be transparent and inclusive of parent engagement, and this is a part of that effort. In addition to being welcome in the halls or classrooms, you are welcome to engage in school leadership and governance activities. I often share ongoing drafts of our School Improvement Plan at PTO meetings, and solicit feedback and guidance, but I would be happy to share any other information I can that you might be interested in or want to weigh in on. That could include budgets, staffing plans, goals, strategies - anything!
Part of what I’m most proud of at this school is that these principles of transparency and welcoming / inclusion are woven throughout the fabric of our culture, and don’t really need a document like this to happen. But if you’re new to the school, or interested in getting more engaged - please do! We’d welcome your thinking, presence, and contributions!
We take our work seriously at Sandburg, and do our best to offer outstanding opportunities for learning, growth, and forming positive relationships. Feel free to contact us, offer feedback, or arrange a visit!
Brett Wilfrid, Principal