Monday, 17 June 2024

Where we’re headed

Dr. Becky Salato, superintendent of Konocti Unified School District. Courtesy photo.

It’s May, which means both students and teachers are getting excited about summer break! Before we start sipping lemonade by the pool, we have a few things to do first.

May is when we administer state testing, so it’s extra important for students to get plenty of sleep and eat a good breakfast so their brains are processing at full capacity.

May and June are also the time of year we celebrate student transitions, from kindergarteners who are completing their first year of school to graduating seniors who are contemplating their college and career choices.

Healthy end-of-year ceremonies

Regardless of a student’s age and stage, we like to celebrate the end of school, to look back on all we’ve accomplished and to look forward to the opportunities ahead.

Thanks to our partnership with Blue Zones Lake County, our end-of-year celebrations will be fun and healthy.

In fact, our Blue Zones partners will join us at some campuses to offer activities like the art bike (kids pedal on the stationary bicycle and their motion sprays paint onto a canvas to create beautiful images) and a fruit scavenger hunt.

We love partnering with Blue Zones because their approach is all about making healthy options easier and more attractive. When healthy food tastes good and healthy activities are fun, it’s not hard to get kids on board.

Graduation ceremonies

Mark your calendars now to support our graduates.

• Alternative Education (Carle, Lewis, and Blue Heron) — May 31 at 6 p.m. at the Lower Lake High School football field.
• Konocti Education Center (KEC) — June 1 at 6 p.m. at the Cornelison Education Center.
• Lower Lake High School — June 2 at 7 p.m. at the Lower Lake High School football field.

Summer facilities maintenance
While students are off enjoying summer vacation, we’ll give our campuses a little tender loving care, anything from new blacktops on the playground to new paint inside and out, depending on what’s needed.

Summer school for students

Some students use summer as a time to catch up or get ahead academically. We’re offering summer school from June 26 through July 21 (with no school on July 3-4 for Independence Day); Gregory Fister will be the administrator.

Our elementary summer school (transitional kindergarten through seventh grade) will be held at Burns Valley School. Our secondary summer school (eighth grade through twelfth grade) will be held at Lower Lake High school.

The elementary summer school is open on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visit or contact your student’s school for details. The secondary summer school is primarily for credit recovery to support students who have fallen behind. Other secondary offerings will include some special education classes and career and technical education classes.

Summer school for teachers

Students are not the only ones who will have opportunities to keep learning and growing this summer. Our teachers will dive into professional development. We are taking 80 educators to AVID training. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.

The program was originally developed in San Diego in 1980 by English teacher Mary Catherine Swanson, who challenged the belief that the low-income students being bussed to her school couldn’t achieve at similar levels to the other students. The simple philosophy of raising expectations and giving students the support they need has proven extremely effective.

Some educators will also deepen their knowledge via Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling, or LETRS.

This training is based on the science of reading research and provides information about what literacy skills need to be taught, why, and how to plan to teach them. The science of reading focuses on five big ideas: kids’ ability to identify sounds in spoken words, understanding how letters and groups of letters link to sounds, the ability to read words and phrases with speed and expression, knowing what words mean, and understanding what they are reading overall.

Preparing for fall: Transitional kindergarten

For the 2023-24 school year, we’ll offer a transitional kindergarten, or TK, class at each elementary school.

For TK in 2023-24, students must turn five years old between Sept. 2 and April 2. Registration is open now.

We are on the home stretch as we finish the school year. Please help your student finish strong and let us know how we can support you.

Dr. Becky Salato is superintendent of Konocti Unified School District.

Editor's note: The date for the Lower Lake High School graduation has been corrected.

The art bike. Courtesy photo.

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