Welcome Back Letter from Principal, Jeanne Acuña

Dear Cali families,

I am thrilled to welcome our new Cali families and returning families back to another wonderful school year at Cali Calmecac! Over the past few weeks I have had the pleasure of greeting staff members who are enthusiastically looking forward to a new year filled with the challenge of implementing the new Common Core Standards. Many have attended trainings and workshops and are excited to share what they have learned with students and their fellow colleagues.  

Hola and Adios
Last year, we said goodbye to two long-time employees, Catalina Coello and Irene Luna, I know you all join me in wishing them well in retirement.  Maestras Ziff and Ferreira each left the area and are now teaching in Menlo Park and Santa Maria respectively.  Maestra Aida Diaz has fulfilled a long held dream and has accepted a position as principal at Biella Elementary in Santa Rosa. Our loss is certainly their new school’s gain. As you come to campus, you will notice many new faces.

We have returned to 20:1 in our kindergarten through 3rd grade classes, necessitating additional sections at each grade level,  and resulting in the need to hire additional teachers.  After an incredibly busy summer seeking out and hiring highly qualified new classroom, Special Education and enrichment teachers, a full time psychologist, paraprofessionals and office staff, I am pleased to announce that we now have 14 new staff members and we are still hiring! Just yesterday we were notified that the school board has approved hiring a much-needed school counselor to support our students academically and socially! Please watch for the first newsletter, in which we will introduce all of our new employees.

PTA, Be Smart and Move-a-thon
Please be sure to join the amazing Cali PTA this year! Thanks to the support of PTA and the fundraising efforts of our Cali families (Move-a-thon and Be Smart campaign) and a grant received through the Santa Rosa Symphony, we are very excited to offer music instruction in the form of recorders (song flutes) in the 3-5th grades. This grant also provides a number of assemblies with visiting performers and many more musical experiences for our students.  In conjunction with district funding the Be Smart campaign, our 7-8th grade students will now have the option of selecting chorus as an elective. 

Thanks also to the Be Smart campaign, students across several grade levels will be creating exciting art projects provided by new art curriculum. We look forward to an art exhibition some time this year showcasing student work!

Money raised through Cali fundraising efforts also will partially sustain our garden and nutrition program allowing our students to plant care for and prepare tasty treats from the garden. A special thank you is due all of the parents and friends who supported our school gardens by watering and caring for our gardens over the summer, they are gorgeous! The efforts of students guided by Sue McQuiddy, our garden coordinator have paid off with many fruits and vegetables planted in the spring awaiting our kids as they return to classes. 

These dollars also are funding a tech assistant to support teachers and students in the computer lab.

In combination with Common Core dollars received from the state, we have been able to use Be Smart dollars to order an additional cart of iPads, giving more classrooms access to technology.

Changes on Campus
As we return, you may notice some changes! The floor in the boys’ bathroom near the kinder and first grade classrooms has been replaced and the floor in room 3 has received a much-needed repair.  

Our long-awaited Scholar Garden near the library is coming together beautifully and is finally nearing completion thanks in large part to the Wallace family.

We now have wireless access throughout the campus thanks to the efforts of the WUSD technology department. During the summer over 20 Internet routers were installed providing all classrooms access.

You will also notice that we are using every available space to house classes!  What was our nutrition room now serves multiple purposes as a staff room/nutrition room and Boys and Girls Club home base.  In this packet you will also see an updated site map that indicates moves and new assignments.

We are excited with all the changes and moves at our school!  We are looking forward to yet another fabulous year at Cali Calmécac Language Academy.

Con cariño,  Jeanne Acuña