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Superintendent's Newsletter - November Edition

Posted Date: 11/08/23 (6:02 PM)

Superintendent's Newsletter - November

November is National Gratitude Month

Gratitude is defined by Webster as readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. National Gratitude Month in November encourages us to embrace the power of gratitude. Gratitude is more than simply saying “thank you.” Gratitude's amazing powers have the ability to shift us from focusing on the negative to appreciating what is positive in our lives. Research has shown that gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress, and drastically improve our overall level of health and wellbeing. Practicing daily gratitude gives us a deeper connection to ourselves and the world around us. The powers of gratitude have the ability to shift us from focusing on the negative to appreciating what is positive in our lives. This being said, I encourage all students and staff, and their families, to practice daily gratitude this month, and every month, and just maybe we will all find peace and happiness as we begin this holiday season.

As the winter holiday season approaches please be mindful that this means something different for each student in our district. For some it means travel to a warm and sunny destination, or to a relative's home to celebrate with family. For others it may mean days spent home alone as parents are working, hunger as school meals are not available for the week, or for some, loneliness and sadness.  Please speak to your children about always treating others with compassion and kindness, especially at this time of year, as someone's suffering is not always visible.  

MUSD Upcoming Holiday Break Dates

Thanksgiving Break:  Monday November 20, through Friday November 24

Winter Break:  Thursday, 12/21/23 ½ day for all schools
Fri. 12/22/23 - Wed 1/09/24 School Closed
Staff Dev Day for Certificated Employees (no students) 01/09/24
1/10/2024 School resumes for students
Martin Luther King Day:  Monday 01/15/24  

Extended Vacation during the holidays and Independent Study

If there are plans to travel and your child will be missing 3 or more days of school, please be sure to make arrangements for Independent Study through the school's main office. This should be done at least a week or two ahead of time in order to give teachers enough time to put together lessons and work. When the work is turned in, upon your child's return, they will receive both academic and attendance credit and learning loss will be minimized.

Last week the California Department of Education released statewide 2022-23 results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP).  I am pleased that overall, our students have performed higher than the Contra Costa County and State of California averages in English Language Arts, mathematics and science This can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of our staff, providing intervention both in and out of the classroom, along with the support of our parent community in ensuring students attend school and complete out of class assignments. Although the MUSD students have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels of academic performance, they are moving in the right direction. 
Below is a quick comparison chart of the MUSD, Contra Costa and the State of California student results.  T For more specific information by school site or by sub groups, please click on the link referenced above and enter the information required.   Then number equates to the percentage of students district wide who scored as proficient or above.

Contra Costa State of CA
ELA 52.55% 50.45% 46.66%
Math 40.85% 39.87% 34.62%
Science 36.80% 34.88% 30.18%

English Language Learner Reclassification Celebration!
On November 14 at 5:30 pm, MUSD is hosting its 2nd Annual Reclassification Celebration Ceremony. Over 50 students will be celebrated for demonstrating proficiency in the English language. The night will include a special surprise performance and an awards ceremony.
Helen Rossi
Martinez Unified School District