Principals and PTA Presidents’ Task Force Meeting Update

October 25, 2010

Dear Parents,

The issue of equity in enrichment programs among the three Albany elementary schools has been a recent topic at the AUSD Board meetings, as well as in our communities. In an effort to work together to ensure consistent, high quality enrichment programs for all elementary schools in the district, a Task Force consisting of AUSD Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Lynda Hornada, and the Cornell, Marin and Ocean View Schools Principals and PTA Presidents has been formed. The Task Force has met twice, and this letter will provide you with background information on what has been discussed, what the Task Force's plan is for future meetings, and how you can be part of the discussion.

The Task Force has only begun its work, but we have already covered a lot of ground. In two meetings, we have discussed the AUSD School Board's strategic plan to establish equity across the three sites; traditional PTA-funded enrichment programs at each school, including music, art, chess, field trips and noontime activities; the types of programs that are important to each site and how the programs were decided upon; funding at each site, including donations to schools, classrooms, SchoolCARE, fundraising, grants and gifts; how funds are allocated to classrooms and programs; and different funding models we might use to establish a joint fundraising effort. We have also shared our PTA budgets, and are working on establishing a compilation of these budgets into one document, with common naming conventions for similar line items, that will outline the sites' common area of spending and differences. The compiled budgets will be analyzed by the School Board during the November 16 Special Study Session.

In future meetings, the Task Force will discuss our budgets in detail, with analysis on similarities and differences, our plans for enrichment programs that are conducted during the school day, and collaborative fundraising to ensure enrichment funding continues.

We know parents' input is crucial to helping shape the outcome of these meetings. The AUSD School Board has established a special study session at their November 16, 2010 meeting to discuss Equity in Albany for students in K-5 grades. We are asking you to help the Board define equity, and to brainstorm ways the schools can fundraise to help ensure all three sites have the enrichment programs of their choice. The School Board meets at Albany City Hall Council Chambers at 1000 San Pablo Avenue from 7:30-10pm, but the study session will take place from 5:30-7pm that evening. We strongly urge you to attend this meeting, and bring your ideas.

For a list of Task Force participants and copies of the Task Force meeting minutes, please visit the AUSD District website at http://ausdk12.org/. For questions regarding this effort, please contact the PTA President at your child's school. We look forward to the positive result these meetings will bring to all of our children, and thank you for your help in this endeavor.

Best regards,
Principals and PTA Presidents' Task Force
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