Orinda Union School District Begins Classes Aug. 22
By BILL O’BRIAN
In an effort to keep parents and students up-to-date on the Orinda Union School District (OUSD) and the upcoming 2018-19 school year, The Orinda News sent Superintendent Dr. Carolyn Seaton a series of questions. Her responses follow.
Supporting and developing world-class instruction is a hallmark of OUSD. To that end, there are three professional development days available for all teachers prior to the start of school: August 15, 16 and 20.
On August 15 and 16, OUSD will be offering training for all teachers in a variety of areas including literacy, math, technology integration and other STEAM topics (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics). In addition, OUSD is providing a “New Teacher Boot Camp” to support teachers new to OUSD in understanding the district’s signature practices for teaching reading, writing and mathematics.
Student Safety and Wellness
Orinda Schools are focused on educating the whole child. Framing the district’s work for the 2018-2019 year is the mantra “What You Do Matters.” OUSD’s Curriculum Committee has developed a more comprehensive and cohesive Character Education Framework that emphasizes strong character traits for all students throughout the school year. Also included in the focus on educating the whole child is a strong emphasis on promoting the health and safety of all students. OUSD thanks all four elementary school Parent Clubs for their partnership in funding K-5 counseling services in the upcoming school year.
As the safety of students is the OUSD’s highest priority, all staff will participate in training on Aug. 20 focused on responding to an armed intruder on campus. OUSD Superintendent Dr. Carolyn Seaton and Orinda Police Chief Mark Nagel are partnering to provide training that will incorporate resources from Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit founded and led by family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
Another measure to improve the safety of our school campuses was the recent approval by the OUSD Board to purchase and install two water storage tanks, each with nearly 10,000 gallons of capacity. Based on the recommendation of MOFD Chief Dave Winnacker, one tank will be placed at Sleepy Hollow Elementary, and the other at Wagner Ranch Elementary as these are the two schools at greatest risk for a wildfire.
Welcome Tracey Lewis to Glorietta
The OUSD Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Tracey Lewis to be the new principal of Glorietta Elementary School. The District held a rigorous interview process that involved parents, teachers, staff, administrators, and included a visit to Glorietta classrooms. Lewis rose to the top of a competitive field of highly qualified candidates and joins Glorietta with glowing references from parents, staff and supervisors. It is clear from their feedback that Lewis is a passionate, thoughtful and collaborative instructional leader.
Lewis comes to Glorietta Elementary with 28 years of experience in public education. She received her Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from U.C. Berkeley and worked in the San Leandro Unified School District as a teacher, reform coordinator and intervention specialist. Most recently, she was principal of Haight Elementary School in the Alameda Unified School District, where she did significant work with STEM/STEAM, social emotional learning, and building a school culture that supports all students to achieve at high levels. Under Ms. Lewis’ leadership, Haight Elementary was named a California Gold Ribbon and Title I Distinguished School in 2016.
To facilitate a successful transition, Lewis will be meeting with retiring Glorietta Principal Ron Langer this summer to tap into his knowledge and insights. We thank Mr. Langer for his years of leadership at Glorietta and appreciate his willingness to support these efforts.
Lewis lives in Alameda with her husband, Kerry Rooney, and their two sons, Liam and Kaelin. She will communicate with Glorietta staff and families in the near future regarding important information for the 2018-2019 school year and opportunities to attend a meet-and-greet event.