August 1, 2013
Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year. I am delighted to usher in the new school year and greet all of our returning and new students. This new year is sure to include its share of celebrations and challenges. Benjamin Franklin once said, “When you're finished changing, you're finished.” This quote sums up a possible theme for this year, change. We have many new and exciting changes to our educational program that we hope will make this year a memorable one for our students. Another exciting change to our school is the arrival of new teachers and staff members who are all very eager to become active members of our community. One significant change that could come this year involves the autonomy model that governs our school. However, one thing that will remain constant is my commitment to work with my staff to create a learning environment here at Carpenter that is both challenging and nurturing for our students.
With the support of our Carpenter Governance Council, teaching staff, PFC and the hard work of our amazing parents and guardians we all can look forward to the following exciting additions/changes:
- Over one hundred iPads on carts available for K-5 classroom use
- Over 30 iPads designated for our science lab
- Six iPads designated for our library to be used for Accelerated Reader
- New risers in the auditorium for chorus and performances
- Additional Fourth Grade classroom teacher (third consecutive year)
- New play areas painted on the main playground
- Dance enrichment class has moved to room 41
- Music enrichment has moved to room 5
- Two additional offices created for our Resource Program (Special Education) & Intervention in rooms 46A & 47A
- New lunch tables
- And more!
Each year brings change to our staff as teachers retire or relocate. One of my most important responsibilities at Carpenter is to work closely with our school’s hiring committee to recruit the best and the brightest educators to instruct our students. This is a responsibility that I embrace wholeheartedly time we conduct our personnel searches. To that end, I am very pleased to introduce two new teachers, Mrs. Carissa Larsen - 3rd grade & Ms. Mackenzie Messer - 4th grade, to our staff. Both of these teachers are thrilled to join the Carpenter community. In preparation for their new teaching assignments Mrs. Larsen and Ms. Messer attended the National Conference of Singapore Math as well as the Write...From the Beginning expert training over the summer. Their attendance at these conferences illustrates their commitment to our school initiatives and their desire to be future leaders on our staff. In addition to these two new teachers, I am very happy to introduce Mr. Hector Mejia as our school’s new Resource Teacher. Mr. Mejia previously served as our part-time Resource Teacher (Special Education) last year. He will now oversee our Resource Program to ensure that all of our students who qualify for additional support in language arts and mathematics receive those services. Mr. Mejia’s full-time assistant will be Mrs. Yumi Froelich. who also served our school last year as a part-time special education assistant. These new staff members will all make a positive impact on our school.
The winds of change are also coming to all affiliated charter schools. The general consensus by the leadership at LAUSD is that this school year will be the final year that the District will agree to fund affiliated charters differently than regular LAUSD schools. The District’s reasoning for this is that the governor’s budget that was recently approved gives local school districts more authority over funding schools. Superintendent Deasy has made it clear that his funding model for schools will not include the affiliated model after the 2013-2014 school year. Superintendent Deasy has outlined a few autonomy models that he will support moving forward. Last Spring, our school’s Governance Council created an Autonomy Research Committee that attended a series of meetings with the District to learn about all of the particulars of each model. Over the summer, that fact-finding continued in anticipation of a formal recommendation to our school’s Governance Council in August. I encourage everyone to attend our Council meetings or stay informed by reading the Council’s meeting minutes on our website and get involved in this change process.
There is a great deal of change to be excited about for the upcoming year. I am very eager to collaborate with our school community to guide Carpenter into the future. Like all of you, I am committed to ensuring that Carpenter remain a source of pride for the Studio City community and a leader among elementary schools for many years to come.
Joseph P. Martinez