PRINCIPAL’S APRIL LETTER

Dear Hidden Valley Learning Community,

 

I hope you enjoyed the extra time you had with your child during Spring Break. It’s hard to believe we are heading into the home stretch of the school year.

 

April is Autism Awareness Month! Hidden Valley will celebrate Autism Awareness Day on Friday, April 8th. Students will participate in a number of activities intended to raise awareness about Autism. Each Wednesday during April we are encouraging everyone in our school community to “Light It Up Blue” by wearing as much blue as possible. Please take advantage of this valuable opportunity to ask your child about their experiences and what they are learning about Autism.

 

We will have at least two School Site Council (SSC) positions open for parents for the 2016-17 school year. SSC is a committee made up of parents, teachers, and school staff (including the principal), that makes decisions about how the school’s funding will be spent. It is very important that we have committed parents to serve in this role. Please contact me at gortonr@mdusd.org for more information if you are interested in serving on the SSC.

 

Recently, some individuals have been bringing their dogs onto campus. Please be aware that per MDUSD policy and for safety reasons, dogs are not allowed on school premises. If you bring a dog with you, please be sure to remain off campus. I appreciate your cooperation. Also, please do not allow your child to play on the play structure before or after school. We do not have teacher supervision available at those times.

 

Thank you for entrusting us with your child or children. Our goal is to help all students reach their full potential. We appreciate all you do to support your child’s success at Hidden Valley.

 

Sincerely,

Rich Gorton

PRINCIPAL’S MARCH MESSAGE

Dear Hidden Valley Learning Community,

It’s hard to believe we are already well into March, heading towards the end of the school year. The March weather forecast is calling for more rain. Please keep in mind that umbrellas create problems and safety issues at school. In addition to some students using their umbrellas as swords or light sabers, they also drip water on the floor, and often get misplaced or left behind. It’s preferable for your child to wear a raincoat with a hood instead of bringing an umbrella to school.

The Warren W. Eukel Teacher Trust, which honors outstanding Contra Costa County K-12 classroom teachers, is now accepting nominations for its 2016 awards.  Each year, the Eukel Teacher Trust honors three award winners, each of whom receives a check for $10,000.00.  To apply, please complete this nomination form. Additional information is available at www.eukeltrust.org   I encourage anyone who knows an outstanding teacher to submit a nomination. Please email, fax, or mail your nomination form by May 15, 2016.

At our February School Site Council meeting, we approved this year’s Safety Plan. In reviewing the plan with local law enforcement, we were strongly encouraged to keep the back gate near the open space locked during the day. If you enter through that gate in the morning, please be aware that it will be locked from now on. The gate near the Hidden Valley Park parking lot will remain open.

There are a few other safety concerns that we have noticed after school lets out. Students should not play on the play structures, or out in front of the school, and no child should ever be picked up in the red zone. Any student who is being picked up after school should wait at the far end of the south staff parking lot near the traffic duty supervisor. All other students should leave campus once school ends unless they have a valid reason to remain on campus.

Thank you so much for entrusting us with your child or children. Our number one priority is to create a safe environment so we can successfully meet all students’ academic and social needs. We appreciate all that you do to support your child’s success at Hidden Valley.

Sincerely,

Rich Gorton

PRINCIPAL GORTON’S FEBRUARY MESSAGE

Dear Hidden Valley Learning Community,

It’s hard to believe we are half way through winter and heading towards spring. February is a short month, but it will be filled with plenty of learning, and fun activities. Please look for information throughout the month from your child’s teacher, in the PFC Monday Memos, and on the Hidden Valley website at http://hves-mdusd-ca.schoolloop.com/.

You may have noticed some new faces on campus recently. Please join me in welcoming three new staff members. Carolyn Kreuscher, retired MDUSD principal, will be filling in for Ms. Fairholm while she is out on maternity leave. Our new Intermediate Typist Clerk, Gisele Hayes, has taken over the receptionist’s responsibilities in the front office, replacing Morgan Maras. Ms. Hayes worked most recently at Meadow Homes, and before that she was at Oak Grove Middle School. Maricelys Nieves is our new full-time Speech Therapist. She replaces Lori Bass. All three bring valuable experience and lots of positive energy to Hidden Valley. We are very fortunate to have them with us.

If you have been on campus recently you’ve probably noticed the new banners promoting “The Hidden Valley Way”. These are part of our Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) initiative. The messages on the banners come from a behavior matrix that was created last year by our PBIS team, which is made up of teachers, administrators, classified staff, and our counselor. Please help support our efforts by reminding your child to follow the four basic expectations, to be safe, respectful, responsible, and kind, and to follow all the instructions listed on the banners.

As we begin the second half of the school year, I’d like to mention a few basic safety reminders for parents. When driving, please follow all posted rules and laws. Do not park or pick up students in the red zones, and please, NO U-Turns on Glacier Drive in front of the school. Be sure to leave Fido at home, or wait off school grounds if you bring a dog with you when you come to school. Finally, please make sure your child stays off the play structure before and after school. Unfortunately, we do not have supervision available during those times to ensure children’s safety.

Thank you so much for entrusting us with your child or children. Our number one priority is to create a safe environment so we can successfully meet all students’ academic and social needs. We appreciate all that you do to support your child’s success at Hidden Valley.

 

Sincerely,

Rich Gorton

PRINCIPAL GORTON’S JANUARY MESSAGE

Dear Hidden Valley Community,

Welcome to the New Year! I hope your family has enjoyed the holidays together.

As we resume school in 2016, it is really important for all students to get back into a routine that supports learning and good health. Please help your child be successful by making sure s/he gets plenty of rest, and eats a well-balanced diet.

Mark your calendar for Thursday, January 28. Amy McClane from Soul Shoppe will be at Hidden Valley from 6:30-8:00 pm for a parent night presentation in the library. Come learn how you can use Soul Shoppe tools to help support your child. We will show a movie (with supervision provided) for students in the multi-use room.

I’ve received a number of messages from parents who have expressed concerns about safety in the back parking lot. If you use the back lot, please keep the following in mind:

  • Always use caution; drive slowly in and out of the lot at all times
  • Park only in designated spots (please do not park in disabled spots unless you have a placard)
  • If you back into a spot, be sure to leave enough room for pedestrians to use the sidewalk

I would encourage anyone who witnesses someone breaking the law to contact the Martinez Police Department. Please be prepared to provide the make, model, and license plate number so the police are able to trace the vehicle.

In January, all students will be taking the iReady English Language Arts and math diagnostic tests. These tests will help measure the academic progress your child has made since the first diagnostic tests were administered back in September. Students will continue working on iReady lessons at school. We encourage all students to use the iReady program at home as well. You can find the iReady link on the Hidden Valley website under the Homepage Locker. Your child is familiar with the process to log in. You can also log in by following this link https://login.i-ready.com/. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions.

Intra-district applications (grades 1-5) are available until January 15, 2016 at the school sites, on the web site @ mdusd.org, and at the District Office, 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA  94519 in the Welcome Center, Room 1.  The deadline to apply for an intra-district transfer is January 15, 2016. The deadline for Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten is March 1, 2016.  NO APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THESE DUE DATES.

Here is to a productive and prosperous New Year. Thank you for entrusting us with your child or children. It is our pleasure and privilege to teach and spend time with them each day. We appreciate all you do to support your child’s success at Hidden Valley.

 

Sincerely,

Rich Gorton