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October 2017

Superintendent's Message

Welcome to October! 

Thank you to all who showed your support for our schools at the 2017 Run for Education. SRVUSD would not be what it is without the support of our wonderful community. I had a great time at my second SRVEF Run for Education…even though my time was a bit slower this year. The enthusiasm and positivity at the event was a great start my day! I hope everyone, even our virtual runners, enjoyed the day as much as I did. Lastly, I want to thank the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation for organizing this great event. We are grateful to have their partnership and support in promoting education in our community.

October 2017

Personalized Learning: Flexibility and Options for Middle and High School Students, Staff and Parents


The San Ramon Valley Unified School District is exploring a number of personalized learning ideas that focus on flexibility and options for middle and high school students in the coming years. These ideas all focus on the following vision:

  • Increase student, staff and family options
  • Improve student wellness (reduce overscheduling and student stress)
  • Reduce class size with no increase in general fund expense

Information about these ideas were shared in Superintendent Rick Schmitt's column and can be found here. In addition, there is a webpage on the District website dedicated to Personalized Learning that may be found at

Parents of all levels are encouraged to learn more about these ideas and ask questions at the Superintendent's Fall MeetingsPlease note, a second evening option has been added to the schedule. There will also be a survey administered later this fall to gather feedback from students, parents and staff. The District has setup an online form to gather questions and input. In addition, there is a list of online Questions & Answers that will be updated regularly. 


Report a Concern

Report a concern

There is a new section on the District website titled, “Report a Concern.” The section provides information on following subjects:

  • Title IX and Sex Discrimination 
  • Uniform Complaints
  • Williams Act Complaints
  • Concerns against personnel
  • Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination 

As part of this new section, there is a “Report a Concern” page and button. The button links to a form that may be filled out by parents, staff and community members. Once completed, the form is sent to the Director of Student Services, Ken Nelson, for review before being sent to the appropriate person for resolution. The purpose of this form is to have one place for our community to go when they have concerns. There is plenty of space to describe the concern and suggest a solution.

To view this new section on the website, click here.

If you have any questions, please email


SRVUSD Teacher Named Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year!

marissa ware

On Thursday, September 28, John Baldwin Elementary School teacher, Marissa Ware, was named a Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year at the Contra Costa County Office of Education's Teacher of the Year Ceremony. Also representing SRVUSD was finalist Kelly Giotta of Gale Ranch Middle School.

Ware has been with SRVUSD since 2000. As a 2nd grade teacher at John Baldwin Elementary, she creates an engaging classroom environment where students experience hands-on learning through cross-curricular lessons. As a literacy coach, she facilitates professional development that supports teachers in developing creative strategies that support student growth. Congratulations, Marissa!


Suicide Prevention Presentation on October 23


The District is rolling out an updated Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention Plan during the 2017-2018 school year as part of its compliance with AB 2246

Four school psychologists (with support from SRVUSD counselors and administrators) are creating a District document based on Palo Alto Unified School District’s Suicide Prevention Toolkit.

As part of the District’s comprehensive approach toward suicide prevention, there will be a Suicide Prevention presentation on Monday, October 23 at 7 p.m. in the California High School Theater for the parent community.

The presentation is a general overview and introduction to suicide prevention where participants explore the issue of suicide, learn current suicide related statistics, how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, and how to get help.

For more information, visit the Contra Costa Crisis Center website.


October is Digital Citizenship Month

The week of October 16-20, 2017 is focused on Digital Citizenship. But here in SRVUSD we think this topic is so important that we will be sharing tips with our families throughout the month of October. We are trying something new this year by offering parents, students and staff the opportunity to receive a text message each week with information about helping students learn to be good Digital Citizens. Each text message will include information, an activity to do with your child, and additional resources. 

These text messages through are optional. If you are interested, you can sign up by either sending a text message or using the join code with the Remind app on your phone.

  • For Elementary Schools: Text the code: @98g32b  to the phone #: 81010 or use the app link:
  • For Middle Schools: Text the code: @8fb8kh  to the phone #: 81010 or use the app link:
  • For High Schools: Text the code: @34cffb to the phone #: 81010  or use the app link:

In addition to signing up for our text messages, parents can take some simple steps created by Common Sense Education to celebrate kids using technology safely, responsibly, and respectfully:

  1. Take the Digital Citizenship for All Pledge.

Take the pledge

  1. Ask your kids to create their own pledges.

    Encourage your kids to write their own personal pledges about being good digital citizens in their everyday lives. A pledge could take the form of a motto or a slogan, a song, or a rap. It can rhyme, but it doesn't have to.

    Download activity sheet

  2. Have a #DeviceFreeDinner.

    Digital citizenship doesn't end in the classroom. Home environments also shape kids' relationships with technology. While we promote technology use for learning, fun, and bringing people together, it's also important to balance media and tech use with undistracted face-to-face time.

    Try the #DeviceFreeDinner challenge with your families to drive home the message of balance with device use:

Culturally Responsive Speaker Series

speaker series

As part of our ongoing efforts to support diversity and equity in SRVUSD, the District organized the Culturally Responsive Speaker Series. Education and communication are essential to help foster dialogue around the challenges that divide. The goal is to create a community that values diversity, embraces our differences and builds partnerships based on trust, respect and mutual understanding. 


All presentations are from 4p.m.-5:30 p.m. and are free to attend.



Olivia Higgins 

LGBTQ Inclusion in School Culture, on Campus & in the Classroom

California High School Theater



Ameena Jandali

Understanding Muslim students: Fostering an Inclusive Environment

California High School Theater


Additional Sessions may be added. Please check our website for updates. 


Two SRVUSD Brothers Develop App to Help Students with Learning Disabilities

can due
can due

 “Executive function is a challenge – Let’s change that together!”--Austin and Kyle Chan

Austin Chan, a 2017 Monte Vista High School (MVHS) graduate and his brother, Kyle, a junior at MVHS, started CanDueTM to make a difference to students with learning disabilities.

Austin has learning disabilities of auditory processing, ADD and executive function.  Despite working hard and his desire to do well in school, Kyle witnessed Austin's difficulties and increased amount of time planning his homework with their parents rather than spending time studying the academic subject itself. There were periods of frustration within the family but Kyle believed there must be a better way.

CanDueTM assists students with executive function challenges that include analyzing, planning, prioritizing, scheduling and remembering assignments and tasks. The software will help students plan, schedule, remind students of homework assignments and provide access to teachers and parents of a student’s homework planning progress. As always, parents and teachers will need to be involved in assisting students with executive function issues but this technology can help!

Their work has involved learning about students, parents and teacher needs, designing the software with input from educational professionals, determining software features, logic, and then working with technology experts to develop the software. With the help of business and technology executives, they have learned about planning, budgeting, making decisions, and managing resources.

With hard work and determination, outstanding San Ramon School District teachers, strong Special Needs department and supportive parents, Austin is off to a good start in college now! 

They are conducting a beta and invite interested teachers and parents to join them. 

Interested in learning more about CanDue TM? Email


Mark Your Calendars: SRVUSD Student Art Show

art show

The Town of Danville presents the upcoming student art show, titled “Face It.” This is a collaborative art show involving high school students from across the SRVUSD. It’s sure to impress—we hope to see you there!

The SRVEF Run for Education

run for ed

‚ÄčOn Sunday, October 1, students, parents, staff and community members from all over the San Ramon Valley participated in the 2017 Run for Education. The Run for Education has been a tradition in the San Ramon Valley for 34 years. It is the primary fund-raising activity for the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation. SRVEF helps support and promote education in our community and is a partner of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. Thank you to everyone who volunteered and participated in this year's run!

run for ed