May 23, 2013
Dear Community Members,
It is with great pleasure that I write this letter updating you on the progress toward our new school and inviting you to participate in a special kickoff event from 9:00-11:00 a.m. on June 1 in the San Clemente Gym.
First, our school now has a name - The Cove School! This winter and spring, a Naming Committee went through a thorough process that resulted in a name recommendation that the Board of Trustees approved last night. Thank you to everyone who took part in the process of naming our school. This was an important and exciting step in creating the school’s identity. We will think of this new name as a new beginning and the name San Clemente will be an important part of our school’s history.
Now it’s time to fine tune the program and culture of The Cove School. What are your ideas? What do you want your children or our community’s children to get out of their learning experience? Join us on June 1 to celebrate and build community, hear about some of the amazing practices happening in education around the country (and world!), document our values regarding education, brainstorm possible program elements, talk about what your needs are as we open a new school, and brainstorm what committee work needs to happen in the next 12-14 months. This event will be for adults.
The District has already taken many steps to prepare for the new school. Last year, we engaged in a design process to create a building plan that fosters flexibility, collaboration, transparency, connectedness and a healthy learning environment. The buildings are marked by walls that open and close between two spaces, forming a learning suite that can be shared by two teachers. This year, we have three sets of teachers at Neil Cummins who are teaching collaboratively, and each pair looks a little different. At the new Cove School, the building will allow for various types of collaboration between teachers and students.
It is now time to begin working on making our new school unique and excellent. I have already been exploring and exchanging ideas with some of the great minds in education to take full advantage of the opportunity we have before us. Given our reality that we are preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist, we know that our most important job is to produce thinkers, problem solvers, collaborators, innovators. How do we best do that? There are so many paths we can explore, and ultimately, it will be a school that has its own unique identity and one that includes evidence-based best practices that we cull together.
The process of developing a program and culture will be the work of a committee including teachers, parents, and community members. There will be opportunities for public input as well. The committee will be identified in June and will meet to review/list all options and ideas that have surfaced. Using the District’s priorities, educational research, and your feedback from June 1, the committee will create criteria for evaluating potential programs and practices. They will conduct research and visits as well as convene to discuss options and seek public input. This committee will present regular updates to the Board of Trustees. The program elements will be determined no later than December 2013.
In addition to developing the program and culture of The Cove School, we will begin the process of building this summer! This 14-month construction project will start in early July.
July 1-2: Central Marin Police Authority will use the buildings for practice and training
July 8: Abatement commences
July 8-mid August: Demolition during and following abatement
Mid August: Preparing the ground
August 17: Ground-breaking celebration event. Save the date! More details to come.
Our website link (http://lcmschools.org/domain/275) has information about The Cove School, and this is where I will continue to post new information as it is available. If there is something that is not on the website that you think would be helpful, please let me know.
Our school will have a vibrant, connected, community feeling thanks to all of your positive energy and input. I hope you are as excited as I am to be a part of this very special project.
Principal, The Cove School