Welcome to the 2019-2020 School Year!

By: Ronan Collver, Brisbane School District Superintendent, rcollver@brisbanesd.org

I often tell people that the first day of school is by far my favorite school day. The energy level of the students and staff is always very high as the excitement of a new beginning is upon us. The key is finding ways to keep that enthusiasm and energy up throughout the school year. I suggest staying in contact with your child’s teacher, participating in school activities, and taking an active role in your child’s education. The site administrators as well as myself are here to assist whenever possible.
We have some changes this year in the Brisbane School District that I would like to share with you. Due to enrollment being up at both Panorama Elementary School and Brisbane Elementary School, we welcome two new teachers. Jamie Lerner at BES and Katherine Tang at Panorama. Both will be teaching 3rd grade at their respective schools. With the increase in school populations, we found it necessary to hire additional staff to keep our class sizes at manageable numbers. Ms. Heather Carr relocated out of the area this summer, and we were fortunate to hire Dina Warren just prior to the start of the school year. Panorama also has a new Special Education resource teacher, Wendy Ferrigno, who filled the vacancy left by Miranda Calkins. Jennifer Roberts returns to BSD to serve as our School Psychologist. We are all very happy to have her back in the District. I am also proud to introduce two new paraprofessionals to our District. Both are new as employees, however, not new to our community. Amanda Foulds will serve as a paraprofessional at BES and James Fletcher has been assigned to Lipman Middle School.
I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank Andrea Katotokis for her many years of service in the District as well as welcome Traci Storer to her new position in the District as the Principal of BES. Ms. Storer’s departure from Lipman left the District searching for a new 8th grade teacher. Dan Herve was hired this summer as the newest member of the Lipman family.
We were fortunate to purchase a new school bus this summer, and we can’t wait for the children to use it for field trips as BSD strongly supports “being there” experiences for our students. As with all new school busses, our new bus is fully equipped with seat belts. Our very own Martin Gonzalez is will be finishing up his school bus driver requirements and will have the bus on the road early this Fall.
Our staff is very dedicated to always improving their trade and becoming students themselves. This year our District will continue our pursuit of educating ourselves and our students on the very important concept of equity and anti-bias teaching. Anti-bias Teaching: What does it mean to be a social justice educator? This interactive professional development will stretch our understanding and application of the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards. Through independent, partner and small group work, we’ll explore what social justice educators do—the big areas of our work and the practices that accompany them. We’ll also investigate how beliefs and ideology are the single most important factor to successfully reaching and teaching all students, and we’ll consider our individual, ongoing professional and personal learning goals. Time will be spent lesson planning through exploration of the lesson plans, learning plans, student facing texts and instructional strategies found on tolerance.org.
Another key professional development topic for this school year is science. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are K–12 science content standards. Standards set the expectations for what students should know and be able to do. The NGSS were developed by states to improve science education for all students. These standards give local educators the flexibility to design classroom learning experiences that stimulate students’ interests in science and prepares them for college, careers, and citizenship. You can find more information on these standards at https://www.nextgenscience.org.
Our custodian and groundskeeper crew have been working hard all summer to prepare our facilities for our students and staff. I appreciate the hard work and long hours they put in all summer long to make repairs and create a clean and welcome environment.
I look forward to seeing many of you through the school year and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. rcollver@brisbanesd.org