Giving Thanks - December 2012
As the year ends I want to reflect on the many things we have to celebrate and reasons to give thanks. First, thanks to the voters of California who supported schools by voting yes on Proposition 30, which kept us from cutting our outstanding programs and staff.
Thanks to our community for their continuing support of our schools. Due to generous parent and community support, our Foundation was able to give over $250,000 to our schools this year.
Thanks to our passionate and committed staff who work every day to reach every student and help them achieve.
Thanks to all of you, our parents, who give and give and give in every way and share your amazing students with us!
And if you have lingering worries this holiday about whether or not our future will be bright, remember our fabulous students who continue to show the world that teenagers are passionate and generous and committed to feeding the hungry, tutoring those who need help, volunteering and raising money for countless organizations and causes. Here are just a few to warm your heart:
- Over a thousand pounds of food for Sunnyvale and West Valley Community Services
- Hundreds of students donating blood at all our schools
- Over $35,000 raised for organizations including Second Harvest Food Bank, March of Dimes, Pennies for Patients, The Red Cross, the international project Life, Love, Literacy and many more.
- Thousands of hours spent reading to children in local libraries and schools, teaching elementary students to play sports, tutoring fellow students, volunteering in local shelters and food kitchens
- Making blankets for premature babies in Lucille Packard Children's hospital
- Collecting warm coats for One Warm Coat
- And much much more...
Wishing you all a peaceful and joyous time to enjoy family and friends.
Polly M. Bove, Superintendent of Schools
The following is a partial of list of organizations and events supported by the volunteer efforts of our amazing students:
|El Camino Hospital, Kaiser Hospital, Stanford Hospital, West Valley Community Services, Cupertino Community Services, Sunnyvale Community Services, Second Harvest Food Bank, multiple church based food kitchens, Sandy Hurricane Relief, Red Cross, Sunnyvale Parks and Rec., SVACA Animal Shelter, Inn Vision Shelter, Cupertino Parks and Rec.||Athletics Unlimited, Books for local libraries, Life-Love-Literacy, Tech Museum, San Jose Family Shelter, West Valley JACL, Japanese American museum, Acterra Nature Preservation, RAFT, Sacred Heart, Operation Care and Comfort, Walk MS, Race to the end of summer, Sunday Friends Holiday Drive, American Cancer Society,||Joplin High School Drama Department (school was decimated by a tornado), Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Trauma Prevention program, Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, Our Daily Bread, Lakewood Community parade, Los Altos Festival of Lights, Men’s Shelter, Pennies for Patients, Teens For Jeans, March of Dimes, Cupertino Teen Center,||West Bay Opera, Rock n Roll Marathon, Color Me Rad, Heart Walk, Sausage Fest, Kidney Walk, Firefly Run, Flower Empower, Full Circle Farm, Our City Forest, Cystic Fibrosis Events, Sunday Friends, Veggielution, San Jose Summer Jazz Fest, Walk for Youth, Light the night, Breath of life Walk, Diabetes Walk, Silicon Valley Marathon, March Madness.|
A Warm welcome to the 2012-13 school year!
We are off to an exciting start with the opening of new outdoor classrooms and track and field facilities at all five schools. Please check the pictures on our website, or better yet join us at a football game or the upcoming Tournament of Bands!
We are growing! In 2010, we had an enrollment of 10,350 students. This year that number jumped to 10,598. In 2016 our projected enrollment is 11,128. With almost 800 additional students coming our way we are working feverishly to get ready to serve them!
We are designing and building! We continue to ensure that our 2008 Bond dollars are well spent!* With the increasing enrollment, new classrooms, science labs, libraries, flexible teaching spaces, cafeterias, and technology are essential. There is a wonderful improvement coming to a school near you.
Can you find your high school’s next project?**
We need positive news from the November election. The passage of Prop 30 and/or 38 would allow us to continue to provide outstanding teachers, advanced science and mathematics, quality programs for English Learners, award winning Business, Engineering, Art and Music programs, college requirements in English, Social Studies and Modern Language that are essential for our students’ success. We have been hanging on since 2007 and have weathered over 20 million dollars is cuts from the state. We are now at the point where we cannot survive the loss of millions of additional dollars that would be taken if one of these initiatives does not pass. No one knows better than all of you what is at risk. So, one more time, on November 6th, please remember to support legislators who are committed to education and initiatives that will help fund our schools.
If you need to convince friends or neighbors to vote, visit our district web page, www.fuhsd.org, for stories about what our amazing students are doing. They will see that public schools are worthy of their investment and their vote.
As always I want to thank you, our parents, for your tireless support and for sharing your incredibly delightful, talented, passionate, energetic, creative and caring teenagers with us. It is an honor to work with you all.
Polly M. Bove, Superintendent of Schools
*Reminder, Bond dollars can only be spent on facilities and equipment, not teachers or operating costs.
**Answers left to right:
1) Monta Vista’s new cafeteria/physic labs/amphitheater 2) Cupertino’s new library/cafeteria/guidance and student services center 3) Lynbrook’s new Global Learning Center/flex lab 4) Fremont’s new Cafeteria/17 classroom building 5) Homestead’s new Field House and large group meeting space. See the Construction Updates section of the website for details!
As graduation arrives, we are especially thrilled that all five schools will be holding their ceremonies on their own home turf! The five long-awaited tracks and fields will be looking their best for this special event. This year’s Class of 2012 has continued the Fremont Union High School District’s tradition of stellar student achievements, local and worldwide community service. Graduation will be our chance to share our pride in these remarkable young people who are the promise of a bright future. Take a moment to check our website fuhsd.org to learn about some of our student stars!
The class of 2012 is notable for another reason. This class began its freshman year in the fall of 2008 when our nation and our state was in the early stages of what has become one of the longest periods of financial challenge in our history. So far we have been able to work with all our employee groups to control expenses and use reserves to continue to offer the outstanding education we all value. I worry that if we cannot turn the tide on our state issues, we will not be able to maintain the exceptional classes and diverse options that will allow the classes of 2013, 2014, 2015 and beyond to excel. Our ability to remain “whole” for next year hinges on the November election, where you will have several options to vote for initiatives that support education and avoid drastic cuts. It may surprise you to know that our district has weathered almost 20 million in lost revenue since 2007-08. Those one-time reserves are running dry and all we value is at risk: outstanding teachers, advanced science and mathematics, quality programs for English Learners, award winning Business, Engineering, Art and Music programs, college requirements in English, Social Studies and Modern Language. We cannot afford to leave a generation of our students behind. We need to continue to provide the education that will produce creative and thoughtful problem solvers, passionate learners and informed citizens for the 21st Century.
While we work towards receiving adequate funding for our educational programs, the bond funds that our community approved for capital projects continue to improve our facilities for our growing student population. With the completion of our solar projects and tracks and fields we will now turn our attention to the heart of our bond work: classrooms, science labs, libraries, technology and large flexible meeting spaces that will accommodate our ever growing student population.
This summer all five of our sites will be undergoing significant renovations. At Cupertino, we will have nine new classrooms ready for the fall, and get started on a new library/guidance/cafeteria building. Fremont will be finalizing the design of a new two-story student union and sixteen new classrooms. Additionally, we will be making significant improvements in the parking and drop-off zones at Fremont which will improve traffic as well as student safety. Homestead will begin constructing a new field house and furthering the design of their new two-story classroom/student union building. Lynbrook has plans for a global learning center and an expanded guidance/student services office as well as a remodeled cafeteria. At Monta Vista, plans are progressing for a new student union and a classroom/science lab building. Watch the Bond section of our website for weekly updates. We are excited to see these wonderful new facilities being built…Just a reminder, Bond dollars for facilities unfortunately cannot be spent on teachers or operating expenses only new buildings, technology and equipment.
It takes a team of dedicated teachers, parents, administrators and school support staff to educate all our students and we thank you for being part of the team! Together we can do our part to put California back on track and do what our community does so well; work together to offer some of the finest education in the country.
So, one more time, this November, please remember to support legislators who are committed to education and initiatives that will help school funding. I wish you a sunny and restful summer.
The holidays and New Year are a time for celebration and reflection. As superintendent of one of the finest school districts in the country, I have no shortage of superlatives to share. Just by way of example, there is:
|Monta Vista senior, Angela Zhang who just won top prize in the Siemen’s nationwide high school Math Science and Technology competition, and...|
|Homestead’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) team that took home their 11th national first place title last summer, and...|
|Fremont High whose Academic Performance Index (API) score increased by 35 points, more than any other comprehensive high school in the county, and...|
|Lynbrook’s national recognition as the 2011 Intel School of Distinction in science, and...|
|Cupertino High School's yearbook and student newspaper both awarded the top-flight national Pacemaker Award.|
A complete list of the awards and recognitions received by Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) students and staff so far this year would require more space than I’ve been given here!
However, while we continue to have many reasons to celebrate the accomplishments of our students, staff and schools, our joy this year is tempered by fear of losing the rich, wonderful academic and extra-curricular programs that make our schools great.
The ever increasing reductions to school funding are taking a significant toll on our district and all the schools in Cupertino, Sunnyvale and California. While FUHSD continues to hold-on to our outstanding staff and quality programs, we will be forced to use “one-time” dollars to accomplish this. Barring additional unforeseen reductions in revenue, these dollars will carry us through the 2012-2013 school year. However, once this money is gone…. it is gone. Without additional resources, we will be forced to make cuts.
I remain hopeful that the citizens of California will agree to put measures on the November ballot that have the potential to help keep public education alive and well in California. I look forward to the New Year and the opportunity to work together with you to do what is right for the students of this community and our state.
Polly Bove, Superintendent of Schools