Dear Woodside School Parents and Community,
Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! I hope that you had a wonderful summer. We are all very eager to see the students back on campus with their smiling faces! Personally, I am very excited to begin this new role as the Superintendent, and I will also continue on as the Middle School Principal. My goal as Superintendent is to be present, in classrooms as much as possible, and to help foster the TK-8th grade culture that has made Woodside School such a special place. I look forward to seeing all of you on campus throughout the school day so please be sure to say hello! Please take time to become familiar with the updates below:
Town of Woodside Construction
The Town is completing the trail construction along Woodside Road from the school down to Robert's. Once completed, it will provide a safe walking trail. Construction will continue through the end of September. Both the Town and the Sheriff's Department are working closely with the school to mitigate the potential traffic delays. Both lanes will be open during drop-off and pick-up, and the Sheriff's Department will have a big presence when school begins. Please use caution and plan for extra time during this period of construction. The school will continue to work with the Town and the Sheriff's to make adjustments as needed so that the construction has the least impact.
Middle School Administrative Structure
While I will maintain the Middle School Principal title and some of the responsibilities that go with that role, we are pleased to announce a new Dean model in the Middle School. In addition to their teaching responsibilities, Jennifer Mull (8th grade), Melissa Bowdoin (7th grade), and Bjorn Wickstrom (6th grade) will serve as Middle School Deans, each responsible for one grade level. Any specific inquiries, questions, etc. for a particular student in Middle School should be directed to the grade-specific Dean (see list HERE). Each of the Deans is enrolled in an administrative program and have vast experience in school leadership.
New Business Services Director
We are pleased to announce that we have hired a new Business Services Director, Waly Ndiaye. Waly's experience has included 10 years of school finance in Oakland Unified, Alameda Unified, and most recently San Mateo County Office of Education. He has also worked as an auditor in the private sector. Waly graduated from New Jersey City University. He is married and has two sons and lives in Foster City. We welcome his expertise in the school finance area!
Construction, Parking and Safety
New roofs were put on Rooms 33, 34, and 35 in the Middle School and are ready to go. In addition, eight visitor parking spots were added to the parking lot immediately adjacent to the tennis courts. Please do use the visitor parking spots whenever you are on campus as all of the staff parking spots will be needed. In addition, please do not park your cars in the fire lanes and make sure that you always check in with the front office and wear a visitor badge.
The School will continue to enhance our existing long-term goals, including both Social-Emotional Learning and Design Thinking. Both programs have dedicated committees that continue to evaluate and improve upon past practices. In addition, the school will continue to look to improve differentiation across the grade levels and curricula, with particular emphasis on mathematics in the Elementary. Finally, communication will be a big goal for myself. Woodside School is a special place, and all stakeholders should have consistent and clear communication in regard to the amazing work that goes on each day.
Class lists will be both posted outside of the school office and emailed on Tuesday, August 20th at 3:00 p.m. Please remember that class placement is a very complex process. There may be some disappointments; however, it is vital that we all try and have a positive mindset. Reassuring your child that all will be well and to have a positive outlook will help set him or her up for success. Every student is different, and if an issue, challenge, etc. arises, please reach out to the teacher and/or specific Principal/Dean as soon as possible. Assuming best intentions and clear communication are important in building trusting relationships. Face-to-face communication is always encouraged as email is not an effective tool for communicating anything beyond basic logistics.
You will receive a packet in the mail before the school year begins next Wednesday. All families will receive a copy of this welcome letter, and depending upon the specific grade level, the mailing may also include the following: welcome letter from the Deans, Middle School schedule, CAASPP scores, and the acceptable use and online services permission slip that should be returned to the school office.
This is sure to be an exciting school year, and we look forward to seeing you all next week!
Mr. Frank - Superintendent/Middle School Principal