New school year brings new standards to Rancho Santa Fe

New school year brings new standards to Rancho Santa Fe
The Rancho Santa Fe Board of Trustees met on Thursday at the district office to discuss plans for the upcoming school year, starting Aug. 26. In addition to hiring six new staff members, the district laid out plans to implement the statewide Common Core Standards into the curriculum. Photo by Paige Nelson

RANCHO SANTA FE — While kids are cherishing their last days of summer, administrators of the Rancho Santa Fe School District are busy preparing for the upcoming school year, beginning Aug. 26. 

The Rancho Santa Fe Board of Trustees met on Thursday to discuss changes to the 2013-14 curriculum and welcome some new hires to the district.

RSF School District Superintendent Lindy Delaney said current enrollment at R. Roger Rowe is 695, up 22 students from last year with 10 registration packets awaiting submission.

Delaney said class sizes will be between 15-17 students, with some grades at 18 — small enough to eliminate combination classes.

“We’re very fortunate to be in this position,” Delaney said. “We have to make sure we appreciate that having 20 students or less per class is a great place to be.”

Following several resignations and a retirement notice at the end of the 2012-13 school year, the board unanimously approved to hire five new teachers and one lunch duty aide.

Among the new hires are an advanced math teacher for grades third through fifth and an extra literacy support teacher to help the district transition into the new curriculum.

Delaney said the district has spent more than it initially budgeted for in May, but property taxes came in higher than anticipated and will bring in more revenue.

“I feel like we’ve spent a lot of money so far this year,” Delaney said, “but it’s important.”

Delaney said this year the district will be rolling out its Common Core math in grades K-5, with plans to implement the new standards in grades 6 to 8 next year.

As part of a revised budget plan released earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed to direct $1 billion to statewide K-12 schools and community colleges to help implement the CommonCore State Standards.

In March 2012, California joined 45 other states in adopting the standards for English and math to better prepare students for success in college and the workplace.

The common core standards integrate technology into learning and encourage students to use critical thinking over memorization and embrace collaboration.

Delaney said the district will receive about $108,000 in funding from the state for the new programs, which will be available for two years.

“We’re moving forward at the right pace,” Delaney said. “I think the staff we hired will be wonderful additions to our district and I’m looking forward to starting the new year.”

 

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