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Contact Information

CJ Cammack
Superintendent
ccammack@martinez.k12.ca.us

Sue Casey
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
scasey@martinez.k12.ca.us
925-335-5908

Superintendent's Monthly Message - March 2017

CJ CammackMUSD Community,

For a moment, it seems we have a break in the relentless rain.  We needed the rain after years of drought conditions, but it is sure nice to see the sunshine again.  It is a great reminder for us that the spring season is on the horizon, and one of things I love most in life (outside of my family), is back in action now that Spring Training is here; baseball is officially back in season! Our AHS spring sports are underway and we wish all our student athletes a successful season. 

While I am incredibly excited about the return of baseball, it feels nearly impossible that we’ve started the operational plans, staffing recruitment, and enrollment projections as we cast of our eyes forward to the 2017-2018 school year.  For those of you who may be wondering, the instructional calendar for 2017-2018 was approved last year and has already been posted on our website.  This way any awesome family trips can be planned while the students are on their breaks from school.  Here is a link: 2017-2018 School Calendar

Last month our Board of Education held their two regularly scheduled meetings and two additional special meetings to discuss the implementation of Measure R and the expenditure of remaining Measure K dollars.  The Board of Education took action to approve project budgets from the remaining Measure K dollars and some additional funds restricted to facility work.  The projects include finishing the planned modernization of Alhambra High School classrooms, making improvements to the classrooms at Martinez Adult Education, repurposing one classroom at MJHS for additional science coursework, and repairing some roofing issues at our Early Intervention PreSchool Program.  Other approved project budgets include funds to replace the lower field turf at Alhambra (which has surpassed its expected shelf life), additional funds to address the lower field facilities used by home and visiting teams, and funds to support a grant project we are partnering on with Contra Costa County to replace the back field at Las Juntas Elementary.

During these meetings the Board of Education has also reviewed budgets and plans to address all four of our elementary schools and MJHS from Measure R.  The Board of Education has expressly stated in the meetings that their intent is to address our elementary school campuses as the major focus of Measure R funding.  There will be an additional meeting on March 20th where the Board of Education will be discussing further aspects of designing a bond program budget for Measure R to address the key areas of need in our elementary campuses and at MJHS.  It should be noted that the approval of project budgets doesn’t necessarily establish a set order for which the projects will be completed.  As you may already know, the complexity of each project, the impact on each campus, and the required processes with the Department of State Architecture will typically determine when projects are completed.  Our Board of Education has certainly expressed their desire to have projects happen as quickly as possible to help provide the best conditions for our students, our staff, and our community.  Thanks to our voters, we are able to improve the facilities of Martinez Unified.  

While we are grateful for such generous support from our voters, I wish that generosity was matched by the state legislators’ financial commitment to provide ample funding for public schools. Unfortunately, as mentioned in last month’s newsletter, we are expecting flat funding from the state based on the governor’s proposed budget.  Flat funding from the state doesn’t balance out when expenditures for every organization increase annually.  Given those conditions, we must make reductions in our expenditures in the coming year to ensure we meet our legally required reserves and maintain fiscal solvency.  Our bond dollars are restricted and cannot be used to offset the shortfall from the state; they are rightfully restricted to facility improvements and infrastructure improvements as required under law and in accordance with our promise to voters in Measure R.  

During Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, I proposed a “draft” plan for reducing our expenditures by approximately 1.3 million dollars next year.  It truly saddens me that such a recommendation must be considered.  However, we are not alone in this circumstance as other local districts and districts across the state are planning for budget reductions in the coming year(s) as well. The design of these reductions has been crafted to try and create very little impact on our school sites and take advantage of natural opportunities where vacant positions may remain unfilled or soon-to-be vacated positions are absorbed back into the budget.  Sadly, at a few different places these recommendations do impact people, as we are a people-centered business with a focus on serving children.  In the coming days, a copy of this “draft” budget reductions plan will be available for review on our website


Sincerely, 

CJ Cammack, Superintendent
Martinez Unified School District

Model School Award
 

Please join me in congratulating Vicente Martinez High School! The California Department of Education just announced that Vicente Martinez High School has once again been designated as a "Model Continuation School Program". This designation remains in place for 3 years. Across the state, only 35 continuation schools were given this honor and we are incredibly proud to have Vicente receive such recognition. The certificated and classified staff do amazing work each and every day to serve their students and provide a great instructional program. We have great students in this school who have amazing stories of success, determination and perseverance. Of course, our Briones staff is a significant part of this success and is deserving of equal recognition and accolades. 

Recycle
 

During the last 4 years, the Martinez Unified School District has worked alongside staff from the City of Martinez and Republic Services to implement recycling in schools.

In 2015, the City of Martinez was awarded a grant to build green teams in the elementary schools. These teams work as peers to help fellow students recycle in the lunchroom. Martinez Jr. High has been recycling successfully and recently started a food waste program. 

As a whole, the program has been successful and is not only good for the environment, it teaches our “future adults” how their actions can make a difference. Our district also benefits from these programs by lowering the cost impact for garbage services, while working towards compliance of recently established laws related to recycling and waste. 

As the grant ends, we will be working to achieve sustainability with the programs. It will take many layers of support from many groups of people to continue shifting our work and culture of recycling. I would like to thank the many individuals directly and indirectly involved with these efforts, as well as the City of Martinez for their support in this work. 

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Follow on Twitter to see the exciting teaching, learning, and events in Martinez Unified School District @CJMUSD

Calendar
For  the month of March most noteable calendar dates are specific to each school site. Please check with your school site for more specific information on events and activities. Thank you.