April 12, 2019
Dear Elk Grove Unified Parents, Guardians and Families,
With less than 30 school days remaining until graduation, final preparations for a wide variety of end of year events, including open house nights, award ceremonies, promotions, performances and recitals, are underway keeping our District abuzz with activities. Please stay in touch with our site teams to make sure you are aware of everything going on at your school. Also, please remind students to stay on task all the way to the finish line because the end of the year celebrations are marvelous and I would hate for anyone to miss even one. As we wind down this 2018-19 school year, I would like to take a brief moment of your time to restate our promise to you, share some news about improvements we are making and offer you some important information in preparation for the 2019-2020 school year.
In my commitment to creating a transformative and successful educational environment for every student and staff member, I remain focused with strategic attention toward continuous improvement, sustaining resources and preparing for a busy summer of construction and modernization projects. Last year, I outlined five goals that we continue to focus upon—remain fiscally solvent, maintain added programs and services, be competitive in attracting and retaining the best and brightest employees, build upon recently added programs and services, and consider adding new programs and services. With these goals in mind, our focus on equity and the progress we are making with family and community engagement enhances our ability to more effectively serve our students, support those with greater needs and achieve our organizational targets.
Family and community engagement and ensuring equity across the programs and services we provide are at the center of our work toward continuous improvement. Enhancements within our Office of Family and Community Engagement (FACE) and the addition of new team members who bring experience and expertise to FACE support our mission to have every student learning in every classroom, in every subject, every day. The many professional development opportunities available this summer will also provide staff with additional tools to better engage with our families and community. This work, coupled with our commitment to implement the Board adopted Educational Equity Strategic Plan, ensures our students become creative problem solvers who are technically literate, engaged in their community, act with integrity, communicate and collaborate with peers and demonstrate self-awareness and self-discipline.
From a business perspective, news across the state and locally is focused on labor challenges and funding shortfalls making the management of resources critical to the overall health of our organization. I am proud to say that the relationships with all of our bargaining units remain strong and we are in a relatively stable financial situation. Budget development for 2019-20 and beyond is currently underway and while school district budget development is always challenging, this year is proving to be even more so and a new governor, increasing costs and unfunded mandates add to the complexity of this work.
In preparation for next year, it is important to know that because the Board of Trustees must approve our budget before the State of California adopts its budget, I will ask the Board to take a very conservative approach to budget development this spring. We will then take a second look at the budget at the annual Board workshop planned for August. With this strategy, we will be able to be flexible and more assured that we have accurate budget information before making additional commitments. I thank everyone involved and we will keep all informed as we learn further information.
Lastly, “Pardon our dust,” is a common theme around the District these days and this summer will be no different. Thanks to the support of our community by Passing Measure M, leadership by our Board and expertise within our Facilities and Planning Department, several important projects will take place this summer including starting construction of the new Franklin Elementary School. The array of projects is too long to list here, so please visit the Measure M website to view the list of projects. This work is both exciting and critical to supporting teaching and learning across the District.
Thank you for a fantastic 2018-19 school year. I look forward to meeting many parents, students and families at upcoming celebrations. Have a safe and eventful summer!
Christopher R. Hoffman