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Letters to Parents

Letters to Milani Parents

Dear Milani Parents:

We believe that the number one factor that determines the success of a student is the attention and nurturing of an adult.  Your concern honors your children, as we heard from many of you at the board meeting on May 19.

Newark is a community that is grounded in the importance of family.  We value hard work.   We are not pretentious.  Newark is a diverse community.   These are our great strengths.  As a school board we are working to ensure that all our children are challenged to grow in strength and in competency.

Newark Unified School District is excited at the merger of the school boundaries of Bunker and Milani Elementary Schools for the 2016-2017 school year. Though this reconfiguration was initially considered in looking for ways to manage significant projected student population growth in southern Newark, the District is enthusiastic about the many benefits for students that will result. Below are some of the reasons that support our decision:

  • Increased opportunity for teacher collaboration
  • Supports a school wide focus (time, resources, initiatives, professional development) on developmental needs of students of the particular age-span
  • There will be a better balance of class sizes due to a greater concentration of classrooms at each grade level in a school: Fewer multi-grade classrooms
  • School routines, assemblies and activities can be more grade and age focused

The obvious question may be, “If it is so great, why not do that at other schools?”  The answer is, “We may.”  It is our goal to develop a variety of learning opportunities for our students who are advanced, possibly a robust GATE program or honors science. We prioritize in rigor and allowing the students to reach their abilities.

In addition, we, from a recommendation from the Superintendent and Executive Cabinet, appointed Ms. Cathreene Ingham- Watters as the Principal at Milani. 

Also, remember, there are no changes next school year.  We now have over a year of planning, meeting, and preparing for a wonderful opportunity.

We believe that when all children are honored, all children benefit. 

Thank you,

Dave Marken, Superintendent

Jan Crocker, President, NUSD Board

 

June 1, 2015

Dear Milani Families,

Last Tuesday night at the board meeting, at the request of Executive Cabinet, the Board gave staff direction to begin a merger of the boundaries of Bunker and Milani for the 2016-2017 school year with Bunker serving TK-2 (Bunker Primary) and Milani serving grades 3-6 (Bunker Intermediate). Rest assured, there will be no changes for the 2015-2016 school year.

In addition, our Superintendent, Dr. Dave Marken, recommended, and the Board approved, to appoint me as the new principal of Milani Elementary, effective July 1. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.

I am a proud product of Newark schools… I attended Snow Elementary, Newark Junior High School and Newark Memorial High School (Go Cougars!). My undergraduate and graduate degrees were completed at Cal State Hayward/East Bay. I have chosen to live and work in this community, and my son, Ryan, attends Bunker Elementary. I love Newark through and through, and I am committed to helping make Newark Unified a destination point.

I taught at Bunker Elementary for 13 years until I was appointed as the principal at Musick Elementary, where I have been the last two years. I am excited and challenged by this new opportunity to lead the Milani community. I have worked with many teachers and staff over the years, and at the Meet and Greet last Friday, I reunited with classmates from years past who are Milani parents!

I look forward to working with the staff and families here at Milani in the years to come. There are many changes heading our way, but believe me when I say that I am invested deeply in the success of all Newark schools. I will work tirelessly, be visible on campus, communicate with parents and the community at large, and ensure each and every student is being supported to reach their highest potential.

Have a restful, relaxing summer. I look forward to meeting your children and working together for the success of Milani Elementary and the transitions ahead!

Change is the law of life.  And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” ~ John F. Kennedy.

Sincerely,

Ms. Cathreene Ingham-Watters

cwatters@newarkunified.org

 

Letter to Bunker Parents

Dear Parents:

Thank you for attending the board meeting last evening.  I believe that the number one factor that determines the success of a student is the attention and nurturing of an adult.  Your concern honors your children.

Newark is a community that is grounded in the importance of family.  We value hard  work.   We are not pretentious.  Newark is a diverse community.   These are our great strengths.  As a school board we are working to ensure that all our children are challenged to grow in strength and in competency.

Newark Unified School District is excited at the merger of the school boundaries of Bunker and Milani Elementary Schools. Though this reconfiguration was initially considered in looking for ways to manage significant projected student population growth in southern Newark, the District is enthusiastic about the many benefits for students that will result. Below are some of the reasons that support our decision:

  • Increased opportunity for teacher collaboration
  • Supports a school wide focus (time, resources, initiatives, professional development) on developmental needs of students of the particular age-span
  • There will be a better balance of class sizes due to a greater concentration of classrooms at each grade level in a school: Fewer multi-grade classrooms
  • School routines, assemblies and activities can be more grade and age focused

Additionally, class space would open up at Bunker primary due to the fact that Tk-2 class sizes are 24:1.

The obvious question may be, “if it is so great, why not do that at other schools?”  The answer is, “we may.”

It is our goal to develop a variety of learning opportunities for our students who are advanced, possibly a robust GATE program or honors science. We prioritize in rigor and allowing the students to reach their abilities.

In addition, we, from a recommendation from the Superintendent and Executive Cabinet, appointed Ms. Cathreene Ingham- Watters as the Principal at Milani.  Ms. Ingham -Watters is both a Bunker parent as well as was a highly respected lead teacher from Bunker for 13 years prior to becoming the Principal of Musick Elementary School two years ago.

Also, remember, there are no changes next school year.  We now have over a year of planning, meeting, and preparing for a wonderful opportunity.

We believe that when all children are honored, all children benefit. 

Thank you,

Dave Marken, Superintendent

Jan Crocker, President, NUSD Board

 

Dear Bunker Families,

                These past few weeks have been consumed with the excitement with fieldtrips, celebrations and state testing.  They have also been filled with curiosity, and some anxiety, as plans to accommodate the many families and students who will be joining our wonderful city have been shared.  You may have heard that the Newark Unified School District Board of Education voted last week that for the 2016-2017 school year, the students in the Bunker and Milani attendance area will be combining into one larger area.  At that time, Bunker Elementary school will serve students on two campuses. “Bunker Primary” will serve students in Transitional Kindergarten- 2nd grade at the campus located at 6071 Smith Avenue, and “Bunker Intermediate” serving students from 3rd – 6th grade will be at the campus located at 37490 Birch Street.  It is important to note that there with be  No changes in campus or attendance area for next school year, 2015-2016, the school year will carry on the same as this current year.

                One change I am thrilled to share with you is the incredible leader that will join us in this opportunity and transition, Ms. Cathreene Ingham-Watters.  As a 13 year Bunker teacher leader, lifelong Newark resident, current Newark Unified School District Principal, current Bunker parent, and overall wonderful individual, it is a true honor to embark on this adventure with Ms. Ingham-Watters.  Her incredible leadership skills and charismatic personality are a perfect fit with our tremendous community. I look forward to working closely with her over the next 15 months as we meet with staff, parents, and students to make this transition as smooth as possible.  We are aware of many concerns that have been shared recently in various forums, and will continue to problem solve and work together in the best interest of our students.   Please keep your eye out for information in the fall of opportunities to problem solve together.

                As we move forward together as the wonderful “distinguished” community we are, keep in mind that we all have the same goal in mind, student success.  Newark Unified School District administration, School Board, Ms. Ingham-Watters and I, all have a “Kids First” mentality.  I am confident that the future holds wonderful things for all of us.

Change is the law of life.  And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” ~ John F. Kennedy.

Best,

Colleen Gainey 

 

Hello Bunker Families,

“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.”

I am excited to reunite with the Bunker families, staff, and students! I am a proud product of this school district and have chosen to work and live in this community. I started my career at Bunker in 2000 teaching third grade in Room 2 and worked hard as a teacher leader; I was a state-certified math trainer for other teachers in the district, GATE-certified, and was the head writer for the California Distinguished School Award in 2006!

After 13 years here, I was appointed principal of Musick Elementary, where I have been the last two years. Although I have loved every minute of being the principal at Musick, I look forward to returning to the Bunker family for the 2016-2017 implementation of Bunker Intermediate at the Milani campus.

The most important thing I want you to know about me is I am a Bunker parent! My son, Ryan, is just finishing first grade with Mrs. Knight. Believe me when I say that I am invested deeply in the planning and implementation of the Bunker Primary/Intermediate campuses.

“The only consistent thing is change.” We know these changes are hard and the planning stage is upon us. I look forward to working with Mrs. Gainey, as well as reuniting with the teachers, staff, students, and families in the months to come.

Fondly,

Ms. Cathreene Ingham-Watters