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6/3/19 8:13 AM

Principal's Message

January 16, 2020


Puma Parents…


Happy New Year!  The second semester is in full swing and I hope your child has fallen back into the routine of school.  The winter holiday allows us to reflect on the successes of the first semester and set goals for the second.  For sixth graders, elementary school is a distant memory, seventh graders are half way through their middle school careers and eighth graders are only months away from high school.  As we do at the beginning of every semester, we held our Town Hall assemblies this week and reminded students of school expectations… both behavior and academic.  I am confident it will be a special Spring.  If you think the first semester went fast… it will be June before you know it!


Regarding academics, first semester grades will be available via the Infinite Campus Parent Portal, Friday, January 17.  As a reminder, report cards are not sent home.  If you would like a copy of first semester grades, you can print one for yourself under the Reports tab in IC.  As we continue to celebrate growth and work ethic instead of the outcome of a traditional grade, Pine Valley no longer officially has an Honor Roll.  However, if you would like to still print out a blank copy of a Bronze (3.5-3.74 GPA), Silver (3.75-3.99) or Gold (4.0) Honor Roll certificate, they are available for download on our website.


As we like to wait until the end of our second academic week of the new semester to publish grades (to give some context), teachers will start reporting grades in School Loop beginning, Friday, January 17.  As a warning, check SL with caution this semester.  As parents and students discuss academic progress, once or twice a week is sufficient.  More than that can lead to some unhealthy habits.


As I do from time to time, I like to share ongoing behavior/safety concerns regarding our students.  Knowing it “takes a village” to support OUR kids, I wanted to inform you of some concerns that have been shared with me this year by our neighborhood residents and businesses.  As more and more of our nearby residents have video surveillance cameras, Ring devices, etc, I have been receiving more consistent concerns from our neighbors about the negative behavior of some students on their property.  Sometimes it is directly from the residents/businesses themselves, but it is also from the SRPD, who share with me pictures and/or video.  Even though school is out and students have left campus, students are still our responsibility from “porch to porch,” and consequences are sometimes necessary.  Recently, I witnessed an incident myself which is the catalyst for this message.


On Friday, January 10 there was a rumored fight to take place after school.  Some teachers on duty had reported a large group of students headed south on Broadmoor towards the Walmart shopping center.  As it happens from time to time, I will get in my car to drive to another school, skatepark, the Marketplace, etc. to see what is going on and to make sure students are safe.  Driving down Broadmoor towards the Walmart Center, I did notice a large group of our students at the Starbucks.  There were 20-25 Pine Valley students around on scooters and bikes and loitering outside.  Some were inside the store behaving perfectly, but many of the students were surprised to see their principal show up and “spoil the fun.”  Since the managers from Walmart, CVS and Starbucks have reached out to me and the police in regards to student behavior in the past (especially on Fridays), I took advantage of the opportunity to sit down and observe the shameful and embarrassing behavior of some of our students.  However, seeing that kids were safe and no fight was imminent, I returned to Pine Valley. 


Though I strongly considered not addressing this as it did not happen on campus, I am taking the time to give context as I think it important that all of our students be good neighbors… especially to the local residents and businesses who share a community with us.  Many students from Dublin also frequent those establishments, but they are not my responsibility… the Pine Valley students are!  For years (with the kids) I have used the phrase, “Remember who you are and what you represent.”  As OUR kids walk the streets of San Ramon, walk to and from school through OUR neighborhood, visit the local businesses… they represent themselves, your family and Pine Valley.  For nearly 12 years I have taken that latter part pretty seriously and I will continue to do so because I care about OUR kids and what it means to be a Puma. 


The local businesses over the last few months have reported some aggressive behavior from students; including shoplifting, graffiti, vaping, and fighting.  Last Friday, as I walked from my car to where I sat down at Starbucks, the language I heard and some of the actions I saw from OUR students were embarrassing.  Hence, I sat down and at least for a moment, silently reminded those students that I expected more of them…  Following up with many of them on Monday, reminding them of what they represent.  Although I had other things I could have been doing on a Friday at 3:00pm, I felt it was important for me to be present. Please know I don’t stop caring about OUR students just because the school day has ended.  If I am needed again, I will be there.  Join me and I will buy you a cup of coffee.  In the meantime, please reiterate my message with your child and remember, people are watching… maybe even their principal!


Thanks for your continued partnership…


Jason Law


Mr. Jason M. Law