We are very excited to begin the school year next week, and a lot has been happening behind the scenes to ensure that Columbia Union School District is ready to serve the students and families of Columbia. A quick shout out of recognition for our Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation Department for completing dozens of projects in all of our buildings, getting the classrooms clean and ready for students and staff, and making sure the buses are ready to go this upcoming Wednesday. We are also proud to say that we are fully staffed for the start of the school year and everyone is ready to hit the ground running. We had New Teacher Orientation and professional development on technology and English Language Arts, and we are eager about a number of upcoming opportunities throughout the
school year on restorative practices, Math and Science instruction, and instructional technology to name a few.
Our goal at Columbia Union School District is to provide our parents, guardians and community members with great service to any and all questions, comments, and/or concerns they may have about the learning,
operations, and direction of the district.
If you click here, what follows is a number of flowcharts with specific steps to assist stakeholders in how to best get their questions answered, inquiries responded to, and problems resolved. As with most
happenings in a school district, it would always be best for the parent, guardian, or community member to start with the teacher, coach, or administrator to see if the matter can be properly addressed or resolved on that level in the timeliest of ways. That first step should always be communicated directly with the individual in charge of the classroom, sport, program, etc. and if there is not a response or resolution that is satisfactory, the matter can move forward to the principal or the superintendent.
Safety and Security
The district has also continued to build upon its commitment to safety and security and we are proud of our working relationship with local first responders to be prepared should an emergency occur. The district has updated and expanded its camera system, sent administration to become certified trainers of ALICE, and begun updating its crisis manual and management processes. Additionally, the district will begin using the RAPTOR system for visitor check-ins to ensure that all who enter our schools are not on the sex offender registry. The process is simple where a visitor’s driver’s license or state ID is swiped and the visitor’s name is cross-referenced with the sex offender registry.
Should a visitor be part of said registry, a notification will be sent to law enforcement and administration. Otherwise, the visitor will have a temporary visitor ID badge that is their driver’s license or state ID, and the system does not and is unable to store any data after the check-in. The district is proud of the positive county reports on its safety and security efforts and knows that our current actions and future plans will continue to have Columbia as a model place for a safe learning environment.
The school counselor provides guidance, strategies, and support to all students regarding concerns and struggles in areas of academics, behavior, and social emotional. The school counselor’s visits with a student are to provide a safe place without judgment to work together to gain strategies to solve problems and ease concerns, allow for safe conversation and an area to refocus. Visits are confidential unless that student is found harming him or herself or others. Students are encouraged to talk with parents and/or school personnel, and the counselor will talk with parents if students ask for help in regards to personal matters. If a student requires more intense therapy or crisis help, Columbia has access to Mental Health Clinicians provided by the Tuolumne County School Office on campus. If a student, employee, or parent has a referral to submit to the school counselor, they can do so here.
● Monday, August 21 will be our Middle School Orientation (Grades 6-8) in the gym at 5:00 PM.
Parents and students should plan to attend.
● Tuesday, August 22 will be TK and Kindergarten Meet and Greet from 3-5 pm in the TK and
● Wednesday, August 23 will be our first day of school! This will be an early release day, ending at
1:15 PM. Thursday and Friday, August 24-25 will also be early dismissal at 1:15 PM.
● As a reminder, school begins at 8:15 AM for all students. Students can be dropped off as early as
7:45 AM. TK dismissal time is 12:30 PM, Kindergarten is 1:45 PM, and Grades 1-8 are dismissed at
2:55 PM. Every Friday is early dismissal at 1:15 PM for Grades K-8.
● Kindergarten will be dismissed at 12:45 PM from August 23 through September 1. They will be
dismissed at 1:45 PM starting on September 5.
The district is committed towards enhancing the learning experience for students and providing the necessary support for students, staff, and parents to continue its successes, addressing its areas for growth, and building for a positive future. The 2023-24 school year offers an opportunity for the district to collaboratively craft with stakeholders not just a new LCAP, but a comprehensive strategic plan. This plan can include, but is not limited to, the following:
● Expanding the use and scope of technology in the classroom and overall district use.
● Articulating the district curriculum and providing unique learning opportunities for
● Providing robust support services for all students to meet their academic and
● Improving upon facilities to meet the needs of students and staff.
● Building upon community outreach efforts.
● Enforcing district policies and procedures to maintain consistency in practice and
It is not expected for all of this to be developed and completed within one (1) school year, but with each passing year it is expected that progress is made towards fulfilling it by completing the strategic plan’s goals. We will all be thinking and acting together as we move forward. I look forward to spending this school year not just having the opportunity to be a part of Columbia, but in being an integral part to the larger vision and strategic plan that continue to make Columbia Union
School District a destination for families and talented educators. Thank you, and I will see all of you on
Dr. Nicolas Wade