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Superintendent Board Meeting Report - August 12, 2021

Good evening Trustees,

Today is a day for celebration all throughout SCUSD. Today, we welcomed back more than 2,000 staff and 13,273 students (13,825 enrolled and another 200 pending) into our schools. These numbers are lower than projected enrollment of 14,577 (91% showed and 94% enrolled). Students arrived at beautiful campuses, many of our sites had significant improvements over the past year and a half, and, of course, we opened two brand new schools.

Today, as I was visiting one of our schools, I complimented the site custodian about the condition of the campus. He said something to me that was so poignant. “I work in the shadows”. For us to get to today’s opening of schools, we had A LOT of people working in the shadows. 

For our new schools - from the Measure H and Measure BB bond committees who worked tirelessly to bring these bond measures to our community, to the voters who turned out to vote in favor of the bonds. 

Our operations division - bonds, facilities, maintenance, construction crews, purchasing, accounting, payroll, risk-management and safety, warehouse, IT, transportation, food service, grounds — our new lead nurse, Karin Kimiecik, for jumping to take on this new role and leading the implementation of the health and safety protocols. 

Thank you all for everything you did “in the shadows” to prepare for the smooth opening of schools. 

Our HR department - your support to our employees as we hired and on-boarded 96 certificated, 15 classified, and 15 management staff, not including those who transferred sites. The partnership with our associations to welcome our new colleagues at our new employee orientations and the work to ensure that all received the mandated training for the return to in-person instruction. Thank you to our HR department for all the work you are doing “in the shadows”.

Our Academics, Innovation and Ed Services teams for supporting professional learning, wrapping up summer programs and working to support principals, teachers and students to return to high quality whole-child classrooms that tend to both the academic and social-emotional programs that will allow our students to thrive.

At our schools - a lot of work “in the shadows” went on behind the scenes to open our campuses today. From the site custodians, to the front office staff, to the cafeteria, to the classroom teachers and classroom aides. 

More importantly, the evidence is clear. Everyone worked together — with a singular focus — to support our students to return to safe learning environments. 

Today, as I visited schools, I had the opportunity to observe how deliberate our teachers are to re-engage our students on this first day of instruction. Whether it is reading the book, The First Day Jitters or by facilitating a community building activity, or by offering student choice as the teacher reviewed the classroom expectations. The approach for how we engage with our students, lowering their affective filters and embracing our students to a welcoming learning community was evident throughout the district.

So, thank you to everyone, whether you’re working in the shadows or not, well done team!

At tonight’s meeting, you will hear from our CBO, who’s department oversees the district’s COVID-19 safety plan. As I’m sure you’ve heard, the state has made updates to the safety requirements for schools, some as recent as this week.  We have some exciting news to share in our local implementation of the measures to ensure that students and staff remain safe. 

Donations

I would like to highlight generous donations on tonight’s consent agenda. Thank you to:

  • Washington Open Parent Faculty Group for their donation of over $42,000 to Washington Open Elementary School for various school needs
  • Laurelwood PTA for their donation of over $8,000 to Laurelwood Elementary School for their art program and classrooms
  • Special Olympics Northern California for their donation of over $3,000 to our Special Education department to implement our Special Olympics program
  • Benevity Community Impact Fund for their donation of $2,900 to Washington Open Elementary School for enrichment activities

Shout Outs

At the start of each school year, we have our annual all staff meeting which includes a spirited “roll call” as we reconnect with one another. We celebrate the school and department with the most spirit with a catered lunch in the fall. Due to capacity limitations, this year, the meeting and roll call was done virtually. This year’s winners of the “Most Spirited” roll call goes to Hughes Hammerheads and the SCUSD Transportation department.  Additionally, we offered one other category — People’s Choice — and Wilcox HS was the recipient of the People’s Choice Award for the most spirited. Congratulations everyone and I look forward to joining you for lunch soon!

Closing

This concludes my report for this evening.