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Superintendent Board Meeting Report - June 25, 2021

Good evening Trustees,

We’ve reached a promising milestone here in Santa Clara County — more than 80% of those eligible have been vaccinated. Please remember that everyone aged 12 and older is now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Many youths were waiting for summer to begin their vaccinations. Vaccine supply is sufficient throughout Santa Clara County at pharmacies, clinics, and vaccination sites and we encourage those who are eligible and have been waiting to seek vaccination. 

There is a free vaccination clinic this Saturday, June 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Alviso Youth Activity Center on the Mayne Elementary School Campus. No appointment is needed.

2021-2022 Opening Planning

In anticipation of the 2021–2022 school year, SCUSD will continue to review new guidance as it becomes available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Public Health Department (CDPH), and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) regarding masking, social distancing, and other health and safety requirements for businesses and K-12 schools throughout the summer. 

We anticipate new K-12 schools guidance to be released by CDC and CDPH sometime in July.

Since the Last Board Meeting 

SCUMA held its annual end of year bocce ball social event. I want to thank the outgoing SCUMA board, lead by Principal Kristen Gonzalez and welcome our incoming SCUMA President Chandra Henry and her executive board. 

I also attended the Santa Clara County Superintendent’s End of Year meeting and dinner. This was the first in-person gathering of this group. Next year, I will serve on the board for the county superintendent’s association.

Last week, Brad and I had the honor to visit Agnew Elementary school to meet and have with the founding team. This team of educators have been working so hard to prepare for the fall opening of the school. The energy and enthusiasm among the members of this new team is contagious. I mentioned to them that while the building is called a school, it is really they who are the school. 

Attended the virtual Summer Superintendent’s Leadership Institute, which offered an opportunity to reflect and plan for next year. We had a number of guest speakers, most notably Dr. Pam Cantor, who talked about equity and the importance of addressing systems as a part of the equity work. She said that historically, our educational systems were not designed for equity and to address equity starts with intentional focus on the systems that have produced inequitable outcomes.  Her new book outlines the elements that support an equitable whole child approach for schools. Our team will use this book as we launch the planning year for our new strategic plan.

Today, I received my Rotary Blue Badge and I look forward to continuing to serve on the Board for our new Club President.

Finally, I will be attending the Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce Board retreat Friday afternoon and Saturday. As a member of this board, I will be working closely with the incoming Chamber president on workforce development pathways for our students along with President Peck from Mission College. 

New Schools Update

Work continues as we begin to put the final touches on Agnew Elementary and Huerta Middle schools as they prepare to open their doors to students in August. The state’s reopening efforts and loosening restrictions allow us much more flexibility for the ribbon cutting ceremony planned for August 7. Invitations for the event are expected to go out by the end of next week. 

We also have an exciting update about MacDonald High School. The final steel beams are being placed and we’re ready to hold a beam signing event at the end of the summer. The team is looking at dates at the end of August or early September.

Labor Management Partnership

This week, our labor presidents, their executive boards, and district leadership and governance team representatives spent two days in a retreat facilitated by our partnership consultant Ann Cummins-Bogan. The retreat, held in workshop format, was designed to create a shared understanding of collaborative labor-management practices and their impact among district administration, union leadership, and the Board of Trustees and, ultimately improving student outcomes.

A comprehensive plan for collaboration and partnership for the 2021-2022 school year will be developed by the team, incorporating Vision 2035 and our strategic plan. We look forward to sharing updates with the board, staff, and community later this fall.

Donations

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

  • Mayne Elementary School PTA for their donation of over $17,000 to be used for environmental education projects, field trips and assemblies for Mayne students.
  • Washington Open Parent Faculty Group for their donation of nearly $14,000 to be used to support the various needs of the school, including enrichment, art, music, student leadership, and academic support programs.
  • Peterson Middle School PTSA for their donation of $1,000 to be used in support of the 2021-2022 school year kick-off orientation.

Closing

Summer is here at last! The sun reached its highest and northernmost points in the sky on June 20th, marking the summer solstice for all to enjoy the long summer days.

The warm weather and longer sun-filled days provide countless opportunities to experience the simple joys of summer. With the reopening of the state, I hope you are able to take time, as a family, or with friends, to enjoy all the warmth it has to offer. 

As many of you know, my husband and I welcomed a new puppy into our household. The saga of Gracie Lou Freebush continues as she has now reached the 17 week marker this week and weighs in at 35 pounds. This summer, she will be enrolled in puppy school, hoping that she will learn her manners as we prepare her to be a kindergarten reading dog. 

This concludes my report for this evening.