Superintendent's Message May 2020

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May, 2020

 

Dear Parents and Community Members,                                                                         

We would like to acknowledge all of you who serve as doctors, nurses, hospital employees, medical office staff employees and first responders for all you are doing to keep us safe and healthy!

We want to extend our appreciation to each and every parent for your patience, persistence and understanding as you continue to work with your children to support their learning from home.   Our teachers will continue to provide plans and lessons for their students via online opportunities and learning packets.   The Board of Trustees, Administrators, Teachers, Counselors and Support Staff are here to help you! 

Communication will continue through these regular types of updates.  You are also encouraged to visit the District’s website and follow our Facebook and Instagram for the latest information.   

 

Recognition for the Class of 2020

Several weeks ago, high school administration began discussing and planning for graduation activities given the current limitations on social gatherings due to the COVID-19.  During this time, our challenge has been to create an experience that honors students while ensuring a safe environment.  A graduation committee was established, including administration and staff from Santa Paula High, and Renaissance High.  The committee members have been diligently working to ensure our seniors are recognized in June.  The committee invited student representatives from SPHS and RHS to participate and were asked for their ideas and input.  Our goal has been to create an experience that honors students’ wishes while keeping everyone safe and healthy.  To safely celebrate our outstanding seniors, we have planned the following graduation activities listed below.

  • Class of 2020 Yard Signs were distributed
  • Virtual Senior Awards Recognition (this will happen throughout the rest of the school year via social media and online conferencing)
  • Senior regalia distribution (cap, gown, tassel, medals, etc.)
  • Senior Slideshow (to be shared via social media and Google classroom)
  • Santa Paula Times senior recognition
  • Billboard signs honoring the Class of 2020
  • Senior portrait banners honoring each senior
  • Drive-thru Diploma Pick-Up & Photo Opportunity (seniors in cap and gown) (June 1-2)
  • Virtual Graduation Ceremony to honor each senior (June 5) with entire virtual program
  • Online streaming and television of Virtual Graduation Ceremony (Week of June 8)

Two “live” graduation dates have been reserved to recognize and honor our seniors.  If we are permitted by the Ventura County Public Health Department’s safety guidelines to have a large group gathering with the senior class, we have selected two potential dates for this to occur: Friday, July 17 or Friday, Aug. 14.

Registrations for 2020-21

Registrations for the 2020-21 school year have also been interrupted this year.  If you did not have a chance to register your TK or Kinder student prior to the school closures in March, please visit our website or call our office at (805) 933-8804.  Our staff at Santa Paula High School is working to reach out to all of our incoming Freshman regarding class selections and registration.  However, if we have been unable to reach you, please call Santa Paula High School at (805) 525-4400 for more information. We anticipate the registration packets for all other grades will be distributed in August and will notify you of the process via our social media channels.

 

Distance Learning

This summer we plan to offer all summer school classes through an online distance learning format. Intervention classes in English language arts/reading and mathematics will be offered in grades TK-8. Students working below grade level and English learners will be given first priority for enrollment. Classroom teachers will identify students and reach out to families beginning the week of May 18.  Summer school classes will begin June 8 – July 3. Supplemental computer programs will also be available to all students throughout summer.

 

SPHS will also offer distance learning summer school classes for credit recovery and enrichment from June 8 – July 13. Students will have the opportunity to enroll into Cyber High courses or take courses taught by SPHS teachers utilizing Google Classroom. Students will be expected to check in with their teacher on a daily bases in order for staff to support and monitor student progress. For more information on high school offerings, please call Santa Paula High School.

 

Temporary Grading Policy 2019-2020

In an effort to ensure our grading policies hold students harmless for their grades during this transition to distance learning, the District has established a temporary shift in grading practice to complete this 2019-2020 school year as follows:

Teachers are encouraged to offer students opportunities to increase their grades, however, the following grades will be issued as final semester grades.

  • All students will earn no lower than 3rd quarter grades of A, B, or C.
  • If a student's overall grade percentage from 3rd quarter is 60%-69% (grade of D+, D, or D), and the student did not complete enough work to raise his/her grade, the student shall receive a "Pass" and will earn credit.
  • If a student's overall grade percentage from 3rd quarter is 0%59% (grade of F), and the student did not complete enough work to raise his/her grade, the student shall receive a "No Credit." Pass and No Credit will not be weighted and will not impact a student’s grade point average.   

Isbell Middle School will retain letter grades to keep alignment with the secondary schools and encourage students to work on maintaining and increasing grades.  TK-5 School Sites will utilize 2nd Trimester progress marks for final report cards.  Site administrators and school counselors will communicate with parents of students who are at-risk of failing and who are not participating in distance learning opportunities.

 

Reopening Schools

Prior to reopening and students returning to schools, we need time to implement social distancing protocols for our students and staff.  These protocols have not yet been established at the State level.  Although this may seem simple, there are many complicated logistics surrounding class schedules, meal service, student pick-up and drop-off, bus transportation for students with disabilities, and cleaning of facilities to consider.  Governor Newsom mentioned reopening schools as early as July, however this now simply seems to be impractical.  Districts in California will need to work collaboratively with the Governor’s Office, Department of Education, and their local Public Health Officials to make sound decisions in this regard.   As you are aware, each State and County is reopening at a different pace depending on the data for their respective areas.  We will keep parents informed as information becomes available.

 

Mental Health Matters

Our school counselors and mental health counselors are available to help if you feel your student is presenting different behaviors as a result of the “stay at home” guidelines.  There are numerous ways to contact us, via e-mail, your child’s school site, our Student Services Department at (805) 933-8836 or our main number at (805) 933-8800.  Your call is important!

 

Meal Distribution

We would like to acknowledge our Child Nutrition Services Department, led by our Director Suzanne Stamp and her amazing staff, for providing nearly 200,000 meals to the children of Santa Paula since March 16!  That is not only an incredible number, but also an incredible task!  Meal distribution will continue every Monday between 10:30 to 12:30 at Glen City Elementary and Barbara Webster Elementary schools.  

 

Stay Connected with Us

There are several ways we are connecting through social media and sharing information about the district with our school community.  Below is a short list of ways the public can stay informed:

 

 

Our best wishes for you and your family to stay safe, happy and healthy,

 

Dr. Ed Cora

Superintendent

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