May 26, 2020
Dear MUSD Staff and Community,
With the current heat-wave, there is no doubt summer is here, please stay cool out there! As we wrap up our last week of instruction for the 2019-2020 school year I am sure you and your students/children are full of many different emotions. For our seniors, eighth-graders, and fifth-graders, these days are certainly filled with some disappointment regarding end of the year events that were canceled or are in the process of being modified in ways we never imagined three months ago. I am hopeful there can be some joy found in our upcoming 'drive-thru' type events for these students groups, and we will continue to hold out hope for in-person, larger celebrations in the coming months.
Despite the circumstances, we offer our congratulations to our “Class of 2020”! In the face of unprecedented change and challenges, you are crossing the finish line of your high school experience. I am so sorry this year is culminating in a way you never imagined. It is hard to see the silver lining in all these circumstances, and I won’t pretend that any specific message can change the frustration of missing out on some of the events you’ve been most anticipating. However, if we can take one lesson from this experience, it may be a reminder that we can never control the direction of the wind, but we can always adjust our sails to reach our destination. Don’t let the surrounding conditions cloud your view of accomplishment in reaching this destination. Congratulations on your achievements and your graduation from AHS, Vicente, or Briones! You will always be MUSD alumni and forever part of our MUSD family.
Thank you to all our students in MUSD for their hard work and commitment over the past two and half months and for sticking with it during the times they didn’t want to do the work while at home, or while they had to manage newfound responsibilities at home and for school. I am proud of the work our students put forward and what they have overcome to make it through this year. I know for my own children, some days were more difficult than others and some days were frankly just difficult because they missed being with their friends and teachers. I am sure our students have been in those places this spring and I compliment them for doing their best.
As a parent of two school-aged children, I’ve certainly learned a lot over the last two and a half months of home instruction and being sheltered in place. I encourage you all to remember how important it is to simply stop and talk with your children about how they are feeling at the close of this school year. It is important for them to know that the range of emotions they are feeling is normal and that we will, at some point in the future, find our path back to regular school operations.
To our MUSD teachers, support staff, classified staff, administration, and Board of Education, I offer my thanks and gratitude. I don’t think any district had a perfect plan or fool-proof response to such a rapid transition to remote learning/remote work. However, I’ve been so impressed by the work of our staff, their commitment to students, and their willingness to overcome so many challenges to serve our students. We found a path forward thanks to these incredible staff members!
To our newly enlisted “at-home” teachers (all your parents and guardians), thank you for your efforts to support your child(ren) and for all you did to juggle the challenges of teaching and learning the middle of your household/professional responsibilities. I am sure we all have a renewed sense of gratitude for all our amazing MUSD educators and support staff who make magic happen every day in school for classrooms full of kids!
I am sure you are reflecting on all the changes we’ve enured this year, and also anticipating what next school year may look like. Most of my professional and personal focus has been geared toward MUSD’s plans for how to reopen schools in August. In my last newsletter I shared that MUSD has a Task Force working on these plans. We’ve also used a great new tool to gather parent, staff, and community input on reopening schools in August.
Our Task Force has already had two meetings, with two more to come in the immediate future. Tonight, I’ll present an update on this work to our Board of Education and you can review the presentation at the link listed below. Please, as you review this presentation, keep in mind that we are only in the discussion phase, there is much more that needs to be finalized, and we are operating on our “best guess” as to what our requirements from government agencies will be in August.
In reviewing feedback from our ThoughtExchange platform, I saw many points of discussion regarding if we should or should not reopen in August. Please know, we will have plans in place for multiple scenarios in August and we will be sure MUSD is in alignment with the requirements of our county and state officials, as well as keeping our first priority focused on the overall health and safety of our students and staff.
If you’d like to review my Task Force Summary for our Board of Education you can click here:
If you’d like to share your input on reopening schools in August, you can share thoughts here:
CJ Cammack, Superintendent
Martinez Unified School District
Congratulations and Thank You to our 2020 Retirees
MUSD is a great school district in an amazing community. Without question, it is the people who work in our schools and our community that make MUSD so special. This year, some of these legendary individuals are retiring and I hope you’ll join me in offering thanks and appreciation for the decades they have committed to our community, our students, and our schools. Thank you to all our MUSD 2020 retirees. It has been my honor to work with each of you, I wish you all the best in retirement!
Clark Smith, AHS
Cynthia Lonergan, Vicente
Jeanne Jones, JME
Catherine Balen Spinner, MPE
Susan DeCesare, MPE
Jay Heeb, AHS
Crystal Mosteiro, MJHS
Laurel Edgecomb, LJE
Mark Gouveia, MPE
Ruth Bumala, LJE
Martha Joseph, Health Services