Old Adobe Educator Weekly Round-Up

Monday 3/15/21 - Friday 3/19/21

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Immigrant Students in American Schools

Dear Educators,

Today in the US our immigration system is under greater stress as a direct result of misguided policies. It's true that we must pursue policies that safeguard our security, provide a fair and just system that helps to grow and enhance our economy, and secure our cherished values. However in the meantime what does this mean for educators who support immigrant students each day. Recognizing the cultural responsiveness needed in the classroom with an increase in students born in the U.S. to parents with immigrant backgrounds and the percentage of students who speak a language other than English at home has grown.

In Learning a New Land (Orozoco and Torodova), we are reminded by the year 2040 One child in five in America will be the child of immigrants, and the numbers continue to increase each year. Based on an extraordinary interdisciplinary study that followed 400 newly arrived children from the Caribbean, China, Central America, and Mexico for five years, this book provides a compelling account of the lives, dreams, and frustrations of these youngest immigrants. Richly told portraits of high and low achievers are packed with unexpected ironies. When they arrive, most children are full of optimism and a respect for education. But poor neighborhoods and dull—often dangerous—schools can corrode hopes. The vast majority learn English—but it is the English of video games and the neighborhood, not that of standardized tests.

For some of these children, those heading off to college, America promises to be a land of dreams. These lucky ones have often benefited from caring mentors, supportive teachers, or savvy parents. For others, the first five years are marked by disappointments, frustrations, and disenchantment. How can we explain their varied academic journeys? How can we as educators honor their existence, plight and invest their future as the children of immigrants, here to stay, are the future—and how they adapt will determine the nature of America in the twenty-first century.

Immigrant students come to America with an enormous range in background and education levels. For example, the needs of an immigrant student who received formal education in their home country are vastly different from the needs of a refugee student fleeing a war-torn country who may have had little-to-no formal education and be suffering from the effects of trauma.

Cultural differences around gender and religion also may impact student’s behavior in their new environments. And the volatile politics of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program put educators on the front lines of a national policy debate that directly impacts the young people they teach each day.

The United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Plyer v. Doe in June 1982 that declared states cannot deny students a free public education on account of their immigration status. The ruling was based upon the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The court reasoned that resources saved by excluding undocumented children from public schools were far outweighed by the harm to America’s progress by doing so. Today, all of America’s public schools work to educate all who cross their thresholds — newcomers and long-standing community members alike. By U.S. law, all children have the right to a public education, regardless of immigration status. Schools are not allowed to ask about status, and under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), they cannot share any information or records unless ordered by a court.

Know the Facts

The network of organizations dedicated to helping educators who work with immigrant students and families is vast. Training experts Karen Reyes, Natasha Quiroga, and Montserrat Garibay offer their recommendations.

United We Dream: Download research and toolkits for mental health, safety, and educator prep from an immigrant youth-led network.

First Focus: Keep up-to-date with current laws and policies.

Intercultural Development Research Association: Print 10-step guides and other strategies for schools.

Teaching Tolerance: Find a list of supports, from classroom lesson plans and posters to ELL best practices to "Know Your Rights" trainings.

Colorín Colorado: Access tools and research for teaching and parenting ELL students.

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law: Watch Civil Rights webinars and YouTube videos on legal rights and processes through the "Let Us Learn" initiative.

American Federation of Teachers: Download emergency plan sheets, a deportation defense guide, an educator's guide for school and support staff, and share-my-lesson plans for teachers.


Superintendent Lowery

Superintendent Office Hours Coffee Chat

Sign up for brief meet and greet, to share and idea or ask a question.


Moving to the Red Tier

Please be advised that Sonoma County will move into the less restrictive red tier effective this Sunday, March 14. This change is a result of the state’s decision to adjust the minimum case rate requirement for transition to red from 7 to 10 per 100,000 once California finished administering 2 million vaccine doses in the state's 400 zip codes that have been most disproportionately impacted by the virus.

With the adjustment of the requirements for the red tier, the state credited Sonoma County with two weeks of maintaining less than 10 cases per 100,000. Based on this decision, Sonoma County is being allowed to enter the red tier at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, March 14.

Moving from the purple tier into the red tier for Sonoma County means:

  • Restaurants are allowed to open indoors with 25 percent capacity or a maximum of 100 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Retail establishments are allowed to open indoors at 50 percent capacity.
  • Movie theaters are allowed to open indoors with 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Gyms are allowed to open indoors with 10 percent capacity.
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums can open indoor activities at 25 percent capacity.
  • Breweries, wineries and distilleries that do not serve meals may open outdoors only with modifications. The modifications include ensuring that patrons have reservations and patrons observe a 90-minute time limit. Service for on-site consumption must end by 8:00 p.m.
  • Bars that do not serve meals remain closed in the Purple (widespread) and Red (substantial) tiers.
  • All schools, regardless of grade level, are eligible to reopen as long as they have posted their COVID-19 Safety Plan publicly for at least 5 days.

You can read more about the change in the California Department of Public Health's Press release. The county's press release is attached.


All school site staff have been offered access to get the optional vaccine. If you still need help getting a vaccine appointment please contact Sonya Wasden.

The SCOE clinic at Rancho Cotate High School is giving second doses of Moderna vaccine to 1,100 educators this week. Everyone with an appointment for next week will receive their second dose of the Moderna vaccine. In addition, the SCOE clinic will be giving 200 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine. SCOE continues to work with state and county officials to get vaccines from a variety of sources for our clinic and/or codes for school employees to use at a state vaccination clinic. This helps us stay on track to return students to in-person instruction. To support that effort, 1,000 vaccine codes from Blue Shield were distributed this week.

Additionally, all educators in Group C and D are now eligible to be vaccinated through the SCOE program, even if their school has yet to open. School leaders from Groups C and D who have employees not yet vaccinated should contact Jeff Harding at covidresponse@scoe.org.

Secondary educators in Groups A and B can expect to be eligible for a vaccine beginning March 15, if vaccine supply arrives as expected. Eligible educators include all paid school employees: teachers, office staff, custodial, food service, IT staff, school administration and a limited number of substitutes necessary to open schools.

Travel Advisory

The CA Department of Public Health is recommending that anyone who travels out of state quarantine for 10 days upon return. This isn’t a mandate but SCOE, County Health and CDPH strongly encourage everyone to adhere to this standard. Consider how many families might travel over spring break and then return the very next day (or a week later) to school which is finally open. This could be a recipe for disappointment; to finally open and then potentially have to close within just a few days if cases develop. Visit the current Travel Advisory for more information.

Sonoma County Tourism is encouraging everyone to follow public health authorities’ recommendations and to review the Safe Travels Promise as a way to keep our community and visitors safe.

Masking Guidance for Vaccinates Staff

You may have seen new CDC guidance for fully vaccinated individuals, which allows fully vaccinated individuals not to wear masks around others who are also fully vaccinated. However, please note: the CDC guidance is advisory only and does not override state guidance. At this time, employees in California are required to wear a face covering when they are indoors at work, unless an exemption applies (see CDPH Guidance here). The State order would need to be revised to add any additional exceptions; for example, for fully vaccinated individuals.

Furthermore, “The CDC recommends wearing a mask even after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself and others. Experts are studying whether getting the vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions.” https://covid19.ca.gov/masks-and-ppe/


Message From Nurse Laura Regarding Vaccination Clinics (2/15/21)


Certificated Equity Leadership Training:

March 23 2:00-3:30 (voluntary)

April 21 2:00-3:30 (in lieu of staff meeting)

Classified Equity Leadership Training:

March 17 1:00-3:00

April 6 1:00-3:00 (DATE CHANGE)

ELPAC Testing Update:

We expect to be finished with testing our TK and Kindergarten students by Monday afternoon, short a few students who needed to reschedule. Next, we will be testing our 6th graders. We will continue to let teachers know when students will need to miss class in order to take the ELPAC Summative. Please let Gina or Lisa know if you have any questions going forward, and thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this testing process!

CAASPP Update:

The CDE will be meeting on Tuesday, March 16, to discuss the waiver for state testing. We are crossing our fingers and hoping this will pass and the waiver process will actually be “achievable”! We will update you as soon as we know more.

Articles and Learning Opportunities:

Check out this article from REL (Regional Educational Laboratory) at WestEd: “Supporting Students’ Independent Learning” (click on the Online Availability link to read)

Opportunities for Students:

7th Annual Sonoma County Five Minute Film Festival

Contact: Matt O'Donnell | modonnell@scoe.org

Monday, April 12

The Five Minute Film Festival is an annual countywide event that provides an opportunity for K-12 students to demonstrate learning in a 21st century context and showcase their work in front of a community audience. To participate, students create, as individuals or in groups, short videos (up to five-minutes long) on a designated theme and submit them to SCOE for judging by a celebrity panel. The top films debut at a spring film festival. The theme this year is sustainability. Click here to learn more

2021 Virtual Sonoma County Robotics Challenge

Contact: Rick Phelan | rphelan@mac.com

Friday, April 20| Deadline to submit video entries

Week of May 17 - 21 | Awards Announced

Accommodations have been made to the 2021 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge to meet the needs of K-8 students who have interests in mechanical design, robots, coding and STEAM. Planners have assembled alternative challenges below that are safe, fun and promote themes from the traditional event using accessible items. Students are encouraged to explore ideas and submit entries in the following areas:

  • Circuit Playground Express Creations

  • Domino Block Chain Reactions

  • Playing Card Structure Creations

Two Zoom orientation meetings have been set to provide additional information for students, parents and coaches on February 17 and March 1 at 4:30 PM. Click here to learn more about the 2021 Virtual Sonoma County Robotics Challenge

Sonoma Storysharing Project - A Call to Create!

Contact: Anna Babarinde | ababarinde@scoe.org or Sarah Lundy| slundy@scoe.org

Friday, May 7 | Deadline to submit stories

Thursday, May 20 | Sonoma Storysharing Showcase

As we begin 2021, we have an opportunity to reflect and share how the COVID19 pandemic has shaped the experiences of 2020. We invite the voices of all Sonoma County youth, ages 4-18, to offer their personal perspectives on this challenging moment for our local, national and global community. By capturing multiple stories from diverse young people in our county, we can engage in a shared experience of reflection, expression, listening, mutual understanding and healing. Through the power of our shared stories, we can understand who we are now as individuals, what it means to be a member of our community at this critical moment in time, and who we want to be in the future because of what we’ve learned.

Students may choose to share an artistic or journalistic story of the impact of the COVID19 pandemic through a wide range of expressive avenues such as:

  • Drawing or sketching

  • Painting

  • Photography

  • Short film making

  • Oral history/ Interview

Our ESS team is available to offer resources, coaching and support. Click here to learn more


Equity Coalition Update

Our next meeting will be Wednesday, March 24th at 3PM.

Hope you can join!

Schools in the United States, while providing many great experiences and opportunities, are still grossly inequitable. in the book, Five Practices for Equity-Focused School Leadership

by Sharon I. Radd, Gretchen Givens Generett, Mark Anthony Gooden and George Theoharis, the authors share that much can be done to change the circumstances surrounding disproportionate data outcomes in schools, yet school leaders don't always have the tools, knowledge, and resources to actually do so. The book outlines an actionable framework that individual leaders and school, district, and inter-organizational teams can use to address this need.

If you need to reach the Equity Coalition to share resources, express concerns or ask questions, you can now email the group at equitycoalition@oldadobe.org.


Sign Up Today:-)

The Food Pantry currently serves 120 families in our district community.

We need more volunteers to ensure that we can continue this service and provide this much needed resource.

Please sign up by clicking the button below.


Registration for the 2021-2022 school year began in January.

All of our schools are hosting Virtual School Tours.

Here are the individual school videos.


The Return to On-Campus Hybrid Learning Survey results will be shared at the Board at the March 11th Board Meeting.

We are looking to complete classroom set ups (grid lines and socially distanced desks and spaces) by March 19th.

Each week we are sharing an update on our progress on the Return to On-Campus Hybrid Learning. Here is the March 4th update. You can find the updates on front page of our website under Headlines.


YouthTruth Survey

As we get closer to our implementation of the YouthTruth survey this spring, the Student Services Department will continue to share valuable information about the upcoming survey.

One of the valuable aspects of the YouthTruth Survey is gaining insight from our District families. Our families are invaluable partners in learning and the heart of our community. Asking parents’ views on school issues improves communication that can benefit our schools and District in a variety of ways. For example, parents who provide regular feedback are more likely to support any unique approaches to education or problem solving. They are more likely to have a stronger connection with and higher opinion of the staff and school community. Parent and family input is important not only for the wellbeing of the students, but also for student retention and recruitment.

Furthermore, parent feedback not only helps parents contribute positively to their children’s learning experience, but it also can be an indicator of a school’s overall success. By sharing their opinions, parents provide useful insights that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Family Survey Areas:

  • Engagement

  • Relationships

  • Culture

  • Communication

  • Empowerment

  • School Safety

  • Feedback

  • Resources

The results of the Family YouthTruth Survey will be provided in reports that will provide detailed information about the responses and will also show how OAUSD family members' ratings relate to the ratings from family members across Sonoma Country who have engaged in the YouthTruth Survey. This data is aggregated and anonymous.

As a reminder, the survey window is April 5th – 23rd. Thank you!

Special Education Small Cohorts

On March 22nd OAUSD will welcome back two small special education cohorts onto the Miwok Valley Elementary School campus. Our teachers and staff have been working and planning to welcome these students back. The two cohorts will serve students who have been previously identified using a District developed needs rubric. The classes are our identified students in grades K-2 and 3-4. Students will be on campus from about 8:30 am until 12:00 pm. When the cohorts begin, all of the safety precautions outlined in the Cohort Site Plan and our Covid Safety Plan or CSP will be in place. Consistent with these plans and guidelines all of the District’s precautions and protocols will be communicated with staff and staff will be trained prior to the first day of class. We are excited to have the opportunity to prioritize these students’ safe return.

How will IEP services be provided during In Person Hybrid Learning?

As we move into hybrid learning we are tasked with ensuring that our students receiving special education services as part of their IEP will continue to receive those services in this new hybrid schedule. While scheduling will be complex, a student could potentially be part of both special education and a mainstream group. Students’ schedules and services will be developed while limiting the mixing of stable groups as much as possible. Students in special education groupings will not mix into more than two groupings within one day. Should a student need additional services, those services may occur during asynchronous times via Zoom. Within these grouping limitations, IEP teams will determine the most appropriate mode of service provision (in person or virtual) considering each individual student’s program and ability to benefit from virtual special education services. School teams will also consider prioritizing a student’s time in general education in-person instruction and will consider class groupings. One on one special education assessment will continue to take place in an approved setting.


March 15, 2021 - March 19, 2021

Wednesday, 3/17

Classified Staff Educational Equity Leadership Professional Learning 1:00 - 3:00PM

School Site Staff Meetings 2:00-4:00PM

Thursday, 3/18

Student Forum on Educational Equity Nicole Anderson Associates Consulting - 2:30 - 4:00PM

Board of Trustees Equity Leadership Session - Nicole Anderson Associates Consulting - 6:00PM

Weekly Video(s)