Virtual Learning Academy Newsletter

January 2021

Dear Families,

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a nice and safe winter break. We are at the halfway point for the 2020-2021 school year. The Virtual Learning Academy teachers have been doing an excellent job assisting students and parents!

It has been a difficult year for many of us. We are finding ourselves in situations we have never experienced. I hope the flexibility of the program has helped you establish routines and predictable schedules for your family. Please see the section below where I included some reminders and clarifications regarding the pacing of the VLA program.

Again, thank you for your collaborative efforts. As a community, we will come through this stronger than we were before. As our roles shift, we are learning and adapting to new scenarios that will hopefully make us more resilient and knowledgeable. Superintendent Flores send out regular communications to all our families. I am including some links she sent in her last communication. You should be receiving these communications. If you are not, please let me know and I will be sure you are included.

· Helping Children Cope

· Having Difficult Conversations with your Child

· Supporting Your Child's Mental Health

Also, our district's website is another wonderful resource: GUSD website.

I also will be sending regular communications to keep you informed on new information.

~ Lisa Lorona

VLA Pacing and Flexibility

The Virtual Learning Academy is paced with daily lessons. To help support students with the pacing, our VLA teachers have optional daily Zoom lessons where they deliver a Calvert lesson. In addition, our VLA teachers have an optional daily intervention Zoom class to support your child to reinforce concepts being learned. Students must complete what the pacing suggests each week. VLA teachers have been monitoring and emailing you to communicate if your child is falling behind.

The Distance Learning program at the sites require students log in at set times every day between 8am-1pm. The Virtual Learning Academy is different in that it provides flexibility within a 7 day period to complete weekly lessons. Students must complete what the pacing suggests each week between Monday through Sunday. Teachers are reviewing program completion on Mondays.

VLA Yearbook and Picture Day

We have been working with Lifetouch on different options for pictures and a VLA yearbook. Everything was put on hold when the Stay-at-Home Order was extended indefinitely. GUSD elementary schools put scheduled make-up picture days on hold at that time. This last Monday, the State announced that it is lifting the Regional Stay at Home Order and the County's return to the Purple Tier.

The most recent communication with our Lifetouch representative was that the Purple Tier has affected a lot of schools. Lifetouch has not been able to confirm an in-person Picture Day at this time. At this point, Lifetouch is recommending an in-home school photo program called Snaps@Home as a good option for families. Please click below for the flyer.

We currently do not have class pictures to organize a yearbook. It will be determined if we will need to cancel the VLA yearbook depending on how many families opt for the Snaps@Home option and the amount interest we still have for a yearbook.

We have tried our best efforts to come up with solutions during the ever-changing guidelines. The ongoing impacts caused by COVID-19 and shelter in place have been astounding. We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding.

Family Resources

GUSD 's Specialized Program Department has designed a Family Resource page with local links and updates from our Gilroy community. Please browse through the links to access resources for you and your family.

Spirit Day- February 5th

This month's Spirit Day will be Crazy Sock Day on February 5th!

Connect with Lisa Lorona


February 5th: Spirit Day - Crazy Sock Day

February 12th: End of 2nd Trimester

February 15th-19th: Winter Break NO SCHOOL

March 1-5th: Read Across America