NEWSLETTER - November / December 2021

Superintendent's Message

Dr. Ben Churchill, Superintendent

In the midst of the holiday season I want to wish you all a peaceful and joyous time with your families and friends. Enjoy your holiday celebrations -- but please remain cautious so we all can return to school in January healthy, rested, and ready for an exciting 2022.

Supporting Students in Challenging Times

I continue to be proud of Carlsbad Unified’s many successes, particularly in light of the obstacles that our resilient staff, students, and families have confronted over the last many months.

I am especially proud of the actions that our district has taken to address social and emotional stress that students have faced as a result of the pandemic.

Read the rest of the message here...

Spotlight on Schools:

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Rebuilding Community

The Hope Hawks are enjoying their new nest.

After a year and a half of COVID and construction disruptions, students were welcomed back to a beautifully modernized school in August and, in November, to the first Hope Hawks family gathering in nearly two years -- Turkey Bingo -- signaling a new beginning for the school community.

Hope Elementary School has been undergoing its Measure HH Modernization Project. Last year was a time of COVID uncertainties, quarantines, online and hybrid learning -- and construction noise and dust. The playgrounds and field were construction zones, and, for a few months, the front office operated out of a kindergarten building.

But when students arrived on campus in August they found four newly-constructed buildings. Two of the buildings each housed four state-of-the-art classrooms; one contained two classrooms and a new STEAM Lab; and one building accommodated two kindergarten classrooms. The remaining classrooms on campus were refreshed with new carpet, lighting, tac walls, and technology. The front office was redesigned. The Multipurpose Room, library and kitchen was expanded and remodeled into pleasing and efficient spaces. The playgrounds were redone and refitted with new play structures. And the front of the school was given a modern facelift.

When the permanent lunch structure and a final part of the upper playground are finished, the Hope Elementary School Modernization Project will be completed.

“Our students, teachers, staff, and families love it. It’s so beautiful, clean, and modern,” said Hope Principal Ashley Rossiter. “It feels like a new school.”

Turkey Bingo

On November 18 the Hope community celebrated the reopening of its modernized school with the first in-person parent and student event in nearly two years. Turkey Bingo, the school’s annual tradition, was held in the evening, outside in the courtyard with new lights -- courtesy of their reconstruction project. The event, hosted by the Oleksy/Boe families, raised over $1,000 in support of the Friends of Hope Foundation to fund interventions, art and PE programs, and part of the STEAM Lab expenses. The event attracted the highest attendance ever.

Participants played bingo, laughed, and had fun, while munching on popcorn and hot dogs. To top it all, there was a Dance-off and a Turkey Gobbling contest.

The Hope Hawks are happy to nest in their new home, rebuilding school pride and community spirit -- and, yes, Hope for the Future!

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Kindness Links at Pacific Rim

Messages of kindness, support, and peace -- 18 miles of them -- festooned the field at Pacific Rim Elementary, as the school hosted Kids for Peace’s attempt to build the world’s longest recycled-paper chain.

The students were excited as they worked together in small teams to connect links sent in from 702 schools located on six of the seven continents around the world. In just one day, the Pac Rim Waveriders added an astounding five miles of links to the chain. Volunteers then used the paper chain of positive messages to form a giant heart on the field.

The links contained messages such as “Kindness Matters,” “You can make the world a better place,” “Believe in yourself,” and “Stay strong.” The messages, in several languages, were all hand-written and decorated by students. Sections of the chain will be sent to senior centers, libraries, and the White House.

Kids for Peace, the sponsor of the Great Kindness Challenge, started in Carlsbad Unified in 2006 and now boasts 450 chapters on six continents.

The Pacific Rim community continues to promote kindness and respect for all, and was excited to contribute to this wonderful event. One Waverider summed it up by saying, "I loved coloring links with kindness messages, and it was super cool to make the links with my friends."

Number 10 in Best Elementary Schools ranking

Waveriders have a lot to be proud of these days. In the magazine’s recent inaugural Elementary Schools ranking, U.S. News and World Reports listed Pacific Rim Elementary School as the 10th best public elementary school in all of California, out of a total of 6,569 schools. When this honor was announced at a school assembly, students and staff celebrated and cheered.

“This notable achievement is the collective work of our awesome students, supportive parents, and dedicated staff," said Principal Richard Tubbs.

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E-bike Safety

As more students ride e-bikes to school, it's important that everyone know the rules of the road. The City of Carlsbad has put together the following videos to support the safety efforts of our students and community.
Know Your E-bike Type
5 Ways You Could Be Breaking the Law On Your E-bike
What Happens If You Break the Rules On Your E-bike

Board Meeting Wrap Up - November 17, 2021

The following items were discussed and/or decided at the November 17, 2021 Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees:

  • Career Pathways and Career Technical (CTE) Three Year Strategic Plan - Approved
  • Bond Program Monthly Update - Information/Discussion
  • FMP Phase 2 Modernization Project Final Design: Aviara Oaks Elementary - Approved
  • Resolution No. 18-2122 Supporting School Solar and NEM 3.0 - Approved

More information, including slide decks and copies of approved resolutions, can be found here or by clicking the button below.

Board Meeting Wrap Up - December 15, 2021

The following items were discussed and/or decided at the December 15, 2021 Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees:

  • Annual Reorganization of the Board for 2022: Elisa Williamson, President; Ray Pearson, Vice President; Kathy Rallings, Clerk - Approved
  • First Interim Financial Report - Approved
  • Updated Procedures for Public Participation at Board Meetings - Approved (with modifications)
  • Resolution No. 22-2122: Authorizing the Sale and Delivery of 2022 School Financing Projects (Certificates of Participation) - Approved
  • Resolution No. 24-2122: Continuing to Hold Virtual Meetings for the Next 30 Days - Approved

More information, including slide decks and copies of approved resolutions, can be found here or by clicking the button below.

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Keeping Our Kids Safe, Online and On Campus

The safety of students and staff is one of Carlsbad Unified School District’s top priorities. All of us—students, parents, and school employees—have an important role to play in keeping our campuses and communities safe.

Recent national events serve as a good example of why it is important to talk with your children — including elementary-age children, as appropriate — about how to use social media responsibly.

It’s especially important to talk about not reposting online trends that refer to or could be understood as school safety threats. Even if they are not credible threats, they can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for our students, families, and staff. We ask our families to monitor their children’s social media activity and speak with them about proper behavior online.

If you or your child become aware of any potential threat posted to social media or anywhere else, please notify a school staff member or trusted adult right away. Administration and law enforcement will investigate each concern of this nature to determine if there is a credible threat. If so, appropriate action is then taken.

This is also a good time to remind our community about California laws regarding the safe storage of firearms. Earlier this year our Board of Trustees approved a resolution supporting safe gun storage, supporting the work of the California Department of Education to inform parents and guardians of the laws in California. Safe storage can keep our students, staff, and community safer. Our memo with more info can be found here.

Stay Connected with ParentSquare

We’re using a new communication platform called ParentSquare to connect parents and school. Download the app and log in with the phone number or email address you already have on file at school as part of the registration process. Then you can customize your communications preferences - choose to get notifications by email, by text, and/or in the app; immediately or at times that work for you; translated to the language you prefer; and more.

Click here to learn more on our website, and/or follow the steps below to get started!

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Credit: Melissa Barry (@barryeducated) on Instagram

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Credit: Carlsbad High School Lancer Bands (@chs_lancer_bands) on Instagram
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Credit: Marina Hall (@aoms.orchestra) on Instagram

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Credit: Valley Middle School Choral Department (@vmschoir) on Instagram

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Credit: Calavera Hills Middle School (@chmscoyotes) on Instagram

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Credit: Emma Cobb - Principal (@kelly_cougars) on Instagram

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Credit: Calavera Hills Middle School (@chmscoyotes) on Instagram

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Credit: Carlsbad Police Department (@carlsbadpolicedebt) on Instagram

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Credit: Jorge Espinoza (@cbad_village_and_seaside) on Instagram

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Credit: Kids For Peace (@kidsforpeace) on Instagram

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Credit: Carlsbad High School CTE (@carlsbadhighcte) on Instagram

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Credit: CUSD Career Pathways (@cusdcareerpathways) on Instagram

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Credit: Aviara Oaks Middle School (@aomsfalcons) on Instagram

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Credit: Sage Creek High School (@scbobcats) on Instagram

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Credit: The Lancer Link (@thelancerlink) on Instagram

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Credit: Carlsbad Educational Foundation (@cbadedu) on Instagram

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Credit: Aviara Oaks Cafeteria (@aocafeteria) on Instagram

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Credit: CHS Speech and Debate Boosters (@chs.speechdebate.boosters) on Instagram

Carlsbad Unified School District

We provide every student an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment. #cusdlearns