Old Adobe Educator Weekly Round-Up
May 3, 2021 - May 7, 2021
MESSAGE FROM SUPERINTENDENT LOWERY
On Friday I sent a video message to students to encourage and inspire them. In the video I asked students two questions: 1) What do you love most your school? and 2) What activities or games you want to do this summer? We hope to use the information as input for summer school planning and potentially lift student voice to be used in the marketing and communications efforts. Parents and caregivers were asked to help students to share responses with me by clicking here.
Please click here to watch and listen to the Superintendent's Special Video Message to Students.
Student voice is such a critical element of our work of ensuring equity for each and every student. Making room students' values, opinions, beliefs, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds is essential because as students struggle with finding their place, or feel like they don’t fit in, knowing that their voice is being heard can help them to see that they’re not alone. Students have the greatest stake in their education but sometimes have little to no say in how it is delivered. This lack of agency represents a lost opportunity to accelerate learning and prepare students for a world in which taking initiative and learning new skills are increasingly paramount to success.
Questions to consider to lift student voice:
Are students' opinions being heard?
Are students' values and beliefs being respected?
Are students' varying cultural backgrounds freely expressed?
How will you know how to best provide instruction for your students if you don’t know what they care about, or how they learn?
SPECIAL DAILY PERSONAL CHALLENGE
At the end of the video I shared the following daily challenge with students:
- Rise each morning with joy in your soul.
- Work hard each day to learn all you can and grow your brain.
- Play with your friends each moment with joy in your spirit.
- Lie down each night with a thankful heart.
- Choose LOVE.
*Please encourage and remind students about the daily personal challenge. Let's unite as OAUSD educators and join the challenge with students.
Sign up for brief meet and greet, to share and idea or ask a question.
Beginning this week students will receive breakfast 7 days a week. Breakfast items will be added to the grab and go lunch bags on:
- Mondays (for Tuesday's breakfast and lunch)
- Tuesdays (for Tuesday and Wednesday's breakfast and lunch)
- Thursday (for Friday's breakfast and lunch)
- Fridays (for Saturday, Sunday and Monday's breakfast and lunch)
USDA to Provide Critical Nutrition Assistance to 30M+ Kids Over the Summer
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a new effort funded by the American Rescue Plan to provide adequate nutrition to more than 30 million children over the summer by expanding Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits. Summer months are difficult for low-income children because they lack access to school meals that fill a nutrition gap during the school year. When school is out of session, summer feeding programs—considered a lifeline for some families—reach just a small fraction, typically less than 20%, of the number served during the school year. This summer, USDA will offer P-EBT benefits to all low-income children of all ages, helping families put food on the table during the COVID-19 pandemic.
P-EBT was established in March 2020 to provide food dollars to families to make up for meals missed when schools have closed due to COVID-19. The program was set to expire on Sept. 30, 2021, but through the American Rescue Plan Act, benefits are now available for the duration of the pandemic, including during the summer months.
P-EBT builds on lessons learned from USDA’s Summer EBT pilots, which began in 2011 and have proven successful at reducing severe food insecurity as well as improving the quality of children’s diets. Recent research by the Brookings Institute confirms P-EBT also has a measurable impact on food insecurity, decreasing food hardship faced by low-income children by 30% in the week following benefit issuance.
Children are eligible for this temporary nutrition benefit – loaded onto an EBT card that can then be used to purchase food – if they are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year or if they are under age six and live in a SNAP household. Families of eligible children typically receive $6.82 per child, per weekday, or roughly $375 per child over the summer months.
The Child Development Department is so pleased to welcome two new Site Managers to our team! Katie Garcia will be filling in at La Tercera for the remainder of this school year before relocating to Loma Vista in the fall (if all goes as planned). At Miwok Valley, Instructional Assistant Connie Gibbs has stepped up to fill in as Site Manager and is doing a phenomenal job. Our intrepid Site Manager Ofelia Reynoso continues to keep the ship afloat at La Tercera and we could not do any of this without her. A huge thank you to the whole Kids Care team for the work they have done to pivot into hybrid, including the Instructional Assistants renewing their focus on offering structured enrichment and informal learning opportunities throughout the day!
In Bright Futures Preschool Lead Teacher Miss Selfa and Associate Teacher Miss Michelle have also begun to welcome students on to campus for the first time all year. Yay! We are still in a ‘soft launch’ phase of reopening while we find the right third teacher to complete the teaching team but students have been adopting new routines and engaging in in-person learning two days each week. And four days this week! Thank you to Selfa, Michelle, and the invaluable Carrie Kent for all of the hard work, creative problem solving, and energy!
And finally, thank you to all OAUSD teachers, staff, and admin who work with the Kids Care and Bright Futures teams in support of students and families!
1. CDC Mask Guidelines Update
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced updated guidelines for adult-use of masks and when adults can safely go without a mask. Click here for the infographic and here for the complete CDC guidelines. As a reminder, the CDC guidance is advisory and schools are still bound by the CA Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance. Updated CDPH guidance is expected soon to reflect the new CDC guidance; however this may not pertain to school settings which are separately governed by the state’s consolidated school reopening guidance.
2. Student Vaccinations
SCOE and County Health officials are working on a plan for any student 16-17 years old to get vaccinated if they choose. Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is permitted for anyone under 18. Vaccinations for 16-17 year olds will provide flexibility for vaccinated students to be more socially active and participate in sports and other school events. Students who would like to get vaccinated will need written consent from a parent/guardian and will need to be accompanied to the clinic by a parent/guardian.
3. Day Camps & Other Youth Activities
The following guidance regarding Day camps and other supervised youth activities was updated April 23, 2021. Day camps and other supervised youth activities must follow these specific portions of the K-12 schools guidance:
Additionally, sites must post the checklist for day camps and other supervised youth activities in the facility to show employees, youth, and families that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for operation.
4. Field Trip Guidance Update
Field trips are now allowed, according to a recent FAQ released by the California Department of Public Health. It states: Field trips are allowed, following the current K-12 Schools Guidance safety mitigation approaches (e.g. stable groups, distancing, and bus ventilation and spacing recommendations). Please note that overnight field trips are not addressed in this Q&A, but county public health officials have said they would not permit them for the remainder of this school year.
5. Encourage Student/Family Testing to Help us Progress to Yellow
County Health has asked for our help encouraging families and students to get tested as schools reopen. There are many benefits to our families getting tested, even when it is not mandated. Testing can identify any trends and outbreaks and stop big outbreaks before they start, helping avoid school closures. Testing also helps the county progress toward the yellow tier more quickly.
Currently, testing is one of the criteria keeping us from moving to yellow. There are many free options for families at soccoemergency.org/test.
6. COVID-19 Testing Fact Sheet
County Health has developed a fact sheet (bilingual) related to COVID-19 exposure and testing, based on frequent questions they are receiving from schools and the community. Specifically, this fact sheet is in response to parent questions about testing and that multiple tests have led to confusion about the infected status of their child. County Health's hope is that this resource can be shared with any families hesitant or skeptical about testing.
7. COVID-19 Testing PSAs
To help spread the word about the importance of testing, SCOE has developed these student and family friendly videos that we invite you to share with your school community in an e-newsletter, over social media, or post on your website.
CURRICULUM AND PROFESSIONAL LEARNING
The STAR Spring Benchmark window will open until May 14. As you all know, we will be using our STAR Spring Benchmark scores to report ELA and mathematics progress to our families instead of the CAASPP.
A letter went home to families that stated a “sample report” was included. This report is merely a sample of what they will receive for their own student’s scores along with the report card. Some parents haven’t read the letter and have assumed the report is suppose to be for their student. If a parent reaches out to you looking for the “correct report,” please remind them that this report is a SAMPLE and not a real report, as stated in the letter. Their student’s report will be sent home with 3rd trimester report cards.
As always, please make sure students take the Spring Benchmark independently and have ample time to complete the ELA and mathematics tests.
The Sonoma County Library has compiled a list of the best children’s books for April 2021. You can access the list HERE.
5th and 6th grade teachers, in case you didn’t see the email regarding the Family Life focus for this year, here is the info:
We did not teach Family Life last year due to the start of the pandemic, and the overwhelming feeling is that we need to give our students instruction in Family Life this year. That being said, we recognize there is a challenge with the shorter amount of time you have students for in-person instruction. There are also issues around how to teach the curriculum while on Zoom in distance learning. The distance learning issue was addressed in a separate email to the distance learning teachers.
We feel that at minimum, the videos need to be shown to students followed by a class discussion. Teachers may choose to use the curriculum worksheets if they fit into the discussion, but it is okay if the worksheets are not used. As mentioned before, our curriculum needs an overhaul, and we plan to do this next year. We don't want to totally scrap family life for this year, and we feel that showing both videos and providing time for discussion is a good way to approach it.
If students opt out, principals have a plan in place for where students will go and who will supervise them. Your site principal will convey this plan to you.
I will explain our plan for Family Life instruction to the parents on May 3 as parents and guardians of 5th and 6th grade students are invited to preview the videos used in the Family Life curriculum on Monday.
Zoom Link: https://tinyurl.com/3rkertkj
Also, just a reminder, both boys and girls will stay in the room together for Family Life.
Look for more information as we need to update our Family Life curriculum, and we will be creating a task force in order to do this in the fall.
Equity Coalition Update
In case you missed it, here is the Superintendent's Board Report and Equity Presentation from 4/29/01
- Poetry to teach People’s History (Zinn Education Project) for National Poetry Month
- Unlearning behaviorism, a social media post and image caption responding to the continued state-sanctioned violence against Black folks by Teaching is Intellectual (main website linked here)
If you need to reach the Equity Coalition to share resources, express concerns or ask questions, you can now email the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOOD PANTRY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
REGISTRATION AND ENROLLMENT
RETURNING TO SCHOOL FALL 2021-2022
On April 29, 2021 the Board of Trustees approved Resolution #759 Return to In-Person Full Time Instruction Fall 2021.
Emily Fry, District Occupational Therapist, welcomed a baby boy Arlo David Fry and he is “Doing awesome!”
Thank you for all of your efforts in completing our YouthTruth Survey! Our student and staff survey completion rate was between 85 to 100 percent!
Thank you to all of our staff who have taken the time to provide your insight and feedback on our district. And a big thank you to all of our 3rd through 6th grade teachers for lifting up the voices of our students by facilitating student input and feedback through the survey. Hearing about how we are doing and having insight into the current experience of our students and staff is vital to our work. Look for survey information to be reported back in late May!
OAUSD EVENTS SCHEDULED THIS WEEK
May 3, 2021 - May 7, 2021
Family Life Parent/Caregiver Meeting @ 6:00PM
Fall 2021 Safe Reopening of Our Schools Listening Session @ 6:00PM
Minimum Day - Staff Appreciation
Reopening 2021-2022 Taskforce Feedback Meeting @ 3:30PM - 5:30PM
Board of Trustees Study Session - Board Governance with an Equity Lens @ 6:00PM