Superintendent Community Update

February 26, 2021

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Dear JUHSD Families,


Flags around the JUHSD were at half staff this week to honor the 500,000 Americans lives lost to COVID-19 in less than a year. As a nation, we have the highest recorded number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world, with our communities of color hit the hardest. We want to acknowledge and remember the loved ones we have lost, and the pain we are feeling as a community.


With all of this in mind, we are relieved to finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. The number of infections is declining quickly, and San Mateo County has moved into the Red Tier. During the first weeks of educator vaccinations, over 30% of JUHSD staff have been vaccinated or have an appointment for vaccination. What seemed unimaginable a month ago is finally becoming a reality, and we are now looking at bringing our students back to school slowly because it will be safe.


At the same time, we are facing another serious threat to our community with the rising attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. These attacks have largely targeted elders. The JUHSD extends our fullest, most sincere condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in such an unconscionable way. We are also mindful that this situation may cause elders to have some fear doing their daily tasks. For this reason, I ask that you please consider supporting elders by offering to accompany them on a walk, helping them with essential items like grocery shopping, and other simple tasks that require them to leave their homes.


As we transition into the weekend, I have several updates for you:

  1. Return to Campus Update: While we have not yet confirmed a date for return to campus, we are moving towards in-person learning. This will begin with a phased return starting with small groups and individualized support. We will then transition to a hybrid model of instruction. This means that teachers will provide instruction to some students in the classroom (possibly through Zoom), while other students engage in class from home, either synchronously or asynchronously. Families wishing to keep their students in distance learning will have the option to do so.
  2. Return to Campus Survey: In preparation for a safe return to campus, we are administering a survey to both families and staff. Your responses will help with planning and are not a vote for one option over another. Please take the time to share your thoughts at this link.
  3. Board Meeting Highlights - Important information is shared during Board of Education meetings, yet not everyone is able to attend or view the entire meeting. Please view highlights from the latest Board of Trustees meeting, including an update on athletics, and a new 4x4 schedule proposal for Jefferson High School.
  4. Virtual Family Resource Night: Learn about rental assistance, housing assistance and food, toiletries and diaper distribution at the Family Resource Night co-hosted by JUHSD, Pacifica School District, Jefferson Elementary School District, and Pacifica Resource Center. This family night will take place on Wednesday, March 10 at 6:30 pm online. Please view this flyer for additional information and to RSVP.
  5. As a reminder, the JUHSD's District Advisory Committee (DAC) Meeting is taking place next Monday, March 1, 2021 from 6:30 PM - 7:45 PM. During this meeting, we will share updates on the District's Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and review the federal budget allocation for 20-21. Please click here to RSVP.


In closing, I am hopeful that we are beginning a time of recovery and healing from the past year. Have a great weekend and enjoy the sunshine!


Warmly,

Toni Presta


Superintendent