Superintendent's Newsletter

November 6, 2020

Dear FUSD Community,

Like myself, and so many others, you may be experiencing a wide range of emotions related to our Presidential election. Regardless of individual political views and despite all the negative energy surrounding national politics, there is absolute clarity that we have to move from a nation divided, to a nation united. There is so much work that needs to be done to build a better, more just and more equitable future. Although we might be looking at things on a national level at this moment, perhaps our actions and energy are best directed towards building a better tomorrow locally, within the Fremont Unified School District.

As individuals, there is no limit to the impact of our thoughts, words, and actions. As a community and as a comprehensive school district, we hold the leverage to create the best results for our students in FUSD. The most effective step we can take in creating the change we want to see in the world is by supporting our students, by creating a safe and structured place for all students to belong, and by placing the interests of our students at the center of our work. Our collective mission to maximize the academic and social-emotional growth for ALL students must remain our absolute focus.

November 12th Board of Education Meeting

While each Board of Education meeting includes important topics that are relevant to the overall success of FUSD, our upcoming meeting includes two topics that will be of keen interest to our school community. It is always my intent to provide clear and transparent information to our community so all members of FUSD can be informed and involved.

School Resource Officer Program

During our November 12th meeting, the Board of Education will be receiving the recommendations and report from the School Resource Officer (SRO) Task Force that was established at the direction of the Board. The Task Force was established to review the SRO program, consider modifications, and make recommendations to the Board of Education regarding the program. During the November meeting, the Board of Education will receive and discuss the recommendations of the Task Force and possibly take action on these recommendations.

The recommendation of the Task Force and the overall report can be reviewed here, along with other relevant information regarding this specific agenda item (link). If you are interested in providing input on this matter you may submit written comments to the Board of Education by clicking on this link. You are able to provide written input up to Noon on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, two days ahead of the Board Meeting. Additionally, you may provide public comment during the meeting by registering via this link to be able to join and participate in the live virtual meeting.

Return to Campus Planning

As has been noted in prior communications to our staff and community members, we will also be discussing the continued development of plans and considerations for a future return to campus for in-person instruction. The Board of Education will be provided a comprehensive update on the requirements, guidelines, and recommendations from the local and state level regarding how to safely return students and staff to campus in the future.

This topic certainly carries high levels of concern and intense emotions as it most directly connects to the personal and collective safety of your students, our staff, and on a larger scale, our community. I know that many of you are desiring more definitive information regarding a specific date and time in which FUSD may return to on-campus instruction. We aim to provide some of that context after our November Board of Education meeting. There are so many important and complex issues to solve in terms of reopening safely, and ensuring that we are creating stability for our students while trying to maximize the opportunities for successful learning and social-emotional experiences, as well as minimizing any and all negative impacts.

As I’ve shared before, nothing can fully replicate the benefits of an in-person learning experience with comprehensive support structures for students. I believe everyone in FUSD wants our students back on campus for in-person learning when it is safe to do so. FUSD will continue to work toward creating those circumstances within the parameters we can control - while understanding that COVID-19 exists within our community.

We will closely monitor the conditions around COVID-19 in our community as we further develop our plans. As with all things that exist within our larger community, we must recognize that schools don’t exist in an isolated space. What happens in our larger community generally happens within our schools. This is certainly the case for COVID-19. Since the start of our school year, we’ve been informed of students in our community that have tested positive for COVID-19. We are almost at ten FUSD staff members that have tested positive for COVID-19 thus far. This is not to say that any person is at fault for such outcomes, but rather it highlights that COVID-19 is in our community and thus we must remain sharply focused on how to reduce the spread within Fremont and within FUSD.

Thanks to all our community members who took the time to fill out our recent survey providing feedback on our current Distance Learning Plan, and input on future plans to return to in-person instruction. If you would like to see the results of that survey you may review them here (link). In response to those survey results, I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude and thanks to all our FUSD staff members for their work in creating such a high-quality distance learning experience. The survey results demonstrate a very high level of satisfaction with the overall program, high levels of access, and a very strong feeling of rigorous and relevant instruction. The program itself is not perfect, but the commitment from our staff toward continuous improvement has been simply amazing. Additionally, thanks to our students and families for being such great partners in this work.

If you are interested in further reviewing the presentations, survey results, and related information regarding the upcoming Board of Education agenda item regarding a future return to in-person instruction, you can access that information here (link). Additionally, if you are interested in providing public comment in written or oral format for this item you can do so, by accessing the link for written communication here and you may access the live meeting by registering here.

Summary of Links:

School Resource Officer Agenda Item and Related Documents

Future Return to Campus for In-person Instruction

Submit Written Public Comment for any Agenda Item

Access the Live Virtual Board of Education Meeting

District Events, Information, and Committees