May 13, 2020
Classified School Employees Week
During this period of school closure, it is important to note that there are more than 1500 classified employees in Vista Unified, mostly invisible behind the scenes, that make our collective response to this crisis supportive for our students and community members. These truly special support staff are happy to stay in the background, serving essential roles that make our system work every day, all day. The Vista Unified School Board just recently adopted a Proclamation to make May 17-20, 2020 Classified School Employees Week. Please join me in thanking every one of the silent heroes in our community-wide efforts to get through this epidemic together. To get a quick peek into the myriad of jobs our classified employees do, check out the video below.
Financial Challenges On the Horizon
Our district completed a successful series of community forums and special board meetings to address budget challenges a few months ago. Our revised three year budget (called the Multi-Year Projection) was recently approved by the San Diego County Office of Education. With this process behind us, we were poised to go into the 2020-21 school year in good financial shape. As frustrating as it is to us all, however, there are real impacts that the current Covid-19 epidemic is having on our national, state and local financial systems. As a result, there will be impacts on our budget for the coming 2020-21 school year. Please know that our school board members have been actively advocating with state and national government representatives to keep the funding levels stable for education for the coming school year. We will be holding a Special Board meeting on May 21, 2020 to analyze the current financial impacts reported by the Governor in his May revise announcement this week and the LAO (Legislative Analyst) Spring Fiscal Outlook Report 2020. We will use this information to make final adjustments to the budget that will go through the public comment and approval process on June 18th and 25th.
Design for Student Learning 2020-21
As we approach the end of the school year with teachers and staff finalizing their arrangements for graduation and promotion activities, we are also shifting some of our attention to the initial planning and preparation for a successful launch to the 2020-21 school year in August. Vista Unified is looking forward to a normal, in-person, on-campus start to the new school year. We do, however, need to ensure that we have hybrid learning plans prepared in the event that the state and county health authority maintain social distancing orders. Indeed, just yesterday, all California State University campuses just announced that they will be moving their classes in the fall to primarily online. The Superintendent's Council for Innovative Learning will serve as the hub for gathering feedback and recommendations in the coming weeks for the design of these contingency plans. The majority of the design work, however, will be accomplished through sprint teams. These teams, composed of teachers and staff, are tasked with focusing on one of the five systems that define the Vista Virtual School Structure: Instruction, Social/Emotional, Health and Safety, Nutritional, and Technology. Each sprint team will also hold one or more community forums to gather ideas and feedback from students and parents. To offer yet another level of feedback from students, staff, parents, and community members, we have developed a set of Fall 2020 Instructional Program Surveys. The surveys are intended to capture feedback from all members of the Vista community on the design of hybrid learning models that we may need to use in the fall 2020 in case the Covid-19 crisis still requires school closures or social distancing rules. We have placed the parent and community survey link below and will be collecting responses until 5pm on Friday, May 22nd. We will be sending separate survey links directly to staff and students in the coming days. We have created a simple visual of how each of these levels of feedback will contribute to the design of all aspects of the hybrid learning model for the fall. If you would like more information about, or to get engaged in, the fall design work visit the website (www.vistausd.org/falldesign).
Click to provide feedback: Fall 2020 Hybrid Instructional Program Community Survey