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Superintendent

“Our students are creative thinkers and problem-solvers and are prepared to become responsible, ethical, and productive citizens.”

May 27, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians:

As we reach the end of the 2020-2021 school year, I am filled with gratitude and optimism. This has been an extraordinary year by any measure, and everyone in the District, in each and every job, faced unique challenges, multiple changes in plans and practices, and rallied at the right times to continue delivering an excellent education for your children.

I want to provide a few important updates as we close the year, as well as a few important words of gratitude.

Planning for August 2021

We will be ready for a full return to a traditional school schedule on August 9, our first day of the 2021-22 school year. In addition to traditional classrooms, curriculum, and daily schedules, we will offer services and support to address the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, social and emotional learning, and behavior. Some highlights include:

  • New elementary school counselors to provide support for all students, focus on social emotional learning, and individual and small group efforts
  • Our second year of a robust social emotional learning curriculum (Toolbox in TK-5 and a specialized curriculum at Stanley)
  • New administrative leadership to support students with disabilities, and continued staffing for instructional support for those students at each school
  • Continuing development of our inclusion and diversity efforts, with teacher-led work on culturally relevant and anti-racist curriculum, student-led efforts at all schools, and leadership training for all district administrators
  • Ongoing summer work focused on curriculum and assessment to meet our students according to their individualized needs as we return to full days of in-person instruction

We continue to track public health updates and guidance carefully. A majority of our county residents age 12 and over are currently vaccinated, and vaccines are readily available across the region. As you undoubtedly have heard, the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” and the color-coded tier system is set to be retired on June 15. We don’t yet, however, know what that means for school-specific health and safety requirements. We are anticipating new information to come out from both the federal government, through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), that is school-specific. We promise to provide you with updates during the summer as we learn more.

As you plan for your own family’s needs for a new school year, here are some assumptions we feel confident you can make.

  • A traditional school day will mean a return to lunch service, and we are already working with our commercial partners to bring these programs back on campus
  • Class assignments will be provided to you by email, rather than in-person, similar to this year
  • Face coverings may continue to be necessary; we expect to learn more with the new school guidance this summer
  • Bus service is being planned so if you are customers of the service, you should have already received notice and an opportunity to sign up

We are awaiting updated guidance before we finalize plans for some of the traditional back-to-school events like mascot days and back-to-school nights, and also important parts of your days like drop-off and pick-up procedures. We promise to be in touch as the new rules allow us to do more detailed planning.

Your best place to start with questions for next year is with your school principal, and we are also happy to answer questions sent by email to superintendent@lafsd.org.

Summer Food Banks and Meal Availability

Last summer we had the benefit of free meals provided by our partners in the Acalanes Union High School District. This summer, access to meals for families in need will be offered at the following locations:

Many Thanks

TO OUR PARENTS. You have never been more important to our success than you have been this school year. We have greatly appreciated positive feedback and the opportunities to work with you to support your children when they have needed an extra hand or additional attention in this unusual year. Thank you for your perseverance and your ongoing support of our work.

TO OUR PARENT ORGANIZATION LEADERS. The presidents of our five school parent organizations gathered with us on Zoom regularly throughout the year through our district-wide Rapport forum, and our conversations entered entirely new territory as the months passed and as we faced different scenarios at different times. Many thanks to Samira Abrams, Katy Foreman, Jana Hattersley, Liz Watson Keyser, and Debbie Krackeler for their efforts. Even though we had difficult conversations and tough questions to answer, our work together was always done respectfully. Rapport was led this year by the always optimistic and hard-working Susan Wiggins, to whom we owe a special thanks.

TO OUR ADMINISTRATORS. Your principals and site administrators worked tirelessly throughout this year. At times when they might normally be off the grid, they were always “on call.” And even when the breaks arrived, the backlog of correspondence or “regular work” often felt overwhelming. As you think about the successes of the year, many of them are thanks to those school leaders.

TO OUR TEACHERS. The truly memorable moments of the year happened with our teachers and classroom staff. I am beginning to hear from teachers that they have never known a group of students quite this well, and the pathway this year from Zoom to classroom has forged unusually strong connections from teacher to student and student to student. We will continue to create opportunities for these special teaching and learning relationships to form in our future in-person classrooms. Our teachers and staff have been admirable partners for us across the district, as we worked through all the implications and special circumstances of the school year, and I am grateful to them.

TO YOU. A final thank you to everyone who supported our work this year, who took the time to write a note of appreciation or who expressed a need that we could work together to fulfill, and who kept the conversations focused on student needs, the core value of our work since March of 2020. I hope you find the summer to be uniquely restorative, a time for reflection, and a chance to prepare for the new school year when we will continue to be focused on success in academics and in creating a welcoming school climate for each and every student in our schools.

Best regards,

Richard Whitmore, Superintendent

Richard Whitmore

May 27, 2021 End of Year

April 14, 2021 Stanley Update

April 2, 2021 Update

March 23, 2021 Update

March 19, 2021 Support for APPI

March 9, 2021 Update

February 26, 2021 Update

February 22, 2021 Update

February 1, 2021 Update

January 20, 2021 Update

January 8, 2021 Update

December 18, 2020 Reminders

December 10, 2020 Update

November 20, 2020 Update

October 9, 2020 Update

September 25, 2020  Update

September 16, 2020 School Operations and Public Health Guidance

August 28, 2020 Update / Survey

July 31, 2020  Update

July 16, 2020 Distance Learning

June 30, 2020 Update

June 11, 2020 School Reopening Study Session

May 26, 2020 Update from Superintendent

April 29, 2020 Update on Governor's thoughts in reopening schools

April 21, 2020 Superintendent Message

April 8, 2020 County Direction for Distance Learning

April 7, 2020 Distance Learning Update

April 3, 2020 Update

April 1, 2020 State Superintendent Thurmond Message

March 27, 2020 Update

March 25, 2020 School Closure Extension

March 20, 2020 Closure and Learning

March 13, 2020 School Closure

March 10, 2020

March 6, 2020

February 28, 2020