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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

Dear Parents and Guardians:

As we begin our vacation break, please make sure your summer plans include getting your student and other family members vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and they are a critical piece to our return to normalcy. The more that are vaccinated in our school community, the safer we all will be.

All individuals age 12 and up are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. To make vaccination more convenient to our community, Acalanes High School and Las Lomas High School will be hosting vaccination clinics on the following dates, in partnership with Contra Costa County Health Services. You do not need to be a student at the school to receive either vaccine.

Acalanes High School – June 1 – June 5

Las Lomas High School – June 8 – June 12

In addition to the COVID-19 vaccine, the Tdap vaccine will be available at the school clinics for all individuals age 7 and up. Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics report that it is safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. 

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be used for those under 18. We have been told that those 18 or over will have the choice between the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

You can make appointments 7 days out through the CCHS scheduling website.  (June 1 and June 2 are available now and a day is added each day. For example, Las Lomas appointments for June 8 will be available beginning June 1). All CCHS sites will also accept walk-ins without an appointment.

Parents must complete a consent form for all under the age of 18. Additionally, a screening form should be completed. Parents should review the Pfizer fact sheet.

While the vaccine is currently not a requirement to attend public school, we hope all our students will receive the vaccine. If you have concerns regarding the safety of the vaccine for your student, we encourage you to consult with your healthcare provider.

Thank you for helping to keep our community safe, and have a wonderful summer.