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Update from the Superintendent - May 22nd
Posted 5/22/20

 

TGIF and happy holiday weekend Scotts Valley Community,

We are beginning to close out this school year, and you should be hearing from teachers and site administration regarding the end of the year procedures. This next week, we will be closing out final student assignments, and the following week we will be wrapping things up.  We have finalized planning for our fifth and eighth-grade promotion celebration events. The June 4th high school graduation has been postponed in hopes of lifting the current restrictions, and we are waiting and hoping for changes to the social distancing restrictions in order to provide some form of high school graduation. 

This past week, we’ve spent the majority of our time looking at the options and possibilities for opening schools in the fall. It is so difficult to do so since we have to work with three options:  low, medium, and high restriction options.  With each of these options, there are a variety of considerations that we need to address for students, staff, and social distancing requirements which include preventative measures. In addition, we have been reviewing the state budget implications, as districts have been asked to cut approximately 10% out of our budget, while also adhering to the new and potentially costly CDC guidelines that have recently been published.

We are trying to put together multiple, large complex puzzles with various pieces, and currently, many pieces are missing. To help fill in some of those pieces, you will be receiving a parent survey in the next week.  Please respond and give us your feedback.  Your opinion matters to us, and it is important that we are considering all of the needs of our community. The survey that we are sending to parents will help guide us with what worked well, as well as what areas we could improve upon when looking at our options for the fall of 2020. We will also be communicating and asking for input over the summer when we have clearer parameters of what our approved options look like.  Please keep in mind that we are looking at our needs at all respective grade levels, and especially for the little ones who are just starting school. If, in fact,  we are required to continue with remote learning in the fall, our focus will be to regularly provide new content and instruction, as if we were in a classroom setting.  

Please know that we continue to spend countless hours trying to figure out options, and every time we do, the parameters change. I expect this will continue on through the summer, which means that we have to have multiple plans in place in anticipation of all of the potential changes that may come to us. Meanwhile, we are being asked to cut 10% out of our overall budget, which in our district, could be up to $2 million if the Federal Government does not provide additional assistance to the State of California. The ramifications of these potential cuts are painful and create added challenges to the year ahead.

As you know, our budget forecast is gloomy, and planning is a challenge as we are faced with new and potentially costly restrictions.  Please know that Santa Cruz County Superintendents are advocating for educational needs with our local legislators.  This morning, we met with Congressman Jimmy Panetta, and we are meeting with Assemblymember Mark Stone next week as well as Senator Monning’s office.  We are reaching out to John Laird, and I am also reaching out to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo for their support.

Even with all of the unknowns and changing landscape, we have a creative and supportive community here in Scotts Valley, and we are going to figure out how to support our students in this transition, as they are always our primary focus.

As we receive additional information regarding concrete budgetary data, as well as public health directives and parameters, we will be providing those updates to you.

Our mission has been and always will be to provide the highest quality educational program to all students, no matter what it takes.  Your students' safety and wellbeing, as well as their education, matters deeply to all of us.

Again, thank you for all of the positive and supportive parent emails that I have received, regarding the great work that has been done to make this quick shift to online learning to finish out the school year. Things will look different in the fall, and although I can’t tell you what it looks like just yet, rest assured, we will have plans in place and your children will continue to receive a quality education.

Enjoy your holiday weekend.

Most Sincerely,

Tanya Krause