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Scotts Valley Middle School

Scotts Valley Unified School District

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    Update from the Superintendent - January 22nd

    Dear Scotts Valley Community,

    Wow, SV, it appears we have experienced a very active week - we are certainly becoming quite resilient!  

    We have recently experienced a minor earthquake, a major windstorm with power and internet outages, more fires, more colors added to the COVID tiers, and the inauguration of a new president.  We are only in January!
     
    Thank you for taking the time to read these updates - there is so much going on and everything is changing so rapidly  - I try to do my best to share the most salient information, but also want to share some highlights.

    The District continues to review the Governor’s latest proposal and requirements for opening schools for hybrid instruction at the elementary level while in the purple tier.  We continue to work toward a vaccination plan for employees but there are challenges with distribution, as I am sure you are aware. We had an initial plan in place for Santa Cruz County educators to be vaccinated, but with the Governor’s latest announcement about prioritizing 75+ and 65+, and given the number of vaccinations in the county and the distribution plan, educators have now been pushed out to a later date.

    The latest guidance from CDPH (California Department of Public Health) clarifies how schools can reopen even in the purple tier. A critical component included is that the County's adjusted case rate has to be under 25 per 100,000 population per day for at least 5 consecutive days.  Nonetheless, school districts are required to submit yet another plan to the State to qualify for the “in-person instruction grants”.  Consolidated School Guidance - Updated January 14, 2021

    Early this morning, Santa Cruz County Superintendents met with Dr. Newell, and then afterward, we met with Senator John Laird.  A few key takeaways from those conversations:

    * Santa Cruz County currently has a COVID case rate of 71 per 100K (10 times higher than the purple tier rate)

    * The new variant is in Santa Cruz - reporting that it is more easily spread but not yet reporting different symptomatology

    * Santa Cruz County is struggling to meet the vaccination need - currently, our County is receiving 2000 vaccines per week for the entire county

    * The State vaccination system is a bit of a mess.  We are told that the Governor plans to announce a new tiered vaccination sequence that will place most educators further down the line from what we had expected or planned for unfortunately, and this is contradictory to the requirements he has proposed in his latest Reopening Plan

    * The Governor is receiving a lot of pressure statewide about the requirements he has proposed in the Reopening Plan and some key aspects of this proposal are likely to be amended

    However, there is some positive news. I am hearing that teachers and the majority of our students “have this online learning system down”. We are in no way saying that this adequately replaces in-person instruction, but it shows us that some of the challenges and issues from earlier in the year for remote instruction have been worked through. 

    Our sites continue to try and be creative and innovative during this time of the “new way of doing things”.  We will be sharing events and activities that are upcoming throughout the remainder of the school year.

    A few site highlights:
    SVHS: (for more details, go to the school webpage)

    • Semester 1 ended with excellent attendance and grade distributions similar to previous years.
    • Counselors are meeting with classes and collecting course requests for the 2021-22 school year.
    • The 'Fall' play is finishing up, and they will be filming at the end of the month and presenting the play for online screening.
    • Santa Cruz Athletic League recently announced updated sport seasons for the remainder of this school year - Update on Santa Cruz County High School Athletic League
    • SVHS is planning for an Alumni Career 'fair' for Feb 18th, and students will be able to attend multiple Zoom sessions where former students and parents will share their career experiences.
    • Open House Expo is planned for Wed. Feb 24th - details to come. 
    • ASB Talent show will be released this evening, January 22nd - it has been pre-recorded. 

    Brook Knoll:

    • The lower campus garden restoration is complete and we can’t wait for the students to enjoy it.  On the other side of campus, the Girl Scouts have been working hard to complete the new paving stone walkway through the quad.
    • The 5th Graders will experience a new type of “Science Camp” this year, Virtual Outdoor Education!  Details to follow. (This is also for Vine Hill 5th graders.)
    • Brook Knoll and Vine Hill have joined forces and are welcoming families to enjoy the movie “Trolls World Tour” at the Boardwalk on January 29th. 

    Here is a great community opportunity!

    Connecting Environmental Advocacy to Teen Well-being - A training for Teachers, Parents and Community Partners - 1/28, 6 pm-7:30 pm (Spanish Translation Provided!)

    On Thursday, January 28th from 6-7:30 pm the SCCOE Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) programs, in partnership with O'Neill Sea Odyssey will be hosting a zoom webinar for parents, educators, and community partners. Please help us spread the word!
     
    The webinar will focus on Connecting Environmental Advocacy to Teen Well-being by Building a Bridge between Teen Eco-Activism and Personal Health to Address such Issues as Tobacco use, among others. 
     
    Please share this great opportunity with your networks.  Please click on this LINK to register.  This event will be held in English with simultaneous Spanish translation provided.  Connecting Environmental Advocacy to Teen Well-Being - flyer
     
    I appreciate that we are working together as a community to do our best to take care of ourselves and each other.  I encourage all of us to continue in this effort.  With that, next week there is a prediction of the possibility of receiving inches of rain and if that is to occur, the San Lorenzo Valley area will be monitoring debris flow and anticipating some evacuations in those areas.  We stand ready to assist as needed.

    Please take good care.

    Sincerely,
    Tanya Krause 

    Update from the Superintendent - January 8th

    Happy New Year, Scotts Valley Community!

    Well, we have been back in session for our first week of 2021 with online instruction, and all has gone reasonably well. I have received some questions about the Governor’s latest proposal as well as the district’s intent to return to hybrid instruction and I want to address those items. 

    First, we are not returning to in-person hybrid instruction in the immediate future. As a reminder, we have agreements with our teachers for full distance instruction, small group in-person support, and in-person hybrid instruction. I announced in December that we would not return to in-person instruction until Santa Cruz County had been in the red tier for three consecutive weeks. We want to ensure that we are fully prepared when we are able to move to in-person hybrid instruction, so we will be transitioning elementary students to the new schedules beginning January 19th. Site administrators will continue to communicate with you about this transition. 

    On December 30, Governor Newsom provided new proposals specific to returning students in grades TK - 2 initially and then grades 3 - 6 depending on the elementary configurations. We are still unpacking the language proposal of the Governor as to what it requires and what it entails. In the meantime, we will continue with our online instruction and return to small group in-person support soon. Until further notice or legislative change, Scotts Valley Unified School District has plans to return to in-person hybrid instruction after three consecutive weeks into the red tier. The Governor’s new proposal considers waivers for the elementary grade levels and Santa Cruz County Superintendents are looking into the specifics of this proposal. Linked here is the Santa Cruz County Superintendent’s letter.

    I know there are a lot of emotions, opinions, and varied feelings about the topic of returning students and staff to a modified in-person instructional model. I am receiving arguments from all sides. We are attempting to provide the options being requested within our resource and facility abilities. Although I understand that not everyone is in agreement with the options we are offering, I believe it is important to do our best to honor the requests of our community and our staff and keep the focus on the various needs of the students.

    We plan to stay consistent with what we announced in December, and we will continue to monitor the status of Santa Cruz County and make changes based on that status.  It is my understanding that in the very near future we will be hearing about the likelihood of an extension to the stay at home order for the Bay Area which includes Santa Cruz County.  

    On a happier note, we are very proud of our SVUSD Chamber of Commerce Award winners this year:  

    Man of The Year, Mr. Michael Hanson, SVHS Principal

    Educator of the Year, Erik Wyner, SVHS Teacher

    Youth of the Year, Anika Mistry, SVHS Senior

    Please stay safe and take care out there,

    Tanya Krause

    SVUSD Superintendent

    Letter from the Santa Cruz County Superintendents - January 7th

    This letter is being sent on behalf of all of the Superintendents in Santa Cruz County:  SC County Superintendents' Letter 1/7/2021

    Happenings

    bag lunch

    "FREE MEALS ARE BACK!

    Meals are available for pickup at Scotts Valley High School for all SVUSD students between 10:00am and 1:00pm daily."

    In An Emergency

    In the event of a crisis situation we may not be able to answer calls or receive visitors on campus.  In these circumstances, information & instructions will be posted on the District's Website

    When we are not able to answer our telephones or are unreachable, additional news may be heard by tuning to KSCO am 1080 or via local television news stations.

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