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Update from the Superintendent - October 9th
Posted 10/9/20

Dear Scotts Valley Community,

Items included in this update:

  • Surveys - parents and staff
  • Next steps
  • Measure A Town Hall Webinar visit SOSSV.net 
  • District’s Cultural Responsiveness Committee (CRC)
  • Internet connectivity update
  • SVHS and Brook Knoll highlights

Thank you to those that have participated in the district survey. As a reminder, the survey closes today at 3 PM and we are compiling the results and we are relying on a good response rate.  We also implemented a staff survey and will be reviewing those results as well. 

Our next steps are to review survey results, begin to implement COVID testing for staff and identify students to return for small group support for partial days or certain days of the week. At this time students, even in small groups, have to remain in a static cohort and cannot commingle groups. We will be reviewing school schedules, staff schedules and we will be in communication with you regarding any upcoming transitions. As you know, we are offering parent training sessions to support you.  We had a great turnout for our last workshop on Mental Health, Anxiety, and Depression.  Our next workshop will be on October 28 at 7:00 PM and is focused on supporting your child to manage distance learning.  To find a recording of the last workshop, or to participate in future workshops, please visit the Distance Instruction Resource page on our website.  

We are receiving the question, ”Why are private schools in session and not public schools?”  There are key requirements that have been put in place and some are different for private schools. As mentioned, testing 50% of your staff every month is a requirement and easier to implement in a smaller educational setting. Additionally, most private schools do not have collective-bargaining agreements. 

A Town Hall Webinar was held regarding the Measure A school facility bond. Information and the recording are available at SOSSV.net

We have begun meeting as a District team to discuss Cultural Responsiveness.  Our team is currently made up of administrators, counselors, and teachers, and we are researching best practices and reviewing our current curriculum. We look forward to increasing awareness and providing strategies and supplemental resources for our teachers.

Since my last letter, we experienced some technology challenges that made it difficult for teachers to conduct their distance learning sessions from their classrooms for a couple of days. We are working with the County Office of Education, as they help to provide our Internet connections, and we were able to resolve the issue. We apologize for the struggles this added on top of already challenging times, but we now have a process to follow to restore bandwidth should this issue arise again.  Please know that we understand how frustrating it is when there are internet interruptions. We will continue to work to improve our systems.  

Some Site highlights:

SVHS

Back to School Night was a success! If parents missed it, the videos, including the administration’s presentation, are still posted on the homepage. The library is having a virtual book fair on October 12-23.  (See News from the Nest for more details.) 

SVHS is planning for a Drive-Through Haunted House Halloween for families!  This year will be outdoors, drive-through, and families will stay in their cars.  Currently, if all goes well, they plan to open this for the last two weekends in October: October 22-24, Thurs-Sat, and October 29-31, Thurs-Sat.  Each day the event will be from 5-8 pm.  Yesterday a student survey was released, focusing on academics and mental health.  The results of this survey, along with the results from the parent survey, will be reviewed to support students across SVHS.

Brook Knoll 

Red Ribbon Week is coming up 10/23 -10/31.  There is no better time than the present to focus on making smart choices for our bodies and minds.   The school counselors have put together a series of activities that all students can enjoy as they explore healthy choices.  Additionally, the elementary counseling team has provided grade-specific journals for students to use as a resource to help manage and understand their feelings and emotions.   

During a typical year, 4th Graders enjoy an informative and exciting field trip to Cabrillo College.  Unfortunately, last year, our 4th Graders were not able to attend due to county closures, so Cabrillo has invited both 4th and 5th-grade students this year to a Live Virtual 4th Grade Experience, in partnership with Santa Cruz College and Career Collaborative.  This year’s experience will include interactive activities, a virtual tour, and a live question and answer session with a Cabrillo team on October 27.  Vine Hill School 4th and 5th graders will be participating as well.

As we close out another busy week, we are focusing on positive thoughts and hoping for a few needed rain drops this weekend.  

Stay healthy and take care,

Tanya Krause