Dear GUSD staff and families
Hello February! Although the weather is still chilly outside, things are getting busier on our campuses. I am trying to savor every moment that the next months of busyness will bring, as this is a bittersweet time for me as I transition to retirement on June 30, 2023.
Board of Education Special Meeting and Superintendent Search webpage
Things are moving along as the Board of Education begins the search for our District’s next Superintendent. On Wednesday, February 8, the Board held a special meeting with Leadership Associates, the executive search firm they have hired to conduct the recruitment process. During the meeting the consultants and the Board identified desired qualities for the District's new Superintendent, identified logistics and responsible parties for the next steps, and presented a timeline for the search.
You can watch the recording of the Special Board Meeting on our YouTube channel.
The Superintendent Search webpage is now live on the District Office website. This page includes the approved timeline, links to the online stakeholder surveys in English and Spanish, which open February 15 and closes March 3, background about Leadership Associates, a link to the new Superintendent job description, and some FAQs (frequently asked questions) about the search process.
School Resource Officer Contracts Renewed
The Gilroy City Council and GUSD Board of Education have both voted unanimously to renew the District’s School Resource Officers’ (SROs) contracts. SROs are part of a comprehensive school safety plan designed to keep our students safe at school and to provide positive school climates. This is an essential service in light of the number of shootings and acts of violence that have occurred in recent years on school campuses.
The SROs are assigned to the two comprehensive high schools, and serve our continuation high school and feeder middle/elementary schools. Some of the primary objectives of the SRO program in our district are:
- Maintain safe and secure campuses for both students and staff.
- Develop positive relationships with students, staff and the community.
- Divert youth away from the criminal justice system through restorative justice programming.
- Connect youth with mental health and behavioral services.
The SRO program is an important piece of a comprehensive approach to providing positive, safe school environments that includes implementation of – PBIS - Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Restorative Justice training and practices, extensive counseling and mental health supports, social emotional learning curriculum, anti-bullying curriculum, training for all staff on these strategies, and much more. The SRO program in our district emphasizes prevention, intervention, education and developing positive relationships. The goal is to issue as few citations as possible on our campuses and only for serious crimes or acts of violence and in fact, the majority of juvenile citations and arrests in the City occur outside of school.
This program is fully supported by our principals and assistant principals, and our leadership team. There is also strong support from our school community as evidenced by recent surveys of our staff, parents and students that were administered in English and Spanish.
COVID-19 Test Kit Distribution
The District will provide another round of COVID-19 test kits to students prior to the February break. Please have your student(s) test before returning to school on Monday, February 27, and keep them home if they are not well.
Upcoming Dual Immersion Orientations
The Gilroy Unified School District is one of only 19 school districts in California to offer a dual immersion (DI) program for students in grades K-12, and applications are currently being accepted for incoming kindergarteners (the class of 2035!). Elementary students in the DI program attend either Rod Kelley or Las Animas.
Parents or guardians can attend an in-person orientation on Wednesday, March 1 at 3:30 pm at Rod Kelley Elementary or on Tuesday, March 14, at 6:30 pm at Las Animas Elementary. Parent or guardians who wish to apply for the DI program must attend an informational meeting. Attendance at all DI informational meetings will be verified.
For more information about DI orientations or the program, visit our website.
Upcoming COVID-19/ Flu Shot Clinics at GUSD Schools
COVID-19 vaccine clinics at El Roble will be held on February 21 and March 20, and at Glen View on February 28 and March 27. That information will be sent to you as soon as it is available.
Student Services Transition Fair
On Tuesday, February 28, from 5-7 pm the GUSD Student Services Department will host a Transitions Fair. Families of students in grades kinder-12 who have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) are invited to attend. Agencies who provide support to young adults with a disability will discuss available services and resources following high school graduation. Attendees can connect with these agencies and listen to a panel discussion from 5:30-6 pm. Those with questions can contact Heather.DeRosa@GilroyUnified.org.
Other upcoming events in our District:
- February 20-24—No school for students. GECA classes are in session.
- March 2—Read Across America. Please look for information about this event from elementary schools.
- April 15—GUSD Run for Fitness. Open to ALL students in Gilroy. Registration information will be sent out in ParentSquare in early March
- April 26—Future Chefs of America for fifth grade students. Information was sent home last week.
I’ll be cheering for both teams in the Super Bowl this weekend, since “my team,” the San Francisco 49ers won’t be there. I hope you find something fun to do as well.
Take care of each other,
Dr. Deborah A. Flores, Ph.D.
Gilroy Unified School District