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November 4, 2022 update from Dr. Flores: being grateful, upcoming events and holidays, CAASPP results and celebrating award winners
GUSD Communications

Dear GUSD Families and Staff,

In November every year as Thanksgiving approaches, I spend time reflecting on what I am grateful for in my life.  Of course, the first images that come to mind are my family and how much I love them.  This is followed by how much I appreciate our good health which allows us to be so active.  These thoughts are very closely followed by how much I appreciate our school district and the incredible staff that make it such a great place for our students.  I hope you take the time this month to identify the things that you are grateful for in your life.  Focusing on the positive aspects of our lives can really make a difference in our daily lives.

There are only five weeks of school left (25 days) before the winter break. There will be no school on the following dates:

  • November 11: Veteran’s Day holiday
  • November 21-25: Thanksgiving break.  GECA students are off November 24 and 25 only.
  • December 19- January 2: Winter break.
  • January 3: Teacher Records Day.  No school for middle and high school students only.  School is in session for students in TK-5th grades.  GECA students return to school on Monday, January 9, 2023.

Many activities and special events will occur before the winter break:

  • November 10: COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at El Roble Elementary, 3-6 pm
  • November 14-18: Elementary parent/ teacher conferences.  Students in TK-5th grades will have minimum day dismissal.  Please watch for communication from your child’s school for appropriate dismissal times
  • November 17 and 18: Rock the Mock for high schools students, presented in partnership with the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce
  • November 17: COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at Glen View Elementary, 3-6 pm
  • December 1 and 8: COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at Glen View Elementary, 3-6 pm
  • December 7: Christopher High School and South Valley Middle School Winter Choir Concert.  7 pm in the Gilroy High School Student Center.  Purchase tickets.
  • December 12 and 13:  Gilroy High School, Brownell Middle School and Solorsano Middle School Winter Choir Concert.  7:30 pm in the Gilroy High School Student Center.

Information about special activities that are planned at your children’s schools will be distributed in ParentSquare.

CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) Results

During the pandemic and distance learning (2019-20 and 2020-21 school years), the state suspended the CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) program.  The assessment program resumed last spring (2022) in grades 3-8 and 11.  The CAASPP assessments were substantially reduced in the number of items and administered online. 

Statewide results were recently released as well as local school district results.  GUSD showed declines in test scores, which is similar to the State and other districts.  The decline was roughly seven points in ELA (English Language Arts) and 11 points in math.  Educators across the state were not surprised by this decline considering the 1½ years that students were in distance learning with reduced instructional time and the increased absences due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.  California’s decline in reading and math scores parallels drops on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) tests which are administered nationally.

Four GUSD Teachers Recognized at the SCCOE Teacher of the Year Event

Congratulations to teachers: Julie Graham (Christopher High School), Amber Bruce (GECA), and Jonathan Souza (Gilroy High School) for being recognized by the Santa Clara County Office of Education as winners of the 2022 Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union Leadership Awards!  All three of these staff members were nominated by their colleagues, and Ms. Graham and Ms. Bruce both were awarded the Civics Leadership Award, while Mr. Souza was awarded the Arts Leadership Award. They were honored at the SCCOE Teacher Recognition Celebration on October 24, along with other award winners.

At the same event, we celebrated GUSD’s Teacher of the Year, Jean Davis, 8th grade English Language Arts teacher at Solorsano Middle School.  This award, sponsored by the Santa Clara County Office of Education, recognizes incredible teachers in 31 school districts throughout the County. The Teacher Recognition Celebration is the oldest and largest celebration of teachers in California and the most prestigious local award given to classroom teachers.

In her nomination, Mrs. Davis was recognized for being "a light for all who are fortunate enough to get to work beside her, have her as a teacher or simply get to see her bright smile and happy demeanor as she crosses your path. Her love for students and her profession is second to none!"

Congratulations Mrs. Davis, Ms. Graham, Ms. Bruce and Mr. Souza!  We are proud of you!

I hope that you find some rest and relaxation this weekend. 

Take care of each other,

Dr. Deborah A. Flores, Ph.D.
Gilroy Unified School District