Dear GUSD families:
We are eagerly anticipating the opening of the 2020-21 school year next week on August 12. I am sending this letter to remind you of a few key points and also to share with you the distance learning schedules for the school year. The attached distance learning schedule will be the framework for your child’s school day. Your child’s teachers will share specifics about the daily schedule closer to the start of the year with you. Please expect communication from them to your email address and your student’s GUSD email address in the next few days.
First day of school specifics: The first day of school is Wednesday, August 12. All students will begin the school year online, either in the distance learning program or GUSD Virtual Learning Academy. Our physical campuses will NOT be open. Please do not bring your children to school. They should begin the school day online.
Every year our Communications Department puts together a video highlighting the first day of school. If you'd like to share a photograph of your child on the first day of school, please email a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 21. You can also download and print first day of school signs to use for your memories.
Two programs being offered: All students in the Gilroy Unified School District are automatically enrolled in the distance learning program. There is nothing else that you need to do. If you applied to the GUSD Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) and were accepted, you will be notified. Teachers in the VLA will be assigned by Friday, August 7. Further information about the VLA will be available regarding scheduling, teacher names and the first day of instruction after that.
School day schedules: Instruction for students in distance learning begins no later than 8:00 am, Monday-Friday. For students in middle and high school participating in zero period classes, please confirm the start time using the attached schedules. Students will typically complete their instructional day (specific time with teachers) by noon. Students will be expected to complete additional assignments and homework in the afternoon.
Teacher office hours: All teachers will hold drop-in office hours every day of the week except Wednesday. They will confirm their availability with their classes and students in the next few days.
Teacher assignments and class schedules: Teacher assignments for elementary school students will likely be released by Monday, August 10. Please continue to be patient as class rosters and teacher assignments are still being finalized.
Class schedules for middle and high school students will be available on Aeries next week. Please continue to be patient as class rosters and teacher assignments are still being finalized.
Technology for students: All students in the Gilroy Unified School District must have access to a device and the internet to participate in distance learning and the VLA. Chromebook distribution has been ongoing this week and will continue, by appointment only, next week at school sites. Please contact your school’s office manager right away if you have not been contacted about a Chromebook and you need one for your child to begin distance learning.
Meal service for GUSD students: Meals to students in the Gilroy Unified School District will resume on August 12. Two meals daily, lunch for the day and breakfast for the next day will be provided from 12-2 pm daily, at six school sites: Eliot Elementary, Glen View Elementary, Las Animas Elementary, Luigi Aprea Elementary, Rod Kelley Elementary and South Valley Middle School, and can be paid for like school meals during a typical school year. Adults may pick up meals for any child in the district in their home. Applications for free and reduced meal service are being accepted now. You can pick-up a paper application at any food distribution site.
Enrolling in school: Registration for all students is ongoing and open! If you have not yet registered your child for school in the Gilroy Unified School District, please do so as soon as possible. Our school offices are open and are currently accepting hard copy registration paperwork. If you have questions about enrollment or your child’s registration, please contact the office manager at your school. To enroll your child online or for answers to registration questions, please visit our website. The instructional calendar, which shows holidays, breaks, and other information can be accessed here in English and Spanish.
I am thinking of all of you as we prepare for a new frontier in public education. I understand that these past few months have been filled with uncertainty for all of us. I am confident that our teachers are prepared to welcome your children into their virtual classrooms and will provide high expectations and academic rigor, with the same devotion and confidence as if they were teaching in brick and mortar buildings. My hope for you is that you find peace in the next few days knowing that your children are going to excel in their own ways, as they always do, in spite of these circumstances. We are all working for the same goal: to educate the next generation of world citizens and lifelong learners, and we are all in this together.
Take care of each other,
Dr. Deborah A. Flores, Superintendent
Gilroy Unified School District