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May 7, 2021: GUSD Board of Education approves Reopening Committee's Recommendation for a full return to in-person learning for all students for the 2021-22 school year
GUSD Communications

Dear GUSD staff and families:

I’m writing today to share with you updates about the reopening of our physical campuses following last night’s meeting of the Board of Education.  As I shared with you in my Friday letter on April 30, at last night’s meeting, staff members presented the GUSD Reopening Planning Committee’s recommendation  that all GUSD schools reopen full time, five days per week beginning with the first day of school, August 18, 2021 at the May 6, 2021 Board meeting. Following is a brief synopsis of the recommendation and contingency plan presented to the Board that was approved last night:

  • Assuming COVID-19 cases remain low and state restrictions are rescinded, the GUSD Reopening Planning Committee and GUSD staff recommends a full reopening of GUSD schools, preschool – 12th grades, full-time, five days per week.  In addition, the Gilroy Unified School District will continue to offer the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) for grades kindergarten-12 for families who wish to continue with online learningThe Board voted 7-0 in favor of the recommendation.
  • The Reopening Planning Committee also presented a contingency plan to the Board of Education which may be utilized if necessary.  This contingency plan indicates that if there is a surge of COVID-19 cases and State or County restrictions are reinstated, elementary school students (preschool-5th grades) remain in a continuation of the current elementary hybrid model, and secondary school students (6th-12th grades) transition to a simultaneous instruction model.  With this contingency plan, the Gilroy Unified School District will continue to offer the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) for grades kindergarten-12 as an alternative online model for families.  The Board voted 7-0 in favor of the contingency plan.

 While staff does not anticipate having to enact the contingency plan, we are prepared to do so if circumstances require.

As a reminder, you can watch the livestream and replays of all of the GUSD Board of Education meetings on the District’s YouTube channel: ​https://www.youtube.com/c/GilroyUnifiedSchoolDistrict.  Please follow our social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for regular updates and announcements, and visit our website (https://www.gilroyunified.org/reopening-gusd) for more information.

Finally, I encourage all members of our school communities (staff, families and eligible students) to get vaccinated as soon as you are able.  Gilroy High School continues to offer online appointments (http://sccfreevax.org/) and is offering special clinic hours for high school students 16 and older on May 12, 21 and 27.  Please continue to wear your masks, practice social distancing, and staying safe.  I can’t wait to see all of our students back on campus August 18. 

Take care of each other,

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

Gilroy High School welcomes new Assistant Principal, Elaine Carne
GUSD Communications

Gilroy, CA – The Gilroy Unified School District is pleased to welcome Elaine Carne as the new Gilroy High School assistant principal and newest member of the GUSD leadership team.  The official announcement was made at the May 7 2021 GUSD Board Meeting where the appointment was accepted by the Board.   Ms. Carne will fill the role of Assistant Principal at Gilroy High School beginning in the 2021-22 school year.


Following last night’s Board appointment, Principal Greg Kapaku shared the following remarks, “The students and staff at Gilroy High School are pleased and excited to welcome Elaine as the newest member of our Mustang staff.  [Assistant Principal] Jeremiah Brantner and I are looking forward to working with Elaine as we welcome our students back to campus in the near future.”

Elaine Carne

Gilroy School welcomes Assistant Principal Elaine Carne.

Elaine Carne is originally from the east coast, but has been a California resident for over 20 years. She holds an AA in Mathematics from Fullerton College, a BA in Psychology from CSU Fullerton and a MA in Educational Administration from Concordia University - Irvine. Elaine began teaching in Norwalk, CA and has been a Math teacher at GECA since 2011.  She is currently also the yearbook club advisor, site administrative designee, and STEM Department Lead.  Elaine enjoys camping, hiking, knitting, and playing video games with her husband and two daughters. 

Ms. Carne’s new role as Assistant Principal at Gilroy High School begins July 1, 2021.

Public Review of Recommended New Textbooks May 2021
GUSD Communications

GUSD Board Policy 6161.1

The committee shall review instructional materials using criteria provided in law and administrative regulation, and shall provide the Board with documentation supporting its recommendations.

All recommended instructional materials shall be available for public inspection at the district office.


Display of Textbooks for Public Viewing:  May 6 - May 21, 2021

All textbooks that are being requested for GUSD Board Approval on May 6 and May 20, 2021 are on display at the GUSD District Office. To view the textbooks, members of the public need to make an appointment for viewing.  Please call (669) 205-4000 to make an appointment.

Textbooks that are being recommended to the GUSD Board for approval that are on display at the GUSD District Office:

 

Middle School History (6-8)

TCI (Teacher Curriculum Institute) Publisher

6th grade  History Alive!  The Ancient World (2018)

7th grade  History Alive!  The Medieval World and Beyond (2017)

8th grade  History Alive!  The United States Through Industrialism (2017)


 

High School Social Studies (9-12)

SAVVAS Publisher

9th grade:  MyWorld Interactive Geography (2019)

10th grade: World History: The Modern World (2019)

11th Grade:  United States History:   The Twentieth Century (2019)

12th Grade:  Magruder's American Government (2019)

12th grade:  Economics: Principals in Action (2019)

 

High School Culinary 

Textbook # 1

Hospitality Services (2018)

Publisher: Goodheart-Willcox Publisher

 

Textbook # 2 

Culinary Professional (2017)

Publisher: Goodheart-Willcox Publisher 

Copyright: 2017
 

Display of Textbooks Online

All textbooks that are being requested for GUSD Board Approval on May 6 and May 20, 2021 are also available to view online.  Below is a list of the textbooks and the demo codes that have been provided by the publishers.

Middle School History (6-8)

CI (Teacher Curriculum Institute) Publisher

https://subscriptions.teachtci.com/staff/sign_in

Grade 6 -  username: TCIgrade6     Password: gilroy

Grade 7 - username: TCIgrade7    Password: gilroy

Grade 8 - username: TCIgrade8     Password:  gilroy

 

High School Social Studies

SAVVAS Publisher

Go to: www.savvasrealize.com

Click "Sign In"

UN: Public.Student.Gilroy

PW: Student123

 

High School Culinary

https://www.g-wonlinetextbooks.com/~userInfo

Username: Deanna.Erickson@gilroyunified.org

Password: 73chn010gY!

April 30, 2021 letter from Dr. Flores: 2021-22 school year recommendations to the BOE, VLA interest, COVID-19 vaccine updates, summer school and HVAC updates, and appreciating teachers and staff
GUSD Communications

April 30, 2021

Dear GUSD Families and Staff,

It is hard to believe today is the last day of April.  This year has flown by.  Spring is definitely in the air, if not a little bit of summer.

2021-22 School Year recommendations to the Board of Education

At each of the Board meetings before the end of the school year, May 6, May 20 and June 10, staff will provide the Board of Education and public with a recommendation for the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.  At the May 6 Board meeting, I will be presenting the Reopening Planning Committee’s recommendation for the 2021-22 school year. The Committee and staff are recommending that all GUSD schools reopen full time, five days per week beginning with the first day of school, August 18, 2021.  At the same meeting, staff will recommend a contingency plan in the event conditions change and state/county public health officials reinstate restrictions on public schools.  The board meeting agenda is available online: https://tinyurl.com/4ucyufzx and you can watch the Board Meeting on the GUSD YouTube channel: ​https://www.youtube.com/c/GilroyUnifiedSchoolDistrict.  Board meetings begin at 7 pm.

GUSD Virtual Learning Academy

The Gilroy Unified School District is pleased to continue offering an additional educational option for families and students who are interested in independent learning opportunities for the 2021-22 school year. The GUSD Virtual Learning Academy is a full-time independent online learning option for all grades.

GUSD Virtual Learning Academy Program Administrators and teachers are hosting two informational nights on Tuesday, May 4, at 6 pm for families with students entering grades Kinder-5, and on Tuesday, May 18, at 6 pm for families with students entering grades 6-12 in August 2021.

If you are interested in learning about the GUSD VLA, but can't attend the informational sessions, you can complete the VLA interest form and one of our team members will contact you directly: https://forms.gle/wurLUuZ2cpNBx9kZA

For more information about the GUSD Virtual Learning Academy, visit: https://www.gilroyunified.org/our-schools/virtual-learning-academy.

COVID-19 Vaccines

The number of vaccines at the Gilroy High Vaccination Clinic has steadily increased, thanks to increased supplies of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.  During the last two weeks, there have been several days when 1500-1700 individuals have received shots.  The clinic is now giving shots to anyone 16 years and older.  Walk-in vaccines are available to anyone eligible.  We continue to encourage high school students who are 16 and older to get vaccinated and will notify families about designated days and times for students to receive the vaccine.  Information will be sent to those families soon.

GUSD Summer School Program

The Gilroy Unified School District will be offering a large, comprehensive, in-person summer school program.  The following students will be given priority to participate in the program: special education students, students in the migrant education program, foster youth, students with housing instability, high school students in danger of not graduating, and students with significant gaps in their academic performance.  Our goal is to serve approximately 2,000 students, utilizing one-time funds and funds received for targeted groups.  Summer school updates will be presented to the Board of Education and members of the public at the May 6, 2021 GUSD Board Meeting.

HVAC and Ventilation Update

All of the 1,200 HVAC units in the district have been assessed and repaired as needed.  The district has received certification letters for each school from the expert team that conducted the assessments and repairs.  In addition, HEPA filters have been installed in some older classrooms or in elementary classrooms to enhance the flow of air.  Staff have been instructed to keep their doors open when classrooms are occupied.

Water Conservation

California and Santa Clara County are experiencing a significant drought.  To help mitigate the effects of the drought, GUSD is already implementing measures to conserve water, particularly as it relates to watering our fields.  We have been asked to conserve even more and thus, will be reducing the frequency and amount of watering fields and other areas of landscaping.  In the upcoming months, you will likely notice less green and more yellow fields and landscapes.  We are committed to supporting conservation efforts throughout our county and state, and this is one of the easiest way to help.  I encourage you to reexamine your water usage habits as well.  I invite you to explore different ways that the Santa Clara County Water District is encouraging water conservation practices for all of us: https://www.valleywater.org/water-conservation-programs.  With a few small changes, together we can do so much to conserve this most precious resource.

End of Year Celebrations

Planning is underway for the end of the year celebrations at all school levels in GUSD.  I’m excited to know that during the first week of June we will be able to safely welcome the families of the Class of 2021 for high school graduations, as well as the promoting fifth and eighth grade classes from our seven elementary schools and three middle schools, to on-campus, in-person events.  Our principals will be in contact with families of these students as celebration dates draw closer.  We are all excited to celebrate the accomplishments of these students, especially following this challenging school year.

Celebrating our Teachers and Staff

Next week, May 3-7, 2021, is Teacher Appreciation Week.  I invite you to show our teachers and staff members some much-needed and well-deserved words of kindness.  As our students have grown so much this year in their abilities to access and use technology, while engaging with the new approach to virtual education, our teachers and staff members have had to do the same.  While they might appear to “have it all together” while teaching your children onscreen, I can assure you that there has been a big learning curve for them as well, and they have continued to learn so that they can provide a first-rate educational experience for their students.  I am deeply grateful for all of their hard work this year, and remain in awe of what they have been able to accomplish with your children.

Take care of each other,

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anthony Fuccella named new Solorsano Middle School Assistant Principal
GUSD Communications
Anthony Fuccella

The Gilroy Unified School District is pleased to welcome Anthony Fuccella as the new Ascencion Solorsano Middle School assistant principal and newest member of the GUSD leadership team.  The official announcement was made at the April 22, 2021 GUSD Board Meeting where the appointment was accepted by the Board.  When introducing Mr. Fuccella to the Board of Education, Superintendent Deborah A. Flores, remarked, “We are thrilled to have Anthony on the leadership team.”  Mr. Fuccella will fill the role of Assistant Principal at Solorsano Middle School beginning in the 2021-22 school year following the retirement announcement of Charla Mittman.

Following last night’s Board appointment, Principal Hilda Keller shared the following with her staff, “Solorsano Middle School is proud to announce Anthony Fuccella as the new Assistant Principal. Mr. Fuccella has been with the district for 14 years and all at Solorsano. His passion and drive will be a great asset to our community.  We are excited to have him as part of our Leadership team. Congratulations Mr. Fuccella!”

After his appointment was announced, Mr. Fuccella shared the following with the Board of Education, “As you may know, I am blessed to be here.  I am excited to represent Gilroy Unified, and I look forward to really rocking at Solorsano in these upcoming years.” 

Ascencion Solorsano Middle School welcomes Assistant Principal Anthony Fuccella.

Anthony Fuccella was born in Anaheim, California and raised in Sunnyvale.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from San Jose State University and a Master’s degree in Applied School Leadership from National University.  He has been a Physical Education teacher at Solorsano Middle School since 2007, and has worn a number of hats during his time in the classroom, including: ASB Advisor, site representative for the Gilroy Teachers Association, site administrative designee, GUSD Safety Committee member, coach (cross country, soccer, and track and field).  He has been a school climate coach and was a PBIS and Restorative Justice site advisor.  Mr. Fuccella’s proudest classroom accomplishment is the incorporation of a bike riding and safety program into the school’s PE curriculum in 2019.  This program included a partnership with Specialized Bikes in Morgan Hill, where the company donated a number of bikes to Solorsano to support the mission of the program. 

Mr. Fuccella enjoys camping, mountain biking, snowboarding and is a talented photographer.  His wife teaches high school PE in San Jose, and together they are raising three bilingual children: two daughters and a son.

Mr. Fuccella’s new role as Assistant Principal at Ascencion Solorsano Middle School begins July 1, 2021.

April 16, 2021 update from Dr. Flores: vaccines available for high school students, upcoming Board meeting agenda items, summer school updates, and GHS vs. CHS football game tonight
GUSD Communications

April 16, 2021

Dear Parents and Staff,

I hope you had a good spring break and had a chance to relax.  This week has been a very exciting week in the district with the reopening of the elementary schools.  It was great to see preschool through 2nd grade students and staff on campuses yesterday and today, and we are looking forward to seeing 3rd-5th grade students and staff on Monday.  The reopening went very smoothly at each site, thanks to the hard work and dedication of staff.

I have a few things to share with you in this Friday letter:

Upcoming Board Meetings and Reopening of Schools Agenda Item

There are four Board meetings left in this school year: April 22, May 6, May 20 and June 10.  At each of these Board meetings, staff will provide an update about the reopening of GUSD schools.  The updates will include information about the reopening of elementary schools, what is happening at the state level regarding school reopening, reports about the work of the Reopening Planning Committee, and recommendations to the Board of Education for fall 2021.

Board meetings begin at 7 pm and are livestreamed on the GUSD YouTube channel: ​https://www.youtube.com/c/GilroyUnifiedSchoolDistrict.  Agendas for upcoming meetings are posted here: https://tinyurl.com/4ucyufzx.

I want to welcome and thank six parents who have joined the Reopening Planning Committee.  The Committee will continue to meet regularly through fall 2021 as we plan for reopening all 14 of our school sites.

New COVID19 Vaccine Eligibility Guidelines

As of April 15, all California residents 16 and over are now eligible to get the COVID19 vaccine.  The Gilroy High School Vaccination Clinic, operated by the County, is now vaccinating up to 1,500 people per day as the supply of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have increased.  Anyone 16 and over can schedule an appointment at the GHS Vaccination Clinic by making an online appointment using this link: sccfreevax.com.  Please consider getting the vaccine as soon as you’re able.  The more members of our community who receive the vaccine, the more likely things can return to normal.  About 65% of GUSD staff have been vaccinated to date and we are optimistic about reaching our goal of getting as many staff vaccinated as possible.

There will be a clinic for South County high school students at Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill next week. Please see the information about this clinic below.

The Morgan Hill Unified School District is partnering with Safeway/Albertson's to provide a clinic specifically for South County high school students in Gilroy, San Martin and Morgan Hill, ages 16 years and older. 

16-19 year old high school students in South County SHOULD SCHEDULE THEIR APPOINTMENTS NOW for the student-priority Pfizer Vaccine Clinic. There are a limited number of appointments available vaccines in this clinic and appointments are meant for high school students. 

From April 24-27, students will receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the COVID19 vaccine clinic, located at Ann Sobrato High School (401 Burnett Ave, in Morgan Hill). After receiving their first dose, students will be able to schedule their second dose at the same location three weeks later. 

Participants can schedule an online appointment:   https://mhealthsystem.com/MHUSDCovidStudents

The clinic for high school students will be held in the Performing Arts Center at 400 Burnett Avenue, Morgan Hill. Participants will enter the third driveway at Sobrato (coming in from Monterey Road) and park in the large lot. 

GUSD Summer School Program

District staff and principals have been planning programs for summer school in recent months.  We are planning to double the number of students participating this summer with hopefully, up to 1,500 students.  Staff will provide the Board and public with a report about summer school at the May 6, 2021 Board meeting.  Because the funding and available spots for students are limited, special populations of students will be prioritized, including: special education students, migrant education students, English Learners, high school students in danger of not graduating, and students with significant learning loss.

Completion of Ventilation Assessment and Repairs

I am pleased to share that all of the HVAC units at our schools have been assessed by an expert team and needed repairs have been completed.  Many other district buildings have also been completed. Additionally, HEPA filters have been placed in certain classrooms to enhance the airflow.  The HVAC units are activated before students and staff arrive and the airflow is continuous throughout the day.

High School Graduations and Middle School Celebrations

The California Department of Public Health recently released guidelines for high school graduations.  High school principals and their staff have been working diligently on plans for outdoor graduations.  They have surveyed seniors and their parents to gather input about several options for the ceremonies.  Please look to your high school principal for continued communication about the Class of 2021 graduation season.  We are so thrilled to be able to celebrate our seniors in June. 

Additionally, plans are underway for eighth grade celebrations at our three middle school sites to honor our promoting eighth grade students.  Middle school principals will provide details and specific plans to families and students in upcoming weeks.  Eighth grade students and their parents were surveyed this week.

Meal Distribution

Beginning Friday, April 16, the food distribution times at Rucker Elementary are changing.  Meals will be served from noon-2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays at seven GUSD schools, including Rucker:

  • Eliot Elementary
  • Glen View Elementary
  • Luigi Aprea Elementary
  • Rod Kelley Elementary
  • Rucker Elementary
  • South Valley Middle 
  • Solorsano Middle

Tuesday meal bags have meals through Friday morning and Friday meal bags have meals through Tuesday morning. Children are still receiving meals for all seven days of the week (breakfast, lunch and supper).

A parent or guardian can pick up bags for children in their household.  No identification is necessary.

High School Football

Tonight, our community will reunite after a long waiting period to watch the Gilroy High vs. Christopher High football game.  The GUSD YouTube channel will host a special livestream of the game that begins at 7 pm tonight. Watch the game here: https://youtu.be/f0zmE2GqFvk. I invite you to join both teams when the take the field as a celebration of how far our community has come in the fight against COVID19.  Although the stands won’t be full of spectators cheering for both teams, and the sidelines won’t hold the same number of support personnel and performers as usual, this event fills me with great optimism that we are slowly and surely finding our way back to normalcy.  It is because of the diligence our community has shown in continuing to wear a mask and practice safe social distancing, and the willingness for many of our residents to get vaccinated as soon as they are able that allows for events like this to take place after a too-long hiatus.  I urge you to continue to practice all of the safety measures in place and to make an appointment for a vaccine as soon as you can.  We will continue to make strides through this pandemic together.

Take care of each other,

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

 

March 25 update from Superintendent Flores: reopening updates, graduation celebrations and staff vaccines
GUSD Communications

Dear GUSD Families and Staff.

Happy Friday.  I hope you get a chance to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend.   Much has happened in the Gilroy Unified School District since my last Friday letter.   Here are some important updates for you:

Reopening Decisions

PreK and Elementary Students

At the March 18, 2021 meeting, the GUSD Board of Education approved the reopening plan for elementary students, grades PreK-5. Families have the choice to have their children return for in-person instruction or have their children remain in distance learning through the end of the 2020-21 school year. Decision Forms have been sent through the ParentSquare app, and you must confirm your decision for your child by Sunday, March 28, at midnight or your child will automatically remain in distance learning for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. The new learning models begin April 15 for students in PreK-2nd grades and April 19 for students in grades 3-5.

This week, the District Office and our elementary programs held online informational sessions for families to learn about the new programs, schedules and protocols.  If you weren’t able to attend the informational session for GUSD or the informational session for your child’s school, you can view all of the recordings and presentations on our website.  Based on input from attendees, we will also add an FAQ section on the webpage that will be updated as new information comes in.

Families of students in our elementary and PreK programs should ensure the following tasks are completed as soon as possible:

  • Complete the Decision Form using the ParentSquare app for your student to return to on campus.  If you do not make a decision your child will automatically be enrolled in distance learning.
  • If you are not receiving ParentSquare communication from your school or the District Office, please contact your school’s front office to ensure we have correct contact information on file for you (cell and email).  You must log into your ParentSquare account to complete the Decision Form.
  • Watch for more communications from your child’s school as the start dates for the new programs are closer.

For students in our elementary and PreK programs who will return to on campus learning next month, there are some additional tasks for families to complete:

  • Complete the Return to In-Person Learning form that will be sent to you on or around March 29 in the ParentSquare app.
  • Update and confirm your emergency contact information in Aeries.
  • Make sure your child’s immunizations are updated.  Your child will not be allowed to return to in-person learning without current vaccines.

Middle and High School students

At the March 25 Special Board meeting, four options for reopening secondary schools were presented and discussed.  The Board did not approve any of the options for reopening and therefore, students in middle and high school will continue in distance learning until the end of this school year.

For all students in the Gilroy Unified School District

Planning continues by District and site staff for a return to on-campus learning for the 2021-22 school year.  As you know, CDC and Public Health Department guidelines still continue to evolve, and as our community opens more and more, there will be expanded opportunities for students to return to campus safely.  

Vaccinations

Many GUSD staff and residents of Gilroy have received COVID19 vaccines at the County’s vaccination clinic at Gilroy High School.  At this point, almost 60% of GUSD staff have received at least one shot.  We are optimistic that most of our staff will be fully vaccinated this spring as more vaccines become available to the County.

High School Graduations

Our high school administrators are actively developing plans for graduations ceremonies at their sites.    We are awaiting updated guidelines from the California Department of Public Health, which we anticipate will be released soon.  High school principals will communicate directly with seniors and their families in the near future about plans for graduation.  
I am proud of the work done by our staff members and Reopening Planning Committee to provide reopening options for the Board’s consideration. We understand that there are various levels of comfort for a return to campus among our staff members and our families. While some of you are disappointed with the decision to remain in distance learning, there are others of you who are relieved. As we have often seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, answers are not easy, as information changes daily and many components must be taken into consideration.

Something I know to be true is that regardless of the educational program your child participates in to finish the 2020-21 school year, they will be provided with rigorous academic instruction as well as the support of their teachers and school communities to the greatest extent possible for the remainder of this school year.

We continue to plan diligently for the future and look forward to seeing our students back in our schools and classrooms.

Take care of each other,
Dr. Deborah A. Flores
Superintendent
Gilroy Unified School District

For media requests regarding the Gilroy Unified School District, school sites, staff and/ or students, please contact Melanie Corona, Public Information Officer, 669.205.4095 or melanie.corona@gilroyunified.org.