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.
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.
Gilroy Unified School District