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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: and you can watch the Board Meeting on the GUSD YouTube channel: ‚Äč  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:

For more information about the GUSD Virtual Learning Academy, visit:

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:  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








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