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May 20, 2022 update from Dr. Flores: COVID-19 surge, solar structures, state budget and new administrators at Brownell
GUSD Communications

Dear GUSD Staff and Parents,

It's hard to believe that there are only 14 days of school left in this school year.  This year has flown by. Overall, it has gone well despite the ups and downs resulting from the pandemic.  I visited all schools this spring and it was wonderful to see things operating in a normal way. 

Senior Awards Ceremonies

In the past week, I have attended Senior Awards ceremonies at Christopher High School, Gilroy High School and Mt. Madonna High School.  Our seniors’ accomplishments are so impressive and the generosity of the donors is just amazing!  Hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships were awarded to graduating seniors.

I want to send a special congratulations to the graduates of the Class of 2022 for their efforts in our community.  Despite the pandemic, this year’s graduating class completed almost 60,000 hours of community service.  That is a remarkable achievement and should be celebrated!

COVID-19 Surge

In regards to COVID, we are in another surge.  The Bay Area has the highest COVID infection rate in the State.  Santa Clara County’s 7-day average number of cases has steadily increased from around 150 on April 1 to over 800 yesterday.   Bay Area Health Officers are recommending that everyone where a mask indoors.  Indoor masking at this point is not a requirement so it will continue to be a personal choice whether to wear a mask or not.  They are also recommending testing if someone has symptoms or has been exposed to someone who has COVID, and getting vaccinated and boosted, if eligible.   The district will be hosting the next vaccination clinic at Glen View Elementary on June 3, from 3-6 pm. 

We learned this past week that the State is distributing more test kits to all districts in California.  The test kits just arrived in our county and district staff will be picking them up next week and distributing them to school sites and departments before the end of the year.  The State is recommending that students be tested before attending summer school and/or before returning to school in August. 

In addition, households can order eight free COVID-19 test directly from the federal government.  If you haven’t done so, you can order using this link: https://www.covidtests.gov/

State Budget

The Governor released the May Revise this week which is the revised State budget for the next school year (2022-23).  The Governor’s proposed budget includes an increase in ongoing funding to public schools and some additional one-time funds.  The legislature will deliberate about the budget proposal and when they finalize the proposal it will go back to the Governor.  There is usually a period of negotiations between the Governor and the legislature before the final budget is adopted.

Solar Shade Structures

At last night’s Board of Education meeting, the Board approved a solar project for installing shade structures at the following schools:  Eliot, El Roble, Glen View, Luigi Aprea and Rod Kelley Elementary Schools and Solorsano Middle School.  These solar structures will save the district an estimated $3.6 million in the next 20 years and will provide much needed shade for our students and staff.

Agreements Reached with GUSD Unions

I am very pleased to report that the district has now reached agreements with all three unions.  All GUSD employees will receive a 7.25% salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2021 and the district will cover the increase in costs for health benefits effective January 1, 2022.

New Administrators appointed at Brownell Middle School

At the May 19 GUSD Board Meeting, the Board accepted the appointments of Mike Nebesnick and Deedy Camarena as the principal and assistant principal, respectively, at Brownell Middle School.  Both Mike and Deedy have served in these roles as interim administrators since October 2021.  They will continue to serve as interim through June 30, and assume their new roles July 1, 2022. We are thrilled to have them continue as part of our leadership team in GUSD. Read the full release

 Upcoming Events and Important Dates

 High School Graduations

  • May 26—GECA graduation and Senior awards
  • June 1—Adult Education graduation
  • June 7—Mt. Madonna High School graduation
  • June 9—Christopher High School graduation
  • June 10—Gilroy High School graduation

Middle School Celebrations, June 8

  • Brownell Middle School, 9:00 am
  • Solorsano Middle School, 11:00 am
  • South Valley Middle School (at Gilroy High School), 2:00 pm

Other

  • May 27—Minimum day for all students
  • May 30—No school (Memorial Day observed)
  • May 31—Teacher Records Day (no school for students in Tk-5th grades)
  • June 10—last day of school
  • August 17, 2022—first day of the 2022-23 school year for all students

There is a fabulous art show presented by students at Christopher High, Gilroy High and Mt. Madonna High School taking place in downtown Gilroy tonight at the monthly Third Thursday Art Walk.  If you are looking for something to do, I invite you to take a look at the incredible artwork our students are producing in the classroom.

Our schedules for the next few weeks are filled to the brim with celebrations and acknowledgements of our students and all of their achievements.  We are looking forward to celebrating with all of you as we look toward what’s next. 

You can find the instructional calendar for the 2022-23 school year online now in English and Spanish

Take care of each other,

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

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