Dear GUSD Families and Staff,
It is hard to believe that over three weeks have passed since the start of the school year and that Labor Day is already here. The temperatures are going to be high and the air quality will be poor this weekend so please take care and be safe.
I have been visiting school sites with the principals and board members and dropping in on classrooms. Things are going well and have steadily improved since the first few days of school when technology issues dominated. At this point, most technology issues have been addressed. If your child is still having problems with accessing Zoom calls or other online programs during distance learning, please call the IT hotline at 669.205.4060 so that we can follow up with you. If you are having problems with your district-issued Chromebook, please call the front office at your school site, and they will make arrangements for you to trade in the device for one that works.
There are many wonderful community volunteers available to provide short trainings to parents on how to effectively use district Chromebooks and software programs. We would be happy to connect you to one of these volunteers, so please contact your school principal for further guidance. We also have information on technology troubleshooting on our website.
School districts throughout the country received good news this week regarding food service. Beginning Tuesday, September 8, all children 18 and under may participate in the meals program and do not have to meet income eligibility requirements. We are serving FREE meals for all Gilroy children, ages 0-18, at five school sites: Eliot Elementary, Glen View Elementary, Rod Kelley Elementary, South Valley Middle and Solorsano Middle, Monday-Friday, from 12 pm-2 pm. Rucker Elementary will also serve FREE meals to all children in Gilroy, ages 0-18, from 10:30 am-11:30 am, Monday through Friday.
Meals can be picked up by any adult caregiver for all children in a home, and there is no identification required. However, the first time a family does visit one of the six school sites to pick up meals, they will be asked to complete an application to determine eligibility for free or reduced meals. This application helps our district and schools receive much needed funding to be able to provide food to all children, regardless of financial status. Only one application needs to be completed per family, regardless of the number of children in the home and schools of attendance.
In addition to the above six schools serving free meals, Luigi Aprea Elementary will also continue to serve breakfast and lunch to GUSD students only, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-12 pm. Meals at these two school sites will be charged according to payment status (regular price, reduced pricing and free).
A couple of notes for your calendars: there is no school on Monday, September 7, in observance of the Labor Day holiday. Classes resume on September 8. On Friday, September 18, there is no school for all GUSD students so that our staff can participate in a day of professional development.
For families with students in middle and high school, a letter was emailed and posted on Parent Square today to clarify expectations for students participating in distance learning. It contains important information, so please review it prior to our return to distance learning next Tuesday.
Additionally, we are approaching the first grade "Progress Reporting" period for secondary students. As we have stated in previous communications, students will be receiving grades for their assignments, tests and participation in all of their classes this year. Progress reports will be posted for all students by the end of September (sites will inform families of the specific dates per school).
Families should continue to use the Aeries Portal to monitor the current grades, this year more than ever. Please contact your school office if you are unable to access your child's grades through Aeries.
I am so proud of the way that our GUSD team has come together to serve our students during this pandemic. The teachers are doing an amazing job in this virtual environment delivering the instructional program online. The distance learning program would not be going as well as is without the support of parents and caregivers. My deepest gratitude goes to everyone involved in this effort. Our staff is working harder than ever and showing incredible creativity as they continue to provide high quality learning to all of our students. As I am visiting virtual classrooms on my fall site visits to every school, I am constantly amazed at the level of professionalism from our staff and students, and the participation and engagement on a consistent basis. I am so proud.
My very best to you as we begin this long weekend. I hope you all are able to unplug, unwind, and find joy, while staying cool.
Take care of each other,
Deborah A. Flores, Ph.D.
Gilroy Unified School District
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