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October 22, 2021 Family Communication

SUPERINTENDENT’S MESSAGE
Dr. Eric Prater, Superintendent

 

We are excited to announce the launch of our new SLCUSD website!

This effort represents nearly a year of hard work. I would like to express my appreciation to our website redevelopment team who spent countless hours training, in meetings with site and department staff, and doing the heavy lift of content migration.

I hope you find the new website easier to navigate. It’s a dynamic site filled with beautiful pictures and videos to honor the exciting programs and accomplishments of our district. We hope our parents, students, and community will find it to be a valuable resource. 

Launching a website is a lot like opening night at a theater. Over the next several days and weeks, we will continue to refine and improve our pages. Please be patient while we work out the kinks. Building this platform has been a worthwhile endeavor and I hope you enjoy it as much as we have. Have fun exploring!

Speaking of opening night, the SLO High School theater is ready for its first student public performance. We are excited to announce “Clue” beginning October 29. Director Noelle Eben has an incredible cast. If you have a chance, buy a ticket and enjoy a great show.

Thank you for your continued support of our students, staff, and district community.

Have a great weekend,

Eric

BUSINESS SERVICES
Ryan Pinkerton, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services

 

Online School Meal Menus
Food Services now offers online menus through a new system called MealViewer.  MealViewer is a convenient online service that allows you to view your student's daily meals online or on the MealViewer app. For now, we have added daily entrees, but this will continue to grow and expand over the next few weeks. Since the Menu Viewer is live, we will no longer post weekly menus on Parent Square.

Signing up is easy!

  1. Go to https://schools.mealviewer.com/district/sanluiscoastalusd or download the mobile app and register for a free account.
  2. Create a profile for you and your students by first selecting their school.
  3. Daily menus available 24/7 online or through the mobile app!

Check out your school's menus today!

AB 367
Current law requires Title I public schools serving students in grades 6-12 to stock at least half of the schools’ restrooms with feminine hygiene products at no charge. Beginning with the 2022-23 school year, it requires all public schools serving a combination of grades 6-12 to stock an adequate supply of menstrual products free of cost in all women’s restrooms and all-gender restrooms, as well as in at least one men’s restroom. 

We have already started installing free products, as the law states, at all of our sites with 6 - 12th grade students. We will expand our efforts to all girls’ restrooms, gender neutral restrooms, and at least one men’s restroom to be in alignment with the law by the 2022-23 school year. 

 

EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
Diane M. Frost, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services

 

EL Open Forum
Educational Services will be holding an EL Family Open Forum next Tuesday evening from 6-7:30. This forum will be conducted in Spanish with English translation provided. It will cover topics such as COVID updates, quarantines, testing, and MTSS. We encourage all EL families to attend.

High School Equivalency for Spanish Speakers
The Adult School is offering a high school equivalency diploma class for our Spanish speaking community students. We know that high school diploma holders have:

  • higher rates of employment 
  • higher wages, lifetime earnings, and tax base contribution
  • lower reliance on social welfare programs

The equivalency diploma is earned by passing the HiSET® exam. This exam is an affordable and accessible high school equivalency test option for our adult learners without a high school diploma. With our instructor’s test prep guidance during two nightly sessions per week, our Adult School students will be able to demonstrate their skills and knowledge and earn a state-issued high school equivalency credential.

Summer Experience Survey and Forum
You have a couple more opportunities to offer your input to help us design a new and improved summer learning program for SLCUSD students. Please fill out this short survey by Tuesday, October 26, 2021.

We will also be hosting a Summer Experience Forum on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 from 6:00-7:00 PM via Zoom. (The link will be sent out closer to the date.) This is a great opportunity to share your input and help us develop our Summer Experience Program for 2022. 

CTE Advisory Committee
We are looking for industry partners to join our CTE advisory committee. This volunteer role partners business with education and allows you to share your experiences with us. If you have business experience, please volunteer! There will be two virtual meetings a year, a weekly email update, and several question and answer sessions. Email Liz Moore, lmoore@slcusd.org, for more information or to be put on the current email list for weekly updates. 

There will be a virtual information session on October 28, 2021 at 6:30.

iINNOVATE Initiative
The iINNOVATE Initiative is an exciting partnership between the district and our San Luis Coastal Education Foundation. So far, the Foundation has invested $1.5M to make sure that students at every one of our 10 elementary sites have access to engaging and relevant hands-on learning opportunities through their new innovation labs.  iINNOVATE creates a safe space where our children learn that failure isn’t final; not getting the expected outcome is an opportunity to more deeply explore the problem and invite other minds to join them in the journey toward understanding. Captivating kids’ imaginations and developing their love for lifelong learning is at the heart of the iINNOVATE Initiative. It is exciting to see the great work our teachers are doing to experiment with, adapt and improve upon the entry tasks being created by our iINNOVATE team. 

"With all that we are facing this year it is bright moments like this, and our times in the lab, that I am reminded of why I became an educator, and makes me proud of what I do." - Crystal Bazinet, CL Smith Teacher

Update on Vaccine Mandates
As you are aware, on October 1, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California plans to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccines for staff and students attending in-person school pending full FDA approval. Before implementation, the California Department of Public Health will consider the recommendations of several advisory groups including the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians prior to implementing a requirement. 

The anticipated implementation would follow age groups within a grade span, with a phased-in approach for vaccination of ages 12+ corresponding to grades 7-12 and then ages 5-11 corresponding to grades TK-6 pending full FDA approval of the COVID-19 vaccine and consistent with existing procedures for existing student vaccination requirements. The Governor states that the vaccine requirement would extend to all staff when the requirement goes into effect for the first phase of grades 7-12 students. 

The timing of FDA approval will determine the date that the requirement is expected to go into effect. Students will be required to be vaccinated for in-person learning starting either January 1 or July 1 following full FDA approval of the vaccine for their grade span (7-12 and TK-6). The Governor announced that he anticipates that July 1, 2022, will start the requirement for full vaccination of staff and students in grades 7-12, though January 1, 2022 is a possibility if full FDA approval occurs sooner. 

At this time, the COVID-19 vaccine mandate has only been announced. We are still waiting to receive and review the actual language of the mandate. More information is forthcoming from the state on potential exemptions related to the vaccination requirement. SLCUSD will provide additional communication regarding the requirements of COVID-19 vaccination, timelines, and consideration of exemption and accommodation following the issuance of an official mandate by the state.

As a public agency, SLCUSD is expected to comply with all state laws and will implement all legal requirements, while supporting our families and staff through the process to understand the requirements to attend public school. Communication is key - please be aware of ParentSquare communication on this topic as we continue to receive information from CDPH and the CDE.

Social Emotional Behavior Monitors (SEB Monitors)
As  you know, a goal in our district is to create an intentional culture of care in our schools that includes a focus on student social-emotional wellness. We expected that the return to school after the last 18 months would result in an increased need for social/emotional support and we planned for this. As students have returned, our elementary school sites are reporting this increased level of need, and requesting additional support. We are responding to this need through SEB Monitors. 

Each elementary site has been allocated 15 hours/week for an SEB Monitor. This individual will be a resource on our campuses to support low level social emotional behaviors of students as we help students re-adjust to a full day in person school environment. This is a limited term position that is scheduled to be in place until April.

School sites are working tirelessly to meet the needs of all students, implementing tiered supports for all. The need is great and the current resources are stretched. It is important to note that the SEB monitors are not supplanting the important work of School Counselors and School Psychologists, but rather providing temporary supplemental support during this very challenging time. 

SEB Monitors will work closely with Teachers, School Counselors, School Psychologists & Principals and may:

  • Help implement the Check In, Check Out programs being developed at each Elementary site.
  • Support with staffing of a Movement Room/Reset Room/Chill Out Space for students to regulate and calm down.
  • Support for low level behaviors such as dysregulation in a classroom, emotionality, support in giving a child a break from the room with a safe trusted adult. 

Our Student Support Services Department will train new SEB Monitors on Monday, November 1 and hope to have them on site immediately following. We will work with individual sites to monitor the impact of this additional support and will provide additional training as needed.