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October 8, 2021 Family Communication

October 8, 2021

 

SUPERINTENDENT’S MESSAGE

Dr. Eric Prater, Superintendent


If you ever lose your way or have a bad day, look to the children. They never disappoint. I wanted to share this amazing rendition of  America the Beautiful by the SLO High Chamber Singers under the direction of teacher Richard Robbins. It should lift your spirits and light the path forward for all of us.

During school visits over the past several weeks, I couldn’t help but see that our students are thriving in many different ways. First and foremost, they are back in school full time. They are engaged, talking with each other, and laughing. At both comprehensive high schools nearly 80% of students are involved in sports, music, the arts, and/or school sponsored clubs. Morro Bay High School’s Homecoming Dance had a record number of students in attendance. San Luis Obispo High’s Homecoming is next week and we expect the same level of involvement. This is a wonderful and positive sign. It reveals that students feel safe, are willing to engage with their peers, and believe school is an important aspect of their lives.  

During the month of October, San Luis Coastal has opened the YouthTruth Survey window to students, parents, and staff. This survey is important to us and we use the information to better understand student beliefs, parent perspectives, and staff experiences. We use this data to empower student voice through monthly Student Senate meetings and deepen our understanding of how parents and employees feel about safety, engagement, culture, and achievement.  Please find the time to make this a priority. 

In the spirit of what makes our country beautiful, I hope you find ways to see the resilience in our community and in each other.

Have a great weekend San Luis Coastal families and friends,

Eric

 

BUSINESS SERVICES

Ryan Pinkerton, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services

 

Los Ranchos/227 Intersection - Public Meeting

The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works, San Luis Council of Governments (SLOCOG), and Caltrans are having a public outreach meeting regarding the Los Ranchos/227 road intersection. They are looking at plans to try to alleviate some of the traffic congestion along Highway 227, including placing roundabouts along that route. The meeting information can be found on their Notice of Public Hearing.  

TikTok Trend

The latest TikTok craze, Devious Licks, started with asking kids to vandalize restrooms and film it. Then it turned to stealing things from school. Last month, it was "smack a staff member."

At our middle and high schools, we had several vandalized restrooms. This was especially disheartening in our new restrooms at Morro Bay High School and San Luis Obispo High School. Some students were caught and now are paying restitution.

Fortunately, the “stealing” and “smacking a staff member” trends haven't been an issue and we are alerting our staff to talk to students about the ramifications of these actions.

I share this information and ask parents to speak with your kids. Please alert staff if they hear about these things happening on campus or simply tell other students not to engage in these acts. 

We appreciate your support!

 

EDUCATIONAL SERVICES

Diane M. Frost, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services

 

Summer Experience Survey - Due October 20

SLCUSD is in the process of creating a new, innovative summer learning program, called Summer Experience, open to all students kindergarten through high school. It will be offered during the Summer of 2022 and beyond. Options for the program may include flexibility of attendance dates and times, as well as both academic and enrichment experiences. 

As we explore options for this new program, we need your input to make sure it matches your preferences. The information you provide on this short survey is anonymous and will only be used to help us determine program structure and options.  Please complete a separate survey for each student (Kindergarten through 11th grade) in your family by Wednesday, October 20th.

Community Test Sites

Rapid antigen testing for all community members is being provided by LightSpeed Testing at Morro Bay High School, Room 20, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00-7:00pm. Rapid antigen testing provides results in 15 minutes and is accepted by the District for screening testing for students on modified quarantine, required weekly testing for unvaccinated adults and attendance at specialty events. Antigen testing cannot be accepted by schools, per Public Health, for a return to school following illness. Students and staff with symptoms of illness must seek PCR testing. PCR testing is available through healthcare providers and for free through SLO Public Health at these county locations

Elementary Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

When we gathered achievement results last spring, it was clear that our youngest learners were most greatly impacted by distance learning. To address their unfinished learning, we created a robust system of support. We have 11 full or half time MTSS teachers serving elementary sites as teacher leaders that coordinate and deliver interventions. We created WIN (What I Need) Time, where each grade level has a common 35 minute block to target instructional needs. During this time, some students are in small Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) groups while others are with the classroom teacher rotating through targeted instruction. We hired 32 Academic Intervention Teachers to teach these LLI groups. There are almost 600 students across the district getting this intensive, small group reading instruction! We hired over 30 instructional assistants that push into classrooms during math to facilitate more small group instruction. All of these supports are already making a difference for our students. We are excited to see the learning leaps they make this year.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. 

Our October SEL District Wide Focus is ‘Self Awareness’. Self Awareness is described as ‘the ability to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts. This includes capacities to recognize one’s strengths and limitations with a well-grounded sense of confidence and purpose. Our students receive evidence-based direct SEL instruction and also find SEL infused into their school day through intentional activities and outreach. 

Examples of SEL can be found districtwide. The Daily Breathe, created by Elementary School Counselor Daina Catlin, has four different breathing exercises. It’s read over the intercom each morning and reminds staff and students the importance of breathing for the body, mind, and soul. Secondary students are introduced to Mindful Moments like this Body Scan when they begin class or prepare to take a test. Our K-8 students are completing Unit 1 of the Second Step Digital Curriculum, Growth Mindset & Goal Setting. School Counselors created and shared Student Wellness Surveys across the district, and our 2nd - 8th grade students and their teachers are completing the Social, Academic, & Emotional Behavior Risk Scale (SAEBRS). Our CARE (Collaborate, Advocate, Restore & Educate) Teams at each of our sites are  busy processing the survey and screener results and are eager to review results and reach back to students and their families with available supports. The return to in-person learning has been intense and through SEL, we can acknowledge and support our students and staff.