Dear CVUSD Families,
In our seventh week of school, I find myself full of gratitude toward our students, families, and staff. Our students are working hard, following directions, learning and adapting. I appreciate the diligence with which families have followed the many protocols in place and vaccinating children who qualify in order to minimize the spread of COVID. I am grateful for your support.
Our teachers, counselors, social workers and other certificated staff at each site work collaboratively to support students’ academic as well as social emotional needs. They have found new ways to engage and support students working hard to make up for the last year and a half.
It is often not easy to see the impact of staff during these challenging times, and I want to take this opportunity to share with you information on the incredible efforts from our staff behind the scenes who are making it possible for students to be in school. They have all been working endless hours, practically seven days a week to manage all aspects behind the scenes.
Each new COVID related task takes time and precision and our staff has and continues to do a great job making it look easy to those not intimately involved in the day to day operations of our school district. They are constantly trying to find new ways to improve things that create challenges for families.
Our two nurses, Sandee Velasquez and Beth Erickson, support thirteen schools with nearly 9,000 students and a thousand employees. The Student Services and Human Resources Department staff, Mr. Nic McMaster and Mr. Dustin Gacherieu, work seven days a week in tandem with our nurses to ensure COVID cases are tracked and isolations and quarantines are taking place appropriately.
Site Administrators and their amazing office staff follow up with families to investigate cases, confirm timelines, manage a variety of different COVID-related scenarios, notify those exposed, and respond to questions that come up as a result. This workload is completed with high fidelity by site leaders and support staff while simultaneously addressing the many instructional leadership and additional responsibilities they have.
Our Child Nutrition Services led by Ms. Sarah Kimiecik and the 43 staff members in the department have put many new protocols in place to keep students safe. Our Operations and Maintenance Department under the leadership of Mr. Aaron Ackerman came up with a well thought-out approach for disinfecting and cleaning all classrooms, office and work spaces as well as identified tools to improve ventilation that included adding portable air purifiers with HEPA filters. Our custodians work hard to keep everything clean and safe at school sites.
Our bus drivers, supervised by Ms. Tracey Vierra, have had to learn new protocols and procedures that must be followed each and every day to keep students safe while being transported.
Mr. Greg Ko and his team of technicians and support staff, as well as Mr. Peter Vallejo, our Technology Teacher on Special Assignment, have quadrupled their efforts to support students and staff. This includes device support, upgrading our district’s network infrastructure and Wifi as well as professional development to support all staff and students back on campuses. Ms. Charity Hastings and her team from the Purchasing Department ensure all materials and needed equipment are purchased, delivered, and replenished to keep everyone safe and focused on learning.
Ms. Aimee Cayere, my Executive Assistant, has kept families and our community informed throughout the Pandemic, finding helpful information to share with everyone, updating our COVID Safety Plan online, and responding to hundreds of inquiries from families. She single handedly manages the nuances of in person board meetings while providing access to families online.
There are so many colleagues, departments, and offices all working continuously to respond to the academic, social, emotional and safety needs of our students. I am grateful to each and every one of them. I hope you find an opportunity to join me in sharing appreciation with this amazing CVUSD staff for working around the clock to make things happen.
We continue to evaluate our processes in conjunction with the safety guidelines established by the local and state departments of public health. We are committed to minimizing the amount of school missed by students while also balancing the systems that insulate our school communities from COVID-19. We are close to implementing new tools that will help with this balancing act such as Antigen testing for those students on modified quarantine which will streamline the process and ask less of families. More details to come.
The public health departments continue to urge eligible students to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Once vaccines are available for 5 to 11 year olds, we will work with local organizations to offer space for vaccination clinics as much as possible.
Thank you for your support to ensure our students are thriving during these challenging times.