Superintendent's Community Newsletter - February 2020
Dear San Carlos School District Community,
It doesn’t take Valentine’s Day to remind us of the need to communicate our appreciation. One needs only to chat with children, witness the supportive acts of staff, marvel at our daily volunteers, attend a PTA event, or participate in one of our many charitable drives to recognize that huge hearts are alive and well in our learning community. May every day be like Valentine’s Day.
I wanted to let you know that last Friday, February 7th we were notified by Mark Church, San Mateo County Chief Elections Officer, that due to a ballot misprint by the Elections Division’s printing vendor, 257 voters in our school district received a ballot that did not include the San Carlos School District’s Measure N Parcel Tax Measure.
We want to make sure voters are aware of the error and ask them to look for their new ballot and return it before March 3rd.
Replacement ballots with the correct information were mailed on February 8th to the affected voters, together with a notice explaining what happened. The District also mailed letters to the affected voters on February 14th to make them aware of the error. If voters have already returned the first or incorrect ballot, it will be discarded when a replacement ballot is received.
This update will cover the following:
- 2020-2021 Calendar Approved
- Kindergarten Registration Deadline - Feb 28
- Measure N Parcel Tax Information
- San Carlos Strategic Plan Survey is Coming
- LCAP Parent Engagement Meetings
- Highlights of Recent Board Meetings
I hope you enjoy time with family and friends over the Presidents’ Week Break. As always, thank you for your support of our schools, and I invite you to write to me with questions or comments. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Michelle Harmeier, Ed.D.
2020-2021 Calendar Approved
The 2020-2021 school year has been approved. Please see our Calendar page on the SCSD website for more information.
Kindergarten Registration - February 28
If you or a neighbor has a 5-year-old starting school in the fall, the deadline to register for Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is Friday, February 28. Make your registration appointment today. Visit our Registration Information page for more information.
Measure N Parcel Tax Renewal Information
Are you registered to vote? You can still register online or check the status of your voter registration here - https://www.smcacre.org/register-vote. The early voting period for the March 2020 election started on February 3, with four Vote Centers opening in San Mateo, Redwood City, South San Francisco and East Palo Alto. The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, February 18th.
The San Carlos School District is committed to providing an innovative and engaging learning experience that fosters the development of the whole child and maintains the high quality of local TK-8 schools. SCSD uses local revenue to supplement limited State funding. Our current, long-standing parcel tax is about to expire and Measure N could continue that funding stream with a $334.60 per parcel tax. Its proceeds could be used to retain exceptional teachers and protect core programs. Learn more about Measure N at by visiting our website at scsdk8.org - 2020 Parcel Tax Information
San Carlos Strategic Plan Survey Coming Soon!
Please look for the San Carlos Strategic Plan survey in your email inbox beginning February 25th. The survey will be sent to you via the School Messenger System. Please fill out one survey per student, per school.
We’re eager to hear your feedback! The Strategic Plan Survey is an essential part of our school and district improvement process. We use results annually to measure progress and set goals aligned to our Strategic Plan and Local Control Accountability Plan. The survey asks questions in the areas of: 21st Century Skills, Communication, Engagement, Expectations and Rigor, Homework, Learning Environment, Safety and Technology.
Families, teachers, and staff members will complete surveys, as will students in grades 3-8. Results will be shared with principals, school staff, parent leadership groups, Superintendent Harmeier, and the Board of Trustees. This year, we hope to hear from more than 50% of our families. When you receive the email from Panorama Education next week, please take a few minutes to complete the anonymous survey. We want to know how you think we’re doing!
LCAP Parent Engagement Meetings
All school districts in California must create and maintain a three-year growth plan called the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). Representatives from each school form the 2020 LCAP Parent Advisory Committee (PAC). The PAC serves in an advisory role to offer feedback on goal development and progress in each goal area. The LCAP PAC is scheduled to meet on the dates below at the SCSD District Office Board Room, 1200 Industrial Road, Unit 9B, San Carlos. These are public meetings and any member of the community is encouraged to attend. If you are interested in becoming a part of the PAC, contact your principal.
- Meeting Dates: March 19, April 22, and May 7 from 9:00-10:00 am
Upcoming District Events
Feb 17-21 Winter Break - No School
Feb 18 Last Day to Register to Vote in March Election
Feb 27 School Board Meeting - 7:00 pm - District Office
Mar 3 Election Day
Mar 12 School Board Meeting - 7:00 pm - District Office
Mar 18 ROPES Community Recognition
Highlights of Recent School Board Meetings
To review board recorded videos, presentations and upcoming agendas - go to the Board Meetings page of the SCSD website.
February 13, 2020
- Spotlight on Excellence Recognition - Chickens Ball - Celebrating the 80th Anniversary and White Oaks 3rd Grade Zero Waste Project-Based Learning (PBL)
- Received information on the Final Audit Report San Carlos Charter Learning Center 2018-2019
- Received a Budget Development and Engagement Update
- Approved Resolution #8:19/20 for Provisional Internship Permit
- Approved Current Out-Of-District Students to Matriculate to Another SCSD School for 2020-2021
- Approved Final Audit Report 2018-2019
January 23, 2020
- Spotlight on Excellence Recognition - Memoriam of former SCSD Staff - Helen Dodds, Jan Dresser & Sue Machado; Arroyo Upper Elementary - 4th Grade Passport to California Project; Rain Barrel Installation, Heather Elementary Multi-Age Programs and Celebrating Teachers
- Received information on English Learner and English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) Progress
- Discussed the LCAP Engagement Process
- Received a Budget Development and Engagement Update
- Approved Resolution 7:19/20 - Appointment of 7-11 Surplus Property District Advisory Committee
- Approved CSEA & CTA Seniority Lists
- Approved the 2020-2021 School Year Calendar
February 10, 2020
Dear SCSD Families,
On Friday, February 7, the California Department of Public Health released new guidance for schools concerning novel coronavirus. While the Department recognizes the health risk to the general public in California remains low, there has been an increase in cases worldwide, and travel anywhere in China in the past 14 days is considered a risk factor for novel coronavirus infection.
As such, all students who traveled from mainland China and arrived in the United States since February 3, 2020 should stay home from school for 14 days, beginning the day after they left China. Please note, at this time, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are not included in this guidance.
If this applies to you or your family, please be sure to contact your physician, stay home from school, and inform your child’s school staff.
To protect the health of our students and staff, we consistently follow the California Department of Public Health’s guidance for children who appear to be sick. There are also important steps that everyone can take to help prevent the spread of illnesses:
- Stay home when sick.
- Remain at home until the fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
- Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become more severe, e.g., high fever or difficulty breathing.
- Use “respiratory etiquette” and cover cough with a tissue or sleeve.
- Wash hands frequently.
- If you haven’t done so yet, ensure you and your family have received a flu shot. While the flu shot won’t prevent coronavirus illnesses, it can protect against other illnesses.
- Face masks are most useful for preventing disease spread when they are worn by people who have symptoms.
In addition, we're reviewing best practices with our custodians for cleaning commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs and fountain handles. And during the President's Week break, custodians will be deep cleaning all schools.
Ensuring a safe, supportive, and positive school climate is critically important during this challenging time. Given that travel restrictions are focused on mainland China, please be mindful of behaviors or conversations that might stigmatize students, other families, or staff. It's important that we continue to promote welcoming and inclusive school communities.
We will share additional guidance as we receive it.
Michelle Harmeier, Ed.D.
January 28, 2020
Dear Parents, Caregivers, and SCSD Staff,
The CDC and State and Bay Area public health departments are closely monitoring developments regarding an outbreak caused by a new coronavirus first identified in Hubei Province, China. The first case in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020 in the State of Washington. Public health departments are working to identify anyone who might be infected to prevent further spread of the outbreak. San Mateo County residents are at LOW RISK of becoming infected.
When new viruses surface, there can be lots of anxiety and stress. It's important to stay informed. We acknowledge the impact that the news of this outbreak is having on our community, and on those who have friends or relatives who are affected. We are thinking of you.
What you need to know
- Within the last 14 days, if your child has traveled from Hubei Province, China, (including the capital, Wahun)- or has had close contact with someone who has- and has any of these respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath), keep your child home from school and contact your healthcare provider who will reach out to San Mateo County Health if the case warrants. It’s important to call your healthcare provider in advance before arriving at a clinic or doctor’s office.
- SCSD will use the same illness protocol we use with other illnesses. We require that your child be fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours before returning to school. We ask that you notify the school office if your child has been diagnosed with a contagious illness.
- San Mateo County Health has a webpage dedicated to coronavirus at www.smchealth.org/coronavirus. We will monitor the developing situation and inform you of any additional public health recommendations.
In the meantime, please continue to follow the health tips provided in last week’s email from Mindy Hill to prevent the spread of illness.