Superintendent

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Please visit the Superintendent Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates page
for the most recent, and up-to-date communication.
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Superintendent Community News Logo

Dear San Carlos School District Community, 

The month of May normally brings events where we connect, celebrate, appreciate, and recognize important milestones and achievements. This year, events such as volunteer recognitions, retirement celebrations, and May Day parades will be virtual or look different. Parents recognized staff last week in new and wonderful ways during staff appreciation week. Thank you for honoring our SCSD staff and all they are doing to go over and above in this time of COVID-19! Next weekend, we will miss Hometown Days and the SCEF Friday night music performances by our students, and now Hometown Days is penciled in for August 28-30. I am astounded by how our staff, students, parents and community are creatively making these special events meaningful in virtual and alternative ways. Thank you for all you are doing to continue student learning, build community, recognize staff, and support SCSD. Hang in there!

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.

This newsletter will cover the following: 

  • Distance Learning Update - What Will School Look Like in August?
  • Budget Update - Principal Budget Talks and Board Study Session May 21
  • Make It Happen in May! Support SCEF
  • Highlights of Recent Board Meetings

Sincerely,
Michelle Harmeier, Ed.D.
Superintendent
mharmeier@scsdk8.org

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Distance Learning Update: What will School Look Like in August?

Summer & Essential Worker Childcare Programs

We know that we will remain in Distance Learning mode through the end of this school year and are already cleaning and preparing rooms for next year. Summer camps and programs will not take place on our campuses at this time, based on the information we have from the current shelter in place order. However, we are starting to provide childcare and supervision to children of Essential Workers this week on some of our campuses. These programs focus on giving students access to complete their Distance Learning while their parents return to essential work, as determined by the current Shelter in Place Order. Learn more about this service Essential Worker Childcare Programs. 

We will learn more about additional summer guidelines from Dr. Morrow, the San Mateo County Health Officer soon. If there are opportunities to rent our facilities to recreation and camp providers, and we have the capacity to safely support summer activity on our campuses, we will. More to come.

What about next year?  

We are hearing from the Governor and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction that we need to prepare for different scenarios for the start of school, August 19, 2020.  Here are some things we are considering: 

  • We may start the year in Distance Learning mode or on sites August 19. We will be prepared for either scenario.
  • We must plan for students and staff to practice social distancing by staying 6 ft. apart, washing hands often, sanitizing rooms during the day, and possibly everyone wearing masks.
  • With social distancing, will students go to school campuses every day? Every other day? Half-day? We do not know the answer yet.
  • During the school year, we may need to return to Distance Learning at home for some weeks if there are high levels of COVID-19 infection and hospitalizations.  

Plans for “Opening Up Schools”

So, how do we plan for these different possibilities? Our school leaders are already planning for August and still have a lot of work to do! The San Mateo County of Education is publishing a “Return to School Framework” to provide us with broad health and policy guidance. We will use this framework to guide our own plan to “Open Up School” at SCSD. Some important aspects of opening up school include:

  • Schedules and facility use/cleaning
  • Teaching and learning in and out of school
  • Technology support for every student and teacher
  • Social, emotional and mental health of students
  • Parent education and support
  • Mitigating learning loss and meeting students where they are

Once we organize the framework material, we need different perspectives to join our conversation and contribute to the planning of the SCSD approach to “Opening Up Schools.” We want parents, middle school students, teachers, and support staff to be part of our working group. If you would like to be part of our “Opening Up Schools” working group, please complete this Interest Survey. We will meet Wednesdays, 4:00 - 5:00 pm. Subcommittees will commit to researching, reading and contributing to answering essential questions about how our community would like our schools to work for us starting in August. ​​​​​​​

Budget Update

SCSD is uniquely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in ways other districts may not be. A significant portion of our annual revenue comes from our local sources such as SMARTE after school, preschools, facility use agreements for summer camps and enrichment programs. The loss of these revenues are creating budget shortfalls for next year and now the rest of the school districts in California, along with SCSD, are gearing up for more predictable revenue losses due to the severe State revenue shortfalls which will impact our budget even more next year.

Please attend your next PTA Meeting or Principal Coffee Talk to learn about the challenges and possible reductions in programs. Please share your thoughts, concerns, questions, and ideas with your principals. They will be sharing parent and staff input at the May 21 Budget Study Session.

Principal Budget Talks

  • TL/MPA - Monday, May 11- 7:00 pm
  • Heather - Tuesday, May 12 - 7:00 pm
  • White Oaks - Tuesday, May 12 - 7:30 pm
  • CMS/AYO - Wednesday, May 13 - 8:45 am
  • Brittan Acres - Wednesday, May 13 - 3:00 pm
  • Arundel - Wednesday, May 13 - 7:00 pm

Special Board Meeting - Budget Study Session May 21, 7:00 pm

The SCSD Board of Trustees invites you to attend an important Board Meeting on Wednesday, May 21. Board agendas are available on our website here. This meeting will follow a town hall format. Staff will share information about the Governors’ May Budget Revision and the guidelines for creating a budget for next year. The Board will listen to input from the schools, the Budget Advisory Committee and staff about the possible reductions necessary for next year to maintain fiscal solvency during the pending budget crisis.

SCEF:  Making it Happen in May in the Time of COVID-19

The San Carlos School District appreciates the partnership with the San Carlos Education Foundation (SCEF). Last week, we celebrated SCEF Day. This is when we celebrate and acknowledge the contributions from parents which are so essential in maintaining our strong schools. Generous support of SCEF from families like yours, together with local businesses and community members, enable our local schools to continue providing a cutting-edge, high-quality education for all our children. Read about SCEF in this San Carlos Living Magazine article which will be published in June.

We know the Governor’s May Budget Revision on May 15 will bring disappointing news to us and all schools in California. SCSD will continue to count on the generous support of the San Carlos Education Foundation to support our strong instructional programs during this crisis. If you have not done so already, please consider contributing to the SCEF Annual Fund. Beginning with SCEF Day, the Make it Happen in May Campaign focuses on SCEF reaching their $2,800,000 fundraising goal by May 31. 

I hope you will continue to support SCEF by donating now, and in the future attending events, and volunteering. Our school district has benefited immensely over the past 38 years from SCEF funding and we are so grateful for their commitment to the San Carlos School District.

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.

April 30, 2020

  • Spotlight on Excellence Recognition - National Staff and Teacher Appreciation Week - May 4-9
  • Discussed the Response to COVID-19
  • Discussed the Distance Learning Update
  • Discussed Grading/Student Evaluation for 3rd Trimester Report Cards
  • Discussed Budget Update and Proposed Study Session-May 21, 7:00 PM
  • Discussed SCSD Funding Structure Update
  • Discussed Enterprise Program Update

Future Board Meetings

    • May 14 - Regular Board Meeting
    • May 21 - Budget Study Session/Town Hall
    • May 28 - Regular Board Meeting
    • June 4 - Regular Board Meeting
    • June 11 - Hold:  Regular Board Meeting if Needed
    • June 18 - Regular Board Meeting - Budget Adoption
    • June 24 - Hold:  Regular Board Meeting if Needed