Superintendent’s Office - A Message from Dr. Berman We are currently planning for the return to in-person learning and extended distance learning (EDL) for our K-5 students on October 12th. Planning includes: Air ventilation inspections at all sites Issuing Air Purifiers for all classrooms Finalizing daily health screening forms for students in ParentSquare Finalizing cohorts and schedules for in-person learning and EDL Staff are completing COVID testing as recommended by Public Health 5th Grade Band, Chorus, and Orchestra Information Attention parents of 5th graders! Did you know that 5th grade students have the option to participate in district-wide music performance ensembles? MVSD 5th grade chorus, band, and orchestra classes are enrolling now. Students recently attended an assembly to hear about these offerings; please discuss with your child and follow this link for more details on these programs and how to sign up . Student Services Update - A Message from Julie Harris We appreciate all the families who completed the Commitment Form for K-5 learning. Approximately 15% of all K-5 families are requesting Extended Distance Learning (EDL). Just a reminder, we are offering EDL so that students and families who choose to quarantine will have a viable option for the remainder of the year and or through the end of the first trimester if they choose to transition back to in-person. Please view our FAQs for more information. Educational Technology - A Message from Nicole Reyherme Technology tip of the week: Did you know you can see all of your open iPad apps by double-clicking on the home screen button? All of the open apps will appear. If you want to close them, just flick up on the app you want to close. iPad Support Our support team is continuing to solve tech tickets. If you are experiencing an issue please continue to use the help ticket system at email@example.com . We are striving to respond to tickets within 24 hours. When you submit a ticket, please provide as much information as possible. Including a screenshot of the error you are receiving is very helpful. Our team is working hard to respond to all tickets. We thank you for your continued patience. Maintenance & Operations - A Message from Julio Arroyo Air Ventilation Inspection - District-Wide We are in the process of performing air ventilation inspections for all Mill Valley School District sites. These inspections and reports will take 7 work days and the reports are expected to be available from an independent third-party inspector by October 8, 2020. These inspections will ensure that adequate ventilation is available at all school sites for the return to in-person instruction. Preparing School Sites for Student Return Our teams are working on many items, including: setting up classrooms for physical distancing marking floors with tape to ensure desks and walkways are clearly spaced assembling hand sanitizer stations and outdoor sinks adding plexiglass partitions to work spaces providing essential emergency protective equipment to all school sites, including masks, face shields, safety glasses, humanity shields as well as other essential items. HEPA Air Purifiers We are outfitting each classroom throughout the district with HEPA air purifiers to ensure adequate ventilation even during days with poor air quality. This is in addition to each classroom across the district having at least one exterior door and window or two exterior windows for ventilation and MERV-13 filters in our HVAC systems. Upcoming Events “Race: What Is My Work and How Do We Move Forward During This Racial Uprising” - A Session with Deborah McNight This session, sponsored by our PTAs and ITAV, is limited to 200 people and RSVPs are required. Please sign up to attend here and you will receive the Zoom link 2 days before the session. If you have questions, please email .
Superintendent’s Office - A Message from Dr. Berman Key Communication and Confirmation Form Coming Soon In a separate message, we will share information related to a return to in-person instruction for our K-5 students as well as a final confirmation form for K-5 Extended Distance Learning, which will be due on September 23rd. Thank you for your flexibility and resilience this school year. We appreciate the hard work and dedication everyone is showing toward distance learning. For more information on today’s announcement please see the presentation shared at yesterday’s Transition Task Force meeting and the full video of the meeting below. This step in returning to the classrooms is a step toward more traditional in-person instruction. However, returning in half-day cohorts is far from regular school, and so we understand this creates a new burden on families as you work to adjust schedules yet again. This last week, we asked K-5 parents to indicate your choice for in-person or extended distance learning should schools be authorized to reopen. We recognize that this survey did not ask for whether we should remain in distance learning indefinitely. Education Code 43504 indicates that public schools shall offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible. However, we also must offer an extended distance learning option for the full school year for those who opt for that model. To open schools safely, we are relying on the Tiered Reopening Plan provided by the California Department of Health. Earlier this week we were informed that Marin County is entering the Red Tier which allows for a return to in-person learning. With this information in mind, we agreed with our union leaders to open elementary sites for in-person learning starting on October 12, 2020. That is a change from the original October 5th date, but this later date will allow for even more extensive planning and preparation to ensure the safety of all students and staff. Our priority is to focus on returning safely. Enrollment at our middle school is around 945 students. Based on this large number and the number of teachers and students mixing throughout the day, we are taking a bit more time to return to in-person learning for this school as we address ways to ensure the ongoing rigor of learning. Enrollment at our elementary sites at half capacity for AM/PM cohorts ranges from about 115-215 students. This number allows us to control more factors related to cleaning, movement, and interaction. We recognize and appreciate the feedback of our community. We met with our union leadership at midweek to discuss several variations for return, and we have agreed that focusing on elementary school students in half day cohorts is best for safety and continued learning. We know you have many questions about what this will look like, and so we will be providing that information to you over the course of the next three weeks. As our district and schools prepare for this next step along with our neighboring communities, I am asking that you remain vigilant in all you have done to flatten the curve in our county and in Mill Valley. A return to school is a step in the right direction, only if we all continue to do our part. Our children and community have had to adjust to not engaging in sleepovers and large social gatherings. Now more than ever, it is important to limit activities that would put your children, their classmates, and their teachers into greater exposure. Thank you for your continued support. This is neither the school year nor decisions we wish to consider. However, it is our responsibility and duty to do all we can to provide access to in-person instruction in the safest way possible. We will continue to update our FAQ to answer your questions. Please know that there may be some turn around time as we continue to receive a high volume of submissions. Public Safety Power Shutoff Protocol 2020-21 Last week was also a reminder that weather and electricity can be unpredictable. On that note, we would like to share our plans for any future PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff events during distance learning. At this time, we are unaware of any scheduled outages. Teachers will provide power outage plan (POPs) packets that you may print out and have ready in case of a PSPS in your neighborhood or throughout our community. The Mill Valley Middle School will post POPS plans on ParentSquare on Monday. Your school may have already provided your packet. If you have trouble printing or are unable to do so, elementary families, please contact your teacher to arrange a pick up of the printed packet. If our community experiences a community-wide power outage, please have your POPs Packet ready for your child to engage in learning by completing the printed activities. We will also make the packets ready in paper form at the school sites or district office on the day of the power outage to the extent possible. Our purpose in preparing ahead of time is to minimize you having to go to your school or the district office on the day of the outage. In the event that we are notified of PG&E implementing a PSPs, we will provide notification by 5:15 p.m. if we are informed during the day, and by 5:15 am on a school day morning otherwise. We will notify you via ParentSquare alerts and emails, to the extent possible, to use your POPs packet for learning during the outage. Additionally, the district will make every effort to provide regular updates as possible and to post information on your school door. As you may recall from last fall, some areas were without cellular service to receive updates. On each day of the event at 12 hour-increments, we will make every possible attempt to update our staff and families on the status of school for the following day. It is important we have your accurate contact information. Please ensure that we have accurate and up-to-date cell numbers and email addresses by contacting your school office if you need to provide an update. This information will sync with our ParentSquare communications system where you will receive emails and emergency alerts. “Race: What Is My Work and How Do We Move Forward During This Racial Uprising” - A Session with Deborah McNight Our district is committed to increasing racial equity in our community. This is a focus of our PTAs as well, and we are happy to announce that they are working in conjunction with the Tam High PTSA and other southern Marin school districts to bring Deborah McKnight, a racial equity transformation consultant, to our community for a series of parent sessions beginning in October. Please save the date of October 7th from 6:30-8:30 pm for this interactive session, which will include breakout rooms and small group discussions. See the image below for more information. September Is Suicide Prevention Month September is recognized as National Suicide Prevention Month. This month creates an opportunity for all of us - - from mental health clinicians, school and business leaders, youth advocates, parents and caregivers, community health members, survivors, and allies - - to raise our understanding and promote suicide prevention and recovery awareness. The vast majority of us have been personally touched by mental illness or suicide. We must bring that shared experience out of the shadows and create a safe space for our youth to seek and receive help to live fulfilling lives. Each one of us can play a role in creating a safe community for those in distress. Please know that your child can always reach out to their school counselor for support or resources. You may also visit the MVSD Elementary Counselors website for additional resources. Parent Resources Communicating with Teens: What to Say and How to Say It Buckelew Programs Helpful Phrases Crisis Resources If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately. If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255) If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line. How To Edit Your Directory Listing Visibility in ParentSquare Families, did you know you can edit what is and isn’t visible in your ParentSquare directory listing? As a default for new accounts, directory information is not visible and you can opt to make information available to other parents in your child’s school, such as your email, phone number, or address. For accounts that were established last school year, your directory settings will remain the same unless you have updated your release of information approvals. You can follow the directions in this help article to access your ParentSquare account and edit your directory visibility. Student Support Services - A Message from Julie Harris Update from K-5 Counselors The five elementary counselors are visiting all of the K-5 classes to teach guidance lessons twice per month. They are highlighting the Toolbox tools (i.e. breathing tool) and giving students the chance to practice. This is one of the ways we are ensuring that students learn how to recognize and regulate their emotions. Learn more about this tool and how counselors can support your child by attending their coffee chats coming up on September 25th from 1:00-2:00 pm. Look out for an upcoming ParentSquare message for Zoom links. District English Language Acquisition Committee (DELAC) Updates Parents of our English Language Learners met last week to learn about our EL programs and build community. We celebrated the 22 languages spoken throughout the district and multiple heritages and want to highlight Hispanic/Latin heritage month! If you have any questions, please contact Lindsey Louzon-Caruso (K-5) firstname.lastname@example.org or Rachel Hudson email@example.com (6th-8th). Educational Technology - A Message from Nicole Reyherme Technology Tip of the Week: Place two fingers in the middle of the iPad keyboard and flick them to the side. This will split the keyboard making it easier to ‘thumb’ the keys (see picture below —notice the half-keyboards on either side of the image). iPad Support Our support team is continuing to solve tech tickets. If you are experiencing an issue, please continue to use the help ticket system at firstname.lastname@example.org . We are striving to respond to tickets within 24 hours. When you submit a ticket, please provide as much information as possible. Including a screenshot of the error you are receiving is very helpful. Our team is working hard to respond to all tickets. We thank you for your continued patience. Maintenance & Operations - A Message from Julio Arroyo Preparing Our Schools - Physical Distancing & Air Purifiers In order to maximize physical distancing and safety, staff were asked to remove personal furniture and belongings from their classroom by September 8, 2020. Therefore, this week walkthroughs began in order to plan for safe spacing for staff and students within the classroom. All schools and classrooms will be reviewed and evaluated to ensure physical distancing. The maintenance and operations team will be working closely with school administration over the next two weeks to ensure a safe return to in-person learning. The district will follow the guidelines established by Marin County Office of Education's Rethinking Schools Task Force as during the summer all schools had walkthroughs (each school 2x) inviting staff to participate. Each classroom across the district has at least one exterior door and window or two exterior windows for ventilation. We have ordered air purifiers for identified school site spaces to provide additional filtration. Sixty large units have been purchased for the Mill Valley Middle School, one for each classroom. Additionally, 15 have been purchased for Park School and 4 for Old Mill School. The heating ventilation unit repair for Strawberry Point Elementary has been assessed. Classroom and hallway vents as well as furnaces will be cleaned this weekend. After vents and furnaces are cleaned, all ducts and duct room areas will be professionally and thoroughly cleaned. The ductwork will commence with measurements and fabrication components. All work on this project will be completed by the end of the month. Middle School Roofing Project Update Last week, the crew completed work on the center, main section of the roof despite dark skies and ashy conditions. Upcoming Events “Race: What Is My Work and How Do We Move Forward During This Racial Uprising” - A Session with Deborah McKnight - October 7th, 6:30 pm Board Meeting Highlights September 14, 2020 The September 14th Board Meeting was recorded. You can watch the full video below or read the highlights in this message. Supporting Distance Learning Julie Harris, Director of Student Support Services and Nicole Reyherme, Director of Educational Technology, provided an update regarding distance learning , related to curriculum, instruction, and technology. Professional development has been provided to both Certificated and Classified staff to support distance learning. Topics for Certificated professional development include: racial equity - personal stories and empathetic listening; teacher collaboration to build consistency within site grade teams; building classroom community and common language; building continuity with assessment; engaging learners and executive functioning and feedback; i-Ready training on diagnostic assessment and learning path; technology platforms; district supported academic apps. Topics for Classified professional development include: getting grounded with remote learning; common practices to support student learning in Zoom; how to help students with technology and academics; where to find technology resources; increasing student engagement; platforms and apps: Seesaw and Google classroom. During distance learning, students and teachers have been using i-Ready, which is a diagnostic assessment tool for reading and math as well as a learning platform. Students receive an individualized learning path and teachers can use information from the platform as a reference to support students. The data from i-Ready will help us to prepare for instruction along with informal assessments and formal assessments. The goal is to complete diagnostic assessments by September 18th to have time between this and the next assessment window. Julie Harris also shared information about English Language Learners (ELL) in our District. There are 22 languages spoken district-wide and there are 126 ELL students. Nicole Reyherme shared that in a little over a week, we collected devices from the spring, reformatted, and redistributed them out to students, with support from our staff and PTAs, for distance learning. New Macbook Airs were also distributed to all teachers, along with 51 laptops that were distributed to Classified staff. Additionally, open tech support tickets are now down by 70%. There were over 900 open and active tickets and the team has reduced that to approximately 250. There have been over 9,000 Zoom participants so far during distance learning and there is an average of about 360 meetings district-wide per day. The District also launched a single sign-on portal called Clever for distance learning. About 68% of students and 87% of teachers have used it. In-Person Learning: Waivers, Cohorts, and Return California schools have been closed for in-person instruction since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. District staff provided updated information regarding the waiver process, cohort learning, and return to in-person instruction plans. There are three ways in which a California public school district may have students on campus for in-person instruction: the waiver process, cohort learning, or a return to in-person instruction when the County enters the red Tier. On August 14th, the State issued waiver applications. Waivers are available for grades K through 6, even if a particular school operates for grades outside this range. The waiver application must be consolidated for all schools in a district and the local public health officer may order phased school reopenings for some or all schools in the application. On August 25th, the state issued guidance on cohorts for small-group in-person instruction for “specialist services, targeted services and support” for students at both elementary and secondary levels. This includes school-based targeted specialised support and services including but not limited to: occupational therapy, speech and language, medical, and behavioral services, along with educational support services as a part of targeted intervention strategy or assessment, including those related to English learner status, IEPs, RtI, and other required assessments. The guidance urges school districts to prioritize small-group cohorts to serve the needs of students with disabilities as well as English learners and other identified “at-risk and high need” students when considering whether to offer these services. On August 28th, new guidance was released for criteria to return for in-person instruction. This established four tiered, color-coded categories to indicate the severity of COVID-19 spread. A County may be demoted in a tier if it falls short of criteria for 2 weeks. A County must stay in a tier for at least three weeks, aside from initial placement, to transition. The red tier is needed to return to in-person instruction. *Following the board meeting on September 15, Marin County entered the red tier. Additional information about the waiver process, cohort learning, and return to in-person instruction is available on the district website . Approval of Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan (LeCAP) Administrative staff presented an update on the Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan (LeCAP) based on input from the August board meeting and Public Hearing as well as subsequent stakeholder meetings. The LeCAP outlines COVID-related state and federal preliminary funding and incorporates feedback from our stakeholders from several input sessions as well as at last month’s board meeting public hearing. The board approved the LeCAP, which will be submitted by September 18, 2020. Public Hearing: Sufficiency of Textbooks and Instructional Materials for 2020-21 and Resolution #05-20/21: Sufficiency of Textbooks and Instructional Materials for 2020-21 California Education Code 60119 requires that school districts annually declare sufficiency of textbooks and instructional materials for every student for the school year. Julie Harris, Director of Student Support Services, presented background information regarding annual determination of sufficient textbooks and materials for every student for the 2020-21 school year. She shared that we centrally receive, organize, and distribute orders for textbooks and instructional materials. A public hearing was held and the resolution was adopted by the board. Resolution #03-20/21 - Week of the School Administrator Annually, the Board of Trustees recognizes administrators, including principals, assistant principals, deans, coordinators, directors, the assistant superintendent and superintendent for their leadership and management of schools and departments. This resolution was approved by the board. Second Reading - BP6158 Independent Study State agencies interpret the new statutory requirements on distance learning to mean that districts that offer independent study, should do it as a program, not as a school type, and must still adhere to statutory distance learning requirements. Students participating in independent study must meet the statutory distance learning requirements within the independent study program including instructional time, schedule for minimum days' worth of assignments as certified by certificated staff, daily participation tracking, weekly engagement record for synchronous and asynchronous learning, tiered re-engagement, daily live interaction or alternate plan for frequent live interaction. For the 2020-21 school year, an independent study program would need to meet both independent study requirements and distance learning requirements. The policy was vetted and discussed with the Mill Valley Teachers Association (MVTA). Independent Study is intended as an option during a traditional setting. Dr. Berman shared that we are offering a distance learning option for the entire school year and understand how important that is when we transition to in-person learning. Looking into the Independent Study program has led to good discussions of how we meet the needs of our students and support their learning in both distance and in-person learning. Staff did not recommend approval at this time. No motion was made for adoption of this policy. Unaudited Actuals Financial Reporting for 2019-20 The 2019-20 Unaudited Actuals is an annual report reflecting the financial activities of the Mill Valley School District in which the data is not yet audited. Dr. Michele Rollins, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, presented the district’s Unaudited Actuals . The presentation outlined the components of the report, revenues and expenses, components of the ending fund balance, restricted and unrestricted dollars, and the timeline of upcoming financial reports and budgets. Property taxes are the district’s primary source of funding and our largest expenses are Certificated salaries. Expenditure per student is currently approximately $17,200. The Board approved the 2019-20 Unaudited Actuals, which were submitted to the Marin County Office of Education on September 15th. Resolution #04-20/21: Adoption of the Gann Limit The Gann Limit calculations are included in the 2019-20 Unaudited Actuals forms. Dr. Rollins presented the Gann Limit. The Board approved this resolution. Resolution #06-20/21: Certificated Assignment Authorization Jessica Goode, Director of Human Resources, presented Resolution #06-20/21 for Certificated Assignment Authorization, which allows a credentialed teacher to teach any subject in departmentalized subject matter (K-12). The Board approved this resolution. Resolution #07-20/21: Certificated Assignment Authorization (Music) Jessica Goode, Director of Human Resources, presented Resolution #07-20/21 for Certificated Assignment Authorization, which allows a multiple/single subject credentialed teacher to teach any subject in departmentalized subject matter (below grade 9). The Board approved this resolution.
Superintendent’s Office - A Message from Dr. Berman Response to Recent Antisemitic Acts We have learned that recently, social media accounts have targeted Jewish students and families in the Tam Union High School District community with hateful imagery and threats in the form of creating lists of their names. History has taught us that hateful actions like these cannot be minimized, tolerated, or ignored. According to a recent report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, California State University, San Bernardino, anti-Semitic behavior has been on the rise in the United States over the past several years. The Anti-Defamation League states that per their most recent audit, anti-Semitic incidents are at their highest levels since the organization began keeping track in 1979. A growing number of anti-Semitic acts, posts, and messages are regularly being placed online and via social media in cowardly anonymity making it difficult to identify the perpetrators. Therefore, it is more important than ever that we speak out and act when we see such intolerance and that we are vigilant in educating ourselves and our youth about the dangers and dehumanization of hate-based ideologies. We must also model behaviors that clearly show our children that we will act against injustice and model behavior that values differences, that seeks to understand the feelings of others, that accepts the notion that we all have something to contribute and that we all add value to our society. With the leaders of the other school districts in Marin County, we stand together as one in a countywide commitment to address issues of intolerance and hate head-on and with a clear and consistent message that such actions have no place in our community. We also commit to continuing our work within district to create communities of peace, inclusion, and acceptance and to put the light on injustice and intolerance whenever it occurs. Though these acts of a few are discouraging and dangerous, we know that this is a community that can rise up and confront prejudice and intolerance. Together, we can counter the voices of hate and ensure that this is a safe and nurturing community for all. Disturbing Social Media Video: Background & Resources According to multiple media sources , the video footage sparking all of this migrated from Facebook Live to TikTok over the weekend and has been spliced into unrelated videos designed to shock and upset the viewer. The graphic and highly inappropriate video displays disturbing and graphic footage of an individual dying by suicide. The video is reported to be appearing on the "For You" page in TikTok which serves as the front page of the application and is designed to feed content tailored for the user. The content in question should not be viewed by anyone. Parents and teens may wish to talk together about the video and identify ways to avoid seeing it. It is recommended to have users disable the auto-play feature in all application settings to avoid encountering the disturbing footage. If you know of someone that has already viewed the video, we encourage you to take the time to check-in with them to talk about their experience and listen to any concerns. Given our current environment, the emotional impact the video may have on tweens, teens, and/or adults could be significantly elevated. All steps that can be taken to normalize feelings of shock, anger, and fear after viewing the video will help the individual to process their experience in a healthy and resilient way. Below are some additional resources you may find helpful with supporting those in need: T alking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers Managing Strong Emotional Reactions to Traumatic Events: Tips for Families and Teachers Behavioral Health and Recovery Services & Marin County Office of Education Parent Conversations: Fall Series Developing Effective Coping Skills November 10, 2020 at 12:00 pm Coping with Anxiety and Grief December 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm Behavioral Health and Recovery Services: Community Webinar Breaking the Silence: How to Recognize and Discuss the Signs of Suicide in your Teenager September 15, 2020 at 7:00 pm Peer-Run Warm Line 1-855-845-7415 24 hours a day and 7 days a week Services in English and Spanish Non-emergency resource for anyone seeking support. Peer Support Warmline 1-415-459-6330: 9:00 AM to 12:00 pm 7 days a week Non-emergency resource for anyone seeking support. Provides assistance via phone and web chat. California Parent/Youth Helpline 1-855-427-2736 Link: https:// caparentyouthhelpline.org Non-emergency parent/adult and student mental health support via telephone or text. Online parent and student counseling. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) For crisis support in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454. Emergency resource for anyone seeking support. Emergency Text Support For those uncomfortable talking on the phone, they can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line. Return to In-Person Instruction Survey Thank you for filling out the return to in-person instruction K-5 survey that we shared earlier this week. This information will allow us to provide your child’s AM or PM schedule and to provide a clear plan for what to expect in extended distance learning if you opt for that. We understand the cohort time creates new hardships for families, and we apologize. No requests will be accepted. Homeroom teachers, Counselors, Intervention teachers, Special Education Teachers, and Administrators will collaborate to form classes that are balanced and lead to equitable learning outcomes for all students. We will provide further information related to the middle school by September 18th. Please visit our updated FAQ for more information on a return to in-person learning and extended distance learning. Back-to-School PSA from Governor Newsom featuring Sesame Street Characters In case you missed Governor Gavin Newsom’s new PSA in partnership with Sesame Workshop in Wednesday’s Marin County daily COVID update, we’ve attached it below. There are three new English and Spanish language PSAs featuring lovable Sesame Street Muppets promoting best practices for kids and families during the pandemic, including how to properly wear a mask, physical distancing, washing hands, and navigating the hybrid learning environment that many kids in California are or will be experiencing this fall. Student Support Services - A Message from Julie Harris i-Ready Our assessment window for the i-Ready diagnostic is open and we are encouraging all families to help their child take the reading and math diagnostic assessment. Click here for a resource video on how to help. Teachers will then use this information along with their observations and other assessments to determine what skills to focus on during this first trimester. As you are helping your child with the diagnostic, here are some helpful resources: Student Instruction Sheet for Logging On Family Checklist i-Ready for Families Once a student completes the reading and math diagnostic assessments at home, they will be placed on an individualized learning path for math and reading practice. Some teachers may choose to assign time on the i-Ready platform during asynchronous learning or homework. The program recommends that students practice no more than 45-60 minutes per week per subject. DELAC Meeting All families of English Language Learners are welcome to join us on September 15th from 5 to 6 pm. Please join us to get to know other families, learn about English language learner programs, meet English language development teachers and staff, and have an informal opportunity to ask questions and share your ideas for ways to support our learners and families. Join via this Zoom link . All are welcome! Educational Technology - A Message from Nicole Reyherme Ways to Get Internet Access in Your Home We want to make sure that children and families have access to broadband during this critical time. If you don’t have an internet connection at home for the digital distance learning program, here are a couple of options available to you. If you need additional support, please contact your principal. Comcast/ Xfinity Comcast is offering internet access at home to families in need through Internet Essentials. To sign up, applicants can simply visit www.internetessentials.com . There are also two dedicated phone numbers, 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish. Comcast is ramping up resources to ensure that families can get the equipment and start service as quickly as possible after signing up. AT&T AT&T’s Access program is available for $10/month. To qualify for Access, customers must have a student who qualifies for the National School Lunch Program/Head Start or one family member who participates in the SNAP program. Visit the Access page to fill out an application and see if you qualify. If you can’t access the webpage, please call in using these phone numbers: English: 855-220-5211 Spanish: 855-220-5225 iPad Support Please continue to use the help ticket system at email@example.com . When you submit a ticket, please provide as much information as possible. Including a screenshot of the error you are receiving is very helpful. Our team is working hard to respond to all tickets. We thank you for your patience. Maintenance & Operations - A Message from Julio Arroyo Preparing our Schools Our staff have taken time up until September 8th to clear personal belongings from their rooms to increase the amount of space for learning and ensure maximum distance for students. Now that this is completed, our custodial staff are working to set up classrooms in preparation for the beginning of October. We will continue to keep you updated on our plans. Mill Valley Middle School Roof Project Update This week, the focus on our roof project at the Middle School involved applying the base coat in three areas prior to applying the top coat and polyester reinforcement of the roofing system. Business Services - A Message from Michele Rollins Independent auditors were onsite for their review of the 2019-20 unaudited actuals. Upon completion, the final independent audit report will be completed on December 15, 2020, to be submitted to the Marin County Office of Education, State Controller’s Office, California Department of Education, and Federal Clearinghouse. The unaudited actuals for 2019-20 will be presented at the September 14, 2020 Board meeting. Upcoming Events Board of Trustees Meeting - September 14th, 6 pm District English Language Advisory Committee (DELAC) Dessert & Discussion - September 15th, 5 pm Mill Valley Middle School Back to School Night - September 17th, 6 pm
Superintendent’s Office - A Message from Dr. Berman Labor Day Holiday As a reminder, Labor Day on September 7th is a National Holiday and there will be no school. We hope everyone enjoys the long weekend, and we look forward to returning to learning on Tuesday. New Guidance for our County and Schools On August 28, new guidance was released for the safe reopening of businesses and schools. This new system establishes four categories to indicate the severity of COVID-19 spread in California. A county may be demoted if it falls short of the criteria for two weeks. A county must stay in a tier for at least three weeks, aside from the initial placement. Marin County is currently in the purple category. In order to reopen, aside from waivers and other cohort guidance , a district must remain in the red tier for two weeks. Return to School Survey K-5 A survey will be sent to all elementary families in grades K-5 next week. The survey will be sent to you on September 8 and will be due by September 11. Please complete one survey per child. Data is being closely monitored in the county regarding a return to in-person learning. If deemed safe by public health officials, schools in the Mill Valley School District will reopen on October 5. Your child will attend either a morning or afternoon session for 3 hours on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 2.5 hours on Wednesday. Your child will have a 15-minute recess and a specialist class for 30 minutes each day. Additionally, your child may purchase lunch at school to take home or to eat before their session. Your child’s assignment to either an AM or PM session will be based on a process that seeks to ensure siblings remain on the same schedule. If returning to in-person learning, each school campus will operate at 50% of the student capacity until further notice. We have determined ways to ensure safety in our classrooms which will include physical distancing, smaller sizes, and personal protective equipment. Therefore, bathrooms, hall use, and common areas will be less impacted. Our staff have negotiated with our bargaining units and agreed to begin in-person learning on October 5 if deemed safe by public health officials. Requests for AM or PM sessions may not be made. Cohorts will remain stable groups of children. Staff will work thoughtfully to assign children to cohorts that are balanced. Cleaning processes and safety measures will be implemented. These measures meet and exceed county guidelines. An announcement will be made on September 18th confirming our return to in-person learning on October 5 or extending distance through the end of the first trimester ending on November 20th. Distance learning will be available through the 2020-21 school year. Back to School Nights While we are not filling the school buildings and meeting and greeting in person this year for Back to School Nights, our elementary sites have hosted very informative meetings at a distance this week. As a reminder, the Mill Valley Middle School Back to School Night will occur on September 17th. Below is a video featuring our MVSDTogether Funding Alliance partners, Kiddo! and the PTAs. This information is typically highlighted at back to school night, and we wanted to be sure to share information about how to support our funding partners. Student LeCAP Meeting - September 9, 2020 We invite any Mill Valley School District student to participate in a student input session for our Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan (LeCAP) on September 9th at 3:30 pm. Please fill out this form to sign up your child to participate and we will provide the meeting link. Weekly Box Lunch Order We are continuing to partner with our lunch provider, ChoiceLunch, to provide to-go lunches during distance learning, including a Vegetarian option. You can place your order on the ChoiceLunch website here . Meals must be pre-ordered by Sunday at 9 am for Tuesday pickup, since we are closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday. Boxes can be picked up on Tuesday, September 8th from 11:45 am to 12:15 pm at your child’s school. Weekly Lunch Box - September 8th - 11th 4 Complete Meals (4 Entrees, 4 Fruits, 4 Vegetables, 4 Milks); The entrees include: 1) BBQ Chicken Sandwich, 2) Yogurt Parfait, 3) Chicken Tenders, 4) Hot Dog; The fruits include: Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Apple; The vegetables include: Edamame, Broccoli, Baby Carrots, Jicama; The milks include: 1% White Milk (2) Fat Free Chocolate Milk (2). Weekly Lunch Box Vegetarian - September 8th - 11th 4 Complete Meals (4 Entrees, 4 Fruits, 4 Vegetables, 4 Milks); The entrees include: 1) Cheese Ravioli, 2) Yogurt Parfait, 3) Veggie Nuggets, 4) Cheese & Cracker Plate; The fruits include: Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Apple; The vegetables include: Edamame, Broccoli, Baby Carrots, Jicama; The milks include: 1% White Milk (2) Fat Free Chocolate Milk (2). How to Translate ParentSquare & The District Website If you would like to change the language of the information we share with you, both ParentSquare and our district website have that capability. Below are instructions for how to do so on each platform. ParentSquare ParentSquare allows you to change your language settings. If you would like to do so, please follow the steps below. You can also view ParentSquare’s help article with instructions and screenshots. From a computer: On the home page, select the down arrow next to your name in the upper right corner of the page. Click on “My Account” Under “Language Settings,” click “Change This” Select your preferred language from the drop down menu and click Save’’ From the app: On the home page, select the three bars in the upper left corner of the page Select Account>Preferences Select Language Settings Once you select your preferred language, it will be updated/saved District Website To translate the district website or any school website, please follow the steps below. Navigate to the home page or the page you would like to view Click “Translate Language” in the upper right corner Select your preferred language Student Support Services - A Message from Julie Harris DELAC Meeting We welcome all families of English Language Learners to join us for our first District English Language Advisory Committee (DELAC) meeting on Tuesday, September 15th 5-6 pm. We will share a virtual cup of tea or dessert with each other as we get to know each other and learn about programs to support our students learning English. Join via this Zoom link . All are welcome! It Takes A Village Meeting It Takes A Village , a PTA group that promotes the academic success of all students in Mill Valley schools who learn differently through parent education and advocacy, is hosting a meeting on Friday, September 11th at 9:00 am. You may join via the Zoom link here . Educational Technology - A Message from Nicole Reyherme i-Ready The i-Ready diagnostic window is now open. We want to extend a big thank you to the families who are helping to make this fall diagnostic session a success. If you missed the i-Ready parent trainings that occurred yesterday and today, you can watch the recorded video below. As a reminder, the i-Ready assessment and instruction platform is designed to help us gather data on our students’ strengths and areas for growth. This is only one part of the information we gather about our students and their skills. As you are helping your child with the diagnostic, here are some helpful resources: Student Instruction Sheet for Logging On Family Checklist I-Ready for Families The best way to support your child is to encourage them to try their best. Remind them that half of the problems will be too hard and that it is ok to guess and move on. Please resist the urge to help them find the correct answer. There is no grade attributed to this diagnostic; it is purely formative for our students. Thanks again for all of your help! i-Pad Support Please continue to use the help ticket system at firstname.lastname@example.org . When you submit a ticket, please provide as much information as possible. Including a screenshot of the error you are receiving is very helpful. Our team is working hard to respond to all tickets. We thank you for your patience. Upcoming Meetings Student LeCAP Meeting - Wednesday, September 9, 3:30 -4:30 pm (see above for details) It Takes a Village Meeting - Friday September 11, 9:00 - 10:30 am Regular Board Meeting - Monday, September 14, 2020 - 6 pm DELAC - Tuesday, September 15, 2020 5-6 pm Mill Valley Middle School Back to School Night - Thursday, September 17th
Superintendent’s Office - A Message from Dr. Berman We hope you have all had a wonderful first week of learning! Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan At the August 13 Board meeting, the draft Learning and Continuity Learning Plan (LeCAP) was presented and discussed and a public hearing was held for input. At the September 14 Board meeting, the district will provide the LeCAP for Board approval. You may review additional information about the LeCAP on our website . If you are interested in attending the LeCAP Stakeholder Meeting on Wednesday, September 2nd, please visit this page on our website . The Zoom link will be available approximately 15 minutes prior to the meeting. FAQ We have continued updating our FAQ page with answers to many questions we have received on topics such as students' attendance for live Zoom sessions, independent study, adding other family members or tutors to ParentSquare, teachers providing support to learning pods, and more. We are working under State guidance for distance learning which is new for all of us and continues to change frequently. If information changes, we will update our FAQ and highlight that information in our newsletters. If you have a question, it is likely addressed on the FAQ, so please check there before asking your teacher or principal, and if it is not, you may submit your question here . Marin Community Learning Hubs The Marin County Office of Education and many local community organizations are working together to provide Marin Community Learning Hubs during the 2020-21 school year. These are safe spaces with adult supervision for students up to 8th grade whose family meets specific criteria. Students will receive connection support for distance learning and access to WiFi during school hours. Eligible families qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, work with the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), foster youth, newcomers, families unable to access or support distance learning, siblings, and those with special circumstances. Click here to complete an Interest Survey. Haga clic aquí para completar una encuesta de interés. You can also complete a paper copy of the Interest Survey at your child’s school. If you have questions or would like support in completing the survey, please contact your school or email email@example.com. English Informational Flyer Spanish Informational Flyer California Parent and Youth Hotline In partnership with Governor Newsom, Parents Anonymous® Inc. recently launched the California Parent & Youth Helpline and Online Parents Anonymous® Support Groups in response to COVID-19 to provide free trauma-informed, evidenced-based emotional support to parents, children, and youth in any language via calls, text, live chat, and email. The California Parents & Youth Helpline operates 7 days a week from 8:00AM-8:00PM. Parents can also join a weekly online support group through the website: caparentyouthhelpline.org . In this confidential setting, parents address their underlying emotions and build resiliency to strengthen their family. Weekly Box Lunch Order - Vegetarian Option Now Available! We are continuing to partner with our lunch provider, ChoiceLunch, to provide to-go lunches during distance learning. You can place your order on the ChoiceLunch website here . As requested, a vegetarian option is now available. Meals must be pre-ordered by Sunday at 9 am for Monday pickup. Boxes can be picked up on Monday, August 31st from 11:45 am to 12:15 pm at your child’s school. Regular Box Lunch Menu Vegetarian Box Lunch Menu US Census During this unusual year, we want to encourage you to fill out the 2020 Census if you have not done so already for your household. It is important that all households are counted, and the Census is a simple questionnaire everyone in the United States is asked to complete every 10 years. The Census can be easily completed online at https://my2020census.gov/ . Student Support Services - A Message from Julie Harris Staff Professional Development We are so excited to start the school year! Our teachers enthusiastically participated in 3 full days of professional development last week. We kicked off professional development with one of our own teachers, Rebecca Prather, who led over 200 teachers through an impactful workshop beginning our exploration of systematic racism. Mill Valley School District is committed to continuing this work and to interrupting racism in our schools. We continued professional development by focusing on improving student connection, feedback, and engagement in remote learning and learning strategies to support executive functioning. Lastly, we spent hours learning about our technology apps and learning platforms. Huge kudos to our fantastic presenters: Kate Sprague & Rod Septka (Instructional Coaches), Nicole Reyherme (Director of Educational Technology), Erin Conklin (Special Education Coordinator), and amazing teachers (Kayla Zeisler, Kate Kellman, and Erin Frazier). The Start of a New School Year: Beginning the school year is an exciting time for all of us. Teachers have spent the first week connecting with students and teaching them the “rules of the digital road.” The importance of connecting with students and building relationships sets the foundation for year-long trust, common expectations in the virtual classroom, and helps students build stamina for learning. Some teachers are also holding “Meet & Greets” and/or assessments during the first few weeks of school. We know this is a perfectly imperfect year, and we appreciate everyone’s flexibility and agility as we all improve our digital teaching skillset to enhance distance learning. Google Classroom The Marin County Office of Education is providing a free live Zoom training on Google Classroom for parents. Please see the flyer in English or in Spanish for additional information. They’ve also provided a document outlining Google Classroom information for parents in both English and Spanish . Additionally, our District Instructional Technology Coach, Kate Sprague, created a tutorial on Google Classroom last Spring, which may be helpful for families navigating this platform this fall. Counseling Services In addition to the many services our counselors provide to students, the MVSD elementary counselors launched a website with tips and tools on anxiety and stress, brain breaks, book lists, zoom fatigue, mindfulness and breathing, etc. We encourage elementary families to check out the helpful resources and activities. Human Resources - A Message from Jessica Goode District-Wide Training During this unprecedented time, all MVSD employees have been provided with training to help keep all students and staff safe. Three required trainings prepare us to maintain clean and sanitized spaces for students and adults. An additional two mandatory trainings provide information that helps staff members transition to working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic and how to guard their households against community transmission of the virus. As we do annually, all staff are completing mandated reporter training that assists us in recognizing the neglect and abuse of children and the process to report to the appropriate authorities. Toward maintaining a physically and emotionally safe environment for all members of our MVSD community, all have been provided with state-mandated training about combatting sexual harassment in the workplace. Wildfire Support In partnership with our insurance provider and in an effort to support staff members who may be affected by wildfires, MVSD provided a Wildfires Resource Guide; links to resources around wildfire preparedness and recovery; links to emergency management in multiple counties; evacuation maps; links to emergency services including FEMA, the salvation army, California Office of Emergency Services, Red Cross Smartphone Apps, and various hotlines; and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) information that provided access to mental health and emergency support systems. Educational Technology - A Message from Nicole Reyherme Distance Learning and Technology Wow! Congratulations Mill Valley School District on reaching the end of your first full week. This week has been busy and it started with a bang when Zoom went down for many users on our very first virtual day of school. We often talk about how technology makes our life easier (and it does!) but there are also times when the tech might let us down. The best plan is to be flexible and prepared for the times when the technology is unpredictable. Here are a few tips: Restart. If you are having trouble connecting to the internet or a certain application, start with a restart of the device. Often, this will fix the issue. Update your Apps. Clicking download on an app in the catalog will begin the updating process for apps with updates. Toggle your Wi-Fi. Turning the Wi-Fi off for a few minutes and then back on, could solve some connectivity issues. Don’t panic. If you are having trouble logging into a live session, even after restarting, take a pause. There might be a variety of reasons the application isn’t working. Taking a break, contacting your teacher to explain the problem, and trying again later is the best course of action. Use this time for some of your asynchronous work, until you can connect again. Contact Support. When all else fails, submit a tech ticket to firstname.lastname@example.org . The new school year is a fun and exciting time, technology shouldn’t bring on stress or frustration. By embracing flexibility we can all successfully navigate our distance learning start to the school year! Assessment with i-Ready This year we will continue to use our i-Ready assessment system that we piloted over the summer. In order to get diagnostic assessment results, we will need families to support our students in completing the assessments. Our teachers will be reaching out with more information, but we are happy to offer two training sessions for anyone who would like to learn more, before administering the test. The trainings will be held virtually on the following days: Thursday, September 3rd at 9am Friday, September 4th at 1pm Zoom links will be sent in a follow-up message. Maintenance & Operations - A Message from Julio Arroyo MVMS Roofing Project The Mill Valley Middle School roof project began earlier this month. During the first week of construction, the crew began power washing to remove all dirt, debris, and non-adhered materials. The roof was marked for areas of “wet insulation” based on the results of a moisture scan and those areas are being removed. Areas with existing coating are also being addressed in preparation of installing the new system.
Superintendent’s Office - A Message from Dr. Kimberly Berman Dear Mill Valley School District Community, Welcome to the first day of the 2020-21 school year! We are glad to welcome you even though the start of this school year looks quite different than the usual start. Our teachers will be providing robust distance learning and enriching experiences for our students, along with all of the other supports in place in our district. Over the past year in the Mill Valley School District, I have had the opportunity and privilege to connect with our stakeholder groups, our teachers, classified staff, parents and guardians, board members, PTA and Kiddo! leaders, and community members. I have also worked closely with our district office and administrative team, and I know everyone is working toward a robust, strong, inclusive, and vibrant Mill Valley School District community. Thank you for your engagement, questions, and support as we worked through the many challenges and changes that our current circumstances have brought forward. Please know that we will continue to provide information to you and to seek your input. Please see two upcoming opportunities below. We will all continue to work toward what is best for our Mill Valley Learners. We will be sharing the Annual Parents’ Rights Acknowledgement and Technology Agreement forms, known previously as First Day Packet forms, via ParentSquare. If you’re looking for more information related to the 2020-21 school year, please visit the district website for school year calendars , distance learning information , and our FAQ . Yours in Education, Dr. Kimberly Berman, Superintendent Waiver Stakeholder Meeting If you are interested in attending a meeting discussing the State Waiver for in-person instruction on August 26th at 3:30 pm, please visit this page on our website . The Zoom link will be available approximately 15 minutes prior to the meeting. Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan (LeCAP) Stakeholder Meeting If you are interested in attending a meeting discussing the LeCAP on Wednesday, September 2nd, please visit this page on our website . The Zoom link will be available approximately 15 minutes prior to the meeting. In Celebration and In Memory of Jeffrey Freiberg Serving as a Board Member to the Mill Valley School District is a commitment to our students and community that makes a significant impact. Please join us in celebrating the life of Jeffrey Freiberg, former Mill Valley School District board member, who passed away on August 14th. Jeffrey was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in February 2018. For two and a half years, he fought a long and hard battle and was even cancer-free for over a year. Mr. Freiberg was passionate about arts in education, and he served on the school board for over 20 years supporting the arts within the Mill Valley education system. In his memory, Mr. Freiberg's family asks that you consider a donation in his honor. CTE - Drama Program at Tamalpais High School (where all three of his children attended) http://ctetam.org/support/ The Kiddo! Endowment for the Arts https://kiddo.org/ways-to-give/endowment/ Mindfulness for Parents Series: Parents, please join us for this free series: this time is for YOU. Join mindfulness facilitator and Mill Valley parent Amaris Vicari to learn how to create calm, manage your anxiety and stress, handle big emotions, and build resilience. We will also learn how to help create greater focus in our lives as parents, and how to become more compassionate- all through mindfulness. Recharge your battery and come together in community to help manage yourself through distance learning and the current events in our world. 6 half-hour sessions are offered Mondays from 2:00-2:30 PT beginning 9/14. Sign up is on a first come, first serve basis. You are welcome to attend any or all sessions, you do not need to worry about attending them all. Please sign up via this link and a calendar invite with the Zoom meeting information will be sent to you. You can learn more about the facilitator at www.beneficialelement.com . Mindfulness for Parents: Mondays 2:00-2:30 PST, 9/14-10/19: 9/14 - Managing Your Attention to Create Clarity & Focus Find out what happens to our brain in times of great change and chaos, and how we can cultivate greater focus and clarity in the midst of it all. This session includes an introduction to the topic, neuroscience, a guided mindfulness exercise, and mindfulness practices you can integrate into a busy day. 9/21- Tools to Manage Anxiety and Stress In this session we will cover mindfulness exercises that can help reduce anxiety and stress. This session includes an introduction to the topic, neuroscience, a guided mindfulness exercise, and mindfulness practices you can integrate into a busy day to help manage anxiety and stress. 9/28- Navigating Big Emotions As a parent, who isn’t looking to respond instead of react more often? Join us to learn a little bit about the root of emotions and how we can learn to manage big emotions. This session includes an introduction to the topic, neuroscience, a guided mindfulness exercise, and mindfulness practices you can integrate into a busy day to help with emotional awareness. 10/5- Cultivating Resilience We all know resilience is important, particularly in our current environment, but how can you actually cultivate greater resilience day to day? This session includes an introduction to the topic, neuroscience, a guided mindfulness exercise, and mindfulness practices you can integrate into your day to actually build your resilience. Learn to thrive, not just survive. 10/12- Cultivating Resilience (Part 2) This session includes more guided exercises and mindfulness practices you can use to cultivate greater resilience. 10/19- The Importance of Compassion & Becoming More Compassionate How can we become more compassionate? Why does compassion matter- not just towards others but towards ourselves? With a global pandemic and heightened awareness around social and racial injustice, compassion is more important than ever. This session includes an introduction to the topic, neuroscience, a guided mindfulness exercise, and mindfulness practices you can integrate into your day to grow your compassion.
Board Meeting Highlights August 13, 2020 Board Meeting (Remote) To view attachments related to the presentations summarized below, please view the board meeting agenda . Superintendent’s Report Dr. Berman shared information about our new Director of Maintenance, Operations, & Safety, Julio Arroyo and our Director of Educational Technology, Nicole Reyherme . Additionally, she shared key district communications dates which explain when we will notify our community of either a return to in-person instruction or continuation of distance learning. Below is the chart that was shared. Please know that we will provide future dates for additional announcements if distance learning is extended. Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan(LeCAP) Presentation Dr. Berman and other District staff presented information about and shared a draft of the Mill Valley School District’s Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan (LeCAP) . According to the California Department of Education, the LeCAP "...is a key part of the overall budget package for K-12 that seeks to address funding stability for schools while providing information at the local educational agency (LEA) level for how student learning continuity will be addressed during the COVID-19 crisis in the 2020–21 school year.” The draft LeCAP outlines how the Mill Valley School District will address ongoing learning and attendance monitoring for students during the 2020-2021 schooly ear duo to the impact of COVID-19. We know our students have been greatly impacted by the closure of schools and research indicates that it has disproportionately affected students of color, low income, foster youth, and English learners. Requirements of the LeCAP include: Plans for in-person instructional offerings Addressing student learning loss due to COVID -19 Monitoring and supporting the mental health and well-being of students Student engagement and outreach Professional development Provision of resources to pupils and staff to address trauma and other impacts of COVID-19 School nutrition and welfare The process of developing our LeCAP thus far has involved stakeholder engagement, including family and staff surveys, a LeCAP stakeholder meeting with parents and staff and information shared at a Transition Task Force meeting, and a student feedback meeting, in addition to the August 13th Board meeting and Public Hearing. We will host additional meetings with stakeholders who have volunteered to be a part of the LeCAP Committee at the next meeting will occur on September 2nd . On September 14th, the plan will move forward for Board adoption and will be submitted to the Marin County Office of Education on September 18th. Public Hearing for Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan (LeCAP) A public hearing was hosted about the LeCAP. This offered the public an opportunity to comment on the draft plan. In-Person Elementary Waiver Process Information The State of California allows for school districts to apply for a waiver to allow for in-person instruction for students in grades K-6 in small, stable cohorts while the county is still on a watch list. The Reopening In-Person Learning Framework front he California Department of Public Health permitted schools and school districts to reopen for in-person instruction at any time if they are located in a local health jurisdiction (LHJ) that has not been on the county monitoring list within the prior 14 days. If the LHJ has been on the monitoring list within the last 14 days, the school must conduct distance learning only, until their LHJ has been off the monitoring list for at least 14 days. The framework authorized local health officers (LHO) to grant a waiver of this criteria, in order for elementary schools to open for in-person instruction under specified conditions. Applicants must satisfy all waiver requirements in order to be granted a waiver. Dr. Berman and other district staff shared information with the board of trustees regarding the waiver application process . Once a waiver application is submitted, it must be approved by both the local Public Health Officer and the State. Additionally, the local Public Health Officer may order a phased-in reopening process for some or all schools included in a district's consolidated application. Priority consideration will be given to schools serving low-income communities, schools that primarily conduct instructional activities outdoors, and schools that have been early adopters of COVID-19 health and safety protocols with a successful record. Students belonging to unique populations have experienced disproportionate learning loss during periods of distance learning. Research indicates that the closure of schools has disproportionately affected our students of color, low income, foster youth, and English Learners. Districts with more than two times the threshold for the County Watchlist may not be granted a waiver for in-person instruction. A school must not be permitted to open for in-person instruction until a waiver is granted unless the county is off the Watchlist and able to reopen for in-person instruction. Key Dates June 18: Public Health published Guided Return to Site-Based Instruction July 15: Marin Public Health Recommended delaying in-classroom learning not to begin before September 8. July 17: The State announced a waiver process to allow for in-person learning for student populations with unique needs. Governor Newsom announced statewide guidance that public schools may return when the county has been off of the watchlist for 14 days. August 3: The State released the criteria August 7: MVSD will receive Waiver Application Specifics August 13: MVSD will bring forward this item for Information and Discussion Application Requirements The waiver should be submitted by the district superintendent Prior to applying, (1) consult with labor, parent, and community organizations, and (2) publish elementary school reopening plans on the website. Evidence of the aforementioned consultation with stakeholders and publication of the reopening plan must be attested to by the applicant Applications should be “consolidated” for all schools intended to be reopened. A phase in approach may be listed on one application. Applications and all supporting documentation should be submitted at least 14 days prior to the proposed reopening date. The Mill Valley School District will host consultation meetings with all stakeholders , including the California School Employees Association (CSEA), the Mill Valley Teachers Association (MVTA), the PTA, Kiddo! Foundation, and a general stakeholder meeting will occur on August 26th at 3:30 pm. First Reading - BP 6158 Independent Study A first reading and board discussion of BP 6158 Independent Study took place. Dr. Berman shared some background information regarding our current offerings, as well as information on this policy. We will provide distance learning as an option for the entire year, as required through current legislation, and this may be a resource that we as a district may need to fund additionally. Parents may opt for their children to participate in distance learning for the entire year, regardless of a full district return to school sites at any time. All Mill Valley students will begin with distance learning that extends until October 5. We will notify parents before a return to site-based instruction, so they may opt into continuation of distance learning. When we share our key communication message on September 18, we will ask that parents make their decision by September 21. While this issue and the Independent Study policy seem like separate issues, they are very much intertwined. As we look equitably at learning for our students in Mill Valley, we want to remain cognizant that we will need to deliver instruction to meet the state set requirement for minutes of learning per day. Our teachers are coordinating lessons in a completely new format and therefore, making two sets- one for a class of learners and then a second set for parents to deliver instruction would be an additional impact on our staff. Additionally, we have used the model of autonomy of teaching in our district, and we do not have a standardized curriculum across all schools or grade levels to provide. We reviewed a former Independent Study policy here in Mill Valley and have spent some time vetting the feasibility of the option for bringing an Independent study option back. This former policy was adopted in June of 2004. The duration for independent study was to last for at minimum 5 days, and not to exceed two weeks. We know families would like for the district to provide flexibility to students at different ages and learning styles, protect the health of our students, offer flexibility for the complex lives of students, parents, and teachers, and ensure that our children can retain their connection to their assigned teachers and schools. We are confident that can be accomplished through differentiation in our new models for this school year. Resolution #1-20-21 - Acquisition of DataCenter Refresh Products and Services (California Multiple Award Schedule) At the June 10th board meeting, Development Group, Inc., (DGI) presented a comprehensive analysis on the status of the District's technology infrastructure, including information regarding the data center, network infrastructure, telephone system, and classroom projectors and equipment. The board approved the resolution to acquire their products and services to complete this important work. Contract for Middle School Main Building Roof Project At the June 17th Board meeting, the Board took action to publicly bid the roof resurfacing of the Middle School main building, utilizing a fluid applied roofing system with urethane coating. The anticipated budgetary cost for this project was $800,000.00 and to be funded from Fund 40. The Board of Trustees approved for the Superintendent to sign an agreement with the lowest responsible and responsive bidder, Allied Construction Services, in the amount of $748,403. The work is scheduled to conclude by September 25, 2020. The district received 5 bids ranging from $900,000 to $748,403. Outdoor Tents for Outdoor Learning Environments Dr. Michele Rollins, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, presented outdoor tent structures from Top Productions Inc. or other competitive vendors, for school sites in order to allow for covered learning environments due to COVID-19. District staff will continue to explore options for outdoor tent structures and provide information at the next board meeting. Resolution #2-20/21 - Imposing Special Parcel Tax As provided in the General Election on November 6, 2012, the Board imposes a parcel tax for 2020-2021. This is for the supplemental parcel tax which is set to expire on June 30, 2021. State Budget Act 45-Day Revision and Approval of Budget Revision 2020-21 Dr. Michele Rollins presented a budget revision as a result of the State Budget Act and since Budget Adoption. This was approved by the Board of Trustees. Amendment and Extension to Mill Valley School District - Superintendent Jessica Goode, Director of Human Resources, presented an amendment and extension to the contract for Dr. Kimberly Berman, Superintendent through June 30, 2024. The terms of the agreement were read aloud. This was approved by the Board of Trustees. Amendment and Extension to Mill Valley School District Agreement - Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Jessica Goode, Director of Human Resources, presented an amendment and extension to the contract for Dr. Michele Rollins, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services through June 30, 2024. The terms of the agreement were read aloud. This was approved by the Board of Trustees. Board meeting dates and agendas . Mill Valley School District | 415-389-7700 | email@example.com | mvschools.org
Dear Families, Below are several important messages regarding technology and devices. COLLECTION Device Collection - K-5 Families with Existing District Devices We will be collecting student devices at the end of this week in order to prepare devices for the upcoming school year. If you kept a device from last spring, please plan to return your child(ren)’s device and power cord on Friday, August 14th between 9 and 10:30 am at your child’s school site. We recommend putting a note on both your device and charger with your child’s name and rising grade level and placing it in a plastic or paper bag. You will drive through, stay in your car, and place the bag in a bin monitored by a volunteer. Request for Volunteers - Device Collection Friday If you would like to volunteer to help collect devices, please fill out the volunteer registration form below. We request 6 volunteers per school site to collect devices on Friday between 9 and 10:30 am. This will be a drive through process and you will collect, in a bin, the devices that have been labeled and placed in a plastic or paper bag. Gloves and hand sanitizer will be available. We suggest that you bring your own face mask and any other essential protective equipment. DISTRIBUTION Device Sign-Up For Remote Learning - K-5 Families A district device will be available for every student to use during distance learning. However, you may choose to use your own device if you wish. If you plan to use a district iPad, please sign-up* by filling out this form . By choosing to use a district device, you consent to student access of Google apps and acceptable use. Pick up information will be communicated to you the week of August 17th. *What should you do if you change your mind about registering for a device? Please know that if you change your mind, you may sign up later. The purpose of this form is to determine the number of devices needed for the first wave of distribution. Request for Volunteers - Device Deployment Parents, if you would like to volunteer to help distribute devices at your child’s school site on August 20th and/or 21st, please fill out the Volunteer sign up below for your school site. The device distribution will occur from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm on each day, and we are requesting 9 volunteers per day. [Thursday, Aug 13 at 8:58 AM] As a reminder, device collection will occur at the elementary schools tomorrow from 9 - 10:30 am. If you kept a device from last spring, please plan to return the device and power cord tomorrow.
Additionally, if you have some time to volunteer at your child's school to collect devices during that window, please sign up below. We still have several slots open at each site. We will provide additional details to volunteers later this afternoon. Thank you for your time!
August 5, 2020 Dear Mill Valley School District Community, We are pleased to announce that the District and Mill Valley Teachers Association have reached a tentative agreement*. We have endeavored to collectively come up with the best-possible plan given our current circumstances, including live-teaching and consistency for students, while also valuing the autonomy, flexibility, and innovation of our teachers. More information will be coming in the next few days as well as through the meetings listed at the end of this message, but in the meantime, we wanted to share the following highlights with you. Distance-Learning: We know that in-person learning is best for students during normal circumstances, but while it is not possible, we will ensure that our teachers have the resources they need to provide our students with a rigorous distance-learning experience. Highlights Regarding Distance-Learning: School will begin with distance-learning on August 24th* and will remain remote until at least October 5th. All students will be assigned to their regular classroom teachers for distance-learning through at least October 5th (families are no longer being asked to select remote learning through November 20th at this time).* As always, elementary students will receive art, library, music (including orchestra, chorus and/or band as applicable) and physical education. During distance-learning they will be delivered virtually. Similarly, middle school students will continue to receive physical education as well as their electives. The district maintains a positive fiscal status and will integrate additional measures to ensure the safety and success of teachers, staff and students. Teachers will have five days (August 17th-21st) devoted to training, collaboration, and preparation. Teachers providing distance-learning may work remotely or work from their assigned classroom/office workspace. Distance learning minutes: Every student will receive core academic lessons and elementary specialist lessons which will be a minimum of 30 minutes per specialist class, and intervention and/or extension. Synchronous learning is whole class, where direct instruction, discussions, and supervised work time occur, and small groups or 1:1 meetings with instructors, where differentiation and extension occur. While some students are meeting in small groups or 1:1 with instructors, remaining students are engaging in asynchronous learning activities. The required minutes of synchronous vs asynchronous minutes per-grade are reflective of our students’ varying ages and appropriate expectations therein for independent work. In-Person Learning We know that in-person learning is best for our students and we will be ready to pivot to it when the situation allows. Should we return to school in-person, teachers, staff, and students will be provided with PPE and rules and systems will be in place to comply with state and local guidance for the protection of our entire community. Highlights Regarding In-Person Learning: If we return to in-class instruction, we will use student cohort groupings, based on the number of students that can safely be placed in a teacher’s classroom while maintaining physical distancing and cohort sizes of no more than 15 students. The district will provide Personal Protective Equipment to all unit members and students for every day that unit members or students are required to report to school sites. The district will ensure on-site distancing of five (5) to six (6) feet between all student workspaces, between all educator and student workspaces, and between all employee workspaces. Elementary students will receive art, library, music (including orchestra, chorus and/or band as applicable) and physical education via live virtual instruction. Middle school students will receive physical education as well as their electives via live virtual instruction. We appreciate our community’s engagement as we worked together to design our district’s plan for student learning. We are thankful to our community foundation, Kiddo!, our PTAs, and our families for their continued support. We have the following upcoming meetings where additional information will be shared. We will have our LeCAP meeting today, Wednesday, August. 5, our Task Force meeting on Thursday, August 6, and our Board Meeting on August 13. Additionally, you may check out our Return to School page for more information from our most recent newsletter. Sincerely, Dr. Kimberly Berman, Superintendent Dr. Michele Rollins, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Ms. Julie Harris, Director of Student Services Ms. Jessica Goode, Director of Human Resources Mr. Marco Pardi, Board President Ms. Emily Uhlhorn, Trustee Mrs. Leslie Wachtel, Trustee Mr. Todd May, Trustee Mr. Bob Jacobs, Trustee Linda Brune, Mill Valley Teachers Association Co-President Erin Frazier, Mill Valley Teachers Association Co-President *The agreement has been ratified by the teacher’s union and the school board will ratify this agreement at the August 13 school board meeting. *Parents are not being asked to select remote learning for their students until a return to learning is planned. Please stay tuned for more information. *Two staff development days originally scheduled for January 15th and March 19th have been moved to August 20th and 21st. Our calendar changes will be ratified at the August 13th board meeting.
Thank you to our Task Force members and members of the public who joined our Transition Task Force meeting today. We recorded the meeting to share it with you if you would prefer to watch, in addition to sharing highlights below. We hope that the information shared in this message is helpful to you in planning for the upcoming school year. Thank you for your time, engagement, support, and questions in the process of preparing for school during this challenging time. Below, we will share not only updates from today’s Transition Task Force meeting, but important updates and information related to the 2020-21 school year. The district is pleased to report that following the Task Force meeting, we reached a formalized agreement with the classified union. We plan to finalize an agreement with the Certificated union by tomorrow. If you have questions after watching the video and/or reading the summary below, please submit them here to be added to our FAQ page. General Updates, shared by Dr. Kimberly Berman, Superintendent We have been working continuously through the summer to design the best educational experience we can, taking into account the increased COVID-19 cases in Marin and the ever-changing guidelines and recommendations from the CDC, the State, and the County. There will be ongoing opportunities to provide more feedback as we complete this process and we look forward to our Task Force meeting next week, where we will address open issues. We are still preparing for the three models that we discussed in our June meetings: distance, hybrid, and full in-person learning. Our focus now, of course, is the distance model. State Superintendent, Tony Thurmond shared that 97% of students in CA are starting in distance learning. We have heard your feedback this summer and share your focus on keeping everyone safe while ensuring that our students engage in rigorous, authentic, and meaningful learning. New Team Members Earlier this month, we shared a video introducing our new administrative team members and the addition of supplemental staff to assist with the safe return to school : Julie Harris, Director of Student Support Services Jessica Goode, Director of Human Resources Jason Matlon, Old Mill School Principal Patrick McLaughlin of the Marin County Office of Education Rethinking Schools Task Force assisted with safety planning Judge Taylor, Interim Director of Maintenance and Operations, is with us all summer. We plan to announce our new Director of Maintenance, Operations, & Safety and our new Director of Educational Technology at the August 13 Board Meeting . Must Haves for our Students We have been engaging in negotiations with both of our unions and are pleased to report that we reached a tentative agreement with our classified union immediately following our Task Force meeting this morning. Many districts have put forth educational plans, but it’s important to know that they have not been ratified by those districts yet. We are negotiating in good faith and have not wanted to publish a plan until it was approved by our membership. We are scheduled to complete negotiations with our certificated union this week (teachers, counselors, etc) and remain optimistic that we will come to an agreement. While we have not brought forward a plan to the public, we have brought forward one to our certificated union. We want to be very clear about the “must haves” for our students, which are a combination of mandates by the state, and what we know to be best for our students. We will share our student daily schedule next week. As always, we are committed to putting students’ needs first and using our core values when designing this year’s educational program. These values include knowing that: We will ensure the safety of students and staff We will provide optimal learning for our students, including deep, rigorous, live instruction We will provide social-emotional supports to students We will ensure that our most vulnerable students have the resources they need Key Work in June & July Over the summer, our district office leadership team has engaged in the following key work: Grade Level Working Groups Continuous Communication and Collaboration with MCOE and other District Superintendents Ongoing Development of Plans Based on Updated State and County Orders and Recommendations Focus on Development of Educational Plan for Distance Learning (subject to negotiations) Extensive Professional Development Developed for August Ongoing Negotiations with Certificated and Classified Unions Evaluation and Procurement of PPE Site Walkthroughs Technology Plan Development and Device Procurement Hiring Director of Ed Tech and Director of Maintenance LeCAP Development Reading The Distance Learning Playbook by Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan (LeCAP) - August 5, 3:30 pm You are invited to attend a meeting regarding the LeCAP on August 5th from 3:30 - 4:30 pm. This plan will address the following: Plans for in-person instructional offerings Addressing student learning loss due to Covid Monitoring and supporting the mental health and well-being of students Student engagement and outreach Professional development Provision of resources to pupils and staff to address trauma and other impacts of COVID-19 School nutrition The Voice of Families & Staff in the Process Your voices have been used in the development of district plans. We appreciate the 141 staff survey responses and 1,350 family survey responses, in addition to the approximately 100 staff members who attended site walkthroughs. Additionally, our task force has about 175 members and this group has increased understanding, communication, and transparency through providing updates and information to the community. We have heard the following must haves from our school community: A clear and specific commitment to daily Live Instruction to ensure continuous learning and engagement- synchronous whole, small and personal instruction A weekly plan to ensure support for our students’ executive functions Engagement with peers and teachers to ensure daily attendance and access to learning Consistent curriculum and standards within and across grades and schools Assessments to determine student achievement and progress towards standards Predictable and Consistent structure throughout the week and each day Supports for our students through intervention and scaffolding District directed training and professional development for our teachers Systems in place for our most vulnerable students. Educational Plan Updates, presented by Ms. Julie Harris, Director of Student Support Services Where we were last spring & Where we’re going Last spring, when we initially went into remote learning, all districts across the country had an immediate response to a crisis which can be considered “emergency teaching and learning.” We learned from that experience and going forward, we have some improvements to implement, including agreement upon expectations for distance learning, such as more live instruction, improving student engagement, increasing consistency in weekly schedules and teaching methodologies, clear communication to families, shared learning goals for the trimester, curriculum resources, and specific online platforms. Rigorous distance learning includes: Access to devices and connectivity for all children Daily live interaction with teachers and other students Challenging assignments equivalent to in-person classes Adapted lessons for English language learners and special education students Mirroring the school day in alignment with the State Required daily instructional minutes Focus on essential academic standards through an inquiry and integrated based approach Embedding social-emotional strategies for the wellbeing of students We are working with our bargaining units to determine the parameters of what this will look like. We heard from many families that they wanted a clear schedule for the week so they could plan to support their child, including more “live instruction” than last spring and continuity between teachers in a grade level. We are hearing from teachers about the need to have some common expectations for students and teachers around attendance, turning in assignments, and flexibility to support various student needs. Instructional Minutes for Students Depending on students’ age, we believe 3.5 to 4.5 hours (including art, music, p.e.) of supported instruction through live delivery would provide a rigorous distance learning program. We wouldn’t expect children to be online and using screens for 7 hours. However, we do believe that access to 3.5 to 4.5 hours (including art, music, p.e.) would provide students the support they need to be successful. Definitions related to instruction What is live interaction? “Daily live interaction is two-way communication between a certificated employee and student each instructional day, at the actual time of occurrence. Daily live interaction is required for every student with both a certificated employee and their student peers. In particular English learners, and students with special needs benefit from daily oral language development opportunities. Examples of daily live interaction include in-person and virtual communication or interactions, including but not limited to synchronous online instruction (per statute) and phone calls where both parties communicate at the time of occurrence. One-way communication, including voicemails, emails, or print materials, is not considered a live interaction.” Synchronous live learning for all students: all students expected to attend and participate, may begin live and move to asynchronous with small groups; direct teaching occuring Synchronous live learning for some students : check your personal schedule to see when to attend live learning and when to learn asynchronously - could be a combination of small group, live and independent learning; differentiation occurring Asynchronous learning for all students : all students are learning asynchronous and are expected to complete work Brain Break : time for movement and nourishment off a screen Distance Learning in the Mill Valley School District If you wish to register your child for distance learning through November 20th, please fill out this form by the extended deadline, August 7th. Families will have the opportunity to register for the second and third trimesters of school later as well. More information about the Extended Distance Learning option will be presented next week. Professional Development - Support for Instruction August 3, 4: Principal Leadership Calibration August 3-7: Marin County collaboration PD- paid for staff August 5, 6,7: Working Groups: Elementary and Middle School, paid for staff August 11, 12, 13, 14: Teacher Professional Development Opportunity, paid for staff August 17, 18, 19: Full day professional development for all staff, paid for staff The union retains the right to negotiate these days. Facility, Operations, and Safety Updates, shared by Dr. Michele Rollins, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Essential Protective Equipment (EPE) The following EPE will be provided for all staff: Disposable face masks for staff and students Cloth face masks for staff and students Face shields for staff members Humanity shields Touchless thermometers Outdoor hand washing stations at each site Hand sanitizer dispenser in each classroom Plexiglass shields in school offices and one-to-one education spaces High-quality air filters being installed Food grade sanitizing spray for all sites Air Quality Sampling Indoor air quality in the main building at the Mill Valley Middle School was tested by Keenan & Associations on July 16, 2020. Microbial sampling compared indoor mold spore levels to outdoor mold spore levels and the outdoor levels were higher than the indoor levels. It was recommended that the district repair any conditions with moisture intrusion. To address this, the middle school roofing project will commence on August 14th pending board approval and to conclude prior to in-person instruction. School Lunches Choicelunch, or school lunch program, will begin operating on August 20th at eachs school site regardless of remote learning or in-person status. Families may order lunch online and students who qualify for free and reduced lunch will receive their lunches as usual. Technology Updates, presented by Mr. James Capen, Systems Administrator Following a technology assessment , our district technology team has focused on the following: Brand New Macbooks for all teachers with new contactless automated setup process 3,600 student devices, 300+ iPads for all 6th grade students Inventory of all K-5 iPads in preparation for expanded 1:1 student deployment Accounts for remote learning platforms for grades K-8 Upgrades to device management system for remote support Gaggle coverage and iBoss web filter for safety Clever and iReady New wireless access points at District Office New datacenter backup appliance including moving off-site backups to Google Cloud Platform New datacenter with increased storage and speed New core networking hardware to increase network speed Upgraded backup power supply for the datacenter to ensure safe shutdown during power outages Additionally, devices will be provided for all students during remote learning and wifi access will be provided to families in need. Human Resources Updates, shared by Ms. Jessica Goode, Director of Human Resources In response to the pandemic, there are several supports for staff including the Families First Coronavirus Leave Act , Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) that allows staff to receive their full pay up to a maximum of $511 per day for two weeks if a staff member is subject to quarantine or an isolation order, has been advised to self-quarantine by a healthcare provider, or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis. They may also receive two-thirds pay with a maximum of $200 a day for two weeks if they are caring for an individual under quarantine or an isolation order, caring for a child whose school or caregiver is unavailable due to the pandemic, or is experiencing a “substantially similar condition” as specified by the DHHS. Staff may also access the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (Emergency FMLA), sick leave, personal necessity leave, and workers’ compensation if needed. FAQ We will share an FAQ document with answers to many questions. Additionally, you may submit your questions here . Site Walkthroughs Video In this video, you will learn about the Site Walkthroughs that occurred with school staff this month, some steps taken to safely prepare our campuses for staff and students, essential protective equipment that has been acquired, questions presented by staff, and more.