SLUSD UPDATE May 14, 2021 Dear SLUSD Families, As I shared earlier this week, the school board took action for us to plan for a full return to school in August, if we are able to do so, which looks very likely. This means we will plan to bring all students back to their schools five days a week in the upcoming school year, starting August 18. Although, after this year, I am cautious about this next step, I could not be more pleased to be moving forward in this direction. Here are some important updates for this weekend and beyond: Ages 12 and Older Now Eligible for Pﬁzer Vaccine As of yesterday, parents and legal guardians can schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children aged 12 and older! Book an appointment at myturn.ca.gov , or by calling 1-833-422-4255. We hope to host mobile clinics at our schools in the coming weeks. TOMORROW: African American Regional Educational Alliances Awards 62 SLUSD scholars will be celebrated tomorrow at the African American Student Achievement and Excellence. Register to attend this fantastic and fun virtual event here , and congratulations to all of our winners of this prestigious award! Celebrate AAPI & StoptheHate Rally on Sunday This event is being hosted by Community Impact Lab this Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm at the San Leandro Main Library. The event will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage month and join in solidarity towards combating anti-Asian racism. Find more information at this link. More Staff Celebrations Coming Up Classified School Employees Week May 17 - 21 Management Employees’ Week May 24 - 28 We celebrate our classified employees next week. This group covers our clerical professionals, our parent facilitators, our food service team, our custodians, our maintenance workers, our paraeducators, and many more support staff who are truly the reason our schools can function. Please take a moment next week to thank these devoted heroes! Sincerely, Dr. Mike McLaughlin Superintendent
Dear SLUSD Community, At last night’s meeting, the school board took unanimous action to plan a full, in-person return to instruction for the 2021-2022 school year if state and local health guidelines and conditions allow us to do so. With all indicators pointing towards us being able to reopen fully, we feel as though we are ready, while remaining cautious, to take this step. This means we will plan to bring all students back to their schools five days a week in the upcoming school year, which starts on August 18. You need to know the essential factors in this decision: The high vaccination rate and ongoing vaccination availability for SLUSD staff The availability of vaccinations for students 16 years of age and older. The recent announcement of approved vaccinations for children 12 to 15 years of age The proven track record of our health and safety precautions throughout our reopening The health and safety infrastructure we have in place, including increased cleaning protocols, high-efficiency air filtration systems, and PPE stockpiles The challenges for our teaching and support staff in supporting online learners, as well as in-person learners Our shared need to maximize instructional time, especially in light of the enormous learning disruption all students experienced this year I want to thank the board for their clear direction and support with what I know is the right thing to do for our students, staff, and families. After this challenging year, our entire community deserves a clear target that will put students back into their classrooms with their teachers and peers where they belong. There are many details to be shared as we move towards August, including our upcoming partnerships to provide vaccinations to all students who are eligible and potential options for those families who are not ready to return to school. But at this moment, I hope you will join me in feeling truly hopeful about our shared path forward as a community. I look forward to updating you over these next months. Sincerely, Dr. Mike McLaughlin Superintendent
Dear SLUSD Community, I am delighted to announce Ms. Erica Viray Santos has been named the San Leandro Unified 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year! Ms. Viray teaches in the Social Studies department and the Social Justice Academy (SJA) at San Leandro High School, which she has coordinated since it was founded. She has been an integral part of the SLHS Pirate family since 2008 and has been a highly influential teacher/leader in SJA throughout that time. Some of the comments from her peers that led to her receiving this well-deserved award include: Ms. Viray has worked tirelessly to build and foster a school culture at SLHS that encourages our youth to be leaders in their classrooms and communities. Over the pandemic, our country has experienced a long overdue racial reckoning that has impacted a large number of our students and staff and has created many questions around "Where do we go from here? How do we make sure we are authentically supporting and engaging with students through this tumultuous time?" Ms. Viray has always served as that guide for our faculty. Her work as an educator and ally within SLHS's Social Justice Academy has inspired me to reflect on how I can serve as an even more active participant in our school community. Additionally, her commitment to cultivating transformative education at San Leandro has made me challenge my teaching frameworks, pedagogies, and practices. It is with great privilege that I have the opportunity to work with Ms. Viray. Erica is the soul of San Leandro High School. She works hard to create a meaningful curriculum and advocate for policy changes alongside her students. In the past few years, she has facilitated traditions and rituals to honor students' lives lost. We learn so much from her advocacy for and empowerment of students at SLHS. Ms. Viray is a force of nature. Her passion and knowledge is on a level that can not be matched. During this challenging time, she has managed to keep her students engaged, learning, and attending school every day! Her students have been doing great work for many years. A pandemic would not stop her. She helped her students organize a celebration of life for Steven Taylor and bring attention to others who have lost their lives to police violence. Her work goes beyond the classroom every year, but this year, in particular, she has helped our community grieve and heal. Erica amplifies student voices like no other - finding ways to deeply listen to students and create a community that acknowledges all that students bring - their experiences, history and culture, pain, and joy. She puts so much heart, time, and passion into making SLHS a nurturing and just learning environment for students, carving out space for students to bring their whole selves, and empowering youth to be leaders and change agents in their communities. Ms. Viray has created a strong culture of leadership and connectedness for all students in the Social Justice Academy. Their work is inspiring to staff and students and works as a model for how teachers can also create a culture of meaning and success that extends beyond the classroom. Erica doesn't just bring out the best in her students, and she brings out the leaders in her students. She empowers her students to make real change in our school and community. More importantly, she helps students create community and builds her students up. I always love, love, love having her SJA students in my classroom. They were terrific students before Erica folded them into the Social Justice Academy, and they become shining stars with her love and guidance. Please join me in congratulating Ms. Viray and see more of the transformative work happening in SJA at their website: http://www.slsja.org/ . I hope all of our teaching staff has been enjoying this special week of recognition. Thank you for your efforts in dedicating time this week to recognize all of our excellent certificated team! Sincerely, Dr. Mike McLaughlin Superintendent
SLUSD UPDATE April 23, 2021 Dear SLUSD Families, After two weeks of hybrid learning completed, it is more and more apparent how fortunate we are to have our schools reopened. Many have shared with me how glad they are that students have the opportunity to see their peers, work with their teachers, and experience their classrooms and schools in person - even for this short time. Thank you to everyone in our community who played a role in making this happen. Here’s the latest information on upcoming events and programs. In-Person Graduations and Promotions San Leandro High School seniors will graduate in person at Burrell Field on Thursday, June 3. The ceremony will start at 6 pm. Lincoln High School and our middle schools will also be holding in-person ceremonies. More details to come soon from those schools. Summer School Starts June 14 Priority registration will close on May 5, so sign up early to let us know that you are interested. Please register at this link or learn more about our programs here. The Native American Health Center is Open Students and families can receive in-person appointments and limited dental services at the Barbara Lee Center for Health & Wellness across from San Leandro High School. Counseling services via phone are also available. To schedule, text or call 510-618-4480. Mark Your Calendar to Celebrate our Staff in May Teacher Appreciation Week May 3 - 7 National Nurses Week May 6 - 12 Classified School Employees Week May 17 - 21 Management Employees’ Week May 24 - 28 African American and Latino/Latina Achievement Awards 5th, 8th, and 12th-grade qualifiers with 3.0+ grade point averages or 90% on STAR tests will be receiving special recognition at their graduations/promotions in place of our annual awards nights. We look forward to holding these events in person next year. Join us in congratulating them on this achievement during a particularly challenging year! Measure J1 Construction Update San Leandro voters have truly transformed our facilities for our students and staff with our bond projects. If you haven’t seen the work in person, check out our construction videos here. I hope you have a restful weekend and I again thank you for your support in another successful week. Dr. Mike McLaughlin Superintendent
Good morning SLUSD Community, The verdict in the murder of George Floyd marks a milestone in accountability for the centuries of unconscionable murder and senseless killings of unarmed Black citizens in this country at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve. I join with those who cautiously acknowledge this verdict as a small but welcomed sign of hope for lasting change. Yet millions of people around us will not find their daily lived experiences of fear, persecution, and marginalization changed by this moment. The unwavering focus must remain on dismantling the elements of systemic racism that allowed this horrific injustice to occur, or we will grieve helplessly alongside our Black community members time and time again. As an educational community, it is our responsibility to empower our youth to recognize and respond to injustice. The path forward for our nation depends deeply on the strength of their ethical and cultural leadership. In San Leandro Unified, we strive to teach our students to act with compassion and empathy. We aspire to build their capacity to engage in conversations that create inclusive and welcoming communities. By the time they leave our schools, if we have fulfilled our mission, they will use their cultural knowledge to engage in a diverse world and advocate for equity. We know you are already key partners with us in this work. See this list of resources about having critical conversations with children to support our shared vision of a just, equitable future. Responding to Hate: Information and Resources Talking to children after racial incidents Embrace Race: In My Skin, Supporting Positive Racial Identity Development in Black Children Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History & Culture: Talking About Race . Common Sense Media: How white parents can use media to raise anti-racist kids Our hearts are with the Floyd family and those among us who are understandably experiencing trauma related to his murder. I have included resources for support. I also encourage you to reach out to your school community to tap into the uniquely collective strength that our administrators, teachers, and staff can provide. Sincerely, Mike McLaughlin Superintendent Counseling Resources for SLUSD Students The District has counseling available for students as they experience a range of emotions after learning of this verdict and as they experience the ongoing impacts of systemic racism in their lives. Elementary school parents and guardians can contact their student’s principal or parent facilitator to learn how to access counseling resources. Middle schools have counselors available to assist students as they work through their feelings in the wake of today’s news. High school students can also self-advocate and self-refer their needs for services by filling out this form . Every member of the SLUSD community can access support through CareSolace. If you would like to use Care Solace to help you find a provider: Call 888-515-0595 24/7/365 Visit Caresolace.com and either search on your own OR click “Book Appointment” for assistance by video chat, email, or phone. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Good morning SLUSD families, As Dr. McLaughlin shared on Friday, there has been an important update on the end-of-year State Assessments in SLUSD. The California State Board of Education is allowing us to use the most viable option for assessments instead of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments (SBAC) and California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Knowing the position our school board has already taken with the adoption of Resolution 21-15, Opposing State Standardized Testing for the 2021-2022 School Year , we will take advantage of this opportunity by using our internal assessments (STAR Reading/Math) in lieu of the state standardized tests. This means we will NOT administer CAASPP or CAA for ELA/Math this spring. It is important to know that we are able to use STAR Reading and STAR Math because those assessments meet the following criteria: Alignment with Common Core State Standards for ELA and mathematics. Available to students in grades 3-8 and 11. Uniformly administered across a grade span, school, or district. Data can be disaggregated by subgroups according to state and federal guidelines We are extremely pleased that our internal assessment systems will allow us to do this for our students and staff during a pivotal time. STAR tests will happen during May and, as always, we will be sharing your student’s results directly with you. Thank you for all you do to support SLUSD!
SLUSD REOPENING UPDATE April 16, 2021 Dear SLUSD Families, I had the pleasure of visiting all school sites this week, and even though I was anticipating this moment, I was surprised at the depth of emotion I felt at seeing our students back in the spaces and places we had been preparing for them over these many months. The energy and joy that these precious children bring to our school facilities are why educators take on this challenging career. This was a very special week. Here are a few brief updates which also bring welcome news for our community. Last Chance for In-person Learning If you would like to switch from distance to in-person learning, contact your principal before Tuesday, April 20 at 5 pm . We have opened this opportunity to provide you with options, now that we are underway, but this will be the last opportunity this school year. State Assessments In place of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments (SBAC) and California Alternate Assessments (CAA) for English language arts (ELA) and mathematics, the State Board of Education is allowing other assessment options. Knowing the position our school board put forth with the adoption of Resolution 21-15 Opposing State Standardized Testing for 20/21 , we will take advantage of this opportunity to use our internal assessments (STAR Reading/Math) in lieu of these state standardized tests. This means we will NOT administer SBAC or CAA for ELA/Math this spring. In-Person Graduations and Promotions We now have health guidance on how to hold these events safely! In-person ceremonies are being planned for SLHS and Lincoln High School. We are also planning in-person promotions for our 8th-grade students. Look for more information coming from your school. Summer School Our expanded TK-12th grade summer programming starts June 14. Register at this link. Students who are identified as needing enrichment or intervention will be prioritized, so sign up early to let us know that you are interested. Priority registration will close on May 5. School Calendars for 2021-22 and 2022-23 Our school calendars have been approved for the two upcoming school years. See them here. Please join me in appreciating everyone here in SLUSD for their unbelievable efforts to get us to this point. We are all deeply indebted to them. And, as always, I thank you for your essential role in making this such a special place to live, work, and learn. Dr. Mike McLaughlin Superintendent