November 19, 2021
Dear CVUSD Families, I hope the upcoming Thanksgiving week provides you and your family a well-deserved opportunity to refresh, rest, and spend time together. As always, we are grateful for your continued support and partnership. The challenges we have tackled the last couple of years due to the Pandemic has also been an opportunity for all of us to think about the importance of human connection and experience new ways of doing things. Our students and staff have shown tremendous resilience. As I walk through classrooms, I am able to observe our teachers and staff use their great expertise to provide the best learning opportunities for students, and I see our students engaged, collaborating, communicating, and gaining new knowledge. The last two years students have used more technology than ever doing school work. Their learning curve as well as ours have been steep in this area. Navigating this vast technological universe that connects us to our surroundings and the rest of the world has been wonderful. Of course with all opportunities come challenges and responsibilities. An example is social media. While it can and has been a great tool used in a positive manner such as awakening the world to the impact of climate change and social justice, it can at times be misused causing harm to others and self. This coming week when students are not in school and we have more time, provides a great opportunity for all of us to review safety protocols and responsible use of social media with our children. This year’s Thanksgiving break is perhaps the first time some families will be able to travel and/or visit with extended family and friends . Below are a few important reminders to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Tips to Stay Safe During a Potential Winter Surge and the Holiday Season: The California Department of Public Health has provided information and resources on how to help prevent a COVID-19 winter surge. Please read the full press release here . The California Department of Public Health has also provided tips for protecting yourself and others this holiday season .
Please note that whether your travel is domestic or international, the CDC has recommended these CDC travel guidelines for testing, masking, and quarantine:
Delay travel until you’re fully vaccinated
If you’re not fully vaccinated, but choose to travel, get tested before and after
No matter your vaccination status, wear a mask indoors while on public transportation or in a transportation hub
Wearing a mask outdoors while traveling is no longer required, but still recommended for unvaccinated individuals
You can read more on the California Department of Public Health travel flyer here or the Alameda County Public Health Department travel flyer here: https://www.acoe.org/Page/2333
Testing Options ( CFA or Mobile Testing Unit ):
Just a reminder that the CFA will have a special schedule for the week of Thanksgiving. Please see below:
Monday 11/22, Tuesday 11/23: 12:00PM-6:30PM
Wednesday 11/24, Thursday 11/25: CLOSED
Friday 11/26: 12:00PM-6:15PM
CDPH strongly recommends that all persons eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines receive them at the first opportunity. Please visit the following website for more information on how you can make an appointment for your vaccination.
Currently 86.7% of Castro Valley residents 12 and over are fully vaccinated. Children 5-11 years of age are now eligible to receive the vaccine. The Alameda County Office of Education along with the Alameda County Public Health Department have been hosting “Doc Talks” to allow parents an opportunity to ask questions about the 5-11 year old vaccinations. If you missed the last Doc Talk, you can view the recording here . We will be working with local pharmacies to schedule vaccine clinics for families with children 5-11 years old on CVUSD campuses as much as possible. In the meantime for more information on where you can get a vaccine, please visite the Alameda County Public Health Department website here: https://covid-19.acgov.org/vaccines
Free virtual classes for ALL CVUSD students! Keep students busy learning with a wide array of fun activities throughout the week. Click the image below to Register for a free class!
Castro Valley Educational Foundation The Castro Valley Educational Foundation (CVEF) invites campus community members to submit applications for the Innovation Grant Program . We encourage applications from teachers, staff, families, and students. The grant applications must be innovative and show a clear benefit to students. All applications must be approved by your principals prior to submission and must be consistent with the Grant Program Criteria found on the CVEF website ( cvef.org ). The application is available on the CVEF website starting November 1st through December 1st. If you have any questions, email email@example.com .
Castro Valley Arts Foundation
Looking for a fun evening with live entertainment? Please join the Season Opener as Castro Valley Arts Foundation welcomes back Johnny Orenberg with his brand new cabaret MAYBE THIS TIME, Saturday, November 20, at 7:30pm. Many of you will remember Johnny's smooth vocals and cheeky humor from our 2019 New Year's Eve Gala. Music Director extraordinaire Joe Wicht accompanies Johnny on the piano along with popular percussionist Roberta Drake. Special guests include local vocal sensation Matthew Liebowitz and Johnny's lovely wife Katie Orenberg.
Clover Pharmacy & Wellness in Newark is partnering up with Castro Valley Unified School District to offer FREE COVID-19 vaccinations for their students. Dates: Clinic/Dose #1 - Thursday, November 18, 2021 3:00PM-5:30PM Clinic/Dose #2 - Thursday, December 9, 2021 3:00PM-5:30PM Location: Center for the Arts located on the campus of Castro Valley High School at 19501 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA 94546 Please make an appointment online at myturn.ca.gov *Appointments are first come first serve* Please see the attached flyers!
Raise your hand if your students could use help after-hours! Castro Valley Unified School District teachers and students have free access to Paper’s professional tutors, 24/7! Students log in with their Clever account! Click here to learn more: https://www.cv.k12.ca.us/PAPER/ [Wednesday, Nov 10 at 10:57 AM] Just a friendly reminder that all middle school and high school students have 24/7 access to Paper’s professional tutors!
Please complete the ESSER III & LCAP Community Input Survey to indicate the degree to which you believe the use of ESSER III and LCFF funds would benefit & impact students in CVUSD! Survey will be open from October 15-October 22, 2021
PRESS RELEASE Castro Valley Unified School District 4400 Alma Avenue Castro Valley, CA 94546 510.537.3000 Ms. Paula Merrigan Appointed to the Local Implementation and Promising Practices (LIPP) Constellation Workgroup Castro Valley, CA – (September 27, 2021) – Ms. Paula Merrigan, the Independent Elementary School Transitional Kindergarten Teacher, has been hand-picked by California’s Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, to join and support the new Local Implementation and Promising Practices (LIPP) Constellation Workgroup. This group will be providing direction to the Master Plan for Universal Pre-Kindergarten which was recently passed in SB 130 , the TK-12 education trailer bill. On Thursday, July 8, 2021, the Legislature passed AB 130, the education budget trailer bill. This bill includes universal transitional kindergarten to be fully implemented by the 2025-2026 school year. AB 130 provides additional detail on the development of this new grade level. For each school year for the period of 2022-23 through 2025-26, the TK enrollment date is extended two months earlier, with the final year extending the enrollment date by three months such that a child who has their fourth birthday by September 1st shall be admitted to TK. “We are extremely proud to have one of our outstanding teachers, Ms. Merrigan, selected to be a part of this very important endeavor that will impact children in California for years to come.”- Superintendent Ahmadi ********** Castro Valley Unified School District
Dear CVUSD Families, In our seventh week of school, I find myself full of gratitude toward our students, families, and staff. Our students are working hard, following directions, learning and adapting. I appreciate the diligence with which families have followed the many protocols in place and vaccinating children who qualify in order to minimize the spread of COVID. I am grateful for your support. Our teachers, counselors, social workers and other certificated staff at each site work collaboratively to support students’ academic as well as social emotional needs. They have found new ways to engage and support students working hard to make up for the last year and a half. It is often not easy to see the impact of staff during these challenging times, and I want to take this opportunity to share with you information on the incredible efforts from our staff behind the scenes who are making it possible for students to be in school. They have all been working endless hours, practically seven days a week to manage all aspects behind the scenes. Each new COVID related task takes time and precision and our staff has and continues to do a great job making it look easy to those not intimately involved in the day to day operations of our school district. They are constantly trying to find new ways to improve things that create challenges for families. Our two nurses, Sandee Velasquez and Beth Erickson, support thirteen schools with nearly 9,000 students and a thousand employees. The Student Services and Human Resources Department staff, Mr. Nic McMaster and Mr. Dustin Gacherieu, work seven days a week in tandem with our nurses to ensure COVID cases are tracked and isolations and quarantines are taking place appropriately. Site Administrators and their amazing office staff follow up with families to investigate cases, confirm timelines, manage a variety of different COVID-related scenarios, notify those exposed, and respond to questions that come up as a result. This workload is completed with high fidelity by site leaders and support staff while simultaneously addressing the many instructional leadership and additional responsibilities they have. Our Child Nutrition Services led by Ms. Sarah Kimiecik and the 43 staff members in the department have put many new protocols in place to keep students safe. Our Operations and Maintenance Department under the leadership of Mr. Aaron Ackerman came up with a well thought-out approach for disinfecting and cleaning all classrooms, office and work spaces as well as identified tools to improve ventilation that included adding portable air purifiers with HEPA filters. Our custodians work hard to keep everything clean and safe at school sites. Our bus drivers, supervised by Ms. Tracey Vierra, have had to learn new protocols and procedures that must be followed each and every day to keep students safe while being transported. Mr. Greg Ko and his team of technicians and support staff, as well as Mr. Peter Vallejo, our Technology Teacher on Special Assignment, have quadrupled their efforts to support students and staff. This includes device support, upgrading our district’s network infrastructure and Wifi as well as professional development to support all staff and students back on campuses. Ms. Charity Hastings and her team from the Purchasing Department ensure all materials and needed equipment are purchased, delivered, and replenished to keep everyone safe and focused on learning. Ms. Aimee Cayere, my Executive Assistant, has kept families and our community informed throughout the Pandemic, finding helpful information to share with everyone, updating our COVID Safety Plan online, and responding to hundreds of inquiries from families. She single handedly manages the nuances of in person board meetings while providing access to families online. There are so many colleagues, departments, and offices all working continuously to respond to the academic, social, emotional and safety needs of our students. I am grateful to each and every one of them. I hope you find an opportunity to join me in sharing appreciation with this amazing CVUSD staff for working around the clock to make things happen. We continue to evaluate our processes in conjunction with the safety guidelines established by the local and state departments of public health. We are committed to minimizing the amount of school missed by students while also balancing the systems that insulate our school communities from COVID-19. We are close to implementing new tools that will help with this balancing act such as Antigen testing for those students on modified quarantine which will streamline the process and ask less of families. More details to come. The public health departments continue to urge eligible students to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Once vaccines are available for 5 to 11 year olds, we will work with local organizations to offer space for vaccination clinics as much as possible. Thank you for your support to ensure our students are thriving during these challenging times. Best regards, Parvin Ahmadi