Dear Santa Barbara Unified colleagues and families, Over the course of my two years with Santa Barbara Unified, my admiration for student leaders has only grown. They’ve managed to thrive in less-than-optimal conditions. And seeing many of them rise gives me great joy. So when Kavya Suresh , a San Marcos High School sophomore, was selected as the 2022-23 Student Board Member by the Board of Trustees on Tuesday evening, I was beaming with pride. Kavya is one of the many students from around the district that have dedicated time to serve on the Superintendent’s Student Task Force, and I’ve had a front-row seat to see how she collaborates with her classmates and the thoughtfulness she brings to proposing improvements in how we operate as a district. And Kavya’s competition for the role was quite impressive, as Emily Pineda of Santa Barbara High, Yuliana Ramos Campo of La Cuesta and Isabella Mireles of Dos Pueblos should give their respective campuses plenty to be proud of. Growing student leaders is part of our mission at Santa Barbara Unified, and to see this strong group of candidates warms my heart. Congratulations, Kavya, we can’t wait to see your work during the 2022-23 school year! Take that, COVID! I’ll be honest, when I arrived on campus at Harding Elementary, I didn’t know what to expect from a student art project cooked up by Veronica Binkley and her staff. Knowing Veronica, I knew it would be epic. And it was. To witness a group of fourth-graders get the opportunity to write down their feelings about two years of the pandemic, only to see it become a part of a school-wide art project that featured a paint slingshot was inventive and downright fun. As we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, watching our children have the opportunity to express their feelings was cathartic — for them and for me. A big thank you to school psychologist Jill McGonigle , STEAM consultant Dr. Sean O’Brien and local artist Luke Lamar for their commitment to looking after the entirety of a student’s well-being, as academics are just one portion of it. And as we heard loud and clear through the shrieks of our youngsters, “Take That, COVID!!” Important COVID reminders As we weather a slight uptick in cases on campuses throughout the district, it is important that we keep the following in mind if you have been exposed to COVID-19:
Students: It is strongly recommended that your child continue to wear a mask indoors in the school and community per school, local, and state requirements. Follow school policies to protect against COVID-19. High-quality masks with the best fit and filtration will provide the best protection for your child and the school community.
Staff: It is required you wear a mask for 10 days from the date of exposure per CalOSHA.
COVID-19 take-home tests The California Department of Public Health endorses the emergency use of over-the counter COVID-19 Tests beyond their FDA authorized expiration. This blanket extension, subject to appropriate internal control development* during testing, is valid until CDPH posts that the emergency extension has ended, at which point participants should cease using tests beyond their printed expiration dates. The emergency extension applies to all FDA authorized over-the-counter COVID-19 tests, including: • Abbott BinaxNOWTM COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test • AccessBio CareStartTM COVID-19 Antigen Home Test • ACON FlowflexTM COVID-19 Antigen Home Test • iHealthTM COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test • On/GoTM COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test Note: The internal control line after test development should be both easily visible and the color specified by the specific test instructions. Leadership changes at SBUSD It’s important to me that I acknowledge to our staff, families and community that we are indeed seeing staff turnover atop our organization. While never something that you wish for, I do know that the district is better because of the involvement of these incredible individuals that are all setting out on new journeys. I am grateful to each of them for their influence on me over the past two years. What the last two years have shown me is that this district is resilient and that we will find a way to move forward with the goal of improving ourselves. And we’ve already secured two exciting additions to our senior leadership staff, with ShaKenya Edison being named Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and Dr. Stanley Munro set to take over as Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools. The new staff that will join us has a high standard to live up to, but that’s what makes Santa Barbara Unified so special — we don’t settle for less than great. Unsung heroes True to the nature of the work, we’ve got some superstars in our midst, but they won’t be the ones to brag about it — so I will. Students in Santa Barbara High’s Computer Science Academy have won a pair of prestigious awards recently. Quinn Davis , Mia Sanders , Charlie Hedrick and Aria Abraham have received the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing. And these four have shown they aren’t in this for themselves, as Aria was a counselor at SBHS’ creative computing camp, while Quinn, Charlie and Mia are leaders in the Girls Who Code club. "One of the main goals of the CS Academy is to increase the number of students studying computer science, with a special focus on increasing the number who come from groups that are underrepresented in the field,” Computer Science Academy director Sky Adams said. “These four young women have worked hard and are role models for future girls who will study computer science as well." Meanwhile, Noah and Ramon Wang have been named the winners of the Congressional App Challenge for the 24th Congressional District. The national tech prize was awarded to the Wangs for their application called “Watershed Cleanup,” which prioritizes and coordinates environmental cleanups. “We started cleaning up trash around Santa Barbara as part of our volunteer work. We reported all of our cleanups to Santa Barbara Channelkeeper. However, we realized there was a limitation to our efforts. In order to improve the efficiency of our cleanups, we wanted a better way to coordinate cleanups with other volunteers and see what areas needed to be cleaned up the most.” Congratulations to all six students, thank you for inspiring us with your heart and talent! With gratitude, Dr. Hilda Maldonado Superintendent
Dear Santa Barbara Unified colleagues and families, May is absolutely my favorite month of the school year. It’s a time to reflect on the year that was; prepare for graduations at all levels; and, most importantly, it is dedicated time to celebrate our employees. This past week has been Teacher Appreciation Week, while we will also have a Classified Staff Week from May 15-22. And a week just doesn’t feel like long enough to truly celebrate what both sectors of our district-wide staff do on a daily basis. I’ve witnessed first-hand teachers that sit in their classrooms well past the final bell ringing, using that day that was to inform what their next day’s plan will be. I’ve been messaged by administrators before the sun rises as they get to campus to make sure that both staff and students get a great start to their day. I’ve seen facilities workers still cleaning the District Office into the wee hours of the night, making sure that our grounds are pristine after a late board or community meeting. I’ve enjoyed a meal served by our cafeteria workers, a critical function of our district as we try to make sure no child goes hungry — and that they receive the food with love. I see the coordination that comes from our administrative staff, allowing leaders, teachers and the community at large to align schedules in order to have time to collaborate. Employees at Santa Barbara Unified don’t treat this like a job — they see it as a privilege. But, truly, it is my privilege to be a reflection of your work, and I proudly believe that we are one of the premiere districts not only in California, but the United States. So, I have one simple ask for all of us this week: If you see a teacher, give them a smile or a high-five; if you see a custodian, thank them for their work; if you see a cafeteria worker, maybe treat them to a meal or give extra thanks for healthy meals; if you see an administrator, let them know you appreciate the countless hours they put in behind the scenes to make sure you have everything you need; and, if you see someone changing a light bulb or cleaning a window, let them know that you see them and that their work doesn’t go unnoticed. Our schools are a reflection of the diverse staff that we employ, and I’m proud of what we are building together, as each one of you plays a critical role in impacting positive outcomes for our children. So, this week, instead of highlighting an unsung hero, I instead celebrate hundreds of true superheroes — the SBUSD staff. Thank you for your dedication, thank you for your knowledge, and thank you for your heart. Humbly yours, Dr. Hilda Maldonado Superintendent P.S. And, to all who are mothers and who mother children — Happy Mother’s Day!
Dear Santa Barbara Unified families and staff, Starting today, the school district will no longer request students and staff to complete the daily COVID-19 iPass questions or scan their code at elementary and Junior High Schools. Due to the continued low infection rate both in schools and throughout the county, this measure is no longer needed to help monitor the status of campus health. COVID-19 testing will continue to be implemented in schools, which includes testing 10% or more of each school’s population. In addition, there is no longer an isolation or quarantine requirement for those exposed to anyone with COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status, based upon newly released California Department of Public Health guidelines. We will continue to update you about any changes to COVID-19 procedures on our campuses.
Dear Santa Barbara Unified staff and families, It seems like yesterday that we were returning from Winter Break, with plenty of uncertainty in the air, but a collective goal to figure it out. And we did. We kept students and staff in school — safely — and continued to provide much-needed in-person learning. And just a little more than two months later, masks in our schools are optional because our community has banded together to prioritize health. We are cautiously optimistic that it will stay this way, and we are grateful to our staff and students for their resilience that gives us this confidence. And now we are headed down a home stretch that will see us graduate hundreds from both secondary and elementary schools, as well as tackle long-standing issues such as systemic racism, anti-Blackness in our community, and an overarching focus on equity. It’s work that must be done, and I take great pride in holding the responsibility of making sure we do it thoroughly, thoughtfully and tenaciously. But, first, we also understand that we are about to embark upon the week-long Spring Break, giving some anxiety that we could repeat the aftermath of Winter Break. With your help, we believe we will be able to return safely. On Wednesday, take-home COVID tests began to be distributed to all of our students, with that process ending on Thursday. If your student doesn’t have one, please contact your principal on Friday to make sure you secure a box. We have three requests of our families and staff, as utilizing the tests is not required, but highly recommended:
Use the first test on the night of March 27 or morning of March 28;
Use the second test on either March 30 or March 31;
In both instances, please upload results via a link that will be sent to you via email on the 27th and 30th. The results will help us monitor the state of infection on our individual campuses.
In tandem, we will increase random testing on campus from 10 percent to 20 percent the week that we return to school. I had the pleasure to sit down with Alejandra Gutierrez, the leader of the district’s Family Engagement Unit and Santa Barbara City Councilwoman, to talk about the tests, as well as two upcoming vaccine clinics : As we jump into a well-deserved respite over the next week, I urge you all to detach for a bit, enjoy the beauty that is Santa Barbara, and recharge your respective batteries. Enjoy your break, you’ve earned it. Sincerely, Dr. Hilda Maldonado Superintendent
Dear Santa Barbara Unified families, The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has sent us free home test kits for our students and staff to use at the end of Spring Break to check their COVID status before returning to school/work. Schools will be distributing test kits to students and staff by Thursday, March 17. Use of these home tests is completely voluntary and is simply being offered as a way for students and staff to “know before you go.” Students and staff should take the first test either on March 27 or the morning of March 28, with the second test on March 30. Please watch your email inbox for another message with detailed instructions and a link for you to upload your results. The instructions inside the box might be just in English. Spanish directions are available here . Need more tests? If you find yourself in need of additional tests during or after Spring Break, you can order them from the government for FREE here . There are more local locations to pick up free at-home test kits. See latest locations here. Additionally, if you have private insurance (Medicare not included), your insurance is now required to cover the cost of, or send you, 8 free test kits per insured person per month. Read more in this press release and inquire with your insurance company for more info. Vaccine clinics Santa Barbara Unified, in partnership with Santa Barbara County Public Health, will be hosting two more vaccine clinics in March: March 23, 2022, 3:30-6:30 p.m., La Colina Junior High (4025 Foothill Rd.) March 30, 2022, 3:30-6:30 p.m., Franklin Elementary School (1111 E. Mason St.) The following vaccines will be administered: Pediatric Pfizer (Eligibility: 5 to 11-years-old): first or second dose available. Regular Pfizer (Eligibility: 12+. For Booster, at least 5 months from second dose.). First & second Dose also available. J & J Janssen (Eligibility: 18+. For Booster, at least 2 months from single dose. Single or booster dose available. Moderna (Eligibility: 18+. For Booster, at least 5 months from second dose.) Booster Dose ONLY. Flu Vaccine (Eligibility: 5+).
Dear Santa Barbara Unified families, As we approach the lifting of the masking mandate for students and staff inside our schools on Monday, March 14, we know that it comes with both guarded optimism, as well as a dose of anxiety. We feel it too. For the past two years, we’ve collectively used mitigating protocols to keep ourselves safe, allowing our children to return to campus. And our students are collectively mixed on their feelings about the lifting of the mask mandate according to an anonymous poll sent to our students on Thursday. We did so to make sure that we provide additional support to our students and campuses that might need extra guidance. A quick snapshot of the data shows that our elementary school students are feeling ready to embrace a world without masks, while our secondary students are more evenly split on how they feel about the change. We know the move to making masks highly recommended comes with plenty of questions, so we’ve addressed a few of them below, with an invitation on how to send us more inquiries at the end of this note. Here is a Q&A to help guide you as we approach Monday: Why not wait until after Spring Break? This is a question that we considered as well. The plummeting COVID Positive data supports the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) lifting of the mask mandate in schools on March 13 and does not support an extension to the mandate in our schools. As regularly stated, we will continually follow the science, the data, and the guidance from the California Department of Public Health and Santa Barbara County Public Health. When we studied the data both within the district and also a look at the county, the trajectory is a promising one. During the week of February 28 to March 4, some 1,405 students and staff were tested, with 2 teachers and 1 new student testing positive. This is a 0.2% positivity rate. In addition, the case rate per 100,000 people for the county has dipped significantly over the past four weeks by these Friday measurements: February 11: 41.5 cases February 18: 25.1 cases February 25: 13.1 cases March 4: 6.5 cases Do students have to take off their masks? Absolutely not. This is all about personal choice, and we strongly believe that every staff member and student must make the right decision based on their own personal needs. In addition, the use of masks inside the classrooms remains highly recommended. What are you going to do after Spring Break to keep students safe? Their safety is paramount, so we will be instituting the following actions: First, we will be providing a take-home test for every student and staff during the week leading into Spring Break and providing clear communication about utilizing the test before returning. Second, we will be increasing the COVID testing at schools from 10% to 20% upon returning from Spring Break. If the data proves that we need to continue at 20% for a period of time, we are prepared to do that. Third, we will continue using the iPass on CrisisGo upon returning to school for student and staff self monitoring. Fourth, we will continue to monitor COVID positive rate data in Santa Barbara County for any changes during Spring Break in case we need to quickly change procedures upon returning to school. What mitigating protocols will we still have in place? This is a great question, as it is important to understand that the following are still in play: On-campus testing (random, symptomatic, re-entry, athletics and extra-curricular) With our partnership with SBC Public Health, we’ll continue to hold vaccination clinics across the district. This will continue to provide vaccination and booster opportunities for students, families and staff. Air ventilation (we also encourage teachers to use outside spaces, if warranted or necessary) Will students’ vaccination records be revealed? No, we cannot reveal this information due to FERPA law. What about parent-teacher conferences? We know at the elementary level, parent-teacher conferences begin on Monday. As the teacher, if you are choosing to keep your mask on and don’t feel comfortable with the parents taking theirs off inside the classroom, you can use an outside location. We want to respect choices on all sides, and don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable during these critical meetings. The option of doing them via Zoom is also available if the parent(s) request it. How do I support my student from home with the change in mask mandate? We ask that all families discuss the importance of respecting the choice of the individual when it comes to masking. Here is a document with some article excerpts, discussion questions, and mindfulness exercises for families. Have additional questions? We’ve started a Frequently Asked Questions document to provide answers to your questions. If you have additional questions of your own that you don’t see in this document, please feel free to email email@example.com and we’ll get it added along with the answer! With continued gratitude, Dr. Hilda Maldonado Superintendent
Dear Santa Barbara Unified staff, students and families, Over the past three weeks, we’ve been confronting a sobering reality at Santa Barbara Unified — we have much more work to do when it comes to preventing hate violence, microaggressions, implicit bias, cyber bullying, bullying, harassment and racial slurs aimed at students and staff. Our vision is to create safe, affirming and inclusive learning environments where all students and staff feel like they belong and are valued. Unfortunately, we’ve seen multiple race-related incidents — 12 at seven schools — on our campuses, ranging from hate violence to racially charged language. I am committed to reporting the number of incidents district wide on a regular basis, much like our COVID dashboard. We understand the want for transparency in relation to each of these incidents and what the district is doing about it — and we can definitively say we are proactively handling these. As a standard of practice, our primary goal is to care for the children and families impacted by the respective incident, as well as the accused children and their families. We look at this as the “care and concern” phase of the process. There is no time element attached to this phase, it is simply a time to assess what happened, meet with families, offer outreach, apply appropriate discipline and begin the healing process. We will never re-victimize a victim, which is one of the many reasons why we handle these matters privately. In addition, we are bound by the Educational Code and FERPA in protecting our children’s privacy. But, please make no mistake, we are deeply concerned and saddened to hear that any student or staff member would ever feel discriminated against for the color of their skin, sexual orientation or disability. We cannot — and will not — tolerate it. Immediately, we will be taking the following specific actions: First, throughout March, we are convening staff meetings across the district (some have already occurred), where we will be educating our employees on what it means to be an “Upstander” (the commitment to be a safe and caring adult who will stand up for each and every student) and delivering resources to every employee on addressing issues of race appropriately. As part of this meeting, we will also engage in anti-bias training for all staff by the end of the school year and will be doing that annually — a requirement that stems back to a 2020 resolution adopted by the SBUSD Board of Trustees. Second, over the next two weeks, we will be mandating presentations for students at all of our campuses, where we will help our students identify “safe adults,” as well as how to use the Safe2SpeakUp app — which is pre-downloaded on all district-provided iPads. We have seen a significant increase in the use of the app over the past week. This allows our administration to promptly investigate any instances of hate violence or bullying and appropriately address each situation with our multitude of consequences and restorative measures. In addition, we will also be explaining what it means to be an “upstander,” where students can feel empowered to interrupt racism and violence in the absence of an adult. Third, in order to better connect and hear from our parents and community, each school will host Town Halls on dates to be determined in the near future. These events will be followed by regional Town Halls. Finally, we will be working with community partners on setting the expectations and agenda, while also devising a plan for a post-event, anti-racism task force that will hold the district responsible for the ongoing work that will be necessary. This process has also informed us that it is important to define the role of a school district as the greater community addresses the racism that is prevalent throughout the area. If you are interested in the Town Hall or the task force, please email us with the subject line of “Town Hall” and/or “Task Force” at firstname.lastname@example.org . I recognize that these words may ring hollow for those that have already been hurt — or for those that fear that they are next. True vision must be articulated. True action must be taken. True change must be inclusive. That extends beyond our walls, as we must consult with those that have lived the pain; that have experienced being treated poorly for generations; that have for too long been underserved; or have witnessed racism and have not been empowered to interrupt it. As a leader, I cannot accept that, and it takes being bold to create change that leads to creating school cultures and communities that are truly inclusive — where all students, families and staff feel a sense of responsibility, belonging and connection to one another. On February 23, a group of high school student leaders, along with our student board member Dawson Kelly, collaborated with us, reminding leaders that “this is not a short-term problem,” and challenged us to define our core values and hold ourselves accountable for living them. They are absolutely correct. So, today, alongside the district’s entire team of leaders, we offer a social contract to our community — the product of a deeper look at our policies and procedures. Collectively, we will champion the work necessary to address the normalization of dehumanization in school. No, this isn’t specific to Santa Barbara Unified. It’s a universal issue. And, We need you to join us in meeting this challenge. The Santa Barbara community has always been at the forefront of addressing complex topics, even ones that are inherently uncomfortable. It will take all of us working together to change course, and I stand proud with my fellow district leaders to continue this critical work, where our focus will continue to be to create campus environments where 100 percent of our children feel safe and heard no less than 100 percent of the time. With humble gratitude, Dr. Hilda Maldonado Superintendent Co-signed, Sonia Amaral, Alta Vista/La Cuesta principal Bill Woodard, Dos Pueblos High principal Kip Glazer, San Marcos High principal Elise Simmons, Santa Barbara High principal Clanci Chiu Merritt, Goleta Valley Junior High principal Jennifer Foster, La Colina Junior High principal Bradley Brock, La Cumbre Junior High principal Arielle Curry, Santa Barbara Junior High principal Kelly Fresch, Adams Elementary principal Casie Killgore, Franklin Elementary principal Veronica Binkley, Harding Elementary principal Elena Garcia-Yoshitomi, McKinley Elementary principal Brian Naughton, Monroe Elementary principal Valerie Galindo, Roosevelt Elementary principal Gabriel Sandoval, Cleveland Elementary principal Anna Scharfeld, Santa Barbara Community Academy principal Denise Granger, Washington Elementary principal Shawn Carey, Assistant Superintendent, Secondary Schools Frann Wageneck, Assistant Superintendent, Student Services Jennifer Balaishis, Coordinator of School Climate and Safety Tiffany Carson, Coordinator of College and Career Awareness Ana Escobedo, Assistant Superintendent, Elementary Schools Daisy Estrada Ochoa, Early Childhood Education Coordinator Sierra Loughridge, Executive Director, Curriculum and Instruction John Becchio, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources Steven Venz, Chief Operating Officer Kim Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services Mauricio Ortega, Director of Educational Technology Brian Rowse, Chief Information Officer Kathy Serrano, Administrator, After School Programs Patricia Madrigal, Executive Director, Office of Community Partnerships John Schettler, Director, Special Education Heidi Hoffacker-Harvey, Director of School Performance and Student Outcomes Nick Masuda, Chief of Communications
Current SBUSD families as well as community members are invited to learn more about the social studies curricula being considered for adoption beginning with the 2022-2023 school year. Everyone is welcome to view the materials in person from February 23-April 1, 2022 in the Education Services department of the district office during normal business hours. The materials can also be viewed online: Savvas (7th and 8th grade social studies) Teachers’ Curriculum Institute (10th and 11th grade social studies) Additionally, there will be two meetings with representatives from the textbook companies, Savvas and Teachers’ Curriculum Institute. They will share the various components of the programs and how they support the California Department of Education History-Social Science Content Standards and Framework. The two Zoom webinars will share identical information: Thursday, March 3, 2022 from 6:00-7:00pm Zoom link: https://sbunified.zoom.us/j/95354588941 Monday, March 14, 2022 from 12:00-1:00pm Zoom link: https://sbunified.zoom.us/j/93365614351 [Thursday, Mar 3 at 4:20 PM] Current SBUSD families as well as community members are invited to learn more about the social studies curricula being considered for adoption beginning with the 2022-2023 school year.
The two Zoom webinars will share identical information:
Thursday, March 3, 2022 from 6:00-7:00pm
Zoom link: https://sbunified.zoom.us/j/95354588941
Monday, March 14, 2022 from 12:00-1:00pm
Zoom link: https://sbunified.zoom.us/j/93365614351
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Monday that starting on March 12, 2022, masks will no longer be required on K-12 campuses throughout the state of California. In concert, Santa Barbara Unified will also lift the mask mandate indoors and outdoors, following the direction of the California Department of Public Health, which SBUSD has done throughout the pandemic. The use of masks in the classroom will remain highly recommended, according to state health officials. If students, staff or families feel that they want to continue to wear masks, we will strongly support their choice to do so. In the coming days, Santa Barbara Unified will be assessing its policies in relation to COVID-19 and will communicate any changes to those in the near future. “California continues to adjust our policies based on the latest data and science, applying what we’ve learned over the past two years to guide our response to the pandemic,” Newsom said. “Masks are an effective tool to minimize spread of the virus and future variants, especially when transmission rates are high. We cannot predict the future of the virus, but we are better prepared for it and will continue to take measures rooted in science to keep California moving forward.” We ask that our staff and families continue to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. We would like to thank the students, parents and staff as they have helped us navigate this unprecedented time in our country’s history, allowing us to continue to educate our children despite the numerous obstacles. The first date of instruction without required masks will be March 14, 2022. And as we take this highly anticipated step forward, I think it is important to remember the words of Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary for the California Health and Human Services Agency, as he explained the anxiety for some staff, families and children with the lift of the mask mandate. “Be kind, be accepting, be respectful, be safe.” Sincerely, Dr. Hilda Maldonado Superintendent P.S. You may read the press release here and watch the press conference here .
Tonight, we feel that it is important to message all of our families after the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s Board of Trustees meeting, where an incident that occurred on one of our campuses was raised during public comment on non-agenda items. We heard from a Santa Barbara Junior High family in pain and a community in need of answers, and we stand with them in condemnation of any act of violence on our campuses, in this case hate violence related to a student’s race. At Santa Barbara Unified, we do not tolerate this behavior, and are committed to doing better. First and foremost, alongside the SBJH administrative team, we have connected with the victim’s family to assure that the student’s safety is prioritized and comprehensive mental health services are provided, as well as any additional support that they might need. Second, we are and have been conducting a full investigation into the entire incident, including not only the violence and hate language used by the students, but also into supervision and a review of policies and practices with all of our leaders, teachers, teaching assistants and remaining staff. Third, appropriate actions were taken with the students in question and restorative measures have been implemented in order to help our students understand the consequences of their actions. We are also engaging in educational opportunities that will show the impact that their behavior had on their classmate and other students in the school. Fourth, as we continue to assess staffing at each of our campuses, our continued focus will be put on the hiring of employees that have a background in serving diverse populations. We believe that representation matters, and will continue to build our staff with that as a primary goal. In addition, we will continue to work with community partners to aid us in establishing the district as truly inclusive and one that embraces restorative justice. Finally, as we learn from this experience, we are reaffirming our commitment to transparency in building an anti-racist environment of which we can all be proud. We stand in solidarity with our impacted community, and look forward to the ongoing education and actions that must happen.