March 24, 2020 Update from Acting Superintendent Salinas

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March 24, 2020

Dear Newark USD Community,

In the past week, our community has worked through the suspension of in-class instruction and now the entire state of California has been put under a shelter in place order. This week has been exhausting for our staff and families as we have had to perform on short notice between our personal lives and our work responsibilities have overloaded many in our community and many across the globe

 I am writing today to share what we have done so far, and three important points about this response:

Newark USD staff is working very hard to find ways to support students, families, and the community at large in this unprecedented time

We are taking the time we need to develop educational access plans that will serve educators, students, and families alike, including our students who receive special education services.

Please continue to reach out to your school principals with questions and your teachers.

The week of March 30-April 3 is Spring Break. Teachers and students should take that week off.

We have convened a special working group to focus on the needs and concerns of our seniors, the Class of 2020. We know this situation is especially challenging for them – academically, socially, and emotionally.

On Monday, March 23, 2020, Newark USD started serving meals two times per week in order to minimize the daily trips for families to pick up a meal. 

On behalf of the Board of Education and all of our NUSD staff, I want to thank you for your support and please know that it is deeply appreciated.

In Community,

Leticia Salinas


Here are some important notes:

1. Our food service is changing to two (2) times per week

On Monday, March 23, 2020 we began serving meals two days per week Mondays and Wednesdays so that we could minimize the number of days in a week families needed to come out to get meals. The hours and location remain the same, 11 am to 12 pm, and students will be provided with several days’ worth of meals at a time. NJHS 6201 Lafayette Avenue and the Central Kitchen at 37370 Birch Street. 

2. We are continuing to add more information and updates to our plan and guidance for remote instruction and distance learning

Under the direction of our Teaching and Learning Director, Mr. Dolowich and all of our principals,

NUSD teachers are reaching out to students with lessons and working through the Elementary and Jr. High School 10-day packet. In addition to this, teachers and principals are sharing resources and support for students to take part in remote /distance learning. Please visit www.newarkunified.org for access to the packets and also for updates. On Wednesday Mr. Dolowich will be meeting with teachers and principals to continue to plan and to offer support on next steps with distance learning. Please look for an update on our website and through communications with your school principals.

3. We are thinking of our senior class

We want to acknowledge the particular impact that this public health situation is having on our 12th grade students and families. It is not lost on us that this is a milestone year for them, and that this disruption to their academic year and their final quarter celebrations are causing uncertainty and very understandable anxiety. 

Because of this, Principal Rangel (NMHS) and Principal Calderon (Bridgepoint) will convene a virtual working group of key staff members and students to discuss all of the very specific challenges facing our senior class in this environment, both academic and social, and to generate ideas for how we might create alternatives or options within these very trying circumstances. This group will be consulting external partners from the university systems, public health departments, students themselves, and parent groups.

Our general goals for the next two weeks at a glance: 

3/23-3/27

I will continue to check in with our Board of Education to provide them with updates and to hear from them.

I will continue to meet with our leadership team and labor presidents every two days for updates.

I will continue to meet with all principals twice a week as a whole team and also individually.

Students are to continue working on the activities/lessons sent by each teacher and also the tenday packet.

Meals will be served at our two locations.

3/30-4/3

Spring Break: Schools closed including online or distance learning and meal service.

4/6-4/10

Current indications are that we will not be back on campus that week. We will have an official announcement about extending the suspension of in-class instruction later this week or during the spring break. NUSD is taking guidance from the Alameda County Public Health and working with surrounding school districts.

 

Thank you for your time and support during this ever changing time.