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November 13 Friday Update: Please Be Safe Over the November Recess; Much to Be Grateful and Thankful For

En Español

November 20, 2020

Dear WCCUSD community,

We made it. The November break begins today. It will be a week-long recess like we have never experienced before. Family gatherings and get-togethers will look and feel different as the break comes amid a surge of COVID-19 cases. Please remember to be vigilant, follow the physical/social distancing guidelines, and to wear a mask when out. We all want to return to in-person instruction, but we can only do that when it is safe. So please, let’s all do our part to help slow and contain the virus’s spread. 

As we enter the recess, I am reminded of so many things to be grateful for. One is the opportunity to work with the fantastic people that make up this District.

On Thursday, several teams, including the school community outreach workers, nurses, community service officers, food services, maintenance and operations, warehouse, special education, and attendance, came together on seven days’ notice to host a massive immunization for over 400 students (Drive-thru clinic and Safeway combined).

400 students and families received the required school immunizations and were provided a turkey and a week’s worth of food for their students. The drive-thru clinic took place while food services and school teams at 15 locations distributed 10,000 turkey and chicken dinners to families. That is teamwork. Two separate events, occurring at the same time to serve students and families. It was indeed a fantastic sight to witness.

I am grateful to all WCCUSD students and families for their flexibility, patience, and understanding through this once-in-a-lifetime situation. Balancing work, distance learning, and a pandemic is not easy. Not having extracurricular activities, classrooms, and school gatherings to build relationships is frustrating and isolating. We will get back to that one day when it is safe.

I am thankful for the food services team who has distributed more than 4 million meals and counting since the pandemic began.

I am grateful for WCCUSD’s eagerness and willingness to embrace the goal of becoming a more equitable and racially just school district. 

I am thankful for WCCUSD’s teachers who have had to create, adapt, and develop new ways to reach and teach students in a virtual environment. I am grateful for school and District staff that had to adjust and redefine how they serve students and families in this pandemic. I am thankful for the leadership from principals, assistant principals, and vice-principals in a time where the physical centerpiece of a community, our schools, have had to shift to Zoom.

The WCCUSD community has done some fantastic work during this time. And below, I have highlighted just a small sampling.

  • Tonight, De Anza High School’s choir, led by Stephanie Rios, is among a select group of ensembles in the East Bay participating virtually in the Kaiser Permanente High School Notes A Capella Virtual Concert. The concert is hosted by the Diablo Valley Regionals Arts Association. You can watch it live here.
  • De Anza’s Special Education Teacher Myrna Hadjirul and her class are about to go viral in the right way, thanks to this video they are submitting for the Dance for Kindness for the World Dance for Kindness celebration.
  • Tara Hills Leanne Wu was featured by National Geographic for an innovative Zoom rendition of Humpty Dumpty created with fellow teacher Amy Garzon.
  • Kennedy High School teacher Salvatore Morabito was featured in the Richmond Standard for keeping the Eagles’ garden growing and thriving during the pandemic.
  • Alex Flemming, John Iwawaki, and the rest of the Fab Lab team were featured for their work in producing protective gear for workers in the WCCUSD community (the face shields were used during Thursday’s drive-thru clinic).

Again, this is just a small sampling of the great things that WCCUSD students and staff are making happen during these challenging times.

Please enjoy the break. If you have time, fill out an application for the Redistricting Commission to review and possibly redraw the School Board Trustee Area’s boundaries. We still need applicants from Trustee Area 2. Applications are available here.

And if you have not done, please complete the Multipurpose Family Income Form. The forms help fund programs and services at our schools. Applications are here.

In community,

Matthew Duffy