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October 23 Friday Update: Michelle Obama School Grand Opening, School Reopening Discussion, Multipurpose Family Income Form

En Español

October 23, 2020

Happy Friday WCCUSD community,

We just completed the 10th week of school and I wanted to say thank you. The shifts due to the COVID-19 pandemic have not been easy. We do not have day-to-day physical interactions with one another and yet there are so many examples of innovative and inspiring learning happening throughout the district.

I want to thank WCCUSD families for adjusting and leaning in with us. As a father of three and a partner of a teacher, I know how difficult this is. Juggling a career, Zoom calls, distance learning, trying to make sure your kids are OK social emotionally is a lot to balance. I know many in our community face even more stressors like housing, employment and food insecurity. So thank you for all that you are enduring every day to make sure your children are ready for school each and every day.

Thank you to the principals, teachers, school support staff-both those working in front and behind the scenes-and to District administrators and teams for leading us through all of this with grace, patience and humility.

We have received questions about if or when school buildings will reopen. We are scheduled to discuss this at the next board meeting on Wednesday, November 4. We also put out a community message a few weeks earlier that addressed the conditions needed to return to in-person instruction. You can find that message here.

As we finish the 10th week, I also want to ask for your help again around the Multipurpose Family Income Form. We talked about the importance of the form in this community message and have made significant strides but we still have a ways to go. We need every family regardless of income or free and reduced priced lunch status to complete the form (English | Spanish).

The Multipurpose Family Income Form extends well beyond lunch and helps financially support a number of programs. If we don’t increase the number of forms completed we stand to lose a substantial amount of funding. So, please help us by completing the form and sharing it with other families and asking them to complete it as well.

Before we head into the weekend, I want to talk about an exciting and special event happening on Thursday.

We will VIRTUAL open WCCUSD’s newest school under a new name.

The Michelle Obama School will open virtually at 11 am on Thursday via the District’s Facebook Live (@westcontracostaschools). Again, this is a VIRTUAL OPENING, but it’s significance and symbolize to the Michelle Obama school community and to WCCUSD’s larger community cannot be expressed enough.

The Michelle Obama School is one of the Bay Area’s first flexible learning school that allows students to explore and have agency around their learning.

The Michelle Obama School stands at the intersection of community hope, student voice and changing the future. And all of it was brought together by the Michelle Obama School community.

The new buildings and the new name represents putting students first. Student learning drove the change in building, drove this name change and drove this vision.

We know students need very different things at different times and these spaces and ways of learning allows us to figure out what they need and how they need it. The children and adults at Michelle Obama School will drive their learning. Students can explore their learning individually, as a group and across grade levels with teachers as the facilitators.

The families in the Michelle Obama School community chose the name because of the former First Lady’s story of perseverance and determination and her value of education resounds deeply with the students of this community. The vision and learning of the new school and name is focused on mastery and a deep learning that puts the learner front and center.

So, please join us at 11 am on Thursday, October 29 via Facebook Live (@westcontracostaschools).

Thank you for reading and please remember to continue to follow the physical/social distance guidance and wear a mask when you are out and about.

In community,
Matthew Duffy