Return to Headlines

Friday, April 23 Superintendent Update: Opening School Buildings, George Floyd Ruling and Continuing to Work for Systemic Change

En Español

Friday, April 23, 2021

Dear WCCUSD community,

There were plenty of mixed emotions this week. We started with Monday’s joy and excitement of opening all 54 school buildings for the Voluntary Spring In-Person Intervention and Instruction Plan. It was great to see the smiles on the faces of students, staff, principals, and parents/families.

Thank you to the school leaders, teams, and community for your patience and flexibility in assisting us in the plan. After more than a year, opening schools to some students was a community effort, and I am proud to work with many great leaders in this District. More than 6,300 students, including the District, identified 5 percent, highest-needs students, returned to in-person support.

Schools did a fantastic job welcoming back their communities, coming up with creative ways to foster in-person connections. Click on each school name, and you can see what Grant, DoverFord, and Coronado elementary schools, Mira Vista, Montalvin Manor, and Peres K8, Richmond High School, Helms middle and Crespi middle schools, and Early Learning Preschool did to say welcome back.  We continue to work diligently to open more in-person spaces for students where possible.

Tuesday brought relief, grief, and hope with the conviction of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd. Although the verdict doesn’t bring George Floyd back to his loved ones or erase the painful loss of a father, brother,  and son, the ruling was a step in the right direction toward addressing accountability and systemic racism that runs deep in our nation’s history.  

I am proud that WCCUSD committed to working on examining racial injustice in our school system this year. Like the criminal justice system, we must continue to work to ensure the proper steps are taken in our education system to ensure equity and justice for all students, particularly African-American students who live in an environment where systemic racism clearly exists.

Over the past year, we have witnessed current, and former WCCUSD students lead movements supporting Black Lives Matter, police reform, and denouncing Anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander hate. We must continue to empower the youth to use their voice and push us forward. As a District, we will continue to maintain a steady focus on the progress of our African-American youth so that they have every tool they need to be successful in the world.  

Before we start the weekend, I wanted to announce upcoming celebrations and college destinations. First, the annual Reclassification Ceremony is back and held virtually at 6 p.m. Monday, May 24 via Zoom.

The African American Students of Honor Ceremony also returns virtually and is 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 25 via Zoom.

Hercules High School senior Alyssa Burton is headed to UCLA in the fall.

Richmond High School senior Gabriel Arboleda is off to the University of Iowa to study creative writing. Congratulations, Alyssa and Gabriel.

If your student is headed to college next year, we want to hear about it. Please email us with the details at

Lastly, don’t forget to join the DLCAPS committee at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27, for their second LCAP listening session to gather input and feedback on the plan. You can join via Zoom at or by phone at 669-900-6833, ID 917 5130 7164. 

Thank you for reading.

In community,

Matthew Duffy