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Community Message 11/12/21


November 12, 2021


Good evening WCCUSD Community,

This week, we honored our military veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Though we have several veteran heroes throughout the country, I want to personally recognize the outstanding military veterans in WCCUSD who have served our country, and now dedicate their lives to serving WCCUSD students. 

As a fellow veteran who served in the USMC for more than eleven years, and now an educator for over 24 years, I understand the honor, courage, and commitment associated with each branch of the Armed Services. Thank you for your service to our country and our students.

Veterans Day was a day off for many, but for the Pinole Valley High School marching band, concert choir and PVHS junior Randy Snook, it was a day of commemoration. The Spartan crew and others in the PVHS family attended the Veterans Day Ceremony at Pinole's Fernandez Park to honor those who served.

Snook was the student speaker for the event and the choir performed Amazing Grace, From Sea to Shining Sea (medley), and Somewhere (West Side Story). The Band also played the Armed Forces Suite that included all the Military branch songs. Thanks to the Spartan family for a great performance and honoring veterans for their service. 

Take the WCCUSD Website Survey

We want to hear from you! The WCCUSD communications team is working to improve the district website to ensure everyone in the community can access information about schools, programs and services. 

We are launching this survey this week to collect your feedback. Any upgrades we make to the website will be reflective of the WCCUSD community’s ideas. Thank you for taking the time to complete this five-minute survey. 

Click here to take the survey in English

Click here to take the survey in Spanish.

Have You Uploaded Your Child’s Vaccination Documents?

To assist families in meeting the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, we are asking families to upload their student’s vaccination documentation status through a secure online portal: Families will be able to add this information in a few easy steps. 

For your convenience, we have provided an online tutorial to show you how to navigate the platform. Click here for instructions and click here is a video tutorial. 

In the event a family cannot upload proof of vaccination into the portal, they may submit a paper copy of the vaccination card to our school site. 

To assist students and families in getting the COVID-19 vaccine, WCCUSD is co-hosting a number of vaccine clinics in conjunction with the Contra Costa County Health Services. Click here for more information. 

For students with qualified and approved exemptions, the school site will schedule an interactive meeting to discuss safety protocols and develop individualized accommodations. The WCCUSD school board will discuss religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccination mandate at its next meeting, on Wednesday, November 17. More information on board meetings can be found on the district website.

WCCUSD Recognizes First Generation Day

Monday, November 8 was First Generation day in honor of first generation college students. We celebrate all of the first generation students and staff in WCCUSD, and want to acknowledge the amazing work of the Internationals Academy at Richmond High School and Helms Middle School. 

In partnership with Internationals Network, the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) and its Multilingual and Multicultural Department opened Internationals Academy at Richmond High School and Helms, which is a program specifically designed to serve recently arrived immigrant and refugee English learners (ELs) and ensure that they reach high-level of academic achievements and complete the requirements to attend college when they graduate from high school. The partnership is designed to increase services and improve academic outcomes for immigrant and refugee youth in West Contra Costa County. 

Happy First Generation day, and let’s continue to do the work to support recently arrived immigrant and refugee English learners as they strive to become qualified to attend a University of California or California State University school when they graduate.

WCCUSD, CCCOE hosts Families in Transition Fair, November 20 

November is Homeless Awareness month, and WCCUSD has partnered with the Contra Costa County Office of Education to host a Families in Transition Resource Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 20 at DeJean Middle School for students and families in need of housing resources and support.



This year, the West Contra Costa Education Fund awarded grants to 40 different projects ranging from $500 for individual classrooms to $1,000 for school-wide grants. The total cost of these projects is nearly $26,000, and the funds come from the Brad Bradley Bequest and generous donations from our supporters -- who helped fund an additional three projects. 

There is a wide variety of projects funded this year that range from performing songs of protest at De Anza High School to teaching Kindergarteners how to breakdance at Harding Elementary. Regardless of the project, the Ed Fund looked to award projects that empower and support students with their social, educational, and academic needs as they return to the classroom, and provided additional points to projects that focused on the needs of African American/Black students or that incorporated art of African American/Black artists. Read More and View the Award Winners


Give Input into the Reimagining of Richmond High and Kennedy High School

What would you like to see happen? How can we reimagine and redesign the school to deliver a higher quality education for each and every student? 

Join us for the first community engagement meeting at Richmond High School at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 16 and at Kennedy High School at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 18 to give your input on the new campus design.  This is the first step in the redesign process that will conclude in June. By June, the architects will have created the plans for the physical re-design.

The meetings will include an overview of the redesign process and attendees will participate in breakout groups to give feedback on what they would like to see. 

Each school will have a steering committee to guide the redesign process. The steering committee will be chosen after the first meeting. Anyone interested in serving on a steering committee should be in attendance at the first meeting. 

Attendees must have proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test to engage in this meeting.

WHO: All interested community members but especially the parents, students, educators and staff of Richmond High, and the school communities of Chavez, Dover, Downer, Ford, Lake, Riverside, Peres, Verde, and Helms. Must have proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test to engage in this meeting.

WHAT: Give input into the reimagining of Richmond High School

WHEN: Tuesday, November 16, 2021 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Richmond High School 1250 - 23rd St. Richmond, 94804. The “mall” in the center of main building







WHO: All interested community members but especially the parents, students, educators and staff of Kennedy High, and the school communities of Coronado, Grant, King, Lincoln, Michelle Obama, Nystrom, Stege, Washington and DeJean. Must have proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test to engage in this meeting.

WHAT: Give input into the reimagining of Kennedy High School

WHEN: Thursday, November 18, 2021 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Kennedy High School 4300 Cutting Blvd. Richmond, 94804. The “K” in the central courtyard









The WCCUSD Redistricting Commission to Host Meetings in Each Trustee Area

The Redistricting Commission will hold five in-person meetings, one meeting in each of the five trustee areas. In-person capacity is limited to 30 people. Please use this sign-up form to attend the meeting in person. 

Nov. 16, 2021:
El Cerrito High School Library & Zoom (Area 5)
540 Ashbury Ave.
El Cerrito, 94530-3299

Nov. 23, 2021:
Richmond High School (Classroom #654) & Zoom (Area 3)
1250 - 23rd St.
Richmond, 94804-1091 

Nov. 30, 2021:
Middle College (Fireside Hall) & Zoom
Located on the Contra Costa College Campus
2600 Mission Bell Drive
San Pablo, 94806 

Dec. 7, 2021:
Kennedy High School Library & Zoom (Area 2)
4300 Cutting Blvd.
Richmond, 94804-3399

All meetings will begin at 6:30 PM

Redistricting Commission meetings will also continue to be broadcast via Zoom using the following link:

By computer, please click the link below to join the webinar:

Or by Telephone:
US: (669) 900 6833
Webinar ID: 92663418445#

Redistricting Commission meeting agendas are available for review online at:


WCCUSD’s Independent Redistricting Commission Seeks Applicants for Trustee Area 2 Commissioner Seat

The West Contra Costa Unified School District Redistricting Commission is an independent body tasked with analyzing the 2020 Census Data and reviewing and revising the Trustee Area boundaries for the 2022-2030 elections for the Board of Education. The commission consists of seven members representing each of the five trustee areas and two members who are residents of Contra Costa County but live outside of the district boundaries.  The Commission will perform all or nearly all of its work between now and March 1, 2022.

The Commission seat for Trustee Area 2, which encompasses Kennedy High School and other portions of Richmond, is currently vacant, and the District is soliciting applications for that position.  All interested individuals should apply.  The application is available here. English | Spanish.  Service on the Commission does not require any prior experience with redistricting or any particular subject matter expertise.


In Community,

Kenneth Chris Hurst, Ed.D