May 1, 2020
Dear Centralia Families,
At this time, it is necessary to inform our community that Centralia Elementary School District (CESD) schools will remain physically dismissed and open virtually, with continued distance learning for the duration of this school year. We had been hopeful for students to return May 11, 2020. It is evident that this is not the time to end stay-at-home practices for our students. With May 21, 2020 being the scheduled end of school, our energies remain focused on concluding the year with the maximum amount of learning happening in your homes through our distance learning programs. Keep at it and stay engaged! Please know that we are also in the midst of the strategic planning necessary to open the 2020/21 school year, ready to support our students and families in whatever form that may be, with the high standards that you have come to expect from CESD.
I would like to take this time to answer some questions about end of the year procedures for our CESD schools. Please review this document for details about end of year procedures for students.
In this unprecedented year, virtually all California Schools are closed, and the issue of report cards has been deliberated at all levels. At the high school level, this conversation is critical since grades have implications for graduation credit, grade point average, college admission and so much more.
At the elementary level, our report card system is different. Our grading is used as a feedback tool to assist parents in knowing where their children’s mastery of foundational standards lay. Teachers typically use a grading reporting system that relies on in-person assessments (tests & quizzes), performance tasks, and completion of assignments from directed, teacher-delivered lessons in our award-winning brick and mortar schools.
After listening closely to the feedback from our representative teachers, administrators and in compliance with state guidance, I wish to share that our grading system for Trimester 3 is being modified. Though we will use the same report card as in the past, we will not be updating any standards-based grades on the report card and will instead provide teacher feedback in the comments section to each of our students. This feedback will let our parents know of their student’s level of participation in distance learning. I acknowledge that while the 3’s and 4’s on the report card would be nice to see; the habits of hard work, persistence, dedication and perseverance that have been demonstrated by all is beneficial in the short and long term during this unique time in our history.
Report cards will be emailed to parents through teacher communication channels on May 21, 2020. If you have not received your report card by the end of the day on May 21, please contact your school office.
CHROMEBOOK DEVICE COLLECTION
We presently have more than 2,000 CESD Chromebook devices in use in our community. I appreciate our community’s support in collecting them back so that we can make all necessary updates to them for use at the start of the new school year. They will be collected in the following manner:
Grade 6: Principals will be providing a schedule for Chromebook device collection for all sixth graders. Thank you for helping us to return all devices. You can expect this collection time to be during the week of May 18.
Grades TK-5: Students who borrowed a district Chromebook in these grades will have two options:
Option 1: Families who are ready to return their devices may return them during the week of May 18, as indicated by an upcoming principal notification.
Option 2: We have had feedback from teachers and families requesting extra time with the Chromebooks in order to take advantage of June as extended learning time. I am happy to announce that all TK-5 families who wish to borrow the Chromebooks longer will be able to return them on July 7 & 8, 2020. A brief survey will be sent out to all families, so we can identify who would like to utilize this extended Chromebook time.
SUMMER LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
Realizing that many of our students may need to continue learning during the month of June, CESD is pleased to offer the following educational options for our children.
- Extended School Year for Eligible Students in Special Education
Students whose IEPs call for participation in Extended School Year (ESY) will be provided information regarding the distance learning opportunity offered for eligible students during the regularly scheduled time of ESY, June 1 - June 26, 2020. Our office of Special Education will be in contact with these families with registration information.
- Voluntary Summer Learning – The Study Island Learning Challenge
As a way of motivating our students to continue to learn independently, CESD is pleased to offer a summer Study Island Learning Challenge to all students in the district!
Study Island Learning Challenge Dates: June 1 - June 30, 2020
Challenge: We encourage students to continue to practice developing their proficiency level on state standards learned throughout the school year. We encourage our students to make a goal of earning Study Island blue ribbons for the standards in their grade level. This serves as a great review and preparation for the new school year. More information about this program will be provided to our families on the Centralia Distance Learning web page and through your school principals/teachers.
RETRIEVAL OF STUDENT MEDICATION & PERSONAL BELONGINGS
Prior to May 21, your school principal will be providing information about how families can gather their student’s personal medication still stored in school offices and any personal belongings left in the classrooms.
I am proud to share that CESD will continue to offer our pick up meal program, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at San Marino School, Danbrook School and the Walter Knott campus from 10 am to 12 noon during May and June. This meal service is open to all children under the age of 18, regardless of district of attendance. We recognize that there is a need for access to food in our community and we are happy to provide this valuable resource.
6TH GRADE PROMOTION
CESD prides itself in the high-quality education programs for our students and the great promotion send-off that is made available to each 6th grade student in our schools. Regrettably, our tradition of an in-person promotion assembly will not be possible this year. Our school teams are working to conclude our year in a celebratory manner, in which we can say congratulations and farewell to our incredible 6th grade scholars, while complying with current physical distancing safety protocols. More information will be coming to you from your school principal.
2020/2021 SCHOOL YEAR
As you may be aware, Governor Newsom has made comments about considering a possible earlier start to the school year, mentioning late July or early August. While we are already an “early start” district (our first day of school 2020/21 is scheduled for August 12, 2020), CESD intends to continue to work with state and local agencies/health experts to determine the next steps. At this time, our anticipated first day of school has not changed. We will keep you updated about any changes or modifications as time progresses.
Any time I am faced with critical decisions, I am reminded of the importance and strength of mindset. We do not always control what happens to us, or the circumstances in which we are thrust; however we are in control of our perspective and our reaction to it. It is as the adage says, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
As your Superintendent and as a parent, I assure you that none of us thought that this year would end in this way. Is there something to celebrate in all of this? Absolutely!
I celebrate our families who have been extremely resilient, understanding and supportive during this time. Thank you for letting us be in your home and partnering with us in such an incredible way!
I celebrate our teachers who are working so hard, day in and day out, to create incredible lessons. They are also reaching out to our students so that the loss of learning is minimized and that connections with one another is maximized. I truly believe that the level of support provided by our teachers and staff is unparalleled, and truly reflective of the high quality practices that are a hallmark of CESD.
I celebrate our incredible support and operations staff who continue providing the necessary services to keep education moving forward. From paying the electrical bills to serving meals, making calls, deploying devices, keeping our campuses clean and so much more; our support and operations staff keep our district gears moving!
I celebrate our district and school administrators who are carrying on, transferring guidance into practice and helping to guide and lead. Our principals are amazing!
I celebrate our Board of Education whose leadership and work of advocacy is so valued at this time. We must continue to speak on behalf of the needs of our children now, and always!
And most important, I celebrate our students. Our students are the future leaders of our great nation. As dissonant as this experience is to this generation, I wonder how many of them will be buoyed by it to become scientists, engineers, inventors, medical professionals and leaders who will defend us wisely from future pandemics? To our students, I say to you, in the words of Dr. Seuss, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and loved more than you’ll ever know.” You make us all so proud!
In good health,
Norma E. Martinez, Superintendent
Centralia Elementary School District