Superintendent » Superintendent's Update - August 2021

Superintendent's Update - August 2021

September 1, 2021
 
Dear LGUSD Parents,
 
This year is off and going strong! I assure you that every educator in LGUSD has a “jump in their step” at having our students back on campus full time.  
 
Here are some pertinent updates from this past month:

Teachers Back and School Offices Open

Every LGUSD teacher returned on August 9th, and the start to the school year has been invigorating. The district and all school sites are 100% open.  
photo of staff on opening day
LGUSD welcomes everyone to the new school year.
 

First Day of School

There are moments one never forgets in any career, and August 12th, the first day of school in LGUSD was that for me. I wish I could bottle up the excitement and pure joy demonstrated by students to be back full time 100%. It reminded me of the energy when entering a stadium for a college football game. Not even a power outage at Blossom Hill, Van Meter, and Lexington could keep students from having a great day.
 
students walking in quad
students and teacher sitting in circle outside
RJ Fisher students filled the campus on the first day of school. Blossom Hill 3rd grade teacher Barbara Bersano doesn't miss a beat in student learning by moving her class outside.
 

Vibrant Classroom Learning

I want to share a few sample classroom observations I’ve completed in the past few weeks:
young students working around table
students standing in classroom

Primary Grades

In Ms. O'Donoghue's first grade class at Van Meter Elementary School, there was such a learning buzz in the air as students constructed letter and sound books. The value of student interaction and social emotional connections in this type of activity cannot be overstated

Upper Grades

In Mr. Joanides’ fifth grade classroom at Blossom Hill Elementary School, I witnessed a first. Students reviewed their spelling words through kinaesthetic movement! Not one student was off task during this activity.
science class observations

Middle School

What a pleasure to visit the science wing at Fisher! Students are participating in hands-on activities and labs.  In Ms. Leonard’s science class, students learned about scientific observation through lab rotations of nameless items.  
 

COVID Update

We continue to adhere strictly to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines for schools. I have been asked by several parents when I think COVID will subside? At this time, I think it’s a matter of learning to live with COVID, to continue offering a quality education to all our students in spite of the virus.
 

California Department of Public Health logoCOVID Dashboard

All community members can find COVID case information on our LGUSD Dashboard. I want to thank all our families who have cooperated with testing and quarantining guidelines. 
 
Here are a few questions that have been asked:
 
  • Why do all the letters regarding exposure need to be sent out? Doesn’t that just raise unnecessary alarm?  The notification letters are sent out to LGUSD families per the Santa Clara County Public Health Department's direction.
 
  • Have there been any COVID cases in LGUSD that have been connected?  No, they are all independent of each other.
 
  • Have there been any COVID transmissions at school? No, there have been no recorded COVID transmission cases at school.
 

icon of houseParcel Tax Renewal Ballot Measure

Los Gatos voters have authorized a parcel tax for the past thirty years.  At the July 22nd school board meeting, the Board of Trustees took action to place a renewal parcel tax on the November ballot.  Here are a few facts:
 
  • The current parcel tax expires this June (2022)
  • It is the largest source of local funding in the district budget,  paying the salaries of 23 LGUSD teachers, the equivalent of a downtown Los Gatos school.  
  • For the past twenty years, there has been no inflationary adjuster, thus the value of the parcel tax has dropped from funding 51 teachers to 23. 
  • The proposed ballot language adopted by the school board renews the current $290 amount, adds $45, for a total of $335, with 2% annual adjustments. 
 
I encourage the entire community to learn about the measure and vote on November 2nd.  Further informational facts can be found on the LGUSD website
 

photo of button/pin that reads "Be the Source of Someone's Joy"LGUSD Theme for 2021-2022

I invite you to join all LGUSD educators in reinforcing the theme, “Be the Source of Someone’s Joy,” for this year. As we are emerging from last year, I encourage our entire community to look for ways to uplift others around them, and model this for our young students. 
 
I want to thank the entire education community for the tremendous support to help us launch this school year successfully.  
 
Yours in Education,
 
Paul Johnson
Superintendent