Palm Crest Elementary

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Superintendent Sinnette Welcomes Everyone Back to School

August 14, 2020

Dear LCUSD Community,

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year!  It’s a blatant statement of the obvious, but this opening is unlike any that we’ve experienced - but I am confident that it will be an amazing school year.

LCUSD will begin the school year on Monday, August 17, and we will open with distance learning and instruction.  Over the course of the summer, our Elementary and Secondary Reopening Committees were actively engaged in planning to reopen schools in the hybrid model, loading classes at 50% capacity and providing a combination of on-site and virtual instruction.  But, with a surge in COVID-19 infections, Governor Newsom ordered that all districts begin the school year in the distance learning model.

Since the Governor’s announcement, LCUSD’s singular focus has been to access and allocate all of its resources to providing the best possible distance instruction and learning program to students with our virtual start to the school year.  Our teachers and support staff have been engaged in hours upon hours of professional development and training in order to ensure this.  LCUSD’s Technology and Educational Services Departments have offered exceptional trainings to teachers, support staff, students, and parents.  I think it’s fair to say that in gearing up to launch this school year we have all expended significant time and energy - and it’s felt overwhelming at times - but all of that effort, worry, and dedication centers upon wanting the very best for our students.  The commitment we have all shared defines our community and once again we’ve demonstrated the positive effects of the La Canada difference.  I am grateful to all of you and I am proud of our school district community.

Teachers will be greeting students “live” in the virtual classroom on Monday according to the bell schedule.  For elementary students on an AM schedule the school day will begin at 8:10 a.m. and for elementary students on a PM schedule the school day will begin at 12:05 p.m.  For LCHS 7-12 students, the school day begins at 8:25 a.m.  Our school principals have been communicating extensively with families to provide details for the opening of the school year and you can also expect direct communications from your teachers welcoming students to the new school year and providing guidance on classroom routines and structures.

This school year, more so than any other, requires us all to commit to clear and frequent communication, social emotional wellness, and to fully supporting student engagement in an academically rigorous educational experience.  Parents, please reach out to your teachers and administrators with questions and concerns.  You will receive regular communications from district and site administration and your teachers will also be connecting with you on an ongoing basis to share news and information - but we welcome a two-way dialogue to help us all lean into this school year and achieve outstanding results.  Together we can build a climate of care and support to guarantee that the challenges we face become the opportunities we master.

Finally, it’s key that we model enthusiasm and resilience for our kids.  As adults we set the tone.  So, the more that we demonstrate that “we’ve got this” and set the stage for this to be a great school year - the more that it will become the norm for our students.  At the District we are taking all of the steps to be prepared and ready to welcome them back to campus when the metrics have been met and it’s safe to do so.  But, until then, it is critical that we optimize their time in distance learning and build upon all of the available channels to deliver the world class education that they deserve.

Thank you for your partnership, patience, grace, and fortitude.  I am blessed to serve in such an amazing school district community.

Sincerely and with gratitude,

Wendy Sinnette