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Superintendent's Update - October 8, 2021

BOARD AGENDA CALENDAR

The calendar should be considered tentative until agenda is published the Friday before each meeting. The tentative calendar can be found HERE.

COVID TESTING

PAUSD has entered an agreement with COVID Clinic, Inc. The contract will end our contract with Predicine. Information about the expanded program will be sent out to staff and family members next week. COVID Clinic will provide the following:

  • Rapid antigen and PCR tests
  • Community testing clinic that operates daily
  • District-level medical consultation
  • Data dashboards that help track testing and results
  • Daily on-site student and staff testing at no cost to participants
  • Close contact response testing
  • Automated contact tracing

COVID Clinic, Inc. is a nonprofit organization established to expand testing and vaccination access. The company is known for the administration of most COVID-19 tests than any provider in the U.S., and operates over 90 locations in California. Our partnership will allow COVID Clinic to set up small "wellness cottages" and clinical staff on each campus to conveniently provide testing and eventually other care services.

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCE

PAUSD has a contract with Care Solace which covers our entire community. Care Solace is an online resource with a live 24/7 concierge line to assist individuals in finding local mental health related programs, including counseling services. To use Care Solace, individuals answer 10 basic questions in order to receive an extensive list of referrals to applicable care providers.

Care Solace is now available for use by Palo Alto students, staff, and families at no cost. Please note, this service is an optional resource available by choice and is not mandatory in any way. Care Solace does not require a user's name, address, phone number, or date of birth. All of the information that is entered on their platform is completely confidential and stored securely.

Please visit Care Solace if you are interested in seeking counseling-related services. If you have questions, contact PAUSD Wellness and Support Services at (650) 329-3769.

EARLY LITERACY

Teacher leaders in 1st and 2nd grades at Duveneck have opened up their classrooms to educator professional learning through demonstration. These dynamic teachers are exhibiting service to others by inviting elementary educators from across the PAUSD into their classrooms to watch their engaging implementation of the Orton-Gillingham methodology with their students.

  

Cognizant that learning new pedagogy can be challenging, these educators recognize the importance of modeling. As a result, the team artfully coordinated the concepts that allowed seven multi-age teachers from Ohlone to see all aspects of the Orton-Gillingham methodology. Ohlone teachers were impressed and inspired by their colleagues. Aspects of instructional practice, including student engagement, pacing, teacher enthusiasm, management of materials, instructional procedures, and teacher and student language, were all highlights noticed by the Ohlone team, who were grateful to have the opportunity to observe their colleagues. They witnessed what happens when educators put students first, trust each other, and plan together.


  

We have educators at sites from across the District ready to share their insights and open their classrooms to peer observations as we grow our practice with multi-sensory phonics instruction together!

  

Our early literacy goal and equity goals are intertwined. Our students will grow as readers with PreK-3 teachers who provide the essential foundational skills our students need along with vocabulary, fluency, knowledge, and comprehension to become proficient readers.

REQUEST FOR COMMUNITY INPUT - ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL EMERGENCY RELIEF (ESSER) III FUNDS

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act which was signed into law on March 11, 2021. This was the third federal stimulus funding act in response to COVID-19 following the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act.

PAUSD has been allocated $2,320,101 in ESSER III funding.

Staff is proposing to utilize 20% of these monies for expanded summer school opportunities at PAUSD for summers 2021 and 2022. The balance will go towards other activities necessary to maintain the operation and continuity of services for students, such as enhanced indoor air quality through building Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) upgrades and improved ventilation across all District facilities.

As a requirement for receiving the ESSER III funding, the District must complete an Expenditure Plan for how ESSER III funds will be used to address students' academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs, as well as the opportunity gaps that existed before and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff is seeking community input on the use of these funds to develop the ESSER III Expenditure Plan. Students, families, and PAUSD staff are encouraged to provide input by completing the survey no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13. Your timely response to the survey is greatly appreciated!

The ESSER III Expenditure Plan must be adopted by the Board of Education at the October 19, 2021 Board Meeting.


JOIN OUR TEAM - INCREASED RATES FOR SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS
The District has increased the rates for Substitute Teaching positions and has openings for Daily, Resident, and Long-Term opportunities. PAUSD was recently identified as the best place to teach in the Bay Area and the #1 K-12 school district in California.

The updated substitute teaching rates are:

  • $300 Long Term Substitute Daily Rate
  • $250 Resident Substitute Daily Rate
  • $180 Daily Substitute Rate

Apply at: www.edjoin.org/PAUSD, or email Lorie Prior at lprior@pausd.org.