August 3, 2020
Welcome Back, TUSD Community,
We’ve missed you. August 10th is the official start day for the 2020-21 school year, with students re-engaging in distance learning on Wednesday, August 12. This was not how we had planned to reunite students with their next grade level, teacher, and school following the summer months; however, due to recent elevated COVID numbers in our County, Turlock Unified must open with distance learning.
Our planning and efforts over the past six months have centered on the learning and wellness of 14,000 students while maintaining TUSD’s belief, “High expectations yield greater levels of performance.” Focus on meeting the needs of the whole-student during this unparalleled time has been at the forefront of our work; we recognize learning has been lost and social-emotional needs not met. Knowing how important children’s well-being and achievement are to them, we unequivocally believe most stakeholders will fully support greater learning time, opportunity, and structure. TUSD’s distance-learning options were designed to set students and staff up for success while being mindful of family needs and demands. We are better equipped to begin this school year in a distance learning model based on our reflections and your feedback since last spring; the return of TUSD students and staff to our prepared and safe schools is included in this input. Because we remain committed to returning students and staff to school as soon as safely possible, we need everyone’s commitment to follow social-distancing guidelines. We desperately need our TUSD community to work together to help us Save Our School year. Based on the Governor’s order, and using health data, TUSD can reopen for in-person instruction when our county has been off the monitoring list for 14 consecutive days.
The 2020-21 school year will certainly be different for all of us. Children and adolescents are in need of positive engagement and interaction with caring adults and supportive peers. TUSD is committed to making sure this happens; we have systems in place with measures to ensure students have what they need to be connected and successful. Our district and site administrative teams have made collective commitments to connect with families on a regular, consistent basis in order to assess the effectiveness of our learning models and ensuring student and family needs are being met. Remaining connected has never been more critical; my hope is that all stakeholders will recognize and appreciate our efforts to keep students and families connected to learning, meet the needs of our students with academic rigor, social-emotional resources, nutrition, and supportive interventions and enrichments. Your confidence and engagement is a critical component of a successful school year—one that keeps students at the forefront of all work and decisions. It’s our responsibility as educators and leaders.
Dana Salles Trevethan Superintendent Turlock Unified School District