May 17, 2021
Dear TUSD Community—
May finally arrived for all of us—an opportunity for families to celebrate student and staff successes in a semi-traditional manner that we were unable to do a year ago. Even more exciting is the opportunity to plan for a traditional 2021-22 school year for our TUSD community. In-person learning, before & after-school City child care through ASES and PLAY programs, breakfast and lunch meals, and students engaged in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, including athletics, are planned because we know these on-site resources and opportunities are essential to students’ academic growth and well-being. Although we anticipate the majority of our students and families looking forward to a return to educational normalcy now that Senate Bill 98 will sunset distance learning on June 30, 2021, we are still prepared to offer an independent study model—one that includes virtual learning and independent practice with expectations for positive attendance and participation. Select enrichment/elective offerings will be made available to the greatest extent possible to keep students motivated.
To gauge student/parent intentions for the 2021-22 school year, a survey to our current distance learning & hybrid students/families was provided last week. Information collected allows us to plan for returning students within current and future guidelines that we anticipate will create greater flexibility and opportunities for students and staff. As a former secondary English teacher, I always appreciated knowing my teaching schedule for the coming year so I could plan & prepare during the summer months, even though I knew that changes might occur. I hope to provide this same level of ease and information to my colleagues by the end of this month, realizing that any sense of security will allow them to relax and rejuvenate during a much-deserved break. Most, including myself, hope that words such as “pivot” and “unprecedented” will be terms of the past and replaced with terms such as stable and familiar—two adjectives that communicate a state of predictability and reassurance for our school communities looking forward.
The last bell of the 2020-21 school year is quickly approaching—a school year that has been filled with both trepidation and hope—but one that demonstrates the relentless tenacity and belief among students, parents, and educators in our community. We’ll need these same strengths in the coming year and a collective effort to keep students and their needs at the forefront of our work—a challenge and priority that we maintain 365 days per year.
Dana Salles Trevethan