12.15.20 Board Meeting Highlights

Curriculum and Instruction Update:
Since the beginning of the school year we have been providing enrichment activities for students to complete on Wednesday, along with other asynchronous work assigned by the teacher. The enrichment activities have been designed around the topics of music, art, social/emotional skills (counselor connection), library time, and physical education.

We used this school site enrichment website format for the first several months of distance learning. After administering a survey to parents and staff we learned that students were not as engaged in the enrichment activities as we would like, and we heard from families that they wanted more choice and to have the flexibility to organize other family activities. After reflecting on the results of the survey and discussions with administrators, in November we changed the enrichment offerings. To increase the engagement in students we are also providing an option for students to take a picture of an activity they chose to do and we are posting the photos on the enrichment website, Facebook, and the District website.

We have received positive feedback about the change, and we plan to continue this format for the future of distance learning. It is likely we will continue to provide enrichment activities if/when we return to in-person instruction in our hybrid model as well.

Enrichment Website Link: http://bit.ly/3mw6ULL

Retirees Honored
Daniel Hebel was hired as a Night Custodian at Sequoia and Spring Creek in August 1995. He became a Day Custodian at Sequoia in August 1996 and then became the Day Custodian at "Skyhawk" (Austin Creek) in April 2000. He also held a Maintenance Position as well as Lead Custodian. He became the Maintenance & Operations Supervisor on January 1, 2007.

Cindy Mendenhall was first hired as a Volunteer Coordinator at Whited in October 1996. She also held the positions of Noon Duty and Office Clerk at Whited. She became the District Office Receptionist in March 2000 and then the Assistant to the Superintendent in December 2002. We would like to commend them both for their dedication to the District and the huge impact they have made. This District would not have been the same without them and we wish them all the best in their retirement!

Employees of the Month Honored:
Congratulations to Candace Corwonski and Candy WeitzelThe Austin Creek staff, students, and parents have been so blessed and honored to count Candy Weitzel as part of our school community. For the past 17 years Candy has been the quiet cheerleader we all need. She roots for everyone to succeed and regardless of the task at hand her first question is always, “what can I do to support you?”

It is with great pleasure that I write this letter recognizing Candance Corwonski as Rincon Valley Union School District’s Certificated Employee of the Month for December, 2020. Candace has been a valuable member of the team since joining RVUSD five years ago as the counselor at Village Elementary.

Curriculum and Instruction Update
Since the beginning of the school year we have been providing enrichment activities for students to complete on Wednesday, along with other asynchronous work assigned by the teacher. The enrichment activities have been designed around the topics of music, art, social/emotional skills (counselor connection), library time, and physical education.

We used this school site enrichment website format for the first several months of distance learning. After administering a survey to parents and staff we learned that students were not as engaged in the enrichment activities as we would like, and we heard from families that they wanted more choice and to have the flexibility to organize other family activities. After reflecting on the results of the survey and discussions with administrators, in November we changed the enrichment offerings. To increase the engagement in students we are also providing an option for students to take a picture of an activity they chose to do and we are posting the photos on the enrichment website, Facebook, and the District website.

We have received positive feedback about the change, and we plan to continue this format for the future of distance learning. It is likely we will continue to provide enrichment activities if/when we return to in-person instruction in our hybrid model as well.

Enrichment Website Link: http://bit.ly/3mw6ULL

Student Services: RVP Update
The Rincon Valley Partnership services students from the following school districts: Bennett Valley, Kenwood, Mark West, Piner-Olivet, Roseland and Wright. These districts make up the partnering districts, while other districts may place students in our programs, if there is space. Click here for an update presentation for our Rincon Valley Partnership Program.

In Person Learning Models Approved
The In Person Learning Task Force has met four times to date: November 2nd, 9th and 19th and then again on December 3rd. The purpose of this report is to provide the Board of Education an update on the progress of this Task Force. The Task Force membership consisted of teachers, staff, parents and administrators with varying perspectives. The goal of the Task Force is to update RVUSD's In Person Learning Plan by discussing the latest expectations for Health and Safety and Hybrid Learning models.

To date, district administration has hosted 7 community engagement forums in order to communicate the latest plans, answer questions and receive feedback. A total of 5 such forums were also hosted specifically for staff.

The In Person Learning Task Force and subsequent groups of educators helped to create the following two items for the Board's consideration:

1) Updated Health and Safety Protocols

2) Hybrid Model Schedules for our various program needs: Rincon Valley Charter School 7-8, TK-6th grade, Rincon Valley Partnership Preschool, Rincon Valley Partnership TK-6th, Social Emotional Learning Program and Mild/Moderate Classes

The Board has approved these plans when RVUSD is able to open our schools for in person learning as outlined by the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Under current legislation, this will occur once Sonoma County reaches the Red Tier and remains in that tier for two weeks. With the current surge in virus cases in the State of California, it is difficult to determine the exact timeline for when our county will reach this tier. The main objective of our District is to be fully prepared to open once we are provided the opportunity under state and local public health guidelines.

Reopening Hybrid Model Presentation: https://bit.ly/37tRXW6
District Health and Safety Plans: https://bit.ly/2Ws2IBZ

Spring Creek/Matanzas Name Change
Next year, 2021-2022 school year, Spring Creek (TK-3rd grades) and Matanzas (4th-6th grades) school sites will be merging onto one campus. With this change, we have decided to select a new name for our campus and are excited to include staff, families and your children in this process.

The following timeline was used for the new name selection process:

  • 10/28/20: Site Council/ELAC Meeting: Select Renaming Criteria
  • 10/30/20: Provide a Q & A session for parents to learn more about criteria and timeline
  • 12:00-1:00 Coffee with the Principals and Superintendent
  • Google Form sent to all staff and families to collect potential names (closes 11/6)
  • Week of 11/9: Working group selected from Site Council/ELAC committee to review
  • 11/18/20: Site Council/ELAC choose names that will go on the ballot
  • 11/19-11/29: TIME TO VOTE! Voting guidelines will be sent with a ballot.
  • By 12/7/20: Decision made; announcement via newsletter
  • 12/15/20: Board meeting in which name is approved
  • After extensive research and robust communication with staff and parents that included many opportunities for direct input, it is recommended that the Board of Trustees accepted and approved the recommended name of Manzanita.

  • The District will now be notifying the community and further necessary steps such as ordering new signage, contacting the California Department of Education, and preparing a plan for selecting a new mascot.

Renaming Spring Creek and Matanzas: https://bit.ly/3p8BPiG

First Interim Report
Assembly Bill (AB) 1200 requires local educational agencies to submit interim reports with specific documentation as it relates to district budget updates. This report is due to the Sonoma County Office of Education by December 15th. The 2020-21 first interim budget has been prepared with the information available as of October 31st, 2020.

First Interim Report: https://bit.ly/2KB9frp
First Interim Presentation: https://bit.ly/38afGK0

Next Board Meeting: Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 6:00PM Open Session