Good Evening Spartan Families,
I hope this message finds you as safe as can be and staying cool. As we near the end of this incredibly complex, strange, tragic and odd school year it is now time to discuss the future and specifically our Spartans futures at East Nicolaus High School. I am attaching a survey here at the end. This is valuable to us as we plan and prepare for next year. Thank You…
As of today I wish I had clear and direct answers for our students, staff, and families. There are few things I do know for sure:
o There is a large state budget shortfall due to the COVID shut down that will impact multiple aspects of our school. We are going over this information, making plans for the next two years for certain and probably at least three years. This particular budget shortfall is actually worse than 2008-2012 times as it is so immediate and sudden rather than a slow steady downturn. For those who struggle at math like myself, roughly 10% will be cut as of the latest budget project. I have been through this before and please know that we will remain calm and steady. Each district in our state will have a different answer for their budget cuts. We are in the human being business and it is important to know that ALL the human beings that serve our students are important; however, difficult decisions will be made, but we will certainly work to minimize that impact.
· The CDC and California department of Education has established broad guidelines for how to reopen school in the fall. I am sure, like many of us, that distance learning is the last thing we want to go back to 100%. The goal is to be back on campus, with safety as our priority, on August 19th in some fashion or another.
o This reopening has significant impact on our students coming back on campus and being safe. This will impact everything we do. Coming on to campus, Transportation, gathering in the quad, locker usage, number of students in class, safety of staff and students, bathroom usage, locker room usage, lunch, leaving school. I always think of a school as a small city and now we have to take a serious look at how we run our city and keep our citizens safe.
o There are multiple models being discussed all over the world, nation, and state. There are some good ideas and some rather far-fetched. We are discussing multiple models that are reflective of our small and rural nature.
o Although really not that far away, August 19th is a long way from today in the current climate we live in. There are bound to be multiple new directives and updated guidance from many agencies in the next few months. I wish I could tell that you it won’t be complicated but it will and for a time, hopefully a short time, our reality.
o Our goal is to be on campus on August 19th and provide options to our students and families.
· Sports, AG, and Activities
o This area, like our academics is of great importance to our students, staff, community, and our Spartan traditions.
o This area will require a great deal more planning, care, and monitoring than being in the classroom due to the proximity, contact, and potential for interacting with those not in our community during games.
o Again transportation, weight room access, gym access, cleaning, locker room access, and all elements associated with playing a sport, participating in an activity, and being amongst and around each other in close confines of these activities and sports.
o We also, at this time, have no idea if other schools that we have on our schedule will even field teams. We play schools in multiple counties and sections. Each county and section will have their own guidance and directives that schools will ultimately follow the best way they can.
· Thoughts and Next steps
o This is uncharted territory, at least in the last 100 years, for schools, students, staff, parents, and education in general on all levels from pre-k to college.
· A pandemic and now coupled with a massive budget shortfall.
o There are really no concrete and complete answers. Safety is a priority for everyone. Keeping all of our students and staff safe is where we start. No one wants to do distance learning any longer; but for a while we may need to offer parents and students options and hybrid formats to ensure their comfort level during these difficult times.
o Please know that I value your opinions. There are so many opinions on so many elements of our society right now. I am squarely focused on how best to keep our students and staff safe, educate our students, and provide a pathway to returning to a normal structure. We will make decisions that will be directly reflective of our focus.
I know this is a very long email with a great deal of information. Thank you for taking the time to read it. Please reach out to me privately if you have questions.
Superintendent / Principal