Volume 4 Issue 10 | April 2021
Minutes from past meetings and dates of upcoming meetings can be found here.
The last HSC meeting for this 2020/21 school year is Monday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m. Come celebrate with us and reflect on the challenges and successes we accomplished together this year!

Email us any time with questions or suggestions: president@leighhsc.org.
Highlights from Principal Kara Butler
Some Students are Back on Campus!
  • The start of in-person school was very smooth. The students were ready and prepared. Many noted they were happy to be back. We are moving to 4 days a week on 4/26.

Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremonies
  • Based on the majority vote by the Seniors, there will be two graduation ceremonies and they will take place in the Leigh Bowl; half the class will go to one ceremony, and the other half will go to the other ceremony. Both ceremonies will be on the same day: 10am and 5pm. Students can sign up for the time they prefer.

  • Dartmouth and Union Middle Schools will have their 8th Grade Promotion ceremonies at Leigh, to give them enough space to allow for social distancing. We are delighted to be able to support the Middle Schools in our community.

Looking Forward to the 2021/2022 Year
  • The CUHSD Board passed a resolution that students will return to 5-day-a-week in-person learning in the fall.

Construction Update
  • The main office is almost ready and the expected move-in date is early June. The blinders (covers) have come off the library windows. Grass will be going in next to the pool, so that people can sit either in the bleachers or on the grass; and asphalt will be poured on the blacktop sometime in May to make the blacktop smoother. Next project will be work on the Student Services Center which will become the teacher work room and lounge; it’s expected to be completed in August.

Highlights from Teacher Representative Celeste Smiley
  • As always, Ms. Smiley's monthly report is loaded with information and updates, including:
  • General Info
  • Class News
  • Club News

Thank you to Home and School Club:
  • A huge thank you from all the teachers for the wonderful lunch delivery (to homes and school). The teachers also love their new Leigh t-shirts!
Highlights from Student Representative Sydney Durand
Details about each of the following items can be found in the Student Weekly Bulletin from Dr. Anthoney Roe, Activities Director:

  • APRIL 27: Senior Movie Night is coming up on Tuesday, April 27 at 7:30PM
  • APRIL 28: The 9th Grade campus scavenger hunt
  • Leadership has been sharing information about Ramadan.
  • Seniors are invited to consider applying to give graduation speeches.
  • Seniors have the opportunity to decorate a parking space with chalk this year.
  • Prom tickets are now on sale.
Highlights from CUHSD Board President Kalen Gallagher
The 2021/2022 Year
  • At the April 15th Board meeting, Trustees approved a resolution affirming the District’s commitment to planning for fully in-person, five days a week, non-hybrid learning as the default educational program for the 2021-2022 school year. The resolution also directs staff to plan for a high-quality, separate option for families who do not want their student to attend the default model in the fall.

  • Advocacy at the state and county level is important - if you have thoughts on what public education should look like moving forward, we encourage you to reach out to the CUHSD Board, and also to send similar correspondence to your state and county representatives.

Parent Surveys
  • One of the district's core values is continuous improvement - and CUHSD will be leaning into that value as we build back. The district is sending out surveys to parents and students periodically. Please fill these out - your feedback is very important so we know what we need to improve.

Addressing learning loss and mental health
  • The district's Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) for the 2021-2022 school year is in development - look out for ways to be engaged.

  • Summer school: The district is planning to have expanded summer school at all school sites this summer. The focus will be on credit recovery.

  • Priority students and 9th graders who opted for in-person instruction came back to campus for 2 days/week, starting on April 12th. These students, as well as 10th, 11th and 12th grade students who opted for in-person instruction, will attend 4 days/week beginning on 4/26, space permitting. For those returning, all of the information you need is on the Leigh website Return to in-person instruction page (Mrs. Butler's webinar, ParentSquare App, Campus Map, a To Do list, etc).

  • Follow CUHSD on social media @mycuhsd on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

As a result of your very generous donations this year, we have raised $32,339 through our Annual Giving Drive and $11,833 in Corporate Matching. Thank you so much for your support. We are truly grateful! We had also been very fortunate to receive, earlier this year, two large donations: one of $24,100 and a second of $17,350K (including corporate match). We are thrilled to share that just this week we received another large donation of $7,500! A huge thank you to these families for their large donations and to everyone who donated this year. Your donations allow us to support the academic and social/emotional needs of all of our students. Thank you!

Our Board has been working closely over the last few months with Mrs. Butler to determine how these funds can be used in the most impactful way. We are excited to share that the following items were approved for funding at our March meeting:

  • $3,000: Mental Wellness Center
  • Purchase supplies, furniture, a library and other resources for the Wellness Center space

  • $5,000: Student assembly with Keith Hawkins
  • Kieth Hawkins came to Leigh two years ago and will return in the Fall to talk to students about reconnecting with each other and to their school after their year away. There will also be presentations for staff and for parents.

  • $14,719: English novels
  • Expand the titles of books available in the English Department so that the reading experiences for our diversifying student population act as a mirror to their experiences. In addition, the English teachers want to be able to pair more traditional curriculum with new titles, as well as being responsive to varied reading levels of our students.

  • $17,600: Staff anti-racism training
  • Staff will attend a training with an organization called School Leaders for Social Justice. This training will focus on how to build a school climate where all students feel safe and welcome and part of the community.

Mrs. Butler has also requested funding for a shade sail in the quad. She has been sourcing quotes for this project and is hoping to have a more precise cost by our May meeting. We hope to be able to also provide funding for this project.

A special THANK YOU to Hicklebee's Bookshop in Willow Glen for working with us to get optimal pricing for our new English Department novels. We're thrilled to be supporting, and to be supported by, a local independent business in our community.

We are very grateful to our staff and teachers for everything they have done and continue to do this year. There are 50 staff and 79 teachers at Leigh. During the past few weeks, our HSC put together the following as a small token of our appreciation for their hard work and dedication during this difficult year:

  • Lunch was delivered to each teacher either to their home or to school in early April.
  • Each teacher also received a Longhorn Strong T-shirt.
  • On April 12th, the first day back on campus, staff and teachers received a box of chocolates and a bag of treats which included a Leigh mask, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and madeleines. Thank you to all of the parents who donated Leigh masks during our mask sale last year!
Last year, Leigh introduced the HAERT program into our student's curriculum - an online video-based program to help improve students' mental health and emotional well-being. This program, funded by the Home & School Club, is a preventative approach to mental wellness and is now available to all students and parents. Details below. The founders of the program recently also held a parent workshop for Leigh parents.
Student & Parent access to HAERT online videos
Our freshmen and sophomore classes have been participating in the HAERT program as part of their Health class curriculum, and all of our students can access the program in their own time if they so wish. The program helps students create new habits for mental wellness through a combination of learning and guided practice. Students report feeling less stress, more control, and more confidence. Parents can also access the videos and use them to support their own mental health and well being.
Click to access: HAERT Program »

  • Student Log In: Username: student school email address; Password: LHS2020

On-Demand: Parent Wokshop
Presented by Barbara Tsai and Bill Lennan, founders of the HAERT program, this presentation addresses stress reduction activities, including physical activity, sleep, sunlight, social interaction, biofeedback, gratitude and decision making, and teaches you how to use and reinforce these pragmatic mental wellness skills. If you would like to read more, check out a blog post from the HAERT program founders focused on removing the stigma of mental health.
View Parent Workshop recording

  • Password: mYDnLp8@tT
Please note: this is audio and slides only so you will see a black screen for the first 3 minutes of the presentation and also during the Q&A.

College & Careers Presentation for 9th and 10th grade families
  • There will be a College & Careers presentation for 9th and 10th grade families on Wednesday April 28 at 7pm.The link to the webinar will be sent out to all families the day of the event.

Coffee with Mrs. G.; Parent Open Office Hours
Message from our Principal, Ms. Butler:

Leigh is so fortunate to have such an amazing array of volunteers and we are looking to acknowledge one that you think has made an impact on our community.

Please nominate as many parents as you would like. We know we have many amazing volunteers who deserve to be recognized. 
DEADLINE: Wednesday, May 5th, at midnight


Campus Beautification
  • Our Campus Beautification Team has installed new metal medallions with the current Leigh logo in the campus quad.

Mental Health
  • A committee of parent volunteers has been working on creating a Wellness Center. They’re gathering information from other local high schools that have already done this, and then they’ll put together something that works for Leigh and fits our space.

  • The HAERT program provides a series of videos about mental health and wellness, which our freshmen and sophomore classes have been watching as part of their Health class curriculum, and all of our students now have access to if they so wish. The HAERT program is also available to our parents. To obtain access, please send an email to hello@heartprogram.com. The founders of the HAERT program recently presented to our Leigh community and shared suggestions for stress reduction activities, focused particularly on the challenges experienced during the pandemic (see details in this newsletter above in the On-Demand Parent Workshop area).

Grad Night
  • Our Grad Night team is working really hard to ensure our Seniors will have a Grad Night to remember! The event will be at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and more information/ticket sales will be shared shortly. The team is also selling Senior Grad yard signs (and this is used as a fundraiser for the Grad Night celebration). Scroll down for details.

Join our Board & Committees
  • The Home & School Club invites you to join our Board and Committees next year. We would love to chat with you and discuss options that might work for you. More info below.

Have questions, comment, suggestions on anything HSC related? Please contact us at president@leighhs.org.
The Leigh Home & School Club invites you to join our Board and Committees next year. Given that many of our students and staff will be on campus for the first time in a long time, this will be a different year for all of us and we will need to provide more support than ever to our entire community.

Most Home & School Club tasks are done from home and do not require you to be at school. All skills and interests are needed, and you can put in as much or as little time as you have available. We have a variety of projects including project planning, community building, financial management, communications, fundraising, gardening, writing, technology support, volunteer coordination, College & Career Center support, and more! If you have a skill you'd like to share or you are someone who just likes to get stuff done, please get in touch!

We also need parents for annual events/activities such as Student Registration Support in August, the Stampede 5K Run/Walk in May, and Senior Grad Night in June.

Many of our Board roles are shared by two people, and we have multiple people on each of our committees. The more people we have, the more fun it is and the easier it is for all as we can share the workload. This is a wonderful way to support our school and also get to know other parents in our community!

We would love to chat with you and discuss options that might work for you. Please share your info using this form and we will be in touch with you shortly.

Join us and help make a difference at Leigh.
It takes a village - this is your village!

Do you work at a company that offers grants to non-profits?

The HSC has partially funded the HAERT Program for our Leigh students and families, and are in the process of raising additional funds through corporate donations to cover the remaining cost. If you work at a company that offers grants to nonprofits, we’re asking for your support to secure corporate funding that will help cover the program cost. 

Please connect with us at haertfundraising@leighhsc.org and we will provide the necessary information needed

Can you believe it? Do you hear that calendar page turning? Is your lawn feeling bare? Incredibly, graduation is just about two months away and that means it’s time to buy your “Leigh Grad” lawn sign to show how proud you are of your Leigh graduate! 
To order, please go to https://leighhsc.org/yardsigns/ and fill out the form/make your payment. We are planning on hosting our next pickup date at Leigh on May 5th from 5:00-:00pm. We will have other times as well so you will be able to choose which date/time works best for you once those dates are set. We will have pick up times at Leigh and you will be able to choose which date/time works best for you once those dates are set. 
Congrats to our seniors and their families on making it through these last two school years unlike any other. Any questions, please contact Alexis Hoekstra at alexishoekstra@comcast.net 

Thank you for supporting Leigh! (PS--These signs are used as a fundraiser for the Leigh Grad night celebration, the Herf Jones signs DO NOT funnel any portion of their profits to our school.)
Are you shopping on Amazon? Yes? Great! Use Amazon Smile and a % of your purchase automatically comes back to Leigh HSC. Shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/77-0199809 or with AmazonSmile ON in the app. This is free money for Leigh HSC - to date we have received $429 through this program. Thank you for your support!
Leigh High School Home and School Club is an all volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Tax ID # is 77-0199809. All donations are tax-deductible.