November 2019 Newsletter
Dr. Kitamura and State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, who visited Sonoma County on November 8th to meet with superintendents about challenges including fires, power shutoffs, school closures.
A message from the Superintendent
Last month, I wrote to you about the first PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event at some of our schools. Since then, we have had two more power shutoffs, and also evacuations that closed all of our schools for a week.

We asked parents to contact their State Senator and Assembly Member to advocate that PSPS days be declared emergency days. First of all, I would like to clarify that I am not disregarding the lost instructional time during these events. Students miss important learning when schools have to close. But the reality of these power shutoffs begs for a flexible solution from Sacramento that does not hurt our students and schools, academically or financially.

PG&E has informed us that PSPS events may occur approximately six times per school year. This means the possible closure of some schools for 15 to 20 more days. How will we contend with this many missed days of school? Is it time to rethink the school calendar? That was one of the topics that local superintendents discussed with State Superintendent Tony Thurmond (pictured here) last week. One idea is to have school year-round, in which students attend school for 45 days, and then have 15 days off - particularly during the month of October. Another idea is to have a modified traditional calendar that still has 2 months off in the summer but has two-week breaks three times per year.

We are just beginning to think about this, and I would appreciate it if you share your thoughts by emailing: . I will keep you updated.
Dr. Diann Kitamura
Need food? REFB can help
Thank you to the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) for bringing emergency food distribution to our families, to help replace groceries lost in the power shutoffs and evacuation. Did you know that REFB is a partner at many of our schools? REFB distributes food weekly at Abraham Lincoln, Helen Lehman, Brook Hill, James Monroe and Luther Burbank elementary schools. They also visit Cesar Chavez Language Academy, Lawrence Cook Middle and Elsie Allen High. If your child attends any of these schools, contact the school office for details about food assistance. If you go to a different school, call the REFB Food Connections Team (bilingual) at 707-523-7903 between 9:00am-5:30pm to learn about other food distribution sites.
You are invited to "Vaping 101"
Parents, educators and teens: you are all invited to an important Community Education Event about vaping, which will be held in English and in Spanish in the month of December. The Impact Sonoma Team will share information about vaping, types of devices, health effects and resources for support. If you've been following recent news stories about the amount of students vaping, and increasing cases of severe lung disease, you'll want to attend this event.
Vaping 101 in English - Tuesday, Dec. 3 , 6:30-7:30pm
Vaping 101 in Spanish - Thursday, Dec. 12 , 6:30-7:30pm
At Lewis Education Center, 2230 Lomitas Avenue. If you have questions, call Yolanda at 707-890-3800 x80418
Update on ethnic studies and "CRSH"
To develop our ethnic studies curriculum, last month, some of our educators gathered to begin developing Ethnic Studies/Social Justice units of study. This Collaborative Curriculum Development is expected to result in lessons that are interdisciplinary and project-based. The units of study likely will be available to middle and high school teachers by late spring. Our school district is also working with a nationally recognized educator on CRSH (pronounced "crush") - culturally responsive, sustaining and humanizing education. About 90 teachers and administrators will be working with Dr. Curtis Acosta and his associates this school year, exploring the value of our students' cultural wealth and the assets they bring to the classroom and their learning. See the Acosta Educational Partnership website for more information.
North Bay Teacher Residency Program
There's a new paid opportunity for some members of our community who want to become teachers. If you have an undergraduate degree, and have been considering a career in teaching in one of the following fields: science, math, special education, multiple subject with bilingual authorization or single subject with bilingual authorization, you might be eligible for a paid student teaching position in the North Bay Teacher Residency Program. Educators in this program, like Nadia Bowen (pictured here) who is a teacher resident at Elsie Allen High, earn their teaching credential at the same time they get paid experience. There will be two information sessions about the program: November 21 and December 10, 4-5pm at 211 Ridgway Avenue. Contact Dr. Rani Goyal, Director of Teaching and Learning, for more information:
Board awards: some of our district's shining stars!
Each of our schools is showcased at a Board of Education meeting once a year. The school's principal and a parent leader usually give a presentation, and awards are presented to a student, classified staff member and certificated (teacher/counselor) staff member. Although the awards are called "student of the month" and "staff member of the month," for that school, it is really "student of the year" and staff member of the year."
In October, Elsie Allen High School, Lawrence Cook Middle School and Cesar Chavez Language Academy presented awards. Visit our Board of Education Awards web page to learn more about the staff and students who were honored.
Middle and high school report cards
Parents and guardians of middle and high school students should have received first quarter report cards in the mail during the past week. The report cards are also available in the Illuminate Ed parent portal. If you don't have access to the portal, please contact your school for your login information. You can find school phone numbers on our website: Our Schools
For more news, follow us on social media:
@SRCSchools #SRCStogether #madeinsantarosa
Santa Rosa City Schools
211 Ridgway Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95401