Dear HUSD Community,
The 2019-20 school year came to a close yesterday. This last week of school generated a mix of sadness and hope for me. Usually our schools are buzzing with activity from students presenting final projects, families participating in end-of-year celebrations, and staff closing up their classrooms. While our schools were not empty this week, the site of staff in masks and families needing to drive up to drop off materials and only wave goodbye to their teachers provided a sober reminder that we are still only in the middle of this pandemic.
Despite our new reality, I end the week
and the school year
filled with hope after our “walk the stage” events. These events for our seniors at each of our high schools (and the comparable promotion events at our middle and elementary schools) highlight the creativity, resilience, and togetherness of our community. Just last month, we were still planning to only host virtual graduations. However, our students advocated for an experience that would allow them to celebrate with their families as they received their diploma. Working with site leadership, staff, the City of Hayward, and our student and family leaders, we put together amazing events at each school. I spent time at each event talking with families (six feet away from their cars and with a mask on!) and I could see the emotion on parents’ faces as their graduate prepared to walk the stage. Students were beaming as their names were called, and as they strode proudly across the stage, it became clear how important this moment was for them.
We talk a lot about the current circumstances that led our students to miss out on important rights of passage, but I know that this group of students won’t be defined by what happened to them. I
nstead, they’ll be forever shaped by how they adapted, learned, grew, and persevered through what seems like an insurmountable challenge. They are
Made in Hayward
and ready for anything the world has in store for them.
I appreciate your continued partnership.