Message from Superintendent Chris Evans 4-7-20

--- Published on April 07th 2020 ---
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Natomas Unified Families and Staff,

As our second pilot week heads to a close on Friday, there are 3 things I want to talk to you about:

  • Our Progress Towards Distance Learning
  • Taking Care of Ourselves – Physical and Emotionally
  • Looking Forward to Better Days Ahead

Our Progress Towards Distance Learning
Thanks to our very supportive staff, classified, certificated and management, we have connected with 98.4% of our students, provided over 6,000 Chromebooks, and loaned out 300 WiFi hotspots.  It’s been a logistical lift, focused on equity for all students. For example, only 44 elementary and K-8 students have not been reached. And our secondary schools have connected with most of their students as well.  As the pilots wind down, and everyone gets adjusted, we get to look ahead to April 20th and the full restart of the school year. Before we look ahead, I wanted to talk about taking care of ourselves.

Taking Care of Ourselves – Physical and Emotionally
Earlier today, we pushed a message out to 6th and 12th graders through their Natomas Unified email accounts where we shared this: We know that it is hard to be at home so much and to not see your friends and to not be able to do the normal fun things you do at your age.  If you are feeling sad or need someone to talk to, we understand. Please remember that at your school and in Natomas Unified, we are here for you. You are not alone. We care about you, and if you need support, please reach out to us or call someone for help. The information below is for you to use any time, day or night. For Assistance, go to: 

https://staging.natomasunified.org/gethelp/
California Youth Crisis Line – 24 hours a day 7 days a week, ages 12 to 24. Call or Text or call 1-800-843-5200

Website: calyouth.org

For PreK-5th grade, we did not send the email.  We are asking parents to be mindful these resources are available.  If you feel your students may need any of these resources, please use these tools and/or talk to your child about how they are feeling.  Do not hesitate to reach out to the contact information above. Our own https://staging.natomasunified.org/gethelp/ is monitored 24 hours a day and has been in existence for years now. It has saved over 100 lives already. For staff and parents/families, please use https://staging.natomasunified.org/gethelp/ any time you feel the need.  These are extraordinary times.  I know I miss the personal interaction of people.  I miss fist bumps, handshakes, and hugs. I miss seeing people all day, in person.  I am using social media, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype and Zoom to stay in touch with colleagues, friends, and family.  Do what you can to remain connected. I recognize using technology to stay connected is not the same as in person, but it helps.  It is so important we follow the state’s guidance for our physical health. And I am excited to see California may be flattening the curve if we keep following the guidance.  On top of our physical health, we must continue to focus on our emotional health. Please know we love you, care for you, and are here for you. This too shall pass, even if it’s longer than most of us could have ever expected.  As a history teacher, I think back to the Great Depression and World War II, and what families went through for years and years. Those folks became known as The Greatest Generation. We can support each other together through this pandemic and look ahead to better days.  We have greatness in us too. I truly believe that.

Speaking of better days…we want you to know we are moving ahead planning for those better days.  We are conducting interviews for vacant positions using technology. We have information coming out for current staff on Transfer and Reassignment.  Our enrollment office met today and should resume letting families know about 2020-21. We are taking new enrollments, we have hired new athletic coaches at Natomas High and Inderkum – we keep planning ahead.  Instructional and social emotionally, we are looking at a way to support students who end up not found from “The Unforgotten list” (down last night to 189 students), how we provide remediation for students who distance learning just doesn’t work for, how we continue interventions (academically and social emotionally going forward), and how we keep offering strong programs for students who start 2020-21on track and who hit the ground running.

We are attempting to reinvent K-12 education in four weeks and plan for 2020-21 at the same time.  It is daunting, but our Natomas Unified community deserves all we can give.  

I’ll reach out one more time before Spring Break starts next week. Take care!

Chris

For more parent/family resources go to:

Talking about COVID-19/Coronavirus

Talking to students about suicide