Superintendent's Weekly Summary - November 10th

  • Community and Parents

Dear Westside Parents and Community Members,

The rain this past weekend served as a reminder to us that the cooler weather has arrived, but it certainly was a much appreciated change from the dry conditions we’ve experienced.  
The hail was unexpected, but also an interesting weather phenomenon, coupled with snow in our local mountains, all letting us know that winter will soon be here.

On Wednesday, November 11th we pause to recognize the sacrifices made by members of our military while protecting our freedoms throughout the history of our nation. It is a time our community also pauses to thank our Veterans as well, and some of you may want to consider joining recognition programs at Pelona Vista Park in Palmdale, at the Lancaster Cemetery, or at other venues in our community.  Remember that these venues must maintain social distancing and masks may be required, but it is a time for our students to learn about the sacrifices of the United States military.

If you have children in grades TK-2nd, you should have received information about a survey being conducted to help with processing our waiver request to Los Angeles County Public Health that may enable us to reopen our schools in hybrid presentation for students in the primary grades.  Please take a few minutes to check the email address we have on file for you to find information about the survey and your unique link to complete it.  We will take responses from you until Friday, November 13th at 4:30 p.m. These results will be used as a support for our waiver requests for each school demonstrating that the community would like to have students return to school.  In addition, the District must consult with our two labor partners, WUTA (Westside Union Teachers’ Association) and CSEA Chapter #398 (California School Employees Association).  We anticipate filing our 10 waivers (one for each school housing TK-2nd grades) prior to our Thanksgiving break.  How soon we will be able to get an approval will depend on how many schools apply (only 30 per week in LA County will be approved).  Priority for waiver approval is based on the supervisorial district and poverty level of the school.  Once recommended for approval, the waiver must also be approved by the State.  

We have also surveyed the parents of our special needs and English learner students about returning to school for hybrid services, some on campus, and some distance learning.  Our responses indicated mixed feedback about returning to school.  As a result we will continue to work with our unions to discuss the working conditions that may result from teachers meeting the needs of both students who return to the campus, while also working with students whose parents do not want them to return to the campus.  As you know, over the summer, we developed programs for students whose parents did not want them to return to campus this school year, and they were matched with teachers who also chose to remain instructing students through distance learning for the school year.  Those programs have been operational since the beginning of the school year.  Students who entered hybrid programs in August knowing that they might return to school this year, but now want to make another choice will likely require additional time as we create more programs to meet those parental requests.  Your patience as we create more programs for students will be appreciated.

Some parents have requested daycare information as well.  We have options available for all district students at Cottonwood, Gregg Anderson Academy and Quartz Hill Schools through various vendors.  If you are interested, please contact the Boys & Girls Club, YMCA or Innovation Education to request more information.  

Some of our parent groups at the schools are collecting canned goods during the coming weeks to help provide Thanksgiving meals to community families.  Please check with your local school about events that may be happening.

Thanks so much to our parents and staff that joined in our recent Halloween parades at our schools.  Everyone enjoyed having a chance to see each other in person and dress up in their costumes.  Thanks to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for the help with traffic control at the schools where that was needed.  If you didn’t see some of the pictures from this event, please check out either the District Facebook Page or that of the local PTA/PTSA.

If you were not able to attend the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Town Hall, there will be a list of frequently asked questions as well as responses from questions asked at the meeting for your review.  Please visit the LACDPH website for those answers.

The Board of Trustees will hold regular meetings on Tuesday, November 10 and 17.  The public sessions start at 6 p.m., and you can find the meeting web address on our website at www.westside.k12.ca.us/agendas for your participation.  

As always, thanks for all you do to support our students.  Your continued support is exceptional.  

Thanking our Veterans,

Regina L. Rossall
Superintendent
 

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