March 17, 2020
Dear Natomas Families,
I have promised to keep you updated, and here’s what I know. It may shift by the time you read this, but I want to be of help.
If you are watching the news, both Davis and all of Sacramento County have asked residents to shelter in place to slow the spread of the virus. The Bee reports that “In yet another dramatic move to fight the spread of coronavirus, Sacramento County health officials on Tuesday afternoon called on all residents, not just the elderly, to stay at home effective immediately unless they have essential chores to do, such as grocery shopping, banking, restaurant food pickups, or health appointments.“
I know this is scary for many. And I do not have the answers, but I can fill you in on school district/education issues.
The state is still supporting paying district employees. This is a great thing because we get to maintain our high-quality staff.
We were told that the state was giving us a directive tonight on how we would be required to educate students. However, these shelters in place are moving faster than the state can probably respond. By the time we receive direction from the state tonight, it may be adjusted again in a few days.
Parents and families will receive a technology survey tonight. We want to hear from you about laptop/computer access and want to assess WiFi accessibility. We will be as prepared as possible for future direction for education from the state. Plus, this is an extension of our technology master plan and future phases. While dealing with the realities of today, we are also planning for a better NUSD future. I know this is serious and scary to many. We have a resource page at https://natomasunified.org/coronavirus/covid-19-resources/. A part of that page focuses on how to talk to your own students. Of particular importance, if you want to talk to your students about COVID-19, use this resource: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fA6wGSBhKzAGA6iKuX8B0TB8b3ZixwOK/view.
As of now, we plan to continue to provide food to our students – as it is an essential function. We will wait for the state’s guidance, and decide if it is reasonable before we take the next steps. An extra thank you to Nutrition Services – 1,620 meals today. There are heroes everywhere:
- Our Nutrition Services providing meals,
- Our custodians cleaned campuses,
- Donations of books, toothbrushes, and offers from staff and community members to volunteer and help,
- Tight collaboration with Councilmember Ashby’s office is ongoing, and she has been very helpful,
- A school board that is 100% supportive of the safety of students and staff first, and planning for a brighter future.
And it’s this kind of love and action for others that will get us through this. I am grateful for you all. The health and safety of you and our kids is #1 to me and the Board.