I truly hope this email finds all of you healthy and well.
As many of you have seen by now, PAUSD has extended the school closure through May 1st, so I am sorry to say that it will be quite some time until we are all together again. This email will serve in lieu of our March General Association meeting. Please read through for a quick update on the PTA as well as information about how you can secure help for your PAUSD student and family during the shelter-in-place order as well as information about how we may support families in need.
First off, thank you to everyone who participated in Saturday's online auction & virtual bidding party. Thanks to your generosity we raised over $27,000 including $10,000 to significantly increase the PTA's Field Trip fund and protect field trips for all Barron Park students next year. And a huge THANK YOU is due to our co-VPs of Fundraising, Chris Parikh and Scott Anderson and their team of superheroes who planned our annual auction event and quickly (and successfully) pivoted to an online format. Thanks to their efforts our PTA is poised to end the year "in the black" and potentially in surplus after the cancelation of all our spring events... but more on that in a bit...
At the last executive board meeting our 2020/21 Nominations Committee was formed - thank you Lindsey Schroeder, Pearlin Yang and Agata Barczynska. These three ladies will be working to assemble a slate of nominees to positions on our Executive Board. The Executive Board positions and job descriptions can be viewed here. If you are interested in being nominated to a position on the Executive Board please email any one of the three committee members or email@example.com. Nominees will be voted into office in May 2020.
SCHOOL CLOSURE & DISTANCE LEARNING
Again, today Dr. Austin announced that PAUSD schools will remain closed through May 1st. Students are primarily engaging with teachers and their curriculum in an online "Flexible Learning Option" format. If you have not yet received a wifi enabled device (iPad or Chromebook) and/or wifi hotspot for your student/family please contact our Student and Family Engagement Specialist Christian Munoz as soon as possible. These devises are available to be loaned to any PAUSD family who needs it free-of-charge through school closure.
FREE BOXED LUNCH
The district continues to provide free boxed lunches from 11am - 1pm at three school sites: JLS Middle School (480 East Meadow Drive), Gunn High School (780 Arastradero Road), and Greene Middle School (750 N California Avenue). Despite earlier direction, you no longer need a child 18 years old or younger to be present to receive meals, you need only request the number of meals you need at the site and they will be provided. The district is currently distributing over 500 meals daily to families & students - including over 120 dropped off at the Buena Vista Mobile Park each day! Families residing in East Palo Alto may also visit any Ravenswood School District site to receive a boxed lunch.
GIFT CARD DRIVE
During the districtwide shut down, shelter in place guidelines, and many local business layoffs, we hope to support all members of our school community. We, Barron Park staff, administration, and PTA ask for your help during these unprecedented times. If you are able to help support members of our community with limited resources, experiencing layoffs, or illness, we would greatly appreciate any donation of gift cards (i.e., Safeway, Grocery Outlet, Walmart, Target). Cards should be dropped off at: 765 Josina Ave in the brown storage box by the garage door. Thank you to early donors, we've already collected over $200 in cards.
If you need help during this time, don't hesitate to reach out to staff, or our Student and Family Engagement Specialist, Christian Muñoz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many in our school and local community have asked how to provide direct financial help to PAUSD families who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 shelter in place order. The Palo Alto Community Fund (PACF) launched a COVID-19 Relief Fund specifically aimed at supporting urgent need in our nearby community, with a specific focus on PAUSD families. PACF launched the fund with a $100,000 investment, of which a sizable portion was designated to help meet basic life needs for families of students attending PAUSD schools. As PACF’s fund grows, so will the support to the PAUSD community. A method for requesting support from the fund will be available in the next few days. In the meantime please donate using this link if you are able to support this effort or direct any questions about the fund to me: email@example.com.
SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES
Finally, I'd like to recognize many of the local businesses that are struggling during the shelter in place order. Several local restaurants: Siam Fine Thai Cuisine in Palo Alto, State Of Mind Public House and Pizzeria in Los Altos and Joya/La Strada Ristorante in Palo Alto are owned by Barron Park community families - and I'm sure there may be many many more! If you're considering ordering take out for your family, please consider a local business. Below are a listing of just some of the local restaurants that have supported Barron Park Elementary School and PAUSD. I=f you are local business owner - or have a business to nominate - please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org the PTA Council is assembling a list of supportive local businesses.
Thank you all, stay safe & healthy,
Barron Park PTA President