Dear Redwood Heights Community,
I hope all is well. Even though my official start date is July 27, Ms. K’s is August 4th and teachers are August 5th, I just wanted to check-in with everyone and hear your thoughts. I will have a town hall meeting THIS Friday, 7/24/2020am @10am. Jennifer Wilson, our HUGS counselor will be supporting us at this Zoom meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to share your concerns about the upcoming school year and to begin an ongoing year-long conversation about how to best support students, how to create a cohesive engaged community, and how to keep everyone safe in the mix of this COVID 19 era.
To all of our new and incoming kindergarten families, we will have a separate meeting once our teachers return to work. More details to come…
Topic: RHS TOWN HALL MEETING @ 10am, 7/24/2020
Time: Jul 24, 2020 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 890 7678 6274
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+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 890 7678 6274
Find your local number: https://ousd.zoom.us/u/kAoHmx165
COVID SAFETY & Supporting RHS
Based on Governor Newsom’s announcement on July 17, all public, private and charter schools must wait to reopen for in-person instruction until their counties have been off the COVID-19 watchlist for 14 days. Alameda County is currently on this list. Here is a link to Governor Newsom’s announcement.
The spread of COVID-19 in our community has taken an unpredictable turn as hospitalizations rise and the number of infections are increasing on a daily basis. I want to make sure that our staff members are prepared and start the process of stockpiling PPE materials in the event that your children come back to school in some type of modified learning environment. Even though OUSD will provide PPEs, I would like your help and support to make sure that we have ample amounts of sanitation wipes, hand sanitizer, face masks, children and adult gloves, and sanitation cleaning supplies on hand so that we can be ready to keep your children and families safe. I have been working with Redwood Heights DPCR-Disaster Preparedness Crisis Response Team and they will spearhead these efforts. In light of recent recalls on hand sanitizer, I would like to make sure that we are informing our families to keep them safe and make sure that any donated PPE supplies are safe for our children. Please check out this link for more information about FDA approved hand sanitizers. Thank you for your support and together we can keep our community safe. This a great resources for keeping track of COVID-19 status: https://projects.sfchronicle.com/2020/coronavirus-map/
RHS FALL 2020 REGISTRATION
Our Redwood Heights Registration dates are Friday, 8/7 @ 3 pm -7 pm and Saturday, 8/8 @ 9 am -1pm. More details to come within the next 10 days after I meet with our Office ADMINs Ms. K and Ms. Margaret. They are currently on vacation.
A Note about “Pandemic Pods”
I am aware that some families are in the process of creating “pandemic pods.” While forming pandemic pods can be advantageous in many ways for kids and parents, they do compound the existing inequities many of our Oakland families are already facing.
We ask you to keep in mind that RHS students come from all parts of Oakland, creating barriers for many to join a pod. This causes equity issues and potential feelings of exclusion, especially for kids who may see or hear of their peers congregating and learning together while they remain isolated. We encourage families to be sensitive to these circumstances. Additionally, there are concerns that pods will increase transmission, which will prolong distance learning and delay our return to school. We know that everyone is doing the best they can to support their families in these trying times, and as a community, we must strive to welcome and support all of our members.
Considerable time and effort have been spent creating balanced classes for the 2020-21 school year. Grade-level teaching teams will be collaborating regularly to ensure that instructional programming is similar, if not exactly the same, across all classrooms. Requests to place students in classes together based on pandemic pods or teacher preference will not be honored.
As we become aware of more information from the state, district, and other entities, we are committed at Redwood Heights to sharing it as soon as possible. I will resume our weekly RHS Coffee Chats for parents to help answer questions and hear directly from our community during this challenging time.
In partnership and with appreciation,
MESSAGE FROM HUGS Counselor, Ms. Jennifer Wilson:
Greetings RHS Community,
As summer winds down and I process what the school year will bring, a range of feelings arise. I know I am not alone in these feelings. I think about whether OUSD can keep me safe, can I keep myself safe, will OUSD help keep my own son safe at his school, is distance learning the new norm, and how is this impacting my child. I think about what my role will be at RHS as we continue living in this time. What I do know is that Change is present and steady. I think about how I will maintain my flexibility and grace in a time when I feel helpless.
At RHS, I am thinking about and planning for the following:
- COVID and safety - I have been on the school’s Disaster Preparedness Crisis Response(DPCR) committee for 5 plus years. The DPCR co-chairs, Leah W. and Vanessa B., and I have already met with Principal Bagby to discuss how DPCR can align with OUSD, Alameda County, and the state to reopen the in-person school. Moving forward, if and when school opens to in-person learning, I will be continuing to take a strong role in helping keep our staff, teachers, and students safe.
- Social-Emotional Learning - I will continue to provide support whether virtually or in-person to the RHS community. This is a stressful time with so much uncertainty and taking care of our emotional health is critical. With students, if we aren’t able to tend to their social-emotional health, learning will be even harder, if not impossible. As parents, it is also important that we take care of ourselves so that we may better support our children. I want to focus on connection, community, and relationships.
- Equity, Social Justice and Race - Events this summer have peeled the bandaid off the severity and depth of racism in this country and the impact of racial injustice. This is not news for African American people, who have long been speaking about this and ignored or not taken seriously by white people. At RHS, I will continue the anti-racist work so that all students and families feel welcome, have equal opportunities for learning, and supported for who they are. Additionally, and in alignment with our School Site Council mission, I will continue the support of students with disabilities and gender diverse students. I look forward to working with our RHS community for these important and sometimes uncomfortable conversations.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for questions, concerns, and conversation at firstname.lastname@example.org