2023-2024 Updates

  • September 13: Message to the SMUHSD CommunityThe Spotlight Report Cover

    Spanish

    Dear SMUHSD Students, Families, Educators and Community Members:

    The 2023-24 school year is off to an amazing start. This year we welcomed 8,814 students at our six comprehensive schools, our continuation school, and our Bridge and Middle College Programs. Our adult school, San Mateo Adult and Career Education, welcomed 2,314 adult learners, and they are still registering more students. 

    Our educators continue to focus on intersections and interdependability to both continue to support our strengths and grow where we need to improve as a District. 

    I’m so excited to share our first-ever District annual report: Spotlight - a Year of Student Learning and Success 2022-23 which is a comprehensive reflection of all we were able to accomplish last year through your support, and it serves as a starting point for this school year. I know we will continue to achieve great things, and we could not do it without the part that YOU - our students, families, educators and community members play in our organization. 

    Thank you for all that you do to support our schools, programs and District!

    Sincerely,

    Randall Booker
    Superintendent 


     

  • August 14, 2023: Welcome Back to School

    Spanish

    Dear SMUHSD Students, Families, Educators and Community Members:

    I am so excited to kick off this school year and invite you to watch our Welcome Back to School video (Spanish). 

    This year we will focus on our intersections and interdependability on one another. I believe these assets make us strong beyond measure! 

    The intersections and interdependability between EVERY student, family member, educator and member of our community speak to the strength of our team and support our goal of student success. The 2023-24 school year will center on building and celebrating these intersections, serve as a model for our community and embody the vision and goals of SMUHSD.

    Here’s to a fantastic 2023-2024 school year. Welcome back! 

    Sincerely,

    Randall Booker
    Superintendent


     

2022-2023 Updates

  • June 9, 2023: Congratulations on an Amazing 2022-2023 School Year

    Spanish

    Dear Students, Families, Community Members and Educators: 

    Thank you for an incredible school year! These 10 months have been transformational for our District in many ways, and I hope that each of you feels a sense of achievement and pride for a job well done this year. 

    Last night I shared with our Board of Trustees a long list of accomplishments from the Spring Semester of 2023. None of this would have been possible without the support of the entire SMUHSD Community! My heart is filled with gratitude for all that we have been able to achieve together thanks to the support of our families, educators, community members and our most precious asset, our students.You can learn more by reading the full report to the Board or watching the presentation. You can also see highlights from the Fall Semester to get a sense of our achievements for the entire school year. 

    I am looking forward to the summer…a time to recharge and reset.  August will be here before we know it, and our educators will be gifted with another opportunity to truly change the lives of our students. So, this message serves as an extension of congratulations, gratitude and my wishes for a wonderful summer!  Thank you for all that you do to grow and build a brighter SMUHSD for our students.

    Sincerely,

    Randall Booker
    Superintendent

  • April 21, 2023: Update

    Spanish

    Dear Students, Families and Educators: 

    We have just a little over a month until the end of the 2022-23 school year, and I continue to be grateful for and amazed by the members of this school community who have made some incredible accomplishments. 

    Spring semester is a time of year when our educators often feel grounded in two realities - the present and the future. We are committed to being present and supporting our 12th graders in getting across the finish line to graduation and what lies ahead. We are supporting our 11th, 10th and 9th graders in finishing the academic year strong so that they can be successful next year. We are looking ahead to the future and thinking of our incoming 9th graders and how we will support these new learners and their families. We are always thinking of the social-emotional health and wellness of all of our current and future students and finding the best ways to support the whole student. 

    Centering Student Learning and Voices 

    As a District we believe in centering students in all that we do. I encourage you to follow our Spotlight on Student Learning webpage. The Spotlight on Student Learning is our District’s intention to shine a light on both the progress we are making and areas we need to improve. 

    This year, we are centering student voices in proclamations brought to our Board by encouraging students to contribute to writing these documents. In my last message, I shared the Cesar Chavez Day Proclamation which was read to our Board by San Mateo High School Student, Nadia Garcia Ferreyra (watch the recording). Our Board also adopted an Autism Awareness Month Proclamation at our April 6 Board Meeting. Watch Siddharth Das a 10th  grader, read the proclamation. On April 20, our Board adopted a proclamation to recognize Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and National Arab American Heritage Month. Read more about all of the proclamations adopted by our Board. If you have an interest in contributing to the writing of a proclamation, please reach out to my office.   

    Construction Updates

    The District looks forward to celebrating the start of construction on new gymnasiums at groundbreaking ceremonies at San Mateo High on May 16 and Burlingame High on May 17. Both events are scheduled for 4 p.m. and the public is invited to join us in this celebration. Construction on the gymnasiums is scheduled from May 2023 through January 2025. The District is ever grateful for the supporters of Measure L, a $385 million general obligation bond to make improvements to facilities across the District.

    As a high school district, we have four short years to make a lasting impression on our students. It is an awesome responsibility, and our educators are up for the challenge. Thank you to all of our students, parents, educators and community members who support us in this important work.

    Sincerely,

    Randall Booker
    Superintendent

  • March 21, 2023: Spring 2023 Update 

    Spanish

    Dear Students, Families and Educators: 

    We are about halfway through the Spring Semester with Spring Recess just around the corner from March 27-31. I want to express my gratitude to our San Mateo Union High School District Community for their support in serving our students and their achievements. I am continually amazed by the teamwork in this District between our students, educators, family members and community members. I tell our staff members frequently that ALL of our staff are educators in service to our students. They have all chosen a career in education and we all, no matter what our role, impact the lives of our students. This is a privilege, and I am grateful to be a part of this team and in service to our community.   

    Spotlight on Student LearningSpotlight on student learning

    In my December message to the community, I introduced our District’s Spotlight on Student Learning - our District’s intention to shine a light on both the progress we are making and areas we need to improve. Since then we’ve highlighted the number of students on track for graduation; student discipline and attendance; our instructional leadership initiative; first semester highlights and professional learning for our educators. Learn more about our successes and areas for growth by visiting our website.    

    Community Celebrations and Observances

    Celebrations and observances are so important to the fabric of our community. They are a time when families gather together to reflect on the tenets and values they hold dear. As a District we honor the many ways the members of our community come together in celebration and observance. 

    Women’s History MonthWomen's History Month: March

    March is Women’s History Month. In February, our Board adopted a National Women’s History Month proclamation which was drafted with student input. I want to share a special thank you to all of the women in our District who make up 60 percent of the SMUHSD workforce and 48 percent of the student body. The women in our District (both educators and students) exhibit such strength and resolve. I am exceptionally grateful for their guidance, support, patience, wisdom and grace.



    National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 

    March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (D.D.A.M.). D.D.A.M. is observed throughout March as a nationwide event to raise acceptance for the inclusion of all people with developmental disabilities and to continue to address the barriers that exist for these individuals. Our Board of Trustees adopted a proclamation to recognize D.D.A.M. at their March 9 meeting. 



    Ramadan Begins March 23Ramadan Kareem

    March 23 marks the first day of Ramadan - a holy month of worship observed by Muslims around the world. It is a month that exemplifies the Islamic values of gratitude, strengthening bonds of kinship, spirituality, and maximizing acts of charity. Muslim staff and students in our classrooms will be fasting from dawn to sunset from Thursday, March 23 through Friday, April 21, with the three celebratory days of Eid al-Fitr starting on Saturday, April 22. 



    Cesar Chavez Day is March 31Cesar Chavez

    Born near Yuma, Arizona in 1927, Cesar Chavez and his family moved to California after losing their home during the Great Depression. Toiling in the fields from a young age, Chavez faced dismal working conditions, racism, abuse and exploitation. Moved to confront these injustices, he began working as an organizer in the farmworker community, advocating for improvements in their working and living conditions. Cesar Chavez empowered thousands to stand together for their rights and led our nation toward a more equitable and just society. I look forward to sharing a proclamation with our Board at their March 23 meeting to recognize this day. 


    Passover Begins April 5

    Passover (also known as Pesach) has been an integral part of the Jewish faith for centuries, as a celebration of when the Jewish people were freed from slavery in Egypt. In the Biblical story of their escape, the Jews were spared by the Angel of Death after they marked their doorways with lamb's blood. The celebration begins on the 15th day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, which coincides with a full moon. In 2023, Passover begins at sundown on April 5 and lasts until the evening of Thursday, April 13.


    Easter is April 9

    Easter is a Christian festival and cultural holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial following his crucifixion c. 30 AD. Easter is preceded by Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. This year, Easter is Sunday, April 9. 


    Around the District

    Art ShowART Show

    The District Office hosted an Art Exhibit the week of February 27 featuring the artwork of extraordinarily talented art students from Burlingame, Capuchino, Hillsdale, Mills and San Mateo High Schools. The exhibit was open to the public and a number of classes visited the District Office to view the work of their fellow students.


    Career ExpoThree people at the Career Tech Expo


    Hundreds of students and their families turned out at the District’s third Career Expo on March 14. Attendees had access to numerous employers, and learned about career paths and opportunities they may not have considered before. This year they could participate in hands-on activities in the automotive, cosmetology and trade industries for example. It is extremely important to give our students exposure to alternative pathways in addition to a four year university after graduation. This event helped our young people to gain knowledge about the many career opportunities available to them in the Bay Area.


    Board Study Sessions 

    A Board Study Session is a public meeting that gives our educators an opportunity to share their knowledge about a particular topic with the Board of Trustees and members of the public. On March 15, we hosted a Study Session on Ethnic Studies - where presenters provided the board with the background of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum and the associated legislation

    that makes Ethnic Studies a high school graduation requirement. The main presentation was provided by San Mateo Union High School District educators, with representatives from each of the comprehensive schools. The educators provided an overview of the District’s 9th grade Ethnic Studies curriculum. There was also an opportunity for public comment and Board Discussion. You can learn more about this topic by reading the full board report or watching the session recording

    Upcoming Study Session topics include:

    • US History Course of Study - April 13 - 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

    • District Budget - April 27 - 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

    • Staff Housing - September - date to be decided


    Construction Updates Board members cut the ceremonial ribbon at the MHS Sports Complex

    The District celebrated the completion of construction of Mills High School's new Sports Complex at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 16. Attendees were among the first to see the school’s new baseball, soccer, softball and multi-purpose fields and new tennis courts. 

    The District looks forward to celebrating the beginning of construction of new gymnasiums at San Mateo High on May 16 and Burlingame High on May 17. Both events will be held at 4 p.m., and we invite the community to join us. 

    The San Mateo Union High School District wishes to extend its gratitude to the voters and taxpayers of our District for their support of Measure L - a $385 million general obligation bond to make improvements to facilities across the District.

    Let’s keep in touch

    Sincerely,

    Randall Booker
    Superintendent

  • February 27, 2023: SMUHSD Schools to Participate in Naloxone Program  

    Dear Students, Families and Staff: 

    In response to the growing national and local fentanyl epidemic, and in partnership with the San Mateo County Office of Education’s Coalition for Safe Schools, the San Mateo Union High School District has taken proactive steps to be prepared should a student experience an opioid overdose while on our campuses. We now have life saving Naloxone nasal spray also known as Narcan for every school site. Naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose, including overdose from heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications. Starting in March, this opioid antagonist will be stored in all school sites’ health offices, athletic training offices and included in AED storage boxes.

    Naloxone nasal spray will be administered by trained staff members during a suspected opioid overdose. All of our school sites have a number of emergency and rescue measures at their disposal, including AEDs to restart heart rhythms, Epi-Pen auto-injectors in the case of a severe allergic reaction, and now Naloxone nasal spray.

    We encourage parents/guardians to have open conversations with their high school students about the dangers of fentanyl and other opioids. The California Department of Public Health has resources on its website to help the public understand the effects of fentanyl and other opioids.

    SMUHSD Health Services has obtained the Naloxone free of charge through the California Department of Health Care Services Naloxone Distribution Project. If you have any questions about Narcan Nasal Spray, please visit the Naloxone Distribution’s Project FAQs page. 

    Sincerely,

    Sara Devaney, MS
    Manager of Health Services

    January 27, 2023: Thoughts on Half Moon Bay and a Special Edition of the Board Meeting Summary

    Spanish

    Dear Students, Families, Educators and Community Members:

    I am saddened by continued violence in our world, state and now our own county in Half Moon Bay - a town where many of our educators live and where many of us have close ties to the community. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the entire Half Moon Bay community.  I want to reiterate the resources I shared in my message Monday regarding the Monterey Park tragedy. We know these events, particularly those that are close to home can have a direct impact on the mental health of our community members. We want to continue to assure you that the San Mateo Union High School District is committed to the safety of our schools and the well-being of our community. If you or someone you know needs help, please see our Mental Health and Wellness webpage to learn more about resources for you and your loved ones.  

    Board Meeting Summary 

    At last night’s Board Meeting, as part of our Spotlight on Student Learning, I shared highlights from the Fall Semester of 2022 with our SMUHSD Board of Trustees. While the list doesn’t include everything we have been able to achieve as a District since the start of the school year, it does serve as a snapshot of some of the amazing things we’ve been able to accomplish through hard work and our partnerships with students, their families, our educators and community partners. 

    I can’t say it often enough - thank you for the contributions you make to our District to support successful outcomes for our students. These accomplishments would not be possible without you! Learn more by reading the list of our accomplishments and viewing the slide deck shared with the Board. You can also view the recording of this presentation last night.  

    Last night our Board also unanimously adopted a proclamation to recognize February 2023 as Black History Month. This proclamation is special, because it was written in part by students of the Black Student Union from Capuchino High School. Through the adoption of this proclamation, we recognize not only the many different talents of African Americans but also the great achievements, contributions, and sacrifices they have made to help create equity and equality for all. Learn more by reading the proclamation and viewing the recording of the presentation

    The Board also unanimously approved a request made by the Capuchino Black Student Union to fly the Pan-African flag at our schools and sites during Black History Month to commemorate the historical sacrifices of Black people for the sake of Black liberation and equality, including equitable education. This flag signifies unity and the fight against injustice. Learn more by reading the full report shared with our Board and watching the recording of the presentation

    Please read our Board Meeting Summary to learn more about other actions taken at last night’s meeting. Again, thank you for all that you do to support one another, our schools and our District.

    Sincerely,

    Randall Booker
    Superintendent

  • January 23, 2023: Mental Health Support for our Community in the Wake of Monterey Park Tragedy

    Spanish

    The recent mass shootings and the tragedy at Monterey Park in particular are heartbreaking and can surface fears about safety. We know events like these can impact the physical and mental well-being of our students, staff, and families. 

    We encourage you to connect with your friends and family and support each other and seek help as it is needed. We want to assure you that the San Mateo Union High School District is committed to the safety of our schools and the well-being of our community. 

    Whatever you or your family are experiencing, we want you to know that you are not alone and that support is available at school and in our community. 

    If you or someone you know needs help, please see our Mental Health and Wellness webpage to learn more about resources for you and your loved ones.  


    Friday, January 6: BHS Update

    BHS is closed today - Friday, January 6 due to a water main break.  Visit the BHS website for updates


    SMUHSD Schools Will OPEN Tomorrow - Friday, January 6

    Dear Students and Families: 

    Thankfully the weather has improved, and our schools will open tomorrow. Schools will operate using odd block schedules (periods 1, 3, 5 and 7) published on their websites: 

    AHS Learning Schedule

    BHS Learning Schedule

    CHS Learning Schedule

    HHS Learning Schedule

    MHS Learning Schedule 

    SMHS Learning Schedule

    Peninsula High and Bridge will operate using their regular schedules. Middle College will follow its special orientation event schedule.  

    Thank you for your patience with our school communities during this unexpected closure. Please see our website for updates in the event of future inclement weather.  


    Sincerely, 

    Randall Booker 
    Superintendent

2022-2023 District Updates

  • SMUHSD Schools Will OPEN Tomorrow - Friday, January 6

    Dear Students and Families: 

    Thankfully the weather has improved, and our schools will open tomorrow. Schools will operate using odd block schedules (periods 1, 3, 5 and 7) published on their websites: 

    AHS Learning Schedule

    BHS Learning Schedule

    CHS Learning Schedule

    HHS Learning Schedule

    MHS Learning Schedule 

    SMHS Learning Schedule

    Peninsula High and Bridge will operate using their regular schedules. Middle College will follow its special orientation event schedule.  

    Thank you for your patience with our school communities during this unexpected closure. Please see our website for updates in the event of future inclement weather.  

    Sincerely, 

    Randall Booker 
    Superintendent


    January 3, 2023: UPDATE - School to open Wednesday and will close Thursday Due to Weather

    Dear Students and Families: 

    Heavy rains are forecasted to begin in our region again tomorrow around 3 p.m. Following the guidance of county emergency leaders and the San Mateo County Office of Education, I have decided to:

    • Open schools tomorrow, Wednesday, January 4 on a modified EVEN schedule:

      • Period 2 - 8:30 -10:00 a.m.

      • Break - 10:00-10:10 a.m.

      • Period 4 - 10:17-11:47 a.m.

      • Lunch - 11:47 a.m.-12:17 p.m.

      • Period 6 - 12:24-1:54 p.m.

      • Peninsula High, Middle College and Bridge will operate on their regular schedules.  

    • All afterschool activities on Wednesday are canceled. Students and staff should plan to go directly home from school after dismissal Wednesday.

    • I have decided to close all of our schools and programs on Thursday, January 5 due to the potential for severe weather and dangerous traffic conditions. 

    • We are hopeful that we will be able to open on Friday, January 6. We will send you an update on this decision no later than 4 p.m. on Thursday. We will also provide updates on the homepage of our website www.smuhsd.org   

    Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

    Sincerely,

    Randall Booker
    Superintendent

  • December 15: A Message of Reflection and Gratitude

    Spanish

    Dear Students, Families and Educators:

    We’ve made it to the end of the fall semester, and I’m so proud of what we have accomplished collectively, so far this school year. Our students have worked hard with the support of our educators and their parents and guardians. 

    I want to reflect on a few highlights from the year so far.

    Spotlight on Student Learning

    We’ve begun to intentionally shine a spotlight on both the progress we are making in student learning and the areas where we need to improve. We call this our Spotlight on Student Learning, and we bring this topic to our Board and regularly in meetings among educators. In our Spotlights on Student Learning we: celebrate student success; call-out areas where we need to grow and improve; and outline tangible steps that we will take to address the area of growth. This will force an acknowledgement of and discussion on how we will collectively tackle and disrupt student performance outcome trends in an extremely public and explicit way. In my mind this is the only way to address areas where we need to improve. Learn more by visiting our Spotlight on Student Learning webpage.  

    120th Anniversary of the District and San Mateo High School

    On October 8, we celebrated the 120th Anniversary of San Mateo High School and the District. What a joyous time this was for the members of this school community who have such a rich history and traditions. If you missed the celebration, you can enjoy a look back by visiting the SMHS 120th Anniversary webpage.

    Bond Update

    We celebrated the completion of the Sports Complex at Capuchino High School at a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on November 28. Unfortunately, our celebration of the Mills Sports Complex was canceled due to weather. We’ll reschedule this event in 2023 and will communicate details with the community. You can also visit the Mills Ribbon Cutting webpage for details. In May 2023, we will celebrate the start of construction of new gyms at Burlingame and San Mateo High Schools. The District wishes to extend its gratitude to the voters and taxpayers of our District for their support of Measure L - a $385 million general obligation bond to make improvements across the District. Visit our Measure L webpage, for the latest news on these and other projects in the District. 

    I want to express my gratitude to all of our educators who are charged with the care and education of our students. I have told our staff here at the District many times that they are ALL educators whether they teach in a classroom or have another role in our District. Each of the adults in our District have something to share and teach the teens in our care. What a privilege this is as well as a tremendous responsibility. I am grateful to each of the educators at SMUHSD and the roles they play in supporting our students. 

    And a word of gratitude and support to our parents and guardians…raising a teen to adulthood is a monumental feat. It is a marathon not a sprint. I hope you will have the opportunity over recess to enjoy time with your teen. These years are fleeting, and our District and schools are here to support you. Thank you for all you do to help your students bring their whole and best selves to school.    

    We have so much to look forward to in 2023. I feel like there couldn’t be a better time to be a member of our SMUHSD community. I wish all of our students, their families and our educators a safe and restful winter recess. Students, we’ll see you back at school on January 4, 2023!

    Sincerely,

    Randall Booker
    Superintendent

  • October 19: Support Programs and Resources Available for SMUHSD Students 

    Spanish

    Wellness Counselors offer a safe space at school where any student can receive confidential and nonjudgmental socio-emotional support. Students can learn positive, lifelong habits that contribute to their well-being and success. 

    Your site Wellness Team provides individual, group and/or drop-in support as needed.  

    To access Wellness services, please visit during drop-in hours, schedule an appointment or connect with your school counselor. 

    To learn more about our District mental health services, community resources, upcoming events and more, please visit our District website.  

    In addition, we currently facilitate several unique offerings through our Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) Program to support students and families.  Below is a highlight of our innovative programs facilitated by our exceptional TUPE Mental Health Therapist Team.

    For more information, visit www.smuhsd.org/tupe or please contact:

    Dr. Jessamy Cadigan, TUPE Mental Health Therapist 
    jcadigan@smuhsd.org
    650-558-2264

    Our continued commitment to bring the highest level of equity and comprehensive mental health care and preventive programs to our students, families, staff, and communities at large drives our continued development of our TUPE Services. 

    TUPE Programs

    • Vaping Awareness Prevention and Education (VAPE): small group sessions in an effort to increase our students’ knowledge surrounding the harmfulness of vaping and to empower conversation to support awareness about nicotine use.

    • Substance Use Program (SUP): this group provides the opportunity to enhance critical thinking, inform decision making, raise awareness and foster ambivalence towards substance use.  This program is unique in that it offers a family night with multiple families together to discuss the tricky terrain of supporting our teens with their choices around substance use.

    • Alternatives to Suspension (ATS) - Traditional: ATS is a strength based group utilizing restorative justice practices, allowing students to turn their suspension into an opportunity for learning and growth. Students will Increase their awareness of causes for suspension, improve decision-making skills, identify supportive school staff to encourage a supportive re-entry to campus, and receive tobacco and other substance use education and intervention.   

    • Alternatives to Suspension (ATS) - Cyberbullying and Media Awareness: This group provides the space for students to examine their technology use and how it affects their lives as well as the lives of others; it includes discussion of cyberbullying and how to prevent it/address it, social media etiquette, internet safety, and digital citizenship.

    • Alternative to Suspension (ATS) - Consent and Healthy Relationships:  Our Healthy Relationships and Consent Program is designed to support students around challenges such as communication, physical and emotional safety, consent, empathy and respect. The sessions will include scheduled activities giving your student the opportunity to talk about the disciplinary incident that caused the suspension and reflect on their engagement in school and plans for their future.

    • Brief Intervention (BI):  This counseling intervention is for students identified with low level substance abuse, a short history of drug use, ambivalence about changing their drug use, and experiencing few problems with their drug use. Two - Three brief one-on-one sessions via Zoom or in person will be scheduled based on student’s availability, with options for additional sessions and an optional, encouraged parent session.

    • Parent Connect - District Wide:  A virtual parent support group for parent/caregiver(s) of teens who are experiencing difficulties with attendance, behavior, vaping, cannabis & other substance use, and/or COVID-19 related stressors.  We offer these parent groups every 6-8 weeks in both English and Spanish respectively.  These groups are successfully facilitated via Zoom.   

    School Site Wellness Teams


    September 29: State Officials Issue Warning About “Rainbow Fentanyl” 

    Spanish

    Dear Students and Families:

    State health officials have cautioned school leaders about a new and concerning version of the synthetic opioid known as fentanyl.

    Rainbow Fentanyl Last week, the California Department of Public Health issued an alert about “rainbow fentanyl,” a potentially fatal drug that comes in a variety of forms and bright colors. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has similarly noted that rainbow fentanyl looks like candy, which could be a way to attract children and young people.

    Emergency department visits related to non-fatal opioid overdoses in California's youth ages 10-19 years more than tripled from 2018 (379 total) to 2020 (1,222 total). Opioid-related overdose deaths in California's youth ages 10-19 years increased from 2018 (54 total) to 2020 (274 total), marking a 407 percent increase over two years, largely driven by fentanyl. Fentanyl-related overdose deaths in California's youth ages 10-19 years increased from 2018 (36 total) to 2020 (261 total), a 625 percent increase.

    “Rainbow fentanyl can be found in many forms, including pills, powder and blocks that can resemble sidewalk chalk or candy,” said Dr. Aragón, the state’s public health officer. “Any pill, regardless of its color, shape or size, that does not come from a health care provider or pharmacist can contain fentanyl and can be deadly.” A picture of rainbow fentanyl is included. 

    In August, the DEA and its law enforcement partners seized brightly colored fentanyl, including pills, in 18 states. The federal agency says anyone who encounters fentanyl in any form should not handle it and should call 911 immediately.

    Students who believe they have encountered fentanyl on one of our campuses should alert an adult on campus, right away. Students and parents/guardians can also make an Anonymous Alert to make an anonymous report of any type at any time. Possession of, being under the influence and/or sale of controlled substances are suspendable and expellable offenses. Safety of our students and our campuses is paramount to us. 

    Now is a good time to talk with your teen about substance use. The District has support programs available to our students. Learn more by visiting our website. Students may also use their school’s Wellness Program services if they are experiencing distress for any reason. Our wellness counselors are skilled at supporting our students facing social and emotional challenges. Students can learn more about these services by visiting our Mental Health and Wellness webpage.  

    Thank you for all that you do to support student health and safety in our school communities.

    Sincerely,

    Sara Devaney, M.S.
    Health Services Manager

    September 15-October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month

    Spanish

    Dear Students and Families: 

    At their August 25 meeting, our Board of Trustees adopted a proclamation recognizing September 15-October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month. As I shared with the Board that evening, the month is recognized by numerous federal and state institutions to pay tribute to the generations of Latino/Latina/LatinX Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. 

    The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.

    The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, 18 and 21 respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, (which is celebrated on October 12 in many Latin American countries in lieu of Columbus Day) falls within this 30 day period. To many Día de la Raza represents a time to teach respect, dignity and the inclusion of all people. The holiday serves to remind all people throughout the Americas about the history and challenges faced by indigenous peoples. 

    While it is our District’s intention to honor, celebrate and lift up our Latino/Latina/LatinX community members, we know that holidays and celebrations can sometimes be complicated and fraught with emotion. For example, we know that words matter, and that to many the word Hispanic is offensive for a few reasons. State and federal government agencies have historically used it as a blanket term when we know our population is more nuanced and complex. It also propagates the legacy of colonization in the parts of the world where many of our students come from.  We want to recognize and celebrate this month as we feel that as a District, it is important to celebrate the heritage of our Latino/Latina/LatinX community, and so we used the term Latino in the body of the proclamation as this term is preferred in our District. 

    Please join me in celebrating the rich heritage of the Latino/Latina/LatinX members of our community not just starting September 15 but all year long. Our diverse heritage makes for a better experience for us all.  

    Sincerely,

    Randall Booker
    Superintendent

  • August 23: San Mateo County is in the Low/Green COVID-19 Community Level Category

    Spanish 

    Dear Students and Families:

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), San Mateo County has entered the Low/Green COVID-19 Community Level Category, based on case rates and the number of hospitalizations. 

    Per our School Board’s direction, SMUHSD continues to follow the County of San Mateo and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) with regards to COVID-19 Safety Protocols. The District and County continue to recommend that residents stay up to date on vaccines. Staff and students should stay home when sick and test when symptomatic. County Health and the CDPH continue to strongly recommend that all persons, regardless of vaccine status, wear a mask in indoor public settings and businesses

    Please visit the District’s COVID-19 Safety Protocols webpage for the most up to date information.

    For staff and students who work or attend classes at any of the San Mateo County Community College District Campuses - SMUHSD requires its staff and students to follow the guidelines set forth by the College District when on its campuses. At these campuses, face masks are recommended in the Low/Green COVID-19 Community Level and are required in both the Medium/Yellow and High/Red levels. Read more on the San Mateo County Community College District’s website.  

    Thank you for all that you do to promote health and safety in our school communities. 

    Sincerely,

    Sara Devaney, M.S. 

    Health Services Manager

    August 3: Free At-Home COVID-19 Testing Strongly Recommended Before Returning from Summer Break

    Spanish  

    Students and staff might be exposed to COVID-19 during the break. If you DO have any COVID-19 symptoms and/or you have tested positive for COVID-19, please stay home and call your school for next steps before you return to campus. Testing at home before returning to school helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


    Step 1: Get the materials - you will need: 

    • A box that has one Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test and instructions

    • Pick up two test boxes from your school. 

    • A device with internet access. 

    • Please note that all students must register with primary health for the 2022-23 school year. 

    • After you take the test, submit your results here

    • If you do not have a device or internet, please contact your school.


    Step 2: Test your student (or yourself if you are a staff member)

    • Test #1: Take your first test three (3) days before returning to school 

    • Test #2: Take your second test the day before returning to school

    • If you have already returned to school, take a test now and again in three (3) days.  


    Step 3: Share your test results on PrimaryHealth

    Primary Health is a secure website that reports your results to the school and the Health Department.

    Report your results at Primary Health at: my.primary.health/appointment_recoveries

     

    Step 4: Understand your test results


    If the test is negative:

    • If your student feels well and has no COVID-19 symptoms, return to school!

    • If your student has symptoms please stay home until symptoms are resolved and report absences to your school.

    If the test is positive: 

    • Stay home from school and contact your doctor and your school right away. 


    If the test results are not clear: 

    Contact the school for next steps. Make sure you have a photo of your test.

    August 2, 2022: Back to School Update

     

    Dear Students and Families: 

    What an amazing feeling it is to join this District as your superintendent. I am so honored to be here with each of you. I look forward to getting to know our students and families and working alongside you to provide the best possible high school experience we can offer to all of our students. 

    The first day of school is August 10, and I want to provide you with an update on the information you will need to dive into the school year, feel confident and be successful. 

    COVID Safety Protocols 

    All of the public health experts agree. COVID is here to stay. Over the past two plus years we’ve all learned to live (and hopefully thrive) in the pandemic. Per our Board of Trustees’ May 5 decision, we will continue to follow the guidelines of the CDPH and County of San Mateo. Our County is currently in the Red/High Tier for COVID cases, and the CDPH and San Mateo County strongly recommend that individuals wear masks indoors. I urge all students and staff to take any measures available to them to slow the spread of COVID and protect their own health and the health of our school community. You can read more about COVID Guidelines on the District’s COVID Safety Protocols webpage.  

    Bond Construction Update

    Our District is so fortunate that our voters and taxpayers supported Measure L - a $385 million general obligation bond to make improvements to facilities across the District. Construction began this summer to encapsulate transite panels at Aragon, Hillsdale and Mills High Schools. These projects will drastically improve the sustainability and appearance of these schools. Phase II will be completed next summer. Work continues on the Sports Complexes at Capuchino and Mills High Schools. These projects will make these complexes the premier facilities in the county and create ideal environments for our scholar-athletes to thrive. Our Board recently approved schematic designs, budgets and schedules for new gyms at Burlingame and San Mateo High Schools. You can follow construction updates on the District website.  

    School Anniversaries 

    Our District and San Mateo High School will turn 120 years old on September 15. We are working with the school to plan a community open house at San Mateo High on October 8. Burlingame High will celebrate its 100th commencement in May. We will share additional details as we get closer to these events. 

    I want to take this opportunity to recognize and thank our staff including the unsung heroes behind the scenes. Our Maintenance and Operations colleagues, School Plant Operations Employees and Student Nutrition and Transportation team members provide the support needed to open the doors to our schools and make our District GO!! Students, when you interact with these staff members, please consider all that they do to improve your experience at school and thank them.   

    Finally, I want to thank our parents and guardians. Raising children is both one of the hardest and most rewarding endeavors in life (I know, I’m a father of two). Thank you parents and guardians for your support of both your students and your school communities. We could not do this work without you as part of our team. 

    And students, if you have taken the time to read this message, thank your parents. They will appreciate your kind words. I’m looking forward to seeing you on your campuses and getting to know you.  

    Now, let’s get to school and make it a great year! 

    Sincerely,

    Randall Booker
    Superintendent