July 28, 2020
Mustang Students and Families,
My first thought in writing this welcome letter each year is how privileged I feel to serve and lead our school community. My core responsibility, along with our dedicated staff, is to maximize learning and ensure a positive experience for each of our students. A high school experience only comes once and it must be relevant, meaningful, supportive, and challenging. Though this year will look different, we will achieve these ends.
Like many, I have reflected frequently over how much things have changed in the last four months. Many of us who entered education thrive on the interpersonal interactions which are foundational to education. Within this period, I have found myself feeling more disconnected from my work because of the lack of consistent interactions with students. For the coming year, I am committed to combating that feeling by creating new ways to connect. I have been in contact with a large number of staff members over the summer who have expressed the same sentiment. Though our interactions will look different, with lots of Zoom forums and Google Hangouts, we will create dynamic opportunities for meaningful interaction. It is my belief that this will help sustain our community through what are incredibly challenging times. Whether it be a virtual orientation, individual family meeting, the Mustang News, or a student club hangout, we must remain connected.
As has been communicated, we will begin the 2020-21 school year in full Distance Learning (DL). As a school site we are fully immersed in plans for the coming year. Below is a list of items that we are currently addressing. Certainly this list will grow and evolve.
- All courses and teachers will work within Canvas as a learning management system. In addition, we are working on finalizing the use of other common platforms (e.g. Zoom) to ensure that instruction is coherent and safe.
- We anticipate that our campus will be open for students to access nutrition services, including Brunch and Lunch, and work in individual outdoor areas, as necessary. We will have enhanced safety precautions, including two student campus entry/exits, symptoms screening, temperature checks, required social distancing, face coverings, sanitization, and limiting physical movement throughout areas on the campus.
- The San Mateo Union High School District will commonly follow the learning schedule listed on our website.
- In order to ensure you are receiving consistent and frequent communications, please ensure that your Aeries portal preferences are updated to include General Announcements. Schoolwide announcements will continue to be delivered via email and the Aeries portal. In addition, course information will be delivered through Canvas. Thank you in advance to families for monitoring your students’ progress on Canvas. If you have any questions regarding Canvas, please contact your student’s School Counselor or our Family Engagement Coordinator, Ms. Dulce Hatch.
- As an IB World School, we will continue to include both academic and social/emotional learning for all students.
- CHS Family Handbook (available at https://www.smuhsd.org/capuchinohigh)
- CHS Informational Town Hall on Wednesday, August 5th @ 6 pm (Zoom link to follow)
I look forward to providing consistent communications throughout the school year. As a parent and educator, it is clear to me that transparency and frequent communication both improves our work and reduces anxiety. My hope is that these communications are reciprocal and you reach out with questions, concerns, and/or affirmations. Though I know we are entering a year which will be filled with challenges, I would not want to enter the work with anyone else. I have observed staff members spending much of the summer thinking and preparing to best serve students. Cap is a special place and we are committed to further demonstrating that this school year.