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Update May 24, 2020

May 24, 2020: Message from Dr. Koligian

Dear FCUSD families:

As we enter the final week of the 19/20 school year I realize that there are several questions, concerns, and even anxieties about the next school year. What is the District doing? What can I expect? 

First of all, I want to affirm that the academic calendar for 2020/21 has not changed. Our first day of school will be on August 12.

Second, I want you to know that it is my desire and goal for all students to return to school, to a regular and traditional schedule, as soon as possible. We miss our students. We miss our teachers, our support staff, and our students’ families, and we know they miss each other. We all look forward to the day, hopefully soon, when these challenging times are behind us.

The model of distance learning we are using now was put together as a crisis response to an emergency situation. When the stay-at-home order was given, we had to pivot quickly to put a learning system in place. I am deeply impressed with teachers who have risen to the occasion to provide the best instruction possible under difficult circumstances, students, who made tremendous adjustments in the way they’ve learned and interacted with teachers and classmates, and families who have worked in ways they never anticipated to support their students’ learning. However, we would probably all agree that distance learning as it looks now, is not ideal for students, staff, or families.

As we look towards the start of the school year, we have a chance to more thoroughly design our instructional delivery and formulate multiple plans for a variety of situations. Again, I want us to return to normal. However, if environmental circumstances force us to make dramatic school and lifestyle changes, we want to be ready. The decision to open school campuses will be determined by:

  • Health orders from the Sacramento County Health Department
  • Guidance from the Sacramento County Office of Education and the California Department of Education

The design of what school campuses will look like will be made with the considerations of:

  • Stakeholder feedback: Staff, family, and students
  • Staffing and operational capabilities
  • Budgetary allowances

This is where I need your help and am asking all of us to work together for the goal of safely returning our students to school. 

Last Friday, my office sent out a preliminary survey to all staff. The goal of this survey was to find what supports our staff might need, and under what conditions they could safely come back to our sites.

This Tuesday we will send a preliminary survey to our families. Questions on the survey have been built with feedback we’ve gathered and received, including spoken and written comments submitted to the Board Meeting on May 21. When you receive the survey, please let us know what will be best for your student and family, and how can you help us imagine what school will look like for all students, in a variety of scenarios. Please know, we are exploring ideas, and decisions will be made soon.

You can expect to see recommended scheduling scenarios for the start of the 2020/21 school year in early June. 

While I am focussing on 2020/21 planning in this letter to you, I want to give a brief mention of the fact that we have a severe, declining budget. As was reported at our last board meeting on May 21, the Governor has reduced all California school districts’ general funding by 10%. We are projecting a reduction to the general fund to be over $20 million dollars for next year. FCUSD is working with our leadership team, our union leaders, and in collaboration with other districts in the county and state to strategize ways to address this. I and my team will provide more information in the upcoming days on this matter, as well as our design process for the 2020/21 school year.

We have some challenges ahead, but we have a dedicated staff and families who all want the best for our students. We take the trust you have put in FCUSD for the education of your student as our utmost responsibility and honor, and are working diligently to continue providing excellence in education