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SRCS 1/29/21 Update: Board Appointment; Parcel Tax Measures; Reentry Planning; Holocaust Remembrance & More
Posted 1/29/21

Dear San Rafael City Schools Community,

We have a number of important updates this week. Please read on, and thanks for all you continue to do during this pandemic!

Updates from Jan. 25 Board Sessions

Lucia Martel-Dow Appointed to the Board: We are pleased to announce that Lucia Martel-Dow was appointed to the SRCS Board of Education. Trustee Martel-Dow fills the open seat vacated by former Trustee Rachel Kertz for the remainder of the term. In the November 2022 General Election, the seat will be required to be filled by a candidate who resides in Trustee Area 2; Trustee Martel-Dow currently resides in Area 2. Trustee Martel-Dow was born and raised in Venezuela, where she attended law school. Throughout her professional career, she has worked in public, private and nonprofit sectors in Venezuela, Spain and locally in the Bay Area. Lucia joined Canal Alliance in 2015, where she currently oversees the Immigration and Social Services Departments. She is involved in many community organizations, including as a Commissioner with Marin First Five. Trustee Martel-Dow is bilingual in English and Spanish. She lives with her husband and seven-year old daughter in the Marinwood neighborhood in San Rafael. Learn more.

Update on Parcel Tax Funding: Since 1989, SRCS has relied upon locally controlled school funding approved by the community. Today, this funding provides almost $7 million each year to help maintain qualified teachers and core academic programs. This funding is set to automatically expire next year. If this local funding expires significant cuts would be required, including reductions in teachers and staff, services and academic programs. 

On Jan. 25, the SRCS Board unanimously placed two measures on the May 4, 2021 ballot. One measure would renew funding for local high schools, while the other would renew funding for elementary and middle schools. Stay tuned for more information. 

Re-Entry Planning: Grades TK-8: I am happy to share that the plans for elementary and middle school re-entry next steps were approved! A Memorandum of Understanding was ratified by SRTA members (our TK-8 certificated educator labor group) and then approved by the Board. Below is an overview of the immediate next phases; more information is available in the Board presentation

Level Next Phase Timeline
Elementary Schools “Modified Day” schedule (4.5 hours a day, five days a week; no asynchronous work) (not for Connected Classrooms) When Marin is in the Orange Tier; 
no sooner than March 15
Davidson Middle School First period in person on A/B schedule, second and third periods remote learning* After Marin is in the Red Tier for two weeks; no sooner than March 1
Venetia Valley 
Gr. 6-8 AM/PM structure to align with VV TK-5* After Marin is in the Red Tier for two weeks; no sooner than March 1

*for students who opted for in-person learning

Grades 9-12: We are continuing to partner with our high school groups to finalize the re-entry plans. Specifically, we’re working on the details of what the hybrid learning program will look like for those who opted for in-person learning (a combination of in-person and remote classes depending on the students' schedule). I continue to hope that we’ll be able to begin in-person learning after Marin is in the Red Tier for two weeks and no sooner than March 1.

Black History Month Resolution: The Board approved a resolution in support and recognition of Black History Month. Each February, we celebrate the actions, words and achievements of so many African Americans who have contributed to the success and prosperity of our country. Our District values of community, equity and joy uphold our focus on building inclusive communities and helping individuals understand equity, joyfully celebrate diversity and affirm identity. Additionally, a local chapter of Diversify our Narrative was founded by SRHS and TLHS students with a focus on affirming identities and representing and celebrating multiple perspectives within our classrooms through the inclusion of more racially diverse and anti-racist texts. With the resolution, our Board acknowledges the courageous fight for the rights, liberties and freedoms for all Americans, and encourages educators, students and families to learn about Black History Month and about the heritage and achievements of African Americans. View the resolution. 

International Holocaust Remembrance Day
This past Wednesday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which was established by the United Nations to ensure that the world does not forget the genocide, with the goal of preventing it from ever occurring again. From 1941-1945, Nazi Germany and its collaborators committed the systematic murder of over six million Jews. In 2005, the United Nations passed resolution 60/7: “The General Assembly...requests the Secretary-General to establish a programme of outreach on the subject of the “Holocaust and the United Nations” as well as measures to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education, in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide.” General Assembly Resolution 60/7, Holocaust Remembrance. 

We encourage students, teachers, staff and families to have conversations about the importance of learning about and remembering the Holocaust and all those who suffered and continue to suffer the effects of this atrocity. Click here for more information and for resources on learning about the Holocaust, to read survivor stories and for information on confronting antisemitism.

TK-5 HeadsUp Enrichment Re-Launch
We are grateful to our District foundation, HeadsUp for continuing to offer enrichment opportunities for our students. HeadsUp will be re-launching the virtual TK-5 enrichment program this coming Monday, Feb. 1. Here's a video from our principals about the exciting updates! Please join a parent webinar on Monday at 6 pm to learn all about the changes and improvements. Watch for the Zoom link on Monday from HeadsUp! 

While we are no longer under a stay-at-home order, it is important to remember that we are still in the Purple Tier, and it will take everyone working together, following health guidelines so we can safely bring our students back for more in-person learning. Thank you to our entire SRCS community for your support and partnership!


Jim Hogeboom