Hello San Bruno Park Community,
This message has updates regarding mask mandates, this week’s board meeting, and upcoming events.
Non-School Mask Mandates Being Lifted on February 16
Many of you have heard the news that the State of California is lifting its indoor mask mandate for vaccinated individuals in many non-school settings. San Mateo County is similarly lifting its indoor mask mandate, though the County strongly recommends the use of masks in indoor settings for everyone. These agencies will still require masks in school settings, so please continue to send your child to school wearing a mask (mask advice in English and Spanish). As a District, we will continue to follow the guidance of our governmental health experts, update our policies, and keep you informed of relevant developments.
Rollingwood and Elementary Attendance Boundaries
At this week’s board meeting, I revisited the Board’s February 2018 action to close Rollingwood Elementary School, which had not been enacted because it was pending the completion of Allen Elementary’s reconstruction. The Rollingwood closure was decided at that time to operate the District more efficiently, maintain fiscal solvency, and provide a stronger educational program with more resources directed towards fewer schools. We will save an estimated $533,000 per year going forward with this consolidation, which for example, could provide a 2.85% raise to all district employees to attract and retain quality teachers and staff.
Rollingwood is now scheduled to close in June 2023, and we plan to use the time that we have until then to redraw the elementary attendance area boundaries, which currently do not assign students proportionately to our elementary schools. We will do this with the help of a professional demographer, which we expect to hire at the March board meeting. As we envision the process, students and families attending Allen, Belle Air, John Muir, and Portola would not be asked to change schools. Once the new attendance areas are established, with a thorough community engagement process, we would apply the new boundaries year by year starting with incoming kindergarten students. Younger siblings of continuing elementary students would continue to be assigned to the same school as their older siblings. This entire attendance area process should take approximately one year, so there will be ample opportunity to answer questions and consider community input. Closing a school is never easy. Even in my six weeks here, I have seen for myself that Rollingwood is a remarkable school and community, and we do not take this course of action lightly. At the Board’s direction, I’ll be hosting a town hall meeting with the Rollingwood community next month, and we are committed to providing our full support to those affected by the transition.
TK/K Instructional Day
The Board also discussed staff’s recommendation to extend the instructional day for Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Kindergarten (K) to the same length of time as the first grade school day beginning with the 2022-23 school year. Based upon this discussion, we expect to return to the Board with an action item in March to formalize this change. We’ll discuss with our TK and K teachers common expectations, practices and support that will ensure a successful transition.
Planning for Parkside Capital Improvements
The Board also discussed the next phase of capital improvements for the District. Staff recommended that we focus our next phase of significant facility investment towards Parkside Intermediate School, and the Board agreed. Most notably, Parkside’s science classrooms and gymnasium are old and run down, its music/arts facilities are not up to standard, and the drop-off area needs to be reworked. Looking ahead, staff will identify a qualified pool of architects and work to define a scope of projects that meet the school’s needs within our budget. Should the Engvall property sale go through as expected, the District would receive its first installment payment of $35M in late 2023.
Additionally, the Board directed staff to engage Leadership Associates, a well-known and respected firm, to lead the search for a permanent superintendent of schools. The Board and firm partners are eager to begin and will start the search process Wednesday of this coming week.
Parent Education Workshop: Social Emotional Learning at Home
Tuesday, February 22 at 6:00 PM
Via Zoom, see attached flyer
In Spanish and English, available here.
COVID-19 Pediatric Vaccination Clinic (ages 5-11)
Belle Air Elementary School
First shot: Wednesday, February 16 from 3:00-6:30 PM
Second shot: Wednesday, March 9, same time
As a reminder, there is no school for students on the following days:
Friday, February 18, 2022
Monday, February 21, 2022
We appreciate your partnership. You may email me at any time at the address below, and you can email the school board at email@example.com, though the Trustees generally won’t be able to write you back to stay compliant with California’s public governance laws.
Michael Milliken, Ph.D.