Welcome Back!

Welcome Back To School!
Posted on 08/02/2022
CUSD Families,

I hope your Summer has been as positive as possible for you all and that your children have been able to enjoy a much-deserved break. As we look ahead to the start of the 2022/23 school year, let me share some district level information with you for awareness and preparation.

Celebrations: despite the challenges of last year with COVID (illness, absences, masking, testing, protocols), student conduct (bumpy transitions back to in-person learning, impacts on culture/climate at school sites), staffing shortages (requiring staff/admin to help cover for absent staff) and more---there were many things to celebrate in 2021/22. Selecting a new Math Adoption for this year, increased social-emotional supports, increased staffing overall to lower class sizes and/or increase services, continued and consistent focus on our district initiatives: strengthening our instructional program (rigor/relevance/engagement, signature instructional practices---assessments, writing and academic discourse) and PBIS…and many positive opportunities created for students to learn and grow (as celebrated and highlighted in the weekly CUSD Snapshots). The good, and challenging, work being done by great people will continue into 2022/23.

Staffing---we are experiencing a significant amount of turnover from 2021/22, with close to 40 new staff members hired. Much like many districts in the state, and nation, we are also experiencing major challenges in filling all of our vacant positions. Despite the tremendous work being done by our Personnel Dept and Site Admin, we still have close to 30 positions that are still unfilled (including six teachers, four bus drivers, and 15 paraprofessionals) and though the hard work continues to seek and secure staff to be ready for day one, the reality is that we will start the 2022/23 school year with many vacant positions. The efforts will continue to find staff, even after school starts, but in the meantime, there will have to be adjustments made to staffing assignments, class coverage, student schedules, programs and services---that will impact staff and students. We are also experiencing a shortage of substitutes to till positions when staff are absent. Like last year, we will have to look to staff and administration to help cover these classes. No matter the challenges, we will all work to minimize the impacts on all, and provide strong programs, services and supports as best as we can with the staffing and resources that we have.

CUSD Budget---there is really positive direction from the state, regarding our budget for 2022/23. We will see 12.84% increase in our ongoing base funding (projected to be about 1.6 million in added funding per year), as well as two different allocations of one-time funds: “Learning Recovery Emergency Funds” ---which can only be used to address academic and mental health supports (approximately 3.1 million dollars) and “Arts/Music/Instructional Materials Block Grant”---which, despite the title, is very discretionary in how it can be used (approximately 1.7 million dollars). We will be seeking feedback from all stakeholders to help inform the process of deciding how the one-time funds should be spent, as well as the ongoing increases to funding.

Back to School Packets/Info---please be sure to access the Back to School Packets and complete/submit the forms requested. The Household Economic Survey is very important as a lot of our school funding is driven by the numbers of students who qualify for free/reduced meals (even though all students are provided free meals by the schools), so completing/submitting that is very helpful and important. Also, remember that the packet is on our website under Parents/Quick Links tab. /UserFiles/Servers/Server_26784652/File/Parents/1Final%202022.23%20Back%20to%20School%20Packet.pdf.

Covid Notifications---instead of weekly exposure letters, the district will keep parents updated of the number of positive COVID cases on each campus on our website at…

CUSD Areas of Prioritized Focus---2022/23 (no particular order)
• District Initiatives---Instructional Program (Rigor-Relevance-Engagement/Glenn, Signature Instructional Practices, Common Assessments), SEL (wellness/well-being), Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
• Budget---long-term vision for decision making, use of ongoing increased revenue, use of 1x dollars, fiscal stability, impacts of negotiations/compensation increases
• Culture/Climate---communications, collaborations, relationships, staff/student well-being, supports
• School Safety/Security---plans, drills, trainings, ALICE training, Standard response Protocols (SRP)
• Staffing---supporting new transitions, addressing shortages (staff and subs)
• CSEA/CUEA---negotiations, relationships, collaboration, problem solving
• LCAP Engagement---structured opportunities to solicit feedback and increase awareness
• Facilities Bond 2022/---timeline, sequence, readiness, feedback, communications

CUSD Board of Trustees--Identified Areas of Priority
• Board Priorities---Overall: Fiscal Stability, Instructional Program: Student Achievement; Professional Development, Student Safety, Facilities
• Board Direction for Superintendent (Goals and Evaluation)---Common Assessments (implement structured process, collaborative use of data, reporting out on data), CTE Programs (expand, strengthen), Student Achievement (focus on reading, Math/ELA priorities, use of data, reporting out on data), Communication (proactive, recognition of positives, comprehensive) and Accountability (address areas of need with staff/admin, report out on issues and resolutions)

The start of any school year is a time of extremely positive energy and of a significant dedication of time and effort by staff to be ready to roll on Day One. After the challenges faced in 2022/23, and the tremendous work done by our dedicated staff to continue to create growth opportunities for students, our mindset to move forward together to make this year as strong and productive as possible is locked in. Our staff is highly motivated to welcome back all of our students to start the school year and we will do all we can, with the resources and capacity we have, to create opportunities every day for our students to learn, grow and prepare for life.

Thank you for your partnership in this collaborative effort.

Mark Campbell
Superintendent/Calaveras Unified School District

Make Every Moment and Every Day Matter for Every Student!