Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been receiving 5-10 newspaper articles a day from across the country, 3-5 direct calls from other school board trustees, 5+ social media DMs per week from parents and community members. I also participate in 5 Zoom calls across the region and state regarding what's happening now and what happens next at the legislative level. All I can think about is the Milpitas Unified School District team members, parents and students, and community.
As we enter into the season of Spring, it symbolically represents new beginnings and new opportunities of hope. It also represents a new allergy season.
In the upcoming weeks our MUSD campuses will be much more active. There will be admin staff in offices, as well as custodians, Student Nutrition Services, and Maintenance Operations & Transportation team members on sites. Teachers and students will once again utilize classrooms in new ways, and some will continue to teach and learn within MUSD EducatEveryWhere from a distance.
To ensure we have the safest environments possible, for those coming to campus at any time, there will be a daily online health status check-in requirement. We will see adults and children wearing masks and/or face shields, and following predefined pathways across school grounds and campuses. We will see much smaller classroom sizes, designated bathrooms, cleaning schedules, and other safety precautions per County Public Health guidelines across the district. We will see some uniformity and creativity in schedules and models at our elementary and secondary schools — including Milpitas Adult Education with our CDC preschool leading the way as it has since June 2020. There will be inconveniences, sacrifices, struggles and new challenges to overcome. WE are MUSD!
As I reflect on the past year, there was no loss of learning or leading. There were rapid iterations. There was, and continues to be, digital information overload. There was, and continues to be, the highest levels of teacher collaboration, parent engagement and instructional innovation. There was loss of face to face interactions. It's hard to see facial expressions behind masks. There was loss of life, income and property.
Regardless of how our MUSD students are assessed at the end of the year, there was no loss of learning or leading. MUSD students taught each other how to better use technology, troubleshoot home internet and helped their caregivers become digitally literate. MUSD students had to learn to listen and interact with instructors and peers in a new way, very similar to how many in the Bay Area work on a daily basis now and forever more. What was truly learned will be measured in the years ahead.
COVID-19 will not define MUSD. What we have done and will do for years to come will be the foundation of that definition.
Spring is upon us, allergies and all....