With the close of the fiscal school year on June 30, July 1 represents the first day and bright start of a new fiscal school year despite the current and upcoming challenges of budgetary constraints and COVID-19. One might ask why the future of Foresthill Divide School (FDS) looks so bright? Well…let me tell you. At our last Board meeting on June 22, the Trustees approved a 2020-21 budget that clearly shows the urgency and importance that they place in a sound and world-class educational future for our students. Within the budget, $180,000 was allocated for the purchase of 300 Chromebooks to enable every student at FDS to now have their own computer, rigorous and proven English Language Arts and Math educational software, and other supporting technology resources. Additionally, significant funding was set aside to support both academic and social emotional needs for all of our students at each of their individual levels and circumstances. The adoption of the 2020-21 budget also exhibited the Trustees’ commitment and valuing of the FDS educators and staff that serve our students and families. In fiscally perilous times, Trustees elected to use approximately $250,000 of district reserves while also keeping an eye on the balance for rainy day needs of the future to prioritize right now our students and staff. While many districts have already implemented significant layoffs and reduction of worker hours, all at FDS and district office will return to the start of the school year with their jobs intact and normally scheduled hours maintained. All of us together worked as a team to overcome the incredible challenges of 2019-20. All of us together will work as a team to overcome the challenges…known and unknown…of 2020-21. Though clouds of uncertainty loom in the air, I see only brightness shining through for the future of FDS. Please join me in that vision for the children of our community.   

District News: The next regular Foresthill Union School District (FUSD) Board meeting will be on Monday, July 13 at 6:30 p.m. at FDS. Seating will be open to the public for open session starting at 6:00 p.m. The agenda for the Board meeting will be posted at FDS and our website no later than July 10 at 5:00 p.m. On the agenda will be an Information item regarding an update on the COVID-19 School Opening Plan for 2020-21.

Please note that there will be open seats for the FUSD Board of Education with elections being held on November 3, 2020. If you are interested in being a Board member, the candidate filing period is this July 13 to August 7. For more information on running for a seat, please visit the Placer County Elections Office website at

https://www.placerelections.com/current-elections/.

School News: In the May 6 edition, I wrote about FDS executing a transformative shift to “Student Learning Without Boundaries.” Included in that shift is the precept of “Education for All…and Each.” Though most of the narrative on COVID-19 school opening seems to focus itself from the site perspective, I have been extremely vigilant in keeping the perspective from home in the forefront and with equal importance to all that will listen, especially to those not in the K-8 school setting involving the care and education of students ranging from 4 to 13 years old. Please know that the needs of our working families constantly remain in my thoughts for school related decisions. Hence, FDS will continue its planning and work to achieve its guiding principle of “Education for All…and Each” when school opens on August 20. This means that families can expect that multiple options will be provided to enable all and each to exercise freedom in the choice of educational opportunities that is best for them. With that, the framework of the three options being developed include a complete physical daily return to school for most to all of the day, full and daily learning from home, and a hybrid model involving learning taking place physically at both school and at home. Regardless of the option, each will be in full and intentional compliance with all laws, directives, and orders while guidance and recommendations will be tailored to the needs, wants, and circumstances unique to our FDS students, families, staff, and community. Please attend the Board meeting on July 13 for more details and up to date information regarding COVID-19 school opening.        

FDS continues to provide free breakfast and lunch “Grab and Go” meals for our students as well as all Foresthill youth 18 and younger on Mondays through Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the school’s roundabout. Double meals will be provided on Thursdays as no service will be provided on Fridays.   

Thank you.

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