Reopening of School UpdatePosted by Leighangela Brady on 7/10/2020 5:00:00 PM
By now, we had hoped to have had a more definitive update on our reopening of school plans for the 2020-2021 school year. However, external conditions and factors affecting these plans continue to change almost daily. In light of this, we wanted to provide you with the information that we know today:
- We received a great response on staff and parent surveys regarding distance learning and reopening models. We are using this feedback to inform our plans that will include both a full distance learning option as well as a hybrid learning option of distance learning and increasing time on campus as feasible throughout the year. Parents have been receiving multiple correspondence regarding creating a Parent Vue account. This is a necessary first step to enable parents to be able to choose one of these two instructional models. This can be done via cell phone or District issued student device. Parents needing assistance should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 336-7783.
- Since before the school-year ended, we have been working closely with a taskforce of employees from various assignments to explore needs and recommendations for reopening schools, specific to National School District, from their expert perspectives.
- Our Governing Board has thoughtfully considered all recommendations from the taskforce; and has directed administration to draft a plan that puts staff and student safety at the forefront. We will continue to monitor public health advisories closely, with every intent to adhere to all health and safety precautions.
- To provide more time to prepare a detailed reopening plan, we have postponed the reopening of the school year with students slated to return August 24, 2020. We are planning for instruction to resume on this date; at minimum through distance learning if county health orders do not permit on-site instruction. Once drafted, our plan will be posted on our website for public viewing and comments.
- Food service will continue throughout the remainder of the summer at Las Palmas School on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (multiple meals served each day).
- We are also working side-by-side with our labor leaders to ensure that our final plan is failsafe.
We will be sending you another update in August as the start of the school year gets closer. Please stay connected by checking our website regularly at www.nsd.us. Wishing you all good health during this time.
Para estas fechas, nos hubiera gustado tener una actualización más definida sobre nuestros planes de apertura para el año escolar 2020-2021. Sin embargo, condiciones externas y factores afectando estos planes continúan cambiando casi a diario. Teniendo esto en cuenta, nos gustaría proveerles la información que tenemos hasta ahora:
- Recibimos una gran respuesta de los cuestionarios para el personal y padres, referentes a aprendizaje a distancia y modelos de reapertura. Estamos usando estas opiniones para informarles nuestros planes sobre ambas opciones, aprendizaje a distancia completa, así como también una opción de aprendizaje hibrido de aprendizaje a distancia, aumentando más tiempo en la escuela mientras sea viable. Nuestros padres han recibido múltiples correspondencias con información para crear una cuenta de padres. Este es el primer paso necesario para poder escoger uno de estos dos modelos de instrucción. Esto puede ser hecho por medio de un celular o un dispositivo estudiantil provisto por el Distrito. Padres que necesitan asistencia, deberan comunicarse a email@example.com ó (619) 336-7783.
- Desde antes que terminara el año escolar, hemos estado trabajando estrechamente con un Equipo Especial conformado de empleados de varias asignaciones. Con sus perspectivas expertas, exploramos las necesidades y recomendaciones para una reapertura escolar especifica para el Distrito Escolar National.
- Nuestra Mesa Directiva ha considerado cuidadosamente todas las recomendaciones del Equipo Especial y ha dirigido a nuestra administración crear un plan preliminar que coloca la seguridad del personal y estudiantil en primer lugar. Continuaremos monitoreando las advertencias de salud publica cercanamente, con toda la intención de adherirnos a todas las precauciones de salud y seguridad.
- Para proveer más tiempo a la preparación de un plan detallado sobre la reapertura, tenemos que posponer la apertura del año escolar. Estudiantes están programados a regresar el 24 de Agosto, 2020. Estamos planeando que la instrucción resuma en esta fecha; por mínimo, con aprendizaje a distancia si las ordenes del condado de salud no permiten instrucción física en la escuela. Una vez creado, el plan será publicado en nuestra pagina de internet para difusión publica y comentarios.
- Los servicios de alimento continuaran durante el resto del verano en la escuela Las Palmas cada Lunes, Miércoles, y Viernes de 10:30 a.m. a 12:30 p.m. (alimentos múltiples son servidos cada día).
- También estamos trabajando lado a lado con nuestros lideres laborales para asegurar que nuestro plan final es infalible.
Les enviaremos otra actualización en Agosto, cuando el año escolar este más cerca. Por favor manténganse informado, conectándose regularmente a nuestra pagina de internet www.nsd.us. Deseamos que tengan buena salud durante este tiempo.
End of the Year UpdatePosted by Leighangela Brady on 5/20/2020 9:15:00 PM
When schools suddenly closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no one imagined that we would still be in shelter-in-place status. Our hearts are saddened as the end of the year approaches, and the reality sets in that we will not be able to reopen even to close out the year with our students. Sadder, are the milestones of end-of-year activities and promotions that we must now reimagine.
For our sixth graders, we are so proud of their accomplishments! In addition to a keepsake video, we are planning to hold drive through promotions at each of our schools to wave to our students and celebrate within the health parameters. Should health restrictions be lifted by the County Health Department in the next two weeks, we may also invite students into the school to “walk the stage” and take those cherished remembrance photos. Preschool and kindergarten teachers are also planning something special for their anticipated promotions specific to each school site. Your site principal will be reaching out soon with more details on these events for those of you with children in these grades.
While these last few months have been difficult for all, I want to thank you for your support during this time. Our staff worked hard to provide our students with devices, materials, and meals; and our teachers applied their expertise to teaching in virtual classrooms through distance learning. Your partnership and support at home made all of this possible. We are happy to report high levels of engagement by students; despite lots of obstacles to navigate. Because this was an unplanned closure, we felt strongly that student grades be held harmless during this time. Hopefully you received and reviewed our grading policy through one of our many communication tools such as School Messenger, Class Dojo, PeachJar, or on our COVID-19 updates page on our website at www.nsd.us.
Finally, with so many things still uncertain, we have created a taskforce to review steps needed to reopen school; and will be carefully considering our calendar to determine the best date to open school with the confidence that we can do so safely. Please look for a parent survey that will be coming out shortly and be sure to provide us with feedback to help inform our decisions. Arrangements will be made for students that commit to returning in the fall (on this survey) to keep their student devices for the summer; and will be given summer access to continue learning using our suite of online programs. Also, if you will be returning to National School District for the 2020-21 school year, we will be asking for you to fill out intent to return paperwork in June. If your family will not be returning, please contact your principal to arrange a date and time to turn in your device as it will no longer work after June 3, 2020.
Again, we thank you for your partnership to provide the best education for your children. These are dynamic times, and we are here to support you and your families through them.
DISTANCE LEARNING – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSPosted by Leighangela Brady on 5/7/2020 5:30:00 PM
What is distance learning and what does it mean for students, teachers, parents and principals?
Distance learning means instruction in which the student and instructor are in different locations. Methods could include online instruction, take home packets, phone calls, emails, text reminder applications, and other means of communication. Differences in teaching and learning will vary between classrooms, just like they do in our physical schools. What doesn’t vary is our focus on standards, and our expectations for students to engage and try their best. The principal’s job is to continue supporting our teachers by providing training, visiting classrooms, holding staff meetings, and securing resources. There is no instructional expectation of parents; but we do request that parents provide dedicated time and a place for students to learn- similar to when students are doing homework.
How is the district supporting families with devices and technology?
Each school held a technology distribution day the week we returned from spring break, and a second day the following week for families who couldn’t make it out to the first distribution day. As a result, every student should now have either an iPad (grades TK–2) or a Chromebook (grades 3–6), a power cord, and earbuds. Families without Internet connections at home also received a hotspot device. Devices are configured so that Internet access is only possible through a secured district filter which blocks inappropriate sites and protects students’ privacy. Programs are used regularly by students in our physical classrooms, so we are confident that our students will thrive in this new virtual environment. Students have a single sign-on to avoid the need for multiple logins and passwords, and teachers are able to monitor online access and program use. If students experience any issues with their devices, parents can do one of the following: 1.) Email firstname.lastname@example.org, 2.) Complete NSD Device Issue survey, 3.) Leave a message with the Help Desk at (619)-336-7783. Devices with issues will either be fixed remotely or swapped out for a different device by appointment.
What reassurances do we have that students won’t suffer significant learning loss during this time?
The timing of our school closure plays a significant role in our assessment of grade level achievement. Teachers typically focus on the core clusters of the grade level standards in the first two trimesters up and through spring break. The third trimester (which we are in now) is an opportunity to review standards for mastery and apply standards at deeper levels. With the suspension of State testing this year, teachers actually have more time for this purpose through distance learning. Of course, to ensure that students have not missed any learning, we are recommending that teachers start next year with a thorough review of the previous year’s standards.
What other resources are available for families?
The best place for families to look for resources and information is our District website at www.nsd.us. Once there, just click on the COVID-19 button. This link provides current updates on school closures, meals, and distance learning. During the COVID-19 pandemic, National School District will continue to serve breakfast and lunch daily at Las Palmas School from 10:00 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. Starting on Monday, May 4, 2020 a second location will be open at El Toyon School. Weekend meals are also available for pick-up on Fridays at either of these two locations. We have also developed parent specific section on the COVID-19 section of our websiteto provide families with community resources, family support, tutorials and training. We encourage any parent in need to also reach out to their child’s teacher or principal for any reason.
How are teachers providing students with feedback? What about report cards?
As mentioned previously, the third trimester is an opportunity to review standards for mastery and apply standards at deeper levels. Therefore, students have already received grades on progress toward grade level standards in the first two trimesters. Due to the unexpected closure of schools, we have decided not to provide formal grades this trimester. Instead narrative comments about distance learning will be placed in each child’s file. Students will still be required to complete assignments, and teachers will still be providing students with feedback on completed work; however, without the pressure of formal grades, we hope students and teachers will explore the possibilities and depths of distance learning to the fullest extent possible.
When do you anticipate schools will reopen? What will be the same, what will be different?
Unfortunately, we still do not have exact information about when and how schools will reopen again. What we do know is that schools will likely stay closed through the end of this school year and hopefully reopen as planned in July for the 2020-21 school year. Students will finish this school year with their current teachers; and move on to the next grade level with new teachers for 2020-21 (except for our sixth graders who will promote on to the middle school). While we would love to return to school as normal, it may not be possible for health and safety reasons. Depending on the evolving state of this pandemic, classes may continue in distance learning, open with modifications to ensure social distancing, or open fully if the public health department allows. Only time will tell, but we will continue to monitor the situation carefully and provide updates as they become available.
Community AnnouncementPosted by Leighangela Brady on 4/7/2020 4:30:00 PM
NATIONAL SCHOOL DISRTRICT COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT– SCHOOL CLOSURES
For Immediate Release– April 7, 2020
The State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the California Governor announced this week that “schools may not reopen this school year.”
To ensure the continuity of learning for our students, National School District will roll-out distance learning this coming week. Distance learning means instruction in which the student and instructor are in different locations. This may include interaction through the use of technology and/or the use of print materials.
To ensure families have what they need for distance learning, National School District will schedule technology and materials distribution from 8:30 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. at each school according to the following schedule:
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Thursday, April 9, 2020
Rancho de la Nación, Kimball, John A. Otis, Ira Harbison
Friday, April 10, 2020
Palmer Way, Lincoln Acres, El Toyon, Las Palmas
During this distribution, National School District staff will be taking all necessary health precautions in order to comply with the County Health Department safety guidelines including the following. Staff will:
- be wearing protective masks and gloves
- supervise social distancing
- schedule appointments for families to avoid congregation
- provide signage alerting neighbors to heavier foot traffic and neighborhood parking
- wipe of all materials prior to distribution
- limit pick-up of materials to one member per family
This activity is considered “essential” by the Governor and is allowable under the Governor’s current “shelter-in place” order. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contract our district office. All decisions about reopening schools will be made in conjunction with local public health officials.
School Closure Update 4-1-2020Posted by Leighangela Brady on 4/1/2020 6:18:00 AM
Dear National School District Staff and Families,
I wanted to send out a quick update to the message that I sent to you on Monday in response to last night’s statement by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and today’s comment by the California Governor that “schools may not reopen this school year.”
While there is still no executive order mandating the closure of California schools, this statement is in line with our messaging that our schools will remain closed until further notice; and that we will be moving forward with a distance learning plan when we return from spring break this coming Monday, April 6, 2020. As I previously shared, we will be providing you more details on that plan by the end of this week.
Safety and learning are our top priorities during this time; and we are monitoring all county, state and federal guidance carefully. Governor Newsom’s “shelter-in pace” order remains in effect, as do federal guidelines around social distancing that extend through April 30, 2020. Please trust that we are doing everything in our power to prioritize everyone’s safety, keep our community updated, and reunite teachers and learners as soon as we can.
All decisions about reopening schools will be made in conjunction with local public health officials. We continue to hold out hope that campuses will reopen later this spring; but are moving forward with plans to continue teaching and learning through distance learning in the meantime. While schools may not physically re-open this year, I assure you that learning will not stop. As Superintendent Thurmond said, “schools are closed but classes are in.”
We are still uncertain how long this closure will last; however, we will continue to provide students and families with resources they need. For the time being, meals will continue to be distributed daily at Las Palmas from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. In addition, independent work packets have been sent to every student via US mail to practice their skills until we transition to our new distance learning program. We also know that many students, especially our sixth graders, are very concerned about missing out on end-of-year activities and celebrations. We will continue to explore how we might offer these experiences in different formats and/or at a later date.
We recognize this situation poses many challenges to all of our families, and we appreciate your patience and understanding during this extraordinary time. Thank you to our National School District community for everything that you are doing to help implement social distancing practices and to stay healthy.
Wishing you well.
Leighangela Brady, Superintendent
COVID-19Posted by Leighangela Brady on 3/20/2020 4:00:00 PM
Friday, March 20, 2020
We hope that you are staying safe and heeding the Governor’s directive to stay home while we work together to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID–19).
Last week we informed you that schools would reopen on April 6, 2020. Today we learned from the San Diego County Office of Education that our schools will be closed indefinitely. This means that we don’t have time specific information and that we are closed until further notice. We will, however, continue to update you on the status of our closure as we learn information from both the California Departments of Health and Education.
During the closure of our schools, we wanted to share with you some updated information regarding meals, childcare, and home learning:
Meals: National School District will continue to provide a grab and go meal service.
- Beginning next week, March 23, 2020, daily meal distribution will be consolidated to one site– Las Palmas Elementary School at 1900 E. 18th, National City, CA 91950
- Distribution for both breakfast and lunch meals will be from 10:00 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
- Meals are available for all children under 18 years old
- Children must be present to receive meals
Childcare: YMCA Childcare Resource Service (CRS) is helping families in need of child care find the options that might work for their families. YMCA’s CRS department offers families options with open child care centers and family child care homes who are licensed and inspected. For more information, or to find childcare options for your family, please visit the following website:
Home Learning: Moving into what would have been our spring break, there will not be any assigned work for students for the coming week. We will, however, be sending home some learning activities for students to engage in for the second week of break. In the event that our schools remain closed after the break, we will send home updated information on home learning activities during the week of April 6, 2020.
Again, we hope that your families are staying safe and healthy during these uncertain times.
The Census is Coming!Posted by Leighangela Brady on 2/1/2020 7:40:00 AM
I wanted to take this opportunity to share important information about an event that will take place in Spring 2020: the U.S. Census.
According to CaliforniaCensus.org, the The census is a count of all people living in the U.S. and takes place every 10 years. It is simple and confidential to complete.
For the first time, you can respond online. You will receive a unique identifying number in the mail, which will allow you to fill out the online form beginning in March 2020. It will ask questions about your household such as how many people reside in your home, date of birth, race, and sex. Here are some things you should know:
Your identity remains anonymous. Any personal information you provide on the census form is protected by law and cannot be shared with anyone or any other federal agency. Regardless of your immigration status, the information cannot be used against you or to invade the privacy of you or any members of your family.
The Census is important. The Census is important because it helps to decide how much federal money our schools will get over the next ten years, and how much money our state will get for our parks, neighborhood improvements, public health, transportation, and many other programs and services.
The Census is safe. All the data collected through the census is protected under Title 13 of the U.S. Code. Records are confidential for 72 years by law. All U.S. Census Bureau employees swear a lifetime oath to protect respondent information. The U.S. Census will never share a respondent’s personal information with other government agencies. Data is only released in summary tables; no individual records are released. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.
What do you need to do? Complete the short and easy form online. If you don’t have a computer at home, you can use one at a library or at a location in your community clearly identified Census Questionnaire Assistance Center. If you have any trouble finding a computer to use, do not hesitate to ask for help at your child's school.
Resolution 2020Posted by Leighangela Brady on 1/17/2020 11:45:00 AM
As far back as the 1970’s, schools and districts have been identifying persistent disparities of achievement among student subgroups. Fifty years later, achievement gaps still exist, and include contributors to this disparity described as an opportunity gap. Opportunity gaps examine factors that contribute to lower aspirations and attainment.
They say hindsight is 2020, yet one of the greatest inhibitors to progress is the statement, “This is the way we have always done it.” We tend to do things out of habit, however the only way to truly grow and improve is to look forward, and New Year’s is a perfect time to make meaningful changes.
“We have the opportunity to be intentional about our tomorrows and release the binds of past patterns, preconceived ideas, destructive inhibitions, and limited perspectives. Through imagining the possible, questioning the status quo, building on strengths, and connecting to others in meaningful ways we can envision, embrace, and enliven our own futures and release our own limitless potential.”
- Dr. Alan Daly, Associate Professor of Education, University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
In National School District, we strive to open doors for our students and provide the greatest opportunities possible. As we enter a new decade, we resolve to learn from our past in order to create intentional tomorrows for our students. Only committing to statements like, “What can we do better?” can we truly dream big, challenge the status quo, and ensure success for all students.
School Safety EffortsPosted by Leighangela Brady on 10/6/2019 2:30:00 PM
In National School District, safety is a top priority. Therefore, we believe that it is important to continually keep our families updated on our efforts to ensure the safety of our schools. This letter is intended as an overview of our ongoing efforts; however, we recognize that our work in this area is never done.
As such, we have safety plans in place at each school, and provide continual training to our staff so that they are best prepared for what to do in case of an emergency. California requires all public schools to have a Comprehensive School Safety Plan. These are updated in collaboration with National City Police and Fire Departments. A summary is available to the public at each site. We encourage you to reach out to your site principal about opportunities to learn about plans specific to your children’s school.
As parents and community members, I understand your concern for school safety, and want to share some additional safety measures the District has put into place:
- The District has a unique relationship with the National City Police Department, which has assigned school resource officers who have a presence at all our schools campuses. These law-enforcement professionals make regular appearances at our schools and are on-call for immediate assistance.
- All of our campuses are secured. Guests can only enter via the front office and must sign in and obtain a visitor’s pass to be allowed access to classrooms or other areas of the school. In addition, our campuses use a visitor management system to allow the office staff to better identify unwanted visitors.
- The District uses School Messenger, as well as Twitter to communicate accurate and official information quickly and efficiently.
- Schools conduct monthly drills to practice what to do in case of an emergency, so that first responders will be able to quickly reach the scene of a critical incident.
- Staff have received ongoing training opportunities focused on various safety scenarios and protocols.
The District also has implemented the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) system that uses positive approaches to encourage good behavior. We strongly believe that setting clear expectations and creating an inclusive, respectful school culture leads to student success. In addition, the District has counselor and psychologist support available at all school sites.
Finally, we have the benefit of having parents, students, and staff on our campuses, and we ask that you report any unusual or suspicious activity to your site principal. As accurate information is critical to the speed of every investigation, we ask all community members please refrain from circulating unofficial information on social media. Please talk to your children to remind them that they can also report anything suspicious. We want everyone on our campuses to be empowered to speak up about anything that looks out of place.
The National School District continues to focus on protecting the well-being and safety of our students and staff. We appreciate your support in these efforts.
Global Goals for NSDPosted by Leighangela Brady on 8/1/2019 6:20:00 PM
In National School District WE are World Citizens and WE are on a mission to contribute to the World’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. WE want to partner with YOU!
Learn more about SDGs here: https://tinyurl.com/SDGs4NSDnow
Email your idea for a potential partnership here: Superintendent@nsd.us
To our students, I promise that we will strive every day to provide you a world-class education. You are the reason we wake up every day, and the purpose behind what drives our work.
To our parents, I pledge to ensure your children receive the best education possible. Thank you for your trust and confidence in us to ensure your children grow up with the ability to contribute to our National City community and beyond.
To our community partners, I commit to reach out and learn how we can prepare our students to be your future employees, business owners, and civic leaders.
To our staff, I vow to roll up my sleeves and support your efforts in any way possible. You are the backbone of what we do.
To the world, I'll guarantee to you that the students of National School District will be ready to amaze you!