Summer, Summer and Summertime
As I write this article, we have had nearly a week of excessive heat warning days. Summertime is definitely here. Under normal circumstances, that would mean getting ready for summer vacation, summer travel and just good old summer fun. And for some Hart District students, we are delighted to welcome students to summer school starting on July 1, 2021. Summer school will include opportunities for junior high and high school students to have extended learning opportunities to recover credit if needed as well as provide opportunities for taking fun and educational enrichment courses. Summer school programs will be offered at three of our high schools—Canyon, Hart and Saugus and at two of our junior high schools—Placerita and Sierra Vista. We will also have an extended year special education program at Valencia High School. The exciting news is that we will offer these programs in both virtual and in-person options.
Speaking of in-person school, I have said it before and I will say it again. We are planning and moving forward with welcoming back our students and staff in the fall to fulltime five day a week in-person instruction. It is an exciting time to think about this reality after the last 16 months. When we open in the fall, there will be some noticeable differences. As one example, we will have a few more adults on campus to support our students in our wellness centers. While we opened to cohorts in the spring, not all of our 22,000 students returned to campus. For some, when they come back in August 2021, it may be the first time they have been on campus since March 2020. We recognize how difficult this transition may be and know that it is critical that we provide the supports on our campus to help any students who may need it. The trauma that our students and staff—really our community and country too—experienced is real and in an effort to focus on the social and emotional learning needs as well as academics, we have made the wise decision of investing in the emotional well-being of our students and staff. Mental health and emotional well being has been a priority for me since first introducing the idea of having wellness centers on our campuses over two years ago and it remains so today. To have the ability to finally have them fully staffed is a game changer in terms of being able to better serve our students as they return to school in the fall.
As I close, I want to say thank you again to the teachers, classified staff and administrators in the District for their continual focus on excellence in all we do. The Hart District is an amazing, award winning District that is making a difference in the lives of students every day, even during the summer. I am humbled by the ability of our staff to find solutions to difficult challenges and to be continued partners in ensuring that the Hart district students and families receive the exceptional education that they expect. I also want to say thank you to the Hart District parents. We know this last year was not what anyone wanted nor could have dreamed in their wildest imagination. In the midst of a crisis, parents in the Hart District stayed engaged, involved and supportive. As a parent of a school-age child myself, I know it wasn’t easy and many, many sacrifices were made. I know that you played a critical role in supporting student learning in the last year. Thank you for sticking with us and we can’t wait to welcome back your students in the fall. I am in gratitude and service and always available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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