LIVE UPDATES: SUHSD and San Mateo County Action Regarding Coronavirus

Below is a timeline of coronavirus updates regarding Woodside High School, the Sequoia High School Union District, and San Mateo County.

The Paw Print Staff

March 31, 8:30 pm – Woodside, along with all other schools in the Sequoia Union High School District, will remain closed for the rest of the 2019 to 2020 school year. Students will proceed with distance learning until June 4. This extended closure was confirmed via a notice on the Woodside High School website.

 

March 31, 7:30 pm – In an email to Sequoia Union High School District families, Superintendent Mary Streshly wrote, “Today, State Superintendent of Schools, Tony Thurmond, announced that California schools will continue with distance learning for the remainder of this school year given the current COVID-19 safety concerns.”

 

March 31, 5:00 pm – California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond stated that “it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year.” This may prompt county authorities to continue with distance learning for the remainder of the year; however, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, this was not a definite order.

 

March 27 – All 23 parks in San Mateo County are now closed in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“The action was taken due to influx of people driving to parks and congregating on trails thus preventing social distancing and safe use of park trails at this time,” officials explained.

 

March 26, 6:30 pm – An update from Principal Burbank.

Wildcat Families,

I will continue to communicate just once daily during these different and difficult times as we implement at-home learning. These daily emails will arrive in the afternoon because I can provide clearer communication about evolving parameters at the end of the day. I am also communicating daily to families and students via a Canvas announcement, a parent email on School Messenger, and posting on the WHS website. Keep reading, please, the newest info is at the top. -Diane B

Tonight should’ve been the Night of Culture celebration in the PAC as a fun send-off for everyone to enjoy spring break. That event showcasing diverse student talent joins field trips, athletics, musical, and robotics on the sad list of March cancellations.

I’m sorry that there’s not much news to share this afternoon. You know school is dismissed through Friday, May 1, 2020. You know that teachers are relying on Canvas for your at-home learning. I’ll communicate again tomorrow before spring break.

If you didn’t yesterday, please read the superintendent’s message: https://www.seq.org/ABOUT-US/Superintendent/Superintendents-Message/index.htmlLinks to an external site.

Now that we have an extended dismissal date, we have a lot more questions. Teachers, staff, and students impressively pivoted over one weekend to at-home learning and are still figuring out what works (and what doesn’t work), but with an extended closure after spring break, what will assessments be and what will grading look like? We have to acknowledge that these are different and difficult times and be flexible and forgiving. Please add your input to this Thoughtexchange link https://my.thoughtexchange.com/scroll/995640645.

Stay safe, Wildcats! -Principal Burbank

 

March 25, 4:20 pm – An update from Principal Burbank on the extended dismissal date (May 1).

Wildcat Families,

I will continue to communicate just once daily during these different and difficult times as we implement at-home learning. These daily emails will arrive in the afternoon because I can provide clearer communication about evolving parameters at the end of the day. I am also communicating daily to families and students via a Canvas announcement, a parent email on School Messenger, and posting on the WHS website. Keep reading, please, the newest info is at the top. -Diane B

WHS closure is extended. Students are dismissed through May 1, 2020. Read the superintendent’s message on the WHS website (hit refresh), on School Messenger e-mail, and on the district website: https://www.seq.org/ABOUT-US/Superintendent/Superintendents-Message/index.html

Now that we have an extended dismissal date, we have a lot more questions. Teachers, staff, and students impressively pivoted over one weekend to at-home learning and are still figuring out what works (and what doesn’t work), but with an extended closure after spring break, what will assessments be and what will grading look like? We have to acknowledge that these are different and difficult times and be flexible and forgiving. Please add your input to Thoughtexchange link within the superintendent’s message.

These are the questions that I’m asking now at the district level and our campus leadership level with department chairs and program leaders:

1) When will the school year end?

2) What might virtual graduation celebrations look like?

3) What will “finals” look like?

4) When will teachers plan to address next year’s learning gaps for returning students?

WHS campus will be closed for spring break starting at 1 pm this Friday. We will be open from 10 am – 1 pm for the rest of this week for student tech check-out and breakfast and lunch.

Stay safe, Wildcats! -Principal Burbank

 

March 25 – Woodside will now remain closed until at least May 1 following orders from county officials. Aside from San Mateo County, five other Bay Area counties—Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, San Francisco County, and Santa Clara county—will also be extending school closures for six more weeks.

A press release from the Alameda County Office of Education announcing the extended closures stated that “The safety and wellness of students, school personnel, and the community are the highest priorities of all schools and districts in these six counties.”

 

March 20, 2:30 pm – Principal Burbank sent an email via Canvas, informing the Woodside community of new midnight deadlines for assignments, attendance points, and AP exam updates.

Wildcat Families, I will try to communicate just once daily during these different and difficult times as we implement at-home learning.  These daily emails will arrive in the afternoon because I can provide clearer communication about evolving parameters at the end of the day.  This same message is on Canvas announcement page and posted on the WHS website.  Keep reading, please: As WHS enters week two of at-home learning, I’ve met with department chairs, reviewed student survey data about what’s working, what’s not working, and what’s surprising about learning from home, and, of course, been thoughtful, in reading feedback.  The district has extended the end of the third quarter till April 10th, and teachers are feeling pressure to keep up the pace.   1) I’ve given them permission and encouragement, in these extraordinary times, to moderate the amount of work with the understanding that on-line work is taking you more time to complete.  2) I’ve given teachers a standard due time of midnight for all assignments; that will help you know what is due each day by midnight and to post their assignments on the Canvas calendar and not on the Canvas announcement page.  3) I’ve asked teachers not to require you to zoom in or log in at a set time for points or attendance as many of you have increased home responsibilities or are sharing devices or bandwidth with others in our household.  4) And I’ve reminded teachers of our school policy of no homework over spring break.  Let’s give the WHS teachers huge applause (clap! clap! clap!) for loving their content and wanting to deliver the best to your student!

Advanced Placement announcement by College Board highlights (more details to follow next week): 

  • AP Exams will be offered for students to take remotely. Each exam will be 45 minutes.
  • Additional test information will be released on April 3rd.
  • Digital portfolio submission deadlines have been extended to May 26th at 11:59pm EST.
  • Any students can cancel the exam at no charge.
  • Instructional resources will launch on 3/25/20–free remote learning resources.
  • The online exam will be offered on two dates (TBD).

As your school leader, know that you’re in good hands with Woodside High!  Stay safe, Wildcats!  Principal Burbank

 

March 17, 5:00 pm – California Governor Gavin Newsom states that there is a chance schools will remain closed until summer break. During a Tuesday press conference, he recommended that students and staff prepare for this possibility.

 

March 17, 9:00 am – Principal Burbank announced that food service is available from 10 am to 1 pm from any school site. Woodside’s main office and the library are also available from 10 am to 1 pm.

Wildcats,

During these different and difficult times, I will communicate once daily via Canvas and parent e-mail. Due to the new county shelter-in place restrictions, there are some changes from what I posted yesterday. Read on:

-CHANGE! Food service is open daily from 10 am – 1 pm; students can pick up both breakfast and lunch at the same time at the outside MUR window. Students can pick up food at ANY district school site. If MA is closer, for instance, students may use their ID there.

-Students can check out a Chromebook or graphing calculator in the WHS library from 10 am – 1 pm, but CHANGE! can not stay and work in the library. If you are awaiting a hot spot, we hope to have them Thursday. Wait until you get a phone call from the school that a hot spot has arrived for you.

-Teachers are transitioning to Canvas as our basic platform for students’ at-home learning. Some teachers may be expanding their use of Google classroom, Zoom, and others.

-The main office and library are open CHANGE! only from 10 am – 1 pm, M – F.

Gatos Salvajes: Durante estos tiempos diferentes y difíciles, me comunicaré una vez diario a través de Canvas y el correo electrónico de los padres. Debido a las nuevas restricciones del condado de mantenerse en su casa, hay algunos cambios en lo que publiqué ayer. Leerlo

-El servicio de comida en WHS está abierto de lunes a viernes de 10am- 1pm en las ventanas de afuera de la cafetería. A partir de las 10am, los estudiantes pueden recoger el desayuno y almuerzo. Los estudiantes pueden recoger la comida en CUALQUIER escuela del distrito. Por lo tanto si MA está más cerca, los estudiantes usando su identificación pueden ir ahí.

-Los estudiantes pueden consultar un Chromebook o una calculadora gráfica en la biblioteca WHS.

-Los maestros están haciendo la transición a Canvas como nuestra plataforma básica para el aprendizaje en el hogar de los estudiantes. Algunos maestros pueden estar expandiendo su uso del aula de Google, Zoom y otros.

-Los estudiantes son despedidos, pero las oficinas del campus están abiertas y respondiendo.

¡Mantente a salvo, gatos monteses! -Principal Burbank

 

March 16, 1:00 pm – San Mateo County, alongside five other Bay Area counties (San Francisco, Santa Clara, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda), will implement “shelter in place” starting at midnight. This new policy prohibits residents from leaving their homes, except for essential needs such as grocery shopping. Shelter in place will last for a minimum of two weeks, at least until April 7. Police departments, fire departments, hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies, and some other businesses will remain open.

“The scientific evidence shows that at this stage of the (coronavirus) emergency, it is essential to slow virus transmission as much as possible to protect the most vulnerable and to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed,” stated the order. “One proven way to slow the transmission is to limit interactions among people to the greatest extent practicable.”

 

March 16, 9:00 am – Principal Burbank announced that she will be communicating once daily on Canvas and parent email. Food service is open 9 am to 1 pm at Woodside’s campus, and students can check out technology in the library.

Wildcats,
During these different and difficult times, I will communicate once daily via Canvas and parent e-mail:
-Food service is open daily from 9 am – 1 pm; beginning at 10 am, students can pick up both breakfast and lunch at the same time at the outside MUR window. Students can pick up food at ANY district school site. If MA is closer, for instance, students may use their ID there.
-Students can check out a Chromebook or graphic calculator in the WHS library.
-Teachers are transitioning to Canvas as our basic platform for students’ at-home learning. Some teachers may be expanding their use of Google classroom, Zoom, and others.
-Students are dismissed, but campus offices are open and responding.

Actualización de aprendizaje en el hogar de WHS para el lunes 16 de marzo de 2020. En estos tiempos diferentes y difíciles, me comunicaré una vez al día por correo electrónico y en Canvas:

-El servicio de comida en WHS está abierto de lunes a viernes de 9am- 1pm en las ventanas de afuera de la cafetería. A partir de las 10am, los estudiantes pueden recoger el desayuno y almuerzo. Los estudiantes pueden recoger la comida en CUALQUIER escuela del distrito. Por lo tanto si MA está más cerca, los estudiantes usando su identificación pueden ir ahí.

-Los estudiantes pueden consultar un Chromebook o una calculadora gráfica en la biblioteca WHS.

-Los maestros están haciendo la transición a Canvas como nuestra plataforma básica para el aprendizaje en el hogar de los estudiantes. Algunos maestros pueden estar expandiendo su uso del aula de Google, Zoom y otros.

-Los estudiantes son despedidos, pero las oficinas del campus están abiertas y respondiendo.

¡Mantente a salvo, gatos monteses! -Principal Burbank

 

March 13, 5:20 pm – According to an email from San Mateo County Libraries, “the Library JPA Governing Board made the difficult decision to close all locations to public access effective Monday, March 16 – Tuesday, March 31. Most outreach and mobile services will also be suspended at that time.” There are no fines, and “due dates and holds will be extended to accommodate the closure period.”

 

March 13 – On Canvas, Principal Burbank notified students of At Home/Distance Learning beginning on March 16.

WHS transitioning to at-home learning

WHS is transitioning to At Home/Distance Learning, effective Monday, March 16th. School will be dismissed at 3:10 today, as usual. While WHS will be closed for whole classroom-based instruction, we plan to keep campus open to staff and for students receiving unique or specialized services. Stay tuned as I’ll share info on Canvas, our website, parent e-mail, and on WHS social media platforms.

While we cannot anticipate the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are hopeful that we will be able to resume regular classes on campus after spring break. If it is determined that we cannot resume our normal schedule on Monday, April 6th, we will notify families by Friday, April 3rd. -Principal Burbank

 

March 13, 7:41 am – Superintendent Mary Streshly sends an email stating that all district schools will be closed from Monday, March 16 to Friday, April 3. Families will be notified on April 3 if school will continue to be suspended.

Dear SUHSD Community:

As we monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic crisis, we share the latest development with you this morning. 

After much thought and deliberation, and in close collaboration with the Board of Trustees, the San Mateo County Office of Education and the San Mateo County Health Officer, we have made the difficult decision to transition all Sequoia Union High School District schools to At Home/Distance Learning, effective Monday, March 16th. While we cannot anticipate the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are hopeful that we will be able to resume regular classes on campus after spring break. If it is determined that we cannot resume our normal schedule on Monday, April 6th, we will notify families by Friday, April 3rd. 

District staff will continue to report to their worksites where they will develop and implement At Home/Distance Learning plans while practicing careful social distance. Additionally, next week, we will dedicate multiple days to professional development. Teachers will use Canvas, our online learning management system, to provide students with assignments and guide learning. Your student will be hearing directly from teachers about expectations during this time.

We are also developing strategies by which we will provide meals to students who rely on us for support. While our campuses are closed for whole classroom-based instruction, we plan to keep the campuses open to staff and for students receiving unique or specialized services. Stay tuned for specifics in an upcoming communication. In addition, if your student has an Individualized Educational Program (IEP), we will be sending you a separate communication.

Although a difficult decision to make, we are guided by our top priority of protecting the health and safety of our school district community, as well as, our moral duty to take proactive steps in slowing down the spread of COVID-19. 

As we navigate through unchartered territory, thank you for your support and flexibility. 

Sincerely,

Mary E. Streshly
Superintendent

 

March 12, 12:01 pm – The Woodside robotics teams will no longer compete due to cancelation of the Houston and Detroit Robotics world championships.

 

March 12, 10:50 am – Woodside Principal Diane Burbank sends out an email regarding the district’s response to the coronavirus as well as addresses the situation on the video announcements.

Dear Wildcat Families,

As I communicated earlier this morning, the Sequoia district parameters to mitigate the corona virus are evolving. Effective immediately, Woodside High School, and all SUHSD schools, are suspending interscholastic athletic gameplay as part of comprehensive efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Suspension of gameplay is indefinite. Teams may continue to practice and participating athletes will remain eligible for academic credit.

-Principal Burbank

Wildcat Families, Currently the evolving parameters of our district’s response to the Cornova virus do not include dismissing school; however, in order to be prepared for the possibility of at-home learning, we are providing teachers with additional Canvas training during their prep periods this Friday and Monday and to be used as our platform for at-home learning. Right now, Woodside High School is still in session. We are continuing to promote student self-care: staying home if sick, washing hands, not touching face, coughing etiquette. If you choose to keep your student at home, you may do so. Remember to call in to the attendance office (x40000) to clear your student’s absence. Teachers are continuing to offer bleach wipes in classrooms and staff are continuing to offer hand sanitizers in public areas. We have discontinued the use of condiment pumps and open salad bar in the food service lines. We continue to use sanitizing spray over desks, tables, doorknobs, and locker rooms on a nightly basis. More importantly, teachers are being flexible and providing time for students to voice their anxiety about these evolving parameters. As the parameters of our district’s response evolves, I will communicate on our website, via e-mail and voice calls, and in the PTSA weekly e-mail. These are different and difficult times, and I appreciate your navigating your teen through the uncertainty. Go WILDCATS! -Principal Diane Burbank

 

March 11 – According to an email, San Mateo County Libraries are “canceling some public programs and will be reviewing others through the month of March.” For now, the “libraries will remain open following regularly scheduled business hours.” You can view calendar updates here.

 

March 10 – Woodside Principal Diane Burbank sends out an email regarding school activities.

“Wildcats,

We are in different times, folks, and this global issue requires different measures. As we move from containment to mitigation of the Coronavirus, our district determined the following guidelines about essential and non-essential activities after consultation with county health, county office of ed, and principals:

Essential Activities Guidelines CONTINUE AS IS…IN SESSION:

All regularly scheduled classes and support services during the school day
Before and after school interventions, tutoring, support services and small group activities
Staff and School Board meetings
California Interscholarship Federation (CIF and CCS) sports; practices

Non-Essential Activities Guidelines CANCEL, POSTPONE, OR MODIFY THRU APRIL

Large gatherings for trainings or conferences
Field Trips: no new field trips; no large groups; no long distance travel (out of bay area)
School assemblies, concerts, performing arts events, dances (reschedule April prom date to mid- to late-May)
Facility rentals by outside groups

These district-approved, and your principal-supported, measures will have evolving parameters. For now, these are in place through the end of April. As ever, Go WILDCATS!

Principal Burbank”

 

March 10 – The College Board cancels March 14 SAT testing at Carlmont High School, offering no makeups for students. Other SAT testing dates across the world have also been canceled.

 

March 9Menlo School (Atherton) reopens after a three-day closure for school deep cleaning.

 

March 3 – Menlo students received an email from Head of School Nathaniel Healy stating that a faculty member had been exposed to COVID-19.