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Superintendent's Update - November 2018

Dr. Joan Rosas, SuperintendentDear San Mateo-Foster City Community,

Thank you for your patience and for working with us as we have been dealing with poor air quality over the past few weeks.  It is my sincere hope that the fires will be contained rapidly for the sake of so many displaced families.  Our thoughts are certainly with them and the responders. 

In talking with parents, there was interest expressed in knowing more about how the County and Districts work together in situations that affect all of us.  Often times the San Mateo County Office of Education will send the 23 Superintendents in San Mateo County an advisory note with ideas for us to share or one of the Superintendents will send a message out to the team.  In this case, the County Office and the Superintendents were online together as plans were made to Shelter-in-Place and eventually close school on Friday. 
 
Within our District, we have our own manner of connecting with site leadership and families.  Principals are contacted and asked to initiate emergency protocols (such as Shelter-in-Place) with staff.  The District then sends out messages to families using our SchoolMessenger notification system.  This week we sent out email and text messages for the Shelter-in-Place notification and added a phone message for the Friday closure/Monday opening.  We also posted information on all 21 websites and social media pages – Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.  We believe it is crucial to communicate in as many ways as possible in order to reach our parents on the platform where they best receive information.
 
SchoolMessenger is the system we use to communicate with families for emergencies, school information and events, and student attendance.  Phone numbers, email addresses, and cell phone numbers used for these communications come from the District's student information system.  It is possible to unsubscribe or subscribe to each type of broadcast.  However, please note that unsubscribing from one or more of the communication options will limit your ability to receive important messages from your school and the District.  Please see our SchoolMessenger Communications web page if you would like more information.
 
Text Message Sign-Up for Parents/Guardians
If you have not already signed up to receive text messages and would like to opt-in, send a text message of “Y” or “Yes” to our shortcode number, 67587.  In order to receive text messages, please confirm the school has your correct mobile phone number in our student information system.
 
Measure V Update
As of today, the vote tally is currently at 67.27 % in favor of the Measure!  We are encouraged to see this latest count and look forward to finalizing the results and retaining the 66.67% threshold to pass.  According to the San Mateo County Elections website, these semi-official results include a portion of ballots received in the mail, electronic votes from all Vote Centers, and a portion of paper ballots cast at Vote Centers.  They still need to count remaining ballots received in the mail, ballots dropped off at Vote Centers or Drop Boxes, paper ballots cast at Vote Centers and all provisional ballots.  Post-election releases are scheduled for Tue, 11/20, Wed, 11/21 & Fri, 11/23 at 4:30 pm with additional releases as necessary – see the San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Elections website for the most up-to-date information.

We will continue to monitor the results and provide updates as we have more information.  Thank you again to all who supported Measure V.
 
Equity Work
As you know, the SMFCSD Board of Trustees is focused on equitable practices in our District to ensure that all students succeed.  At their November 1, 2018 Board Meeting the Trustees decided to use the National Equity Project’s definition of Equity for our District and finalized an application for membership on an Equity Task Force.
 
Equity Definition
Educational equity means that each child receives what he or she needs to develop to his or her full academic and social potential.  Working towards equity involves:

o   Ensuring equally high outcomes for all participants in our educational system; removing the predictability of success or failures that currently correlates with any social or cultural factor

o   Interrupting inequitable practices, examining biases, and creating inclusive multicultural school environments for adults and children

o   Discovering and cultivating the unique gifts, talents and interests that every human possesses

Applications for the Equity Task Force
Applications for participation on the Equity Task Force are available now – please see our website for more information - http://www.smfcsd.net/en/news/archives/news-2018/seeking-nominees-for-the-smfcsd-equity-task-force.html.  The Task Force is seeking representation from Community Leaders, Staff, Parents and Students.
 
I wish you all a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving holiday.

Sincerely,
Joan Rosas, Ed.D.
Superintendent