Message from Michelle Stewart

8/3//2022

 

Dear Happy Valley Families,

Welcome back!  We trust you had an enjoyable and relaxing summer.  We have been busy at Happy Valley!  With your donations, the Parent Club funded painting, new tables and benches, and a new library!  So many parents and staff volunteered their time to help us install a hydration station, start a mural in the garden, get the sprinklers going, and set up the new library.  Additionally, Donna Walker has been working hard to create a beautiful new website!  Check it out here!  Thank you for your ongoing support to make this school a fantastic place for students, parents, staff and the community!

The Hydration Station (cold drinking water and refillable water station) was funded with a previous Life Lab grant and a grant from our recent Green Business certification.  A special thank you to Silas De Vries for the days of work and expertise he spent installing this water station.  We encourage you to send a refillable water bottle with your child’s name on it.

HOME TESTS

We have been provided with home tests for every student so that every family can test before school begins and we can safely prepare for the return of students.  You may drive through and pick up the tests on Monday, August 8, between 10:00 and 11:30.  We ask that you administer the test on Tuesday, August 9.  Please inform the school immediately if your child tests positive.  (If you cannot pick up the tests during the drive-up hours, please contact the office.) Thank you for your ongoing support!

COVID PROTOCOLS

Although restrictions have lifted off and on over the summer, COVID is still with us.  All schools in the county are HIGHLY recommending that masks are worn indoors.  We will continue to keep doors and windows open as much as possible and have air filters in every classroom.  We will continue with twice weekly testing through Inspire Diagnostics.  Please let us know if you do not want to participate in weekly testing.  If you are new to the school, please register through Inspire Diagnostics. If you have previously registered through another school district you will need to re-register through Happy Valley.  You can find the 2022-23 School Guidance from the Santa Cruz County Office of Education on our website

Important COVID FAQS:

  • Masking

    • Outdoors - Masks do not need to be worn outdoors. 

    • Indoors - CDPH strongly recommends that all persons wear masks in K-12 indoor settings.

  • We ask that you screen your child before leaving for school for any symptoms.  

    • Symptoms include: Fever/chills, Cough, Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, Fatigue, Muscle/body aches, Headache, New loss of taste/smell, Sore throat, Congestion/runny nose, Nausea/vomiting, Diarrhea

  • Symptoms: Students who develop symptoms must isolate. They may discontinue isolation if ALL the following conditions are true:

  • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; AND

  • Other symptoms improve; AND

  • Negative COVID test(s) 1 PCR test OR 2 Antigen Tests with at least 24 hrs in between tests. (Antigen recommended for those who had COVID within the last 90 days).

    • PCR or antigen tests must be performed/observed by a healthcare provider, laboratory, or a CLIA certified program.

  • Positive Tests: If a student tests positive, follow the Guidance for Ending Isolation after testing positive. (5-10 days, depending on testing status.)

    • PCR or antigen tests must be performed/observed by a healthcare provider, laboratory, or a CLIA certified program.

  • Exposures:  We will inform families when there has been a positive exposure in the classroom.  Exposed students, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, should get tested for COVID-19 with at least one diagnostic test obtained within 3-5 days after last exposure, unless they had COVID-19 within the last 90 days.

PARENT VOLUNTEERS

We are planning on parent volunteers this year during the school day!  Please remember that all volunteers must be fingerprinted and vaccinated.  

LUNCH

Lunch will be available daily. For this year we have contracted with Ohlsen Foods, and they are working to keep costs down as much as possible while providing quality lunches. If you decide to purchase hot lunch, you will be notified of the total cost of the lunches after you sign up and then will have the choice of donating the full amount, a different amount, or nothing.  Your child will not be denied lunch and you will not receive a bill.  Happy Valley will cover the difference in the cost.  Students should bring a snack every day, and their own lunches if they don’t order hot lunch.  Because we are a Waste-Free School and certified Green Business, we ask that students bring their food and drink in reusable containers.

Although every student may get free lunch, I want to explain why Happy Valley is asking for donations for families that participate.  Although Governor Newsom has communicated that all students can access free lunch, in order to receive funding there are specific criteria that must be met.  We could access reimbursement funds, but that would require hiring someone to complete required reporting and paperwork, hiring kitchen staff, and remodeling/updating our kitchen facilities.  In the end, the cost to receive reimbursement would exceed the monies we could receive. Because we are funded as a Basic Aid District, our funding is limited to our tax base to cover all the costs associated with the School District.  If we provided lunch for all students every day for the entire year, the cost would exceed $130,000.  That is money that can otherwise go to our students, facilities, staff and important programs.  If you have any questions about the lunch program, please contact me. 

Lunches will begin on Monday, August 15.  Please use the order form if you plan on ordering hot lunch.

BACK TO SCHOOL MEET AND GREET

Please join the Parent Club for a Meet and Greet coffee the first day of school right after drop off.  We will be on the stage.  

Our teachers and support staff can’t wait to see you! Teachers will be sending letters Friday to families regarding classroom logistics.  This year we will be fully implementing Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop in every classroom, and have a dedicated lab to teach Science. We have a new history curriculum, and are ready to immerse our students in math, focusing on Teaching Through Problem Solving (TTP). Our new library assistant is working in tandem with our monthly Assembly themes and PeaceBuilders curriculum.  We are excited about educating the whole child at Happy Valley!

Teachers and Assistants: Room 1 (5th/6th grade):  Ms. Royer and Ms. Coleen

    Room 2 (4th grade): Mrs. Frier and Ms. Donna

    Room 3 (3rd grade): Ms. Doolan and Ms. Gail

    Room 4 (1st grade): Mrs. Prudhon and Ms. Doreen

    Room 5 (TK/K): Mrs. Rossi and Ms. Calleen

    Room 6 (2nd):  Ms. Keenan, Mrs. DeMeyer and Ms. Cynthia

Support Staff:    Ms. Ruwe (Intervention/Academic Coach)

Mr. Bowie (Garden)

    Ms. Conway (Music/Art)

    Mrs. Vahradian (Resource)

    Ms. Tiffany (Speech)

    Ms. Katy (OT)

    Ms. Lena (Library)

    Ms. Perlman (Counseling)

    Paige and Donna (Office)

We look forward to an amazing year ahead!

Michelle Stewart