Dr. Steve Martinez

Oct. 30, 2020

To Staff and the Twin Rivers School Community,

First, I want to thank you for your patience, understanding and support as we complete an educationally sound plan for returning students for in-person learning and instruction. As you can imagine, there are many critical pieces to our safe reopening plan, including the ability to meet public health guidelines in terms of transportation, classroom configuration, school schedules, staffing, and serving daily meals.

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Now that we have a Board approved date to return to in-person instruction—Jan. 19, 2021— our goal is to have all details for the instructional options finalized by early November. We will share a poll on Nov. 12 for parents to select a preferred model. We will also share our Reopening Guide at that time. Your input will help us organize staffing needs so that you can count on TR being ready to go when we welcome students back at school sites.

I want to acknowledge that every family must be allowed to decide what is best for their student and for their family’s circumstances. You will need to balance the mutually important priorities of education and health, and make a decision that is right for you. Be assured, our families will have choices.

Distance Learning will continue to be offered, as some families will no doubt feel that is the best choice for their family circumstances. We will also have an in-person option that will require us to bring students to school in small groups, so that we can observe CDC physical distancing guidelines.

I have made a personal commitment to use these weekly messages to be candid and forthright with our school community, and in that spirit, I do want to make one point clear— given the state of COVID-19 public health concerns, and the Board’s strict direction to prioritize health and safety, we will not fully return to a “traditional” school experience of having all students on campus for in-person learning in January. However, we are exploring options for the “traditional” instructional model. I am confident that our talented team of administrators and teachers will identify options that balance public health and student learning.

Good News

Student Achievement

  • The District has tested nearly 50% of the 720 students eligible for initial ELPAC testing – English Language Proficiency Assessments for California. The test is given to students who are new to California and speak a language other than English to determine if they are going to receive English Learner programs and services. Please contact the English Learner Services Department at 1.916.566.1600, ext. 33424 for more information.

Outreach & Engagement

  • Our TR school nurses continue to provide training to staff and families on how to stay safe during the pandemic. They are also collaborating with other departments in preparation to return to school, partnering with public health to provide contact tracing support to staff, students and families, and working closely with our licensed vocational nurses and health assistants to help families with all needs during the pandemic, including immunizations, dental, hearing & vision, and well-child visits. Please visit the Health Services webpage to learn more.
  • Virtual Parent University Workshops – Family and Community Engagement (FACE) and our English Learner Services Department will host a series of Virtual Parent University workshops to support our English Learners on a variety of topics. The first two sessions: How to Use Imagine Learning to Support Your English Learner at Home. Click HERE to register for the Nov. 2 or Nov. 5 sessions.
  • In anticipation of the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, Nutrition Services will provide a two-meal kit on Nov. 10. There will be no meal service on Nov. 11.

District Operations

  • We continue to prepare for the Jan. 19, 2021 return to in-person instruction, including working on custodial schedules and back up plans for cleaning when school is in session.

A Friendly Reminder

Because our public schools are deeply dependent on support from our colleagues in public health, I feel it is only appropriate that we, in turn, support their earnest efforts to serve the public good. I want to take a moment to remind everyone of the simple steps that public health is asking of us to protect our health and slow the spread of COVID-19: Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing.

With warm regards,
Steve Martinez, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Twin Rivers Unified

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Born and raised in Rio Linda, graduate of Rio Linda High School, and resident for most of the last 50 years. Committee Chair for the Rio Linda Elverta Visions Committee, announcer for the Rio Linda Little League Parade, Keeper of the Archway Lights, and outspoken advocate for the community.