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August 3, 2020 - Message from Interim Superintendent

August 3, 2020 - Message from Interim Superintendent
Posted on 08/03/2020
August 3, 2020 - Message from Interim SuperintendentWelcome to the start of the 2020-2021 school year! I’m Harold Vollkommer, and I have the honor and privilege of serving as the district’s Interim Superintendent. This is my 38th “first day of school” in the district and it is, of course, the most unique one of all.







The first day of school is always exciting. Equal parts busy and full of wonder. We’re moved by the sight of a parent bringing their kindergartener - who may or may not be totally in favor of the idea - to school for the first time. And, there’s the crowd of middle schoolers, who literally giggle and scream as they run toward each other at first sight of a friend’s smiling face. Teachers, of course, have spent long hours decorating their classrooms with the alphabet, the periodic table of elements, a challenging mathematical equation, or a Shel Silverstein poem. Unfortunately, these moments will not occur on this first day of school.

But despite the uncertainty that surrounds us, the start of a new school year is still an exciting time, not only for students, but for families, and our staff as well. In this spirit, it’s my pleasure to welcome you back to the San Bernardino City Unified School District for the 2020-2021 school year.

Before I go much further, let me sincerely thank our families for entrusting us with the education of your children. We are grateful every school year, but especially amid a worldwide pandemic for this honor and privilege. We believe in the youth of our community and relish the opportunity to help them discover their potential. It's what motivates us every day and, although it may look different this year,... it still energizes us and fills us with hope.

Although this is anything but a traditional first day of school, I want to reassure you that we remain fully committed to—Making Hope Happen for the children of our community and to our mission that EVERY - and I emphasize the word every - every student will graduate college and career ready.

As we begin this new school year remotely, we do so with a renewed focus and commitment to supporting student academic achievement through quality and rigorous distance learning that addresses the needs of all our students.

I’m very grateful that we have amazing teachers, support staff and site administrators who have adapted so quickly to distance learning. They have participated in thousands of hours of professional learning and collaboration through virtual platforms, much in the same way our students did last spring and will do for the foreseeable future. Although our teachers won’t be meeting with students in person, we’ve asked them to communicate with your children regularly. Teachers are also available to speak to parents as well. Today, teaching and learning look, sound, and feel very different, but one thing remains the same: our Board of Education and all members of our team are committed to unlocking the potential of every student we serve.

While your children are busy learning virtually this school year, team members have been and and continue to develop thoughtful and detailed plans to reopen our school campuses - when that opportunity arises and with safety as our first order. Please know that these plans are flexible and open to change, depending upon mandates set by our lawmakers and agencies, including the CDC and the California Department of Education. As we have from the start, we will continue to work cooperatively with the San Bernardino County Public Health Department to do what is right for our community. Keeping our students and staff and their families safe is our first priority. In the coming weeks and months, we will provide all stakeholders with our health and safety plans so they may review them and provide feedback.

We recognize that “this” first day of school is an exciting time, but due to the unique nature of how we are opening this year, it comes with added stress and concern. Let’s be sure to give each other and ourselves grace and patience as we rise to meet the challenges before us.

As many typically do on the first day of school, please remember to snap a picture, or 2 or 10, of your child. If you want to remind us that the first day of school is, and always will be, a special day, please be encouraged upload your pictures to our social media using the hashtag #SBCUSDdayone. Today is the first of what promises to be 180 outstanding days with our students. Thank you, again, for your continued support and here’s to a terrific 2020-21 school year!

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