>> Dr. Cathy Nichols-Washer, Superintendent, Lodi Unified School District: Hello, Lodi Unified community. Good afternoon, welcome to our session here for some updates. Just as a reminder, Lodi Unified schools are closed until April 17th and scheduled to reopen on April 20th. Please understand that this is tentative at this time, as this is a developing situation, and as we know ever changing. That could change and we have to be prepared for that. But as for now, most schools in San Joaquin County are closed through April 17th.
We continue to do our meal service, we have added new sites, out in our country area is a Lockeford and Clements, as well as several others. Please check our website for the latest on locations and times hopefully that will be more convenient for families. Thank you so much to our business services and nutrition services. You are doing an awesome job out there, preparing the meals and getting them out. We thank you so much.
Thank you to our custodians again for doing an incredible job keeping our facilities clean and keeping an eye on things. Thank you administrators were being out there. For those of you who are out helping with the Chromebook distribution, you are doing a phenomenal job. We have had a lot of support from the classified employees helping to get the Chromebooks out to students. Hopefully most of you have Chromebooks in your hands for your children. If not, I know that that is happening soon.
We are excited that tomorrow our teachers are going to start contacting our students we know that you have been anxiously awaiting that. They miss you tremendously. Everyone misses our young children so much. This is just heartbreaking for everybody. This is not how we normally do business. But they're getting in contact with you and they are excited about planning things and lessons and have some resources for you, so please watch for teachers’ communications, and for parents please ask questions if you are not sure about what your children should be doing at this time.
Also our district website continues to have resources for you posted that you can use anytime. Those don't replace with the teachers are doing but only to supplement and enhance. We are really looking forward to you working with your teachers again, at least remotely at this time. I want to point out a couple of resources that are available for you that you might not know about. San Joaquin County Office of Education has launched their resource page and it is called Locker -- something that I don't remember what it stands for, but go to their website. It is a wealth of information, not only do they have is broken down by grade levels and subjects, things that children can do. There are videos, there are video field trips Are museums and zoos and places to go that we cannot physically take you to at this point, but it gives you a little bit of that experience.
Also they have videos of careers. Folks who are in different careers are sharing with children and what it is like to be a firefighter, or what it is like to be a nurse. So please check that out as well. It is very interesting and engaging material.
They also provide some information about what is available through your television. On Xfinity, PBS, all have resources for parents, you can take a look at that as well. They have videos in lots of different areas, not just printed material but things that you can actually see. There are folks reading books to children and doing activities. they could be really engaging things so please check out the San Joaquin County Office of Education website as well.
Also I want to point to California JumpStart this is a nonprofit organization that focuses on financial literacy for teachers and children, and parents. There is a wealth of information and activities and lessons and resources on the California JumpStart site. It is something that we know is really an important process helping our young people, especially middle school students, teenagers, high school students, learning about finance and how to take care of their savings account, checking account, about loans, all about mortgages, all about compounding interest, credit cards, even cyber security. And how to keep yourself safe so go check out California JumpStart website and help your children through some of the activities. These actually serves as a reminder for us adults as well, especially during these time when finances could be difficult.
I also want to let you know that our district is putting together a task force how to address a lot of these issues that we are hearing about out there with our remote learning. We know that there are still a lot of questions, there are still a lot of things so we have to figure out, and we are getting folks together to help us do that. So we have teachers, administrators, counselors in different grade levels working with K-6 group, 7- 8th group for middle school, and high school that focus on issues that we are all talking about, grades, school credit, online learning and how that might be extended if it needs to be.
We are looking at things to do with access for everybody, so these questions that keep coming up over and over again, these folks who have expertise with distance learning or getting together remotely to help us look at those and hopefully bring you some answers soon.
I also want to let you know that we are going to be using our Thought Exchange system. For those of you who participated in the LCAP survey or questions for Thought Exchange might be familiar with this. What we do is pose a question and then get your input. We will be using that system, that online system, to get some input on what's going on with this remote learning, and how we are handling what you need us to do, what you need from us and how we can better support you. There will be different Thought Exchange questions for different groups, for teachers we are going to want her input on what is working and what you need to make this work better. For parents and students, we want to hear from you on your reaction to how this information is going, and we want to be able to adjust as best as we can to meet the needs that you have.
We know that special education is also a huge question of concern, helping our students to have special needs. Our special education department has virtually met with our staff to give them a plan on what is going to be happening in the next few weeks, and if it goes longer than that, even getting ahead a little bit. So there will be activities and resources available for our special needs students. Our teachers in our Special Ed Department as well are going to be reaching out to students and parents, just like general education teachers, and make some connections and support our children and what they are working with with a regular education teachers.
Our program specialist are ready to help you and support you and answer questions. If you don't know who your program specialist is for your child, you can contact our special education department, and they will make sure that you have the right contact information.
So we will continue to keep you posted, information is going to be posted soon. If not today then in the next couple of days about special education services and resources, and what will be provided and how we can support you. So please look forward to that as well.
We know that there are many other questions, and we know that you and the seniors in high school are concerned about graduation, and all of the activities that are connected with being a senior. We have not made any final decisions with that. As I said before, we do have our graduation at the University of the Pacific, and they have been notifying schools of any cancellations. We have not received any notification at this point. Yet it might be a little early, so we will see how things go, and if this ends up being a long-term arrangement, we have to be prepared that we make it we may get notice at this might be canceled. But at this point that has not happened, so please note that that is still in limbo. As uncomfortable as that is, I'm sorry, but we will have to wait and see how this pans out.
We know that the President has given -- he has addressed the nation this weekend about going through April 30th, in terms of what we are doing now. We know that the Governor is making statements as well regarding public health. We are watching this and monitoring this carefully.
Please stay tuned and unfortunately we have to be prepared for that. That seems to beat the reality that we are in. I want to acknowledge our board member Rob Freitas for putting a teddy bear in his window. In spite of the objections from his dog who didn't seem to care for the teddy bear in the window too much. But thank you Mr Freitas for doing that for our children so hopefully when our children are going out for a little Fresh Air Walk, they can find the teddy bears in the windows, so thank you for doing that.
Things like that remind us or reminded me of a story, a song that my mom used to sing with me about going on a lion hunt. It will be changed to go on a bear hunt. I'm sure that many of you know that it might have come from the Girl Scout World about going on a bear hunt or maybe some other person will post that, so we can share that.
These kind of things that give us time to think about stories and elements of our childhood that we can share with our children, and within the social media world, we can share that with everybody's children. So I encourage you to think of those things and attach them as fond memories of your childhood and share that with your children as you are working with them with their lessons as well.
We need to keep our joy in mind, as well, I've got mine. I'm going to reach over here as awkward is that what it is. Here is my joy, we all have our joys to think about. My daughter who is a healthcare provider now in the Fresno area, I cannot see her for a while but I know that she is busy taking care of folks, as so many other people are in our community. But we have to find those things that bring us joy and make us happy, and focus on those things, as we are missing our children and being cooped up at home and trying to find things to do.
My kitchen pantry now is as clean as it ever has been, I think, because of this week being home. I did take before and after pictures and was going to post it, but the before picture was so embarrassing that I decided not to, but we will see how long that lasts in terms of keeping things organized. This time gives us the opportunity to do those things.
We are so sorry that our schools are closed, we miss you tremendously. I know our teachers are just -- their hearts go out to you, they think about you all the time, they want to be with you all, and they are looking forward to communicating with you starting tomorrow, to get you some activities to do. So until then, we will see you next time on our next set. Thank you.