February 12, 2021
On February 5, 2021, the District announced a target date of April 5 to reopen our elementary schools for in-person instruction. Words cannot express how proud I am to work alongside our dedicated teachers, classified teams, and management in their response in preparing to welcome back 5,000 TK through 5th grade students in a safe manner.
There is no doubt that this pandemic has affected every one of us. As a school district, we cannot control everything that will directly affect us. However, we do believe that we can control how we will respond. Since March of 2020, despite an enormous amount of challenges, we have witnessed so many amazing things in our classrooms, on our athletic fields, in student clubs, and within our daycare programs, just to name a few.
As we continue to look forward, our maintenance crews have been working hard to improve classroom ventilation systems with improved filters and automated thermostats to ensure adequate circulation of air. Teachers have begun arranging classroom furniture to ensure social distancing between students. Our tech teams are walking school sites ensuring all classrooms have everything they need to succeed in a hybrid learning format. We are working collaboratively with county officials to ensure successful vaccination for nearly 1,000 employees soon.
In light of a recent private social media post by an individual board member concerning not wearing a face covering, the Board of Education and the District want to assure the community that we are fully committed to following all laws and rules set by our governing bodies, which includes wearing face coverings on all District properties. The private post has since been removed.
Additionally, according to Board Bylaw 9010, Public Statements, board members may participate in public discourse on civic or community interest matters and have a right to express their personal views freely. Board members are responsible for identifying personal viewpoints as such, not as the viewpoint of the Board of Education or the Bonita Unified School District. To be clear, the comments made regarding not wearing a face-covering do not represent those of the Board of Education or the District.
In the February 5th letter, I stated, "As always, our number one priority is the health and safety of our students and staff." These words are not taken lightly, and our commitment to safety is unwavering. On February 16, 2021, the Board of Education will hold a Special Board meeting to discuss and reaffirm the District's commitment to the safety of our students, staff, and the communities we serve.
On behalf of the Board of Education, we thank you for your support, trust, and partnership in our mission to prepare our students to live their purpose.
Respectfully at your service,
Carl J. Coles