As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, I wanted to take a moment to say how very grateful I feel about the incredible amount of effort our District employees have made to make sure our students were able to safely return to school.  With the new systems in place, protocols, and policies, we have minimized the risks associated with the spread of COVID-19.  It has not been easy, and you all should know how much we appreciate your efforts.

Kudos to  our parents and our students for being patient. It has been challenging to adapt not only to all the changes, but especially to the vaccination requirements.  Of course, I appreciate those of you who willingly complied.  For those who were initially scared or resistant for your own reasons, and yet went ahead to get vaccinated, you deserve our recognition and appreciation.

Next, I want to share this article from Harvard Medical School about Why Giving Thanks can make you Happier which reports on studies that have shown that exhibiting thanks can make people more optimistic, improve relationships, feel happier, and even have fewer doctor visits.  The article has some good ideas about how to practice gratefulness.


I sincerely hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday with family and/or friends.  There are so many in our communities that will appreciate your generosity. Here are some places where you can make donations or volunteer.  Please note that food banks see an influx of volunteers around the holidays, which can overwhelm them. Make sure to ask specifically what they need or/and when they need help.


I had the fortune of interviewing the members of the Bassett Elementary News Team, and boy, they sure are learning a lot!
I was so glad to listen to the students who make up this team, they are bright, thoughtful, and funny!
I am so proud of Balboa Gifted/High Ability Magnet Elementary for their National Blue Ribbon School Recognition - a great honor for all the educators, the support staff, the district staff -- and of course, the amazing students!

One of the ways in which we like to give thanks is by sharing the great stories of dedication, commitment, support, and perseverance that can be found every day in our schools.  But I need your help, so please, if you will, visit this page on my website where you can select the kind of story that you want to share, of a student, an employee, a bilingual student, or a generally good news story.  If you have any questions, you can send an email to Claudia Vizcarra in my office using this form or writing to her at
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