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LCMSD: Welcome to the 2021-22 School Year!

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Resources:

 

Dear Staff, Families, and Community Members:

Welcome to another unique school year in Larkspur-Corte Madera School District history! While this year will start off differently than a typical year, we are excited to offer a full day, full classroom model. You’ll find that with exception to masks and several protocols that we are used to already, this year will create an even greater sense of normalcy for students, staff, and families. We’ve created this website as your one-stop-shop for all information regarding LCMSD’s COVID Response Plan. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with it.

Today we will hold scheduled parent meetings to review our COVID plans for 2021-22 (links are above in the resources section). These meetings will also be recorded and posted here by noon on August 17. Marin County Public Health, California Department of Public Health, and the California Department of Education (as well as a number of other organizations) recommend full in-person school for students. We committed to this last year and will only be providing in-person instruction for this school year. While distance learning was a solution when we were not permitted to hold school on our campuses, it is not a replacement for what happens in the classroom. However, we do understand there are unique family circumstances; therefore, we have formed a partnership with Novato Unified School District where we will assist in the interdistrict transfer process for students wanting to participate in NUSD’s Virtual Independent Study Program (click here for information). We hope you are able to attend one of our parent meetings or view the recording.

On August 12 our staff came together (in person) for the first time since fall of 2019. During this welcome back event, our focus was grounded in the idea of ohana. This summer I was fortunate to spend July in Hawaii. It provided me with the time to reconnect with my own family as the last school year seemed to have been from March 2020 to June of 2021. In Hawaii, ohana means family, but also includes members in your community. It is often described as an extended family who takes care of each other, raises the community’s children, and ensures no one is left behind. Each year our teachers and staff serve a significant role in raising our collective children; however, last year they stretched themselves beyond what we’ve ever experienced. While we were recognized for providing 140/180 of in-person school days, amongst the highest number of in-person instructional minutes, and were the trailblazers for Marin to get students back in school, the teachers, staff, and leadership did all of this because it was the right thing for children. When we became educators, we signed up to help raise our community’s children; and when our ohana needed us the most, we were there with open arms and smiles (under our masks). 

So, on our first day back as a team we spent it reconnecting and extending gratitude. This protected time for staff wellness, community building, and face-to-face interaction makes our team stronger for any challenges that might be ahead of us. Following that day, we engaged in an equity workshop led by our own Kristie Martinez, a gender spectrum staff development facilitated by the Spahr Center, and we examined health and safety protocols to support a successful school year. 

In June, our Board of Trustees adopted our 2021-24 Local Control Accountability Plan where equity is our number one goal. While access is a key component, so are many other factors, including addressing our own experiences with race and how to infuse the equity lens into our teaching practices. Last year, Dr. Watson, equity staff developer, shared with me, “One is either working against racism or perpetuating it, there is no in-between.” LCMSD has not and will not sit on the sidelines - we stand for social justice. We encourage all members of our learning community to join us in these important conversations and action we will continue to take towards equity and access for all children. 

We greatly appreciate the visionary and steadfast leadership of our Board of Education - Monica Cañas, Sarah Mueller, Jill Sellers (Board President), and Annie Sherman who are extraordinary partners and leaders in our commitment to provide the very best education possible to all of our students. We also are excited to welcome Eric Schmautz to the Board of Trustees, who was unanimously appointed on August 10 and will be sworn in on August 25.  

We commend the dedication and hard work of each and every member of our staff. We believe that our internal talent, coupled with clarity, purpose, and professional development in support of our priorities will continue to advance our ability to personalize learning and increase overall academic achievement.

All students return to school on August 18. We encourage all parents, when possible and age-appropriate, to send their students to school by walking or on a bicycle. For all parents who drive their students to school, please be mindful of speed limits and other safety measures so that our communities can continue to be safe for all. This includes drop-off areas as parents and visitors will have limited access to our campuses. 

I love coming to work each day with an extraordinary team of dedicated people who are passionate about educating students and committed to supporting and serving all students and families. It’s the people that make Larkspur-Corte Madera a great place to live, learn, and grow. I am honored to be part of the LCMSD team.

 

Here’s to a spectacular 2021-22 school year!

Brett Geithman, Ed.D.

Superintendent

#WEareLCMSD