Dear Bolinas-Stinson Community,
What an eventful first two weeks of 2023! I hope your family is holding up under these challenging weather conditions and power outages. Please take a look at the latest updates from our school.
HEALTH, WELLNESS & SAFETY
School Emergency Response
All BSUSD staff participated in the Professional Development Day on Tuesday, January 3, focused on developing our school’s emergency response to an active shooter. The training was led by Kenny Barend, a parent and National Park Service Ranger, and Noah Skinner, a parent and Director of Safety and Security for UC Hastings College of Law. We had an amazing turnout of our community first responders from Bolinas Fire, Stinson Beach Fire, the Sheriff's Department, and the National Park service to help support the day. We learned a lot and will continue to develop our school training and response to threats of this nature. As you can imagine, the topic was tough to address, but our staff was professional and very thankful for an opportunity to talk to experts and learn how best to keep our students and each other safe.
Identifying Mental Health Challenges
In January and February, all instructional staff will be participating in the Mental Health First Aid Training. This specialized training is being conducted by licensed and certified Marin County Office of Education staff. By the end of this course, all instructional staff will be trained to look for and identify students experiencing mental health challenges. Staff will learn how to respond, refer, and direct students to resources available to them.
Student Wellness Ambassadors
We are participating in a pilot wellness program lead by the Marin County Office of Education for middle and high school students. It is called the Student Wellness Ambassador Program (SWAP). We currently have ten middle school students who are meeting with the teacher leaders, Zach and ML, once a week to work on developing communication/leadership skills. They are focusing on making positive changes within our school community.
Installation of New Emergency Public Announcement System
The Board of Trustees approved the purchase of a new emergency PA system for both campuses in November. The new system is being installed and tested on the Bolinas Campus during the month of January and is scheduled to be installed on the Stinson Campus over the February break. This upgrade is a huge improvement to our school's emergency preparedness. More information to come once both campuses are set up and running.
New Live Scan Fingerprinting Requirements for Parent Volunteers
Due to recent changes in California Education Code, parent volunteers are required to submit one-time, Live Scan fingerprint clearance, prior to chaperoning/driving on field trips, or if they regularly volunteer at school. Providing a safe learning environment for our students, both at school and while on field trips, is a priority at BSUSD. This type of background check is an important strategy used to help ensure that our students stay safe.
We are incredibly lucky to have such amazing parent volunteers that give so much of their time to our school and our students. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but know that it is in the best interest of our students. Thank you for your willingness to help support our school. If you do not have current Live Scan clearance on file with the office and are planning to chaperone/drive on an upcoming field trip or volunteer, please pick up a Live Scan packet from the office. This process does take time, and we need to receive clearance at least 10 days before the field trip. Check with the office for more information regarding this new requirement.
Our maintenance and operations team has been working hard to monitor and temporarily fix the septic pump system. We have contracted with specialists to provide a more permanent fix to the problem. They are working under very difficult conditions due to the high ground water table and it may take a week or two to finish. Our team has kept the school open, in spite of the septic system failure, due to their hard work and round the clock monitoring during the storm - We appreciate you!
Portable Bathroom Update
Thank you for your continued patience with the portable bathrooms on the Bolinas Campus. We know that portable bathrooms are not ideal, and it was a challenge to get them delivered this week. A huge thank you to our Facilities Manager, Kirsten Starsiak, who has arranged for much nicer electric powered bathroom trailers to be delivered on Monday, January 16. These new facilities are very close to normal bathrooms, and we will keep these trailers for as long as needed. Each trailer has multiple private stalls and integrated sinks. She has arranged for one trailer with multiple boy's and girl's stalls, and one for staff.
Emergency School Closure Update
We will be applying to the state for an attendance waiver, due to school closures on January 5th, 9th, and 10th, 2023. Per state requirements, BSUSD must first use the two built-in Emergency School Closure Days on our approved 2022-23 calendar, and then may apply for a waiver from the state for any remaining closure days. As of this date, we have one school closure day that would qualify for the state waiver application.
The approved 2022-23 calendar dates below reflect the updated last day of school using our two mandated Emergency Closure Days.
Monday, June 12 (Emergency School Closure Make-up Day #1)
All School Field Trip Scheduled
Tuesday, June 13 (Emergency School Closure Make-up Day #2)
Last Day of School & Graduation Ceremony
Wednesday, June 14 ~ All Staff Work Day
Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.