Benicia Unified School District

Update from Superintendent Dr. Young 1/15/2021

Category(s): Latest News | nCoV

Posted On: January 15, 2021

Dear Staff and Community:

Virtual Learning Extended:  Last night the Board Trustees voted to remain in Virtual Learning through March 19, 2021, with the desire to return to In-Person Learning on March 22, 2021 which is the first day of the 4th quarter, state rules permitting.  

The reason behind the decision centered on concern over the continued high rates of infection in our county and the hope of the vaccine being made available soon for all educators, thus lowering the chance of spreading the disease and ensuring a safer return to school for staff and students.

We will continue to do our very best to engage and support your students in the virtual learning model, knowing we are looking forward to a safe return to in-person learning in March.  

New Board Roles:  The Board Trustees and I want to thank Diane Ferrucci for her time as Board President.  She provided strong, thoughtful and experienced leadership in that role for the past few years.  As is customary, the Board President role changes as does the role of Clerk, providing an opportunity for other trustees to serve in those roles.  

Our new Board President is Sheri Zada.  Ms. Zada facilitated her first meeting last night and did an excellent job.  She too will provide thoughtful and reflective leadership in the role.  An additional change includes Dr. Gethsemane Moss who is our new Clerk.  Dr. Moss has a great deal of experience in the field of education and will serve with distinction in the role.  Thank you to all of our Trustees!  

Martin Luther King and our Work Around Equity and Opportunity:  Today being Martin Luther King, Jr’s., birthday presents an important opportunity for us, as a school district, to reflect on the work we are engaged in around equity and opportunity for all of our students.  During last night’s board meeting, we discussed the work the District has been engaged in for the past several years and what we are planning going forward. 

We have identified five broad areas of focus and are fleshing out actions and related metrics to bring that work to fruition. Here is the Board presentation from last night regarding our work to date with equity and opportunity.  Once the goals, actions and metrics are completed, we will post them on the website for your access.  We will be providing regular updates at board meetings regarding our progress.

The important and exciting work around equity and opportunity for all students must center on a rejection of all forms of prejudice, including racism, as it alienates, disparages and creates barriers in our efforts to help each student reach his or her potential.  This work is urgent and a priority and we are working to lay a solid foundation so our efforts will take root, endure and continue to make a positive difference in the lives of our students for many years to come.  

I have included a link to Dr. King’s speech here from the History Channel.  The site also includes other resources on Dr. King’s work.  I sincerely hope you can take some time to listen to his speech, or read the text, listening for themes of hope as reflected in his clarion call for all Americans to join together so each one of us can experience his/her inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  

Please have a safe and restful holiday weekend.

On we go!

Charles F. Young, Ed.D.