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Vallecito News
Posted 11/13/20

Upcoming Events

  • Nov. 16: Third Wave of Hybrid Instruction Begins (K-2)
  • Nov 17: GLR/ Principal Meeting (11:30)
  • Nov 22:  Vallecito Online Book Fair Ends
  • Nov. 23: Non-Student Day: Conferences for Identified Students
  • Nov. 24 - 27 - No School - Thanksgiving Break
  • Dec 7: Wave 4 Returns to Hybrid (3rd-5th)


We Are in This Challenge Together

This is a time like no other.  It has been my greatest joy and privilege to work in public education for the last 27 years and I am continually amazed by the dedication of staff and the beautiful resilience of children.  Even in the middle of a pandemic, teachers are finding ways to inspire students...over Zoom or from behind a mask during in-person instruction.  Students are showing us they will continually adapt and put their trust in the adults around them. 

I take this trust seriously.


We opened our school to in-person instruction on Oct 5th and our Wave 3 students return on Monday.  Our students quickly adapted to numerous health protocols and are busily engaged in classroom learning.  This weekend we were notified of a positive case in one cohort. We are working with Public Health to support tracing efforts and have followed protocols including notifying families of the impacted classroom. If you did not receive a separate communication, your child's classroom was not impacted. 


We assure you that we are taking all steps required by Public Health to prevent spread.  The impacted classroom will be closed to in-person instruction through November 20th and will operate remotely.  Our schoolwide protocols maintain the separation of cohorts so that other hybrid classrooms will remain open.

We are committed to providing our students and families with the best possible education during this challenging time. Whether we are in person or remote, we are dedicated to your child's education and a safe return to school for all the children in our care.


A Message About the Holidays and Safety

Dear Miller Creek Community, 

With COVID-19 cases rising around the region and the country, this is a time when we all need to come together and keep up our efforts to reduce transmission in our community. 

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the California Health and Human Services Secretary, said earlier this week that “the virus is not over just because we're tired of it."  We are all eager to return to family and holiday events as we have experienced them in the past, but health experts continue to emphasize that gatherings, some types of travel, and other holiday related activities can put you and your family at higher risk for exposure to COVID-19. 

We ask that you carefully consider your plans as we enter the holiday season. Our community’s behavior during this holiday season will directly impact our ability to keep our schools open for learning. Gatherings, some types of travel, and/or other activities can put your family at higher risk for exposure to COVID-19. Please consider the following factors as you plan for any upcoming holiday gatherings and/or travel. 

Please review the full guidance from Public Health for holiday travel and gatherings by clicking here

When planning social gatherings, please keep the following in mind:

SMALL: Limit gatherings to no more than 3 households

When people from different households are together at the same time in the same space, the risk of spreading COVID-19 goes up. That’s why gatherings of more than 3 different households are not allowed.

SHORT: Limit gatherings to no more than 2 hours

The longer people gather together, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading. That’s why gathering for longer than 2 hours is not allowed, under the state’s health order and Marin's Risk Reduction order.

STABLE: Do not participate in multiple gatherings with many different households

The more people come into contact with others outside their household, the higher the risk of spreading COVID-19. That’s why participating in multiple gatherings with different households is strongly discouraged. If you attend several gatherings over the holidays, keep it to the same group of people.

When planning travel, please keep the following in mind:

COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in many parts of the country. Nonessential travel, including holiday travel, is not recommended. Traveling outside the Bay Area will increase your chance of getting infected and spreading the virus to others after your return. Additional precautions should also be taken when hosting and interacting with people traveling to the Bay Area, especially from other areas with widespread COVID-19.

If you travel outside the Bay Area, it is strongly recommended that you self-quarantine for 14 days after your return if your activities while travelling put you at higher risk of getting COVID-19. These higher risk activities include:

  • Spending time within 6 feet of people you do not normally live with, while you or anyone around you was not wearing a face mask – especially if you were indoors.

  • Traveling on planes, buses, trains, public transportation, or other shared vehicles, if face masks were not worn at all times by both you and the other people in the vehicle.

If your family participates in one or more of the high risk activities listed above or you think that your family may have been exposed to COVID-19 before, during, or after the holidays, we strongly encourage the following precautions:

  • Quarantine with your household for 14 days after returning home to the Bay Area and coordinate with your child’s teacher to have your child/children participate in remote learning if your quarantine is not finished before the scheduled return date for in-person learning. 

  • If you are concerned about potential COVID-19 exposure during the holiday breaks due to your travel or social gatherings, consult with your physician about getting your family tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus. COVID-19 symptoms generally appear within 2 – 14 days of exposure. Your physician will discuss the correct timing of testing based on your potential exposure. Typically the first of the COVID-19 tests should be taken 3-7 days into the quarantine period after your return home.

We must remain vigilant and steadfast in our safety protocols if we hope to keep our schools open. All of our staff and students deserve to be kept safe.

Whatever your plans are for the holidays, we hope that you will find safe ways to connect with loved ones. Wishing everyone a safe and healthy season.

Becky Rosales | Superintendent

Kristy Treewater | Assistant Superintendent



Drop Off Pick Up Lane Volunteers Needed

Now that the remainder of K-2 classes are returning to campus on Monday, the drop off lane volunteer role is even more vital for the safety of our students and drivers.  Please sign up  HERE and familiarize yourself wit the procedures by watching the drop off lane video (made in the pre-mask days). 

 drop off lane video 


Teachers & Staff Participate in On-Site

COVID Testing 



Decision Tree Video 

With the guidance of Public Health, we are working in partnership with families to keep students and staff safe.  Check out this video from our Health Specialist, Kristen Geller, explaining when to keep your child home from school and how to know they are ready to return.

Our November Food Drive will look a little different this year, but we can STILL make an impact!. Let's join together to support the Community Drop-Off Day and help end hunger in SF and Marin! 
When: Sunday, November 15th 10 am - 2 pm.
Where: SF Marin Food Bank - 2550 Kerner Blvd, San Rafael
How: bring your items to the warehouse for your contactless drive-through donation


Please see the attached flyer for most needed items and more details. 


With gratitude,

Your Vallecito Community Heroes Team & CanDo!



Samba La Bamba VAL 5th Grade Band

Enjoy this special Music Presentation by Vallecito's Very Own 5th Grade Band.  Thank you to our band teacher, Mr. Steve Steinberg!





November 7th-15th

Join the fun! Run or walk anytime, anywhere and support our Miller Creek School District!

Registration Fee $25.00 

All participants receive a printable race bib, Can Do! backpack, water bottle and discount coupons from local businesses.

Limited Sponsored Registrations Available. Email for more info.




If you have an item or service to donate please contact Can Do! today. Help us reach our goal of 200 items! 





Where Everyone Belongs

Vallecito's Home & School Club and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee purchased the picture book "Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk" for each of our grade-level teams to support discussions around inclusion.  Enjoy the beautiful artwork throughout this week's Vallecito News the project inspired as our students added a stripe to the flag that represents something important to them or about their own identity.



BACR Counseling

Our school counselors from Bay Area Community Resources have been offering class presentations to our classes.  The 3rd-5th grade students learned calming techniques and talked about the importance of self-care.  Our K-2nd grade students will participate in these sessions soon.  Thank you to our counseling team!



Home & School Club Happenings

Scholastic Virtual Book Fair

(open Mon. 11/9 through Sun. 11/22/2020)

The Scholastic Book Fair is back! While the Fair will be exclusively held online this year, we still plan on making it a fun and joyous experience. The Online Fair will include features like: Vallecito’s own online store, games, coloring pages, read alouds, virtual store walk-throughs and more. Remember, every dollar you spend will benefit our school (25% back in rewards!).


Please consider a donation to All for Books where all monies will be used to purchase books from the wish lists of deserving Vallecito kids!


Vallecito’s Online Store: 

Donate a Book to Val Students: click here or visit 

Link to Read Alouds, Games & More: click here


We can’t wait to “see” you at the Fair!


Jennifer Cuthbertson, Brittany Greene, Jennifer Ishii-Yu, Carrie Purvis

Scholastic Book Fair Chairs


Bus Drivers Needed

We at Miller Creek School District are seeking a dedicated part time bus driver to join our team! Our bus drivers provide a crucial service for our students and families. Our transportation department is integral to the success of our district, they are the first MCSD smiling faces that some students see each day. This position follows the school calendar and grants a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the summer sun with loved ones. A class B license would be preferred, but the transportation department is eager and willing to train. If this type of position might interest you please do not hesitate to reach out to Lauren Campbell, HR Specialist, at 415 492 3702.

Reopening Schools Update & Resources

What does Hybrid school look like?

What health/ safety procedures are in place?

Check out the MCSD Reopening Schools webpage for videos, safety plans, and everything you need to know about our safe return to school.


Hybrid Informational Webinar 

for Spanish Speaking Families

Monday, November 9th at 4:30

Join by using the link below:


What are the Protocols if My Child Feels Sick?

The Marin County Department of Public Health provides schools with the following protocols to ensure our school remains a healthy place for students and staff.  Click the link below for the details:

Marin County COVID-19 Safety Decision Tree for Schools


What is the Plan for Increased Absences?

The adherence to the Dept. of Public Health Guidelines means that more students will be out of school for extended periods of time.  Currently, we are using our existing systems for meeting students' academic needs when absent with an independent study program (online assignments, ed tech apps, work packets, etc). We understand this solution has limitations in our current situation and the MCSD Reopening Team is in the process of developing alternative solutions.  



Need More Information on the Hybrid Program?

Check out the recording from this week's Hybrid Webinar and Q&A.


Parent Health Pledge

As a community, we value a safe return to in-person instruction for not only our students but the dedicated staff members who care for our children.  And right now, our actions really matter. Every time we commit to limiting our family's travel and social activities, we help keep our school open.  Every time we limit our child's participation to only two cohorts, we help keep our school open. And every time we refrain from gatherings with mixed households, we help keep our school open. We are in this together, Vallecito, and together we've got this.

MCSD Parent/ Guardian Community Health Pledge


More Hybrid Program Parent Resources

Daily Temperature Checks

For families that are returning to hybrid classrooms, a daily mandatory temperature check of your child is required. Families that do not have a thermometer at home, please contact the front office for support. 


MCSD Hybrid COVID-19 Parent Handbook

The MCSD Hybrid Parent Handbook provides parents with an in-depth overview of the program. Please take the time to read it all the way through as it will answer most of your questions.  As health conditions and knowledge of the virus evolve, we will adapt our practices to the recommendations of the Marin Department of Public Health. 

Hybrid COVID 19 Parent Handbook English (Updated)

Hybrid COVID 19 Parent Handbook Spanish (Updated)



Children May Participate in Only Two Cohorts

We are in this together and each family's choices impact the other families in their hybrid group.  We can achieve our goal of a safe return to in-person instruction when we all agree to wear masks, practice social distancing, wash our hands, and limit our exposure to others.  Under the guidance of the Marin Department of Public Health, students can participate in only two cohorts (school, childcare, soccer, etc). It is important that all families adjust their child's activities to ensure they are in no more than two groups once they resume in-person instruction.  Click HERE for the full guidance from the Department of Public Health. 



Thank You to the Vallecito School Site Council

The School Site Council is a group of elected parents, teachers, and administrators who develop the school's state-mandated and approved Site Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA), Comprehensive Site Safety Plan, and contribute to the development of the LCAP. During this unusual school year, the Site Council members also participated in a school walkthrough to assess readiness for the return to in-person instruction and reviewed the School Site Specific Protection Plan. 

This month, Site Council members received an update on our remote and hybrid programs from teachers, an enrollment/ staffing update from the administration, and surfaced parent questions and concerns for discussion. This council is an important way for our parents and the school community to collaborate in the best interest of children.  Thank you to our parent and staff members of the 2020-2021 Site Council for their important work:



Beth Arnese 

Carrie Wurlitzer 

Erin Nixon 

Adam Melenkivitz 

Kathleen Diringer 



Elizabeth Foehr

Hildie Sims 

Kayla Ford 

Julie McKeon 

Denise Tosti

Community Flyers

Parents can access community flyers by visiting the Community Resources page on the Miller Creek School District website. New flyers this week:


Vallecito Elementary School

50 Nova Albion Way

San Rafael, CA. 94903

Front Office: Denise Tosti

Principal: Elizabeth Foehr