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PCS Newsletter 1-7-22

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PCS Newsletter
Welcome to 2022! All of our hard working professionals in Petaluma City Schools are looking forward to continuing to provide an exceptional educational experience for all TK through Adult Education students. To that end, we have targeted our efforts towards addressing the recent outbreak from the COVID Omicron variant and have provided a variety of resources below to support the health and safety of our school community.  Your support of the established safety protocols is critical to Petaluma City Schools’ success on this initiative.  PCS will share new information and guidance as it becomes available.
COVID-19 Updates
Our return to school has been a tumultuous time for all in our community.  COVID is surging in our District causing unprecedented disruption and anxiety and information can seem confusing and inconsistent.  Here are just a couple of items that will hopefully be helpful to you and your family as we navigate this time together.

Rapid Tests
The rapid tests that we handed out over Winter Break prevented many cases of COVID from arriving at school on Monday. A heartfelt thank you to all who took time over the holidays to come and pick up a rapid test. Your contribution to the safety of our schools was truly impactful. As a reminder, now that we are back in school, the use of the at-home tests do not clear students and staff to return to school after experiencing symptoms. This may change shortly. In the meantime, if you are not feeling well, please stay home and get a PCR test. We offer testing at the District Office every day (that school is in session) from 7:30 AM - Noon and 1:00 - 4:00 PM.  

The Sonoma County Office of Education has provided us with a new supply of the iHeart at-home rapid tests for use in our district. Since we were able to hand out over 6,000 test kits over Winter Break, we are currently determining how this new supply can best serve all members of our district.  We will send a communication next week with additional information about getting a rapid test.  

New Guidance
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released new guidelines for isolation and quarantine for Covid-19. In response, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Sonoma County released new guidelines this week. PCS and other Sonoma County school districts met today with the Sonoma County Office of Education to coordinate and ensure proper implementation of these changes. As a school district, Petaluma City Schools wants to be thoughtful and provide clear information to the school community. We will send out an update as soon as we have more information. Thank you for your attention in this matter. We are working quickly to ensure our school community's health and well-being.

Vaccine Clinic at Valley Vista Elementary on 1/13/22 for Ages 5+
January 13th, 2:00-5:00 PM
Valley Vista Elementary
730 North Webster Street, Petaluma, CA 94952

The County of Sonoma is partnering with Valley Vista Elementary to hold a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic. This clinic is intended for this school's students and their families (ages 5 and up). Walk-ins welcome. Children under 18 must have parental consent. Social Security, citizenship, and registration are NOT required. More details on the Sonoma County Office of Education website. You can find a full list of vaccine clinics in Sonoma County here. There is also information about COVID-19 Vaccines for Ages 5-11 (Pediatric Vaccines) on our website.
Make a Difference for Children in our Community: Career Opportunities with PCS
Have you ever thought about working in education and making a difference in the lives of children in our community? Consider a job with us at Petaluma City Schools! We have multiple openings in a variety of jobs throughout the District, including full-time and part-time opportunities. For us to best serve students, we need the community's help in getting fully staffed. If you yourself aren't looking, please share this information! We have both full-time and flexible, part-time positions - linked here is a list of our open positions.

Check out this week's highlighted jobs below.
Student and Family Engagement
Students will have the opportunity to participate in our first PCS elementary kickball league! Students do not need to have previous experience in order to participate. Schools will practice and scrimmage at their school site from February 7th - March 25th and then participate in a final tournament with all PCS schools on March 26th as a culminating event. Practices will be held directly after school at the school sites. We are hoping to form multiple teams at each school and then group students by grade level. We are excited to bring our community together by coaching students in a team-building sport and giving them an opportunity to play schools across the district!

To sign your student(s) up, fill out the Kickball League Registration Form and the Kickball Liability Waiver for each student you wish to register. You can download a copy of the Kickball Liability Waiver online or pick one up from your school office. Please return all waiver forms to Gina Roberts at or return it to your school office along with a $40 suggested donation, checks should be made out to Petaluma City Schools.

Upcoming Events:
Wellness Corner
2022 PCS Parent Information Nights
February 10, 2022 - Salud Mental/Conversaciones Sanas - Español por Zoom  

Free Community Workshops 
F.E.A.S.T. Webinar: Permission To Parent - Jan. 18, 10 AM.
This webinar from F.E.A.S.T. is for parents and guardians of someone with an eating disorder. It will not offer criticism or blame; it will offer insight, guidance, and most of all, permission to parent and help their child's eating disorder. Presented by Alli Spotts-De Lazzer, M.A., LMFT.

Start the Conversation! -  Jan. 12, 6:00 - 7:30 PM.
Join the Sonoma County Department of Health Services and IMPACT Sonoma for a workshop focused on Tobacco-Nicotine, Cannabis, and Vaping.

Please note: These are not school or District events. As such, Petaluma City Schools District does not sponsor, staff, supervise, support, or endorse the information, activities, or events posted.


Spanish Dual Language Immersion at PCS
We are excited to announce that PCS will have a Spanish Dual Language Immersion program starting in kindergarten to be housed at McDowell Elementary School in the 2022-2023 School Year! Dual Language Immersion Programs provide students with an opportunity to become bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural in another language. If you're interested in learning more about this program, please consider attending one of our virtual meetings next Thursday, January 13th. We will have one webinar in English followed by one in Spanish. You can get details, including the Zoom links on the Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program page of our website.




Dressing Students for Winter Weather
With the weather getting colder and wetter, we want to remind everyone that students need to come to school with weather-appropriate clothing so that they can stay warm, dry, and safe all day long! Even when most of the school day is spent inside, students often still need to walk across campus for a variety of reasons such as library trips, getting lunch from the cafeteria, and sometimes additional classes that are held in different locations. With that in mind, the New York Times has some suggestions for staying warm:
  • Use layers to help trap body heat and keep the elements out. 
  • Make sure the hands, head, heart, and feet are covered and warm.
  • On rainy days or post-rain days when there are puddles, think waterproof shoes that are insulated or paired with warm socks in addition to a raincoat.
  • Sending kids to school with an extra pair of socks is always a good idea!
For anyone in need of assistance acquiring clothing, Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH) and Our Village Closet are two Sonoma County resources for free clothes.


U.S. Citizenship Preparation Course
Petaluma Adult School will offer a free, 12-week preparation course for permanent residents who wish to become U.S. citizens. Please note, you need to have a green card for 5 years (or 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen) and be able to speak, read, and write in English in order to apply for citizenship.

Classes will be held on Wednesdays from 6:30 - 8:30 PM at McDowell Elementary. Registration will be January 10-13 and classes will start on February 2, 2022. Please email to make an appointment to register. The class is free and child care will be provided.


City of Petaluma Transitioning to New Election Model
The City of Petaluma is moving to a new election model to ensure that voices from all corners of the community are heard. Petaluma currently uses an at-large election system, which means all voters in the city cast a ballot for all six council members and our Mayor. In our new district election model, voters from a specified area will vote directly for one of six Councilmembers to represent them. This is a significant change in how Petalumans will vote for city council representation and the City needs community input to shape the new districts. Learn more this Saturday, January 8th from 10 AM - 12 PM at the City's upcoming Virtual Open House on Zoom during which community members can ask questions about the transition to district elections, learn to use the online mapping tool, and complete the Community of Interest form. To learn more about the process of transitioning to district elections or the Virtual Open House, please visit the official City of Petaluma website. Please note: This is not a Petaluma City Schools event.