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Superintendent Kemp’s Weekly Update
Posted 5/18/20

En Español


Dear Santa Clara Unified Community, 


I am writing to you with our weekly update during the campus closures.

Distance Learning Family Survey

As we prepare for reopening our schools, it's important to understand your current experience of distance learnings and also hear your needs and preferences for reopening schools in fall 2020. I invite you to take our Distance Learning Family Survey any time through Wednesday, May 20. Please only take the survey once for your family. Your feedback will be shared with our planning committees and with the Board of Trustees during their June 4 Special Board Study Session on school reopening plans.

Join us in Celebrating our Class of 2020 Graduates! 

Schedule of Graduation Ceremonies

May 29 5 - 6 p.m. Mission Early College High School 

May 29 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Wilson High School and Adult Education

June 2 6 - 7 p.m. New Valley High School

June 3 4 - 5 p.m. Santa Clara High School

June 3 6 - 7 p.m. Wilcox High School


After a survey of our Class of 2020, their families, and school staff, we hoped to be able to delay in-person graduations to later in the summer. However, it became clear with the extended shelter-in-place order by our county’s public health department, and what we are beginning to understand about the long term timeline of this pandemic, that this would not be possible. I recently wrote a letter to the Class of 2020 announcing our district and schools’ plans to honor and celebrate with them through pre-recorded live stream graduation ceremonies on the originally scheduled dates and committing to future events where students, families, and staff can all be together again as soon as it is safe to do so. We invite our entire community to join us online for our graduation ceremonies on the above dates and times on our live stream channel at or


Our schools, the district, and the Santa Clara Schools Foundation partnered in a visible community display to celebrate and share our love and pride for our grads — on Saturday, May 23, almost 1,200 yard signs will be on display all over our school district. Join the community celebration by decorating your yard and front windows with words of congratulations, well wishes, and encouragement. 

Mission College Summer and Fall Courses for High School Students

Did you know Mission College is offering FREE online classes this summer to help SCUSD students get ahead and earn high school and college credits? Check with your school counselor on the best courses for your student. High school graduates can take advantage of college classes at $46 per unit and earn those same transfer credits. Mission also has courses available for parents! Upgrade your skills in business, accounting, child care, computer programming, and much more. Check them out at Summer classes start June 8.

Summer Programs in Santa Clara County

Summer break is around the corner and you may be looking for summer camp options for your children. InPlay is a non-profit working with Santa Clara County and Santa Clara County Office of Education to offer you a free online search service with hundreds of local and affordable or free after-school and summer camp programs. We are excited to share a time-saving way to find local and affordable summer programs for your kids. More details: Click InPlay Searchable Website

Enrollment Center Opening Soon!

As we are beginning to wind down the school year, you are likely thinking about our annual proof of residency and information update process. Our new Enrollment Center opens this summer and with it we will be moving our enrollment, proof of residency, and annual information update processes online to our new SchoolMint enrollment platform. We are excited to offer you more efficient, consistent, and convenient experiences. You will also be happy to learn that proof of residency will no longer be required for every student every year; just at initial enrollment and again when your address changes or your student transitions to 3, 6, and 9 grade levels. However, everyone will need to complete their annual information update. More information about the opening of our Enrollment Center will be shared in the coming weeks.

New Leaders Joining our Schools in 2020-2021!

Director of Student Services. Dr. Brenda Carrillo was hired by Santa Clara Unified in 2017 as the director of our Educational Options campus and programs. Brenda has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work, pupil services and administrative services credentials, and master’s and doctorate degrees in educational leadership. Some of Brenda’s experience prior to coming to SCUSD were lead counselor, social worker, coordinator of health and safety, and director of wellness and support services. 

Principal of Cabrillo Middle School. Dr. Terry Flora is one of our own; he is a Santa Clara High School alumnus, and has been serving students and staff at Santa Clara High School on their vice principal team since 2017. He has a bachelor’s degree in social science, a master’s in administration and supervision, and a doctorate in educational leadership. Cabrillo is in solid hands with Terry’s thoughtful leadership, understanding of the community, and experience in managing 1:1 Chromebook rollout, collaborating on staff evaluation, supporting and facilitating teacher collaboration and professional development on instructional strategies.

Vice Principal of Don Callejon K-8 School. Candance Abrahamson was hired by SCUSD in 2019 as an elementary teacher at Montague Elementary School. She has a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in education, and a master’s degree in teaching. As a national board certified teacher in early and middle childhood literacy, and with nine years of combined experience teaching and coaching multiple grade levels with students from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds and languages, Candace is a great addition to Callejon.

Input on the High-Speed Rail Project

Governor Newsom has deemed the High-Speed Rail Project an “essential” state business through this public health crisis, and project milestones are proceeding on schedule. The High-Speed Rail Authority welcomes input from the Santa Clara Unified community on the San Jose to Merced Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIR/EIS) as this section of the rail project runs through our school district. Comments are accepted between April 24 and June 8, 2020 (45-day comment period). Read the FAQ SheetFact Sheet, and Informational Flyer about how to participate and comment on the Draft EIR/EIS. Additionally, there is an opportunity to attend a webinar on May 18 from 4-7 p.m. to ask questions and answers of project staff.

Uplifting Stories from Around the District

Peterson Student Qualifies for Prestigious Speech Tournament. Peterson Middle School student Keith Maben has been busy attending many speech and debate tournaments over the last year. His hard work recently earned him 2nd place in Varsity Extemporaneous speech and 7th place in Impromptu Speech at the Stanford National Invitational 2020. Full Article: Peterson Student Qualified for Prestigious Speech and Debate Tournament

Full STEAM Ahead for These Amazing Students. It's with great pleasure that we share the news that many of our talented students won awards at the Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship and at the eCYBERMISSION competition. Full Article: Multiple Awards for our Budding STEM Leaders

Tech Challenge Winners Announced. Despite the new challenges of navigating teamwork while distance learning, around 500 children participated in The Tech Interactive’S 2020 Tech Challenge, "Launch Land and Expand," presented by Dell Technologies. Teams from Millikin Elementary School, Peterson Middle School, Buchser Middle School, and Cabrillo Middle School won awards this year. Full article: Tech Challenge Winners Announced

Santa Clara County Public Health Department

Remember to maintain social distance of at least six feet and wear face coverings when you need to leave your home. Do you wonder what shelter-in-place and social distance looks like? Watch this Social Distancing During COVID-19 video and read these Shelter in Place FAQs (Shelter in Place FAQs - Spanish).

Important Dates this Week

Chromebook Pick Up, Swap, and Repair

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Submit a request by emailing to schedule an appointment

Free Meal Service

  • Mondays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. —  One week’s supply of free breakfast and lunch for students 18 years old and under available at any of the following locations: Buchser, Cabrillo, Callejon, Mayne, Montague, Peterson, and Wilcox schools
  • Thursdays from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. — City of Santa Clara’s weekend meal program for our students available at any of the following locations: Cabrillo, Callejon, and Wilcox schools, and the Senior Center

Helpful Resources

Tech Support for Distance Learning

Contact the SCUSD Help Desk, Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. by emailing or texting (408) 900-6867.

Wellness Check-Ins

During school closures, all students and their families can request to speak with a member of the Wellness staff at their school sites. Appointments will be by phone or Google Meet. Request a check-in appointment with a wellness counselor by visiting our Wellness Check-In Appointments webpage. Appointments are available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Family Resource Center

Families and students may need support during this difficult time and we want you to know that the FRC staff is working remotely to provide assistance for those in need. To contact the FRC, call (408) 423-3541. Additionally, the FRC created a Community Resources Guide based on current family, student, and community needs.

Food Distribution in Santa Clara County

The City of San José launched a Food Distribution Map with important information on countywide food distribution sites to ensure food security for those in need. There are 129 food distribution sites operating Monday through Friday. Visit for more information. Also, call 2-1-1, a 24-hour multilingual service, or text your zip code to 89821.


Our Distance Learning website is available where you will find a helpful, printable version of the website content called “Family Guide to Distance Learning” with learning schedules by grade level, communication information, regularly updated frequently asked questions (FAQs), and additional resources.




Stella M. Kemp, Ed.D.