Conjeo Valley United School District In-Person High School Graduation

 

 

Editor’s note: This is an email exchange between a concerned parent and the CVUSD board members on why their district deprived students of in-person High School Graduation

Dear Conejo Board of Education members:

I am writing to you regarding our school district’s choice of NOT planning an in-person traditional graduation ceremony for our high school seniors.  Yet our neighboring district of Moorpark still has their original graduation planned as scheduled as plan A and as plan B a later one if needed when restrictions allow.  

As our elected officials I am calling on each of you to ensure that our high schools adopt a plan in line with Moorpark’s.

Are we seriously going to deny our seniors an in-person graduation while other seniors in our county get one?  How much more grief do you wish to dump on our seniors and their families?

Were you behind the decision not to include an in-person graduation?  If so, I want to know which of you were.

Regards,

Sheryl Hall

               

to cgoldberg, jfitzgerald, bgorback, bconnolly, severett Conejo School District Board

And now I’m finding out they asked and all of you except Everett voted pay raises and are not giving tax paying citizens’ kids an in person graduation !!!

There are no words……but they will come. 

 

From Hughes Fitzgerald, Jenny E           

Thank you for your email.  I did see Moorpark’s plan this afternoon.  As you mentioned, Moorpark’s traditional graduation plan is dependent upon whether changes are made to the current Ventura County orders that would permit that kind of gathering. 

The current Ventura County order (https://s30623.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/VC-Public-Health-Officer-Order-May-7-2020.pdf) includes many restrictions on gatherings of any size.  These restrictions prohibit a traditional type of graduation, even with six-feet spacing between individuals.  However, as we have seen, changes to restrictions are constantly being updated.  Our superintendent mentioned during tonight’s board meeting that if changes to the orders are made prior to graduation time, the district will make every effort to pivot the plans.

Additionally, local superintendents have a meeting with the Ventura County Public Health Officer this Friday and Dr. McLaughlin will provide updates if any changes to the current restrictions applicable to graduations are provided.

As I have mentioned to others who have inquired, I would love to see our Seniors participate in a traditional graduation, even if sitting six feet apart.  I see daily the significant toll this is having on our Seniors and their families, who have looked forward to this very important time in their lives.

 Thank you again for reaching out,

Jenny

Jenny Fitzgerald

CVUSD School Board Trustee

 

Everett, Sandee R

          

Hi Sheryl,

Thank you so much for emailing the board and advocating for your student to have a graduation ceremony. I agree the kids deserve for us to go to bat for them. If Moorpark can do it – we most certainly should be able to do it. My hope is because we have heard from so many parents, the board will take a more proactive approach to ensure the kids have the graduation they deserve.

This morning at 10:00 am I received a large number of emails from parents on this matter that were forwarded to the board from the Superintendent’s administrative assistant. She stated she did not receive the emails in time to provide them to the board before the board meeting. Otherwise, I would have raised the many concerns from the emails about graduation during the meeting. Very disappointing. This all should have been discussed at our board meeting last night.

As a board member, I have not been asked by the superintendent or board president to make decisions about graduation and have been told that, as of right now, the county will only permit us to do what the superintendent presented to the board last night. To my knowledge, the superintendent and perhaps the board president, Cindy Goldberg, have been making all final decisions about graduation. There has been no board vote on this matter.

The superintendent’s current plan for graduation is for each high school to have a stage set up in front and cars will drive through with each graduate getting out, walking across the stage and receiving a diploma. The superintendent said the cars would need to keep the windows up. 

I reached out a few hours ago to the superintendent and board president to ask about what Moorpark is planning and if we can do the same. So far they have not responded. I will let you know when I hear from them.  

I hope we can do something special for our graduates. I know they want to be together, see their teachers, and experience the exhilaration and joy of celebrating their huge accomplishment – all while maintaining social distancing. I am supportive of the parents advocating for their kids and improving/revamping the district’s current plan.

Thank you again for contacting the board. Please feel free to call me or email me. I am willing to do however I can.

Sandee

The opinions I express here are my own and do not represent the board as a whole or CVUSD.

Sheryl Hall to Sandee

Hi Sandy,

I appreciate your replying.  I want all of them called out for this and I intend that they will be.

I have been emailing folks and will forward them to you.  Besides yourself, the only other board member who has responded is Fitzgerald and since they like to play sly I will send you her response.

Thanks

Sheryl Hall to cgoldberg

Goldberg, Cindy S

Hi.

I hope this finds you and your family safe, healthy, and doing as well as can be during this difficult time. As the parent of a senior, my youngest, I feel much the same as you do.

I am sorry I did not have time before the Board meeting to respond. I  read all of your previous emails prior to the meeting. You should have received more information from your principal today, and I thought would clear things up for you and your family a bit.

The state has decided we can not currently hold an in person graduation. Until the situation changes, event and gathering sizes are extremely limited and regulated.  Our plans are to celebrate students now, in many different ways, and to schedule something later, as a way to provide celebration and closure for them, when event restrictions are lifted/altered. 

I am deeply sorry this affects you and your family in yet another way. I would like nothing better than to be able to legally and safely have a traditional graduation, as originally planned. We will continue to adjust our plans depending on how and when things change.

Cindy

 

Everett, Sandee R

Hi Sheryl,

Thank you for all the information you are sending me. It is insightful to see what others are saying. From what I can see, Moorpark’s #1 plan for graduation is to move ahead with an in-person graduation ceremony. I agree with parents that we should have an in-person graduation as our first plan as well and the drive-thru as the back-up plan. There is no reason to count out that possibility when things are changing every day. I just got word that Ventura County has now been cleared to open retail businesses and restaurants. Surely it is very possible graduation ceremonies will be approved as well.

Sincerely,

Sandee

This email represents my own opinions and not that of the board as a whole or CVUSD.

Sheryl Hall is a resident of Ventura County


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