June 22, 2020. Message from Principal Takimoto

Hello Harding Community,

Here are the requirements for return to school published by the  California Department of Education, the California Department of Public Health, and the CDC.  The district has determined it is impossible to open schools as we used to know them. Therefore, the following two models are being developed:

  • A full-time distance learning model.
  • Hybrid models — some in-person; some online. 

District re-opening task force work will be done July 9 and the district will submit a plan for approval to the county office of education on July 17.
As outlined two weeks ago, Harding teachers are developing plans for next year to keep what worked last spring and incorporate feedback and new learning into next year’s plans for instruction.  The PTA, School Site Council (SSC), and I have also mapped out a plan for not only welcoming incoming families but establishing community connection and communication systems to facilitate ongoing academic and social support. 

With any amount of distance learning we need to promote and normalize family engagement because it now includes efforts in facilitating your child’s learning. This is especially true for our young students who must always be touching, feeling, doing, and exploring concepts for themselves.  They will not be able to do this at school and they might not do this at home without intentional facilitation and support. We are expanding our mindset from teaching our students to teaching both our students and their families.  We will need to empower caregivers with the confidence, skills, and knowledge to facilitate open-ended learning at home, so that student robust learning is happening even when children are not in classrooms. 

I have really been enjoying the sunshine and warm weather this past week, I hope you all are too.  Take care and stay safe.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Takimoto

June 14, 2020 message from Principal Takimoto

Hello Harding Community,

I have an update on when we will know what school might look like next year.  The district is now looking at mid-July for completing plans for how school will be administered. I’m sure that with any scenario, we will all have to remain flexible depending on how COVID progresses throughout the school year.  

Parent leaders and I met last week to map out how to welcome transitional kindergarten and kindergarten families to the school and assist with this important new beginning in such an uncertain time.  Our first event will be a virtual meeting on June 27 with other “meetings” to be held throughout the summer for other families new to the school as well.  Stay tuned for the schedule.

I hope everyone is enjoying some sort of summer.  Teacher summer learning recommendations focused on getting children away from screens/technology as much as possible.  In any case, we all hope that the whole family is reading daily.  Rising 5th and 6th graders have a special opportunity to join a free reading club.  Click the link from Ms. Hanssler, Harding 5th grade teacher, for more information – starts  on June 22!

As I work with teachers on a social justice/social studies curriculum, I continue to think about how our school systems support inequities. We have worked on our instructional and discipline approaches, classroom libraries, and our own understandings and beliefs.  Every year, every approach, every interaction, success or mistake, is an opportunity to learn and improve.  One of our former teachers, Imani Pierce, is putting this kind of thinking, and more, into the creation of a school to “reclaim excellence in the education of African American youth.”  They hope to open in the fall of 2021.  If you are looking for an action to take, consider donating to Sile School, the Ed Fund West COVID-19 Response Fund, or The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

Take care and stay safe.

Sincerely, 

Mrs. Takimoto

WCCUSD Food Services

Meal pick-up locations & volunteers needed: The School District has 22 meal pick-up locations for students 18 years or younger from 11am to 1pm, unless noted, Monday through Friday. For details, please visit https://www.wccusd.net/mealfoodoptions. Volunteers are also needed to help assemble and distribute meals. Details can be found at this same link.

Message from Principal Takimoto

June 7, 2020

Hello Harding Community,

Well, we made it, but not really.  We are still in a pandemic and another emotional peak in the struggle to end racism.  The 2019-2020 school year has ended and we still have a lot of work to do.  The good news is that we have this caring and committed community to move forward with on taking action.  

The Harding Instructional Leadership Team met last week to map out our initial actions: 1) Apply teacher learning and family feedback to improve teacher communication, grade level alignment, delivery of instruction, and parent supports for distance and/or in school building learning.  2) Create a social justice curriculum to embed into morning meetings and social studies reading and writing units of study.

If you didn’t have a chance to watch the CNN Sesame Street Town Hall, please find time:  https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/06/app-news-section/cnn-sesame-street-race-town-hall-app-june-6-2020-app/index.html. Children’s books and videos like this will help you navigate hard topics with your children, keep the conversations and learning going, and identify action to take.   My hope is that we maintain this current momentum for lasting change, especially with educating for and modeling being antiracist.

Last week the state issued guidelines for reopening schools and the district formed a task force for planning how school will look next year.  This task force will meet next week.  Their goal is to have a plan drafted by the end of the month. 

In the meantime, take care and stay safe.

Sincerely, 
Mrs. Takimoto

Last day of school for 2019/20

June 5, 2020

The Harding PTA wishes our school teachers and staff, and our Harding community a safe and peaceful summer!  Thank you for your dedication and support throughout the 2019/20 school year.   

This Saturday, 7am PST, CNN and Sesame Street will host a town hall addressing how to stand up to racism.  If you can, we recommend that you tune in at this link.    

In addition, we encourage our community to stay informed about matters related to the State Budget and other issues important to our community. One such channel is through the California State PTA (CAPTA).  You can join their mailing list here. We encourage you to read about CAPTA’s current campaign to stop state budget cuts to schools.  More information can be found at this link.

Weekly Message from Principal Takimoto

May 31, 2020

Hello Harding Community,

We must come together to affect change against the plague of racism.  If you haven’t already, please take time to learn, reflect, and commit to taking action from one or more important books.  Additionally, talk about race with your children.  There are books that can start and guide conversations with your children in addition to many other resources to help you learn how to raise antiracists.

Many thanks to our PTA, School Site Council parents, and the City of El Cerrito for working closely with school staff as we navigate these difficult times.  We will continue the work and I will continue my communication through the summer.  If eNews takes a vacation, look at the school website for updated information. 

Farewell and best wishes to our sixth graders.  They are truly a resilient group of unique and lovable individuals.  We will celebrate them at 11am on Friday June 5 with a socially distant viewing of their posted self portraits outside the school on Fairmount and Ashbury Avenues… six feet apart of course;)

Take care and stay safe, 

Mrs. Takimoto

Weekly Message from Principal Takimoto

May 24, 2020
 
Hello Harding Community,
 
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond made it somewhat official, districts will be making up their own plans for next year in accordance with health and safety guidelines.  In any plan, access for all students and adequate funding will continue to be issues.  State school funding cuts and our own district budget issues do not support the higher cost that the safety guidelines will require.
 
Draft scenarios include: 

  • All students coming back for partial time staggered schedules assigned to a smaller cohort of about ten classmates supported by work at home.
  • Only younger grade levels returning on partial time schedules with older students continuing on all distance learning.
  • All continuing distancing learning at home in the current model.

In any case, principals are pushing for more definite plans to be communicated to all by the end of June.

My priorities are to keep the students and staff healthy and safe while addressing emotional, social, and academic needs.  We hope to provide consistency of service and know that a number of factors could have any onsite learning plan fall apart like a house of cards.  No matter what scenario we come back to, teachers have been learning about and practicing distance instruction and will plan for the most effective use of any time that we may be with students onsite.  We also want to figure out how to support community from a distance because we feel connectedness is an important aspect of learning and mental health. 

The teachers and I have been collecting and incorporating the family feedback we’ve been receiving throughout the shelter in place but want to be sure we hear from as many of you as possible.  Please complete this survey (teachers will also be sending this out via REMIND):

Distance Learning Parent Survey or Distance Learning Parent Survey, Spanish

Our goal is to address student and family needs as best we can throughout next year and all information will be important for creating workable plans, support, resources, and materials. Thank you for your time.

Take care and stay safe.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Takimoto

WEEKLY MESSAGE FROM PRINCIPAL TAKIMOTO

May 17, 2020

Hello Harding Community,
 
Well, I have no new news.  Please plan on a variety of scenario speculation for how school might look in the August, throughout the summer. Ultimately, each district will make its own plans in accordance with health and education guidelines within the increasing budget constraints. At Harding, I am working with teacher leaders on our Instructional Leadership Team to be prepared with social, emotional, and academic plans for a number of scenarios.
 
Please expect less live and/or recorded time with your child’s teacher over the last few weeks. A lot goes into closing out a school year. Teachers will have to take time to create classes for next year, write a narrative of each child’s current academic standing (the revised third trimester report card), and pack up their classroom for summer school use.
 
Please help us with closing out this year and getting the building ready for its next use by picking up your child’s desk and personal items if you have not already done so.  Teachers have been sending REMIND messages when student materials are ready for pick up. We will continue to have the front door of the school open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 am to 12 noon for item pick up in the entryway. The lost and found rack will be rolled out as well, for all to check for misplaced items. Please be wearing a mask and practice social distancing at all times when outside of your home.
 
Finally, the office will not be open for the rest of the year. If you have any office needs or will not be returning to Harding next year, please email Dorene Pinkston, Harding Secretary, at dpinkston@wccusd.net.
 
Take care and stay safe.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mrs. Takimoto

WEEKLY MESSAGE FROM PRINCIPAL TAKIMOTO

May 10, 2020
 
Hello Harding Community,
 
We are coming up on the end of the third trimester and our first shelter at home.  We appreciate everyone’s involvement and support.  We can make it!
 
We are solidifying plans to wrap up this year and starting to sketch out the next.  Nothing will be set for next year until we are right on top of it; early August if we are lucky.  We should all plan on it being different.
 
Superintendent Duffy has shared an initial plan that supports continued social distancing.  This type of plan involves students in cohorts no larger than ten attending school for partial days two or three days a week.  Additionally, the City of El Cerrito has reached out so they can try to coordinate childcare in locations around the city with whatever the plan may be. At this time, this seems like a best case scenario. All of us will continue to follow state and county mandates and guidelines throughout the planning and implementation processes, informing families when we can.
 
In any case, we should expect some form of blended learning; daily learning activities both at home and in the school building.  During this shelter in place, Harding teachers have been learning, practicing, and evaluating a variety of remote learning practices and resources. We seek to be thoughtful about the instructional program in any scenario, and continue our learning about effective instruction in a pandemic.
 
I have asked and received permission for students to keep their tablets over the summer. Student PowerSchool records will not be rolled over into the next grade level until August allowing student access to online learning in Clever and their google classroom through July.  Families will still have access to the general learning guides and resources that teachers have compiled for continued learning and study.
 
We look forward to working with your children in person next year.  If you know that your child will not be returning to Harding next year, please email dpinkston@wccusd.net or tell your child’s teacher as soon as possible.
 
Take care and stay safe.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mrs. Takimoto

Public Safety Power Outage

PG&E has announced that it may shut off power to certain schools in the District as part of its public safety plan to help prevent wildfires due to the expected high winds and dry conditions.

We want to assure you that Harding is not one of the schools affected, and we do not anticipate an outage affecting school schedules.

For more information, visit www.wccusd.net

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