• Pamela Conklin  

    On behalf of the Travis Unified Governing Board, administration, and staff, I’d like to welcome you to the 2020-21 school year. While it wasn’t a typical start or one that we were hoping for, the overwhelming amount of feedback we have received has been very positive. Thank you to all the parents who have taken the time to participate in our Distance Learning surveys and sending positive messages to staff, whether it was encouragement or appreciation.

    As you know it’s been an extreme endeavor to get this school year launched, and I am moved by the solidarity of our staff and parents, the commitment of our staff to transition their planning and instruction to address this year’s challenges, and by all the tolerance and understanding it took from everyone to pull this off.

    I also want to acknowledge that there have been additional challenges to the start of our school year, devastating fires, power outages, and air quality issues, to work through and I thank parents and staff alike for their resilience and support while keeping the education of our children at the forefront.

    With school launched, some parents have reached out to ask about when they can expect us to start returning to in-person learning for those who were interested. While we did decide to start the year fully remote, our goal is to continually focus on how we can bring students back on campus as quickly and as safely as possible. We will provide monthly updates at the Governing Board meetings to regularly assess the situation to determine the time when it is safe to resume in-person learning. Additionally, we will continue to conduct surveys to seek input from students, parents, and staff around the comfort level of doing so.

    Our community has also experienced a heavy array of emotions with the civil unrest throughout our nation. I am saddened and frustrated in the wake of these events, and I’m sure many of us are left wondering what more we can do. First, I hope you will join me in standing in unity with our Black students, our students of color, and their families. Furthermore, as was mentioned in our reopening plans report, the District is continuing work with staff, students, and district families to eliminate the correlation between social and cultural factors and student success.  We have formed an action team to examine data, policies, practices, and the learning environment as experienced by students in order to create inclusive and just conditions where all students can explore their passions, develop their unique gifts, and thrive. Progress of this team will be provided throughout the year at the Governing Board meetings.

    We understand this year will hold abundant challenges for parents, students, and staff. Most of us have need to adjust routines and make extra efforts at times to make the best of our unique circumstances. Respect, flexibility, and understanding are going to be in high demand this year, and we’ll need everyone to practice these as we confront the hardships before us. We’re confident, however, that if we all work together, we can make this school year a great one.

    We have so many talented staff members here to partner with you in your child’s learning, so don’t be afraid to reach out. And while most questions or concerns may be directed to teachers and principals, if I can help in any way, please contact me at pconklin@travisusd.org or 707.437.4604 Ext. 1210.

    We are all working through a challenging time for our country and our world, and I know we’re all desperate to return to the life we knew before the pandemic. That day will come. Until then, we look forward to learning and growing with you this year and in the future!

    Take care of yourself and others,

    Pam Conklin