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September 23 update from Dr. Flores: first day video, upcoming vax and flu shot clinic, GUSD at SCCOE Job Fair, Dangers of Rainbow Fentanyl, meal apps due 9/28
GUSD Communications

Dear Parents and Staff,

The school year continues to move at a rapid pace.  I have been conducting regular weekly site visits to our campuses and am constantly impressed with the instruction and learning taking place in classrooms.  Here are a few reminders and updates for you:

Upcoming Vaccine Clinic at the South County Annex, September 30, 3-6 pm
Safeway is hosting a flu shot (for people 3 years and older), and COVID-19 vaccine (including the new Omicrown Bivalent COVID-19 Booster for people ages 12 and older, and the Monovalent COVID-19 Booster for people 5-11 years old) clinic at the South County Annex, which is the former Antonio Del Buono Elementary School site.  The South County Annex is located at 9300 Wren Avenue.  The clinic will take place on Friday, September 30, from 3-6 pm.   Appointments are recommended and can be booked here.   Those who are receiving a COVID-19 vaccine should bring their CDC vaccine card.

GUSD at SCCOE Classified Job Fair
Members of our Human Resources team will be at the 2022 Santa Clara County Office of Education Classified Job Fair on Saturday, September 24.  This event will be held outdoors at the County Office of Education (1290 Ridder Park Drive in San Jose).

  • If you are interested in being hired as a paraeducator, food service worker, custodian, driver, clerical or administrative assistant, maintenance worker, or health clerk or aide, this is the hiring event for you!
  • Bring multiple copies of your resume.  Applicant screening begins at 9:00 am on September 24, and recruiters will be available to screen your resume.
  • For more information, and more tips for success, visit: https://www.sccoe.org/jobfair
  • Click here for information about available jobs in GUSD.

Dangers of Rainbow Fentanyl
We continue to receive information from local law enforcement agencies about a very dangerous drug situation in Santa Clara County and in California. There has been a rise in the prevalence of counterfeit Percocet and Oxycodone/OxyContin in Santa Clara County as well as new forms of Fentanyl; in particular, Rainbow Fentanyl.  In March 2022, GUSD, in partnership with the City of Gilroy presented a virtual Town Hall on the topic of fentanyl use.  I invite you to watch the recording on our YouTube channel if you’d like to know more.
 
According to the California Department of Public Health:
 
Brightly-colored fentanyl (referred to as rainbow fentanyl) has been identified as a new trend according to the United States (U.S.) Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Rainbow fentanyl can be found in many forms, including pills, powder, and blocks that can resemble sidewalk chalk or candy. Any pill (regardless of its color, shape, or size) that does not come from a health care provider or pharmacist can contain fentanyl and can be deadly.
 
Fentanyl is 80-100 times more potent than morphine and 40-50 times more potent than heroin and, as a result, is a major cause of overdose for unsuspecting individuals.
 
According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard:

  • Emergency department visits related to non-fatal opioid overdoses in California’s youth ages 10-19 years more than tripled from 2018 (379 total) to 2020 (1,222 total).
  • Opioid-related overdose deaths in California’s youth ages 10-19 years increased from 2018 (54 total) to 2020 (274 total), marking a 407% increase over two years, largely driven by fentanyl.
  • Fentanyl-related overdose deaths in California’s youth ages 10-19 years increased from 2018 (36 total) to 2020 (261 total), a 625% increase.

 
People purchasing these pills are likely unaware that they contain fentanyl.
 
Things you can do:

  • If you’re concerned someone in your life is at-risk for opioid overdose, carry the overdose reversal medication naloxone (Narcan). Narcan has no adverse side effects and is available without a physician prescription at most pharmacies.
  • If you find any pills, do not touch them. Call local law enforcement for removal.
  • Speak with your student about this information so they know the risks of buying or sharing prescription medication and that these pills are out there.
  • Call local law enforcement if you or your student have seen these pills. Speaking up may save a friend’s life!
  • Contact the 24/7 Mental Health & Substance Use Access & Assessment Hotline (888-818-1115) to get help for a friend or loved one struggling with substance abuse. 

Child Nutrition and Meal Service Applications due September 28. 
All meals on our campuses are free for all students in GUSD for the 2022-23 school year. However, GUSD must still encourage families to complete the federal meal applications to ensure our District can continue receiving critical funding for programs. Applications should be completed by all GUSD families should complete a meal application either electronically or via paper, even if you think your family doesn’t qualify for services.  These applications help to provide almost $3 million in vital funding to our District, which supports educational programs for all students.
 
Students and families who qualify for the program can receive reduced fees for AP tests, reduced fees for the City of Gilroy Recreation Programs, and other support.  All families in our District should complete this application by September 28.  You can complete an online application or download and print a paper application attached to this message.  Applications have also been sent home with students.  

 
Gilroy Garlic Festival Night of Football and Flame-up event, October 1 (NEW DATE)
The Gilroy Garlic Festival Association will present an abbreviated menu of Festival food at the football game between Gilroy High and Christopher High on Saturday, October 1 (new date).  Proceeds from Gourmet Alley will go to each school.
 

  1. Pre-purchase tickets to the football game online.   Food is only being sold inside the stadium and you must have a game ticket to enter.
  2. Visit the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association Booth at Christopher High School on Saturday, October 1, to purchase food items. Food sales will start at halftime of the JV game.
  3. The menu includes:
  • Pepper Steak Sandwiches-- $15 
  • Sausage Sandwiches-- $15
  • Garlic Fries--$10
  • Three pieces of Garlic Bread-- $5

      4.  Enjoy your food during the game, or bring it home to enjoy later!
 
Parent/ Student Handbook and Media Opt-Out form now available
The 2022-2023 GUSD Parent/ Student handbook is now available on the GUSD website for your review.  You will be receiving a separate ParentSquare message with the handbook attached to it on Monday evening as well.  Similarly, the updated media opt-out form is also posted online.
 
It is the policy of the Gilroy Unified School District to allow photographs and video footage of students to be used in district-produced materials including, but not limited to, websites/social media, brochures, posters, other printed materials, and cable television programming. Students may be identified by name to provide them with recognition opportunities when appropriate. Occasionally, local media outlets are invited to visit our campuses to highlight special events, activities and/ or celebrations during the school day.  Any photographs or video recordings taken by media outlets, and sanctioned by the Gilroy Unified School District and/or school site, will also be allowed by Gilroy Unified.
 
If you DO NOT want your child’s photograph used in any of the above capacities, please download, print and return the Media Release Opt-Out form on the GUSD website and return it to your child’s school office.
 
Both the GUSD Parent/ Student handbook and Media Release Opt-Out form can be found online.
 
First Day Video!
Many thanks to the families who submitted over 300 photos of their GUSD students on the first day of the 2022-23 school year.  Watch the video in its entirety here.  It’s sure to make you smile.
 
Enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend.  I’m looking forward to fall.
Take care of each other,
Dr. Deborah A. Flores, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Gilroy Unified School District