Dear Cypress Community,

Despite having to cancel one outing planned for Monday due to poor air quality, we have been able to expand these opportunities to include the majority of our current ABA participants this week.  In addition, some of you who have applied to receive this service are already being approved and can be included starting next week.  Please check your email for the new procedures, sign in agreement and return. 

Next week we will also be scheduling staff to return to campus in their assigned cohorts to provide distance learning on site once per week.  We will be preparing for students to return, one day per week, targeted to begin in October.  Each cohort consisting of sixteen people including students and staff will have an assigned day on campus.  We will follow up with more details next week. 

We are working with staff to support creative solutions for childcare, since many of them have school age children who need support to continue their distance learning as well.  We need parents to decide if they would like to participate in the hybrid program with in-person opportunities by next week.  If you wish to continue with distance learning, we will happily provide that as well.  Students may switch from distance only to the hybrid, but in order to balance cohorts and provide appropriate staffing, we will allow that at the end of the quarter.

We continue to work to complete our distance learning plans for our students and appreciate parent input to make them as helpful and accurate as possible.  This document reflects how services are provided and goals can be implemented during distance learning.  I want to acknowledge our teachers and therapists for supporting this effort, and families who continue to collaborate with our team to make distance learning work.  We could not do it without your support.  

Our beloved teacher Jessica Sauve has decided to take a leave and is ultimately planning to move to Sacramento.  Jessica has been with Cypress for many years, in the early days as an aide and for the last few years as the fearless leader of Classroom One.  During her time at our school, Jessica has supported the growth and development of so many students, and has promoted student independence and self-expression in every outing and activity.  She has helped boys and girls to become young men and women.  We are so sad to see her go, but wish her the best in the future and will always treasure her contribution and count her as one of the Cypress family. 

This week celebrates direct support professionals, and our aides deserve recognition for their tireless efforts.  We have found through this pandemic that we often take our essential workers for granted and have historically as a society failed to fully appreciate their contributions.  At Cypress, we know that the heart and soul of our school is this group of dedicated individuals.  They are the secret ingredient.  They are the magic that makes it all happen.  Watching them work at times, when they are at their best, is like seeing a beautifully choreographed dance performance or a championship team working in sync.  They create a space for our students to shine.  Sometimes it is not pretty with our students, and our staff often show the most grace in those difficult moments.  The people who visit and tour the school often comment on the positive energy that is almost palpable.  I am so proud of our teacher aides and profoundly humbled by the dedication they bring every day.  I know I speak for the entire Cypress community when I express our heartfelt gratitude.  Thank you.

Sincerely,

Nate Yates

Director of Educational and Behavioral Services

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