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Knightsen Elementary School District

Knightsen ESD

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    KES and ORE school Calendars

    Job Opportunities:

    If you are interested in applying for our job opportunities, please go to

    District and KES Teacher of the Year 2020 - Shirley Padgett
    ORE Teacher of the Year 2020-21 - Nicole Matthew
    Message from the Superintendent

    Parent Update - email 4/8/2020

    Dear Knightsen School District Families,

    Yesterday, public health officers and county superintendents in six Bay Area counties announced they are extending the suspension of in-class instruction throughout the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  Last week, I had shared that it was very unlikely students would return to our campuses this school year.  This directive from our county health officers makes it official.  Click here for the CCCOE PDF

    With physical sites closed, I have to say, School is not over for this academic year.  Teachers, classified staff and administrators throughout our districts are working hard to transition to high-quality distance learning and support the needs of all students.  We continue to be committed to working with families and students to support this unprecedented transition.  Teachers have been in communication with students and school Is starting back up.  We have begun loaning out Chromebooks to students who need them. If you find that your child does, please contact us at the school.   

    Food will continue to be distributed at: 

    • Brentwood Union School District - 11:00am until 1:00pm - Edna Hill Middle School, Pioneer Elementary, Brentwood Elementary School. 
    • Oakley Union Elementary School District - 11:00am until 1:00pm - Delta Vista Middle School, Iron House Elementary
    • Byron Union School District -  Meals will be served between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
      • Excelsior Middle School Excelsior Middle School, 14301 Byron Highway (parking lot near theater)  
      • Timber Point Elementary, 40 Newbury Lane (back parking lot near gym) 
      • Discovery Bay Elementary, 1700 Willow Lake Road (parking lot near gym)   

    Weekly Assignments and work pick up - Your student is scheduled for another installment of distance learning starting next week. Beginning on Monday, April 13th, the distance learning tab  on our district webpage will be updated with the assignments for this week.   Look for the updated webpage after 12:00pm on Monday the 13th.  

    • Packet Pick Up - Much in the same way as we did last time, packet pick up will be from 9:00AM until 10:30AM on Tuesday, April 14th in the front of Knightsen School.  In the interest of getting more efficient at the pick up, remember the following:
    • Parade - Because many of our families live outside our district boundaries or in a gated community, this Tuesday is also a good time to bring the kids out of the house to come by the school and waive hello to our staff. You do not need to pick up a packet, however, driving by and saying hello is always welcomed!  Because of the geographic range of our families, please feel free to parade by us on Tuesday.
    • Signs for having a grade level of work needed was successful in helping us get work to families as well. To further help, can we ask this week to have the grade level of work needed taped onto the front windshield or passenger window?  Many vehicles had dashboards which were taller than our staff was able to see. 
    • Come into the parking lot headed east, towards Holland Tract and Byron Highway. The best way to approach the lot is from Eden Plains Rd. or you will have to go past the drive way and turn around by the RR tracks. The vehicles that had to make a hard left turn into the parking lot found it to be a bit steep and rubbed their bumper unless they were driving an SUV or pick up truck.  
    • Student Items - In the upcoming weeks, your child's classroom teacher will be reaching out to you about pick up of materials that will assist in distance learning. These may include workbooks, journals and other items from your students desk. Arrangements can be made for a pick up at an upcoming date and time.

    Work expectation/Grading Expectations -  As we progress further into distance learning, we will have more discussion regarding work expectations and grades.  The first round of packet work will not be collected. The upcoming packets that will be handed out on Tuesday the 14th can be collected. This is optional at this point. As of right now we are considering a Pass -  No Credit grading platform for the 4th quarter grades.  We are in the planning phases of the requirements of the Pass versus No Credit. More to come on this.

    Field Trip Reimbursements -  Because we have had to cancel a number of field trips we will begin the process of reimbursement beginning Tuesday, May 5th.

    I want to give a big shout out to Mrs. Carlile, Old River, Kinder Teacher. - She read and uploaded a story for students.   Click here for the story read.  This can be found on our district Facebook page.  Follow our page for updated info and notification of important   

    For more information on COVID-19, please visit websites at the Contra Costa Health Services,  the Contra Costa County Office of Education.  In the coming weeks we will continue to share information as it is shared with us. While we are all saddened that we won’t be physically together for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, we can hardly wait to be all back together on our campuses when it is safe to do so.

    We know that this situation is taking its toll on everyone for many reasons, but our health experts continue to remind us that following the stay-at-home order and practicing strict physical distancing are the two best ways to slow the transmission of this virus. Click here for the PDF regarding recognizing stress in children and caregivers during this time. It is important to take care of yourself so you can be available for those who need you. Likewise, stress in children manifests itself in many different ways. This report from the California Surgeon General has some great info inside.  

    While we are not able to welcome students back to campus this year, we are confident that learning will continue, and that every educator and education professional in our district will continue to work hard on behalf of the students and families we serve.

    We want everyone safe and healthy when we are able to return to school.  Please keep practicing the guidance provided by Public Health Officers including: 

    ·  Social distancing

    ·  Washing hands often with soap and water

    ·   Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

    ·   Staying home if you are feeling sick

    ·   Contacting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. 

    ·  Engage in regular exercise or physical activity

    I want you to know that we are here for our families in our Knightsen School District community. We are making the difference in our area by keeping infections down and to a minimal level.  We are bending the curve!  Let us know if you need absolutely anything.  Take care and be well!


    Distance Learning for KESD Families - as of 3/25/20

    (Mensaje en español)

    Hello Knightsen School and Old River Elementary School Communities. 

    I want to start by saying that I hope this message finds you well and comfortable at home with the shelter in place going on. You may or may not have heard, the county public health departments and offices of education in 6 bay area counties met yesterday.  At 11:00AM today school districts in each of the 6 bay area counties were provided with the "strong recommendation" to extend our shelter in place until May 1st. In the interest of public safety, we will continue to follow the recommendations of our state, county and health officials and extend the school closure until that time. Our school sites, activities, and the District Office will remain closed with the exception of essential activities and the work being done to develop the framework of the Distance Learning and telecommuting systems.  

    With this information, there are many aspects of school that need to be addressed. I am hopeful that this email will help answer some of those questions as it pertains to distance learning.  Information has been changing daily and we will continue to adapt accordingly in the weeks ahead. We are asking for your partnership and your patience in this endeavor, as it is new territory for our students and educators. 

    On Monday, March 30th our teaching staff will return to school. In small groups, we will be conducting professional development on distance learning as well as access, communication and connectivity to our families and students. We will develop timelines, consolidate curriculum and accesses for students to use moving forward.

    Things families will need to know: 

    On Monday of next week, our district website will become the hub of information about distance learning. There will be a newly created Distance Learning tab. Once you click on the tab, it will bring you to a grade level page where work and information will be posted by grade level. Our district's base curriculum will be found on this page. Links to extended learning and teacher email will be posted on the grade level page as well. 

    Short Term Plan - Starting Monday,  March 30th and extending through through Friday April 10th.

    • PDF packets will be posted on the district website under the distance learning tab.  You can print this packet out at home as long as you have an internet connection and printer. 
    • Should you need a printed copy of the packet, they will be available at Knightsen School on Tuesday, March 31st. We will have the staff parking lot off of Delta Road available for work pick up from 9:00am until 11:00am. 
    • For the duration of this closure, all school business, included paper packet distribution, will be conducted at Knightsen School. Both schools have been disinfected and we want to limit exposure to one site if at all possible. 
    • To speed up the process and also to limit contact, please write down which grade level(s) of work you will need on a piece of paper. Have this place onto your dashboard as you pull through the parking lot. This will alleviate the need to lean into the vehicle as well as help us prepare for a speedy drive through. 
    • All families, district wide, who require paper packet work from the school will need to drop by at this date and time. For any reason, should this time not work for you, please call or email the school to make arrangements to have it made available at another time. 

    Considerations for Short Term work - March 30th through April 10th. 

    Since this crisis has begun, our staff have been on spring break and schools have been closed.  The first opportunity for us to come together to plan for distance learning will be on Monday, March 30th. Beginning the week of April 6th we will roll out more information about how our long term distance learning will take place in the KESD.

    Sometime next week students and families will receive an email from their teacher with details and information on how to best get into contact.    

    When going through the short term distance learning work, please keep in mind that this work:

    • Should be items that students have already covered, however, have not yet mastered
    • Practice skills for learning and content area proficiency
    • Engaging in enrichment activities or independent projects in a particular subject area
    • Identify areas of interest in a subject area where they can research and explore.
    • Students on a 504 or IEP will be able to contact their teacher or case manager to amend the work should they need accommodations. 

    Plans for Long Term Distance Learning: April 13th through May 1st

    The short term work provided on Monday (online) and Tuesday (packet handout) will not be the same as work our teachers will be designing for our long term distance learning. The first round of packet work is designed to have students busy working on material that can reinforce and reteach concepts from earlier this year. School work from April 13th on will be more similar to the work they receive here at school.

    For Long Term Distance Learning - April 13th through May 1st, 

    •  Students will receive feedback on their learning periodically throughout the duration of remote learning and teachers will provide weekly updates.  However, per state guidelines, formal grades will not be reported.    
    •  We have asked teachers not to provide lesson plans and curriculum prior to the launch of the Long Term Distance Learning starting April 13th. Teachers are always happy to hear from students and families, however, they will not be releasing any lessons prior to Monday, April 13th. 
    •  Questions on curriculum and individual student progress should be directed to teachers via email or online platform the teacher is using.  We anticipate a higher volume of electronic communication during this time, so please be patient with our staff and return of communications.   
    • As we move from the short term to long term work, the focus of distance learning will shift to new curricular material and progressing on the course standards for the year. 
    Beyond May 1st:
    • State standardized testing has been cancelled for Spring, 2020 by the State of California. These decisions will be made at a national level.   

    • Extended School Year registration will be paused as we move forward.  We will update you regarding summer offerings as information becomes available from the State of California.

    With all of this going on, the KESD is planning for every contingency as we become aware. As we meet as a staff, I will have more information in an upcoming communication regarding work pick up and drop off dates and times.  We will rely on work that can be accessed easily from home as well as be able to provide paper copies to families who need them. Likewise, we will have avenues to connect should your child need additional help. We will also provide additional links on our district website for extended learning opportunities online. 

    Please continue to take care of yourselves and others by practicing social distancing and following the County Health Services Recommendations below: 

    • Frequently wash your hands! 
    • Use a 60% or greater alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
    • Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Stay inside and self-quarantine if you are sick.
    • Cough into the crook of your arm or into a tissue.
    • Use a barrier, such as a paper towel or tissue, to touch commonly touched surfaces.
    • Avoid shaking hands.
    • Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces.
    • Get vaccinated against the flu if you haven’t already.
    • If you are ill, call your healthcare provider before visiting.  Phone consultation may be adequate.
    • Avoid non-essential trips to emergency rooms, hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities.  If your loved ones are there, substitute in person visits for phone or video visits.
    • Check in by phone with friends, family and neighbors that are at risk of serious illness.
    • Think about how to care for loved ones at home if they or you get sick, including how to prevent other family members from becoming infected.

    I sincerely want to reach out to our school community and say that we will get through this together. Our children are super resilient and adaptive. With everybodies consideration and  support we will evolve our practice to meet the needs of our students and be stronger for it. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you very much to all.


    COVID-19 UPDATE - as of 3/19/20

    Hello KESD families,

    In light of escalating conditions surrounding the Corona Virus (COVID-19), the Knightsen Elementary School District has made the decision to postpone attendance at both schools beginning on Monday, March 30th, 2020, until at least Tuesday, April 7th 2020.  The soonest we would expect students to return would be Wednesday, April 8th, 2020.   Over the next few days, district administration will evaluate future plans and potential flexible learning/distance learning opportunities for students starting March 30th and extending through the April 7th closure. 

    Information from the state indicates we could extend this date depending on the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to follow the guidelines and best practices set forward by Contra Costa Public Health, California Department of Public Health and the Governor's office to best serve our students, staff members and Knightsen Community. 

    With all that is going on, I have to say that we are confident that our decision to dismiss schools will support our community and help extend the curve of transmission of this virus.  In a meeting with the public health department today, at the time of writing this email, there were 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19 county wide. The reality is that this number is more than likely much higher given the fact that there has been limited testing. No doubt the numbers will continue to climb as we progress into the next week of break. This unprecedented decision to close schools was made after considerable consultation with the Contra Costa County Office of Education, the County Department of Public Health and other school districts throughout our County.    

    Look for more communication details and an update next week.  We will inform you of any potential modifications to the school year, extension of school closure and guidance from the California Department of Education regarding independent academic assignments, assessments and other teaching and learning topics.

    Consider the emails you receive as the official district communication.  They will be the primary source of information during this closure and beyond. In addition to being emailed, these communications will also be posted on our district website and facebook page. Yes, we now have a facebook page active again. Please join us to stay connected via facebook. 

    We know there are a lot of questions at this time about return to school dates and student work. Because this situation has and will continue to evolve quickly, we will have answers once we have completed putting all of the pieces together. Our first priority is the health and well-being of our students and staff. It is the single most important thing that we, as a District, are entrusted to protect.  We will continue to take that duty seriously for the duration of this unprecedented and unique health event.

    Food Services -  Your child can receive food services during this break and throughout the school closure at any of our neighboring elementary school districts. 

    • Brentwood Union School District - 11:00am until 1:00pm - Edna Hill Middle School, Pioneer Elementary, Brentwood Elementary School. 
    • Oakley Union Elementary School District - 11:00am until 1:00pm - Delta Vista Middle School, Iron House Elementary
    • Byron Union School District - Starting March 30th the Byron Union School District  Food Services program will provide an additional opportunity for families to drive through and pick up FREE meals for the children in their family.  Children must be present in order for meals to be provided. All children ages 18 and under are welcome to participate. Schools will provide a lunch for that day and breakfast for the following morning. Meals will be served between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, in the parking lot at :
    • Excelsior Middle School Excelsior Middle School, 14301 Byron Highway (parking lot near theater)  
    • Timber Point Elementary, 40 Newbury Lane (back parking lot near gym) 
    • Discovery Bay Elementary, 1700 Willow Lake Road (parking lot near gym)   

    Byron Union School District is asking that you please stay in your car.  Meals will be passed through based on the number of children in the car. Walk ups will be welcomed with those without transportation. This program will be solely for the pick up of meals and meals will not be consumed on site.

    Technology survey - Given the possibility that we may have to extend school closure, we are retooling for distance learning opportunities. Please take this survey to better help us determine how to best serve your student(s) during the closure.  Click here to take the survey.

    Distance Learning -  This will be enacted to help prevent the spread of the Corona Virus. Distance learning will be much different than the classroom experience.   Topics and educational experiences will be by grade level with links provided on our district website.  This may come in the form of online access to subscription services already used by the district, additional online resources and copies of work provided by the district.  

    For the purposes of the closure extending from March 30th through April 7th, you can expect

    • Review material that they may have already covered, but not yet mastered.
    • Practice skills for learning and content area proficiency.
    • Engage in enrichment activities or independent projects in a particular subject area.
    • Identify an area of interest in a subject area to research and explore.

    Should a long term school closure be enacted, we will follow up with additional resources, schedules, times and procedures where work can be picked up and dropped off. 

    Facebook Page - Click here to be directed to the page. Like and follow for up to date postings and information.

    The KESD will follow up with additional information next week via email. We encourage families to continue to be proactive in reducing the risk of COVID-19 by not congregating and practicing good hygiene. This includes washing your hands often, sneeze or cough into a tissue and stay home if you are sick.   

    I sincerely hope you and your family are in a good place and are safe and happy. This can be a scary time for our younger children. I have attached a Children's story (English) (Spanish) . We want to stick together as a community (just stay 6 feet apart) and help each other through this trying time. We will come out the other side stronger and more informed, together.  If you or your family needs any resources or more information, please do not hesitate to contact me or the business office. 

    Thank you Knightsen and Old River communities. Be well.


    SCHOOL CLOSURE INFORMATION - as of 3/17/2020

    Dear Knightsen Elementary School District Community,

    On Monday, March 16th officials from seven counties, including Contra Costa County, instructed all residents to stay inside their homes and avoid others for at least the next three weeks while public health officials make efforts to slow down the spread of  Coronavirus.  Starting at 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, March 17th, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties will be required to "shelter in place" until at least April 7.

    As a result, we have determined that the earliest students would return to school is now April 8th.  As this continues to be a rapidly evolving situation, we will learn significantly more during the next two weeks.  We are getting out this information as early as possible as we understand that school closures can be very difficult on families and want to give families time to prepare.  Our decisions will continue to be made, with the guidance of state health experts, based on what is best for students. We will continue to update families and staff with new information and guidance as it becomes available.  More to come  as we receive information from state and county health officials.


    Harvey Yurkovich, Superintendent/Principal

    Knightsen Elementary School District


    Kinder and TK Registration for 2020-21
    • We are accepting enrollments for Kinder and TK Registration for 2020-21 School Year. Please visit the school secretaries at Knightsen or Old River Elementary.
    Interdistrict Transfer

    For families who do not live in the Knightsen Elementary School District (KESD) but wish to transfer to KESD, you must submit a new Interdistrict Transfer form each year.  The forms originate within your school district of residence. If approved, please be aware that the district, may place your child at a particular school or in a particular class within the district at its discretion.

    If your child already attends a school within KESD, be sure to check dates when interdistrict transfer requests become available in your district of residence. As stated above, you are required to submit a new interdistrict transfer form each year. Your child attending KESD in the current school year does not guarantee enrollment or choice of school in the upcoming school year. These requests are approved on space and service availability. We strive to provide placement of parent choice whenever possible. Parents/Guardians must submit all interdistrict transfer applications on or before May 19, 2020.

    Approval of New applicants for Interdistrict transfers for the 2020-21 school year will be determined on space and service availability. We will have a wait list for certain grade levels depending on space availability. 

    Any student coming into KESD on interdistrict transfer will be expected to have positive attendance, show good citizenship/work effort and maintain good grades.

    If you are interested in having your child attend KESD on an interdistrict transfer, please call the Superintendent's Secretary: Diane Bodon at 925-626-3310 for more information.


    Pandemic EBT

    Children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals can get up to $365 in food benefits in addition to their pick up meals from schools. For more information on applying for the benefit called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT go to starting May 22.

    If you need to apply for the free and reduced price meal for the 2019-20 school year, click here:

    Please note that you will have to REAPPLY for the free and reduced lunch program next school year (2020-21 School Year).

    Pandemia EBT

    Reciba ayuda para comprar comida mientras escuelas están cerradas. Este programa, llamado P-EBT, es para niños que normalmente reciben alimentos gratis o a precio reducido en la escuela.  Solicite para recibir $365 por cada niño para comprar alimentos.  Para mas información o para solicitar este servicio vaya a este sitio web a partir del 22 de mayo:

    Si necesita hacer una solicitud para el programa de alimentos gratis o a precio reducido para este año escolar (2019-20) vaya a este sitio web:

    Tiene que volver a aplicar para comidas gratis o reducidas para el próximo (2020-21) año escolar. 

    About Our School

    Our Mission

    To develop respectful, responsible, creative, lifelong learners Knightsen Elementary School District will:
    • Deliver an academically challenging and technology-infused curriculum including the arts.
    • Provide a stimulating, safe and supportive learning environment.
    • Attract, retain, develop and evaluate a highly qualified and caring staff.
    • Encourage each child to reach his or her personal best.
    • Build integrity, character and civic responsibility in our students.
    • Engage families in the daily life of the school.
    • Instill school pride and honor tradition.
    • Connect students to the unique agricultural heritage of our community.
    • Respect the diversity of students.
    • Transition students to the next educational level.
    • Prepare students for diverse careers within a global economy.
    • Guide students to understand and use technology responsibly.