Brownell Happenings

June 3, 2022 update from Dr. Flores: graduation, school safety, summer reading program, drought restrictions and more
GUSD Communications

Dear GUSD Staff and Families,

This is my last letter of the year as school will be over next Friday, June 10, 2022.   It is an exciting time of the year as we celebrate all of our students’ accomplishments especially those graduating from high school.  Two very successful graduations have already been held: GECA on May 26 and Adult Education on June 1.    We are looking forward to next week’s events and celebrations:

High School Graduations

Middle School Celebrations, June 8

  • Brownell Middle School, 9:00 am
  • Solorsano Middle School, 11:00 am
  • South Valley Middle School (at Gilroy High School), 2:00 pm

A big congratulations to 5th grade students who are moving to the middle school level and 8th grade students who are moving on to the high school level next year.  

As a reminder, the instructional calendar for the 2022-23 school year is posted online in English and Spanish.  

Robb Elementary School Shootings

The tragedy that unfolded in Uvalde, Texas at Robb Elementary School on May 24 was so horrible that it is hard to convey my feelings in words.  The loss of a loved one brings such sorrow to a family but for children to die in school as the result of a school shooting is unfathomable.   Our thoughts and prayers go out to every family that lost a loved one and for all the families impacted by the shooting.  Last week, we shared some resources with our families that might be helpful in talking to children about violence.  As a reminder, this information is available here.  

After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012, I reached out to the Gilroy Chief of Police and requested a meeting with school principals, my Cabinet members and top GPD officers to begin what is now an almost 10-year long partnership focused on school safety and the prevention of school shootings.   We met within days of the Sandy Hook shootings and agreed on a number of steps that would be taken to increase the district’s preparedness for an intruder or school shooting. Since then, key district personnel and officers from the GPD have worked closely together to ensure that we are doing everything we can to prepare for a school shooting and are constantly evaluating what more we can do.  The attached list outlines the steps we have already taken to prepare for a school shooting and additional steps we plan to take this year. 

Santa Clara County Drought Restrictions

California has been in a drought for almost 850 days.  The State and the County have recently implemented new mandatory drought restrictions. In Santa Clara County, residents are limited to brief watering of landscapes such as lawns to two times per week before 9:00 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m. The district has been doing our part for several years now.  Many areas of landscaping are not being watered at all or very minimally.  We have to water the areas that students use to keep them safe but even these areas are watered as little as possible to keep them from dying.  We all need to do our part about this very serious water issue by watering landscaping as little as possible and conserving in every way that we can.  This article shows 12 easy ways to help our State with conservation efforts. 

COVID-19 Test Kit Distribution

This week, District Office staff delivered COVID-19 test kits to all school sites in GUSD.   Please watch for a communication from your school’s principal about when those test kits will be sent home with students next week.  Please plan to test the children in your home prior to returning to campus for the 2022-2023 school year on August 17, 2022.  

Summer Reading Program

The Santa Clara County Library District launched their annual Summer Reading Program, "Reading Beyond the Path," on June 1!  Readers of all ages can register for the program and enjoy two months of in-person or virtual activities at the Gilroy Library and other libraries in the County.  Program participants, both children and adults, can earn free books too!  For more information or to register, visit: and get reading!

Summer reading is critical, not only for helping kids maintain learning while school is out, but also for fostering social-emotional development, discovering the joy of stories, and elevating the importance of lifelong learning.

As we come to the close of another school year, I am honored to have had a front row to watch your children excel.  We certainly have had our challenges this school year, some of which are unusual given the pandemic, but we have celebrated many successes along the way.  My wish for you and your family is that you enjoy these summer months by creating wonderful memories and experiencing lots of adventures too.  I plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, in nature, during the summer break.  My hope is that you are able to find your happy place as well.

Take care of each other, and we will see students back on campus in August,

Dr. Deborah A. Flores, Ph.D.
Gilroy Unified School District