Dear Cowan Families,


    Welcome to the 2020-21 school year! We hope you all have been staying healthy and doing as well as possible, given the COVID-19 challenges that we've all been facing. Due to the current public health conditions, we will start the year on August 13th in a Distance Learning model. Though the beginning of this school year is very different from any that we've ever had before, we are excited to partner with our families and community partners to make it just as wonderful as all our other years have been! Together, we CAN do this!

    Cowan staff will support Distance Learning by:

    • Providing technology and learning materials for every family.
    • Google Classroom will be used by every teacher to share assignments, grade assignments, and communicate.
    • Providing live, daily academic lessons and opportunities to support Social Emotional Learning (SEL). This is called “synchronous instruction”.
    • Providing opportunities for students to engage in learning when convenient for your family (called “asynchronous instruction”) in subjects that all students need to have for their grade level.
    • Assigning grades to students based on their participation and work completed.
    • Taking daily attendance.
    • Providing weekly Music, Art and PE instruction.
    • Providing counseling, community and emotional supports for students and families.
    • Providing free or reduced cost meal programs.
    • Regularly communicating with families.
    • Many of our teachers use ClassTag, Class Dojo and Remind for communication with families. Families download the "apps" and teachers will invite you to join their groups.

    Families can support their child(ren)'s learning by:

    • Staying positive about Distance Learning. We know this is tough, but our belief that we will make this work goes a long way for children to stay motivated.
    • Establishing a regular sleep schedule for your child - 10 to 12 hours per night - so that they can be ready for online, direct instruction from their teacher each day.
    • Monitoring and help your child as needed to complete and turn in assignments.
    • Providing a quiet place for your child(ren) to access online instruction every day. Headsets may help your child focus.
    • Having your child read (or be read to) at least 20 minutes per day.
    • Communicating with your child’s teacher regularly. Teachers are often supervising their own children’s Distance Learning while working and may not respond to you until the next school day.
    • Let us know if you need support with Distance Learning or access to community resources.
    • Like the Cowan Fundamental Elementary Facebook page and follow us on Instagram at for regular updates and resources.

    Family Information Update & Re-Enrollment Process for 2020/2021

    San Juan Unified schools are eager to welcome students back to instruction on August 13th.  To help us prepare, parents and guardians are asked to complete the annual information update process which can be accessed online through the Parent Portal (Click here). Responses to this form will be used to reserve computers for students during distance learning and help schools offer other services.  Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on our San Juan Unified webpage if you have further questions -  https://www.sanjuan.edu/Page/50141. Also, we have attached are some images to assist you in the process. 

    Technology Needs for Distance Learning
    Does your child have access to their own device from Monday through Friday starting in August? If your answer is “NO”, you will want to click the “NO” button as you complete the re-enrollment process within the Parent Portal.  If your children are currently sharing a device at home, then you will want to click the “NO” button. You will also be asked if you have internet access in order to determine which families will need a hotspot device. Our district will be using this information to determine how many computers to release to families, so please complete the re-enrollment form.

    Chromebook and Instructional Materials
    Chromebook and instructional materials (Cowan students only) will be distributed at Cowan Fundamental School on Wednesday, August 5th by last name to support social distancing. Please where a face covering whenever you visit campus.  If you cannot pick up your materials and devices on August 5th, we will have a make-up day on August 10th.


    Families are invited to Cowan by the following schedule to pick up a Chromebook for each student’s personal use during distance learning:




    A-Com       9:00-9:45am

    Con-G        10:00-10:45 am

    H-Lew        11:00-11:45am

    Ley-O         12:00-12:45pm

    P-Ski          1:00-1:45pm

    Sli-Z           2:00-2:45pm


    Social distancing measures will be in place to minimize contact and ensure the health and safety of our community. Signs will be posted and volunteers will be present to guide drivers to the main entrance of the school on Becerra Drive. You will exit your vehicle to check out your

    student materials from the cafeteria. We ask that you stay with your family group and maintain at least 6 feet of distance between other groups. Please wear your face coverings when out of

    your vehicle.

    School Supplies
    Our teachers have been working together to determine what might be needed for students to effectively work at home during Distance Learning. Materials will be provided for Distance Learning during our Chromebook Distribution Day on Wednesday, August 5th.


    Synchronous Schedules in Distance Learning
    Cowan teachers and specialists are working closely to develop schedules that will support the greatest flexibility to our families in Distance Learning. As you might imagine, this is a very challenging task to and we appreciate your patience with this process.

    Changes in Cowan Staff
    We welcome Steve Rogers as our English Language Learner (ELL) teacher, Jenna Huff as our music teacher. We will also be welcoming a new third grade teacher to our team as soon as all paperwork is processed by our district Human Resources department.


    Thank you for partnering with us to support your child's learning! By working together, we will get through the COVID-19 pandemic.


    All my best,


    Principal Happoldt









    March 24, 2020

    An Update from San Juan Unified School District - Planning for distance learning

    This message will be available in multiple languages shortly.

    Teaching and learning is at the heart of what we do each day. For the last week, health, safety and operational needs have been the priority, during which time we’ve rightfully heard many of our staff and parents call for more information on where we are headed instructionally.

    We have attempted to be thoughtful in how services are rolled out to ensure we can answer questions of equity and meet legal requirements under federal and state law related to equal access. Keeping these elements in mind, it is our intent that every senior, who meets eligibility requirements, graduates this June and that all of our students can engage in meaningful learning.

    It is a possibility that schools may not open after spring break. Therefore, we are working diligently to transition to a distance learning model of instruction. This does not mean we are adopting new curriculum or new lesson plans but rather we are looking to deliver our existing curriculum and materials in different ways that meet the needs of our diverse sets of learners. It is our desire that by Monday, April 13 we will shift from our strategy of read, review and enrichment to a model of distance learning that allows for new assignments and new learning.

    To facilitate this, we are currently finalizing plans for the distribution of technology to students who do not have devices. Distribution is slated to begin with high schools on March 25. Middle schools will follow by April 2, with elementary schools distributed prior to the end of the Spring Break. As part of this effort, we’ll also be working with families to identify gaps in internet connectivity and match them with free or reduced-cost community solutions. (Between now and March 27, technology services staff will be working to remove restrictions on devices that keep them locked to the district network as well as ensuring we have processes in place to track who materials are checked out to.)

    Our goal is to serve every student to the greatest extent possible using remote and distance learning tools using the latest California Department of Education guidelines. Our Special Education team is collaborating with general education staff to develop the best plans to support all learners. Over the next few weeks, case managers will be reaching out to each family individually to review and set up services.

    We are also working hard to implement support for our teachers and other educators as they make this shift through the use of virtual professional learning and collaborative communities of practitioners. All of our staff will have access to these services as they come online prior to our shift in delivery methods on April 13. Please note, that April 6-10 remains Spring Break with all staff off and no assignments or virtual office hours offered.

    Like everything COVID-19 related, we expect this will be a rapidly evolving effort with changes by the moment. We ask for your patience and your guidance during this process to ensure that we support each other in this new model of distance learning and meet the needs of our learners.

    In unity,

    Principal Happoldt



    MARCH 18, 2020

    Dear Cowan families,

     Our Cowan staff is dedicated to providing you the best possible experience during the school closures. The purpose of this letter is to provide families with ideas and resources on how parents can support student learning at home.

    The primary goals for student learning:

    • Students read and be read to (a lot)
    • Review previously learned concepts
    • Enrich learning by engaging as a family while at home.

    Enrichment resources will be provided electronically. Teachers will also be conducting online office hours to answer questions and offer ideas on student learning at home.


    • Log onto the Parent Portal- Verify your phone numbers and email addresses are up-to-date. Current email addresses will ensure you have direct access to your child’s teacher, information and updates.
    • Check log-in access- If you need log-in information to access online resources such as Moby Max, iReady Math, LexiaCore5 (for reading), please email your student's teacher.
    • Use Enrichment Resources- The district website and each school website has a list of online enrichment resources to maintain learning during school closures. Please visit www.sanjuan.edu/onlineenrichment to see the complete list.


    • Virtual Office Hours- Effective Wednesday, March 18th SJUSD teachers will offer virtual office hours Monday-Friday from 8:30-10:30am and from 12:30-2:30pm. Please check your email, Dojo or other form of electronic communications for details from your teachers.
    • Breakfast and Lunch- Our district will be providing a breakfast and lunch program offered to anyone under the age of 18. This program is offered at 27 sites beginning Tuesday, March 17th through Friday, April 3rd. Click this link for details: 27 sites
    • School Events- All school events, meetings, field trip experiences are postponed until further notice.
    • Cleaning/COVID-19 Status- Our school is being deep cleaned and by keeping all of us apart, we decrease the chances of spreading the virus. There are no known cases of the COVID-19 virus at Cowan or within our district.


    We are living in extraordinary times and recognize that having students home for a month presents challenges. While our focus is to make this a successful learning experience for Cowan students, this crisis provides us with an opportunity to help our children develop skills when facing future life challenges. Please take care of yourselves and your families. I truly believe we will come out of this stronger than ever, together.


    Millie Happoldt
    Cowan Fundamental School

Last Modified on August 4, 2020