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District Reopening Committee Discusses Possible Schedules

A Message from Superintendent Viramontez

As promised, I am providing the update on the work of our District Reopening Committee.

At the July 8 meeting, our 32 members: 

  • Reviewed Public Health Requirements for reopening schools
  • Reviewed new Legislation for Distance Learning
  • Formed Break Out Sessions to review and discuss pros/cons of 4 potential school schedules
  • Determine if more information is needed before sending a recommendation to the Governing Board for July 23rd

Requirements for Reopening

I shared the basic requirements that must be met before our students will be allowed to attend in-person instruction on campus. The information included requirements from the County Public Health Department’s Reopening K-12 Schools document, and key points from California Senate Bill 98, which adds detailed requirements to California Education Code around distance education for the 2020-2021 school year. 

You will find excerpts from my presentation on our COVID 19 web page.

Clarifications for Distance Learning

  1. New information we received late yesterday is that schools will not need to require a doctor’s note for parents to request distance learning for their children.
  2. Our instructional team has been developing resources and curricula to support a robust and interactive distance learning program. We anticipate receiving a Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan template from the California Department of Education in early August and submitting a final, Board-approved plan by September 30th.
  3. In previous parent surveys, there were many parents who said they could not tell us a preference on either all distance learning, hybrid or other options until they had more information about the schedules and facilities arrangements. Once our plan is approved by the Governing Board, and we look again at our staffing needs, we will be asking parents to indicate whether they would like their child to participate in full-time distance learning for the 2020-21 school year or not. We will then work to staff a distance learning model for these students. Due to the staffing required, this will be a year-long commitment for those who select distance learning only.  

Drafting School Schedules

Four elementary and middle school concept schedules were presented, founded on meeting the safety requirements and guidelines. The team discussed each plan’s pros and cons, and offered ideas for modifying them. These schedules provide for staggered arrivals by grade level, stable cohorts in elementary schools, a hybrid in-person for middle school students, and resources for ensuring our ability to meet the required health and safety measures. We started with ensuring the requirements, and we will also be implementing additional measures that may not be required. All plans will allow for flexibility should we be required to resume distance learning.

With the committee feedback at hand, a subcommittee will be taking a closer look at the schedules and will bring one elementary and one middle school schedule back to the July 15 meeting of the full committee. We have also formed a subcommittee of special education staff  to look closely at ways to provide services to students who have exceptional needs during this extraordinary time. While we are planning for some in-person instruction, we also need to prepare for the need for distance learning should the need to reimplement that occur.

Our aim is to have recommended schedules ready for the July 23 Governing Board meeting. We will share the schedule(s) with our community by the end of the month. 

Creating the Plan

It is important to recognize that plans will go through changes as we receive new information—which happens frequently. We understand the desire to have a concrete plan that families and staff can use for their own planning needs. We also continue to ask for patience as we do our best to provide you with a thoughtful and thorough plan that addresses all aspects of the school day, requirements and schedules. 

Please remain flexible through this iterative process, and continue to monitor your email for updates on this important topic.