Reopening Update: In-Person Instruction Begins
A Message from the Superintendent
This was an exciting week for several reasons, not least of which was beginning to bring students back to campus for some in-person instruction.
It was such a delight to see the joy from the students and staff at finally seeing each other in 3D. One parent shared with her son’s kindergarten teacher that she was like a Disney princess; the students had only seen her on screen and were so excited to finally meet her in person.
Our middle school sixth graders also came to campus for in-person instruction and the chance to see friends in real life. We look forward to next week as we bring more grade levels back to campus.
More welcome news arrived this past weekend when it was announced that distancing between students in the classroom can be reduced from 6 feet to 3 feet. The updated California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance says: “maintaining a minimum of 3 feet between student chairs is strongly recommended.” There is still a requirement to maintain 6 feet of distance between students when they are eating, and staff still need to have their desks 6 feet from students’ desks. This change means we can begin planning for how we can have more on-campus instruction for our students. All CDPH health and safety precautions, such as wearing face coverings, social distancing and hand washing, will remain.
On March 24, our county moved into the Orange Tier, providing more evidence that our positive COVID-19 cases are trending positively. In a meeting with Santa Clara County Public Health officials on Tuesday, I learned that our current adjusted case count is 2.8 per 100,000.
Vaccinations are increasing and, I am pleased to announce that, by the end of next week, all of our staff will have had the opportunity to have both doses of the vaccine.
The natural question now: what’s next?
We said that we would wait until we had fully implemented Phase 2 of our reopening plan before moving to a new phase. We will have completed that gradual phase-in on April 16.
We have heard from many in our community that the hybrid schedule is challenging to families and staff. Over these next couple of weeks, we will be working with our school leaders and our reopening committee to determine a timeline to transition to the next phase. We will ensure that we have all of the logistics to support increased instructional time on campus for our students and, as promised, we will provide at least 14 days’ notice before transitioning to a new phase.