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Update Regarding Governor’s School Guidance and SCUSD Reopening Plan Timeline

En Español

July 19, 2020

Dear Santa Clara Unified students, families, staff, and community,

As you may be aware, Governor Newsom announced directives for schools on Friday afternoon. Any school district located within counties on the COVID-19 monitoring list must start the fall in distance learning.

Governor Newsom’s Announcement

According to the governor’s directive, schools will be able to begin reopening following specific public health criteria indicating that their county has been off of the monitoring list for 14 consecutive days. We will continue planning for a return to in-person learning for when public health conditions allow it and adequate resources are allocated by both the state and federal governments for the safe return to school by students and staff.

The specific metrics schools must meet to open in-person instruction and remain open include:

  • Schools and school districts can reopen only when their county has been off of the monitoring list for 14 consecutive days.
  • A classroom should revert to distance learning for 14 days when one student or staff member of that classroom tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Schools should revert to distance learning for 14 days when there are multiple cases in multiple classrooms or cohorts (groups) or five percent of students and staff test positive for COVID-19 within a 14 day period.
  • The district should revert to distance learning for 14 days when 25 percent or more of its schools have been physically closed due to COVID-19 within 14 days.

SCUSD Distance Learning

SCUSD staff has been working diligently over the past three months to prepare for every outcome and phase of reopening, including distance learning. Because of this work, we will be able to offer our students a robust and rigorous distance learning environment when we start school on August 17, 2020. Our distance learning model is vastly different from the emergency distance learning we quickly pivoted to in March when school campuses initially closed. 

Our distance learning model includes improved attendance, traditional grading, emphasis on teacher-student engagement, daily live interaction with teachers, daily interaction with peers, progress monitoring and feedback, small group support,  challenging assignments, supports for English language learners and special education students, family support, and ongoing professional development opportunities for teachers and classroom support staff in August and throughout the school year. We know it is critical to equip our teachers and classroom support staff with the tools and resources necessary to maximize their skills when teaching in a distance learning model. We will be providing more information and detail in the coming weeks ahead.

SCUSD Reopening Plan Timeline Update

Final Reopening Plan. On Friday, July 17, our 50-person Superintendent’s Advisory Committee comprised of staff, students, families, and community members met to review and analyze the thousands of community feedback responses we received last week through our survey, town halls, and board meeting public comments to make recommendations to our reopening planning committees for the final District Reopening Plan. The advisory committee will meet again on Friday, July 24 to review the final reopening plan before it goes to the Board of Trustees for approval on Wednesday, July 29. All staff, students, families, and community members are invited to participate in the board meeting. Please visit our board meetings website on Monday, July 27 for a link to the agenda with the information on how to participate in the online Zoom meeting and provide public comment specific to this meeting.

Instructional Model Selection. Through community feedback this week, we understand that many families desire more details and time before deciding which instructional model they will choose for their child for if and when the district offers hybrid or in-person learning in the 2020-2021 school year. We are reviewing the deadline for this important decision against the timeline for our final reopening plan. We will communicate an updated timeline with you by midweek. Knowing your choice before the start of the school year is important for our planning because it will help us determine how many teachers, among other resources, will be needed for the year-long distance learning option. 

Current Revised Timeline: 

July 22 Instructional Model Selection Form Opens

July 24 Instructional Model Selection Form Closes (date under review)

July 27 Revised Draft Reopening Plan

July 29 Board Meeting and Final Reopening Plan

August 17 First Day of School

Note: Communications with links and directions will be sent out via email, text message, and phone calls on each of these key dates.

Annual Student Information Update

If your family has not started or completed the Annual Student Information Update for each of your children, please do so as soon as possible so that we can accurately verify our full student enrollment and appropriately allocate resources for the 2020-2021 school year. The primary parent/guardian listed in our student information system (Aeries) should have received an email and/or text message in June with instructions on how to access their family’s account. Each family will have one account per household. Please make sure to check both parent/guardian email addresses (including spam folders) and phone messages. If you do not receive an email or text message, or you need to update your username, please contact the Enrollment Center via email at enrollment@scusd.net or by phone at (408) 423-3596. Due to the high volume of phone calls and emails, please expect a response within 48 business hours.

Next Steps

We recognize that the pandemic has posed challenges and unique hardships for many students, families, and staff. Our teams are developing plans for the 2020-2021 school year that include exploring childcare options for staff and families and focuses on the academic, social, and emotional well-being of our students.

We will continue to provide updates to all stakeholders and share all information at www.santaclarausd.org. You can expect to hear from the district and your school sites in the coming days and weeks as we navigate this together and provide additional details and information.

Thank you for remaining a flexible partner with us as we continue to adapt our timelines and plans to this ever-changing pandemic environment.

Sincerely, 

Stella M. Kemp, Ed.D.
Superintendent