Welcome Back and Reopening Plan Update
July 31, 2020
Dear Santa Clara Unified Families and Community,
It is with great excitement that I welcome you for the start of the 2020-2021 school year in just two weeks. Following the emergency closure of schools to in-person learning last March, we were hopeful that we might be able to reopen this fall. The reality is that we will not be able to reopen our campuses to students as we had hoped, and likely not for some time.
This summer has been very similar to the end of the last school year: unprecedented, uncertain, and unusual. But, it is my true hope that you had some time to find your happy place. It was my wish that you were able to get some rest, to enjoy time with your loved ones, and to be able to recharge.
We have been working throughout the summer to prepare for the start of the school year. And, as you know, this school year will look very different from any other.
The health and safety of our students, families, and staff are our top priority. Our Reopening Plan will only be successful if our educators and students are safe. Health and safety are at the top of our guiding principles for reopening. We will continue to monitor and comply with the state and county public health department guidelines. We're doing everything with safety in mind, including holding our staff meetings and professional development days virtually and starting our school year in distance learning.
As you now know, all secondary schools will be in distance learning through at least the first semester and, during this Wednesday night’s special board meeting, it was decided that:
- All elementary schools will be in distance learning with their home school teachers and peers through at least the first trimester
- A committee will form to assess our ability to safely transition through the phases of our reopening plan
- The Board of Trustees will approve any transition between phases, which is an open, public process
- The Board of Trustees will approve an operational safety plan before any students return to campuses
- Teachers and families will be resurveyed for preferences when it is determined that we are able to transition phases
- The district could file a waiver with the state in order to bring back targeted groups of students who need additional support. At this time, we have not made any decisions about this; It would be a collaborative process with our labor partners and our community.
Instructional Model Selection Form
- All students will be placed in the distance learning model (with the exception of Wilson High School students whose program is already an independent study model).
- As a model selection no longer needs to be made at this time, the form’s purpose is now revised to be a survey of preferences based on current knowledge to aid in community discussions at the school site level for future planning.
- Please be honest in your response based on your current knowledge and feelings right now.
- Complete this form if you would like to change your response to the survey.
- The survey closes on Friday, August 7.
Annual Student Information Update
- The Annual Student Information Update must be completed for each student every summer.
- Approximately 25% of our families have not completed this important annual process.
- The deadline is extended to next Friday, August 7.
- Contact the Enrollment Center at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or need assistance.
- Our Reopening Plan webpages, FAQs, and Reopening Plan document are being revised early next week to reflect these updates.
Look out for future communications from your school principal and teachers as we continue to approach the first day of instruction on August 17.
These decisions were made following our guiding principles and our commitment to do what is best for our community. We will ensure that there is equitable and high-quality distance teaching and learning for all of our families, who are facing so many challenges right now. Supports will be in place for all students, but especially the students who need us the most. Additionally, we will continue our frequent connections and collaborative input with you.
Thank you to all who have been a part of the reopening planning. I am grateful to the dozens of students, families, and staff members who have lent their experience and expertise to serve on reopening planning and advisory committees since May, and to everyone who took time to share your feedback with us through the various surveys we have conducted as our planning progressed. All of your contributions, participation, and feedback have resulted in a safe and strong Reopening Plan.
Please continue to stay connected by following our District Updates and sharing your honest opinions and needs as we navigate the year ahead together.
Stella M. Kemp, Ed.D.