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Superintendent's Message

October 23, 2020

We are cautiously optimistic about the county’s overall downward trend in new case rates since the highest point in July and what it means for our community’s safety and our Phase 2 campus reopening planning.

As you know, the Board of Trustees and district made a commitment to families and staff that we would not bring students back to campuses before the end of the first grading periods. As we near the end of the first trimester for elementary students, many families and staff are wondering what the beginning of the second trimester will bring. 

Elementary school students will not return to campus on November 9 when the second trimester begins. 

As we've shared in previous updates, while California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy now allows schools in our county to reopen, there are many factors that must be considered and planned for as we work with our stakeholders to ensure as safe an environment as possible for our students and staff.

The first step was completed last night when the Board of Trustees approved the SCUSD COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan.

Some key features:

  • Face coverings for all students, preschool - 12th grade
  • Face coverings for all adults
  • Daily symptom screenings for all students and staff
  • Additional hand-sanitizing stations
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols
  • Consistent signage across campuses
  • Training of staff, students, and families
  • Notification processes and template communications

In July, the Board of Trustees approved our district's COVID-19 Reopening Plan (Spanish) and gave us direction that they would need to consider and approve both a safety plan and the transition to Phase 2 of our reopening plan before students could return to campuses for in-person instruction.

I would like to thank everyone who completed our Readiness to Return Elementary Student to Campus survey which recently closed. We are analyzing the data and will be using what we learn to inform our planning. The open comments will also help us tailor communications to ease the transition back to campuses for in-person learning. 

Next Steps

The Board of Trustees will further consider the district's transition to Phase 2 at their next meeting on November 12. Discussion on November 12 will include timelines and features of Phase 2. In preparation for Phase 2, we are:

  • researching best practices from districts that have already opened,
  • gathering input and feedback from our stakeholders through focus groups, and 
  • collaborating with our labor partners through regular meetings and during negotiations

This work helps us determine the best schedules for hybrid teaching and learning environments in Phase 2. Families will have the option to keep their children in distance learning when the district transitions.

  • Families and staff are encouraged to attend the virtual meeting
  • We will also share an update on the outcome of the meeting through our next District Update on November 13

Following the board's approval to transition to Phase 2:

  • Teachers will be surveyed to identify those who will be returning to in-person teaching and learning
  • Elementary families will be notified of their teacher's instructional model to help inform the family's choice for their own student's instructional model
  • Families and staff will have at least six weeks' notice before in-person teaching and learning begins

We committed to keeping our community informed and engaged in our planning and look forward to updating you as soon as we have new information.