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Reopening FAQ



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Timing


 

Barring any unforeseen circumstances outside of our control, e.g. the state or the county directs us not to open,  the District is committed to bringing students who choose a hybrid setting back on campus starting January 5, 2021.

Circumstances have been changing and continue to change on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Given the rapidly changing environment, regulations, and guidance, it would have been unreasonable and impractical to ask families to commit to remote or hybrid back in July when they did not know what those learning models would look like or what would and would not be allowed when school was back in session. Now that we have a more concrete idea of what we can and cannot do, we can make plans accordingly and implement a thoughtful plan that helps to keep staff and students safe. Additionally, the data we have collected from our families also suggests that January is a better time to make this transition.  We will be ready to do that, with the least amount of interruption, in January.

Though we have been working on a return to school plan, our focus since July has been implementing our remote learning plan.  Though this plan may not be meeting everyone’s expectations, we are hearing that it is exceeding the expectations that many held in early August.

 

The guidance we have received from the county regarding physical distancing is that we need to keep students at least 4 feet apart.  We also want to be sure that there is some room for the students to move in the classroom.  Even though the Board holds the authority to make decisions when the county is in the red tier, we are expected to follow the guidance. Even though the guidance says “where practicable,” this provides some flexibility, but does not suggest that we ignore the guidance. We are measuring every classroom in the district to determine how many students can fit safely under these parameters.  These requirements necessitate utilizing a hybrid model for physically returning to school. Simply put - we do not have the space to bring all students back on campus full time, five days a week.  Having said this, we are exploring many different scenarios and we are collaborating with our stakeholders to strengthen the concept of hybrid learning while also providing an effective remote learning program.  We will have further information before you are asked to declare your decision.

Further, even if students choose to remain in remote learning, we need to provide them with the same access to effective instruction.  This means that we need to deploy our existing staff appropriately.

If the requirements around physical distancing are revised or removed, then we can reconsider a full-time return. We do not believe this would cause any further interruptions because parents would have already declared their intentions.

We understand that remote learning has been a challenge for some of our youngest learners.  We did consider bringing these students back earlier than January 5.  The reason we did not propose this possibility to the board is because the survey data did not show consensus amongst our parents on this issue; there is clear difference of opinion on whether we should return in an am/pm model or an A/B day model, and in light of the very mixed response we received, we were worried that it would be challenging for families to have their TK/K/1 students in school while other young children were still at home.  By announcing a January start for everyone , we have more time to collaborate with parents regarding schedules and we are providing ample time for preparation.

Each school district is unique, especially in terms of stakeholder opinions about next steps, budgets, class size and infrastructure.  Comparing SRVUSD to any district outside of Contra Costa County is impractical.  Having said this, we are all working through our own unique challenges related to the reopening of school to in-person instruction.

Daily Schedule & Instruction


 

Daily schedules are still being developed and negotiated. We will update this FAQ and send an email when schedules are finalized.  We are examining how to maximize contact with your child’s teacher and to be sure there is appropriate structure even when your child is not at school, while trying to mitigate against interruptions/disruptions.

Daily schedules are still being developed and negotiated. We will update this FAQ and send an email when schedules are finalized.  These schedules will be finalized before you need to declare your intentions.

While we do not know specifics about daily schedules yet, the District is committed to ensuring that the quality of instruction, whether remote or hybrid, conforms to the District’s high standards for all students.  In other words, the quality of remote instruction will not suffer when we make changes in preparation for January 5.  Having said this, as mentioned previously, there may be some changes to teacher assignments/schedules for both remote learners and hybrid learners.

First reach out to your student’s teacher, communicate what isn’t working, and try to find a solution. If you need additional help, principals and counselors are an excellent resource to help with problem solving.

Declaration & Placement


 

Yes, declarations are binding for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. In order to avoid continuous disruptions caused by shifting staffing and schedules, we are asking that families make one declaration for the remainder of the school year.  If a family wished to make a change in terms of their declaration in the future, they will be placed on a waiting list and will be admitted to the requested program if space permits.

When we shift to a choice between hybrid and remote, there could be  disruption to teacher assignments and student schedules; this possibility applies to both students who choose remote learning and those who choose in-person learning.  We will not know what type of disruption will be caused until we actually receive declarations and then sort teacher assignments and schedules.  We will try to minimize interruptions as best we can; however, we cannot guarantee that your student’s teacher assignment(s)/schedule will remain unchanged.  Prior to asking you to declare your intentions for the rest of the year, we are working on models that may alleviate the need to cause these disruptions.

 Please know we understand the importance of your child’s classmates, teacher, other staff and community.

We will not know which teachers will remain remote and which teachers will move to hybrid until families submit their declarations. While we do understand that this is frustrating, this is simply not possible.

You will be receiving information very shortly from our Special Education department.

If and when we are able to open schools for full-time in-person learning, the District will re-evaluate options for all families.

Miscellaneous


 

The District is currently working on a plan to provide opportunities for groups of students to return to campus for small, after-school groups. Any on-campus activities for small groups would have to be after school with volunteer staff and must abide by all social distancing and cohort requirements. We will update this FAQ and send an email if and when after school opportunities become available.

Fully remote students may join these small groups as long as they are willing to come to campus to participate. Having said this, we will continue to explore opportunities for students to connect remotely, as well.