FALL 2020 PLANNING

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SCHOOL REOPENING UPDATE, OCTOBER 2, 2020
(Full Text - including data)
Dear LGSUHSD Community, 
I hope the start of fall finds you and your family well. I am writing to share information about our ongoing remote learning and our considerations for a phased reopening of our district schools. 
Current Status: On July 28th, our school district Board of Trustees approved a four phased reopening plan.  We are currently operating in Phase 2 of our return to school plan which involves the continuation of our robust remote learning program with select groups of students and teachers voluntarily coming back to school for focused instruction and support in stable cohorts. Cohorts are chosen based on our district priorities of supporting students who have been disengaged during remote learning and providing learning opportunities in classes that are less conducive to remote instruction.

Gradual Reopening: Given the current state and county guidance and based upon our belief in a gradual expansion of in-person learning, we plan to remain in a full distance learning model through the end of the first semester and would progress to Phase 3 at the beginning of second semester at the earliest. To be clear, we are not committing to a shift to Phase 3 to start the new semester in January - this would be the earliest that we would do so and the decision to do so will be predicated upon the local health conditions and guidelines at that time. We anticipate updating this timeline in December before Winter Break so all students, staff, and families have sufficient time to prepare if we are able to move into Phase 3 in January.

As of September 22nd, Santa Clara County moved from the purple tier to the red tier in California’s new COVID-19 system for 14 days.  While the red tier indicates the county risk level remains substantial, schools in our county now have the ability to begin to reopen under the county and state guidelines.  We believe that the best approach to reopening continues to be a gradual expansion of in-person activities over time. We believe that the worst case scenario for our students, families, and staff members is to move too quickly to bring staff and students back in large numbers and to then have an outbreak which would risk the health and safety of our students, staff, and families and require us to suddenly and immediately shift back to full distance learning. We also believe that given the significant change in the instructional model involved with the move from Phase 2 to Phase 3, such a shift is best made in alignment with the ending/beginning of a grading period.

Although Santa Clara County has made progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19, new cases are still greater than in March when schools were first closed. In addition, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department has outlined various health and safety restrictions and recommendations for schools including physical distancing, face coverings, health screening, testing, hygiene, cleaning and disinfection and other activities that must be addressed in order to reopen. Please click here for the full updated guidance from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. We have detailed safety protocols and processes in place to adhere to state and county guidelines and we believe that the most prudent way to proceed is to implement and test these protocols with small groups of students and staff during Phase 2. What we learn from this experience in the coming weeks will allow us to refine our safety protocols prior to bringing all students and staff back to campuses in Phase 3. 

As we look ahead to Phase 3 which entails bringing back all students in a part-time/blended model and all staff on a full time basis, there are substantial challenges at the high school level.  For example, due to the nature of a high school master class schedule, we are unable to maintain stable cohorts and would only be able to accommodate 50% (or less) of our students in classrooms each period of the day given the physical distancing requirements.  We are committed to bringing our students and staff back safely and will continue to provide rigorous and consistent instruction remotely until we are able to do so.  For more information, please attend our upcoming Town Hall meeting on the Four Phases of School Reopening on Thursday, October 15 from 5-6pm.  Please watch for a link in your email. 

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Reopening Update for Families

July 31, 2020

I hope that you and your family are enjoying these last days of summer. I am writing today to update you on school reopening plans. As you know, we will open on August 13th in a distance learning model for all students. Our long-term reopening plan remains a phased model as outlined here:

  • Phase 1: Reopen on August 13th with robust distance learning for all students.
  • Phase 2: As conditions permit, bring targeted students back for support and/or SEL activities.
  • Phase 3: As conditions permit, bring all students back in-person in a part-time/blended model.
  • Phase 4: As conditions permit, bring all students back in-person in a full-time modified or normal schedule.

Our ultimate goal continues to be getting our students back to some form of in-person instruction as soon as it is safe and feasible for us to do so. The timing of any movement from one phase to the next will be based upon current community health conditions and guidelines. Current state and county guidelines require Santa Clara County to be off the state “watchlist” for at least 14 consecutive days before schools can consider a return to in-person instruction. Given these requirements and the ongoing escalation in COVID cases, it appears unlikely that we will be able to return to in-person instruction any time soon. Further information regarding the state watchlist can be found via this link.

With our reopening less than two weeks away, I want to provide some key details regarding what to expect of the distance learning model we will employ, beginning with our bell schedule (pdf linked here).  

Monday/Thursday


 Odd Day  

Wednesday


Advisory Day - Parent Video

Tuesday/Friday


   Even Day

1st PERIOD (75)                       

Period begins   8:30

Period ends      9:45


Break (20)


3rd PERIOD (75)

Period begins  10:05            

Period ends     11:20 


Break (20)


5th PERIOD (75)

Period begins  11:40   

Period ends     12:55  


Lunch (35)


7th PERIOD (75)

Period begins   1:30

Period ends      2:45

STUDENTS & TEACHERS

Advisory Period (30)    9:00-9:30 a.m.

Attendance required

__________________________________

STUDENTS  

Students will work asynchronously on at least four hours of assigned coursework. The class schedule listed here is intended to provide a suggested structure for students and families.

1st PERIOD (35)    9:30-10:05

2nd PERIOD (35)   10:10-10:45

3rd PERIOD (35)    10:50-11:25

Break (10) 

4th PERIOD (35)  11:35-12:10

5th PERIOD (35)   12:15-12:50

Lunch (35)

6th PERIOD (35)  1:25-2:00

7th PERIOD (35)    2:05 -2:40

__________________________________

TEACHERS  9:45-3:45 

Teachers will engage in department or course-alike meetings, hold office hours for student support, participate in professional development, create instructional plans, etc.


2nd PERIOD (75)                        

Period begins   8:30

Period ends      9:45

Break (20)

4th PERIOD (75)

Period begins 10:05            

Period ends     11:20 

Break (20)

6th PERIOD (75)

Period begins  11:40   

Period ends     12:55  

Lunch (35)

STUDENTS Asynchronous (75) 1:30-2:45

TEACHERS Office Hours 1:30-2:45

Key Features & Expectations during Distance Learning:

  • Attendance: Student attendance is mandatory in each class meeting including the Wednesday morning Advisory period. Attendance will be taken each period and parents will be notified if students miss classes just as they would in a normal school setting. We have yet to receive guidance from the state regarding whether parents will be required to “excuse” absences as they normally would - we will update you once we receive such guidance.
  • Office Hours: All teachers will have regular Office Hours during which students can access support from teachers. This time is intended to support students in a manner similar to how a teacher would support students as they work independently during an in-person class or during a Tutorial time.
  • Advisory: The advisory period will provide an opportunity for schoolwide activities and information-sharing similar to the Tutorial period in the regular school schedule.
  • Instruction: Each class meeting will include teacher-led live instruction which will be paired with independent asynchronous learning activities. This does not mean that teachers will be talking or lecturing throughout the live instruction. Rather, teachers will lead students in a wide variety of activities during each class period (i.e., discussion, collaborative group work, simulations, formative & summative assessment, etc.).
  • Grades: All students will receive A-F letter grades for all courses.
  • Canvas: All teachers will utilize the Canvas learning management system to assign and manage student assignments and for communication with students. We have developed Canvas norms to provide more consistency from course to course.
  • IEP’s: If your student has an Individualized Education Plan, prior to the start of the school year your case student’s case manager will provide you with a document outlining how we will implement your student’s IEP during distance learning.
  • School Year Calendar: Our daily bell schedule will look different during this time but our school year calendar will remain the same. The calendar can be found via this link.
  • First Days of School: The first two days of school (August 13 & 14) will focus on orienting our students to distance learning and other schoolwide activities to support student success and connection. Course-specific academic instruction will begin on Monday, August 17th.
  • Athletics: The CIF’s Central Coast Section, of which we are a member, previously announced that all Fall sports would be postponed until the Winter season so there will be no sports during the Fall this year. Decisions regarding Fall and Winter sports will be made based upon the community health conditions and regulations at that time.
  • Other Extra-curricular Activities: Current guidelines do not allow us to have students on-campus to participate in extra-curricular or club activities in-person. When possible, extra-curricular and club activities will continue online and when guidelines allow and it is safe to do, we will resume in-person activities.

Technology & Internet Access:

In order to appropriately access online instruction, each student will need access to a computer or tablet (not just a cell phone) and internet access. If your student does not have access to one or both of these elements, please contact our IT department at techsupport@lgsuhsd.org as soon as possible and we will assist you.

Pre-School Business:

Each of our schools will send a separate message to students and families regarding their plan to take care of the usual back to school business (check out of instructional materials, etc.) and their plans for a modified freshman orientation.

If we’ve learned one thing since March, it is that we need to develop plans, but we also need to anticipate that public health conditions and resulting guidelines will continue to change so some of our current plans can rapidly become obsolete or require adaptation. Once we have resumed classes, we will continue to seek feedback from students, staff, and families on the successes and areas for growth in our distance learning program. As always, our goal is continuous improvement. Our unexpected spring experiment with distance learning taught us much and we have incorporated these learnings into our program for this fall. Despite this, we still have much to learn and will seek to adapt and evolve as we gain more experience and feedback. Thank you for your ongoing support of our students and our schools.
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