News on WUSD reopening efforts
Wiseburn families and friends,
As Los Angeles County's COVID-19 conditions improve, Wiseburn is working to finalize plans for a prospective return to in-person instruction for some of our students starting in early March. We are excited about the return to school for our students, but also committed to providing a safe environment to do so for our staff, students, and the community.
According to the state’s framework for school reopening, we are currently not permitted to reopen until Los Angeles County reaches a COVID-19 adjusted case rate of less than 25 per 100,000 population per day for at least 5 consecutive days. (This case rate reflects recommendations from the Harvard Global Health Institute analysis of safe school reopening policy.)
We are quickly approaching that metric. We cannot be certain of an exact date we will reach the milestone, but as the case rates rapidly decline, we are finalizing plans to return for in-person learning with support from our administrators, staff, parents/caregivers, and district administrators.
How reopening will work
Our prospective reopening will be staggered, starting with our youngest learners, prioritizing TK-2. Taking this approach will allow us to maximize social distancing and health and safety in our buildings. We intend to expand our in-person instruction offerings to include grades 3-5 as permitted by state and local health directives within a short time of the TK-2 launch (one to two weeks).
Students and their parents/caretakers will have the option to choose either a Hybrid Learning Program (in-person and at-home) or a full distance Remote Learning Program (100% at-home) for students.
Please note: Efforts will be made to maintain current teacher/class assignments and minimize the shuffling of classes. Regardless of the model chosen, teacher/class assignments will need to be adjusted based on enrollment, staffing, and the learning model choices made by each family which may, in some cases, result in students changing teachers.
As we finalize our planning and schedules, we will be distributing surveys to parents/caretakers to indicate their preferences for students’ learning model. The survey will contain more information to help students and parents/caretakers to make their decision.
Further, the District will send out weekly email communications distributing information to ensure a smooth transition back to campus as we are able to reopen for in-person instruction. In future communications, we will issue helpful Reopening Guides that detail what our families need to know, including information on schedules, drop off and pick up, required safety protocols, at-home self-screening procedures, and more.
We will also be distributing more information in a separate update about how our community can help us as we work to contact legislators regarding priority access to the vaccine for our teachers and staff.
Preschool and childcare updates
We recognize our preschool and extended day care programs are critical and many families are awaiting more information.
We are thrilled to report that we are closing in on an agreement with a highly sought after childcare program known as Right at School. We are currently in talks to begin childcare in April. More information is forthcoming.
Safety protocols are critical to reopening
In making the decision to pursue our reopening, we must weigh the risk of transmission on campuses with the impacts distance learning may have on our students, particularly in the areas of mental health and learning loss. It is for the social and academic welfare of our students that we are considering our reopening.
There is mounting scientific evidence, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that suggests school reopenings can be done safely by following certain health and safety protocols — protocols which we implemented successfully on sites for our in-person assessments late last year.
By implementing these protocols, Wiseburn has not experienced on-site transmission of the virus. Any reopening would maintain this same level of strict health and safety protocol, which is the most critical aspect of our ability to bring students back. To read our full list of protocols, please see our Health and Safety protocols page.
Though we will have strict safety protocol, we recognize some of our families do not intend to send students back to campus in any capacity during the 2020-21 academic year. These students may choose to continue learning in our distance learning model, as noted above.
Thank you to our students, caretakers and families, staff, and community for your patience and understanding through this difficult year. We are looking forward to our student’s prospective return and will continue to distribute information in the weeks to come.
Blake Silvers, Ed.D.