May 26, 2020
Dear Wiseburn Families and Friends,
A promising report released this week shows that the transmission rate of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County is the lowest it's been yet — hopeful news for us all, and a reminder that, eventually, we will return to a sense of normalcy.
There are still many unknowns about the new normal that awaits us, but we remain committed to the health and safety of our students, staff, and community, first and foremost. We continue to plan for the reopening of Wiseburn and want to regularly update you as that time draws nearer. Though every day brings new information to light, here is what we know for certain at this time:
- Our counselors and mental health providers continue their support of students and parents on an ongoing basis. Our entire team continues to find innovative ways to connect, including virtual recesses, information sessions, and read-alouds. Find links to some resources from our counseling team here.
- We are mapping out Wiseburn's path forward for the 2020-21 school year. As one of 24 superintendents on the Los Angeles County Office of Education Taskforce on Reopening Schools, I've been closely involved with the development of a framework for reopening schools across the county. Using the framework to inform and guide us, we are now following a similar process at the local level and gathering varied stakeholder feedback for Wiseburn. Starting June 1st, I will be convening a new committee, the Wiseburn Reopening Advisory Partnership (WRAP), which will consider the Wiseburn community's needs as we plan our unique pathway forward to recovery from the COVID19 pandemic. We will continue to update you on our progress.
- We want your thoughts to inform our reopening plan. A district-wide survey, emailed to you last week, will provide families with the opportunity to consider options for the upcoming school year, while providing us with helpful feedback to inform the Wiseburn Reopening Advisory Partnership's planning. Thank you to the more than 600 respondents for taking the time to share, but we also know that Survey Monkey was down for part of the weekend. If you received an error message and/or have not yet responded to the survey, we would greatly appreciate your feedback.
- As part of our path forward, we are working tirelessly to plan for potential changes in the budget. Governor Newsom's recent budget proposal contains a deficit in education funding across the state and slashes our local funding by 10 percent. For the Wiseburn Unified School District, this equates to over $2 million dollars in decreased funding and could reach closer to $3 million as more information emerges. While we remain hopeful that federal funding may help make up some of the deficit, we are working proactively to plan for what is ahead with the information we have. The state budget will be officially confirmed in mid-June, at which point we will communicate with you as information becomes available.
Through all of this, we are especially thankful for our dedicated teachers, support staff, Hunger Heroes who continue to provide meals to our district, and our Board of Trustees who have each been highly engaged, flexible, and dedicated throughout our response to the pandemic over the past few months. I also want to thank you, our Wiseburn families, for supporting our students while navigating this sudden and unprecedented global crisis.
We can all likely agree that these are some of the toughest days of our lives. I am thankful, then, to be surrounded by this community to see it through, until we can be together once again.
Blake Silvers, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools