July 15, 2020
Dear Wiseburn Families and Friends,
In recent weeks, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in California — and Los Angeles in particular — have surged, straining hospitals. COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 44 percent and ICU admissions increased by 34 percent throughout the state in the last two weeks. Just yesterday, California hit a record high of 11,142 recorded cases in a single day.
This alarming trend and guidance from public health experts prompted this week's announcements by Los Angeles USD, San Diego USD, Santa Monica-Malibu USD, and Long Beach USD that the school districts intend to reopen with distance learning at the beginning of each districts' upcoming 2020-21 academic year.
Wiseburn USD planning for opening possibilities
With the recent surge in the spread of COVID-19, it is a real possibility that Wiseburn USD will also reopen September 1 virtually with distance learning in place for our K-8 schools. Da Vinci Schools will start the upcoming year on August 17 with all-remote learning.
More information about the reopening of Wiseburn on September 1 will be communicated to families by July 24.
It is our goal to bring students back to campuses as soon as it is safe to do so. We know it is critical for our students' learning — as well as our family's needs — to get our students back on campus as the situation permits. We also recognize the district's moral obligation and role in minimizing the risk of virus transmission, given the severity of the virus' health implications for our families and community at large.
Wiseburn USD has been planning accordingly, developing stages of reopening that we will be able to implement with flexibility. Though we may begin the school year on September 1 with distance learning, as the situation evolves, so will our instruction methods. In the interim, Wiseburn is also exploring creative options to support families with daycare when and however possible and will update families with this information in an upcoming communication.
Reinvigorating online distance learning
Our core mission revolves around in-person learning and distance learning, defined as instruction that occurs virtually.
We have researched a number of programs and vendors and have narrowed down options that would complement our TK-8 distance learning instruction. Our teaching staff are assessing the options and providing further input on the value of the programs for our students' learning.
Phased physical reopening through a hybrid model
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distance learning is the lowest risk option for schools to combat the spread of the coronavirus and save lives. However, Wiseburn has been preparing for additional instructional models based on the threat level of COVID-19.
As the COVID-19 outlook improves and we are directed by local health authorities, we are planning for a stage in which we employ a hybrid model of instruction, defined as instruction that blends inperson with at-home curriculum.
Wiseburn has already begun preparations for a hybrid model of instruction. Because of the Wiseburn Reopening Advisory Partnership (WRAP), we have a five-stage model for reopening that was also informed by the Los Angeles County Office of Education Taskforce on Reopening Schools that I served on earlier this year.
We will be sharing more information about the five-stage hybrid model of instruction in our next communication by July 24.
Stay safe and keep connected
For the latest recommendations on keeping yourself and your loved ones safe, you can turn to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's COVID-19 portal. When possible: stay home, avoid gatherings, maintain at least six feet of distance with people outside of your household, and wear a cloth face covering at all times when you are out and around other people.
We will be in touch regularly with more information as we approach the beginning of the school year. If you have urgent questions in the meantime, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can address them in future communications.
Wishing you all safety and good health,
Blake Silvers, Ed.D., Superintendent