July 23, 2020
Dear Wiseburn Families and Friends,
Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced his plan for the upcoming school year. The plan centers on ensuring rigorous instruction for students even when schools are physically closed, and states that health data will determine when a school can be physically open and when it must close.
Whether a school can physically open depends on the status of Los Angeles County’s level of COVID-19 infections as well as the preparedness of our county’s health care system. Any county that does not meet the state’s benchmarks is put on the County Monitoring List.
Schools located in counties that are on the Monitoring List must not physically open for in-person instruction until their county has come off the Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days. Schools in counties that have not been on the Monitoring List for the prior 14 days may begin in-person instruction, following public health guidelines.
Los Angeles County is currently on the County Monitoring List. For more details, you can read Newsom’s letter here.
Wiseburn’s reopening plan
In line with Newsom’s plan, Wiseburn USD will reopen September 1 virtually with distance learning in place for our K-8 schools. As I shared in my last communication, Da Vinci Schools will start the upcoming year on August 17 with all-remote learning.
Early indications after talking to local and state medical experts suggest that some form of in-person schooling will likely not occur until the end of the 1st Semester (January 22, 2021). We understand the planning and coordination this will require for our families, thus we wanted to provide these preliminary projections. We will continue to monitor all the data surrounding the spread of the virus to make the most informed and timely decisions possible.
Our goal remains to bring students back to campuses as soon as it is safe to do so. We have a framework with a flexible, five-stage reopening plan that we can invoke as the COVID-19 outlook improves.
The five phases sit in between the two ends of the instruction model spectrum, from total virtual learning to total in-person learning. Starting with phase one and through phase five, we will employ a hybrid learning model of instruction, which blends virtual and in-person learning. Each stage will gradually bring students to campus either in larger groups or for longer periods of time and provides flexibility to move between the stages as needed.
We have updated our website’s COVID-19 updates and resources page with more information on our reopening plan, including what the stages of the hybrid model will look like. Find more details on the reopening plan here.
For families who do not feel comfortable with their students physically returning to campus at any point, they can opt for a full distance learning model of instruction delivered by Wiseburn teachers. Families will be prompted by Wiseburn to make this decision closer to the start of the first phase of hybrid learning in order to make the most informed decision as possible. Our teachers and staff are currently exploring programs that will allow for a seamless transition between hybrid and distance learning to further accommodate students and to complement distance learning instruction.
Exploring childcare options
As mentioned in our previous message, Wiseburn is exploring creative options to support families with daycare when and however possible. For those who have already registered for our Preschool and Extended Day Program, we are currently working to build programs that minimize risk to our students and families while still allowing us to operate within the state and local health orders. We are in direct contact with other districts to coordinate program options that keep our communities safe and allow us to support families with this critical need.
We will know whether we can operate these programs at Wiseburn by August 17, at which point we will notify our families via email. However, if we are able to receive more information on the feasibility of safely operating childcare before August 17, we will communicate those updates sooner. Though this is still in flux with the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation, we wanted to share the latest information we have on our childcare options since we know our families need this information.
Stay safe and keep connected
As always, you can see the latest recommendations on keeping yourself and your loved ones safe through 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 continue to 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.
Thank you to each of you for your patience and support,
Blake Silvers, Ed.D., Superintendent