Superintendent's Update

Wiseburn Families and Friends,

As we approach the start of school on September 1, we are continuing to provide the latest updates and finalized plans with our families.

This letter will focus on the most recent updates on student schedules, childcare, and borrowing distance learning devices, with more information forthcoming on attendance expectations, grading, and social and emotional health for our students.

Student schedules

You will be receiving distance learning schedules directly from your school site principals tomorrow. We will then also update our COVID-19 portal with a new page on distance learning schedules for our families’ convenience. (You can always access our COVID-19 resources and updates portal here.)

A team of nearly 40 teachers, administrators, and staff have developed these distance learning schedules for our students based on feedback this spring by our students, parents, and teaching staff, and informed by the Wiseburn Reopening Advisory Partnership.

In particular, the team worked very hard to balance the right amount of Zoom or virtual “in person” time with independent and small group practices, as the amount of screen time has been a concern from many of our teachers and families. We will be monitoring this consistently.

Further, there are many families that find themselves in unique situations during these fluid times. These families may need some flexibility in accessing the curriculum. Our intent is to provide most of the live instruction and interaction with teachers and peers in the morning between 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for both our TK-5 students and our middle schoolers (with the exception of Mondays, when middle schoolers will have some instruction that extends past noon).

In our elementary schools, we will offer opportunities for physical education, visual arts, music, and science enrichment activities in the afternoon. We intend to record these sessions in an effort to maximize flexibility. For example, a family may want to spend the late afternoons and evenings after regular work hours to enjoy some of these opportunities.

These schedules represent our best collective thinking right now. The key to distance learning, including the schedule, will be flexibility. While we will adhere as closely to these schedules as possible, we also know we will need to remain adaptable and flexible and continue to seek feedback from our teachers and families as the school year evolves. We will be revisiting this schedule continuously to ensure it best serves our students’ needs, and will adjust the logistics of the schedule accordingly.

Childcare programs

Wiseburn has a unique set of circumstances to meet to be able to commit to opening up our preschool or childcare programs — Preschool Enrichment and Extended Day Program. We must prioritize safety, equity, affordability, and financial responsibility.

At this point given our circumstances and the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation, we do not currently have the ability to commit to opening our preschool or childcare. However, we are not giving up on these programs. We will continue looking at different avenues to provide childcare options until all of our avenues have dried up.

We have worked tirelessly to explore creative solutions to open our childcare programs while still remaining safe and affordable for our families. The hope is that we will be able to utilize this planning as the COVID-19 outlook improves.

Once we can commit to opening these programs, we will be directly in contact with those families who have already registered for our Preschool and Extended Day Program. In the interim, we will also be in direct contact with these families by the end of the week via SchoolMint about their deposits and potential refunds. Also, we continue to plan to reopen our full day preschool and before/after school programs when we return to a new normal.

Borrowing distance learning devices

To support our students in distance learning, Wiseburn can provide Chromebooks and wireless hotspots to students. To inquire about obtaining these devices, please contact the individual school site secretaries:

Juan de Anza Elementary School: Susan Castellanos (scastellanos@wiseburn.org)
138th Street School: Kristian Forte-Hill (kforte@wiseburn.org)
Juan Cabrillo Elementary School: Laura Nilsson (lnilsson@wiseburn.org)
Dana Middle School: Sarah Moulton (smoulton@wiseburn.org)

Looking ahead

Just as a reminder: 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 will invoke as the COVID-19 outlook improves.

We will send out surveys to families and caregivers as the COVID-19 outlook improves and it becomes clear that Wiseburn can begin transitioning to in-person instruction. These surveys will allow parents to decide on total distance learning or hybrid learning for the 2020-2021 school year.

Stay informed and connected

You can always visit our website’s COVID-19 updates and resources page for the most up-to-date information on Wiseburn’s reopening. As new information is added, we send out notifications via email, Instagram, and Facebook to keep our community informed.

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 communication@wiseburn.org so we can address them in future communications.

Thank you to each of you for your patience and support,

Wiseburn USD