This week, we heard from both the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Governor that, in their opinion, schools will not re-open facilities to students for the remainder of the academic year. Many people around the state have taken these statements out of context or have misinterpreted what was said.
Neither the Governor nor State Superintendent said that schools were closed. What they said was they did not anticipate sending students back to traditional school sites. Both made it very clear that, while school facilities were closed to students, teaching and the educational process is expected to continue. Additional guidance was sent by the State Superintendent late last night, which further clarified that distance teaching and learning, including feedback and grading to a certain extent, are mandated by the state and that local school districts, in consultation with staff, need to determine how high school students could continue to accrue credits. Some examples were systems of pass/fail, credit/no credit, A-D grades (no failing), modified A-C grades (again, no failing), online classes with credits attached, etc.
We need to be clear that schools are not closed. School facilities are. Between the initial closure of facilities on March 16 and the Friday before Spring Break, April 10, staff have been training for and planning to move to distance learning for all students. If facilities remain closed after April 20, teaching, learning, and family engagement will occur for all K-12 students using distance learning.
The Board will discuss and take action on lengthening the facilities closure on Thursday, April 9. I anticipate that, given recommendations by the California Department of Public Health, the Governor’s Office, the State Superintendent, and CDC, the Board will take action on Thursday to formalize facilities closure through the end of the current school year.
Between our students, their families, District employees and their families, and the services that we provide to the community, such as our Seamless Meals program, schools in our county directly touch the lives of over half of our county’s population. Our pledge to the community is that we will provide high quality educational opportunities to our students, that we will continue to provide meals to youth ages 0-18, and that we will provide childcare to support our health care workers and the institutions that keep our community healthy.
Thank you for working with all of our staff in their various roles through this abrupt transition, and please know that we look forward to working even more closely with our students and their families as we turn to the next chapter of education during these unparalleled times.
For more information please visit www.dnusd.org/covid19