What school will look like in the fall is starting to take shape for Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) families. The district released its revised distance learning plan on Monday evening. The plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees on July 29 for final approval.
“We’ve had time to engage thousands of staff, students, and families gathering reflections, preferences, and ideas for reopening,” said Superintendent Dr. Stella M. Kemp. “A 50-person superintendent’s advisory committee composed of certificated and classified staff, students, and families reviewed our draft Reopening Plan, state and local government guidelines, and the thousands of preferences and questions expressed through surveys and town halls to make final recommendations to our planning committees to strengthen our Reopening Plan.”
The revised plan includes new clarification and additional details on health and safety measures. It also has sample schedules and a more in-depth outline of what school days and weeks will look like. There are also more details on the support structure for families.
The district is asking elementary school parents and parents of students at New Valley and Mission Early College high schools to reply by July 31 with what learning models they would like for the remainder of the school year. This includes whether they want to eventually transition their students to hybrid learning and in-person learning as health conditions allow or if they would rather stick with distance learning for the remainder of the school year. The district says knowing a family’s preference will help create cohorts of families who select similar options and lead to the least disruption possible for students in the middle of the school year.
Middle schools and Santa Clara and Wilcox high schools will not transition to the hybrid model until the spring semester at the earliest.
The revised draft of the district reopening plan calls for full distance learning for all students to start the school year. Since Santa Clara County is on the state’s COVID-19 watchlist, the district would have to apply for a waiver if it wanted to hold in-person classes for specialized groups like special education or transitional kindergarteners (TK). As of now, the district has not submitted a waiver.
Students will be held at the same grading standards that were in place prior to school closures. Schools will be taking attendance.
At the elementary school level, distance learning will be five days a week with daily instruction in math and language arts including reading, writing, and phonics. There will also be two to three days a week of science and social studies. Art, physical education, music, library and education in social emotional learning and digital citizenship will also be interspersed throughout the week.
At the middle and high school level, Mondays will include a full schedule with all periods meeting for live instruction. Tuesday through Friday will be block scheduling for students, also with live instruction.
“I am confident in the plan and that, no matter what instructional model our students and staff are participating in this school year, the teaching and learning will be high-quality and that every staff member will be stepping up to do all that they can to support the plan and our students and their families in having a safe, engaging, and successful school year,” said Dr. Kemp.
School is scheduled to start for students in SCUSD on Monday, August 17. For a complete look at the revised SCUSD distance learning plan, visit santaclarausd.org, click on “Learn More” under Coronavirus updates. There will be a link to the revised reopening plan.