The South Bay Union School District presented a draft plan for the school year 2020-2021 through a webinar on July 14.
All the schools in the district physically closed on March 13 following the lockdown order and students continued their education online. Students third to eighth grade were provided with devices if necessary.
The district created a recovery planning team with 83 individuals from the district who also worked with colleagues from other districts to form the current draft plan which will be refined and revised before school is set to start on Aug. 31.
The district has schools in the 91932, 92154 and 92173 zip codes - which are areas with high number of COVID-19 cases. The cases have influenced the plan, said Superintendent Dr. Katie McNamara.
The board of trustees will meet on July 23 to approve one of the plans presented to move forward with the start of the school year.
Surveys were sent to families and in regard to the level of comfort to physically returning to school the families were split in the middle. Also 62 percent of the families preferred a blended model, a combination of in person and online school. Staff members were also asked the same question and 47 percent chose the blended model as well. New surveys will be sent to families to hear their responses based on the latest development of the pandemic.
The district has developed three scenarios for reopening: full distance learning, a blended form, and reopen with no restrictions. A Virtual Academy, a 100 percent distance learning will also be an option.
The blended form proposes a two day a week in school day and a three day a week distance learning in small groups that will not mix with other groups to minimize risk of transmission. While students participate in daily classes on campus, the other half will join virtually. Intervention and support will continue to be provided. Classroom spaces will be modified for social distancing and classrooms will be disinfected between use of each group. There will be no sharing of supplies in the classroom. Cafeterias will be closed but nutrition services will continue in a grab-and-go form. School operations will have different procedures for safe arrival and dismissal, campus movement will focus on social distancing and one way flows. Everyone will have their temperature taken with a no touch thermometer upon entering the campuses. Visitors and volunteers will not be allowed on campus.
Classroom configurations will allow 6 feet between students. Students and staff will be provided facial coverings that are washable and reusable. Surfaces and high touch areas will be cleaned frequently according to CDC guidelines. Safety protocols will be posted. School days will probably be 4 1/2 hours instead of full 6 hour day, so kids don’t eat in the classroom. They will still have 180 instructional days
Transportation will be different as well, with half the number of riders on buses. Health screenings and PPE cleaning protocols will be followed between rider groups.
For before during and after care, the district plans to partner with the Boys & Girls Club for the extended leaning programs at all schools.
The 100 percent Virtual Academy will still offer rigorous, innovative and creative ways to learn and students will be connected through online platforms for their emotional well being and social interaction.
VIP Preschool will reopen for in person learning and will provide meals. Children of essential workers may be given preference.
The final decision on the reopening plan will be made during the Board of Trustee meeting on July 23.
To ask questions, log on the district’s website at www.sbusd.org and click on Let’s Talk.