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July 2020

Dear Sequoia Union High School District Students and Families:
In light of Governor Newsom’s newly released guidelines for California school districts, and with all indications that San Mateo County will be placed on the state’s COVID-19 watchlist, last night, the Sequoia Union High School District’s Board of Trustees affirmed the Superintendent’s updated recommendation to implement a full distance learning model for the first quarter of the Fall 2020 semester.  
Although the first quarter will be 100% distance learning, the goal is to transition into a hybrid learning model for the second quarter. The modified plan that was presented to the Board covered critical areas such as: Parameters for Reopening Schools, Distance Learning Standard, Upgrades to the Distance Learning Model, Student Supports, Prevention, Health Response Protocols, Athletics, and a Transition Plan to In-Person Learning for Quarter 2. 
Utilizing the distance learning guidelines established by SB 98, the District will focus on the components of the legislation that will lay the foundation as to how we move forward. Some of the key components are as follows:
  • Students will receive devices and connectivity so that every child can participate in distance learning.
  • Students will receive daily live interaction with teachers and other students.
  • Students will receive class assignments that are challenging and equivalent to in-person instruction.
  • Schools will provide targeted supports and interventions for English Learners and Special Education students.
  • Students and teachers will follow a consistent bell schedule.
  • Students will receive letter grades.
  • Schools will take daily attendance and track participation.
  • See the full presentation here for more details regarding in-person and virtual student supports.

In the event that San Mateo County is placed on the state COVID-19 monitoring list, the decision to re-open schools will not be a decision that will be made by the Board of Trustees. Instead, per the Governor’s most recent directive, that decision would fall under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Public Health, and the criteria they have established, including that the County must demonstrate 14 days of no new COVID-19 cases. 
I recognize that the current pandemic has significantly burdened our staff, teachers, students, and families. But we must all recognize that now, more than ever before, we need to unite and help carry one another. 
I know that these are difficult times for all of us, but I would like to take this moment to thank you for your partnership and support during this unprecedented time. From the beginning of this pandemic, you have demonstrated the spirit of the Sequoia Way, as you came together as a community to solve problems created by COVID-19’s presence in our community.
As information changes and/or becomes available, you have my commitment to always keep you updated.
Stay safe,
Dr. Mary E. Streshly