A three-week pilot program of student support cohorts launched on October 19th. These cohorts are intended to create a critical support system for students who are in need of assistance outside of the virtual setting.
Initially, priority enrollment will be provided to students who are a part of more than one of the following populations:
Students failing classes because of lack of access to connectivity and/or a lack of a quiet learning environment;
Students failing multiple courses;
Seniors failing courses required for graduation.
Cohorts will be comprised of:
No more than 12 students
Social distanced seating (indoor/outdoor) with plexiglass shields at each workspace
Daily health screening / all health protocols followed
Face coverings required at all times
Every three weeks we will evaluate, and determine necessary modifications to layer in additional support based on the availability of staff, and other health factors known at that time.
As San Mateo County approaches the Yellow Tier, considerations for reopening schools are also underway. The decision to begin in-person instruction or remaining in distance learning will weigh heavily on safety, capacity, and teacher availability.
As required by the state, we are submitting a plan that will specify our health guidelines and protocols based upon the following factors and considerations:
Maintaining a quality and rigorous instructional program for all students
Capacity of classrooms compared to number of students
Number of students on campus compared to teacher availability
Effectiveness of simultaneous instruction for in-person and virtual instruction
Cohorts entrances, egress, and movement within the schools
Health screenings and testing for students and staff
Staff and family education on enforcement of the plan
Triggers for transition back into distance learning
On September 16, 2020, the Board of Trustees approved staff’s recommendation that the District continue with distance learning for quarter 2 of the Fall semester. This was a difficult decision to make as a district because we know in-person instruction is the best way to serve our students, and we are deeply disappointed that the conditions in our community do not allow us to safely bring our students back to school campuses at this time.
This decision was reached in collaboration with our labor groups, discussions with health officials, and data on viral transmission. The key factors that influenced the decision to extend distance learning include:
San Mateo County COVID-19 data: Health conditions in San Mateo County continue to be the primary concern. Currently, San Mateo County continues to be categorized by the California Department of Public Health as a county with widespread cases of COVID-19.
Strong preference for consistency: the Board of Trustees feels a need to provide certainty for our families and staff as we continue to confront the challenge of providing virtual instruction.
Preparedness: Although the District has secured personal protective equipment supplies, concerns about proper classroom ventilation are being assessed. Additionally, our teachers and staff need adequate time to prepare and implement the District’s plan to return to in-class instruction.
Upon the Board’s decision to adopt a slate of schedules aligned with local health orders in June with a hybrid schedule being the target “phase in schedule,” we promised to monitor local health data and update the community on or before August 1.
Due to the rise in cases across our counties and statewide causing our county to be added to the state’s COVID-19 watch list.
Based on the current health data in conjunction with our evaluation of our current abilities to keep both staff and students safe in classrooms, it has been determined that we will begin the school year in August with students engaged in distance learning for the first quarter of the fall semester.