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Message From Superintendent Malloy 9/9/2020
Posted 9/9/20

 

We are committed to providing on-going communication during these challenging times.

 

Where We Are Now

 

  1. The Waiver Process and the Reopening of Schools

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Monday night, I received confirmation from Dr. Chris Farnitano, who is the Health Officer for Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS), that Contra Costa County will not approve a waiver request from the SRVUSD to return elementary students back to in-person learning unless/until the District can provide one teacher for every cohort of fourteen students. This one teacher cannot be responsible for more than one cohort whether on the same day (morning and afternoon) or on alternating days (M-W or Tu-Th). Unfortunately, this requirement is a challenge because we would have to hire two teachers for every elementary school classroom. We definitely understand the perspectives of many families who have commented that they believe that our situation in SRVUSD is much different than other parts of the county in terms of our Covid-19 data. I have shared this question and concern with CCHS. Our Board will be discussing this issue on Tuesday at the Board Meeting and making decisions on next steps.

 

To get students back to in-person learning: 

  • We must wait until Contra Costa County falls below tier one, or out of the purple category, under the State’s 4 tier, color-coded classification system. 

  • Under this new system, schools can reopen for in-person instruction after the county has been out of the purple tier (tier one) for 2 consecutive weeks.  

  • We will be discussing reopening plans at the Board meeting on September 15th at 7:00.  Watch the meeting on our YouTube Channel

  • A reopening plan will be shared on our website after the meeting. We will forward the link to you.

 

Facts that we acknowledge:

  • The Board has the authority to apply for a waiver even though the information stated above speaks to the challenges of doing so. 

  • The Board does not have the authority to open elementary schools without a waiver

  • The Board cannot make the decision to open middle or high schools until Contra Costa County moves from the purple tier to the red tier for at least two weeks.

  1. Thought Exchange

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We are simultaneously working on a return to in-person learning while we continue our work to improve remote learning. We are in the middle of gathering your input using our ThoughtExchange and invite you to continue to contribute your thoughts to the exchange and also to use the star system to indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with the thoughts input by others that are relevant to you. 

 

Clarifications about using ThoughtExchange:

  1. Thoughtexchange is different from a traditional survey. We chose it intentionally because it gives you an opportunity to share your thoughts in your own words, then consider and prioritize the thoughts of others -- all confidentially and independently.

  2. We do not expect you to rate every thought. Check back occasionally while the Exchange is open. Scroll through. Look for thoughts that resonate with you and indicate your level of agreement using the star system.

  3.  The Star Step is unique to Thoughtexchange. Top thoughts, those with the highest average star ratings, help decision makers understand what is important to everyone. 

  4. This is not a vote. Advocating for in-person or remote learning  is not the purpose of the ThoughtExchange. We want to know your thoughts and desires about how to improve remote learning and what you will want to see for in-person learning once we are able to offer it. We will provide both options (remote and in-person learning) when we are legally and safely able to do so.

  5. The ThoughtExchange closes at 8 p.m. on Thursday, 9/10.

  6. Please note that we have invited parents/guardians, staff and students to participate.

 

To contribute to the ThoughtExchange, please select a link:

  1. Traditional (recommended for computers/laptops)

https://my.thoughtexchange.com/485565771

 

  1. Scrolling (recommended for mobile devices)

https://my.thoughtexchange.com/scroll/485565771

 

Where We Are Headed

 

  1. Family Choice

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To be clear: Everyone is going to be able to choose what they believe is the right choice for their child/children and their families. 

  • If you want to continue with remote learning, you will have that option. 

  • If you want to return to in-person learning, you will have that option as soon as it is allowed and safe. 

  • We will be asking families to make their decision after the Board meeting on September 15th.  We understand that families need to understand what each scenario will look like in order to make the best decision for their child/children

 

Final Thoughts

 

In closing, I understand these are challenging times for many.  Please know that your emails and perspectives do matter. This situation is very complex and district administration will be bringing a plan forward to the Board for their consideration on September 15th. Having said this, we ask for your patience while we work through the many steps in this process.