August 18, 2020
Esteemed Parents and Staff,
We continue to make great progress with the planning for a successful school reopening on September 8, 2020. The School Board, just last week, met to listen to the School Reopening Update and discuss a number of topics that require board direction. I have briefly outlined these topics below.
Vista Works for You Video Series
In our last Community Update, we shared our Health and Safety Video, which highlighted the procedures we have put into place to ensure that all staff and students are safe. We are continuing this series with our newest video highlighting our work preparing for high quality teaching and learning for the 2020-2021 school year. Please click on the brief video below for details on the Instructional Program preparations we are making for students and staff.
School Learning Model Registration
The registration process has proceeded smoothly, with over 92.7% complete by August 17, 2020. The split between Vista Classic and Virtual is close, with approx. 53% Classic and 47% Virtual. The schools will now begin the process of setting up classes and master schedules. Parents and students who have questions about their course selections in middle and high school should contact their schools directly or refer to the website, including an FAQ for more details.
Virtual School for First Six Weeks for All Students
After hearing a thorough update on the status of the COVID-19 case data for San Diego County, including the current trend of the identification rate dropping below the 100 per 100,000 individuals, the school board members reached consensus that all students in Vista schools (PreK-12) will begin the school year in a virtual learning environment for the first six weeks. This will allow for the students who chose Vista Classic to return to in-person learning on October 20, 2020 provided the San Diego County Health and Human Services allows for in-person schooling.
TK-6 Elementary Waiver Process
The school board members directed the Superintendent to develop a preliminary waiver application that includes small student groups in the following categories: Homeless, Foster Youth, Students with Disabilities, English Learners, and Dual Language. The board will review the draft application at a special board meeting on August 27, 2020. If the waiver is approved, then a small group of elementary students will be allowed on school campuses for in-person learning, even while the county-wide health order is in place.
The school board members approved the new school calendar that reflects the start date of September 8, 2020 and end date of June 18, 2021. The Calendar Committee will be meeting one final time to make a few refinements to the grading windows and minimum days. Once these details are complete, we will post the final school calendar to the website.
State and Federal Funding for Students
All school districts in California are required to submit an annual notification of students who need additional support. This year, more than ever before, we want to make sure that all families are able to provide information so that we may continue to expand support for students during this challenging time. The income verification form that we will be sending to parents in the next two weeks is strictly confidential and will only be used to submit the annual application for school funding. While it is not our intent to ask personal income questions, our district wide funding depends largely on parents responding to this request. In fact, over 35,000 meals distributed over the past four months and the 14,000 computer devices distributed were the result of this funding from the state and federal level. In the recent months, many people have lost their jobs or dramatically reduced their work hours, and that has resulted in a dramatic reduction in their annual income. Our school district is ready and prepared to support students from these families in a variety of ways, including breakfast and lunch, counseling, family engagement support, technology and internet access, nursing support, and many, many other areas. Please assist us by providing this valuable information so that we may maximize the state and federal funding for students.
Matt Doyle, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools