TVUSD Community Update
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Reopening of Schools Update
Update from TVUSD Board of Education Meeting
The Board of Education met and received information and recommendations from Superintendent McClay and district administrators regarding the reopening of on-campus learning.
Background and Current Opening Tier Status of Riverside County:
The California Department of Health issued a new Statewide Public Health Order, effective August 31, 2020, which supersedes the July 13 State Public Health Officer Order. It includes a blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities. The Blueprint for a Safer Economy replaces the County Data Monitoring List for determining what business can and cannot open. Each tier is tied to specific criteria for the number of cases per county (per 100k) and the percentage of tests reported as positive. Data is updated weekly every Tuesday. On September 22, based on data from September 12, Riverside County was moved to Tier 2 (Red), where the defined infection risk is Substantial.
Within the next few days, schools located within Riverside County could meet the 14-day Red Tier requirements and will be legally authorized to open campuses in modified, cohort settings with the state-required safety measures including face coverings, social distancing, and detailed cleaning and sanitization protocols. In TVUSD, we have also previously made a commitment to our labor associations to provide an additional 7-days notice after the 14-days is met.
Concerns About Moving Back Into the Purple Tier:
The county numbers released today indicate that Riverside County is teetering on moving back into the Purple Tier based on an increase in county positive COVID19 cases and the rate of cases. We are continuing to monitor.
Proposed Dates for TVUSD Schools to Return to Modified, On-Campus Learning in Cohorts
We have a great deal of work and logistics to implement and accomplish before we are able to return to on-campus learning. As noted above, we are cautiously watching the color tier status of Riverside County and the possibility of moving back into the purple tier. We are moving forward with the following anticipated dates and roadmap and we are optimistic that we will be able to return to on-campus instruction within the timeframes we have established. *Contingent upon any changes in red/purple status at the county level.
Elementary Schools - Returns After Thanksgiving Break - November 30, 2020
Secondary Schools - Returns at the Semester - January 5, 2021
What Can TVUSD Families Expect Next?
Monday, October 12, 2020 - A quick and easy survey for families to confirm their child's learning model choice of remaining Online or On-Campus for the remainder of the 2020/21 school year will be emailed and posted for all TVUSD families.
Next Week - Student Survey Regarding Online Learning - We are working on a survey for students to provide feedback about the current online program. We know there are challenges and concerns and we want to provide an opportunity to collectively hear from them.
Board Meeting Online Video
We encourage TVUSD families and staff to watch the video from the Board meeting where a great deal of discussion was held regarding the reopening plan. It has been preloaded below to begin at timeslot 3:33 with the reopening of schools report.
The staff has also developed a video to share what the initial return to elementary on-campus learning will look like under the current safety requirements. The video begins at timeslot 4:15:30.
Current Questions Based on Tonight's Presentation
Why all the restrictions?
As a publicly funded and governed school district, we have no choice but to adhere to the state and county mandates and directives that include among other things, face coverings, social distancing (at least 6 feet), and substantial cleaning and sanitization protocols. The mandates governing schools are not the same as the guidelines that apply to other public spaces or facilities. While this is not what we want as our optimal learning environment, this is what we are required to operate under in order to move forward with bringing students and staff safely back to on-campus learning.
Why will school playgrounds be closed when our local community playgrounds are open?
Community playgrounds are visited by families supervising their own children and making independent decisions about their playmates and whether they choose to adhere to recommended safety requirements of masks, social distancing, and cleaning.
School playgrounds, as part of publicly funded school campuses, are required to adhere to state and county safety requirements of masks, social distancing, and cleaning. Even in a cohort model, school playgrounds will be subject to groups of students larger than the current state-mandated allowable sizes accessing areas at one time with no ability to properly enforce the required social distancing of six feet, in addition to the required cleaning of the play structures and equipment.
Why is TVUSD requesting masks Pre-K-12 grades when the state only mandates 3rd-12th grade students?
Because of the current state requirement of masks for 3rd-12th grade, for consistency on campuses and adherence to schoolwide safety protocols for our students and staff, TVUSD is requesting masks for all students who participate in on-campus learning, who do not provide a required exemption document.
Why is TVUSD proposing plexiglass for student desks? While plexiglass is not part of the required safeguards, the language provided by our two authorizing agencies (state and county), has indicated that school districts should make every effort possible to implement additional safeguards to reduce the spread of the virus. We have also heard from our employees who have expressed a desire that the district provides every safety effort available to safely return staff and students to campus.
Why are the student cohorts proposed to be by alpha, last name?
By grouping cohorts by alpha, we can ensure that families stay together on the same schedule. We understand that this can present a challenge for students who want to be assigned to a cohort with their friends.