RVUSD Parent Update

October 20, 2020

Introduction

Dear Families,


We think of the next stage of the school year as three parallel paths winding into the future together. One path is that of improving the Distance Learning experience. As we know, launching and sustaining a Distance Learning program is like building a plane while it is flying. The 2nd path is the one that leads towards opening schools to in person learning in a hybrid model. And finally the third path is continuing to offer systems of support for our community's mental health as we recover from the Glass Fire and school closures and continue to live through fire season and an election cycle unlike any other. It is essential that we continue to work together as partners with our parent community, to serve our students to the best of our abilities considering the many constraints the pandemic brings us.


Please read on to understand more about each of these paths.



Sincerely,

Dr. Tracy Smith

Superintendent

Improving the Distance Learning Experience

As we recover from the Glass Fire and school closures, we are beginning to find our traction again in Distance Learning. Before the September 27th fire, we sent out a survey to parents and staff regarding Distance Learning and were able to process the results and come up with next steps.


These next steps include:


  • Developing Additional Re-engagement Strategies for those students how have limited participation for various reasons

  • Continue to explore ways for increase student interaction and connection with each other
  • Taking a closer look at Enrichment Wednesdays

  • Build on strengths of small group instruction and individual connections

  • Plan for feedback, evaluation and report cards

  • New plan for PSPS events

  • Further support of classified staff on technology use

  • Parent support and education

  • Provide expanded Extended Care opportunities after school for safe interaction with peers


Please continue to collaborate with your child's teacher/principal to continue to improve the learning experience of your child.


We will be sharing the outcomes of these next steps as they are moved into action.

Moving into In Person Learning

Like most districts in Sonoma County, RVUSD has decided that we will remain in Distance Learning through December and the Winter Holidays. Due to the restrictions of the State Public Health and the California Department of Education regulations, a school district can not move into in person learning until the county is out of the Purple Tier as it states the Blueprint for a Safer Economy monitoring system (https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/). Our public health official Dr. Mase does not predict that we will be safely in the Red Tier for at least 4-6 weeks putting us at Thanksgiving Break at the earliest. Watch this video to learn more about the various factors for opening schools.


With the unknowns of a potential surge in cases due to the upcoming changes in weather and the holiday gathering season, RVUSD has decided to wait until January to consider re-opening for in person learning once again. Once again, RVUSD may only consider this as an option if we are in the Red Tier or lower in the state monitoring system and all safety protocols including adequate surveillance testing and contact tracing processes are in place.


In the meantime, a district Task Force comprised of educators and parents is updating our original plan to have all safety protocols and learning plans in place. We will not necessarily begin with the am/pm hybrid model that was discussed in June/July as there is new knowledge that needs to be considered and incorporated.


We will do our best to keep you updated on any decisions as they are made along the way. The plan will be brought to the Board of Education at our December 15, 2020 meeting.

Mental Health Supports

As we face some of the most difficult times of our lives, our concerns for our children rises. If and when you or your child are feeling overwhelmed by our current circumstances, we urge you to:


1) Use our warm line to call to request a meeting with one of our counselors : (628) 777-3577

2) Attend any support group or office hours offered by the principal or counselor at your school site

3) Work together with your teacher to find ways to create connection and social interaction with peers


We want to thank our Parent Clubs who are also working to create safe opportunities for community connections. These might include Picture Days, Halloween Drive Thrus, Drive In Movies, Virtual Field Trips and Slushy Days.