Update on transitioning to hybrid

October 7, 2020

Message from Superintendent Ghysels

Dear TTUSD Community,

At tonight’s board meeting, I was presenting an update on where we stand on several factors affecting our transition date to hybrid. These items were identified and outlined at the September 28 special board meeting that needed to be finalized before we could safely reopen our schools to our students. They are listed below as well as where we stand on each item.

Unfortunately, we experienced technical difficulties and our live stream went down mid-way through my presentation. Tahoe Truckee Media was not able to restore a connection and they are working on identifying the problem. I am so sorry you were not able to view the meeting and that we had to end this meeting abruptly.

I want to share with you what I planned to share during my presentation. Outlined below is where we stand on the criteria to reopen during COVID-19 in the red tier. While we have made significant progress this past week, we need a little more time to reopen our schools safely.

The proposal I was bringing to the board tonight was to postpone our transition until October 28, 2020.

Where we stand on the criteria to reopen:

  • Placer County must remain in the red tier (or move lower in the statewide tiered system called A Blueprint for a Safer Economy)

Good news! Not only has Placer County remained in the red tier, but we are also trending towards the orange tier. As of today, October 7, 2020 - Placer County has a 7-day positivity rate of 2% and a 7-day case rate of 2.9%, which is in the orange tier criteria. We must remain there for two weeks to move to this tier.

  • Testing protocols & rapid testing must be in place for symptomatic staff & students

We have testing protocols and rapid testing in place at two locations (Truckee and Lakeside) for symptomatic staff and students. In Truckee, we are partnering with Tahoe Forest for symptomatic testing for our TTUSD employees and students, and we also have an OptumServe site. At the Lakeside,

We are partnering with the Placer County Department of Public Health and PCOE to establish a testing site at our Rideout location for symptomatic and confirmed exposed TTUSD employees and students only. We still need staffing for this.

  • CDPH’s recommended Merv-13 air filters installed at each school site

We finally received our MERV-13 air filters and anticipate installation will be complete by Friday, October 9.

Staffing needs for child care offering, campus monitors, additional custodians, etc.

Staffing is finalized for our staff child care offering and we are still recruiting campus monitors and additional custodians.

  • Installation of desk shields for students

As an added safety precaution for our students and teachers, we are installing student desk shields at every school. Many have already been installed at our schools across the district but we are currently waiting for a backorder shipment to complete this project. They are scheduled to arrive next Wednesday, October 14.

  • MOU’s with our bargaining units: we must negotiate the impact of working conditions within the hybrid model instructional day

We are confident that we will reach a tentative agreement by early next week with both CSEA and TTEA and need time for them to be ratified.

Based on the information above, and to ensure the safety of our TTUSD community, I believe we need to postpone our transition date by two weeks to October 28.

What to expect the week we transition to hybrid:

Monday and Tuesday (October 26 & 27) are school days, and students will be connecting with their teachers. They will also be teacher prep days.

Wednesday will be a distance learning day for all students where teachers will go over their expectations with their students. Campuses will reopen to Cohort B students on Thursday, October 29. Students in Cohort A will be welcomed back to their campuses on Monday, November 2.

I realize many of you will be disappointed that our reopening date is later than we targeted and we apologize for any inconvenience. We must do this right and make sure every safety protocol is in place.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we continue to adapt and adjust to best serve our students.

My sincere apologies for what we encountered tonight with the live streaming. We are rescheduling this meeting for tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. and it will be posted on the website.


Carmen Ghysels
Superintendent Chief Learning Officer