TVUSD Board Meeting Update
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Reopening of Schools Update
This summary contains a significant amount of information due to the complexity of the reopening plan and level of details. We have done our best to be brief and summarize key points only. We encourage you to review the meeting video with the timestamps included below.
- Riverside County remains in the purple tier and the COVID-19 case and positivity rate is trending upwards.
- TVUSD will not meet the November 30 for elementary because we have not transitioned back into the red tier for the required timeframe. In all probability, elementary will now be looking at a January date based on current trends and data. We will most likely be finishing the current, regular semester as scheduled.
- We are continuing to plan for January 5 for secondary schools, contingent upon the required county color tier status. We have to be in the red tier in order to open secondary schools as there is not currently a waiver option for secondary.
- TVUSD will apply for the elementary waiver. We will not place a date on the application as other districts are also not planning to do. This recommendation respects the science (as we will follow the trends), respects parents by giving them a choice, and respects teachers and staff by continuing to work with them negotiating the effects, and developing comfort with plans. If the elementary waiver is approved, the Board will still engage in discussions regarding the potential timing of implementing it and the status of COVID-19 trends within our county.
The Reopening Plan Presentation Focused on the Following Areas:
- Current Status
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Special Ed Learning Centers and Support Hubs
- Secondary Parent Survey Results
- High School Student Online Survey Results
- Failure Rates & Actions
- Staffing Update
- Next Steps/Elementary Waiver/Questions
Riverside County continues to remain in the most restrictive purple tier. In the purple tier, schools are not legally able to open. Our county statistics continue to trend upwards in the COVID-19 positivity rate and case rate. TVUSD continues to plan for a safe reopening of our schools within the mandates, requirements, and guidelines governing us as a public educational agency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Superintendent McClay reviewed three of the current most frequently asked questions received:
No. Not one public school is currently open within our county. One public school district in our county has been granted the elementary waiver last week, but the reopening date is unknown.
Can the district apply for a waiver without association support?
While there has been much discussion and assertions regarding the process, the following is what we as a public school district have to comply with to apply.
California Department of Education states that only consultation is required with our associations, but our local Riverside County Public Health (RivCoPH) has had a more stringent requirement that includes the following specific language to apply for the elementary waiver:
Please attach at least one letter each demonstrating support from:
- A representative parents’ association that your school serves as evidence of parental support. If your typical enrollment is too small to have a parents’ association, a signed separate attestation by you that parents have been consulted and concur with in-person instruction is sufficient.
- Your school’s governing board or district board is appropriate, as evidence of community support indicating that they concur with in-person instruction.
- Your school’s union as evidence of labor support, or, if your institution does not have unionized staff, a signed separate attestation from you that teachers and staff have been consulted as part of this process, indicating they concur with in-person instruction.
Last week, RIvCoPH granted a waiver without the required support letters from a district's labor association. As a result, RivCoPH has confirmed that they are willing to accept applications without the stated, required support letters, though they are recommending that no one opens until mid-January after the potential impacts from the holiday gathering season. This is not a rule, but their recommendation. (Please see the next steps section at the bottom of this newsletter where the status of TVUSD's elementary waiver is discussed).
Will the district still meet the target reopening dates of November 30 and January 5?
We will not meet the November 30 for elementary because we have not transitioned back into the red tier for the required timeframe. In all probability, elementary will now be looking at a January date based on current trends and data. We will most likely be finishing the current, regular semester as scheduled.
Special Education Learning Centers and Support Hubs
TVUSD currently has several special education online learning centers and support hubs operational. We continue to successfully expand our learning centers and hub offerings. The centers and hubs remain in place despite any county color tier changes, as they are under separate guidance from the state.
The following represents the types of hubs we are currently operating.
The following represents the number of special education learning centers and support hubs currently operating.
Secondary Parent Model Selection Results
The secondary model selection survey closed on Monday, November 9 with 8,656 responses received. The sites are continuing to reconcile the data this week. The data shows the following initial results:
70% selected for their students to transition to the On-Campus Model
30% selected for their students to remain in the Online Model
Families who did not return a model confirmation survey will have their students enrolled in the on-campus model by default.
TVUSD's 6-12 campuses will transition to the new secondary schedules outlined in the secondary survey communication for the second semester. The schedules will be for both the ONLINE Only and *ON-CAMPUS models beginning January 5, 2021. *On-Campus is contingent upon Riverside County's color tier status.
Online Only students will attend school virtually, five days a week.
On-Campus students will attend school in-person two days a week (Cohort A or Cohort B), and virtually three days a week.
On-Campus students will be placed in Cohort A or B alphabetically by the last name to allow families to remain in the same cohort.
Monday will remain an asynchronous day for all students that includes a synchronous homeroom.
For more specific secondary model details and schedules, please see pages 20-22 of the Reopening Plan.
High School Student Survey Results
TVUSD secondary schools recently surveyed our grade, 6-12 students, in a Phase 1 survey regarding online learning and the associated challenges, pros, and cons. The following graphic represents a summary of the responses received. The information provided is helping to refine online instructional processes. A phase 2 survey will be distributed later this week from each secondary school to seek input and gauge students social-emotional needs and support.
Failure Rates and Actions
TVUSD acknowledges that an increase in student failure rates is a current reality both at our local and national level due to the current pandemic. In TVUSD, we are taking active steps to address these concerns. Dr. Valdes shared some examples of how staff members are actively reaching out to students and families. For example, Rob Sousa, Principal of Day Middle School has visited over 200 students at their homes. Rancho Vista High School has been conducting "porch visits" to check-in on students. These are just a few examples to highlight the work of so many who are going above and beyond to check-in and support students, in spite of the current circumstances.
The strategic work being done with teachers includes:
An increased focus on evaluating student proficiency based on a pared-down set of essential standards in each course.
A concerted effort to allow students to make up all work without penalty.
A request for teachers who use a 100 point scale to calculate grades to have 50 points be the lowest score a student can receive.
Creative measures like grade stimulus plans: 2 for 1 assignments that demonstrate proficiency on a given standard.
Strategic use of our scheduled intervention periods.
A partnership with Dr. Douglas Reeves focused on important grading practices during a pandemic.
Additionally, our administrators, counselors, and classified staff have been:
Reaching out to students who have 1 or more F's to support their learning needs and to get them re-engaged in their courses.
Calling families daily to reconnect failing students to the school environment.
Conducting porch visits - DMS administration for example has completed well over 200 porch visits this semester.
Creating at risk hubs for students.
Counselors and administrators at the middle and high school levels are collaborating with 4 other districts (Murrieta, Perris, Val Verde, Moreno Valley) in our county collaborative to share grading and student engagement best practices.
Finally, district administration, in partnership with site administration, will be researching district grading policies next week to apply possible large scale policy relief to high school students who are in need of credit recovery.
We continue to negotiate the impacts and effects of reopening (e.g., livestream at secondary, flex at elementary)
Some classified staff who were working remotely are returning to make final preparations for reopening
Having conversations with elementary principals for discussion of schedule options
Staffing assignments taking place now, and staff in need of medical accommodations can reach out to Risk Management
1. Continue planning for re-opening
- Create classes/master schedules
- Assign Staff
2. Apply for a TK-5 Elementary Waiver
Dr. McClay acknowledged that while we do not have the support for the waiver from both unions, at this time, our teachers, staff, and administrators strive to provide the best learning opportunities for our students and care deeply about returning to in-person learning. Ensuring that our staff feels just as safe and comfortable as our students is of paramount importance. We respect that both of our union leaders have surveyed their members beyond what many other districts have done and we value each person's voice. Given the fact that we have parents who want the option to send their students back, as well as many staff who also want that option, we would like to apply while a waiver is still an option.
She went on to request that we would not advocate reopening, even if we receive a waiver, until we could be confident that the COVID-19 case and positivity rate trending is going down and that we continue to work alongside our staff, and that they are comfortable with the plans. Our recommendation right now is that we move forward and apply to give us more options. We will not place a date on the application as other districts are also not planning to do. This recommendation respects the science (as we will follow the trends), respects parents by giving them a choice, and respects teachers and staff by continuing to work with them negotiating the effects, and developing comfort with plans. If the elementary waiver is approved, the Board will still engage in discussions regarding the potential timing of implementing it and the status of COVID-19 trends within our county.