July 17, 2020
Dear MUSD Staff and Parent Community,
As you may know, tonight, our Board of Education voted unanimously to open the MUSD school year in Distance Learning on August 12th (our regularly scheduled start date). I recognize, as does our Board of Education, that this decision is not the desired outcome for many of our families and/or students. All MUSD staff members want our students back in school, but we have to make sure that it is safe for our students and our staff. We remain committed to working toward the outcome of bringing students back to face to face instruction when it is safe to do so.
MUSD’s decision fully aligns with the Governor’s newly released guidelines requiring schools to reopen in a Distance Learning model if they are located within a county on the State’s watchlist. The new guidelines dictate that school districts within a county on the state’s watchlist should open with a Distance Learning model until that county has met specific requirements and is off the watchlist for 14 days. As we are able to further analyze the written summaries of the Governor’s guidance, we will be sure that it is communicated to our staff and families as well. You can review the related documents here: (COVID-19 INDUSTRYGUIDANCE: Schools and SchoolBased Programs)
Distance Learning will be implemented very differently from the program experienced during our sudden closure at the end of last year. There will be a clear schedule for all students, with variances based on the developmental level and grade level for our students. Our program will entail high levels of engagement, including daily attendance, a return to letter grades at the secondary level, daily contact between students and teacher, synchronous learning each day, and a streamlined approach to our online learning systems.
I have great confidence in our teaching staff, our support staff, classified staff, and administration. There are many challenges ahead; we can overcome them and create positive, high-quality learning experiences for our students by working together. Further measures will also be in place to help support the needs of our special education students as we move to a new and better instructional design for ALL students. Our staff is already receiving guidance and information from our Director of Educational Services to support a collaborative effort in creating a great learning experience for our students.
A ‘draft framework’ of schedules which are subject to change (not all levels and programs are listed in the sample) and a summary presentation made to our Board of Education earlier tonight, can be found here, for your review. As we continue to approach the start of our school year, much more communication will be forthcoming from the District Office and from your respective school sites. Further communication will also be provided specifically based on specific circumstances (students who may be moving into 9th grade, 6th grade, TK/K, students in special education programs, students with Section 504 plans, and students in extracurricular activities, etc.).
Specific to sports for our student-athletes, as I highlighted in a prior message, we expect to hear a formal announcement/decision regarding fall sports, on Monday, July 20th, from the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation). As we receive that information we will update our staff, students, and community members.
Thank you to all the members of our Task Force for their dedicated work! Thank you to all our parents and community members who reached to have an active voice throughout this process. I am sure there will be continued opportunities for individual and collective input as we move forward, working together.
CJ Cammack, Superintendent
Martinez Unified School District