COVID-19 Updated Information
Martinez Unified School District - April 28, 2020
Dear MUSD Staff and Community,
It seems hard to believe we have been away from our schools and our students for nearly six weeks. We miss them all and we miss you too! I continue to be overwhelmed with gratitude about how our community is responding and the incredible dedication our staff members are putting forward to support students in Distance Learning. One constant remains evident, our public school system is truly a keystone of the community. With a strong school system and the support structures provided, we can bear the additional weight of these challenges, especially when we work together.
I recognize the recent announcements extending the Shelter In Place for our county may cause an increased level of anxiety for many reasons. While the extension of this order has little impact on our overall school operations, I understand that it does have implications for our families and our community. Our County Health officials should release the specific details of the Shelter in Place extension in the next 24 to 48 hours. Once those are released, if there are any changes that impact the operations of the district we will communicate that information as soon as possible.
Additionally, I want to address the recent comments and discussions at the federal and state levels of government to further clarify what those mean for MUSD. There is ample evidence to show that a wide range of actions will be implemented by different states in determining how and when things reopen. While I anticipate the discussions will intensify at national, state, and local levels, as to what is the right course of action, it is essential to know what drives our actions in MUSD.
Despite the discussions at that state and federal level, our immediate attention is focused on what our local Contra Costa County Health Departments specifies as their requirements. Ultimately, we are bound to the requirements specified by the County Health Department as it relates to any measures of physical distancing, school or business closures, masks, etc. Headlines about state and federal actions related to schools may drive much of the discussion in the news and social media forums. However, unless there is a larger executive order from the state, our driving force for action at the local school district level will come from the directives provided by our Contra Costa County Health Department.
Today, Governor Newsom publically voiced the idea that schools may open earlier than planned for the next school year, such as July or August. If you were watching his press conference then you and I both heard about this idea for the first time, at the same time. No details or advanced communication regarding this matter have been provided to local school districts. As you know, MUSD is already scheduled to start on August 12th. Beyond the Governor sharing this as a talking point and possible plan of action there are no other details available at this time.
Furthermore, while the Governor’s remarks may be reflective of his thinking and/or planning, at this time they do not equate to any formal decisions and/or action. Every action we have taken and every plan we have implemented throughout this pandemic has always been “subject to change”. The weeks and months ahead are no different. MUSD will remain active in pursuing the best information possible in consultation with state and county officials. MUSD will continue to design the best plans possible in collaboration with employee groups. To the best of our collective ability, we will remain poised to respond and adapt as quickly as possible and as safely as possible.
At this time, we are building our Summer School (credit recovery program for students in 9th-12th grade) to be held via Distance Learning. In addition, our Special Education Extended School Year program will also be held via Distance Learning.
As we shift from planning for summer school, we want all our families and community members to know that we are accepting enrollments for new students. If you or someone you know needs to enroll a student in our schools, they can take the following steps:
Register online at https://aeriesweb.martinez.k12.ca.us/air/
Email documents (proof of residency, immunizations, birth certificate) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We continue to hope that schools can open under normal conditions in August. At the same time, we have to create plans and be prepared for alternatives. As we move closer to the end of our current school year, we will share more information about draft plans and/or details of what to expect through the summer and as we approach the 2020-2021 school year.
Earlier this week, I shared some words of advice that someone passed on to me recently, I think they are great reminders for everyone, I have found them helpful as the father of two school-aged children:
You are not “homeschooling”. You are attempting to educate your child during a pandemic.
You are not “working from home”. You are trying to work during a pandemic
You are not “social distancing”. You are trying to stay connected from a distance.
You are not living in the “new normal”. You are continuing to exist in a time when nothing is normal.
You are not a “superhero”. You are doing your best, and that is enough.
Thank you to all our staff in MUSD who are working so incredibly hard to support students while also managing their own personal families. Thank you to our families who are stepping up to the challenge the best way possible to support their students. Thank you to our local first responders for keeping us safe and protected and to our many local nurses and frontline healthcare workers.
To any of our families that have felt the indirect or direct impacts related to illness or the loss of a family member or friend from COVID-19, we send our thoughts and support to each of you.
Sending all of you my best wishes for health and safety.
CJ Cammack, Superintendent
Martinez Unified School District