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October Gradual Phased Reopening of School Campuses Update

October 19, 2020

Dear SSD Families, 

During the weeks leading up to the December vacation, District staff will be developing plans for the potential, gradual, phased reopening of campuses to students for in-person instruction during the month of January.  The planning includes determining the instructional model for in-person instruction for students.  While we are targeting implementation of this plan for the month of January, we are cognizant that conditions in the County and in our District may necessitate delaying implementation of the plan.

We anticipate providing families with students in grades preschool through fifth grade with the opportunity to indicate a preference between the current virtual school model and transitioning to an in-person instructional model (likely a blended “hybrid” of in-person and virtual school).  We will also continue to offer Independent Study.  

We continue to explore models to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of middle school students. We hope to be able to offer families of sixth-graders an opportunity to indicate a preference for an in-person instructional model similar to the one offered to elementary students. The complexities of middle school schedules make planning for in-person instruction at grades seven and eight a particular challenge.  Our focus is to identify supports for students to address academic and social-emotional needs.

Planning, of course, will include implementation of safety protocols for in-person instruction in compliance with guidelines from the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health. While these protocols will be focused on the safety of students and staff, they will cause the in-person instructional model to be different than what students experienced before the closure of school campuses last spring.

Finally, planning will include a system for reassigning students to classrooms considering the preferences indicated by families and the availability of staff. Since we anticipate that not all families will be able to be matched with their preferred instructional model, we will also need to develop an equitable system for assigning students to programs and classrooms.

In the meantime, we have been working hard on the gradual reintroduction of students to campuses in Supervised Learning Groups.  These “SLGs” target students who have had the greatest challenge engaging in and benefiting from Virtual School. While the implementation of this phase has been slow, we are evaluating and improving our safety processes along the way.

We thank you for your continued support, resilience, and flexibility as we move through our phases toward reopening campuses and we will continue to keep you informed as we make progress. 

Sincerely, 

Michael Gallagher, Ed.D.

Superintendent