COVID-19 Update: 03-25-20 11:00am

COVID-19 Update: 03-25-20 11:00am
Posted on 03/25/2020
COVID-19 Update 3-25

Redding, Shasta, and Igo Families,

I wanted to share with you a status update in relation to COVID-19, our school closures, enrichment opportunities, and some future planning.  I will continue to send out updates as new and relevant information comes out.

The Online Enrichment website development team were able to consolidate and post the resources gathered from around the district. http://reddingschools.net/online-enrichment/ We continue to add resources to the site as new materials are developed or discovered. We are printing packets for those families that request it. Thanks to our site leaders who are fielding calls and organizing tools for our families. Meals are being distributed at all but one of our schools since Tuesday, March 16 and it has been a great success. We have also created bus stop meal drops at our largest bus stop locations. You can find more information about locations and times on our website http://reddingschools.net/meal-distribution-march-2020/ Thanks to Tawny Cowell, Director of Nutrition, and the kitchen staff from across the district for their heroic work to feed our families. This necessary work is vital to the support of our students and families across the city. We are still under Federal Guidelines as it pertains to meal distribution and we are trying our best to serve you while still following those guidelines. The custodians have been hard at work cleaning and getting our sites ready for the return of students and staff after the closure.

The district leadership has had multiple teleconferences with the California Department of Education, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, local agencies and other districts in our area.  We have learned a few things, received some guidance, but are still left with many unanswered questions. I’d like to update you with: What we know; What we are waiting to learn; and Actions we are taking.

What we know:

  • California Department of Education has stated that students will not be subjected to any state testing requirements - state testing will be suspended for this school year.
  • The federal requirements have not been relaxed and, therefore, issues of equity and access are still controlling how districts respond to on-line learning enrichment.
  • At this time, RSD, SUE, and IGO's Governing Boards have supported the district-wide school closures to continue through April 13, 2020.  This decision will be reviewed during the coming weeks as more information becomes available.
  • Governor Newsom said Tuesday, March 17, 2020: “This is a very sober thing to say, and I can’t say this with certainty, but I can say this quite learnedly: Don’t anticipate in a few weeks. ...I don’t want to mislead you.  I would plan and assume that it’s unlikely that many of these schools - few, if any - will open before the summer break.” CDE has not given any indication that this is the case but has said that the "Governor was speaking as a father, and wanted to be honest." We are unclear at this time if that will happen. More to come on that. We will continue to keep you informed as we know more. We are currently planning more Distance Learning opportunities starting April 14th if we are not opening.
  • Governor Newsom announced that the entire State of California is asking Californians to "Shelter in place". We are having school personnel work the necessary times and locations for the service that we are providing as our public service is still considered essential.

What we are waiting to learn:

  • What are the State or County-level recommendations/mandates for the length of time for school closures based upon the Department of Public Health assessments to flatten the curve for COVID-19 infection?
  • How will California State and United States Federal mandates be relaxed or repealed to better allow local educational agencies to meet the huge demands and burdens being placed on families and employees in efforts to ensure students’ academic progress via distance learning?

Actions we are taking:

  • Our teachers created stellar learning enrichment opportunities for our students that are posted online and in the hands of our students and families.  RSD, SUE, and IGO will continue to support and provide families with enrichment support throughout the time of our school closures.
  • School site staff continue to address campus needs in preparation for the reopening of our school sites.
  • We are actively providing meals to 700 plus families each day and will continue to look for ways to support them.
  • Our teachers will be planning more distance learning opportunities for after spring break if needed.
  • Teachers are contacting all students to assess connection options and to help us plan supports.
  • We are monitoring the ever-changing landscape and will adjust our support to students and families as directed.

Finally, RSD, SUE, and IGO are committed to doing everything in its power to support students, staff, and families during this very difficult time.  Please continue to communicate with school site teachers and administrators using email. We appreciate the emails of support, but even more, we need to hear from you regarding the student learning challenges you encounter.  As a public school district, we face constraints imposed at the County, State, and Federal levels. However, we are determined to respond by thinking outside of the box to ensure that our community continues to deliver a quality education despite any adversity.  Our students, staff, and families deserve that, and more.

I will be in touch with the articulation of our updated planning as soon as I am able.  In the meantime, please continue with staying in touch, enjoying your family opportunities for togetherness and exploration, and healthy practices to ensure our community is a part in flattening the rate of this pandemic.

Sincerely and with gratitude,

Robert Adams

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