August 11, 2020
Dear CCUSD Families:
It’s that time of year but in no way is it business as usual. As our staff and teachers prepare to welcome you back to school, I want to extend a personal welcome back to each and every one of you.
No matter which of the three options you chose for your child (hybrid, all virtual, or iAcademy), we are starting the year with 100% distance learning. We closely monitor and follow the guidelines of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Los Angeles County Office Education (LACOE). Both departments have determined that at this moment in time, a 100% distance learning model is the absolute safest path forward for students, families, and faculty.
While our staff has been working diligently through the summer to prepare for this approach, the administrators, teachers and counselors are putting the finishing touches on their distance learning plans. And though we all wish that our students could be attending school in person, I am excited for your family to experience the innovative ways that our teachers and administrators will be educating and engaging with your children.
Despite our current circumstances, it’s going to be a great year. We are focused on four pillars of educational excellence. We must pursue these with renewed dedication and even more determination during distance learning.
In order for our students to feel safe, seen and supported it is important as educators to build relationships with our students and create policies that promote equity. Thanks to extreme devotion and much hard work by the CCUSD Equity Advisory Committee, this year an Equity Action Plan will guide our school district with action steps to address institutionalized racism and implicit bias. Equity is not an overnight accomplishment; it is an ongoing journey that incorporates all stakeholders, students, staff, and community.
2. Inclusion for every student, regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity, learning differences and abilities. This has been an unprecedented year with COVID-19 closing down
schools and transitioning to distance learning. Safer-at-home practices have been isolating. However, CCUSD is committed to moving forward with the work we began during the last couple of school years to create inclusive environments. This is our opportunity to redefine who we are and who we want to be moving forward.
3. Insuring Excellent and Consistent Instruction from all teachers, across all grades and campuses. Excellent instruction is dynamic, student-centered and comprehensive, enhanced by a wide lens focused on social and emotional learning.
4. Robust and ongoing Professional Development for both staff AND for parents. In pursuit of excellence in education, especially during distance learning, we are committed to a collaborative model of constant learning and improvement that involves our entire CCUSD community.
As the first day of school approaches, here are some tips to help you and your child prepare for distance learning:
1) Start talking about going back to school now, and help your child get excited about it. School will be in session, and it is expected that all students attend their classes daily.
2) If you haven’t acquired the necessary technology and internet access, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) Work towards getting back into a school schedule now. Start with a regular bedtime that will allow for enough hours of sleep. A well-rested student is a more engaged student.
4) When school does start, help your child get up in the morning and prepare as if your child will be physically going to school. Brush teeth, get dressed, have breakfast, and be in front of the computer and logged on with a few minutes to spare. (Upside - more time to sleep in the mornings and maybe even time to have breakfast as a family.)
5) Designate a consistent place in your home for school. As much as possible, minimize distractions during this time and in this place.
6) Set up some time for safe socialization outside of school time with your child’s friends and peers. While participating in school will most definitely provide them with classmate socialization time, they still need their friends. Plan safe, physically distant get-togethers either in person or remotely. Friend time is just as crucial for their social-emotional well-being as is being in school.
Your children will spend the first two official days of school - Thursday, August 20, and Friday, August 21 - getting to know their new teachers and classmates, learning how to navigate the new approach to distance learning, and easing into the school year. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend during these first two days. Each school site will handle the first two days differently, but all are being designed to ease your child back into the school routine, and help them adjust to distance learning.
Our Reopening Taskforce has been meeting all summer and will continue to meet after school starts. In addition to the existing seven committees (Health and Safety, Preschool and Afterschool, Elementary/TK-5th grades, Secondary/6-12th grades, Social-Emotional Learning, Parent and Family Engagement, and Special Education), we added Outdoor Learning as an 8th committee. This group will look at various options for holding classes and activities in a safe, outdoor environment when and if that becomes possible..
In the coming days and weeks you will receive a series of communications - from me, your school principals, the counselors and our administrators. To stay informed, it’s more important than ever that you open your email and campus newsletters, listen to the phone calls from the school site and the district, visit our district website, and read our weekly Culver Pride newsletter. Many resources are provided for you on the Educational Services Website. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please email your principal, school secretary, or teacher directly. This is the most efficient way to get your concerns addressed. If you have concerns that cannot be addressed by your school site, please email us at reopenCCUSD@ccusd.org.
Thank you for patience, your flexibility and your continued support as we navigate these unprecedented times together with the utmost Culver Pride.