When will families recieve a survey for the 2021-22 school year?
We are conducting an interest-survey starting on April 19. Look for an email from your principal with instructions. The purpose of the survey is to determine interest in a virtual program when the 2021-22 school year begins on August 6. It's simply an interest survey to provide us with an idea of what our families are thinking about for next school year.
Will anything change now that Riverside County entered the Orange Tier on April 6?
Our hybrid and virtual programs will continue unchanged. But we are able to increase capacity at outdoor events, such as graduation, and certain indoor events, such as sports.
Will schools open for full in-person instruction this school year now that social distancing requirements have changed?
No. We have reopened based on serving stable groups and maintaining an overall capacity to ensure 6-feet of distancing between adults and between adults and students, as well as meeting the current 4-6 feet distancing requirement in common areas around campus, including when masks can’t be worn, such as when eating, and during activities when increased exhalation occurs, such as singing, shouting, band practice, sports, or exercise. We designed our concurrent instructional program to allow students and their families choice and to maintain students' and teachers' schedules for the remaining eight weeks of this school year.
Will students return to full in-person instruction next school year?
We are planning and preparing for all possibilities, including a return to full in-person instruction, for all students, and for all grade levels, five days a week. Of course, that will depend on whether or not there are any social distancing requirements or other safety measures schools are expected to follow. We are examining all of our classroom and campus spaces since we will have to reconfigure many classrooms or other spaces if social distancing of 3-feet and/or other restrictions remain when we open the 2021-22 school year on August 6.
Will families have the option of remaining in a distance learning program next school year?
Currently, almost 40% (6,734) of our students continue to learn from home. We will survey families later in the Spring to determine the demand for program choice in 2021-22.
Will students have to get a COVID-19 vaccine to attend school?
No. At this time, there is no a vaccination approved for students under 16 years old and California lawmakers have not mandated the COVID-19 vaccines for students 16 or older.
Will students have to get COVID-19 vaccine to attend school when there is a vaccine for all age groups?
It’s unclear whether California lawmakers plan to mandate COVID-19 vaccines the same way the state mandates vaccines for diseases like measles.
Do students still need to be up to date on all of the state mandated immunizations if they're distant learning or attending school two days a week?
Yes. It's critically important from a public health perspective that children receive these immunizations. Preventative services are still critical during this time, and immunizations are one of the most important public health interventions.
Will summer school be in-person?
Yes. From June 7 to July 15. Assuming the conditions do not worsen.
Will the Class of 2021 get to walk in a traditional graduation ceremony?
Yes, we are planning for a traditional graduation ceremony for our seniors. CDPH guidance on graduation ceremonies was released this past Friday. We are also planning a drive-through graduation event similar to 2020 as a back-up plan if the pandemic trend reverses and it's not safe to conduct a traditional event.
How many graduation tickets will students be given for their families to attend the ceremony?
That depends on what tier we are in as we approach the event the last week of May. For example, to follow social distancing and other safety protocol requirements, in the Red Tier attendance is limited to a maximum of 20% capacity of the venue. In the Orange Tier attendance is limited to a maximum of 33% capacity. In the Yellow Tier, attendance is limited to a maximum of 67% capacity. The number of tickets each students is offered will also be impacted by the size of the graduating class. Each high school will communicate ticket details and safely protocols with their families.
Will state academic testing be waived again this school year like it was last school year?
Yes. The U.S. Department of Education agreed to allow California schools to use local assessments. We will administer our diagnostic assessment instead of the SBAC
When did Riverside County enter the Red Tier and become eligible to reopen all grade levels?
March 16, 2021.
When were elementary schools reopened?
March 22, 2021.
When were middle schools and high schools reopened?
March 22, 2021.
Do students have to return to in-person instruction?
No. Families have the choice to remain virtual if they choose to continue to learn at home. Students in the Virtual Academy and those in the hybrid program who chose virtual on the second semester survey will continue to learn from home. Principals will provide additional details on the instructional model in the days and weeks to come.
Why not remain virtual this year since there's only about 25% of the school year left?
Some students are really suffering emotionally without the support of in-person school. Some are struggling to learn too. Some have not consistently attended on-line school and are falling far behind their peers. Furthermore, social inequities have been exacerbated by distance learning and some of our students and their families have been disproportionally impacted due to circumstances beyond their control. Some students may not be suffering as much as others, but they are anxious to attend in-person school and will benefit from the social interaction with their teachers and friends. Students who choose to continue to learn at home have the option to continue to learn at home without disruption.
Do school districts have to open schools now that the Governor and the Legislature reached an agreement on a school reopening plan?
No. The new law (Senate Bill 86 signed into law March 5) does not mandate reopening schools, but states that “it is the intent of the Legislature that local educational agencies offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible during the 2020–21 school year.” The plan includes $2 billion of incentive grants for districts that open up their schools to at least K-2 grades and to cohorts of underserved students in all grades by April 1.
Incentive grant funds must be spent for any purpose consistent with providing in-person instruction, including Covid-19 testing, cleaning, personal protective equipment, facility needs, staffing costs, and social and mental health supports, including programs to mitigate learning loss now and over the summer. To qualify for the funds, the new law mandates that schools in counties in the Red, Orange, or Yellow tiers offer in-person instruction to all elementary students, as well as to at least a single grade spanning middle and high schools.
In a statement accompanying the new reopening plan, the California Department of Public Health asserted the following:
- Research across the globe shows that children get Covid-19 less often than adults, and when they do get sick, they get less sick than adults.
- In studies of open schools in America and around the world, children do not seem to be major sources of transmission — either to each other or to adults.
- The growing body of evidence is particularly strong regarding lower risks in elementary schools.
- Even in communities with many Covid-19 cases, we do not see many outbreaks in schools. That’s because the right precautions can stop outbreaks before they start.
Is COVID-testing mandatory for students who return for in-person instruction?
No. Districts are not required to test students and staff without symptoms under the new law. However, school districts are required to offer COVID-testing while a county is in the Purple Tier, but it is still voluntary. We will offer a voluntary testing program and provide an antigen home test kit to all families interested in participating, regardless of our tier assignment.
Will all staff be vaccinated by the time schools reopen?
Vaccinations are voluntary. School employees have been eligible for the vaccination since January 13 when Riverside County opened up vaccinations for people in 1B (tier 1).
What will happen if a person on campus tests positive?
When a person on campus has tested positive for COVID‐19:
- School reports it to County health officials.
- Families of students who meets the criteria as a close contact (within 6 feet of positive case for >15 minutes within 24 hours) are notified via a phone call and an emailed letter and are reported to County health officials for contact tracing.
- Close contacts are required to quarantine for 10 days (quarantine begins the last date of contact with a positive case) from last known exposure before returning to school, and then can return if wearing a surgical mask for the next 4 days OR if they test positive or become symptomatic, 10 day isolation starts on that date.
- Close contact students can return after the isolation period if symptoms are improving and fever free for >24 hours without medication.
- Parents can also monitor cases by regularly visiting our COVID-19 Data Dashboard on our web site.
When will students in the hybrid program know if they're in Cohort A or Cohort B?
Cohort assignments, either A or B, will be available on Monday, March 8th through the AERIES parent portal. We will honor all requests by families in the hybrid program who indicated on the second semester survey that they preferred to remain 100% virtual if we reopen our schools for hybrid students (they will be assigned to Cohort D for identification purposes and will continue to engage in distance learning all four days). Here are the details for accessing student cohort assignments in Aeries:
- Log onto the Aeries Parent Portal here on Monday March 8.
- Choose Demographics tab.
- See Cohort assignment in demographics section.
How were the cohort groups selected?
Groups were divided by the first half and second half of the alphabet. Then, the groups were adjusted to ensure each classroom was balanced and did not exceed the number of students allowed to meet the 6-foot social distance requirement.
How does the cohort model work?
Monday & Wednesday: attend school on campus
Tuesday & Thursday: distance learning at home
Friday: asynchronous learning at home and office hours
Tuesday & Thursday: attend school on campus
Monday & Wednesday: distance learning at home
Friday: asynchronous learning at home and office hours
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: distance learning at home
Friday: asynchronous learning at home and office hours.
What should I do if the conditions in my home/family have changed and I cannot attend in-person even though I'm in the hybrid program?
Contact your principal or counselor and discuss your circumstances. We respectfully request that families fulfill their commitment, but we realize certain things in people's lives change. Principals will address requests on a case-by-case basis and act in the best interest of our students and everyone's safety.
Where can I find the COVID-19 Safety Plan video?
The videos are posted on the home page of our web site in English and in Spanish.
Where can I find the COVID-19 Safety Plan (CSP)?
The CSP is posted on our web site here.
When will there be more information about reopening?
Principals will communicate directly with their students and families about the specifics related to their campus. While the basic safety protocols and rules will be the same in every school, there will be slight differences based on the physical differences of each campus and the number of students present on campus. Look for information from your principal.
Will there be bussing?
Yes. The only question that remains is if we will be able to provide it immediately upon returning on March 22. The primary challenge is securing our bus fleet since we contract with a provider for bus service and they too are reopening their business. I will provide an update next week.
Will temperatures being taken when students enter the bus?
No. Bus drivers will not be taking students’ temperature. We ask that parents/guardian conduct a temperature check before their children leave the house to come to school. Although the bus driver will not be taking temperatures of students before boarding the bus, they will observe some of the other symptoms as the students board the bus in the morning. Once a student arrives at the bus stop they cannot be left behind even if symptoms are observed. Each bus has a designated area for any student who has symptoms and the school staff will be notified when the bus arrives at the school.The district has developed a procedure to handle the symptom screening once students arrive at our campuses. Fever is just one of eleven symptoms that may occur with this virus.
Will there be an after school program (Extended Learning)?
Yes. As soon as Riverside County transitions to the Red Tier. We will offer the Expanded Learning Program for students who are on-campus for in-person school that day at all of the schools where we offered the Expanded Learning Program before schools closed, Monday through Thursday until 4:30 pm. The program includes a meal, intervention supports and tutoring, and enrichment activities including physical fitness, arts and crafts, and other creative and fun activities, including coding/robotics in our middle schools.
Will the child nutrition program still provide meals for students not attending in-person instruction?
Yes. Meals will remain free until the end of the school year. Hybrid students on campus will receive meals on-site, and take a “grab and go” lunch at the end of the day for their next day at home. Students who do not attend school in-person will be able to get their meal kits on Fridays. Principals will provide further details on the meal program. Please call the Child Nutrition Center at 951-509-6200 with your questions.
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