Updates Related to School Reopening » Updates Related to Schools Reopening

Updates Related to Schools Reopening

 
Elementary student in multi-purpose room
 
Schools Reopening Update #12: OC COVID-19 Update and Launch of New COVID-19 Dashboard
 
Dear FVSD Families:

Happy Monday!!  We hope you had a relaxing weekend, and that this message finds you safe and well!  As we begin our fifth full week of school, we want to continue to thank our students, staff, families and community for their ongoing efforts to support teaching and learning.  The FVSD community is a special place with people who are dedicated to supporting each other, and I am extremely proud of the work we are doing!

Orange County COVID-19 Update
Using the guidance from the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) and the criteria set in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, Orange County remains in the Red Tier.  Currently, CASES PER 100,000 Residents is at 5.2, and our POSITIVITY RATE is at 3.2%.  We continue to follow the COVID-19 data rates for Orange County, as all decisions we make in FVSD will be based on these metrics. Please click here to follow this data on the Orange County Health Care Agency’s website.  

Launch of New COVID-19 Dashboard for FVSD
Recently, many of you may have read that school districts have been developing a COVID-19 Dashboard to provide the community with real numbers related to confirmed COVID-19 cases on any campus.  Our Board of Trustees continues to emphasize communication and transparency, and we have developed our very own COVID-19 Dashboard in FVSD that went live today!  We want to send a giant thank you to our Educational Services Division who has been working on this in the background, allowing us to be ready to post this new webpage. This is a wonderful step forward in making sure our staff, parents and community have the most accurate and current information available!!

Ongoing Safety Practices
As we move forward with a strong launch of the school year, we want to continue to remind everyone to be vigilant in exercising safety practices within our schools. If we all commit to doing the following things, we have our best chance to keep our students, staff and families safe.
  • Face masks are one of the best ways to limit the spread of COVID-19.  We appreciate the commitment to this practice!
  • Stay 6ft away from other students and staff.  A close contact is defined as closer than 6ft for more than 15 minutes.  
  • Wash your hands throughout the day for at least 20 seconds.  Use hand sanitizer when not able to wash your hands.

Once again, we would like to extend a very special thank you to our teachers, support staff and administrators for their tireless efforts in educating our students and caring for our families!  We also want to thank all of our families for their ongoing support at home.  This truly is a remarkable partnership!


Mark Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent
 
Dear FVSD Family:

We hope this message finds you safe and well! As we close out the second week of school, we want to continue to thank our students, staff, families and community for their ongoing efforts to support teaching and learning. In addition, we want to provide you with an important update regarding our revised Reopening Schools Plan that was approved by our Board of Trustees at tonight’s meeting (see attached).

Orange County COVID-19 Update
Using the guidance from the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) and the new criteria set in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, Orange County remains on the Red Tier for reopening.  As you know, when a county is in the Red Tier for 14 consecutive days, schools may return for in-person instruction.  Like you, we continue to follow the COVID-19 data rates for Orange County, which continue to trend in the right direction for reopening schools.  Today’s data shows that Orange County’s Daily Positive Cases Per 100,000 remains in the Red Tier at 4.7, and the Testing Positivity data is at 3.9%.  Please click here to follow this data on the Orange County Health Care Agency’s website.  

Return for In-Person Instruction and New Start Date for Middle School Hybrid Program
Schools continue to finalize preparations for the implementation of our Hybrid Program for families who chose to return for in-person instruction, when it was safe to do so under the guidance of the California Department of Public Health. Please see the important information below regarding our start dates for both our elementary and middle schools.
 
  • All elementary schools will reopen in an AM/PM Hybrid Schedule on Tuesday, September 22nd. 
  • The reopening dates for our middle schools have been revised. All middle school Students on the A Schedule will begin school on Tuesday, September 29th, and Students on the B Schedule will begin school on Wednesday, September 30th.  
 
Revised Schedules for Hybrid Programs
Two other important updates to our Schools Reopening Plan are the revised schedules for our Hybrid Program at both the elementary and middle school levels. The newly adopted schedules are attached to this message for your convenience.

Elementary Schools
  • For our elementary schools, the biggest change is in the drop-off and pick-up schedules.  Instead of implementing staggered start and end times, we made the decision to develop multiple drop-off locations, which will minimize the number of students entering campus at any given location, while also making transportation more manageable for families.  
 
Middle Schools
  • At the middle school level, the biggest change is in the dismissal time for students attending school.  With a goal of maintaining high safety standards, we will no longer have lunch served during the instructional day on our middle school campuses.  Instead, students will finish their in-person hybrid day at 12:40 PM, and students who need lunch will take a grab’n’go bag home with them.  Grab’n’go lunches are also available to all students at our normal lunch pick-up locations.  
 
School Site Preparations and Communications
As shared previously, FVSD team members continue to work around the clock to implement and prepare for the transition to in-person instruction. Please be on the lookout for multiple communications from your site principal or supervisor regarding important updates and guidelines for returning to in-person instruction.

Once again, we would like to extend a very special thank you to our teachers, support staff and administrators for their tireless efforts in educating our students and caring for our families!

Kindly,

Mark Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent
 
 
Dear FVSD Families:

We hope this message finds you and your family safe and well! In the interest of ongoing communication with our staff, families and community, we want to provide you with an important update on the reopening of FVSD schools. As a friendly reminder, all students in FVSD will begin their school year virtually on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, and principals will be sending more details in the coming days.

California Department of Public Health Update - Blueprint for a Safer Economy
As you may have heard on Friday, August 28th, during Governor Newsom’s Press Conference, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has created a new Four-Tier Framework, titled the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” (see attached). This new framework will guide the reopenings of various sectors throughout the state, based upon local COVID-19 data in each county.  Although this information is new to all of us, we have been working with local and state agencies to better understand how it impacts schools in Orange County (OC).  This week, we received notification from Orange County Health Care Agency that schools in OC must wait until September 22, 2020, to reopen for in-person instruction, as long as OC continues to meet the criteria to move from the Purple Tier to the Red Tier in the framework. Please know that Orange County's COVID-19 data is trending in the right direction, and that the change in reopening dates is due to a new framework, not a negative trend in the data.  

How Does This Impact the Timeline for Returning to In-Person Hybrid Instruction
As shared in our last update, we set tentative reopening dates of September 15, 2020 for our seven elementary schools and September 22, 2020 for our three middle schools.  This new information prevents us from reopening on September 15, 2020 for elementary schools, and impacts our phasing plan for middle schools. Due to the change by the state, we are now setting new tentative reopening dates for our elementary and middle schools.  We will still maintain the staggered approach we described last week to manage the re-opening in the most effective manner:

  • All elementary schools will reopen in an AM/PM Hybrid Schedule on Tuesday, September 22nd. 
  • All middle schools will reopen in a Rotating Day Hybrid Schedule on Thursday, September 24th.
The decision to stagger the reopening dates between our elementary and middle schools will allow us to provide additional staffing and resources at each level during their reopening days, ensuring a more successful transition from virtual learning to in-person learning.

Please keep in mind that our reopening dates are tentative and depend on OC moving to the Red Tier on September 8th, and remaining there for 14 days. A new state website, www.COVID19.ca.gov, tracks the metrics for the virus and posts current tier status for each county.  

Despite the schedule adjustment, we are greatly encouraged by the continuing improvement in the COVID-19 situation in OC and remain confident in our overall plan to reopen classrooms safely. We all must do our part by following the health and safety recommendations to limit the spread of the virus, especially as we approach the Labor Day Holiday.

Thank you again for your patience and support as we take time to process the impacts of these new state guidelines for reopening counties. Rest assured that we will send additional updates as more information becomes available.

Kindly,

Mark Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent
 

 

 

 

State's Monitoring List Update and Tentative Return to In-Person Instruction

 

As shared in last week’s update, all students in FVSD will begin their school year virtually on September 9, 2020.  We made the decision to begin virtually as we strongly believe that students, staff and families needed to begin preparations for the first day of school, and holding off on a decision for how we would reopen would have hindered our ability to successfully launch the school year.  

State Monitoring List for COVID-19 and Its Implications
Over the last several weeks, we have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 dashboard on the Orange County Health Care Agency’s 
website to see when Orange County (OC) would be removed from the State's Monitoring List.  The two biggest data sets for OC have been the Case Rates (less than 100 per 100,000 people) and Testing Positivity Percentages (less than 8%). The County will need to remain off of this list for 14 consecutive days for schools to be authorized to reopen for in-person instruction.  Today, August 25, 2020, is Day Three of OC being removed from the Monitoring List.  If OC continues to work hard to reduce the spread of COVID-19, for another 11 days, totaling 14 days off of the Monitoring List, schools in OC will be able to reopen for in-person instruction.  

Transition to Hybrid Instructional Model
As part of our reopening plan, we would like to communicate the next steps regarding a return to in-person learning for those families that selected this model during registration.  If COVID-19 cases continue to remain static or decrease and we meet the 14 day threshold, FVSD will reopen for in-person instruction in a Hybrid Model:

  • All elementary schools would reopen in a AM/PM Hybrid Schedule on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. 
  • All middle schools would reopen in a Rotating Day Hybrid Schedule on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. 

 

Please know that our reopening dates are tentative and will require us all working together to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  The decision to stagger the reopening dates between elementary and middle schools will allow us to provide additional staffing and resources at each level during their reopening week, ensuring a more successful transition from virtual/remote learning to in-person learning.  In addition, our middle school students will continue to participate in a large part of their education virtually, and the extra week students and staff spend virtually will allow for a better implementation.  At this time, we do not have an answer as to how long we will remain in the hybrid setting.  We will use our time in a hybrid model to evaluate the conditions in OC and the successful execution of our systems, routines, and procedures detailed within our Reopening Schools Plan.

This is a lot of information to process and I do not want any of us to get ahead of the science and metrics. Please know that any return to in-person instruction will be based on the guidelines specific to schools dictated by the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency.  That being said, we wanted to share this update tonight, as many of you have already inquired about this data, possible dates and scenarios.

Moving forward, we remain committed to providing ongoing information and updates via email and our websites, so please continue to check them regularly.

 

Kindly,

Mark Johnson, Ed.D.

Superintendent

Fountain Valley School District

 
Schools Reopening Update #7 - Tuesday, August 18, 2020
 
Dear FVSD Families:
 
We hope this message finds you and your family safe and well!  In the interest of ongoing communication with our staff, families and community, we want to provide you with an important update on the reopening of FVSD schools. 
 
As of today, August 18, 2020, we have a little over three weeks until the first day of school on September 9, 2020.  Yesterday, August 17, 2020, Governor Newsom shared that Orange County is one of the 42 counties currently on the State’s Monitoring List for COVID-19, which means that if FVSD schools were to reopen today, all schools in the district would be required to open in a virtual/remote model for all students.  Please know that we regularly monitor COVID-19 cases in Orange County, and remain hopeful that our community will continue to work together,  to reduce the spread of COVID-19, allowing Orange County to be removed from the Monitoring List as soon as possible. 
 
Update for In-Person Instruction  

 

Last night, we provided an informational update to our Board of Trustees regarding our Reopening Schools Plan and shared a decision to implement the Hybrid Model when we are able to return for in-person learning.  In addition, we selected the Elementary AM/PM Cohort Hybrid and Middle School Rotating Day Hybrid Schedules for this year.  Any considerations for pivoting to a Modified Traditional Schedule, if possible, will be made later in the school year. We strongly believe that reducing the number of students on campus at any given time will provide us with the best chance to keep students and staff attending school regularly.  We also believe that elementary age students, especially our youngest students, have their best learning opportunities when they are able to attend school in-person as much as possible, and that middle school age students are more capable of learning in and navigating a virtual environment.

Update on First Week of School

In addition to the update above, we also recognize the need to provide more information related to the first week school.  As noted above, at this time, Orange County remains on the State’s Monitoring List for COVID-19.  Based upon this information and as stated in the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance for Schools, Orange County must be off of the Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days for schools to reopen for in-person instruction.  If Orange County came off of the Monitoring List today, the earliest we would be able to return for in-person instruction would be September 2, 2020, a date that is too late and unfair to our stakeholders to make a decision on the first week of school.  With there being 22 days until the beginning of the school year, we know that one of the most important things we can do at this time is provide concrete information that allows staff and families to make the necessary plans and arrangements related to ensuring a successful kick-off to the school year. Therefore, today, we made the decision to reopen schools on September 9, 2020, in a virtual/remote model for all students.  When we are able to do so, we will make the transition to an in-person Hybrid Learning Model for our families who selected the in-person model during registration.  

As a parent of school-age children myself, I know how challenging the recent decisions you have had to make regarding the upcoming school year have been, and I also know how these decisions keep you up at night.  One thing we have always promised our families in FVSD is that we are committed to making the same decisions for your children that we would hope others would make for our own children.  And while we realize that there are varied beliefs on how schools should reopen within our community, we also know that our recent decisions are in alignment with the guidance from our state and local health officers, as well as our ongoing commitments to providing a safe environment for our students and staff, and a meaningful educational experience for all of the 6,300 children we have the honor of serving!  

Please rest assured that FVSD has been preparing for the possibility of reopening virtually, and has invested in a dedicated online curriculum, offered extensive professional development opportunities for our instructional staff, and will provide Chromebooks to any/all students who need one.  We understand that while nothing replaces the importance of being on-site, and in-person with a teacher, we are confident your child(ren) will be provided with a rigorous, consistent, and engaging instructional program.

Moving forward, we remain committed to providing ongoing information and updates via email and our websites, so please continue to check them regularly. We have attached the Sample Daily Schedules and Reopening Schools Plan to this email for your reference.

Kindly,

Schools Reopening Update #6 - Friday, August 14, 2020
 
Good Afternoon FVSD Community -

Thank you for your patience as we have been working to address the many questions from our community over the past weeks.  Below this letter, you will find our Parent FAQ #1 which attempts to answer many of the various questions that have come in via survey, phone calls, and emails.

We understand this situation continues to be dynamic and fluid, but please rest assured that FVSD is being guided by the most up-to-date health and safety information, along with ongoing input from our employees and community.

Additionally, we intend to continue to listen to our entire FVSD community as we work towards a successful reopening of schools, either virtually or in-person, on September 9th, which is almost four weeks away.

Thank you for taking the time to read this important information. If you would like more clarification, resources or support, please feel free to contact your site principal, or email or call the District Office us at webmaster@fvsd.us or (714) 843-3200.

Thank you and have a wonderful evening.

Sincerely,
 
Steve McLaughlin Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent Educational Services
 
 
 
 
Schools Reopening Update #5 - August 6, 2020
 
Dear FVSD Families:

I hope this message finds you safe and well! As of today, August 6, 2020, we have a little under five weeks before our first day of school on September 9, 2020. 
 
At tonight's regular Board of Trustees Meeting, the Board formally approved the Reopening Schools Plan (English / Vietnamese) for the upcoming school year. We are excited to share this plan with our families and community, as it offers another layer of detail to the video we shared in late July with all staff and families.
FVSD 2020-21 Reopening Schools Plan
In addition, we are opening our Aeries online registration platform tomorrow (you should have heard from your site principal this evening), and we want to highly encourage families to read through our Reopening Schools Plan in its entirety, prior to completing the registration process. To help families make the best program choice for their child(ren), Dr. McLaughlin and I will be sharing a brief video with you tomorrow that works through some of the details related to the three programs in the Reopening Schools Plan (Modified Traditional, Blended/Hybrid, and a 100% Remote/Virtual). Moreover, based upon the recent parent survey we conducted, which also included an opportunity for parents to share their comments and questions, we will be sending a FAQ early next week to answer any additional questions that are not included in the Plan. 

We appreciate you taking the time to review the plan to make this important decision for your family. We understand that there are a lot of factors that will be weighed, and we are here to support you throughout this process!
 
Stay safe and well!!

Mark Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent
 
 
 
 
Update #10
Video - Three Instructional Models included the FVSD Reopening Schools Plan
 
 
 
 
 
 
Schools Reopening Update #4 - July 24, 2020
 
Dear FVSD Families:
 
We hope you continue to be safe and well!
 
This week, we created a video presentation that shares a draft of our reopening plan for this fall.  The video and slide deck on the three instructional models are included in this message, and we are grateful to each of you for taking the time to view them both.  Click here to view the video presentation.  Please know that we highly recommend watching the video presentation and reading through the slide deck prior to taking the parent survey, which you can read more about below.
 
As you know, we are about six and a half weeks from the start of the 2020-21 school year in FVSD, and we want to provide our families with an opportunity to view, process, and provide input on our draft plans.  Please know that your feedback is important, and will be used in making decisions regarding our programs and services.  Click here to access the parent survey.  Also, we would greatly appreciate it if you could complete the survey for each student who will be attending an FVSD school next year.
 
One of the most important aspects of this survey includes ranking the three instructional models shared in the video as well as the slide deck, based upon how you want schools to reopen.  That being said, please remember that as of today, July 24, 2020, Orange County remains on the State's Monitoring List - meaning that we are only permitted to reopen in a remote/virtual model for all students.  We remain hopeful that Orange County will be removed from the Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days prior to the first day of school.  Being removed from the Monitoring List means that our local COVID-19 situation has improved and we can implement both an in-person and a remote/virtual model, allowing each family to make their own decision(s) for their child(ren).  In case you were not able to read the State's new guidance, please see the revised guidance and framework, which was also shared last Friday.  I highly encourage you to read each document at your convenience.
 
Thank you again for your ongoing patience and support, and please know that we will send additional updates as more information becomes available.
 
Stay safe and well!
 
Mark Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent
Fountain Valley School District
 
 
Schools Reopening Update #3 - July 17, 2020
 
Dear FVSD Family,
 
I hope this message finds you well!  As you may have heard today, California Governor Gavin Newsom, in partnership with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), provided revised guidance and a detailed framework for reopening schools this fall.  The Governor stated that, in order to reopen schools for in-person instruction, counties must be off of the California Department of Public Health's COVID-19 Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days.  Currently, Orange County is identified as one of the counties that does not meet the criteria to reopen schools within an in-person format.
 
Our Reopening Schools Advisory (RSA) has been working diligently for the past several weeks to develop a thoughtful school reopening plan.  As shared in previous updates, we have worked toward the goal of having both an in-person as well as full-time remote/virtual model for students, allowing each parent/family to make the decision that is in the best interest of their child(ren).  However, based upon this new information, all schools in Orange County as well as all schools in 30+ other counties are only permitted to provide a virtual/remote learning program for all students, at this time.  Please know that the remote/virtual program we are currently developing will be much more rigorous and robust, with increased live instruction and interaction between students and teachers.  Our RSA is currently investigating a new online learning platform and management system, which will better equip students and teachers in a virtual learning environment.
 
That being said, it is important for us to keep in mind that our 2020-21 school year start date is still over seven weeks away, as we begin on Wednesday, September 9th.  We will closely monitor Orange County's ability to meet these new requirements, as outlined by the state for an eventual return to in-person instruction.  We remain committed to meeting the needs of our students, staff, families and community, given the current health scenarios and state directives.  In alignment with the Governor's announcement, we will continue creating our reopening plan to comply with these new directives, while keeping in mind potential forthcoming changes from the state and county.
 
Thank you again for your patience and support as we take time to digest these new state guidelines for schools and school districts, accordingly.  Rest assured that we will send additional updates as more information about our reopening plans become available.
 
Be safe and well!
 
Kindly,
 
Mark Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent
Fountain Valley School District
 
 

Schools Reopening Update #2 - June 29, 2020

Dear FVSD Families: 

With school beginning a little over 10 weeks away on September 9, 2020, we wanted to send our second update regarding FVSD schools reopening this fall. As shared in our last update, our number one priority is to safely have all students back in traditional classrooms with their teachers every day. However, if necessary, we must also be diligent in planning for the implementation of a blended learning program, as the COVID-19 pandemic is constantly changing and we may not be able to bring all students back every day. A blended learning program allows for students to attend school physically for part of the week and attend 'virtually' on other days.  Additionally, we know from a recent survey that 22% of our parents would prefer a full-time distance/virtual learning model, which is another option we are building for this fall.

As we work to bring students and staff back to our campuses safely in September, we want to commend the efforts of our Reopening Schools Advisory, made up of over 55 stakeholders, including parents, teachers, support staff and administrators, who are working collaboratively to answer the hard questions about safety and protocols. The topics below are guiding our intensive planning efforts and conversations, and will be included in our final reopening plan (intended to be completed by the first week of August).

  • Entering School Buildings
  • Transitioning & Recess
  • Elementary School Program
  • Middle School Program
  • Health, Hygiene, Protocols and Education
  • Serving Meals
  • Transporting Students
  • Special Populations and Programs
  • Preschool & Childcare
  • Maintaining Healthy Operations
  • Considerations for Partial or Total Closures
  • When a Student or Staff Member Gets Sick

In addition to the topics above, please know that reopening of schools will depend on all of these factors coming together successfully, and that our plan must also follow the guidance released by the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Department of Education.

In true alignment with the FVSD Way, we have always known of the tremendous benefits of studying, collaborating, planning and communicating, all of which are necessary to reopen schools safely. This approach, as well as our partnership with local health care officials and our neighboring districts, will allow us to develop the best model for our students, staff and community.

Moving forward, we will continue to provide ongoing and regular updates throughout the months of July and August, via email and on district/school websites. On behalf of our Board of Trustees and the entire FVSD staff, thank you for your continued support and ongoing commitment to our students and our community. Together, we ensure that our students will continue to receive the necessary focus, resources, and attention they need to learn and grow even in these uncertain times.

Thank you for taking the time to read this message. I hope you and your families have a wonderful, and safe, 4th of July weekend!

Kindly,
Mark Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent

Schools Reopening Update #1 - June 12, 2020
 
Dear FVSD Families:
 
With the school year coming to an end, we want to send a heartfelt thank you to the students, staff, and parents/guardians throughout Fountain Valley School District for their ongoing efforts to ensure that learning continued during this very unique time.  This was a trying period for everyone, and we need each of you to know how much we appreciate you!
 
Moving forward, continued efforts to keep students, staff, and families safe against COVID-19, and providing a high-quality education for our 6,300 students, will be our mission for the 2020-21 school year.  The first day of school for FVSD students is September 9th, which is nearly 13 weeks away.  Because the COVID-19 pandemic and health related orders are changing over time, what next year will look like is subject to change, based upon new information.  The reopening of schools will depend on several factors coming together successfully, including: implementing public health recommendations for schools, countywide efforts to ensure COVID-19 is under control, and progress along the Governor's multi-phased roadmap for ending the stay at home order.  Additionally, the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Education have both provided guidance documents over the last week.  We are still working with the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) to make decisions regarding the reopening of schools locally, and we will share that guidance as it is available.
 
At this time, our goal is to have all students back in traditional classrooms with their teachers every day; however, this may not be possible.  Therefore, we must prepare for alternative instructional models that seek to reduce the number of students on campuses at any given time, wherein students physically attend school part of the week and attend 'virtually' on other days.  Moreover, we have heard from some of our parents who would prefer a full-time distance/virtual learning model, and we will provide this option for families who feel it is best for their child(ren).
 
To help guide our plan in FVSD, our Reopening Schools Advisory, consisting of various stakeholder groups, will meet through summer to engage in the important conversations about our collective future.  Please know that we will provide ongoing and regular updates through July and August, via email and district/school websites.
 
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to our students, our community, and to each other.
 
Kindly,
 
Mark Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent
Fountain Valley School District