July 19, 2020
Dear ESUSD Parents and Community,
Friday, July 17th, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all school campuses to remain physically closed in counties on the state’s monitoring list due to spiking COVID-19 cases. Governor Newsom’s criteria was developed in partnership with the California Department of Public Health, in a detailed framework for reopening schools this fall. As you probably are aware, Los Angeles County is one of the many counties that appear on the monitoring list. Schools cannot re-open until their county has come off the California Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days.
Therefore, this order will mean that all El Segundo Unified School District (ESUSD) schools, including all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, after school activities and all weekend events will be closed until Los Angeles County has met that requirement. I know this decision has likely tapped into a mixture of emotions throughout our community. I empathize with all parents as you break the news to your children. There likely is a host of emotions you may be feeling; sadness, frustration, helplessness, concern, or a genuine sense of relief.
Our Reopening Committee made up of parents, teachers, classified staff and administrators have been working diligently the past several weeks on our school reopening plans. As shared in a previous newsletter, we have worked hard to develop two options: both a Hybrid Learning option, as well as a Full-time Distance Learning option for students, allowing each parent to make a decision that is in the best interest of their family. The Hybrid model is based on more synchronous learning with ESUSD instructors and classmates and some asynchronous student work; the Distance Learning model (Grades 6-12) is based on more asynchronous work via the ASU platform and some real time contact with ESUSD instructors. It is still our intent to survey parents the last week in July to select an option.
While both instructional options will begin the year in distance learning, they are both very different in their design and implementation. ESUSD hopes to gradually phase into the in-person portion of a Hybrid model as conditions permit, in accordance with the established criteria above and any other health order from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. It is important to note that there is no established timeline when this may begin, as it is dependent upon the status of COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County. ESUSD will continue to monitor and adjust our plan accordingly. It may take a few weeks or several months to meet the criteria. The Full Distance Learning option is designed for families and students with the intention to learn remotely for the entire school year, and will require a minimum of a one semester commitment. Attached are charts regarding the options available, and the district will also be hosting another Town Hall meeting to further answer community questions on Monday, July 27th at 5:00PM.
This has been an incredibly challenging time for the entire ESUSD community. As educators, we are all eager to bring students back to physical school. We know that young people learn best in the classroom. However, the health and safety of students and school staff is non-negotiable and must come first. I want to thank you again for your patience and understanding as we continue to deal with this unprecedented situation. We will keep you updated via email, text, social media, and our website.
With gratitude that we are in this together,
Melissa Moore, Ed.D.
El Segundo Unified School District