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Monday, January 18, 2021

News & Updates

News & Updates

Update 1-8-21 - Friday, January 8, 2021
VUSD Update on Information Night, School of Choice, Additional Evening Distribution of Meals and More.

 

Good afternoon VUSD Families,

We hope the first week back after Winter Break went smoothly for you all.  We are contacting you tonight with a few updates.

VUSD Information Night- Thurs. Jan. 14

Historically, we hold our district-wide VUSD Information Night in person, but this year will be a bit different. Please join us via Zoom on Thurs. Jan. 14 at 5:30 pm. Our VUSD Information Night is designed to give our current families and those considering joining our VUSD community insight into the District, how to enroll, how to take advantage of the School of Choice lottery and have the opportunity to ask questions directly of our school and service area staff. 

                Agenda

                5:30 pm Opening Session

                6:30 pm Presentation and Q&A 1

                7:00 pm Presentation and Q&A 2

Superintendent Rice will open the event at 5:30 providing a high-level overview of the District, enrollment, School of Choice, etc. Then you will have the opportunity to pop in and out of presentations offered by each of our schools and our service areas.  All 27 schools and many service departments such as Transportation, Special Education, After-School Programs, Career and Technical Education and more will be on hand. For more information and the links to the general session and presentations, visit our VUSD Information Night webpage

Additionally, some schools will be hosting their own more in-depth information nights. More related to those nights will be shared next week.

 

School of Choice Application Window- Jan. 15-29

School of Choice is an option that is available to all families who currently reside in the VUSD boundary area or who lived in the boundary but were displaced by the Thomas Fire. To enter the lottery, a family must complete and submit the application during the “School of Choice” lottery window, which is Jan. 15-29, 2021.  The application will be available at www.venturausd.org after 9 am on Jan. 15 and must be completed by 4 pm on Jan. 29, 2021.  The number of lottery spots at each school site is dependent upon space available.  If selected for the lottery the student may stay at the school for the entire grade span without needing to reapply (i.e. TK-5, 6-8 or 9-12).  There is no need to apply for School of Choice for your boundary school. To find out which schools are in your neighborhood boundary please use MySchoolLocator.  For more information on the School of Choice lottery, visit the School of Choice webpage

Meal Distribution Correction and Update

We incorrectly stated in our last email to you that students would be provided with five lunches and three breakfasts.  They will actually receive five lunches and five breakfasts unless there is a no student contact day or holiday when the schools are closed, then the meal packs will reflect those days off. We apologize for the error in communication. 

As a reminder, while our schools are 100% distance learning, Food and Nutrition Services will offer meals for drive-up or walk-up at the 17 elementary school sites on Wednesdays from 11:30 am-1 pm. In addition, our amazing Food and Nutrition Services team will also offer an evening meal pick-up from 4:30-6:30 pm at two of our campuses:  Atlas Elementary and Sheridan Way Elementary. Any VUSD family can pick up from these sites. This service will be available on Wednesdays beginning next week on Jan. 13. 

 No ID is required and all children are eligible.

VUSD Board of Education Meetings

Historically, we have posted information about our VUSD Board of Education meetings on our website and through social media.  However, as greater interest has grown over the last few months in these meetings, we have had requests that we begin notifying families of our Board Meetings through ParentSquare.  Therefore, we will do just that.

Please note that our next regularly scheduled VUSD Board of Education Meeting will take place on Tues. Jan. 12 at 7 pm.  The agenda will be posted by 6 pm on the Friday before the meeting and can be found on our Board of Education Agenda webpage

During COVID-19 and the current stay-at-home order, we are unable to have members of the public join us in person but remaining transparent is important to us. You may view the meeting live or watch the recording later at http://bit.ly/TDCStudios.

 

In addition, if you would like to make a public comment our Board would like to hear from you. Again, due to the current situation, all public comments must be submitted in writing at public.comment@venturausd.org. Public comment and Public Comment on Closed Session items will be accepted starting 24 hours prior to the Board meetings Opening Procedure and ending a half-hour before the start of the Opening Procedure. For the upcoming meeting that begins at 7 pm, that means you may submit your public comments beginning at 5:30 pm on Mon. Jan. 11 until 5 pm on Tues. Jan. 12 (before opening of closed session).

All public comments received via the designated email address, referenced above, will be provided to the Board of Education via e-mail at the time of public comment or at the time of consideration of an agenda item as requested by the speaker. A summary of public comment received will be given by the Board president either during the public comment period, or just prior to discussing the item, if the comment is tied to an item that is up for action. The public comment will also be made part of the minutes of the Board meeting. No public comment will be read in its entirety during the meeting.

Thank you for being a valued partner to VUSD.  We hope that you have a wonderful weekend with your family this weekend.

-VUSD Communications


Buenas tardes familias de VUSD,

Esperamos que la primera semana después de las vacaciones de invierno haya transcurrido fácilmente para todos. Estas son algunas actualizaciones.

Noche informativa de VUSD el jueves 14 de enero

Normalmente nosotros realizamos la Noche informativa de VUSD en persona en todo el distrito, sin embargo, este año será un poco diferente. Por favor, acompáñenos a través de Zoom el jueves 14 de enero a las 5:30 pm. Nuestra Noche informativa de VUSD está diseñada para ofrecer información a nuestras familias actuales y aquellos que están considerando unirse a nuestra comunidad de VUSD, incluyendo información sobre el Distrito, cómo inscribirse, cómo aprovechar el sorteo de Escuela de Elección y se ofrece la oportunidad de obtener respuestas directamente de nuestro personal escolar y de los departamentos de servicio.

                Agenda

                5:30 pm Sesión de apertura

                6:30 pm Presentación and preguntas y respuestas #1

                7:00 pm Presentación and preguntas y respuestas #2

El Superintendente Dr. Rice comenzará el evento a las 5:30pm proporcionando una visión general del Distrito, las inscripciones, la Escuela de Elección, etc. Después, usted tendrá la oportunidad de entrar y salir de las presentaciones ofrecidas por cada una de nuestras escuelas y nuestros departamentos de servicio.  Nuestras 27 escuelas y muchos departamentos de servicio estarán disponibles, tales como Transporte, Educación Especial, Programas Después de la Escuela, Educación Profesional y Técnica y más. Para obtener más información y los enlaces a la sesión general y a las presentaciones, visite nuestra página web de la Noche informativa de VUSD en https://www.venturausd.org/infonight.aspx

Además, algunas escuelas realizarán sus propias reuniones informativas para ofrecer información más detallada sobre sus respectivos planteles. La siguiente semana enviaremos más información al respecto.

Periodo de solicitud para las Escuelas de Elección: del 15 al 29 de enero

El sorteo de Escuelas de Elección es una opción que está disponible para todas las familias que actualmente residen dentro del área de VUSD o que vivieron dentro del límite, pero fueron desplazadas por el incendio Thomas del 2017-18. Para ingresar al sorteo, su familia debe completar y enviar la solicitud durante el periodo de solicitud de "Escuela de elección", que será del 15 al 29 de enero del 2021.  La solicitud estará disponible en www.venturausd.org después de las 9 de la mañana del 15 de enero y debe completarse antes de las horas hábiles el 29 de enero del 2021.  El número de lugares sorteables en cada escuela depende del espacio disponible.  Si el estudiante es seleccionado en el sorteo, podrá permanecer en su escuela elegida durante todo el período de su nivel de grado sin necesidad de volver a solicitar (es decir, TK-5, 6-8 o 9-12).  No hay necesidad de solicitar Escuela de Elección para su escuela que ese encentra dentro de los límites de su vecindario. Para saber cuales escuelas están en el límite de su vecindario, utilice MySchoolLocator.  Para obtener más información sobre el sorteo de Escuelas de Elección, visite la página web de Escuelas de Elección.

 

Meal Distribution Correction and Update

En nuestro correo electrónico anterior anunciamos incorrectamente que los estudiantes tendrían cinco almuerzos y tres desayunos.  En realidad, recibirán cinco almuerzos y cinco desayunos a menos que exista un día sin contacto con los estudiantes o días de vacaciones cuando las escuelas están cerradas, en esa situación, los paquetes de comidas reflejarán esos días libres. Pedimos disculpas por el error en la comunicación.   

 

Como recordatorio, mientras que nuestras escuelas se encuentran en 100% de aprendizaje a distancia, el departamento de Servicios de Alimentación y Nutrición ofrecerá alimentos en las 17 escuelas primarias por medio de su vehículo o en persona los días miércoles de 11:30 am-1 pm. Además, nuestro increíble equipo de Servicios de Alimentación y Nutrición también ofrecerá una distribución de cenas de 4:30pm a 6:30pm en dos de nuestros planteles: la Primaria Atlas y la Primaria Sheridan Way.  Este servicio estará disponible solo los miércoles a partir de la próxima semana comenzando el 13 de enero.

Las reuniones de la Mesa Directiva de Educación

En el pasado hemos publicado información sobre nuestras reuniones de la Mesa Directiva de Educación de VUSD en nuestro sitio web y a través de las redes sociales.  Sin embargo, a medida que ha aumentado el interés sobre estas reuniones en los últimos meses, hemos recibido solicitudes de que comencemos a notificar a las familias sobre nuestras Reuniones de la Mesa Directiva a través de ParentSquare.  Por lo tanto, haremos precisamente eso.

Tenga en cuenta que nuestra próxima reunión de la Mesa Directiva de Educación de VUSD regular se realizará el 12 de enero a las 7 pm.  El orden del día se publicará antes de las 6 p.m. del viernes anterior a la reunión y se podrá encontrar en nuestra página web de la Agenda de la Mesa Directiva de Educación.   

Durante la pandemia del COVID-19 y la orden actual de permanecer en el hogar, no podremos permitir que los miembros del público acudan a la reunión en persona, pero es importante para nosotros conducir nuestras reuniones con transparencia. Usted puede ver la reunión en vivo o ver la grabación más tarde en http://bit.ly/TDCStudios.

Además, si usted desea hacer un comentario público durante dichas reuniones, a nuestra Mesa Directiva le gustaría conocer sus ideas. Una vez más, debido a la situación actual, todos los comentarios públicos deben presentarse por escrito por medio de correo electrónico en public.comment@venturausd.org. Los comentarios públicos y los comentarios públicos sobre los temas de la Sesión se aceptarán a partir de 24 horas antes del Procedimiento de Apertura de cada reunión de la Mesa Directiva y finalizando media hora antes del inicio del Procedimiento de Apertura. Esto significa que para la próxima reunión que comienza a las 7 pm, usted puede enviar sus comentarios públicos a partir de las 5:30 pm del 11 de enero hasta las 5 pm del martes 12 de enero (antes de la apertura de la sesión de la Mesa Directiva).

Todos los comentarios públicos recibidos a través de la dirección de correo electrónico designada, mencionada anteriormente, se proporcionarán a la Mesa Directiva de Educación por correo electrónico en el momento de la observación pública o en el momento de la consideración de un punto del orden del día según lo solicitado por el orador. El presidente de la Mesa Directiva dará un resumen de los comentarios públicos recibidos durante la sección de comentarios públicos, o justo antes de discutir el tema, si el comentario está vinculado a un tema que esté en la agenda. El comentario público también formará parte de las actas de la reunión de la Mesa Directiva. Ningún comentario público será leído en su totalidad durante la reunión.

Gracias por ser nuestro valioso aliado de VUSD.  Esperamos que usted disfrute un tiempo maravilloso junto con su familia este fin de semana.

Departamento de Comunicaciones de VUSD

 
Important VUSD Update on the Re-opening of Hybrid In-Person Learning - Wednesday, January 6, 2021

 

Good afternoon VUSD community,

I want to begin by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. I hope you all were able to take advantage of the holidays to spend some time with your family.

I am writing today with several significant updates for both our elementary and secondary families. I have incorporated them all into one letter to give you a full picture of what is happening across the District, the County, and the State as it pertains to education.

Preschool and Elementary

Let’s begin this conversation by applauding our teachers, support staff, Principals, and students for a very successful re-opening of in-person hybrid learning before Winter Break. The time together in the classroom was extremely valuable in many ways, from dispelling fears on how students would respond to social distancing and mask-wearing (which our students were excellent at) to reinforcing and improving our contact tracing methodology. Although we had numerous employees and students test positive for COVID-19 due to community and family spread, there was no evidence of classroom spread of COVID-19 as of Dec. 18, 2020, and only one case of documented school-related COVID-19 positive spread, which happened amongst support staff outside of the classroom. However, we are still following up on Winter Break calls, and we will update our COVID-19 dashboard with numbers from the Winter Break as soon as possible.

In my message to you dated Dec. 18, 2020, I outlined our rationale for delaying our return to hybrid learning sharing how the dramatic spike in COVID-19 spread in the County has severely compromised our logistical capacity in numerous critical operational areas. These include:

 

            -The pool of substitute teachers willing and able to teach in-person is dangerously low

-Principals covering in classrooms and throughout the school in various areas instead of doing the critical work they need to do to keep the schools running is happening too often

-Food & Nutrition Services continues to be heavily impacted by employee absences for a variety of reasons, and we have not found enough qualified applicants for nine positions that are currently open.

-Facilities resources are being stretched thin, and the inability to find applicants for numerous long-term substitute custodian positions continues.  This jeopardizes our ability to maintain the high degree of cleanliness we need to operate safely.

As a result of these and other logistical challenges, we took this week as a safety week, hoping that numbers would begin to go down and staff/substitutes available to work would go up; instead, we have seen a continued spike of infection in our community, and the dynamics listed above are getting worse, not better.

In addition to the logistical issues we are facing, the Governor unexpectedly announced a new proposal he is calling the California Safe Schools for All Plan over the break. Despite having already been approved for an elementary school waiver by the State with specific guidelines we must follow, we are now being given new guidelines that we will likely need to adhere to. During his press conference, Governor Newsom laid out four basic elements of his plan, including:

-Funding

-Safety/Mitigation

-Oversight and assistance

-Transparency and accountability

Although we feel good about our ability to respond to most elements of the plan, several components will require much greater clarification before we can implement, including:

-required testing for all staff and students, including weekly testing at school sites with high transmission rates

- a requirement to incorporate Cal/OSHA standards in a Return to School Safety Plan

-the development of a statewide dashboard with district reporting requirements

-uncertain levels of funding to support the implementation of the plan

In the face of these logistical issues, new state guidelines we need to address, and our County’s dramatic spike in the number of COVID cases and infection positivity rate, it is with extreme disappointment that I inform you that our infant program, preschools, and elementary schools will remain on distance learning until a target date of Feb. 1, 2021. At that time, we hope to understand better the process that the State intends for us to follow as we re-open again to hybrid in-person learning. 

This was never the plan, we planned to greet our students next week, but even with the best of intentions, yet again, we have to pivot to adjust to our ever-changing environment. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and our students. If your child is a part of a small group program at their school, those small groups will begin again as soon as they are able and no later than the week of Jan. 11, 2021.  Special Education assessments will also resume on Jan. 11.

All students will stay with their current teacher to provide the least amount of disruption to learning as possible. If something changes and we can open sooner, we will inform everyone.

 

Middle and High Schools

As you all know, the District set a target date to re-open to hybrid learning on Jan. 26, 2021, at the secondary level. It is important to note that for us to open:

1. The County must move to the red-tier and stay there for two weeks; we cannot legally re-open until this happens.  Unlike elementary schools, there is no waiver allowed.

2.  The metrics that we currently need to achieve in the County to return to the red-tier are:

We have been following the numbers over the break and have received updates from Ventura County Public Health and the California Department of Public Health. To further review this data, we recommend visiting the Ventura County Recovers website at https://www.venturacountyrecovers.org/ (scroll to the middle of the page and you will see a set of slides that you can toggle between to see the various reports).  You will also find these numbers and a breakdown by zip code.

The latest data sets reported as of this time are from Jan. 5, 2021.  As concerning as these numbers are, we know that these numbers do not include highly anticipated increases due to gatherings over winter break, including Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations. Based on the ten-day delay in reporting numbers and the incubation time for the virus, it is not reasonable to expect that we will know the full impact of these gatherings until the data is reported for January 16 in a report likely to be released on Jan. 26, 2021.  In other words, we will not know the extent of the peak of the spike in COVID until late January.  From that time, until we begin to reduce the rates of infection to such a degree that we return to the red tier, it will likely take several weeks minimum. Once we return to the red tier, we have to wait two more weeks to legally open to in-person instruction.

For these reasons, the District has decided that our secondary schools will remain on distance learning until a target date of April 12, 2021

This may seem far off, but that will allow our students to finish out the third quarter on Thurs. April 1, just before Spring Break from April 5-9. We plan to start the hybrid in-person learning model for the final quarter of the year. For now, your student will remain on their assigned schedules with their teachers. The information you provided to us in the recent survey will be used to develop the master schedule for the last quarter of the semester.

We know that this will not be a welcome decision in some households; however, we are legally bound to keep our secondary students on distance learning until our numbers come down. A lot goes into switching from distance learning to hybrid, and we need to provide our teachers and families with a date that this switch will likely occur rather than take this week by week. We will continue with our small group and athletics cohorts as soon as possible and no later than the week of Mon. Jan. 11, 2021.  Special Education assessments will also resume on Jan. 11.

Meal Distribution

While our schools are 100% distance learning, Food and Nutrition Services will offer meals for drive-up or walk-up at the 17 elementary school sites on Wednesdays from 11:30 am-1 pm. Children will be given five lunches and five breakfasts for the week unless there is a no student contact day or holiday when the schools are closed, then the meal packs will reflect those days off.

We thank all of you for your patience. We wish we were living in an environment where things were not constantly changing, but that is not the case; decisions must be made so that you all can plan for the next few months. We know that these are not easy times for any of you, and we cannot wait to see our students in-person again soon. If you have any questions, please reach out to your school sites.

Sincerely,

Dr. Roger Rice

Superintendent


 


Buenas tardes comunidad de VUSD,

Quiero comenzar deseándoles un feliz Año Nuevo a todos. Espero que hayan disfrutado los días de fiesta y que hayan pasado tiempo con sus familias.

Este día tenemos varios avisos y actualizaciones importantes para nuestras familias de primarias y a nivel secundario. He incluido todos estos avisos para ofrecerles un panorama completo de lo que está sucediendo en nuestro distrito, en nuestro condado y en nuestro Estado referente a la educación.

Educación preescolar y primarias

Comenzaremos esta conversación con un reconocimiento a nuestros maestros, al personal de apoyo, directores y estudiantes por una reapertura muy exitosa al aprendizaje híbrido en persona antes de las vacaciones de invierno. El tiempo que pasamos juntos dentro del aula fue extremadamente valioso en muchos sentidos, desde disipar los temores sobre cómo los estudiantes responderían al distanciamiento social y el uso de mascarillas (nuestros estudiantes lo hicieron excelentemente) hasta reforzar y mejorar nuestra metodología de rastreo de contactos. Aunque numerosos empleados y estudiantes resultaron positivos con el COVID-19 debido a la difusión de la comunidad y familiar, no hubo evidencia de propagación de COVID-19 dentro las aulas a partir del 18 de diciembre del 2020, y sólo se registró un caso de difusión positiva del COVID-19 relacionado con la escuela, el cual ocurrió entre el personal de apoyo fuera del aula. Sin embargo, todavía estamos procesando los datos de las vacaciones de inverno y tan pronto como sea posible, actualizaremos nuestro tablero COVID-19 con los datos de las vacaciones de invierno.

En el mensaje que les envié el día 18 de diciembre del 2020, expliqué nuestros motivos para retrasar nuestro regreso al aprendizaje híbrido compartiendo cómo el aumento espectacular de la propagación del COVID-19 dentro del Condado ha comprometido gravemente nuestra capacidad logística en numerosas áreas operativas vitales, incluyendo:

  • Un número extremadamente bajo de maestros suplentes dispuestos y capaces de enseñar en persona.
  • Con demasiada frecuencia tenemos los casos de directores que deben cubrir dentro de las aulas y en toda la escuela en varias áreas en lugar de hacer el trabajo crítico que necesitan hacer para mantener el funcionamiento escolar.
  • El departamento de Servicios de Alimentación y Nutrición continúa siendo afectado fuertemente por las ausencias de los empleados debido a varios motivos, y no hemos encontrado suficientes solicitantes calificados para suplir los nueve puestos que actualmente se encuentran vacantes. 
  • Contamos con un bajo nivel de recursos dentro de las instalaciones, y continuamos con la incapacidad de encontrar solicitantes para numerosos puestos de conserjes suplentes a largo plazo.  Esto pone en peligro nuestra capacidad de mantener el alto grado de limpieza que necesitamos para operar de manera segura.

Como resultado de estos y otros desafíos logísticos, decidimos tomar esta semana como una semana de seguridad, con la esperanza de que las cifras comenzaran a mejorar y el personal/suplentes disponibles para trabajar aumentara. Sin embargo, hemos visto un aumento continuo de infección en nuestra comunidad, y las situaciones mencionadas anteriormente están empeorando en lugar de mejorar.  

Además de los problemas logísticos que enfrentamos, durante las vacaciones de inverno el Gobernador anunció inesperadamente una nueva propuesta llamada el “Plan de Escuelas Seguras para Todos en California” (California Safe Schools for All Plan, por su título en inglés). A pesar de que el estado ya nos ha aprobado para una exención en las escuelas primarias con normas específicas que debemos seguir, ahora se nos están dando nuevas reglas que probablemente deberemos cumplir. El gobernador Newsom durante su rueda de prensa expuso cuatro elementos básicos de su nuevo plan, incluyendo:

-Financiación

-Seguridad/Mitigación

-Supervisión y asistencia

-Transparencia y rendición de cuentas.

Aunque nos sentimos capaces para responder a la mayoría de los elementos del nuevo plan, varios componentes del plan requerirán una aclaración mucho mayor antes de que podamos implementarlo, incluyendo:

  • Pruebas obligatorias del virus para todo el personal y los estudiantes, incluyendo pruebas semanales en los sitios escolares que presenten altas tasas de infección.
  • un requisito para incorporar los estándares de Cal/OSHA en el Plan de Seguridad para el Regreso a las Escuelas.
  • el desarrollo de un tablero a nivel estatal con requisitos de informes del distrito.
  • niveles inciertos de financiamiento para apoyar la implementación del plan.

Considerando estos problemas logísticos, incluyendo las nuevas pautas estatales que debemos abordar y el espectacular aumento en nuestro Condado del número de casos COVID y la tasa de positividad de infecciones, les informo con extremada tristeza que nuestras escuelas primarias permanecerán en el aprendizaje a distancia hasta el día 1º de febrero del 2021. En ese momento, esperamos comprender mejor el proceso que el Estado pretende seguir a medida que reabrimos de nuevo el aprendizaje híbrido en persona. 

Este no era nuestro plan original. Nosotros planeábamos dar la bienvenida a nuestros estudiantes la próxima semana, pero aun que háyanos tenido las mejores intenciones, una vez más tenemos que adaptarnos a nuestro entorno de cambio constante. Pido disculpas por cualquier inconveniente que esto pueda causarle a usted y a nuestros estudiantes. Si su hijo es parte de un programa de grupos pequeños en su escuela, esos grupos pequeños comenzarán de nuevo tan pronto como sea posible y a más tardar en la semana del 11 de enero del 2021.  Las evaluaciones de Educación Especial también se reanudarán el 11 de enero.

Todos los estudiantes permanecerán con su maestro actual para proporcionar la menor cantidad de interrupción al aprendizaje como sea posible. Si algo cambia y podemos abrir antes, les informaremos a todos.

Escuelas secundarias y preparatorias

Como todos saben, el Distrito fijó una fecha exacta para reabrir el aprendizaje híbrido en persona el 26 de enero del 2021, en el nivel secundario. Es importante tener en cuenta que para que podamos abrir las escuelas:

1. El Condado debe pasar al nivel rojo y permanecer allí durante dos semanas; legalmente no podemos reabrir hasta que esto suceda.  A diferencia de las escuelas primarias, no se permiten las exenciones.

 

2.  Las cifras que actualmente necesitamos lograr en el Condado para regresar al nivel rojo son:

  • La tasa de positividad inferior al 8% (actualmente es de 13.5% en 1/5/21)
  • El número de casos debe ser de 7 o menos por cada 100,000 (actualmente es de 58.9 por 100.000 en 1/5/21)

 

Hemos estado siguiendo los números durante las vacaciones de invierno y hemos recibido actualizaciones de la Salud Pública del Condado de Ventura y el Departamento de Salud Pública de California. Para revisar más a fondo estos datos, recomendamos visitar el sitio web de Ventura County Recovers en https://www.venturacountyrecovers.org/. Usted encontrará estos números y un desglose por código postal. Esperamos recibir números actualizados esta semana.

Los últimos datos notificados a partir de este momento son para el 19 de diciembre del 2020.  Por muy preocupantes que sean estas cifras, sabemos que estas cifras no incluyen los aumentos esperados debido a las reuniones durante las vacaciones de invierno, incluyendo las celebraciones de Navidad y Año Nuevo. Sobre la base del retraso de diez días en la presentación de informes y el tiempo de incubación del virus, no es razonable esperar que conozcamos el impacto total de estas recopilaciones hasta que los datos del 16 de enero se notifiquen en un informe que probablemente se publicará el 26 de enero del 2021.  En otras palabras, no sabremos qué tan grande será el aumento en casos de COVID hasta finales de enero.  A partir de ese momento, hasta que comenzamos a reducir las tasas de infección a tal grado que volvemos al nivel rojo, es probable que tome varias semanas como mínimo. Una vez que volvamos al nivel rojo, tenemos que esperar dos semanas más para abrir legalmente a la instrucción en persona.

Por estos motivos, el distrito ha decidido que nuestras escuelas secundarias y preparatorias permanecerán en aprendizaje a distancia hasta el día 12 de abril del 2021.

Esto podría parecer una extensión muy larga, pero eso permitirá a nuestros estudiantes terminar el tercer trimestre el jueves 1 de abril, justo antes de las vacaciones de primavera del 5 al 9 de abril. Planeamos iniciar el modelo de aprendizaje híbrido en persona para el último trimestre del año. Por ahora, su estudiante permanecerá en sus horarios asignados con sus maestros. La información que usted nos proporcionó en la reciente encuesta se utilizará para desarrollar el calendario principal para el último cuarto del semestre.   

Sabemos que esta no será una decisión aceptable en algunos hogares; sin embargo, estamos legalmente obligados a mantener a nuestros estudiantes secundarios en el aprendizaje a distancia hasta que nuestras cifras de contagio bajen. Mucho se refiere a cambiar de aprendizaje a distancia a híbrido, y necesitamos proporcionar a nuestros maestros y familias una fecha en la que este cambio probablemente ocurrirá en lugar de tomar semana por semana. Continuaremos con nuestros grupos pequeños y atletismo tan pronto como sea posible y a más tardar la semana del 11 de enero del 2021.  Las evaluaciones de Educación Especial también continuarán el día 11 de enero.

Distribución de alimentos

Mientras que nuestras escuelas están en 100% de aprendizaje a distancia, los Servicios de Alimentación y Nutrición ofrecerán alimentos por medio de su vehículo o en persona en las 17 escuelas primarias los miércoles de 11:30 am a 1 pm. A los niños se les darán cinco almuerzos y tres desayunos para la semana a menos que no haya un día de contacto de los estudiantes o vacaciones cuando las escuelas estén cerradas, entonces los paquetes de comidas reflejarán esos días libres.

Agradecemos a todos ustedes por su paciencia. Desearíamos estar viviendo en un ambiente donde las cosas no cambiaran constantemente, pero ese no es el caso; se deben tomar decisiones para que todos puedan planificar para los próximos meses. Sabemos que estos no son momentos fáciles para ninguno de ustedes, y esperamos que pronto podamos ver de nuevo a nuestros estudiantes en persona. Si tiene alguna pregunta, comuníquese directamente con su escuela.

Sinceramente,
Dr. Roger Rice
Superintendente

 
COVID-19 Safety Week: Jan. 4-8, 2021 - Friday, December 18, 2020

Good afternoon VUSD community,

I want to begin by thanking every single employee and student in our District. The first two weeks of our elementary schools' re-opening to in-person hybrid learning has been done exceptionally well and almost universally seen as a success. We were able to greet our excited students who waited patiently for temperature checks, stayed socially distant, and were very eager to learn. I am thankful to every staff member and teacher who pushed aside their own anxieties and worries to make this transition back to in-person learning safe and smooth.

I also want to thank every one of our students and teachers that continue on our distance-learning platform. Our teachers did what some said was impossible and have made distance learning a viable option for many students. Your ability to engage and educate in a way that could potentially be very impersonal has greatly impressed me, and I am truly grateful. Students, keep up the excellent work. We know that some of you are struggling with this model, but we are doing everything we can to bring you back to in-person learning as soon as possible. Please be sure you are reaching out to your counselors and teachers after the break if there are specific areas that you need help with so that we can try and match you with the best resources possible.

I want to be very clear. Schools where social distancing, hand washing, and mask wearing protocols are strictly adhered to are among the safest places to be in our community. Our teachers, support staff, and site leaders have done a great job safely opening our schools, and there have been NO documented cases of COVID-19 spread at our schools. All cases so far have been traced back to community spread. 

However, to remain open, we need to have the capacity to do so in a sustainable way. That ability is now in jeopardy, and I cannot say with good confidence that we will remain open unless we adjust. As is the case with other school districts in the County, the following issues have tremendously impacted our ability to sustain quality instruction and programming for our students:

  1. The pool of substitute teachers willing to teach in the in-person program is woefully inadequate. In recent days, the pool has dwindled to only ten substitutes that are either not already assigned or willing to teach in-person. We currently have 16 elementary teachers or staff in quarantine due to close contact with COVID or because they are COVID positive. This week we had to call as many as 26 substitutes to fill one position. This is not sustainable.
  2. We usually have a large substitute pool, usually enough for one substitute for each school to handle day-to-day absences. However, to ensure we have enough coverage at the start of school, during recess, and for dismissal, we had to use some of these substitutes to serve as noon duty aides because we had very few people apply for the noon duty positions. Due to this, Principals have had to stop doing the critical work they need to do to run their school and instead teach classes where no sub was available.
  3. In the last week, the Director of Food & Nutrition Services (FNS) has reported that she has had 20 employees out due to various reasons. Although we have been covering with secondary school personnel, this is not also sustainable. We currently have nine FNS positions open, in a poor economy, and we only had five people show up to test for the jobs when a typical response would have been more than 100. Unless we quickly reverse this trend, we will not have enough staff to feed our students safely.  
  4. Our bus drivers have been doing a fantastic job covering for other employees who may be quarantined, including in the Food & Nutrition Services area. Still, they cannot continue to do that and also drive a bus. Because they play essential roles in both service areas, if any number of them become sick or have to be quarantined, we will have no one to fill the void.
  5. To keep our buses safe, ensure social distancing and mask-wearing, we have hired additional personnel to ride the buses. Due to the circumstances described above, we cannot provide that same oversight on all buses moving forward without adjusting.
  6. We also have posted positions for long-term substitute custodians and are receiving a very poor response, which could be highly problematic unless addressed.

These are just a few of the challenges our team has been working hard to overcome, and yet the COVID-19 surge has overwhelmed our capacity in the short term. I want to again be clear in saying this was not a reflection of poor planning or preparation, but rather, the result of the sheer volume of COVID-19 cases and mandatory quarantining that has critically impacted everyone in the County. I met with the other Superintendents in the County this morning and heard directly from them who all agree, schools are the safest places to be, but due to the overwhelming surge of COVID-19, there has to be a plan to regroup.  

Therefore, after consulting with members of the VUSD Board and following discussions with VUEA and VESPA Leadership we have decided to make Jan. 4-Jan. 8, 2021 a "COVID-19 Safety Week".  

This means that all students will be on distance learning that week, and I am asking a large number of our personnel to work from home from Jan. 4-8. This includes all small groups. We want to limit the number of people coming to our campuses that week. For those teachers that have moved to a hybrid model, we ask that you develop a zoom link and send this to your hybrid students, doing your best to educate your students online. We know that we have given you little time to prepare for this change as your vacation begins today, but we ask that you do your best and know that there will be grace and patience given to all of you. Employees, to determine if you are to work from home or on your usual site, please reach out to your Supervisor. 

We will return the elementary schools to an in-person hybrid-learning environment on Mon. Jan. 11, 2021.

The rationale for this particular timeline is:

  1. Our school operations are stable and safe, and we do not want students out of school any longer than necessary.
  2. January 11 represents 24 days from today, 17 days after Christmas, and provides a ten-day cushion after New Year's Eve. All of this would serve to allow employees and students to follow the stay-at-home order beyond the newly recommended 7-10 day quarantining period.

Concerning the middle and high schools, the Jan. 4-8 "COVID-19 Safety Week" applies to all small groups, athletic teams, and any other student groups on campus. Please move to an online platform that week, and if online platforms are not possible, then please cancel group meetings until Jan. 11. On Jan. 12, we will see if we are still in the purple tier and under a stay-at-home order. At that time, we will determine if we can open our middle and high schools to in-person hybrid learning on Jan. 26. We will send a message out on Jan. 13 with the final determination, which is not subject to district choice. There is no waiver allowed for secondary schools. Once we are in the red tier, it will be 14 days after that when we can legally re-open.

Please note that 5-day meal packs will be available for pick up for all children ages 0-18 on Wed. Jan. 6, from 11:30 am-1 pm, at all 17 elementary sites.

I believe it is possible to get all of our students back to school soon; however, we must all do our part. Please remember the 3 Ws; wash your hands, wear your mask, and watch your distance. I know that this is when we usually gather in large groups, but I am asking everyone to rethink their plans and work with us for our students' future. We need your help in this endeavor. Please celebrate safely.

I will be in touch again after Winter Break, but in the meantime, I would like everyone to enjoy their time off and know that my family and I will be keeping each and every one of you in our thoughts as we close out this most unforgettable year.

Respectfully,

Dr. Roger Rice

 

 
Message to 6-12 grade families - Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Good afternoon VUSD 6-12 grade families,

We hope you all enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday! We are reaching out to you today as we begin to prepare for our middle and high school students to return to hybrid in-person learning on January 26, 2021. As a reminder, the County must be in the red tier for two weeks before opening. This means that we must be in the red tier before January 12, and we must stay there to open on January 26. If on January 12 we are not there, we will notify families about the next steps.

At this point, we are working off the assumption that we will reopen. We ask our VUSD 6-12 families to register their children either for the Hybrid or the 100% Distance Learning Model for the rest of the 2020-21 school year by logging into the registration page, https://vusddistlearn.venturausd.org

Once you log in, you will not be able to use that same link again. However, if you need to go in and make changes, you may do so here, https://vusddistlearn.venturausd.org/Account/Login.   The deadline to submit your choice is Tuesday, December 8, at 11:59 pm.

To register, you will need your Q Parent Connection user name and password. If you do not have that, please follow these steps:

-Go to the Ventura USD Website – Quick Links – Parents

 -From there, click on “Q Parent Connection.”

 -Fill in your user name and password to connect.

-If you do not know your login information or have never accessed it, click on “Need Your Login Information?” You will be asked to enter the email address on file with their child’s school, and from there, you will be emailed their credentials.

-If the email is not recognized, please contact your child’s school to determine which email we have on file.

Please note the following before taking the survey:

- All students will retain their current class schedules and teachers no matter which option is chosen.

-Distance learning students and the group that is not in class that day will Zoom into the live class.

-All students will be required to bring a VUSD issued device to school with them. They may also use them at home for asynchronous work. Students’ personal/non-VUSD devices, will experience connectivity issues and will not work for in-class purposes.

-While we will do everything we can to accommodate all transportation requests, it may be required to use more buses than usual due to social distancing. Should there be a shortage of buses, special education is prioritized, and remaining seats will be allocated based on need. Please have a back-up plan ready in the event we are unable to transport your child. 

To review the hybrid (groups A & B) and distance learning (group c) schedules visit, https://www.venturausd.org/Fall2020/Schedule.aspx.  If you have questions about the schedule contact your Principal.

 

Attached, you will find a 2020-21 VUSD School In-Person Learning and Safety Planthis plan should answer most of your questions around safety and cleaning, schedules, special education, etc.   The plan can also be found at www.venturausd.org


If you still have questions after thoroughly reviewing the 2020-21 School In-Person Learning & Safety Plan, you may view our websites at: Distance Learning Model- https://www.venturausd.org/Fall2020.aspx
Hybrid Learning Model- https://www.venturausd.org/Hybrid.aspx
You may also call our Call Center Monday-Friday, 7:30 am-4:30 pm at English- 805-641-5000 x1380Spanish- 805-641-5000 x 1390

Our plan is designed to bring students back to in-person learning while providing additional opportunities, improving the distance learning systems, and allowing for small group learning at all grade levels. The responsibility for reopening schools safely weighs heavily on me, and to be successful, we must all follow the outlined safety protocols. 

I appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we adjust to ever-changing conditions. 

We look forward to seeing our students’ smiling faces back on campus soon.

Sincerely,

Dr. Roger Rice

Superintendent

 
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