Reopening Readiness Updates
from Superintendent Ahmadi
November 20, 2020
Dear CVUSD Families,
I hope the upcoming Thanksgiving week provides you and your family a well-deserved opportunity to refresh, rest, and spend time together. Thank you for your partnership in supporting students at home while distance learning. I know this Thanksgiving will be different than any other and not being able to visit family members outside of our "bubble" is hard, but it is absolutely necessary in order to minimize infection.
This week, Governor Newsom announced that Alameda County, along with 27 other counties, will move back into the Purple Tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy plan. The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) and Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) issued statements as well.
Our success in minimizing infection depends on every one of us following guidelines based on science, which include wearing masks, washing hands, and physical distancing. Yesterday, the California Department of Public Health also released a Limited Stay at Home Order (click here to read the order) effective this Saturday, November 21st at 10 p.m. until December 21, 2020.
Please note that support hubs on our school sites will continue to be open with all safety precautions in place. While we wait for conditions to improve, we will continue to do our very best to support our students, work on our site specific plans, put in place the necessary measures, and practice so that we are prepared. As noted previously, the dates of reopening schools starting with elementary in February, as approved by the Board on November 12th, are predicated on conditions improving and health orders allowing for reopening. As we have always done, we will closely monitor the local health conditions and provide updates.
I ask that you please review the Alameda County Public Health’s recommendations for holiday gatherings that include the following guidance:
- Keep gatherings small in number, short in duration, stable (avoid mixing multiple cohorts/social bubbles), and outdoors where possible
- Avoid non-essential travel and self-quarantine for 14 date after any out of state travel
- Use appropriate precautions when sharing food
- Wear a mask whenever outside of your home or with non-household family members
We CAN and will make it through this together. Have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.
Since March 2020, we have all been tackling tremendous challenges. With increased COVID cases locally and nationally in recent days, we continue to be vigilant and work closely with Alameda County Public Health Department to plan for reopening schools with the safety of our students, staff and families as our highest priority. I want to thank you for sharing your feedback, concerns and ideas throughout the last few months.
With the magnitude of uncertainty we are facing each day, I know there is much angst about any decision that is made. The needs, challenges, and difficulties that each and every one of us face are varied. But I can assure you that our Roadmap to Reopening and Safety Plan strictly follows guidance from the Health Department. Please take a few minutes to review the detailed plan which will be implemented and in place at each site in advance of students returning to in person instruction. Site specific templates which will include school logistics and procedures will be available on each school site’s website in the next few weeks. We will schedule training for families and students prior to reopening to ensure everyone is equipped with the most accurate and latest information related to safety protocols, procedures and requirements.
At the Special Board Meeting held on November 12th, the Castro Valley Board of Education unanimously approved the phased reopening plan with a start date of February 1, 2021. The phased reopening is predicated on health orders allowing for in person instruction.
October 29, 2020 UPDATE
The Alameda County Public Health Department yesterday announced that middle and high schools are now permitted to open for in person instruction. Click to read the press release here.
At last night’s board meeting, I shared updates on the reopening plan, including the results of the recent survey to which we received over 3,900 responses. The Board heard comments from attendees and discussed reopening. Based on the Board's direction last night, on November 12th at 4:00 p.m., I will be bringing recommendations on phases and dates of reopening for TK-12 starting in January. To join the special board meeting, please click the link here [https://cv-k12-ca-us.zoom.us/j/88421366325].
To stay up to date on the latest information and learn more about our work to prepare for returning to in-person instruction, please click the link here to view the Reopening Readiness Dashboard and the Roadmap to Reopening & Safety Plan [https://www.cv.k12.ca.us/reopening-roadmap/]
Superintendent Update and Family Survey - October 15, 2020
At the October 14th Board Meeting, after discussion, public comments, and consideration of all elements required for reopening, the Governing Board made the decision for schools in Castro Valley Unified School District to remain in distance learning, and at the first board meeting scheduled for January 13th, discuss and make a decision about the timeline of reopening. Working closely with the Alameda County Public Health Department, we will monitor developments related to COVID and continue our discussions with our bargaining units to ensure a successful school reopening.
We have opened a Support Hub on school sites for small cohorts of students who are experiencing challenges in accessing distance learning at home. We are working diligently to add additional Hubs throughout the district in order to support more students.
We are grateful to you for your partnership and acknowledge the tremendous burden on families during distance learning. Our teachers and staff have been working hard to provide the best possible instruction during distance learning. We all recognize the need for social and emotional support and connection that students thrive on when they are in school. We continue to look for ways to find opportunities that allow our students to experience social connections and collaboration that help them grow.
As we continue to navigate through this very challenging time, we are asking for your feedback about distance learning and ideas on how we may further support students and families.
Click here to complete this survey by Wednesday, October 21st.
Update - October 1, 2020
October 1, 2020
Dear Families and Staff,
Today, the Alameda County Public Health Department outlined the limited and phased reopening of schools. As indicated in the press release from the Alameda County Office of Education, schools will be able to open only when appropriate public health measures, such as sufficient surveillance COVID testing, are in place.
It is important to note that although the Health Department is permitting schools to reopen on October 13th, the decision and timing of when to open still rests with each school district. Please note that CVUSD has not established an opening date. We will continue to plan and work with our employee groups to put in place all required measures to enable the Board to make the best possible decision about a reopening date. Districts are required to post their reopening plans on their website and submit them to the Alameda County Office of Education for review.
In the meantime, CVUSD is moving forward with opening support hubs. With these hubs, we want to provide services and support to students who are at the risk of experiencing difficulties such as those related to technology. Students in these hubs are participating in distance learning while at school.
September 22, 2020 UPDATE
Dear Families and Staff,
Today, Alameda County announced that the county has moved from the purple tier to the red tier according to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Read the Alameda County Statement on Red Tier here. To learn more about the four Tiers (purple, red, orange, and yellow), please visit the California Department of Public Health's website here.
As indicated by the California Department of Public Health, counties must remain in the new tier for two weeks before they consider loosening restrictions imposed in the previous tier. Moving into the Red Tier is a positive development; however, the reopening of schools continues to require significant planning and preparation by all districts in Alameda County as stated in Superintendent of Schools L. Karen Monroe’s statement released today.
While schools may soon become officially eligible to provide in-person services to students, there are a number of local requirements that schools and districts must take into consideration. Each district is responsible for developing and implementing its re-opening plan, based on State and county requirements. Schools must establish and post a comprehensive re-opening plan which must be publically available to students, staff and community. Reopening plans will need to include COVID-19 testing based on State and county guidelines, contact tracing for positive cases, and districts must have adequate personal protective equipment. Districts will also need to work with their labor partners who serve in roles essential to the reopening of school in order to ensure school sites have adequate staff.
As we have reiterated from the onset of this pandemic, the health and safety of our students and staff is and will always be our priority. We recognize that despite carefully planning, we must be able to pivot and change course in order to respond to the fluid nature of the current pandemic. We will follow a phased approach and plan thoughtfully and carefully to ensure successful implementation of any change to the type of instruction and support students in CVUSD receive.
We know that this pandemic has impacted all families in many ways and has particularly exacerbated structural inequities, resulting in learning gaps that will continue to require focused interventions. We are committed to our mission of providing the best opportunities for all students and will strive to do better each and every day.
August 30, 2020 - UPDATE
August 30, 2020
As a matter of courtesy, we wanted to make sure you were aware in case you hear anything on the news or via social media. On Friday, a few schools in several school districts in Alameda County began receiving bomb threats via email. Today two of our schools (Stanton and Vannoy) also received the same email threat. Therefore, we contacted the Sheriff’s Office immediately to report and asked for assistance. They have confirmed the threat is not credible. Law enforcement agencies in Alameda County are investigating the source. We take all threats seriously and will keep you informed of any important development.
On another note, Friday afternoon Governor Newsom unveiled a Blueprint for a Safer Economy, a Statewide, Stringent and Slow Plan for Living with COVID-19 (click here for the press release). The Blueprint for a Safer Economy replaces the County Data Monitoring List for determining what business can and cannot open. Alameda County is currently in the County Risk Level: Widespread (purple). To learn more about the four Tiers (purple, red, orange, and yellow), please visit the California Department of Public Health's website here.
As we enter our fourth week, teachers, and staff continue working hard to ensure routines are set and students are engaged in distance learning. Working together with patience and flexibility, I am confident we will be able to climb the steep learning curve of learning, teaching, communicating, and supporting one another virtually. Please do not hesitate to let us know how we may be able to better support you and our students.