Hello Spartan Families,
Governor Newsom held a press conference last Friday regarding the reopening of schools. Up until this day he and the CDE had left the reopening of schools under local control, meaning our school board, and in accordance with CDC and CDE guidelines. That officially changed on Friday. There was a great deal of information but obviously the main take-away was that if your school district is in a county on a watch list (which Sutter County is on) then under a forthcoming executive order by the Governor, your school is to open through distance learning only. There are specific parameters that are involved to be a county on the watch list and how you come off the watch list. Once we come off the watch list then we will have to wait 14 days until we can have in person education.
I know and understand that we all have our opinions regarding this virus, how to stay safe, and what is best for our students. I want you to know that we had, and still have a plan when we are able to reopen, for our students to be on site according to the guidelines from the CDE and CDC. We will now add virtual and distance learning to our phased plan.
Here are some relevant thoughts:
· This is an executive order directly from the Governor; subsequently districts and boards that don't comply could face legal, funding, and liability consequences based on information I have received. As a rural school district superintendent, I have tested the previous limits of the county health department and administration recommendations with our graduation and other events. This situation is far different as it comes directly from the Governor's office and is connected to a health order.
· In-Person Reopening Criteria
o If a local health jurisdiction (LHJ) has been on the state monitoring list within the last 14 days, the school and school district must conduct distance learning only, until the LHJ has been removed from the monitoring list for at least 14 days.
• This form of distance learning will not be like last spring. There will be accountability, attendance, and grades that rise and fall. We will have a daily schedule and there will be virtual ‘live’ instruction for a portion of each day. We had a phased reopening plan and we will now add this virtual learning to that plan.
• CIF made an announcement today. Here are the main points.
• July 20, 2020 CIF Statement Regarding 2020-21 Sports Calendar and Bylaw Modifications SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has determined, in collaboration with our 10 Sections, that education-based athletics for the 2020-2021 school year will begin with a modified season of sport schedule (see following pages for 2020-21 sports calendar). Our calendar reflects the season for each CIF sport and the last date for Section Championships and • Regional/State Championships in those sports where a Regional/State Championship is currently offered. Following this announcement, each CIF Section Office will release their own calendar to reflect regular season starting and ending dates and Section playoffs. It is anticipated that most Section start dates will commence in December 2020 or January 2021.
• The Northern Section has released their own press release. Please go here to look this link : https://www.cifns.org/landing/index • Our entire Spartan staff will meet this challenge head on and we will do our absolute best to educate your children to the best of our abilities.
• I have no idea when Sutter County will come off the watch list. There is a metric for when a county comes off the watch list and then further guidelines when a school returns to on site education.
That's probably enough for now. I will be in touch at the end of this week and certainly a great deal during the week beginning July 27th. I am sure this is a great deal to digest. I am also sure that you have many questions as do I actually. Although I am on the road in the Midwest visiting my mother and family, I am happy to answer as many questions that you may have. We will have more answers over the next two weeks, but please never hesitate to reach out to me as I welcome any chance to speak to our parents.
My beloved Spartan Community, there's no way to put a nice spin on this; however, the safety of our students and staff have always been one of my and our highest priorities. Although sudden and direct this executive order has at its core this in mind. I think we all knew this was going to be difficult no matter what so...here's my pep talk...it will be crucial that we band together and make the best of this situation. We figured out a way to do this once before in about two weeks. It certainly wasn’t the best situation but we got through it...we now have over a month to prepare.... we know our gaps, we know what worked and what didn't, and we have experience with virtual learning. We will be back at school, hopefully soon and safely. This is also the 'latest' information, not the 'last'. I have learned that nothing is for certain in today's climate.
Be well, be safe, and please know that I am thinking about all of ya'll...
All my best and thanks for all you do...
Mark Beebe July 20, 2020