The first semester of the 2020-21 school year is historical for being conducted entirely via Distance Learning under COVID-19 pandemic conditions. Because the county has recently moved from the "red tier" back to the "purple tier" (see RUHS news release October 20, 2020), LEUSD schools will not reopen before winter recess.
The district is eager to reopen schools to at least some in-person learning in January 2021, provided Riverside County can meet state standards that put us in the "red tier" or better.
SB 98 clearly gave direction that face-to-face instruction is the State’s priority, even with distance learning. On Friday, July 17, 2020, Governor Newsom held an historic press conference, setting forth distance learning as the standard for reopening across most of southern California and other parts of the state.
Through the summer, we worked on plans with a variety of stakeholders, as well as our bargaining units: LETA and CSEA. We surveyed our parent community and found the vast majority want their children to attend school under a traditional setting. Since March, we have collaborated via weekly teleconferences with RCOE and the Riverside University Health System-Public Health Department.
Anticipating an August school start, we planned for the possibility of opening under three scenarios: a) a traditional model; b) a hybrid model with in-person instruction and virtual learning in combination; and c) 100% distance learning. As the pandemic worsened in July, it became clear all district schools would start under a 100% distance learning model.
The safety of staff and students is number one. On October 8, Trustees approved our draft School Reopening Plan 2020-2021. The plan was further refined on October 22 with the inclusion of timelines for reopening in 2021, student schedules by grade level, and good faith negotiations with our bargaining unit representatives who are among those who must sign off on the final reopening plan.
When schools are permitted to reopen in-person, rest assured we have approved safety plans and instructional, social, and emotional supports ready to go. We will rise to this historical occasion with the grit and determination we are known for.
Thank you for your trust. We could not reopen schools without your support. Stay safe!