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Message from the Superintendent, May 18, 2020

 

Dear DMUSD Families, 

Thank you to all of you, our families, for your continued efforts and support at home. We appreciate the wonderful community that makes us DMUSD! I want to take this opportunity to share with you updates and information that will allow you to plan for your family as best as possible.

End of the School Year

DMUSD and other school districts are following all guidelines in the current public health order (effective May 10, 2020 and until further notice) for the duration of the school year.  As such, we plan to continue Distance Learning through June 10, 2020.  We are not anticipating that students will return to campus for school activities during the 3½ weeks left of this school year. 

In the coming week, we will provide more detailed information to families about timelines and processes for returning equipment, and other school materials, and for picking up personal items left at school before the COVID-19 closures. Please look for communication from your principal this week on these items.

6th Grade Promotion
Our schools have been planning ways to best honor our promoting sixth graders. We recognize what a milestone this is for them! Principals will share specifics about what events will look like with our 6th grade families as we get closer to the end of the year

Looking Ahead to Next School Year (2020-2021)

Preparing Our Schools

At this time, we are working on plans for the coming school year. We continue to work with the San Diego County Office of Education and local department of public health to prepare flexible plans for reopening our schools. Governor Newsom recently presented his “Roadmap-to-modify-the stay-at-home orders” and presented six critical health indicators that need to be met prior to allowing for increased activity. One of those indicators is the ability of schools and childcare facilities to allow for physical distancing. Based on that assumption, we are proactively planning ways to modify our daily operations, as needed, in preparation for our schools to reopen. Our planning committee is considering ways to modify classrooms and facilities to provide for required physical distancing to ensure the health of our students and staff.

In anticipation of schools opening, we are looking closely at our school facilities and protocols. We have begun ordering face coverings and gloves, new no-touch thermometers, and hand sanitizer dispensers. All HVAC units across the district have been professionally deep cleaned and sanitized. This comprehensive work to clean and prepare will continue throughout the next several weeks and over the summer.

Preparing for Learning Options

In addition to an in-school experience, we are planning to offer an option for parents to enroll students in a DMUSD Distance Learning Program for next year.  This will be a fully developed Distance Learning Program for one year (2020-2021), much different than the emergency type of program we are currently experiencing.  (E.g., with regular defined schedules, regular feedback, graded work, blended with in-person interaction, etc.)  Additional information about a Distance Learning Option for 2020-2021 will be emailed to you this week.  Included in that email will be a survey link regarding plans for 2020-2021. 

I know these last nine weeks have been difficult for everyone.  I also know that people throughout this wonderful school district have worked very hard and put forward their best thinking to quickly respond to an unexpected, and less than ideal, set of circumstances.  It has not been easy or perfect, but we have done our best to provide our students with an education along with other supports all children need from school.  I am grateful for all who understand how massive it is to rethink how we reach students, support colleagues, and help parents when it seems that everything about school is different right now.  Our schools are designed to be interactive; at the core are person-to-person instruction and immediate feedback to learners.  DMUSD is a place of excellence.  We are committed to providing the very best education for our students, and this includes our thoughtful approach to education during this next phase.

I realize that some of you will be disappointed that students are not able to return to a school campus this year and others will be relieved to know that we will continue distance learning for our remaining weeks. I feel deeply for all of our students and their families. As I help support my own young son through the drastic changes COVID-19 has required, I know firsthand that this school year is not ending in a way anyone would have desired or predicted just a short time ago. And yet, we proceed with gratitude and optimism.

As we move through this final part of the year, I look forward to the moments of joy that our students will bring us. Each day I am thankful for the grace and compassion in our world and, more important, in our DMUSD community.  Thank you for all you are doing.

Take good care,
Holly McClurg, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Del Mar Union School District