March 18, 2020
Dear Santa Clara Families,
The impacts of the coronavirus are touching every aspect of our lives and forcing all of us to find creative ways to adapt to this unprecedented situation. We know the disruption in normal school operations has created many issues and uncertainties – from childcare and meals to graduation plans and college preparation. In this letter, we will answer some of your most pressing questions as best we can.
When will school reopen?
In coordination with the Ventura County Office of Education and all of the other Ventura County School Districts, Santa Clara Elementary will be keeping our schools closed at least through Friday, May 1. Our new target date to reopen is Monday, May 4. As you know, things are changing daily, so there is the potential that the closures could be extended beyond May 1. Yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom advised parents to prepare for the possibility that schools may be closed through the summer break. While that could indeed happen, we remain hopeful that conditions will improve enough to allow us to reopen before the end of the school year.
Will school events, including the school play, open house and promotion ceremony be held?
Like all of you, we want nothing more than to honor our students for their accomplishments. The thought of these events being cancelled is heartbreaking, and we will do all we can to make them happen. If it is not possible due to public health concerns to hold these events, we will explore alternative ways to recognize our students for their achievements.
Will remote learning be provided for students at home?
Yes. We are currently working on plans to provide remote learning for our students. As you can imagine, this is no small endeavor. It involves issues with technology, training and equitable access for all students, including those with special needs and those who do not have internet service or computers at home. We are working to roll out distance learning as soon as possible and will notify parents when it is ready. In the meantime, we encourage your students to take advantage of the at-home enrichment activities we have provided on our school website at www.santaclaraesd.org. Also, Southern California PBS TV stations are offering TV-based at-home learning opportunities for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Additional information is at www.kcet.org/at-home-learning.
Will remote work be graded?
Completed work will be reviewed and feedback will be given to students.
Are students required to participate in remote learning?
Once our remote learning plan is in place, students are expected to participate. We understand some families may have situations that make participation difficult or impossible and we are happy to discuss those situations on a case-by-case basis.
Will state CAASPP testing take place?
The state CAASPP testing in math and English language arts has been canceled for the current school year and will not take place.
Will school meals continue to be provided?
A list of meal pickup locations and times throughout Ventura County is available at www.vcoe.org/meals or www.vcoe.org/comida.
Will schools provide childcare?
We’re aware that school closures present serious childcare challenges for many families. However, the point of closing the schools is to protect students from exposure to the coronavirus and to slow its spread. This social distancing is for the greater good of our communities. Using schools as childcare locations would defeat the purpose of the closures, so we will not be offering childcare at our school site at this time.
Please know there are dedicated teachers, administrators and support staff working hard to provide for our students’ academic needs and overall wellbeing during these challenging times. This situation is evolving rapidly and we will continue to share new information with you as we have it.