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Chula Vista Elementary School District
Special Edition COVID-19 Newsletter Issue #5
Message from the Superintendent

When and How to Reopen Schools?

Ever since schools closed in mid-March, questions at the front of mind for many parents and staff members have been, When Will Schools Reopen and How Will That Happen? Governor Gavin Newsom recently suggested schools may start the 2020-21 school year as early as late July to make up for students’ learning loss. Please be reassured that no directives or decisions have been made yet about a date for reopening schools.

In the Chula Vista Elementary School District, our current modified year-round calendar calls for a July 20, 2020 start to the new school year. However, we are exploring three distinct calendar scenarios, one each for either a July, August, or September start. Regardless of the date, we first need answers to key questions, chief among them: How to protect the health and welfare of our students, teachers, and staff?

With that in mind, I have formed a “Brain Trust” to examine what learning environments in schools might look like while adhering to state and local social distancing guidelines. I have asked several stakeholders from across our District and community to be part of our discussion—from our bargaining group representatives to parent leaders to public health officials. Among the scenarios we are exploring are “hybrid” distance learning models, where students physically attend school certain days of the week and utilize distance learning for other days of the week. Here are just some of the ideas that will be explored:

  • Limiting the number of students in classrooms to ensure physical distancing. Is that number 10? 12? 15?
  • Devising student schedules so that some attend in the morning, others in the afternoon.
  • Devising alternate schedules, where some attend Mon./Wed., and others Tues./Thurs., with Friday as a “distance learning day.”
  • Revising School Visitor/Volunteer Policies
  • Devising Recess and Lunch Seating Alternatives

We also anticipate the need to purchase everything from additional cleaning supplies to thermometers to thousands of face coverings/masks. This added expense comes at a time of the worst state budget gap since the Great Recession. Schools will be asked to do more in the 2020-21 school year than ever before, radically transforming campuses and implementing rigorous health and safety protocols. We ask for your patience and support as we go through the careful and thoughtful process of developing a plan for reopening our schools. I want to close by sharing upcoming opportunities to recognize our incredible staff:

  • May 13, 2020 is California's Day of the Teacher, which our Board of Education also recognizes through a formal board resolution.
  • May 17, 2020 is the start of Classified School Employee Week in California.

Lawn Signs Recognize CVLCC High Class of 2020

Senior Class Advisor Y.Y. Liew, Counselor Abbey Calleros, Student Academic Advisor Rocio Espino, and Principal Mita Tessier recently delivered lawn signs to help celebrate the accomplishments of seniors at Chula Vista Learning Community Charter High School. Organizers said it was a way to show the students love and support following school closure and cancellation of senior events. “The emotional responses from students and families were heartfelt and made the endeavor worth every hour we invested!” Tessier said. “These are students who have had their prom, Grad Night, Senior Week, and graduation taken away from them because of the social distancing directives.” Mrs. Tessier added that the school purposefully designed the sign distribution to avoid creating a caravan. “We followed social distancing protocols, wore masks, and had no contact with students. Although many went in for hugs, we let them know, ‘air hug,’ ” she said. Please view this heart-warming video of students’ reactions by clicking on the Learn More button below.

CVLCC seniors holding congratulatory yard signs

Distance Learning Packets Available

The Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) is committed to ongoing learning and?continued success for each and every student.??During this time of school closure, we are?engaged in distance learning.??Distance learning means that the teacher and student are not in?the same space for instruction.?Distance learning may include technology such as laptop computer,?iPads, phones, etc. Distance learning can also include paper/pencil work and materials.??Curriculum packets may be used?with/without technology.??Each packet is intended to?last?two?weeks (10 school days). You can access the packets by clicking on the Learn More button below.

Check Out These Cool, Free 'Distance Fun' Offerings from the YMCA!

The YMCA STRETCH and DASH staff (Expanded Learning Programs) have enthusiastically created several "Distance Fun" activities and newsletters to support distance learning and family engagement for all grade levels.?Please?click here?to access the activities by grade level and?click here?to access the weekly newsletter with additional fun activities for kids at home.? Although new curriculum will only be added through June 1, all curriculum will remain available throughout the summer.

Devices Loaned to More Than 6,600 Students

To assist students with online learning at home, the Information Technology department prepared about 6,600 devices for loan to our neediest students in two phases. In phase one, about 2,300 devices were loaned to foster youth, homeless youth, and special education students. In phase two, IT prepared about 4,300 more distance learning devices for loan to students who did not otherwise have access to a device. Castle Park Elementary Principal Alicia Moreno said about 130 devices were loaned to students at her school. “Without a device, the students have minimal access to their teachers,” she said. “We need them to go beyond use of the cell phone, which most of them do have. With a device, they can utilize Microsoft Teams more efficiently, they can more easily complete their assignments.”


Parents’ Recognition of ‘Principals Day’ Brings Tears of Joy to Halecrest School Leader

When parents arrived at Halecrest Elementary recently, circling the parking lot cheering, waving and clutching encouraging signs, surprise was an understatement for Principal Amber MacDonald. “Words could never express just how special and loved you all made me feel,” she said, in a thank you message. “I had no idea that you were doing this, and quite frankly, when I woke up and came to school, I didn't even know it was Principals' Day. I had tears in my eyes as you all came around and were honking. It was so good to see the familiar faces and read the signs and just be able to connect with all of you.” View the video by clicking the Learn More button below.

Essential Employees Help Meet Student and Community Needs

All across the District, from individual school sites to our educational headquarters on East J Street, essential employees have stepped up to see that the enterprise of learning continues, that students are fed, and that operations continue to the extent possible. Take a moment to recognize our Community Heroes: the essential workers who make a difference each and every day during this unprecedented time. From Child Nutrition Services staff to Facilities to Information Technology and Payroll employees, our District and school staff members go above and beyond. We give a shout out to these dedicated workers and thank them for their commitment to our students, families, and community. Thank you for all you do!

© Chula Vista Elementary School District
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