Esteemed CVUHSD Community,
It is an honor to greet you for the 2020-21 School Year. So much has changed since last year. None of us could have predicted the COVID-19 global pandemic or the many ways it would change our lives. Masks, physical distancing, and Google Meet are now part of our everyday lives. The good news … we have shown that we are resilient, and, by working together, we cannot be defeated!
Another term we have all become familiar with is Distance Learning. Having to announce that the school year would begin via Distance Learning rather than through in person instruction at school was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. This decision was not made lightly. In addition to guidance from the Governor, CDE, Los Angeles Department of Public Health, and LACOE, we received input from our union leaders, CVSTA and CSEA, Centinela Valley surveys of students, parents and staff, as well as input from our 45 stakeholder-member Reopening School Task Force. All of these voices, in addition to the data on COVID-19 cases in our area, made it clear that Distance Learning was the best option at this time. We want students and staff back at school.However, when we weigh the educational needs against the health needs of our students and their families as well as our staff and all of their families, the risks right now are just too great.
I appreciate your willingness to keep hope alive, and work through all the changes and challenges we will encounter this year in order to help our students learn and grow in what is clearly a daunting situation for all of them. Throughout the year, we will be evaluating the situation to determine which method of instruction is most appropriate for the circumstances: a hybrid model or continue offering Distance Learning. Of course, we cannot wait to resume classes fully with everyone back on campus when it is safe to return.
Distance Learning this will be significantly different than it was when the pandemic began. Some of the changes will include:
- Live interaction every day with teachers and other students
- A new grading scale
- Daily class attendance
- Online and on-campus supports (with safety protocols)
Please know that everyone … and I mean everyone … is working hard and doing their best during these unprecedented times to provide our students with a robust, effective educational program that will prepare them for college, career, and life. Thankfully, our Digital Learning Initiate that began in 2017 provided every student with a Chromebook computer, Canvas Learning Management System (the same one used in many colleges and universities) as well as support for internet access at home was fully operational by the time the pandemic started.
We recognize these past few months have been very challenging for you, our students, our staff, and our communities. Thank you for your flexibility and patience during the many changes that have taken place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we will get through this!
Be safe and stay healthy,
Gregory O’Brien, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
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Dr. O @theCVway