As we close out this school year and begin preparation for the opening of the 2020-2021 school year, one goal is to continue to protect the health and safety of our community. This goal is broad based and includes the protection of our students, staff, and families from physical and emotional health risks and addressing other safety concerns. Therefore, EUSD school buildings and playgrounds will remain closed through the end of the school year and summer for the protection of our community.
We have developed plans for students to return textbooks, uniforms, library books, chromebooks, hotspots, and other school property, while at the same time picking up personal belongings from lockers, desks, and music rooms. If you have not been able to return or pick up your students’ belongings, please contact your student’s school to do so.
How does the school closure impact the school calendar?
We do not plan to extend the school year due to the school closure. The last day of school will remain on June 2, 2020.
Due to COVID, there will not be a K-8 summer school program.
High school summer school will begin on Monday, June 8, 2020, and we will use a distance learning format. All students will be online with EUHS’ teachers or through an online program called Edgenuity. For questions with registration for High School summer school, please contact Andrew Montes, Summer School Principal, at 559-592-2127 ext. 0456.
Formal grades will only be assigned for work that was due on or before March 13, 2020. Teachers are allowing students to make up assignments that were missed prior to the school closure on March 13, 2020. We have also asked teachers to be flexible in providing opportunities for middle and high school students to earn a higher grade for the period through March 13, 2020. We understand that grades at the secondary level impact college admissions, scholarships, athletic eligibility, and other activities. Teachers are encouraged to provide feedback on assignments that are provided during the school closure. The intent of providing feedback for work that is assigned after March 13, 2020, is to gauge instruction and provide appropriate support for individual students. Guidance from the California Department of Education includes “the understanding that grading assignments should not be punitive to students during this time.” As such, a student’s grade will not be lowered following March 13, 2020 which results in elementary teachers only indicating comments for Trimester 3 report cards.
Graduations for 2020
Unfortunately, it was determined that we are unable to hold traditional ceremonies in the stadium as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in our county and state. We have developed virtual ceremonies and these will be streamed on YouTube Premier which you may access from your school website starting at 6pm per the schedule below:
Wilson Middle School June 3 @ 6pm
Kaweah Continuation High School June 4 @ 6pm
Exeter Union High School June 5 @ 6pm
Ceremonies will also be posted on the district and school web pages for families to refer to following these events being aired.
Internet Accessibility & Electronic Devices
In April, Hotspots and Chromebooks were distributed to all families who needed devices and/or internet services to participate in Distance Learning. All Hotspots and Chromebooks need to be returned and will be redistributed in August of 2020, if necessary. Our goal is to ensure that all students have internet access in their homes, so we can provide distance learning for all of our students, as needed. Parents will continue to be required to agree to the terms of service for District Internet accessibility, which includes the filtering system we operate to eliminate inappropriate material.
We plan to have Chromebooks ready for students to check out by the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. We will require that families agree to terms of service for District computer checkout, as District-owned devices cannot be used for commercial activities (to make money) or for purposes that the District would deem inappropriate for children/youth.
It is our hope that we will be able to open the 2020-2021 school year in the traditional form with activities back in full swing on the first day of school, August 6, 2020. However, because we do not know what the spread of COVID-19 will be at that time and how it will affect our area, our planning must be flexible. We are looking at several scenarios that will take into account health and safety requirements.
The scenarios include:
- Traditional at-school learning
- A hybrid model called Blended Learning, where some student groups are at school and others are learning at home. This model allows smaller class sizes and students meeting with their teacher two times a week in Cohort A and Cohort B at the elementary level and one time a week at the secondary level.
- Full distance learning instruction model (similar to April-May 2020)
Different models for elementary and secondary sites have been discussed and reviewed. In reviewing the scenarios, there are many things to consider, such as avoiding large groups and mixing students in common areas, reducing congestion in offices and smaller spaces, limiting non-essential visitors, and teaching students and staff to maintain distance from others while increasing hand washing and hygiene practices.
We recognize that we need to provide direction for August 2020. To this end, we plan to open all schools on August 6, 2020 in the traditional at-school model (option 1). We believe all kids learn best in school and in-person with their teacher. We also understand that this decision may need to change due to circumstances beyond our control (i.e. Tulare County Health Department and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention). If this is the case, we will communicate out to all families and staff on July 9, 2020 of the change to the hybrid model, Blended Learning (option 2). This date will allow appropriate time for families to make accommodations and also time for staff to prepare for this different education model. Again, on July 9, 2020 we will communicate with all our families through written correspondence, phone messaging, and other social media platforms on the status of opening schools on August 6, 2020.
Please continue to be healthy and well. We are the community of Exeter and we are #StrongerTogether.
George Eddy, Superintendent