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School Reopening Update for October 9, 2020

Trustees approved a draft School Reopening Plan and set a Special Meeting to finalize the plan

LAKE ELSINORE.  Thursday, October 8th, the Board of Trustees approved a Draft School Reopening Plan 2020-21 following public comments and presentations by senior cabinet members and Superintendent Dr. Doug Kimberly. The school reopening plan will serve as the ‘Constitution,’ or rulebook, for reopening schools safely under COVID-19 pandemic conditions. The video presentation window is above; if you cannot see a video frame, click this URL to view: https://youtu.be/H5BlRxp0zLo

“Reopening schools while COVID risk is substantial under the Red Tier is complex” said Dr. Kimberly, “Traditional aspects of school are non-existent: recess, on-campus lunch, and transportation for general education are not possible under state guidelines that require Social Distancing for in-person learning.”

The Board of Trustees and executive staff have been working in unison with the Lake Elsinore Teachers Association (LETA) and California School Employees Association and its Chapter 598 to develop plans to safely and effectively reopen schools this school year while minimizing learning disruptions.

Superintendent Kimberly described four converging efforts requiring Board direction to finalize the plan:

  1. Approval of the Draft School Reopening Plan presented on Thursday evening;
  2. Answering the question heard most from parents, ‘what will student schedules look like when in-person learning resumes?’ by finalizing student schedules and learning models for elementary, middle school, and high school. Reopening terms and schedules are under negotiation with the Lake Elsinore Teachers Association and the California School Employees Assn. and its Chapter 598.
  3. Resurvey all parents/guardians to determine who wants to keep their children on 100% distance learning, once at least some in-person instruction is allowed. A previous limited survey did not offer this option to all parents, which the district wants to rectify;
  4. Setting a Special Meeting of the Board within two weeks to finalize the district’s reopening timeline, learning models and schedules to finalize the School Reopening Plan.

The Board directed staff to immediately proceed with all four of the above. A virtual Special Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 22, at 4:00 p.m. to approve a reopening timeline, learning models and schedules, and to approve the Final School Reopening Plan.

In the 14 day interim since Riverside County entered the red tier, County numbers for case and test positivity teetered between the purple and red tier. Schools are permitted to reopen under the red tier, county health officials have stated.

“Our number one priority is providing a minimally disruptive reopening with maximum safety for students, families, and staff,” stated Board President Heidi Dodd.