Elementary School Update - 7/24/2020
Dear Palm Crest Families,
Hope you and your family are doing well. Please see LCUSD Elementary Update below. We hope this update clarifies your questions regarding the Hybrid Model and the Virtual Academy Model. Thank you.
Principal message - 7/23/2020
I hope you and your family are doing well and staying safe and healthy.
As you may have learned from this week's board meeting, our schools will begin the new school year in a distance learning format. Families have two choices for the school year: the Virtual Academy or the Hybrid Model. Both models will be structured in an AM/PM format. Classroom teachers will lead lessons for one half of the school day, and asynchronous learning opportunities will be offered to students during the other half of the school day.
We kindly ask our parents to understand that the learning needs of the classes are paramount and must take priority in this process. We appreciate and are grateful for the adjustments our families must make to their personal schedules in this process. Our teachers have spent many hours creating traditional classes at the end of this past school year. They used multiple factors and measures to create balanced groups. AM and PM cohorts must have that same balance.
Please complete this brief form for your elementary-aged child(ren) to help us create AM and PM cohorts. Form responses are due by Sunday, July 26.
Superintendent's Message - July 22, 2020
Dear LCUSD Community,
I wanted to share with you a brief update after yesterday’s Special Meeting of the LCUSD Governing Board. Yesterday, the Governing Board took action to approve the elementary and secondary school schedules which will be in place when we return to school in a distance learning model on August 17, 2020. The Governing Board also took action to endorse the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the District with the La Canada Teachers’ Association which details the requirements for distance instruction.
I also wanted to remind you that if you are the parent of an LCUSD elementary student who desires their child(ren) to attend the entire 2020-2021 school year as a part of the LCUSD Virtual Learning Academy, you need to pre-register your child for that year-long distance learning experience by Sunday, July 26, 2020. Many people have inquired regarding whether pre-registration was still required given the fact that the entire district is now beginning the school year in a distance learning model. The answer is “yes.” The reason is that we will be placing students in the Elementary Virtual Learning Academy with teachers who are committed to teaching remotely for the entire school year - even if health conditions improve and we are able to return to our physical classrooms in a hybrid model. I have also received questions asking why the commitment needs to be made for the entire year. The explanation here is that other classes will be configured with class size ratios which allow children to return to campus in a hybrid model once it is safe to do so. Those classes will likely not have space for children to join once placements have been made.
I understand that this may be a weighty decision for some elementary parents. To that end, I have attached for your review the MOU on the Distance Instruction Requirements.
This document allows all parents to understand how distance learning in LCUSD will be structured next year:
for all learners as we open the school year in distance learning
for the entire school year for those TK-6 in the Virtual Learning Academy
I have also attached to this email an infographic on the distance learning experience in LCUSD. Understanding some parents’ interests in potentially moving from the Virtual Learning Academy to on-campus learning if they became comfortable with the safety protocols when physical school campuses reopen, the Governing Board did announce yesterday that they would revisit the decision for a year-long experience at a future date, recognizing however that exceptions may not be possible.
Additionally, I am asking that parents of LCHS 7-12 students who want to ensure that their student’s learning experience for the first quarter (through October 9, 2020) is guaranteed to be a distance learning one - even if conditions are met within the first quarter of the school year allowing for the campus to open and students to return in a 50% capacity, also to pre register for a full quarter of distance learning. This request deals more with helping us plan for logistics (versus teacher placements in the elementary grades), and so there is more latitude to allow for these requests to be honored on a quarter by quarter basis.
Planning for the 2020-2021 school year is unlike any Back to School planning that we have ever done. I am empathetic to the hardships and challenges which parents, students, teachers, and staff are facing. I appreciate your cooperation and partnership because our clear path to students’ academic success and emotional wellness is forged by working together in these unprecedented times.
Sincerely and with gratitude,
This announcement included a file attachment. Click the link below to view.
May 28, 2020
Dear LCUSD Community,
I am sure most students, teachers, staff, and families are excited to be in the “home stretch” to summer. Once again, I want to commend everyone in our LCUSD Community for their hard work, productive efforts, and resilient partnership throughout the last nearly 11 weeks of our distance learning experience. Our community stayed strong, working together to slow the infection curve of COVID-19, while ensuring that student learning progressed and we supported one another during this exceptionally challenging time.
Last Sunday, I sent out the 2020-2021 Return to School Parent Survey. The survey will remain open until Tuesday, June 2, at 9:00 p.m. At this point, we have had 1,550 responses. To the question, “I think LCUSD should…” we have had the following response percentages thus far:
Open schools on a reduced schedule. 43.6%
Open schools on a regular schedule. 36.1%
Keep schools closed and continue distance learning. 20.1%
I wanted to clarify that, just like the survey regarding End of Year Grading Format, this is not a vote. We are collecting initial perception data to help inform our beginning planning for the reopening of school in August. As a District, we know that the reopening model that we develop will need to be based on public health directives, address learning gaps, ensure learning progress, meet the complex personal and professional needs of families and staff, and promote social and emotional connectedness within our LCUSD Community.
The Los Angeles County Office of Education issued yesterday A Planning Framework for the 2020-2021 School Year. It is a comprehensive framework and provides strong planning templates and decision tree models. Those tools, informed by on-going LCUSD Community input, a commitment to data driven decision-making, and a determination to harness all of the resources possible to address the unique needs and interests of our LCUSD Community, will lead us over the next two months to develop the optimal outcomes for reopening LCUSD schools.
I will send out more information early next week about the formation of elementary and secondary Reopening School 2020-2021 Review Committees. The committees will be composed of LCUSD Governing Board members, Administrators, Teachers, Staff, and Parents. Because of the compressed time frame over summer, they will be smaller in size, but I assure you that there will be multiple opportunities for community-wide input to help drive plan development.
In the meantime, take time to reflect and celebrate nearly reaching our end of the school year milestone. Students, teachers, staff, and parents - you are all so deserving of the summer break that’s only a few days away.
Sincerely and with gratitude,
May 27, 2020
May 3, 2020
Every time I see or talk to someone, "how are things going for you?" always comes up. Honestly, the answer to that question depends on the day. As I write this, I'm great! I'm feeling confident and accomplished as I was able to cross off a few items on my to-do list. But a couple days ago, I felt overwhelmed. I felt like my to-do list was getting longer and nothing was getting accomplished.
Thankfully, it seems like our family has settled into our "new normal". After Spring Break we started to follow a loose schedule, everyone needs to be up and functioning (eaten breakfast, brushed teeth, made bed and changed out of pj's) by 9 am. Then everyone goes to their corners of the house and start work or school. This has drastically cut down on the "can I have a break" or "when can I be done" questions. Aside from that, the boys are expected to do something physical EVERY DAY. It doesn't always go as planned but it has definitely helped our household stay sane.
I'm sure you have seen the post going around about all of us being in the same storm but not in the same boat. Remember that! Every person and every family has different priorities and circumstances. Do what is best for your family. There is no "right" answer or "right" way. We're all trying to navigate the best we can with what we are given. Remember that we all have emotions and that it is OK to feel them...what we are going through is HARD. Please be kind to yourself.
With all of us doing triple duty - working, parenting and teaching form home, while trying to keep our household healthy, fed and mentally balanced, I wanted to share CAPTA's (California PTA) resources for parents and families. The COVID-19 Resources for Parents and Families page offers:
- Information on social and emotional well-being during times of stress, including sleep hygiene, mindfulness, and how to help children cope with the crisis
- Learning at home and distance-learning resources for parents, children and educators
- Advice on how to maintain healthy habits such as eating well and getting enough exercise when normal routines are disrupted
I continue to send each of you good vibes and happy thoughts daily. As always, I am here to help if needed.
Wishing you continued good health and sanity.