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School News / Reopening Update

 

June 24, 2020

Dear Dunham Families,

I hope your summers are going well.  I know everyone is wondering what August 13, our first day of school, will look like.  We know there is immense worry on the part of parents, students, and staff related to health and safety on campus, as well as the need to provide the high-quality teaching and learning experience Dunham is known for.  We have been closely following guidance from the State and County as well as meeting with our neighboring districts.  There seems to be changing guidance on a weekly basis, but we are moving forward with making plans to reopen our campus and focus on providing the scenario that:

  • Adheres to public health guidelines 
  • Provides for the safety of students and staff
  • Optimizes learning opportunities for all students
  • Supports our most in need students
  • Includes social emotional support for student needs

Our priorities are to have students on campus as much as possible while still complying with the required safety guidelines and still allow options for students and families based on comfort with safety protocols. With fall health and safety guidelines currently unknown and the health situation potentially changing rapidly during the school year, we are developing multiple scenarios that allow our school to adjust during the year as the guidelines get more or less restrictive.

Survey:                                                                                                                                                                      Your feedback and needs are important to this conversation.  After you have reviewed the below scenarios please click on the survey link to take a short (4 questions) and very important survey about reopening school in August.  We appreciate your time and help with this.

Survey Link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RZZYVRZ

Results from our parent Distance Learning Survey sent out at the end of May show that parents are divided on preferences in school models for the start of the school year.

​​​​​​​2019-2020 Parents

  • Traditional Schedule 41%
  • Hybrid Schedule 47%
  • Distance Learning 8%
  • Not sure 4%

Although a majority of families would prefer to return to school in a hybrid or traditional schedule, the guidance released by State and County health officials does not allow a return to campus at 100% capacity at this time. Based on this data, along with recommendations from the California Department of Education, the CDC, and Sonoma County Public Health, we have identified the following options to meet the needs of our families.  The goal is to design a model that has a greater chance of success by limiting contacts and hence the spread of COVID-19.  Consider a class of students a cohort and in a larger sense a group of students on campus on a specific schedule a cohort.  The less these cohorts interact with each other, the higher the probability we have of limiting the spread of COVID-19.

All of the below hypothetical hybrid scenarios include the following components:

  • A safe return to school while focusing on the social-emotional needs of students and uninterrupted access to instruction.
  • Limits the number of students on campus at one time so 6 foot distancing spacing in classroom seating can be accommodated.
  • We will make every effort to coordinate families with multiple siblings to be on the same schedules.

 

Hybrid Scenario 1: A.M./P.M. Daily Schedule, 2 Student Cohorts, Monday – Friday                                      This model could provide school on a daily basis with an A.M. schedule and a P.M. schedule.  The A schedule could run from 8:00a.m. – 10:30a.m.  The B schedule could run from 12:00p.m. – 2:30p.m. with all students attending school each day in their grade level in one of these two time slots.

Benefits of this scenario include:

  • All students will be on campus every school day with their teacher and peers.
  • Core curriculum instruction (reading, writing and math) would be done at school each day with enrichment subjects being done via distance learning.
  • Students would not need to eat lunch at school, lessening transitions and the mixing of cohorts (students who qualify for the Federal School Lunch program will be provided a lunch).
  • Classrooms would be cleaned and disinfected daily prior to the start of school and frequently touched surfaces within the school would be cleaned and disinfected in between the a.m. and p.m. classes.

NOTE: We are still looking into our Daycare capacity.  We do plan to offer Daycare but know that our capacity will be limited and would involve the mixing of students from different classrooms (mixing classroom cohorts).  There would be no Daycare for students attending the A.M. schedule and limited Daycare spots for students attending the P.M. schedule.

 

Hybrid Scenario 2: 5 Days on Campus, 5 Days of Distance Learning, 2 Student Cohorts,   Monday – Friday                                                                                                                                                                      This model could provide 5 consecutive days of instruction for students in their grade level classes.  Students are broken into 2 cohorts, an A Week, and a B Week.  When the students in the “A” cohort are attending school the students in the “B” cohort would be participating in distance learning for that week.  The next week the schedule would flip and students on schedule B would attend 5 days of school and the students on schedule A would participate in distance learning.

Benefits of this scenario include:

  • Students could get 5 consecutive days of classroom instruction on a biweekly basis. 
  • Longer school days when on campus.
  • Classrooms, including frequently touched surfaces around the school, would be cleaned and disinfected daily prior to the start of school.
  • Distance learning would be provided for students on the weeks they are not on campus.
  • One cohort of students on campus each day.
  • Offers 5 days of onsite instruction over a 2 week period compared to scenario 3 which offers 4 days of onsite instruction over a 2 week period.

NOTE: We are still looking into our Daycare capacity.  We do plan to offer Daycare but know that our capacity will be limited and Daycare would involve the mixing of students from different classrooms (mixing classroom cohorts).  Daycare is not provided for students on weeks that they are off campus.

 

Hybrid Scenario 3: 2 Days on Campus per a Week, 3 Days of Distance Learning per a Week, 2 Student Cohorts                                                                                                                                                                    This model could provide two full instructional days on campus for students in their grade level class each week. Students are divided into 2 cohorts, a Monday/Tuesday group and a Thursday/Friday group.  When the students in the Monday/Tuesday cohort are attending school the students in the Thursday/Friday cohort would be participating in distance learning. Likewise, when the students in the Thursday/Friday cohort are attending school the Monday/Tuesday cohort will be participating in distance learning.

Benefits of this scenario include:

  • Students would participate in full days of school during their days on campus.
  • Students would have shorter intervals of time spent away from campus as compared to scenario 2.
  • One cohort of students on campus each day.
  • Distance learning would be provided for students on the days they are not on campus.
  • Classrooms, including frequently touched surfaces around the school, would be cleaned and disinfected daily prior to the start of school.

NOTE: We are still looking into our Daycare capacity.  We do plan to offer Daycare but know that our capacity will be limited and Daycare would involve the mixing of students from different classrooms (mixing classroom cohorts).  Daycare is not provided for students on days that they are off campus.

 

Independent Study / Distance Learning:                                                                                                          This option is separate from the hybrid scenarios, and would provide a school-administered, standards based program with students working at home 100% of the time. Check-ins and support from a teacher will take place at established weekly times via videoconference.

We are still studying the details that will allow students to attend school through a distance learning model. Feedback from the Distance Learning Survey is being used to make our Distance learning model more effective and meet the needs of families and staff.

The models are designed to be flexible, allowing for more or less in-school learning depending on how conditions change over the course of the school year.

We are currently establishing procedures and protocols with all these scenarios for all aspects of a school campus and will be sharing them out in mid to late July.

 

After School Clubs and Sports:                                                                                                                            We recognize the importance of these after school programs and hope to bring them back promptly.  With that being said, these programs will be on hold as the school year starts and phased back in as State and local health guidelines allow.

NOTE: Conditions related to COVID-19 are likely to change throughout the summer.  We will make adjustments to plans as new information comes out.

I thank all of you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times.

 

Sincerely,

Daniel Hoffman

Superintendent / Principal

 

June News / Reopening Update PDF

 

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