November 6, 2020

  • November 6, 2020

    This email pertains to elementary students. All in our district are receiving it so that we may all be aware of our shared journey as we navigate education during COVID-19. 

    Dear Parents and Guardians of Elementary Students,

    Today we are providing you with an overview of our next steps toward offering in-person support for our students during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to find a quiet spot where you can take 15-20 minutes to consider this information. Tomorrow, you will receive another email asking you to let us know whether your child will participate in hybrid learning or remain in distance learning until it is safe to fully reopen our schools. 

    This decision is important. Please take the time to read this email and watch the video linked below so that you have a clear understanding of what your options are for your child. 

    We have created our Elementary Reopening Plan in draft form that is ready to submit to the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE). We will be able to submit this plan once we know how many students will, in fact, move to a hybrid model or whether we will choose, as a district, to remain in distance learning and supplement online instruction with in-person support hubs. ACOE requires our plan to identify the exact number of students and staff members who will participate in hybrid learning.

    As a district, our elementary grades will follow one of these two paths:

    • We will shift to a hybrid model

    or

    • We will all remain in distance learning and add the option of in-person support hubs until we are able to reopen our schools full

    As a reminder, we have made the commitment to continue to offer distance learning to our students who prefer that model. Even if our district chooses hybrid, students may remain in distance learning. If our district chooses for everyone to remain in distance learning, everyone will also have the option participating in support hubs (described below).

    The Hybrid Model

    Schedule Overview:

    • This model of instruction offers a hybrid - a mixture - of in-person and online learning.
    • Students will attend school for in-person learning 4 days per week (M,T,Th,F) in either the AM (8:00-10:45) or PM (12:15-3:00). This time on campus will replace the online class meetings students currently have with teachers and classmates in distance learning (on Zoom, Google Meet, or WebEx).
    • Students will continue to work independently for part of each day, during some of the time they are not in class, as they do now during distance learning. (This is asynchronous learning.)
    • Wednesdays will continue as asynchronous learning days at home, as they are now, and will still include an online morning meeting for all students.
    • Since teachers will be teaching students in both the morning and the afternoon, they will not be available online when your child is not in class. 

    sample hybrid schedule

    Important Details About the Move to Hybrid - even for students who stay in distance learning:

    • A hybrid model will require us to rebuild classes based on the number of students who select hybrid and the number who remain in distance learning.  
    • Some teachers will teach hybrid classes and some will teach distance classes. One teacher will not teach both.
    • As a result, many students will be assigned a new teacher and class. Students who move to hybrid and students who remain in distance will both be impacted by this decision. 
    • Some students may even be assigned to a new school site.
    • Some teachers will not be available to teach in-person because of their own health concerns of those of a family member.
    • Because this move will greatly impact all students and teachers, our Reopening Task Force recommends that a supermajority (67%) commitment to hybrid be attained before implementing this model.

    How We Would Transition to Hybrid Learning:

    Because the transition to a hybrid model requires us to rebuild existing classes, we will need several weeks before we can start. We would first bring to school students in grades 1 and 2, followed in two weeks by students in grades TK, K, and 3, and then by students in grades 4 and 5, in a phased-in approach over a 4-week period. 

    Our Reopening Task Force has strongly recommended that we begin the transition no earlier than January 19, 2021. This date follows Alameda County Public Health Department’s guidance and would allow a two-week period following the last major holiday (New Year’s) for people to stay home and stay healthy. It has also been suggested that an earlier date, prior to Winter Break, could be considered. When you receive the survey, you will be able to indicate your commitment and your preferred start date.

    The Distance Learning Plus In-Person Support Hubs Model

    • If we do not make the move to a hybrid schedule, all elementary grades will remain in distance learning until we can fully reopen for all students full time.
    • Classes will not be restructured; students will remain with their current teachers and classmates. 
    • Distance learning will continue in the mornings and follow the current schedule.
    • Optional support hubs will provide in-person opportunities at school for students to connect with staff and other students outside of class time.
    • Support hubs will be the size of acceptable cohorts - about 15 students - and will focus on both educational support and enrichment (i.e. math support, science labs, art) and on social emotional needs (i.e. Kid Connection, physical activity, clubs).
    • Support hubs will be developed by each school.

    If the decision is made to remain in distance learning until we can fully return to school and to add support hubs to provide in-person options, we can begin planning support hubs immediately. To begin that process, so that you can share your ideas and get a sense of what these hubs could offer, please share your ideas about what kinds of hubs you would like to see at your child’s school by participating in this Thoughtexchange: Planning for Elementary In-Person Support Hubs.

    Before you make up your mind about what is best for your child and for our district, please set aside 12 minutes to watch this video: LVJUSD Elementary Reopening: Understanding the Hybrid Model. We also have updated information on our website for your reference: livermoreschools.org/reopening.

    As a reminder, you will receive another email with a link to a questionnaire that will ask you to indicate your child’s commitment either to move to hybrid or stay in distance learning.

    Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

    Regards,

    LVJUSD Leadership Team