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Superintendent's Update - January 14, 2020

From the Office of the Superintendent:

Dear PAUSD Community,

Welcome back to the second semester and 2021! We have all been bombarded with a lot of updates regarding COVID and school reopening plans from multiple sources and different levels of government and agencies. I want to take a moment to provide a concise summary of this important information for our school district.

GOVERNOR'S REOPENING PROPOSAL
Governor Newsom recently shared his proposal for schools in California to reopen for in-person instruction. PAUSD is already open for in-person instruction at the elementary level. The governor's proposal, as it currently stands, has no practical impact on our schools. The Legislature will develop funding details that may lead to discussions in Palo Alto. The governor's proposal is silent on secondary schools.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
There are no changes to our elementary school program expected for the second half of the year.

MIDDLE SCHOOLS
We are developing options that may include a path for 6th graders to return in late March. There are many things that need to occur to make a 6th grade return possible. Middle schools are working to create opportunities for students to return to campus for activities. School sites will communicate with families throughout the process. We do not expect a full hybrid return for our middle schools this year.

HIGH SCHOOLS
We do not expect a full hybrid return this year at the high school level. High schools will communicate with families about opportunities for students to get on campus for some activities. Sites will begin working with students and staff to brainstorm ideas for end-of-year activities, including graduation.

SUMMER SCHOOL
Plans are underway to expand summer school if in-person instruction is allowed. The Board of Education will have a discussion regarding summer school at our next meeting scheduled for January 19. Many surveys and focus groups have already occurred to give us a sense of the demand we may expect. Again, it will be important to find a path for in-person instruction prior to finalizing our summer school plan.

FALL REOPENING
The Board of Education will discuss decision points for reopening in the fall at an upcoming meeting. Staff recommendations will include providing a distance learning option for families, creating a deadline for families to choose a learning model, and prioritizing in-person instruction for five days per week, or the maximum allowed. PAUSD will begin surveying staff, students, and families after the February 2 Special Board Meeting.

VACCINES
School personnel are prioritized for Group 1B vaccinations. Santa Clara County has not released a schedule for the vaccinations at this point. Vaccinations are not currently required for staff or students and it is not known how vaccinations will impact our ability to reopen. We consistently interact with our Santa Clara County Public Health Department for guidance and information.

Sincerely,

Don Austin
Superintendent of Schools