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Safely Reopening OUSD

student writing
Return to In-Person Instruction Update

During the Sept. 8 Board of Education meeting, staff presented our current progress within virtual learning, the health and safety measures we have been putting in place as we prepare for students’ return, and our updated plans for bringing students back into classrooms based on current health guidelines and trends. 

As you may be aware, the State of California is following a new reopening framework that provides a tiered COVID-19 risk monitoring system designated by four colors: purple (widespread), red (substantial), orange (moderate) and yellow (minimal with the lowest restrictions). San Diego County is currently in the red tier. While the red tier allows for school reopenings, we are currently planning for a phased approach to reopening our schools. 

OUSD has already begun bringing students back onto campuses in a limited capacity. On August 24, need-based elementary enrichment programs opened with small groups in collaboration with our community partners such as Boys and Girls Club and BASE. Later this week, in-person Special Education assessments will begin with outside agencies. Additionally, this phased approach will allow for small cohorts and time for parents, students, and staff to adapt with new safety protocols. We will be following a timeline of seven phases leading up to all K-5 students coming back onto campus: 

  • August 24 - Elementary Expanded Enrichment opens in small groups at select sites for at-promise students

  • September 11- One-to-one Special Education assessments through outside agency 

  • September 21 - Secondary Learning Centers to bring enrichment to secondary students

  • September 22 - One-on-one assessments with students receiving Special Education services (or students with disabilities) and who are English Learners 

  • September 28 - At-promise students and students receiving Special Education services (or students with disabilities) return to campuses in small cohorts

  • October 5 - In-person related services for students receiving Special Education services (or students with disabilities)

  • October 19 - Pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade (including base schools grades PK-5th only) return in Hybrid Instructional Model

At the Oct. 13 Board of Education meeting, staff will give an update regarding secondary grades 6-12 returning to in-person instruction. Because our secondary students are assigned to multiple classes and teachers for various subjects and extracurricular activities, there are many challenges to keeping these students in small cohorts while maintaining their regular academic schedule in a hybrid model. Our teams will continue collaborating with our local education partners and health officials to develop a model that keeps our middle and high school scholars and teachers safe, while providing the academic coursework that allows students to continue on the college and career track of their choice. 

Please know that as we bring our scholars onto campus, the health and safety of students and staff will always be the first priority. On-campus education will not begin until we have equipment and procedures in place ready for our scholars.

As students return to campus, we will be putting in place the following health and safety protocols:

  • Signage will indicate social distancing, directional pathways and face mask requirements

  • All staff and scholars must wear face coverings, unless exempt per CDPH guidelines 

  • Personal protective equipment provided to staff along with cleaning solution, paper towels, gloves and facial tissues for classrooms and offices

  • Regular handwashing and/or hand sanitizer use with sanitation and handwashing stations around campuses 

  • Touchless temperature screenings before entering campus or boarding the school bus. Scholars with temperature at 100 degrees or higher will be escorted to the health office or will not be allowed to enter the school bus, and parents/guardians will be contacted to return home by an authorized adult

  • Classrooms will be disinfected daily using safe electrostatic backpack sprayers, and buses disinfected between groups 

  • Student belongings will be kept separate and taken home each day to be cleaned

  • No visitors to school offices, except by appointment

  • Parents / guardians picking up child early from school may call the office ahead of time so they may make arrangements

  • Plexiglass being installed in front offices 

  • Additional custodial support for each school site

If you desire to continue in an off-campus environment beyond October 19, please submit your interest to Surfside Academy by completing this interest survey. The interest window will open Friday, September 11, 2020 and will close at midnight on Friday, September 18, 2020.

We will continue to provide updates as we have them available. On Oct. 5, we will release hybrid learning schedules and a health safety video that illustrates what students and families can expect when they return to campus. Thank you for your patience during this time and all of your hard work to support our scholars.