Shared Monday, March 16, 2020
These are unprecedented times and I am humbled by the outreach I have received from parents and staff asking how they can support our children. We have an amazing community and while we’re facing one of the most challenging crises of our lifetime, I feel comforted knowing that we have a community that is built upon a foundation of compassion, kindness and love.
As I’m sure that most of you are acutely aware, this afternoon the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department announced further restrictions on travel and gatherings across our county. For your safety and the safety of your family, we urge everyone to follow the county order. Effective today, we will be closing our district office to public access until further notice.
Curbside Meal Pick-Up at Dartmouth Middle School
During the school closures, we will be providing drive-through, “Grab and Go” meals at Dartmouth Middle School (5575 Dartmouth Dr, San Jose), beginning Wednesday, March 18th from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. These meals will be provided every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for the duration of the closure. Campbell Union High School District is also providing meals at each of their campuses for students in the community from 11:30 to 1:00 p.m.
These meals will be available for free to anyone 18 and under regardless of what school they attend. No paperwork or identification is required. Children must be present in order for meals to be provided, and the number of meals provided will be based on the number of children present.
The meal program will be solely for the pick up of meals, and we ask that meals not be consumed on-site. We encourage families to continue to be proactive in reducing the risk of COVID-19 by not congregating at the school site and practicing social distancing once meals have been picked up.
Kris Suzuki, our amazing District Nurse, will be delivering student medication currently housed at schools to each family throughout the district this week. If you have any questions about your student’s medication housed at school, please reach out directly to Ms. Suzuki at email@example.com.
As previously communicated over the weekend, we expect guidance on specific requirements and expectations for delivering online learning and special education services during the school closures from the state on Tuesday. Once we have that guidance in hand, we will assess the requirements as quickly as possible and share information on our plan to provide learning moving forward. In the meantime, we have assembled optional resources to use at home and have posted them on our District Website. We will continue to update this site with additional resources over time.
While these are uncertain times, I have never been more certain - more proud - of our USD family. Teachers, classified staff, administrators, Board members and community members have stepped forward, asking how they can help. With a community built on strength and compassion, I know that we will come through this together stronger.
Shared Saturday, March 14, 2020
Dear Union Families,
This is a rapidly evolving situation and our goal is to provide you with the best information we have at the time. This message serves as a follow-up to the email you received yesterday and hopefully will help answer some of the many questions I am sure everyone has:
The Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools and all county district superintendents have decided to close schools for three weeks from Monday, March 16, 2020, through April 3, 2020. Spring Break will continue as scheduled April 6 - April 10, 2020. All schools are scheduled to return on April 13, 2020. The decision to close was made to give districts time to plan for the implementation of the new guidance from the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health around social distancing. As of Friday, there were no known cases of COVID-19 among students or staff in Union School District.
During this closure, our district office will remain open during the hours of 10am-2pm, Monday through Thursday.
Our goal over the next three weeks is to work closely with our County Office of Education and other districts in our county to determine what school will look like for all of our students moving forward. We will develop a plan that allows us to continue to operate in a manner that complies with all applicable public health guidance and department of education requirements while addressing the possibility that a significant portion of our staff could be impacted and unable to work for a variety of reasons.
On Thursday we received conflicting information from the US Department of Education and California Department of Education regarding distance learning and independent study during school closures. While we were in the process of seeking clarification Friday, the decision to close schools was made. Given the rapidly changing nature of this situation, we made the decision not to immediately deploy our at-home learning plan, in the anticipation that we would receive additional clarification from the state.
Friday evening, Governor Newsom signed an executive order addressing online learning and independent study during school closures. We expect guidance from the state on the implementation requirements for online learning and independent study by Tuesday, March 17th. The governor’s order also directed the state to provide schools with guidance on continuing to provide special education services to students during the closure, and we expect to receive more information about how to implement this by March 17th as well.
Some districts have already begun offering online learning or packet-based opportunities to families. Others have not. We are going to take a few days to better understand the state’s requirements, assess and adapt our plan as needed, and will update you with our plan as we move forward.
Talking to Your Child about COVID-19
We understand that kids have many questions and concerns as they, too, are navigating this new situation. PBS Kids for Parents
, has tips and videos to help with conversations around Covid-19.
What About Grades?
Please don’t worry about grades right now. We will make every effort to ensure there is no negative impact on grades during this unprecedented situation. We hope to have more information to share about how we will address grading once we receive guidance on the Governor’s executive order.
If you currently have an Independent Study agreement with assigned work and you would like to complete it, you may do so. We will not be collecting Independent Study work at this time, but hang on to it, that may change.
For anyone that requested Independent Study and did not receive work prior to the school closure, particularly any request submitted on Friday, please be patient. We believe that the Governor’s executive order made some changes to districts’ ability to offer Independent Study during school closure. We expect to have more information about the status of Independent Study once we receive guidance.
Will the School Year be Extended?
We do not know the impact of how the Governor will or will not adjust the school calendar at this time, however, there is not a current expectation of making those days up at the end of the school year.
As spring break approaches, we would like to remind you to please take all necessary precautions to protect yourselves and our community from this and any illness if traveling. Current County Public Health Guidelines can be found here.
Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate through this uncharted time. We will continue to keep you updated as the situation evolves.
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