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Secondary Schools Temporarily Transition to Distance Learning
Posted 12/18/20

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On December 17, 2020 The Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) Board of Education approved a temporary shift to Distance Learning for all secondary schools, grades 7-12, beginning Monday, January 4, 2021 through Friday, January 22, 2021 and temporarily suspend all in-person student activities districtwide from the start of winter break through Friday, January 22, 2021.

Temporary Shift to Distance Learning Board Presentation (December 18, 2020)

KEY INFORMATION

  • Secondary schools (including secondary Special Day Classes) will transition to 100% Distance Learning,
    January 4, 2021 - January 22, 2021; and will resume hybrid instruction on January 25, 2021
  • Cloud Campus and Early College High School will remain with their current schedules
  • Elementary schools will continue with the current hybrid instructional schedule
  • Extracurricular activities, including athletics, also will be suspended, from the start of winter break through January 22, 2021
  • Grab-and-go student meals will continue to be provided at all secondary schools, with the exception of Early College High School and Ensign Intermediate (meals can be picked up at the nearest secondary school), and typical student meals will continue to be provided in elementary

Significant increase of COVID-19 cases throughout the state, Orange County and our local community has impacted our District and workforce, severely limiting our ability to find appropriate substitute employees who provide critical services. The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) and other experts have warned that another surge of positive cases is expected immediately following the winter break and holiday season at a time when Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity is nearly depleted in the Southern California region.

WHY THE SHIFT TO DISTANCE LEARNING?

  • Eliminate student-staff and student-student contact at our largest and most populated schools, serving our older students
  • Reduce the number of contacts during this significant increase of COVID-19 cases
  • Maintain consistent cohorts of students and prevent mixing of cohorts, which is more difficult to maintain at the larger secondary schools
  • Secondary students have greater independence to learn digitally
  • Allow for redistribution/repurposing of critical staff to support elementary sites 
  • Regardless of the county COVID-19 data or the regional stay at home order, NMUSD schools will be able to reopen for in-person instruction after this temporary shift to Distance Learning

WHY NOT ELEMENTARY?

  • Greater educational benefit of in-person instruction for the younger elementary students  
  • Elementary sites have fewer students on campus and consistent cohorts in each classroom, which allows for in-person safety protocols to be more effectively maintained
  • COVID-19 cases and staffing availability will continue to be closely monitored 

SCHOOLS ARE NOT THE SOURCE OF RECENT SURGE IN CASES

  • We remain confident in the health and safety measures implemented in our schools and their effectiveness in combating COVID-19 
  • State and local health officials also echo that the health and safety measures schools have implemented, which include physical distancing, face masks, ventilation enhancements, smaller cohorts, timely contact tracing and notifications, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, have been effective in combating COVID-19 

REMINDERS

Now more than ever, we encourage everyone to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the protocols.

  • Adhere to the CDPH travel and holiday advisories
  • Get tested for COVID-19 if symptomatic or in close contact with an infected person
  • Stay home if you do not feel well
  • Stay at least 6 feet from people not in your household
  • Avoid crowds, gatherings, and travel
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

RESOURCES

Your tireless efforts and flexibility during this pandemic is appreciated. We wish you all a safe, healthy, and restful winter break. Whether in person or via Distance Learning, we will continue to meet student’s needs and provide quality education and student support.