Return Together Update: Academic Framework, Dashboard Updates, Current COVID-19 Status
Dear Sac City Unified Families:
We hope that you enjoyed the short, holiday week!
Today we are pleased to share with you new information on:
- Current COVID-19 Risk Levels
- Announcement of SCUSD’s Return to Learn Academic Framework to bring students back to campuses
- SCUSD/Dignity Health vaccination clinic
- Reopening Dashboard Updates
Current COVID-19 Risk Levels
Sacramento County is currently at 18.7 cases a day per 100,000 residents, with a 6.0% positivity rate. Our county is still classified as in the Purple/Widespread Risk Level, but because COVID-19 rates are declining, under CDPH guidelines our district is now eligible to reopen for certain student segments, including K-3.
Return To Learn Academic Reopening Framework
At this week’s Sacramento City Unified School Board meeting, Chief Academic Officer Christine Baeta presented the framework for our Return to Learn Model, and phased-in reopening plan. Here is what you need to know:
Under the framework, after reopening, students would be grouped in cohorts, or dedicated groups, and would have two options for their continued learning:
- Continue with Distance Learning - Families may choose the option to keep their students in distance learning.
- Concurrent Learning – Students would attend school in-person two (2) days each week and attend through distance learning the other three (3) days each week.
Sac City Unified staff are continuing to analyze whether Learning Hubs would continue under this Framework.
Prior to enacting this model, our District will reach out to families with additional information, and ask our families to make a formal decision about which option they will select for their student. This information will be used to help us plan staffing and cohorts of student groups that will participate in Concurrent Learning.
Our district will work to implement the following schedule for the phased-in return to in-person learning:
- April 8 - Return of PreK – 3 students, and K-6 Special Day Classes
- April 15 - Return of 4-6 grade students
- If Sacramento county is in Red tier: May 6 - Return of 7-12 grade students
Sac City Unified has invited our district’s labor partners to negotiate on the negotiable elements of the Return to Learn model with the goal of reaching agreement so our students can return to the classroom according to this schedule. View our Negotiations Dashboard here.
COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic
As announced last week, education staff are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. We continue to prepare for the return to in-person teaching and learning by making progress in all of the key areas indicated on our Return Together dashboard, and by providing vaccinations to our staff. Yesterday we hosted a vaccination clinic in partnership with Dignity Health where 1,538 vaccinations were administered, including approximately 1,000 vaccinations for our staff. Our Nutrition Services staff, Youth Development, IT Staff, Learning Hub Staff, Facilities and Operation staff, K-3 teachers and staff providing elementary special education services such as teachers, aides, administration and office staff were prioritized for the first round of vaccinations provided at this clinic. We will continue to offer the vaccination to staff, with the goal of offering every SCUSD employee the vaccination by early March. Thank you to all of our staff, health care workers, and volunteers who assisted at the event.
Return Together Dashboard Updates
We’re tracking our progress toward our school reopening on the newly created Return Together Dashboard and we’d love for you to check it out. It’s available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Chinese, and Vietnamese. In addition to the high level information about our reopening status, we have also added additional details about each metric including:
- Communication – Our Health and Safety Plan includes videos and resources to help our staff and students prepare for a safe return, as well as detailed protocols for mitigating COVID-19. The dashboard provides our community with information on positive COVID-19 cases and exposures, both in our district and our county.
- Site Safety – We created a daily inspection checklist and disinfection schedule to organize the extra precautions we’re taking on each campus. We also thought it would be wise to have outside input about our safety procedures, and that’s why we’re getting third-party assessments of our campuses before welcoming back our students. Plexiglass barriers and signs are being installed, and measures to encourage and manage physical distancing are being implemented to give us the best chance of fighting COVID-19 on school sites and staying open once in-person instruction begins.
- Ventilation – There are no outlined requirements when it comes to ventilation to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19. However, Sac City Unified has committed to going above and beyond local, state, and federal recommendations to ensure appropriate ventilation to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19 at our school sites. The air that our students breathe must be as fresh and clean as possible to lessen the chances of spreading infection. In addition to opening doors and windows to bring in fresh air, the vents at our sites are now open to constantly cycle outside air through indoor spaces, and our air conditioning and heating units have been reprogrammed to run continuously, so that no air is stagnant in the classroom. The air is constantly moving, recycling, and refiltering to be the best it can be indoors. We’re also installing the highest rated air filters possible.
- Hygiene – We have made changes to our school sites that will make maintaining hand hygiene easy and accessible for students. We disabled hand dryers near school sinks to prevent the spread of germs, disabled our drinking fountains to minimize the amount of shared spaces that students use and touch with their hands and mouth, flushed our water lines, and ensured that there are hygiene supplies, such as soap and hand sanitizer in all of our classrooms. It should be easy for students to wash and disinfect their hands throughout the time they spend in person at school.
Each of these areas is essential to reopening Sac City Unified schools, keeping them open, and prioritizing everyone’s safety. We really care about our students and want to ensure that above all else, you feel safe sending your children to learn on our campuses.
We thank you all for your patience, your incredible efforts at home while we navigate distance learning together, and your understanding. We are doing everything we can, as fast as we can, to get students back in school. Like you, we want students to be back in the classroom and our teachers to get back to in-person instruction. We are quickly making progress and encourage you to track our efforts with us. We’re in this together!