Message from the Superintendent: Clarifying School Re-opening Requirements & Celebrating Our Students

Dear PUSD community,

 

I hope you and your families are continuing to stay safe and healthy during the shelter in place. You may have heard Governor Newsom’s press conference earlier this week where he reviewed his updated roadmap, and where he mentioned the possibility of starting the 2020-2021 school year in late July or early August. The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) also released revised guidelines this week (summarized here). 

 

The Governor suggested that any reopening of the economy and public services would occur in a phased approach: 

Stage 1: Safety and Preparedness

Stage 2: Lower Risk Workplaces

Stage 3: Higher Risk Workplaces

Stage 4: End of Stay at Home Order

 

The Governor included schools and childcare facilities in Stage 2, which would be reopened in a modified manner to support parents that are transitioning back into the workforce and address gaps in student learning. He identified the following triggers or preconditions that would initiate reopening - these are likely to vary by county and/or region: 

  • Have stable hospitalization and ICU trends
  • Have hospital surge capacity to meet demand
  • Have sufficient personal protective equipment supply to meet demand
  • Have sufficient testing capacity to meet demand
  • Have contact tracing capacity statewide

 

Until those preconditions are met, it is difficult to visualize a path to starting the 2020-2021 school year in July. However, staff will continue to develop plans for a resuming school in August while incorporating the social distance requirements set by the ACPHD. Our primary concern remains the health and safety of our students and staff, and we are working closely with the Public Health Office and the Alameda County Office of Education to determine how and when to begin returning students and staff safely to school. 

 

While there is nothing more I would rather do than to have our school communities return to normal activities, there are a number of big questions that must be answered before we move to physically reopen schools. We are continuing to develop plans for a number of potential scenarios, dependent on the above conditions, and will hold a Board Study Session later this month to discuss those ideas in detail. You will receive information on plans for a modified Summer School program in the very near future. 

 

Our amazing team of teachers and staff are focused on supporting students and families, as we complete the 2019-2020 school year. I encourage students to stay fully engaged in their learning and ask that parents to reach out to their school principals if they need additional support. We are here to help.

 

It has been incredible to see the many ways our schools have continued to honor milestone achievements in our students’ educational journeys: from elementary school promotion to high school graduation. These students, notably our Class of 2020 Seniors who will be embarking on the next stage of their lives, deserve to be honored for their hard work. I would like to thank our high school leaders, staff, and parents that have been working tirelessly to create meaningful celebrations for our Seniors. We will be sharing ways for our  to join us in recognizing our #PUSD2020 graduates very soon.   

 

Until then, please stay safe and take care of yourself and others. 


Gratefully, 


David Haglund, Ed.D. 

Superintendent of Schools