Dear AUSD Community,
I am writing to share some important news regarding the school reopening plans here at Albany USD.
As you may recall, on October 1st, the Alameda County Department of Public Health updated their Shelter-In Place orders, allowing school districts to begin reopening elementary schools on or after October 13. The Alameda County Superintendent of Schools also issued a statement on a Phased Reopening for Alameda County Schools, providing guidance permitting a limited and phased reopening of elementary schools, without the need for the waiver required previously. Furthermore, on October 6th, ACOE released their Reopening School checklist.
At the Board of Education Special Meeting last Tuesday, October 6, I shared our proposal to pivot from a 100% remote-learning model of instruction to a hybrid model of instruction. We also presented a remote only option for families who need to continue in remote learning. After hearing many concerns from community members related to the remote-only option, we decided to revise this model, and we met again on Thursday, October 8th in an emergency meeting for the Board to further review, discuss, and ultimately vote on the overall, updated proposal.
The School Board voted to approve the plan to pivot to hybrid learning, with a few amended target dates (final dates are listed below). The following is a brief summary of the plan to date; more details will be presented in future communications and will be posted on our district website.
Elementary Hybrid Blended Learning Model
- Students receive in-person instruction in stable cohorts (12-15 students) on M/T or Th/Fri
- Students receive remote instruction three days per week
- Remote learning days will include synchronous and asynchronous instruction with AUSD staff
- All students receive remote instruction on Wednesday (to allow for deep cleaning between cohorts)
- Students receive daily required instructional minutes
Elementary 100% Remote Instruction Model
- Students who are medically fragile or would be put at risk by in-person instruction, or who are self-quarantining because of exposure to COVID-19 may receive 100% remote learning
- In addition, any AUSD family may choose to continue to receive 100% remote learning
- Students in remote learning will receive instruction from AUSD staff
- Remote learning will include synchronous and asynchronous remote instruction
- Students will receive state-approved and standards-based curriculum
Detailed information regarding secondary hybrid and remote instruction models will be forthcoming.
Target Dates for Pivoting to Hybrid Instruction:
- November 2: Preschool Hubs (teacher/student ratio 1:7)
- November 30: Preschool (teacher/student ratio 1:14)
- January 4: TK-1st Grade
- January 11: 2nd-3rd Grade
- January 18: 4th-5th Grade
- February 1: 6th-12th Grade
Additional Next Steps Include the following:
Hubs: Opening hubs was discussed in the proposal as a high-priority and the Board’s acknowledgement included the understanding that District Staff is working to open these as soon as possible for the following groups: Special Education, 504’s, Intervention, English Learners, Mental Health and Physical Education (Dance, Yoga, hiking and other outdoor physical activities).
Staff and Parent Surveys: We will be administering surveys regarding our reopening school options in order to plan appropriate staffing for both our hybrid and remote learning models.
AUSD Public Health Component Dashboard For Reopening Schools: we will be launching this dashboard, which is a checklist allowing us to track and communicate our progress toward reopening schools. This will be posted on the district website and will be updated weekly.
Our commitment is to keep our students, staff and community safe during these challenging times.
My hope is that you stay Safe, Healthy and Encouraged!
Frank Wells, Ed.D.
Superintendent - Albany Unified School District