Reopening Updates » San Lorenzo USD Reopening Updates

San Lorenzo USD Reopening Updates

April 6, 2021

 

Dear San Lorenzo Unified Community, 

 

Thank you for your continued support and patience as we work towards reopening our schools for in-person instruction. This letter will include the details I have so far in regards to our reopening process. I would like to highlight a few exciting pieces of information. SLZUSD is currently exploring offering summer school opportunities for grades Transitional Kindergarten through 12th grade. Also, our secondary schools are planning for in person promotion and graduation ceremonies based on county guidelines. More information on these two items will be coming soon!

 

I’d like to reiterate, we have heard the concerns regarding schedules, not changing students’ teachers, and overall safety.  We continue to meet with our labor partner organizations to finalize the details of reopening. 

 

We understand that this week is Spring Break, yet we will need ALL families to complete the registration process to choose Distance Learning or On Campus ( In Person) instruction. Please see directions attached here for registration in AeriesThe deadline for registration is Monday, April 12th at 11:59 pm.

 

The information for applying for Bus Transportation was sent out to families earlier this week. Here is the link for the application.

 

Though the schedules are being finalized in collaboration with our teacher’s association, here are the main details for each level. 

 

Elementary School

  • Each teacher will have two groups of students: Distance Learning Group and an On Campus Group
  • Monday: Distance Learning for all students
  • Tuesday-Friday: On Campus Group in the morning for two hours; Distance Learning Group in the afternoon for two hours
  • Start and End times for each school will differ due to bus transportation schedules

 

Middle and High School

  • Each teacher will have two groups of students: Distance Learning Group and an On Campus Group
  • Monday: Distance Learning for all students
  • Tuesday - Friday: All Students will continue to have online classes in the morning from home; On Campus Group will come to school for class according to their assigned period in the afternoon.

 

As soon as schedules are finalized, they will be posted on the Reopening Updates website and sent out in a letter to families.

 

In order to provide increased support to students transitioning into On Campus learning, as well as allow for staff to prepare, we will stagger grades across a few days. The tentative timeline for students returning to On Campus instruction is as follows:

 

Monday, April 19: 

  • Transitional Kindergarten
  • Kindergarten
  • 1st grade
  • All Special Day Classes: PreK - Adult Transition

 

Tuesday, April 20:

  • 2nd grade
  • 3rd  grade
  • 4th grade
  • 5th grade
  • 6th grade
  • 9th grade

 

Wednesday, April 21

  • 7th grade
  • 8th grade
  • 10th grade
  • 11th grade
  • 12th grade

 

At this point in time, we are receiving requests from staff members that are unable to return to On Campus instruction. Principals will notify families of students who may be affected.

 

Please visit the Reopening Updates page on our District website for more information.

 

The amount of COVID-19 cases in our County continues to decrease as we are now in the orange tier. The weather is nicer and Spring break is upon us. I urge all families to continue to stay safe, practice social distancing, and wear a mask. Please take care!

 

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email at tnoriega@slzusd.org.

 

Sincerely, 

Tracie Noriega

Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services

March 9,2021


Dear San Lorenzo Unified School Community, 



We hope this letter finds you well in this unprecedented time. Similar to last year at this time, change is happening quickly, but now we have much more information in comparison to before. 

We do hope all of our families are safe and in good health. This letter is to inform our community about two items: Reopening Plans and the status of our District Budget.


Reopening Plans:


Thank you for completing the community survey last November. There were a little over 1000 responses and at that time. About 40% of those that responded said they would like to stay in Distance Learning; another approximately 40% said they would be open to a Hybrid schedule; and the other 20% said they would want to come back to in person learning full time. This survey closed right before Alameda County went back into the Purple Tier. The Reopening Committee continued to meet to design Hybrid schedules (a combination of distance and in person learning), using the appropriate safety guidelines from the county and state health departments. These tentative plans have been shared at Board Meetings and our last Town Hall on February 23rd. We will continue to share them at our upcoming Town Hall meetings on March 11 and March 17. As of now, no date has yet been set for SLZUSD students to return to hybrid learning, though with the recent legislation signed by the Governor, we are working towards a date in the near future. A Reopening Plan has been created that addresses safety protocols. We are working with our labor partners to ensure the safety of our students, families, and staff. Another survey will be sent out next week to gauge how families feel about returning to school. It is important that all families take the survey so we have accurate information to base our decisions on.


Status of our District Budget: 


Our district has been in declining enrollment for a number of years. This is a phenomenon that many California districts, especially Bay Area districts are experiencing. Since the 2012-13 school year, our enrollment has decreased by 2,000 students. Funding for districts is based on the number of students enrolled in a district. Currently, we have approximately 9500 students. Over the years, we have used one-time funds to avoid making more drastic budget reductions. Due to recent concerns expressed by the Alameda County Office of Education regarding the fiscal condition of our school district, the Board of Education recently approved the possible reduction of various teaching, counseling and administrative positions. We acknowledge that this decision resulted in a myriad of emotions in our community. We have heard and understand our community’s concern and are currently working to find the best solutions to provide the best education possible, yet keep our district financially stable. While our school district will need to make some difficult decisions in the upcoming months and years, recently passed legislation signed into law by Governor Newsom is expected to bring some much-needed revenues into our school system. The revenues are likely to allow the temporary restoration of many positions for the 2021-2022 school year.  


We will continue to provide weekly updates in regards to reopening plans and our district budget status. Please join us at our next Town Hall meetings on March 11 and March 17. 

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email at tnoriega@slzusd.org.


Sincerely, 

Tracie Noriega

Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services

March 15, 2021


Dear San Lorenzo Community, 


Thank you all for attending the last Town Hall on Thursday, March 11th. We had over 600 attendees. We appreciated all of the feedback and questions presented. As mentioned in the last letter, we will continue to provide weekly updates on Reopening Plans and the status of our District Budget.


Reopening Plans:


In order to get up to date, accurate data from our families, please fill out the Family Survey linked here by Friday, March 19. We know that many families’ opinions have changed since November and may have continued to change over the course of these months with going back into the purple tier, and now being back in the red tier as of Wednesday, March 10th. We received approximately 1200 responses from our November survey, so we ask all families to complete a survey for each of their children. This information will provide us some very important feedback towards our planning.


The recent legislation AB/SB 86 provides for revenues that districts could receive if students return to in person instruction between April 1 and May 15th. We continue to work with our labor partners to come to agreements on the plans for reopening. With the feedback that we received from parents and teachers, we showed an updated draft elementary schedule that shows students attending school 4 days a week, for 2 hours a day, in the morning or afternoon. We also presented information on safety protocols. This week we opened up a Tech hub at Bohannon Middle School to provide a safe space and stable wifi for our most vulnerable students. Our other secondary schools are finalizing plans and parents may be hearing from school sites to see if there is interest in participating. 


The Board of Education will likely consider returning to in person instruction or remaining in distance learning at a special board meeting the week of March 22, 2021.


Please visit our Reopening Updates page on our district website that will have the most recent news as we move forward.


Status of our District Budget:


As our district continues to decline in enrollment, a statewide issue, we continue to analyze causes and effects. Please join us at our Board meeting tomorrow night as we hear a Demographics Study Report. Here is the Board agenda/packet for more information. With the recent legislation passed at the State and Federal level, we will be receiving one time revenues to support our district expenses. These one time dollars can support us with providing funding, thus restoring some positions. While this opportunity provides us a reprieve, it is temporary and we will continue to have challenging conversations to come.


We will continue to provide weekly updates in regards to reopening plans and our district budget status. Please join us at the Board meeting tomorrow night, and our next Town Hall meeting on March 17. 


Please remember to complete the Family Survey linked here by Friday, March 19. 


Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email at tnoriega@slzusd.org.


Sincerely, 

Tracie Noriega

Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services



March 23, 2021


Dear San Lorenzo Unified Community, 


Though these community letters have been opportunities to provide our district with updates on our reopening plans and the status of the budget, as a Filipina- American, I be would be remiss if I did not address the Anti-Asian violence that has increased over the last year and was exemplified by the murders of six Asian Americans in Atlanta last week. My heart was heavy as this incident was yet another one in the rise of attacks against Asians, especially Asian elders. Through this pandemic, our District has maintained  that the safety of students, staff, and all families is priority in the decision making process. Our Anti Bias Guiding Principles serve as our “Call to Action” so that our students receive the best education possible. As I monitored the family surveys last week, there was a marked difference between the results of the Chinese survey, the Spanish survey, and the English survey. An overwhelming majority of those that responded in the Chinese survey preferred to stay in Distance Learning and I could not help but wonder if our Asian families felt safe in returning to our schools amidst the increased violence towards our community. As a school district, we will continue to work towards creating students who will become “creative, collaborative, compassionate, resilient, well-informed and socially responsible advocates for equity and social justice as a result of their education, experience and support from educators, families and the community.” I ask that as a District Community, we commit to learning more about one another, finding the commonalities, and building a better world together.


Reopening Plans:


Thank you all for completing the family surveys last week. With approximately 9500 students enrolled, we did receive over 4000 responses. We will be presenting the results of this survey to the Board Trustees at a special meeting tonight, March 23rd at 6:30 pm. Please join us as we discuss the possibility of reopening into a hybrid learning program for our school district. Our Reopening Plan has been submitted to the Alameda County Office of Education. Currently, several school districts in Alameda County have begun to return their students to in person instruction. 


We appreciate all of the feedback we have received at the Town Hall meetings, Board meetings, various Family meetings, and via email. We have taken this feedback into account as we refine our plans. Please visit the Reopening Updates page on our District website.


Status of our District Budget:


With the recent legislation passed at the State and Federal level, we will be receiving one time revenues to support District expenses. These one time dollars are likely to allow the restoration of some positions during the 2021-22 school year. Again, while this opportunity provides us a temporary reprieve, we must continue to have challenging conversations about where we will need to reduce. We must make decisions that bring our District to a place that matches the numbers of students we have, yet also allows us to provide the best learning environment possible. The Supplemental Early Retirement Plan (SERP) was approved by our Board at last week’s meeting. This decision brings us some savings and allows us to also restore positions. The Board has also decided to reopen the enrollment window to see if there are additional staff members that would like to take advantage of this opportunity. We are currently working on notifying staff whose positions were to be affected by the Particular Kinds of Services (PKS) Resolution.


We will continue to provide weekly updates in regards to reopening plans and our district budget status. Please join us at the Board meeting tonight.


Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email at tnoriega@slzusd.org.


Sincerely, 

Tracie Noriega

Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services




March 25, 2021

 

Thank you to all of the families who responded to the Community survey, as well as those who sent emails and attended the Town Halls and Board meetings.

 

At our last Board meeting on Tuesday, March 23rd, our Trustees voted to reopen schools on April 19th to In Person instruction. 

 

We have heard the concerns regarding schedules, not changing students’ teachers, and overall safety.  We are working with our labor partners to finalize the schedules for all levels, as well as updating details in our safety plan according to more recent guidelines. 

 

We do anticipate a registration process where families will choose distance learning or hybrid learning. The information on safety, schedules, teachers, transportation, and after school care needs will be included with the registration link.

 

More information will be provided in the days and weeks to come.

 

We are looking forward to having our students safely back on campuses on April 19th.

 

Thank you!