Dear Clovis Unified students, parents and staff,
Our founding Superintendent Doc Buchanan used to say, “Education revolves around teamwork and trust.” As we prepare for the start of the 2020-21 school year while still in the midst of the COVID pandemic, teamwork and trust remain at the forefront of our decision-making. Together, our staff, Governing Board, students and families have navigated uncharted territory. We have done so by making decisions based on the responsibility that comes hand-in-hand with the trust placed in us by our families, staff and students to keep their well-being at the forefront.
I recognize that questions about the start of the 2020-21 school year have dominated the thoughts of many of our families. We have heard from a great majority of our community and employees that they want kids to return to school and are concerned about the negative academic, social and emotional impact to students during this time. At the same time, we respect the guidance from Fresno County’s Department of Public Health that has repeatedly emphasized the need for physical distancing, face coverings and other mitigation measures to help prevent the spread of COVID.
As a result, our Governing Board and Administration have developed a Return to School Health and Safety Plan that provides families with two temporary options: a full online learning model and a traditional model in which students are on campus five days a week. These temporary options will be in place for at least the first six weeks of school, unless the status of the COVID pandemic in our county improves significantly.
Since June, a team of close to 100 employees have been hard at work preparing for the start of the 2020-21 school year this August. As you can imagine, this work has been extensive, examining every element of our educational program in the context of the COVID pandemic.
This plan is designed to mitigate but not eliminate risk to our students and staff. As it has been made clear to us by our partners from the public health and medical fields, no single or set of actions will completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Instead, our plan layers increased cleaning, physical distancing and hygiene practices on campus with options for families. Those whose family health circumstances makes Online Instruction the right choice, are provided that choice.
We ask that after reviewing the plan, families complete this year’s Annual Information Update before July 24. While completing your Information Update, you will be asked to designate in which of the models you would like your child enrolled.
Thank you to the team members who have worked tirelessly in developing our 2020-21 Return to School Plan, and to the members of our local medical community who provided guidance in these efforts. As a team, we are committed through our actions and decisions to validate the trust and confidence our families and staff have placed in us to serve our students.
Eimear O’Farrell, Ed.D