Dear Families and Staff,

 As many of you may already know, our school board has  approved my recommendation that our campuses return to in-person learning with a hybrid model on January 19, 2021 for all K-12 students.

I am grateful to the several hundred of you who have shared your ideas, concerns, fears and compelling personal situations. I have heard from many of you who have expressed either appreciation or disappointment about our decision to open on that date. Some feel that we are moving too slow and wish to be back in school now and some are relieved that we are waiting until January. I understand the many perspectives and believe our course of action is the most appropriate at this time.

I want to clarify that we expect our county’s rate of transmission will be at the moderate risk “orange” tier, or at the minimal risk “gold” tier, in January. While some schools have chosen to reopen in the “red” tier, as a district, we are erring on the side of caution by waiting until our COVID rates have declined and our county has progressed into the orange or gold tier. 

I know that you need to be fully informed before deciding whether the hybrid approach will work for your family. I have asked staff, principals and teachers to provide you with timely and accurate information on our next steps for returning to in-person learning. 

 The week of November 2-6, 2020 you will receive instruction on how to make the selection: in-person or distance learning model, based on your school’s program offerings.

 The following are some of the actions our staff will be taking to address the many questions and concerns you have raised as a collective community:

  1. Students on Campus: Small cohorts of students will continue to attend in-person to receive personalized support. Athletics will also continue as approved by CIF and CDPH. Small cohorts will be evaluated and expanded as appropriate.
  1. Re-Entry Advisory Teams: School sites will convene teams composed of parents, teachers, classified staff, and students to advise on health and safety and hybrid learning models.
  2. School Site Plans: Principals will be sending parents clear, site-based information about what to expect for their students in a hybrid learning in-person program and collaborate with teachers in their transition to a rigorous hybrid learning model.
  3. Hire Additional Staff: Human Resources staff will focus on hiring additional staff such as custodians, playground supervisors and paraprofessionals. If you or someone you know is interested please head to our website for more information.
  4. Staff Testing: Continue to implement our staff COVID-19 testing program, the next round of testing will take place between January 4 and January 16, 2021. 

Our bilingual Family Engagement Unit is available from Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for any questions you may have. Email feu@sbunified.org or call: 805-696-2701.  

Our bilingual Educational Technology Services team is available Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for any technical issues you or your student may have. Call 805-696-2700 or email us at support@sbunified.org.

I have confidence and trust that our staff is ready to return to school and with all the proper health and safety protocols in place will implement a high-quality rigorous teaching and learning experience for all students.  

We want to take this time to thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. As you know, the public health situation can change at any time. Our commitment to you is that we will do everything we can to keep our students and staff safe, and to share updates with our community as we move forward.

As we have done throughout this pandemic , we will work together, persevere, and make sure our students are supported in every way possible. We are looking forward to reopening and seeing your child in person again.

Sincerely,

Hilda Maldonado
Superintendent