Updated: Feb 25
LOS BANOS TALK
Governor Gavin Newsom of California earlier today held a press conference in which he laid out some of his plans for re-opening school districts. In this plan $2 billion dollars is being set aside to incentivize school districts into re-opening elementary student learning by a certain timeline. School districts under this plan will receive a minimum of $450 dollars per student and up to $700 dollars per student in additional funding. Additional money is also allocated for homeless and low-income students.
Today February 19, 2021, LBUSD Superintendent published a letter on https://www.losbanosusd.org which gives an approximate projection of when parents might be able to expect their children can return to in-person learning. This is not complete in-person learning, but instead a "hybrid model" in which students are broken down into groups, and would alternate between distance learning and classroom learning. Parents have the ability to elect for their student to continue with strictly distance learning if they so choose. The plan calls for attending in-person classes for two days followed by distance learning for two days in an alternating fashion.
Under the current state safety guidelines only K-6 grade students may return to in-person learning while the county is in the purple tier. 7-12 grad students may return to in-person learning once the county reaches the red tier. The LBUSD has provided the following dates as projections for when the schools plan to start in-person learning but these dates could change:
TK-1st Grade anticipated start date is March 8
2-6th Grade anticipated start date is March 15
7th-12th Grade anticipated start date is Mid to late April
The Newsom administration has issued several waivers for schools that are within the tier 1 or purple tier to re-open for in-person learning. Most of these schools have been parochial or charter based schools. The County Board of Supervisors made it clear last Board meeting that the decision to re-open schools is now on the individual school boards. Under Newsom's plan if school districts do not return to in-person learning by mid to late April they will forfeit the additional funding.
At this point the LBUSD seems poised to re-open schools partially under the "hybrid model". Parents and guardians have sent many passionate letters to the district regarding re-opening of schools both for and against, and no one envies their position. The way in which the LBUSD is re-opening will allow for those parents and guardians who are not comfortable with in-person learning at this time can continue with distance learning.
When Schools do re-open the following guidelines will be in effect:
All individuals on campus – students, staff, visitors – will be required to wear a mask or approved face shield with a neck drape.
Staff and students must complete a self-screen checklist before coming to campus each day.
All individuals on campus must adhere to recommended social distancing guidelines throughout the day.
Students and staff should wash and/or sanitize their hands frequently during the day.
Any individuals exhibiting flu like symptoms will be immediately sent home.
All student desks will have clear partitions and will adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Students will be separated into stable groupings (Group A/B) and will attend school in- person 2 days per week under the hybrid learning schedule.
Additionally, transportation will continue to be provided to students who normally receive those services. If your child is designated as a "walker", transportation will not be provided. Pickup times and bus stop locations are being updated and are subject to change.
LEAP, the District’s Before and After School Program, will continue to support Los Banos students through in-person cohorts and online homework and enrichment. Currently LEAP operates one to one EL tutoring, small group and individual homework support, STEAM activities, arts and crafts, and physical activities.
The District stated in the letter that parent's wishing to have their student return to in-person learning should know that,
" we can assure you that LBUSD is well prepared to welcome them back safely. We commend our staff members who have tirelessly been working in our buildings during this unusual school year. This includes our wonderful teams and individuals from food services, technology, school administration, custodial, grounds, building maintenance and many others, including central office and special education staff providing in-person supports. Teachers have supported students through distance learning from their classrooms or offices. Instructional and support staff will continue to return to buildings in order to prepare for the start of in-person instruction at designated times."
The School District also stated that parents and guardians of students should notify their student's school soon as to whether they intend to participate in in-person hybrid learning or remain solely in distance learning.
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