What will happen to local public education when schools open – or don’t – in the fall? At Tuesday night’s meeting the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education announced that the district will begin the 2020-2021 school year in an online-only distance learning format.
The announcement follows new state regulations announced last week by Governor Newsom that school districts cannot open for in-person instruction until remaining off of the state’s monitoring list for rising covid-19 infections for 14 consecutive days.
“With Orange County currently on the monitoring list and a recent surge in coronavirus cases, district leaders have been preparing for this contingency and are prepared to make this pivot to online-only distance learning,” said Board of Education President Walter Muneton. “District administrators will continue to revisit the COVID-19 status and will be prepared to return to in-person classes as soon as it is safe to do so and cleared by state guidelines.”
“The Board and district leadership team understand that distance learning is not easy – with challenges like childcare, work schedules, and access to technology,” said Board of Education Vice President Teri Rocco. “District leaders are working around the clock to ensure that distance learning will look and feel different than it did in the spring, including greater supports for families and students and a higher level of consistency with and across every online classroom and school.”
When allowed to re-open schools for the 2020-2021 school year and through the span of the COVID-19 pandemic, GGUSD will offer three learning options:
1.) students attend in-person class (all of some of the day/week, depending on each site’s capacity and ability to implement given required physical distancing);
2.) a hybrid model of some in-person class and distance learning ; and
3.) a Virtual Academy which will include online learning led by a teacher through virtual lessons with opportunities for tutoring on campus if needed.
GGUSD’s reopening plans are based on health and safety guidelines from the Orange County Health Care Agency and the California Department of Public Health as well as the Orange County Department of Education and California Department of Education. Guidance may change based on the status of the pandemic and GGUSD will remain flexible.
The district’s reopening plans were developed with feedback from all stakeholders, including more than 23,000 family surveys, 2,000 employee surveys and feedback from the district’s stakeholder task force that met throughout late June and July and included nearly 200 students, parents, and staff members.
Each of the district’s 67 schools will have a site-specific reopening plan based on feedback from its own students, families, and staff as well as building capacity.
The GGUSD serves most of Garden Grove as well as parts of Anaheim, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Stanton and Westminster.