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Update from the Superintendent - February 26th
Posted 2/26/21

Dear Scotts Valley Community,

Things are moving very quickly now so I want to make sure that you have the most recent information (at least for today!).

The COVID-19 Safety Plan for SVUSD has been submitted and approved by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).  The California Safe School For All, District Reopening Map, reflects that SVUSD has been approved to reopen for elementary hybrid instruction. The map can be viewed here.  Given this information, the elementary schools have announced a phased return to in-person hybrid instruction during the month of March, with all grades returning in the hybrid model prior to Spring Break.   The elementary Principals sent this letter to their parents on February 19th:  Letter to Elementary Parents 2/19/2021  

I want to reiterate that those families who have already requested an independent study program in the elementary grades will be able to maintain that program for the remainder of this year, and those families that have already requested full-time distance instruction will also be accommodated.

Scotts Valley Middle School is prepared to begin hybrid instruction after the County has moved into the Red Tier for two consecutive weeks, and based on current numbers, this shift may occur in March before Spring Break. SVMS families have already had the opportunity to indicate if they would like to return to campus for in-person. However, families who selected online distance instruction and would like to switch to in-person instruction will have the opportunity to change their request after Spring Break, pending space availability within the classrooms. SVMS will follow the hybrid plan that was released in November 2020 and will continue to provide in-person afternoon interventions as needed. The middle school already has plans to bring back 6th graders at the beginning of March. If in fact, we are moving sooner into the Red Tier, we may postpone that plan in order to bring back the sixth, seventh, and eighth graders into hybrid instruction. We are closely watching the potential changes of the improved COVID ratings.

Scotts Valley High School is prepared to begin their hybrid schedule after the county is in the Red Tier for 2 consecutive weeks.  Current estimates suggest this may occur in March before Spring Break.  Upon entering the Red Tier, the school will again survey parents and students to know if students will return to campus for in-person hybrid instruction, or choose to access their classes only through distance instruction. However, families who selected online distance instruction and would like to switch to in-person instruction will have the opportunity to change their request after Spring Break, pending space availability within the classrooms.  Additionally, school staff are reviewing the hybrid schedule released in December and are considering changes based on new knowledge and current conditions. The school will continue with the after-lunch Tutorial sessions offered to 9th-grade students during distance instruction, and other grade levels may be included in the Tutorial session program if the hybrid start date is pushed out past Spring Break. 

High School athletics are also beginning to open up, and the District is working with local Public Health, Santa Cruz Athletic League, Athletic Directors, and secondary administration regarding the latest updates for outdoor youth sports.  Next week the football season opens and we will continue with conditioning until certain requirements are adhered to for practice and competition in the Purple and Red Tiers.  We were informed recently by Santa Cruz Public Health that spectators will not be allowed on the campus for these events.

The good news is that we may be moving into the Red Tier sooner than expected. We will definitely keep you updated on this information, as we will need to be in the Red Tier for two weeks prior to transitioning to in-person hybrid schedules at the middle school and at the high school.

I am extremely pleased that we have been able to successfully get all of our employees in for their initial vaccination, and that the round one process should be completed by the end of this week. So many people worked around the clock to make this happen and we greatly appreciate these efforts. I specifically want to express my thanks to our County Superintendent, Dr. Faris Sabbah, for his leadership and partnership with Dignity Health and Dominican Hospital that has allowed educators in Santa Cruz County to receive vaccinations for the purpose of reopening school's sooner.

Last night, Dr. Faris Sabbah, along with the Santa Cruz County Superintendents, hosted a Town Hall Zoom event with special guests from Dignity Health and Dominican Hospital.  The topics included reopening plans, the recent vaccination implementation, other details regarding reopening schools for hybrid instruction, and the session concluded with a question and answer period.  If you missed it, you can view it here:  

Safely Bringing Students Back to Our Classrooms -  Town Hall Recording from 2-25-2021

I completely understand that this new phase of our COVID response is creating mixed reactions, and I want to thank you for your patience, perseverance, and kindness as we move forward.  At SVUSD we are all very excited for the opportunity to return to campus!

Respectfully,

Tanya Krause, Superintendent