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Newport Beach

Volume 5, Issue 54  |  July 7, 2020

School Notes

District to open athletics with approved guidelines

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) will be opening athletics in a modified capacity, Phase 1, beginning July 6. All programs are aligned with guidelines from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC), which align with Orange County Healthcare Agency COVID-19 Phasing Guidelines, 

Student participation in a program is voluntary and based upon parental discretion. Any student who chooses not to participate in summer workouts will not be penalized. 

The three-phased approach outlines pre-workout/screening, limitations on gatherings, facility cleaning, physical activity/athletic equipment and hydration protocols specific to each phase. Health precautions will be in place to comply with guidance intended to prevent transmission of COVID-19, including appropriate physical distancing and wellness screenings. 

The following protocols will be implemented for all athletes/coaches:

–All coaches/teachers will participate in an NMUSD Athletics Reopening Training, prior to bringing athletes on-campus.

–Athletes must turn in a signed NMUSD Athletics Reopening Parent/Guardian Notification Letter prior to participation in any program. Schools will provide parent waivers.

–Athletes who fail to comply with social distancing and/or face covering guidelines will not be permitted to participate.

–Only athletes are allowed on campus and all parents/guardians must remain inside their vehicles while dropping off and picking up students.

–All athletes/coaches will wear face coverings at all times. Athletes/coaches will be allowed to remove their masks (maintaining six-foot distancing) for short periods throughout the workout/practice to avoid overheating.

–Athletes will be screened daily upon arrival. The screening will consist of a health survey and temperature will be taken, recorded and maintained on a monitoring form.

–Athletes with a temperature of less than 100.4, and no other COVID-19 symptoms will be given a bright-colored, circular sticker with the date indicating their clearance to participate in the program for the day.

–Athletes with a temperature of 100.4 or higher or symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home and not allowed to participate in on-campus programs for 14 days or until clearance from a medical doctor is received.

–After a temperature check and when transferring locations, students/coaches will wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer. 

–Waiting spots will be clearly marked on the ground for athlete use in the adjacent parking lot for pick-up procedures. 

–Schools will follow-up with additional information and parent waivers.

Facility Use By Outside User (non-district) Groups

At this time NMUSD is not authorizing the use of district facilities for outside user (non-district) groups. Priority is to safely re-open district summer and athletic programs in stages as described above. However, the District is currently reviewing which facilities may be safely re-opened without impacting district programs, on-going construction projects, or summer cleaning schedules. 

Alternative learning options approved by District

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) determined a plan at the Tuesday, June 23 Board of Education meeting concerning the beginning of the 2020-21 school year scheduled for August 24.

Approved was a plan for a 100 percent Virtual Learning Option, with details being finalized and expected to be shared in mid-July. 

This option provides for parents who prefer not to send their student to a physical school setting. Reasons cited for this include concerns about potential changes during the school year due to health and government guidelines, and/or that their student has adapted and is thriving in a virtual/distance setting; it reduces the amount of students physically on school campuses; it addresses the need of students and staff in the high risk groups; and sets a foundation to continue and expand virtual learning in the district for future years.

Additionally, the Board gave direction to continue to explore alternative models to maintain social distancing per state guidance and keep students on campus as much as possible to support the instructional program and address the issue of childcare, particularly for elementary students; and, direction to prepare a 3-Level Plan that is adaptable for potential changing circumstances throughout the year and meets the state/county requirements for re-opening. The 3-Level Plan allows district schools to be prepared to shift between in-person, hybrid and distance learning necessitated by state, county or local orders and conditions. 

Next steps for the District include finalizing details of the Parent Choice Virtual Learning Option and the 3-Level Plan. The updated plans, alternative model(s) and other aspects of re-opening will be brought to the Board on July 14. 

For the latest information, visit the 2020-2021 School Reopening Webpage.

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