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Volume 5, Issue 76  |  September 22, 2020


School Notes

District approves reopening dates and transition plan

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) approved start dates to reopen schools and transition to modified in-person instruction at a special board meeting last Thursday, Sept. 10. The staggered reopening starts with elementary and students with special needs (TK-12), followed by middle and high schools.

The start dates are Tuesday, Sept. 29 for Transitional Kindergarten to Grade 2 and special needs students receiving Special Day Class services for TK-12. Then, Grades 3-6 will begin on Thursday, Oct. 1, with Grades 7-12 starting on Monday, Oct. 12.

Elementary TK-6

The instructional model for elementary (K-6), which includes two half-day daily cohorts, optimizes safety and in-person instruction by reducing the number of students on campus. 

This means students will meet for in-person instruction, either in the morning or afternoon, for half day on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Then, each cohort will meet in-person in the morning for a half day every other Wednesday.

On the half days when students are not on campus for in-person instruction, they will participate from home via asynchronous learning from their teachers and independent learning.

Other half-day instruction, such as physical education, music, science, intervention, enrichment support and/or special education services, if eligible, is currently being planned and will be shared by the child’s school.

The District will make an effort to keep families in the same AM/PM cohort.

Also of note, students receiving school bus transportation will be assigned to the AM cohort, but transportation services, including bus stops, will be limited. Face coverings are required for all bus passengers. 

Students in SDC will attend full days, except for Wednesday half days.

Secondary 7-12

The instructional model for middle and high schools optimizes safety and full day in-person instruction two days a week, while also reducing the number of students on campus and minimizing the number of transitions from class to class.

The two-cohort model meets for in-person instruction two full days a week on either Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday.

On days when not in in-person instruction, secondary students will participate in Distance Learning with asynchronous learning from their teachers, intervention, enrichment, and/or special education services, if eligible.

On Wednesdays, both cohorts will meet via Distance Learning in the morning for half day. 

Students will be assigned to a cohort, either Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday, that best aligns to their current classes.

School bus transportation services, including bus stops, will be limited and all riders must wear face coverings. Students receiving bus transportation services will be assigned to a cohort that best balances the riders per day.

Students receiving SDC services will be full days, except for Wednesday half day.

(Exceptions to the above are previously approved models for Estancia High School, Early College High School and Back Bay/Monte Vista High School.)

NMUSD will adhere and implement the most recent updated safety guidelines per the California Department of Public Health including but not limited to:

–Limit number of students on campus at one time. 

–Social distancing in the classroom and throughout the school, including recess and lunch.

–Minimize transitions and person to person contact.

–Signage and directional traffic patterns on campus.

–Clear plastic barriers (elementary classrooms). 

–Maintain student cohorts (elementary). 

–Increase cleaning and disinfecting. 

–Require face covering for students in grades 3 and up and strongly recommend for students grades 2 and below. All staff are required to wear face coverings. (Except for reasons allowable under the state guidance.) 

–Daily staff wellness screenings; and student visual wellness check (page 18 of School Reopening Plan).

–Process for COVID-19 cases promote healthy habits such as hand-washing and staying home when sick (page 20 of School Reopening Plan).

–Limit non-essential visitors.

–Meet heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) standards.

NMUSD Board Meeting this evening

This afternoon’s Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) Board Meeting will be virtual. The Closed Session begins with roll call at 3 p.m., followed by the Regular Meeting at 6 p.m.

Some of the items on the agenda are:

–The approval of a revision to the High & Middle School courses of study with Enhanced Algebra 1AB.

–Approval of an agreement between the District and the Freedom Committee of Orange County to continue offering a “Living History” of World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

–-The adoption of a resolution of September as “National Suicide Prevention Month.”

–Approval of a tentative agreement between the District and the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers for 2020-2021.

–A public hearing for the Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan.

To view the agenda is its entirety, go here.

To attend the meeting virtually, go here.

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