Good Afternoon Parents, Students, Staff, and Community,
Stanislaus County has officially reached and been designated as a "Red Tier County" as of yesterday. We are excited to proceed with our all-day-full week reopening on April 1, 2021, for all grades TK-12.
The continued good news about expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines and the decrease of community spread in Stanislaus County (keeping us in the Red Tier) are all reasons to celebrate. At the same time, let's all continue to do our part and be vigilant in our social distancing practices and prudent use of Personal Protective Equipment.
We know that this has been a very tough year for everyone. I am very thankful for our reopening and look forward to finishing out the year safely and with in-person instruction. I know that some will choose to remain on distance learning, and we respect your decision. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. We know there will be some areas where we may need to fine-tune and modify procedures. Please know we are all doing our best to adhere to local county public health and California State Public Health Department. We do not create all rules, but we are expected to follow them. In this trying time, I ask for your support and cooperation.
Welcome Back – April 1, 2021
School sites are preparing activities to welcome students back on a traditional school day schedule on April 1. Please look for communications coming from your school principal for specifics.
Mental Health Support
As families prepare for our reopening, consider your child's mental health just as strongly as you consider other health and safety considerations. Whether your child will return to campus or continue to learn remotely, there will be a transition for all students. Such a wide range of emotions can be complex for students to manage. If students need support from our counselors, they and our entire staff are ready to support them.
After School Program (ASES)
The After School Program will continue only to be offered through distance learning. We continue to work on being fully staffed and providing a safe environment for the students. At this point, our staff and student ratios do not allow us to conduct the program in-person. Please know that we will continue to monitor and make modifications to offer the program in person as soon as we can do so.
Transportation will be offered but will be limited to our social distancing requirements. We are asking that all parents who can drive their students to and from school please do so. We ask that students practice safety protocols at each bus stop and even when walking to and from school.
As we transition to our regular schedule, we continue to pursue outdoor learning spaces. Our goal is to support teacher initiatives to ideate, create, and maintain outdoor spaces and to that end, we will try to create a model "outdoor classroom'' on some sites. Students will follow safety protocols even when outside for recesses and lunches. I know this is frustrating, but it is required under our reopening plan. Various activities will be rolling out at different times based on resources, staffing availability, and student interest in specific limited activities.
It is important to note that even though extracurricular and outdoor education activities will be held outdoors, students must wear masks and adhere to physical distancing. All activities will adhere to strict COVID-19 health and safety standards and restrictions.
Our athletics programs will be suspended until the 2021-2022 School Year, which begins on August 11, 2021.
We will continue to provide meal distribution days for those students remaining on distance learning. The food service staff will update schedules via Parent Square.
We intend to hold in-person graduation at each of our middle schools and high school. We are preparing for that with a positive mindset as we anticipate that health conditions are improving to allow some in-person gatherings. Our leaders are thinking creatively about critical issues for this important day including, how students can cross a stage, interact with peers, and how parents can participate. If health conditions take a turn for the worse, we also need to be ready for virtual graduation. Be assured that staff will be holding a ceremony to celebrate our graduates no matter what we face when that time comes. We are awaiting state guidance on graduations and will plan accordingly. Please watch for additional information via Parent Square and other and Principal messages for "Class of 2021" updates.
Summer School Update
We are also beginning to prepare for Summer School and will focus on the students who will be invited to participate in summer school based on academic assessments. Summer School is only being offered to the traditional Tk-7th grade students. The Charter School will not be conducting summer school. The summer school program will target the learning loss needs of our students. The focus will be on reading skills, language acquisition, and educational learning gaps. The district is working on completing hires for Summer School teachers, and Mr. Matt Murray will be the administrators who will begin planning and coordination to ensure that health and safety measures are in place for the 2021 summer program. This program will begin June 3 through June 30. It will be held at Keyes Elementary School. It will be a 4 hours student day, with students being released at noon.
Spring Break - Stay Safe
The Keyes Union School District Spring break is upon us, and schools will be closed from April 2 – April 9 (Returning on Monday, April 12, 2021). Please join me and others in our community to ask our families to avoid gatherings of more than three households and/or more than 16 people and limit or refrain from travel. If you must travel, please follow state guidance for travel, wear a mask and consider getting tested. Reducing our community spread is in everyone's interest. We are trending in the right direction in Stanislaus County.
Welcome back and enjoy the spring break.
Dr. Helio Brasil