Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District

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Superintendent's Update - July 18, 2020

From the Superintendent
"Putting Kids First"
Dear Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District School Community,
Yesterday, Governor Newsom announced criteria on school reopening that all but guarantees that our schools will begin the year in remote learning models.  I know this decision has tapped into a mixture of emotions throughout our community, as last night my wife and I had to tell our children that they would likely not return to school in the fall.  This was an extremely difficult conversation, and thus I can relate to those with feelings of frustration and helplessness.  
For those families that are trying to figure out how they will go to work in the fall while their children are at home learning, please know we are thinking about ways to support you.  For those teachers and educators who want nothing in the world but to be with their students in their classrooms, please know we are continuing to work on in-person models which we can implement at the appropriate time.  And for those families that have health and safety concerns, please know that we will provide a Distance Learning Academy for your children throughout this entire school year.
So here's the details from yesterday which you should be aware of.  California Governor Gavin Newsom announced criteria in partnership with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), providing revised guidance and a detailed framework for reopening schools this fall. The Governor stated that, in order to reopen schools for in-person instruction, counties must be 14 consecutive days off the California Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Monitoring List. As of today, July 18,2020, Los Angeles County is identified as one of the counties that does not meet the criteria to reopen schools with an in-person format.
Our committees made up of hundreds of teachers, parents and medical professionals have been working diligently the past several weeks and months on our school reopening plans. As shared in previous updates, we have worked hard to provide both an in-person Hybrid School Program as well as a full-time Distance Learning Academy for students, allowing each parent to make a decision that is in the best interest of their family.  
At our Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, July 22, I will be presenting the details of the Distance Learning Academy and the in-person Hybrid School Program.  As previously mentioned, the Distance Learning Academy is designed for families and students with the intention to learn remotely for the entire school year, and will require a minimum of a one semester commitment.  The Hybrid School Program, while designed for 50% in person instruction and 50% remote learning, will begin the year in a 100% remote learning environment until such a time that we have approval to return to campus.  This could be after only a few weeks or months.  Therefore, while both instructional options will begin the year in remote learning, they are both very different in their design and implementation.  Parents will be given a handbook detailing the programs and will have be asked to select the program that best meets the needs of their family. The district will also be hosting another Town Hall meeting to further answer community questions on Monday, July 27th.
Please know that all learning programs in a virtual environment will be rigorous with live instruction and interaction between students and teachers.  It will not resemble the emergency distance learning program we provided last spring.  We have already secured new on-line learning platforms to better equip students and teachers in a virtual learning environment.  We have also begun to provide our teachers with training opportunities and will continue to invest in teacher training throughout the summer months.
That being said, it is important for us to keep in mind that our 2020-2021 school year start date is still over five weeks away, and we will closely monitor LA County's ability to meet these new requirements, as outlined by the state, for an eventual return to in-person instruction. 
I encourage you, if you have not already, to view our recent Town Hall at
Thank you again for your patience and support as we take time to digest these new state guidelines for schools and school districts, accordingly. Rest assured, we will send additional updates to families as more information about our plans become available.

Alex Cherniss, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District

310-378-9966 X404



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