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March 18, 2020
Dear SPUSD Families and Community,
The impacts of the coronavirus are touching every aspect of our lives and forcing all of us to find creative ways to adapt to this unprecedented situation. We know the disruption in normal school operations has created many issues and uncertainties – from childcare and meals to graduation plans and college preparation. In this letter, we will answer some questions you may have the best we can.
When will school reopen?
In coordination with the Ventura County Office of Education and all other school districts in Ventura County, The Santa Paula Unified School District will be keeping our schools closed at least through Friday, May 1. Our new target date to reopen is Monday, May 4. As you know, things are changing daily, so there is the potential that the closures could be extended beyond May 1. Yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom advised parents to prepare for the possibility that schools may be closed through the summer break. While that could indeed happen, we remain hopeful that conditions will improve enough to allow us to reopen before the end of the school year.
Will graduation and promotion ceremonies be held?
Like all of you, we want nothing more than to honor our students for their accomplishments. The thought of graduation ceremonies being cancelled is heartbreaking, and we will do all we can to make them happen. In the event that traditional in-person ceremonies are not possible due to public health concerns, we will explore alternative ways to recognize our students for their achievements.
Will remote learning be provided for students at home?
Yes, we are currently working on plans to provide remote learning for our students. As you can imagine, this is no small endeavor. It involves issues with technology, training and equitable access for all students, including those with special needs and those who do not have internet service or computers at home. We are working to roll out distance learning as soon as possible and will notify parents when it is ready. In the meantime, we encourage your students to take advantage of the at-home enrichment activities we have provided on our webpage, Enrichment Resources. Also, Southern California PBS TV stations are offering TV-based at-home learning opportunities for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Additional information is at www.kcet.org/at-home-learning.
Will state CAASPP testing take place?
The state CAASPP testing in math and English language arts has been cancelled for the current school year, and will not take place.
What’s happening with SAT, ACT, and AP testing?
The College Board, which administers the SAT, has canceled the March 28 makeup and May 2 SAT test dates. The next SAT test date is June 6 with a registration deadline of May 27. The College Board is also working on remote learning for AP students and a plan to allow AP tests to be taken at home. The situation is changing frequently, so please see their latest updates at pages.collegeboard.org/collegeboard-covid-19-updates.
The April 4 ACT test date has been rescheduled to June 13. Please get the latest information at www.act.org/content/act/en/covid-19.html.
Will school meals continue to be provided?
Yes, the Santa Paula Unified School District will continue to provide school meals, which are a vital source of nutrition for many students. Meals will continue to be served at Glen City and Barbara Webster School sites Monday through Friday from 10:30 until 12:30 p.m. A list of meal pickup locations and times throughout Ventura County is also available at www.vcoe.org/meals or www.vcoe.org/comida.
Will schools provide childcare?
We are aware that school closures present serious childcare challenges for many families. However, the point of closing the schools is to protect students from exposure to the coronavirus and to slow its spread. This social distancing is for the greater good of our communities. Using schools as childcare locations would defeat the purpose of the closures, so we will not be offering childcare at our school sites at this time.
Please know there are dedicated teachers, administrators and support staff working hard to provide for our students’ academic needs and overall well-being during these challenging times. This situation is evolving rapidly and we will continue to share new information with you as we have it. For the latest updates, please visit our website at https://www.santapaulaunified.org.
Please continue to encourage your children to use healthy and safe precautionary practices. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Dr. Ed Cora
Previous District Communications
Dr. Ed Cora, Superintendent
(805) 933 8802