Messages from Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati
April 3, 2020
Superintendent’s Pre-Spring Break Update
Dear Parents, Guardians and Staff,
I hope this communication finds you and your family safe and in good health. As the proud superintendent of a fantastic school district, I understand how heartbreaking our announcement of continuing distance learning for the remainder of the school year can be for our students and families. As a father of three, including a high school senior, I can relate to the impact these school closures have on all of us. Please know, our district is committed to providing ongoing education, resources and support, to students, parents and staff.
We have moved to distance learning following direction by Governor Gavin Newsom, State Superintendent of Schools, Tony Thurmond, and the Los Angeles County Office of Education Superintendent, Dr. Debra Duardo. Our physical buildings are closed, but teaching and student learning continues. Upon our return from spring break, we will provide a more standardized learning plan for students in grade spans. An outline of expectations for students and teachers from your individual schools will be provided by your school’s principal. We will continue to share resources and support for parents as you assist with your children’s education.
Distance learning will not continue during spring break. When we return on April 20th, our teachers and staff will continue to provide ongoing education via distance learning opportunities through four key online platforms that we will describe in our next letter. Additionally, as we all become more familiar and proficient with distance learning (e.g. pace of assignments, schedules, feedback tools, depth of curriculum, etc.) the efficacy of this approach will improve and evolve.
We want to remind you that distance learning is not a minute-for-minute replacement of the school day; rather, it is an altered and abbreviated schedule that reflects the reality of our current situation. Our teachers and administrators are working extremely hard to adjust lessons and utilize new delivery methods so your student(s) may continue to be engaged, enthused and learning. Our team continues to be flexible, creative and understanding as they become more proficient in digital platforms and engaging students remotely. We are discussing attendance and engagement expectations and will share these with you in a future communication.
The delivery of remote learning is going to look different between elementary and secondary, and may look different between schools and teachers. There will be commonality and guidelines, but room for flexibility and variation between grade spans.
To support our teachers in the development of lessons that incorporate the various online platforms, we have provided two student work days where students will work independently while our teachers plan collaboratively. Your principal will communicate the dates for your school.
This week, our schools distributed more than 850 Chromebooks to students whose families requested access to technology devices for distance learning. We are continuing to provide Chromebooks to our students on an as-needed basis. Please contact your teacher or administrator if your student needs use of a device for distance learning or complete this form: https://bit.ly/SMM0420. We understand that families who have devices may be strained to share between students and parents working from home, and we will also accommodate devices under this circumstance. We are working on obtaining hotspots for families unable to secure internet service and we have listed offers of free internet service on our community resource website.