April 9, 2020
Dear Exeter Unified Community:
I hope you and your loved ones are safe, healthy, and practicing social-distancing for the sake of yourself, your families, and our community. Many of us are dealing with loss right now. It may be loss of routines, loss of activities, or the loss of the ability to connect with our friends and family. Through this time of loss, I am grateful for the dedication of our employees who are providing instruction and nutritional services to our students at an unprecedented time in education.
On April 8, 2020, our Exeter Unified board members decided to have all schools remain closed through the end of the year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The District will continue to monitor whether we can reopen schools in mid-May.
When will the District determine if we should reopen?
Our current understanding is that COVID-19 cases will peak in early May. If that is the case, we will not resume school this academic year. We will make the determination toward the beginning of May when we have the most current information.
How will the District determine if we should reopen?
In consultation with County Superintendent, Tim Hire and other Tulare County school district Superintendents, we will use the following criteria to determine when it is safe to reopen our school sites: 1. The California State Shelter in Place order has been lifted. 2. The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California has remained constant or has declined for a two-week period. 3. The directive to social distance has been removed by the State of California. 4. The limit placed on social gatherings has been removed by the State of California.
How does the school closure impact the school calendar?
We do not plan to extend the school year due to the school closure. The last day of school will remain on June 4, 2020. What is the plan for learning? Initially in mid-March when school was suspended, packets and online learning was provided for students to engage in optional enrichment opportunities. However tonight with the board decision to extend the closure of schools, we will now engage in Distance Learning. Distance Learning is online with your students’ teacher through platforms including Google Classroom and SeeSaw. Teachers will create lesson videos to share with students and connect through phone calls, emails, and online office hours. Distance Learning is new for both our students and staff and although schools will remain closed, learning is still expected to occur and will begin immediately following Spring Break on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 through June 4, 2020.
What if we need a device or do not have high-speed Internet connection at home?
The district has contacted families over the past two weeks to determine this need. All devices and hotspots will begin being checked out to families as soon as possible. Your school site will be contacting you with the specific time and location for check out.
How can I get tech support for my student at home?
Please call the tech hotline at: (559) 671-0472 or email: email@example.com
How does the school closure impact my student’s grades?
Teachers are encouraged to provide feedback on assignments that are provided during the school closure. The intent of providing feedback for work that is assigned during Distance Learning, is to gauge learning and provide appropriate support for individual students. Guidance from the California Department of Education includes, “the understanding that grading assignments should not be punitive to students during this time.” As such, we have asked for teachers to be flexible in providing opportunities for students to ensure learning is happening equitably.
Will grab-and-go meals still continue and what is the schedule?
Grab-and-go meal services will continue to occur from 11:30am-12:30pm at: Lincoln Elementary, Rocky Hill Elementary, and Tooleville. Schedule for meal pick up is: Week of April 14, meals can be picked up on Tuesday and Thursday. Beginning on April 20 and beyond, meals will be available for pick up on Mondays and Wednesdays.
How will students of grades 8-11 register for high school next year?
Over the next few weeks, high school counselors will continue to reach out through telephone calls to our current eighth grade students to register them for high school and ensure the appropriate classes are entered for next school year. Counselors will also work to ensure that seniors have the credits necessary for graduation, that 9-11 graders are on track for graduation, and that all students are registered in the required courses for the 20-21 school year.
Will the high school graduation ceremony still occur?
We understand that this a difficult time, especially for our high school seniors. We are looking at options for graduation ceremony and other end-of-year activities. If we remain under the directive for social distancing, it is likely that the ceremony will not happen in the traditional format.
Will the middle school graduation ceremony still occur?
Traditional middle school graduation ceremony and other end-of-year activities will most likely be canceled due to requirements for social distancing. The district is evaluating and exploring alternative options.
How will Special Education Services be provided during the school closure?
Student who receive special education services will continue to receive services and support. Annual Individual Education Plan meetings will be held virtually or via conference calls. Teachers will collaborate with education specialists and other Designated Instructional Service Providers to provide needed accommodations to lessons. Some services may be provided telephonically, online through office hours, or through appropriate at-home activities that can be supported by consultation with parents or guardians. Our Support Services Department will continue to deliver additional services (Speech, Social Emotional, etc.…) with families through telephone, email, Google Classroom or online.
How will you support English Learners?
Teachers will modify instruction for English Learners and provide additional resources and support through telephone, email, or online office hours. Additionally, we are exploring additional options to assist in English Language acquisition.
Will summer school still occur?
We have a team of educational experts looking into our options for summer school. We will have offerings for credit recovery at the high school level only, but the format may be different than our traditional summer school experience.
This letter, along with other informational updates are available on our website and social media platforms. Please continue to visit our website at https://www.exeter.k12.ca.us/ and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
This is a challenging time for our all of us, especially the additional burden on staff and working families. Exeter Unified School District remains committed to keeping students engaged in learning, connected to school, fed, and safe. Thank you for trusting our efforts to do what’s in the best interests of our community. We will continue to do our very best to keep you informed in a timely and respectful manner.
George Eddy, Superintendent