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Mid-Summer Communication 07.21.21
Posted 7/21/21

 

We hope you are enjoying your summer break! As we continue to work toward welcoming students back to school in August, we wanted to provide you with some mid-summer information and updates on a few important pieces of State legislation and guidance that we are closely monitoring. 


 

Public Health Guidance Regarding Masking in Schools

While social distancing restrictions have been relaxed, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to require that students and staff wear face coverings while indoors on a school campus; therefore, we want to be clear that as of right now, all SRVUSD students and staff will be required to wear face coverings while indoors on a school campus, regardless of vaccination status, when in-person learning resumes in the fall. The only exception will be for students who have a medical exemption filed with the District. Very few students will be exempted, but those who are must submit all the appropriate medical exemption documentation. Students who do not wear masks will not be allowed on campus.

 

We realize that there are strong feelings around the issue of masking, and not everyone will agree with the District’s compliance with the mandate; however, we will not override nor ignore the direction given to school districts from the California Department of Public Health. 

 

Like all other school districts in California, the SRVUSD is charged with implementing and enforcing the statewide mandate. Under operative executive orders and provisions of the California Health and Safety Code, schools must comply with orders and guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health and relevant local health departments to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health. If we do not comply, the District risks liability. 

 

We want to reassure those who are not prepared to wear a mask while on campus that we have an option. We have re-opened the Virtual Academy intradistrict transfer process and we will accommodate new transfer requests through the end of July (more information below). Please refer to our website for more information about the SRVUSD Virtual Academy.

 

We will continue to monitor the guidance from both state and local agencies, and will communicate any changes with our employees and families prior to the start of school.


 

Independent Study and Virtual Instruction

An important legislative update for school districts pertains to Independent Study requirements (AB/SB130) for students in grades TK-12. Families who opted for the District’s Virtual Academy (VA) for the 2021-22 school year made that commitment in April; however, a recent update to the legislation requires that districts accept new requests this summer, particularly for students who may have an underlying health condition or whose health would be put at risk by in-person instruction.

 

If you have not already applied to attend the Virtual Academy and wish to do so, we have reopened the transfer process. The District has an Intradistrict Transfer Request Form in place. Once you complete this form, your student will be enrolled in the Virtual Academy and the VA School office staff will reach out to you with next steps.

 

For staffing purposes, if you wish to enroll your student(s) in the Virtual Academy, please submit this Virtual Academy Intradistrict Transfer Request form by July 30, 2021. Please note that we cannot guarantee that students who enroll in the Virtual Academy will be placed in their home school upon their return to in-person instruction. Families may also choose to enroll their student in the Venture Independent Study program.  If you have questions pertaining to the Virtual Academy program or the Venture Independent Study Program, please reach out to Principal Rose Bright, at rbright@srvusd.net For information on enrolling in the District’s Virtual Academy, please contact Sandy Cattarusa at scattarusa@srvusd.net

 

Information about the Venture Alternative Education program can also be found at: https://www.srvusd.net/schools/ventureindependent.


 

Retention 

Letter Grade Replacement

On July 1, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 104 (AB 104) into law. AB 104 provides learning recovery options for students who struggled with low grades as a result of distance learning during the pandemic. 

 

There are two main provisions of the law that families may consider:

  1. High School Students -- One provision allows students enrolled in a high school course during the 2020-21 school year to select to replace a letter grade with a Pass/No Pass designation with no negative impact on their GPA. Any grade from an A through a D- can be changed to a “Pass.” Students with an F grade can opt for a “No Pass” (and will not receive the course units) and will receive an additional communication from their school regarding remediating the course(s). The process of changing a grade requires students to fill out the template which is available on the California Department of Education (CDE) website. Completed forms should be sent to the registrar at your high school*:

 

 

*The Pass/No Pass designation option is available to students for fifteen days following the date of this notification or Thursday, August 5, 2021. 

 

  1. Kindergarten - 11th Grade Retention Option -- Another provision of the law allows parents of children with mostly failing grades (50% or greater) to request that their student be retained to repeat the grade level in which they were enrolled for the 2020-2021 school year (Kindergarten - 11th grade). The District will explain available options as well as the research regarding negative effects of student retention. Written requests should be submitted to your students' school principal in writing.  Electronic communication is acceptable.


 

“Get Answers Contra Costa” Vaccine Campaign

Kaiser Permanente has partnered with John Muir Health on the “Get Answers Contra Costa” campaign to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the county and help our community members make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones. They launched the Get Answers Contra Costa website to connect and engage with Contra Costa residents to answer their questions and provide information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The website contains interactive content, including informational and how-to videos related to vaccine safety, charts and frequently asked questions.

 

CDE Message Regarding Safe Storage of Firearms

Just prior to the onset of the pandemic, the California Department of Education, through State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, provided a letter to aid school districts in ensuring that families with children fully understood their responsibilities with regard to safe firearm storage. 

CA State PTA declared the month of June ‘Gun Violence Awareness Month.’ Given the documented increase in gun sales during the pandemic, we wanted to be sure that our families had access to this important safety information. Please read this letter on responsible storage of firearms and the responsibilities of gun owners under California law.

 

SAT/PSAT/ACT Update 

SRVUSD is offering the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT during the school day on October 13, 2021 (at each of the District’s high schools):

  • All 10th grade students will take the PSAT/NMSQT       

  • All 11th grade students have the option to take either the PSAT/NMSQT or SAT

  • 12th grade students can choose to retake the SAT 

The District will offer the ACT to SRVUSD 12th grade students on Saturday, October 23rd (location to be determined). 

 

Students who choose to take either the SAT or ACT will need to pay for the exam. Students taking the PSAT/NMSQT do not need to pay for the exam.  Please watch for more information on the registration process for the SAT and ACT in a future communication.

 

Advanced Placement Exam Update

In addition to SRVUSD offering AP exams to students taking a district AP course, SRVUSD will continue to offer AP exam-only testing seats to SRVUSD high school students taking AP course work through non-district courses or self-study.  More information about the AP exam registration process will be sent in a future communication.

 

Questions? Contact Gregory Duran.

 

I hope your summer is both relaxing and rejuvenating. We have lots more information to share with our families/caregivers prior to the start of the new school year. Please watch for upcoming communications from both your school site principal and the District in the coming days and weeks. Until that time, enjoy the rest of your summer break and we can’t wait to welcome you back!