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Friday, March 26 Superintendent Update: District to vote on a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) tonight at 6:30 p.m.; In-Person Safety Measures at Grant Elementary

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Dear WCCUSD Community,

This evening the West Contra Costa Unified School District will vote on a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that WCCUSD and its five employee groups have worked on for the past week and a half to reopen schools this Spring. I encourage you to read the MOU and attend tonight’s 6:30 p.m. board meeting. 

We all want the same thing - a return to in-person instruction and connections. The Covid-19 pandemic has placed an additional set of stressors on students, their families, WCCUSD staff, and communities. We are frustrated and need in-person connections and in-person learning.

The MOU is the first step of many to transition back to in-person learning. It is our opportunity to help close the division the pandemic has caused and to continue to work together to ensure all families’ and students’ needs are met.

The Spring plan is voluntary for staff and students. The plan’s focus is still on WCCUSD’s highest-needs, determined by an equity tree that accounts for various academic, socio-emotional, and demographic categories. Intervention opportunities will be offered to our most high-need students before and after school 5 days per week. 

All students will be offered in-person opportunities during school hours Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  

Again, the plan is voluntary, and families are not obligated to send their students back to in-person help.

Additionally, our goal was to keep the instructional day unchanged as much as possible for students and staff for the final seven weeks of school. I believe we were able to accomplish this.  I feel confident that WCCUSD’s very talented staff will ensure we can accomplish what we have set out to do over these last 8 weeks.

The plan is a chance for kindergartners and their families to experience the “First Day of School.” An opportunity for students from 1st through 12th grade to get re-familiar with being inside a classroom each day and physically seeing their friends, teachers, principals, and other school staff that make it a community. A chance for the Class of 2021 to finish its K-12 journey in-person with their classmates.

As previously mentioned, we are planning WCCUSD’s most extensive in-person summer program. If Covid-19 conditions continue to trend down and vaccinations continue to rise, we will be in a complete in-person program for the fall. 

Again, this all depends on the Covid-19 conditions. We are planning for a full in-person and as a backup a hybrid schedule. 

I want to note that school will have a different look, and we need your help in keeping us safe. Specific safety measures will be required to lower the risks and keep everyone safe. Masks will be necessary for the foreseeable future. We will need your help in ensuring that you are conducting health screens every day with your student before school. Social distancing, whether that is 3 or 6 feet, will be required, and the classrooms will look different with air filters for the rooms that need them and hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the school.

Please take a look at this video we did with Grant Principal Farnaz Heydari and the Grizzlies Elementary School team on what school will look like when we return. Note: this video was filmed two weeks before the Center for Disease Control, and California Department of Public Health updated the school social distancing guidance from 6 to 3 feet, and even I had to adjust my mask during the filming.

Thank you for watching, and we will see you at tonight’s meeting.

In community,

Matthew Duffy