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July 20: Return To School Framework Submitted to Contra Costa County Office of Education

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July 20, 2020

Dear WCCUSD community,

I hope that you are having a safe and restful summer. Today, as promised, we submitted the Back to School Vision & Framework to the Contra Costa County Office of Education. As we shared on July 9, the 2020-21 school year will begin in a distance learning format when instruction resumes on Monday, August 17

Despite submitting this document for county review, there is still a lot of work to complete. The next step is to create Implementation Teams to operationalize a Re-Opening Plan by focusing on the key components of the Framework. Each Implementation Team will include select representatives of labor unions, parent organizations, and students.

The four Implementation Teams are:

  • Learning & Instruction
  • Health & Safety
  • Logistics & Operations
  • Communications & Engagement

These four teams will develop the specifics of “How, What and When” our reopening plan will be phased in.

During this period, we will engage in negotiations and conversations with labor organizations. We hope to have in place Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) by August 1.

My goal is to fill in the details of the framework so that we can begin sharing critical information in the next few weeks about what the instructional day and week will look like when classes begin next month. Some of the information we hope to share with you includes: the amount of “live” instruction that will take place as well as the days and times, expectations for individual work for students, professional development schedules for teachers and staff, and specific portions of the instructional day set aside for socio-emotional learning and support.

On Friday, Governor Newsom released updated Guidance for Schools and School-Based Programs from the California Department of Public Health and also set the metrics that schools should use to determine whether to return to in-person instruction. You can find the Guidance for Schools and School-Based Programs at the COVID-19 website at

The specific metrics schools must meet to open in-person instruction and remain open include:

  • Schools and school districts can reopen only when their county has been off of the monitoring list for 14 consecutive days.
  • Schools should revert to distance (virtual) learning when multiple cohorts have cases or five percent of students and staff test positive within a 14 day period.
  • The district should revert to distance learning when 25 percent or more of its schools have been physically closed due to COVID-19 within 14 days.

Contra Costa County, like many other areas of the state, has seen a rise in the number of COVID-19 infections, positive tests and hospitalizations, which places it on the state’s County Monitoring List. This means that all schools in the county will need to start the new school year in distance learning.

The Return to School Vision & Framework conforms to this new guidance. As we indicated, the 2020-21 school year will begin in a distance learning format when instruction resumes on Monday, August 17

The framework has been, and the implementation will be, informed by the input that we have received over the past few months. I want to thank everyone for joining us at the Town Hall on July 10 and for providing feedback and comments via Zoom, Facebook, Thought Exchange and the meeting evaluation. My team and I have read and reviewed all the comments.

Here is a portion of the feedback:

  • Social Emotional needs for students
  • Student and staff safety
  • More teacher input and representation
  • Improved Distance Learning
  • Differentiated for elementary, especially lower grades, and secondary
  • An equity lens on technology issues and learning opportunities
  • Training and professional development for teachers and staff

You can view the Youth Truth, Parent Leader Council, United Teachers of Richmond, Student Leader, Teamsters 856 and school family surveys at

We look to finalizing the plan with WCCUSD employee groups and the community and communicating the final details for a smooth transition to the new school year.

In Community,

Matthew Duffy