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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: 4/13/2021 9:35 PM

GENERAL INFORMATION

Why is AESD in Distance Learning?

Every county in California is assigned to a Tier based on its daily case rate, health equity, ICU capacity and positivity test rate. San Bernardino County began the pandemic in the Purple Tier thus, school were required to teach remotely (distance learning). At a minimum of 3 weeks, counties must be below the maximum number of cases, positivity and health equity before moving to a lower tier. Data is reviewed weekly and Tiers are updated on Tuesdays. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive Tier. Public health officials are constantly monitoring data and can step in if necessary.

 

Will AESD return to in-person learning during the 2020-21 academic year? (Added 3/17/21)

The District announced on March 12, 2021, that it will remain in Distance Learning for the remainder of the school year. Focus will be placed on a Learning Recovery Summer Session and the 2021-22 school year. To read the official statement from Superintendent Kennon Mitchell, Ph.D., please click here.

 

What is the current status of COVID-19 in San Bernardino County?

As of April 7, 2021, San Bernardino County is Tier 3 (Orange-Moderate). The County was in the Tier 1 (Purple-Widespread) for 39 weeks Tier 2 (Red-Substantial) for 4 weeks. Currently, San Bernardino County will be in the Yellow Tier if current trends continue.

San Bernardino County Department of Public Health Update (2/23/21)

San Bernardino County has met the states reopening criteria for elementary schools.  Under the State’s new Consolidated Schools Guidance, additional elementary schools may reopen for in-person instruction after a county in Purple Tier status sustains an Adjusted Case Rate for COVID-19 that is below 25 cases per 100,000 for five consecutive days.  San Bernardino County has now recorded seven days under 25 cases per 100,000, which began on Monday, February 15, 2021. In order for an elementary school to reopen for in-person instruction they must submit their COVID-19 Safety Plan (CSP) and School Guidance Checklist to the local and State Departments of Public Health for review and approval.  COVID-19 Safety Plans require schools to follow State guidelines for several safety criteria including: stable groups, face coverings, physical distancing, ventilation, healthy hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, screening for signs and symptoms, exposure and contact tracing, and reporting cases to the Public Health Department to ensure a safe reopening.

 

Once a school starts in distance learning, is it required to remain that way for the entire school year? 

No.  Education Code section 43504 specifies that schools should "offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible."  However, in-person instruction should be conducted ONLY if the conditions are safe for both students and staff.

 

What factors has AESD considered to determine a return to school?

AESD is adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control, the California Department of Public Health and the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. Our main objective is to protect the health, safety, and wellness of students and staff.

AESD remains committed to implementing a plan that focuses our priorities on health, safety and high-quality teaching and learning. 

San Bernardino County is actively experiencing significant and sustained community transmission of the COVID-19 virus and all schools in the county were asked to begin the 2020-21 school year operating remotely. To return to school safely, even with social distancing and other safety measures, AESD will need to see a significant decline in various data points over the recommended period of time from federal, state and county public health agencies.

On January 14, 2021, the Governor's Office released a new school re-opening plan: State of California Safe Schools for All Hub (click here).

 

What is considered the first day a county has had an adjusted case rate of less than 25/100,000 population? (Added 2/25/21)

The first day is the day after the qualifying case rate is released on the Blueprint for a Safer Economy website. The website is updated weekly on Tuesdays.

 

What is the eligibility window for school reopening once a county has met the criteria of being in the Red Tier or with a case rate of less than 25? (Added 2/25/21)

Schools in counties that have met the relevant criteria for school reopening per the K-12 Guidance have a three-week period to open, starting the day the county meets the criterion for reopening, even if the county stops meeting the criterion during that window (i.e., case rate is ≥25 in a subsequent calculation or the county assignment goes back to the Purple Tier during the window).

The window will be determined as follows: The first day a county is considered in the Red Tier is the Wednesday following the weekly county tier assignments are announced and posted on the Blueprint website (Tuesdays).  Similarly, the first day that elementary schools in a county are eligible for the elementary reopening process is the Wednesday after a weekly case rate of less than 25 is posted. For example, if a county is assigned to the Red Tier on Tuesday, March 9, the first full day the county is in the Red Tier is Wednesday, March 10. The window of eligibility for reopening would continue until the end of the day on March 30 regardless of any change to Purple tier assignment during that time.

On March 31, schools in that county would not be able to open if the county had gone back to the Purple tier. If the county is in the Red Tier on March 31, then the schools remain eligible to reopen. The goal of the three-week window is to facilitate calm and safe school reopenings.

 

How do I find my county tier status and the posted adjusted case rate for my county on the Blueprint website? (Added 2/25/21)

Go to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy website. At the top of the page is a box labeled "Tracking COVID-19 in CA."  In that box, click the link at the bottom of the box to the "County Map."  This will bring you to the map.

In the map section, type your county name into the "Find a County" box next to the map. This will highlight your county and the color will indicate the Tier for your county. To see the adjusted case rate for counties that are in the Purple tier, click your highlighted county on the map. This will lead to a display of county specific information. In the display, under "County metrics," locate the "Adjusted case rate for tier assignment" number. This is the number used to determine whether your county has an adjusted case rate of less than 25/100,000 population. The map is updated weekly on Tuesdays.

 

Why didn’t the district offer full time traditional learning and online learning as the choices so families could choose between those models? (Updated 3/23/21)

AESD could not offer traditional full-time learning. It was against state and county public health recommendations for our region. From January 5 to March 13, 2021, San Bernardino County did not grant any new school waivers.

For schools that were able to open and offer in-person instruction for grades K-2 prior to January 5, 2021, San Bernardino County Department of Public Health established a threshold:

Community new daily case rates must be below 25.0 daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.

In the latest city metrics report received (4/13/21), Adelanto has a new daily case rate of 6.5/100,000.  Victorville has a new daily case rate of 5.1/100,000.

 

If AESD becomes eligible for on-campus student learning, what are the next steps to make this happen?

Follow all California Department of Public Health guidance.

Negotiate a "Safe to Return to Work Plan" with the Adelanto Teachers Association (Certificated Staff) and the California State Employees Association (Classified Staff).

Share the reopening plan with the school community (i.e. post on website, distribute to parents/staff) and then submit to the school waivers process for San Bernardino County.

 

What will it take to get students back in school full time 5 days a week?

Returning to the classrooms at full capacity 5 days a week will require a recommendation from federal, state and county public health agencies. This recommendation would likely vacate the need for social distancing, which would allow us to have a full class of students in the classroom at the same time.

 

EQUIPMENT & MATERIALS

Are there any plans to provide laptops and hot spots to families without a device or strong internet access?

Our IT department is available to provide access support for families needing assistance. We do have laptops and hotspots available. Parents/guardians can contact their child’s school site to request these items.

 

INSTRUCTION/LEARNING MODELS

What level of engagement will students in the distance learning model have with their teacher?

The distance learning option will require students to be independent, self-regulated learners. They will need to be self-motivated and willing to learn with a greater degree of autonomy.

 

How is the district working to prevent hackers from disrupting the online learning environment?

Our primary online learning platform, Zoom, is secure to only AESD staff and student accounts. The only way for an individual outside our AESD domain to enter one of our online environments is for someone in our district or a student/family member gives their login information. Teachers have the ability to remove individuals and block them from re-entering the class.

 

What is the plan for standardized testing?

On November 5, 2020, the State Board of Education unanimously approved the use of shorter standardized tests in English language arts and math this spring.

Like other states, California is required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act to assess student learning as a condition of receiving certain federal funds. In a letter to state education chiefs, the U.S. Department of Education indicated they would not currently consider a waiver and that states should prepare to administer tests in the spring.

The tests will cover all academic standards, which describe what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. Spring testing will provide the first statewide snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on student learning.

 

Is a return to school plan being created?

Yes. AESD stakeholders (District administrators, principals, teachers, staff) have been discussing various hybrid models. A final return to school plan will need to have approval from public health, the Adelanto District Teachers Association (ADTA) and California School Employees Association (CSEA).

On January 14, 2021, the Governor's Office released a new school re-opening plan: State of California Safe Schools for All Hub (click here).

 

Will parents get an opportunity to provide input on a return to school plan?

Yes. During the virtual “Supper with the Superintendent,” parents had the opportunity to ask questions regarding distance learning, return to school, COVID, safety measures, etc. Over four nights, parents who participated completed a survey on their comfort or non-comfort in having their child return to school and what could the District do to help a parent feel comfortable in having their child return to school.

 

What will the class sizes be for hybrid and distance learning?

We know there will be no more than 12-15 students in most hybrid classrooms to ensure for social distancing. Our distance learning class sizes will mirror the traditional classroom setting with 25-30 students. 

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Will the district be providing PPE supplies to every student?

The district has purchased PPE supplies (infrared thermometers, gloves, hand sanitizer, wipes, shields, plexiglass/other barriers) for each school building and classroom. However, parents need to ensure each student has their own mask. We will have masks available in the event a student forgets one.

 

When will educators in the Adelanto Elementary School District receive the vaccine?

The State of California Department of Public Health has a web site that provides some insight on the COVID-19 vaccination roadmap. You will find information on when COVID-19 vaccines arrive, when one can get vaccinated, how COVID-19 vaccines work, benefits of getting vaccinated and frequently asked questions.

California COVID-19 Web Site, please click here: Vaccinate All 58

San Bernardino County Department of Public Health has a vaccine web site, please click here: Vaccine in San Bernardino County

For a quick overview of each phase and the group of people in each phase, please click here to view the PDF COVID-19 Vaccination Roadmap

 

STUDENT MEALS, WELLNESS AND MENTAL HEALTH

Will breakfast and lunch be available for students while we are in distance learning?

Yes. Child Nutrition Services will offer Grab & Go Meal Packs each week. K-8 students will have the opportunity to sign up to receive meals.

Grab & Go Meals will include five-days of breakfast and lunch and will be available each Monday.

 

I feel overwhelmed, anxious, depressed. Is there any time of services and support for families?

San Bernardino County has published a Health Services Guide: Crisis & Urgent Care Services, General Services & Support, Outpatient Mental Health Clinics, Prevention & Early Intervention Programs, Specialized Children & Family Services, Substance Use Disorder Recovery Centers, and much more. CLICK HERE for the GUIDE.