Dear Sycamore families,
As the COVID-19 response has rolled out, we've seen dramatic shifts to plans. At this time, California Governor, Gavin Newsom came out last week for the first time announcing that we may be able to resume school as early as the end of July after repeatedly explaining that we should expect a September-October start date. Since that announcement, we have heard from the State Superintendent, FCMAT, CDE, and other expert groups and we anticipate actually being able to open in August.
A few things to note, as of right now:
1. The mandated number of school days for charter schools is still 175. That means we will have 175 school days regardless of when we start.
2. The government anticipates the implementation of distance learning during the flu season this fall/winter, statewide. In other words, we will go back on site and likely be banned from sites for a period of time and then resume onsite learning. (Yes, I've mentioned how that won't work for working parents).
3. The government is discussing additional health/safety measures such as (a) COVID testing at school sites (b) staggered scheduled - by days and hours (c) massive changes to sanitation expectations on sites (d) mandatory hybrid programs to reduce class sizes (e) massive revenue cuts to education (f) changes to excusable absences...and a lot of other things. All of this is still in the brainstorming phase, we will keep you posted as any of this becomes orders, mandates, regulations, etc.
In the meantime, we'd like to get a sense of what parents would like to see for starting the 2020-2021 school year. The approved calendar for both schools has us beginning school on August 24. At this time, we'd like to survey parents at each campus to see if it would be preferred that we start a bit sooner than initially planned. We felt that having students home for as long as you have, and knowing that there will likely be a disruption to onsite education during fall/winter, maybe you'll want them to get back on site sooner. Please complete the survey no later than May 8th. We will present this information to our board for consideration as we prepare for the new school year.
Please note that we are not suggesting a start date earlier than 8/10 because our teachers have been working really hard throughout this emergency and deserve a break. Additionally, Sycamore brings back teachers at least a week ahead of the students in order to provide professional development, complete mandated training, develop lesson plans, prepare classrooms, order supplies, etc. We're all eager to see our students, but we also want to ensure that the high quality that you have come to expect, remains in tact...so we need to take care of our people, plan and prepare well!
Thank you for your time and we hope you all are staying well, keeping busy, and enjoying some extra family time!
We are kicking off a virtual program called Kids Heart Challenge to help students “Kick Cabin Fever to the Curb” and to promote staying active and healthy while learning from home. For 10 days, I will send 10 e-mails that will keep you and your family physically and mentally fit! The American Heart Association will lead a Livestream assembly, just for our Sycamore Academy students at 9:00am via Zoom.
In the meantime, please register your child here: www.heart.org/khc or by downloading the Free “Kids Heart Challenge” app. We want 100% of our students taking the online pledge to BE KIND, MOVE MORE or BE READY! Students who register before the assembly will even get a special shoutout from the American Heart Association during the live presentation! We hope your family can join the live presentation! Thank You! Here’s the Zoom link for 4/27 at 9:00 am Zoom https://heart.zoom.us/j/96269224600?pwd=Y2E2dE93RGxUTU5Hc21pNzlsaCtkQT09