Hello Sac City Unified students, families, and community,
My name is Jorge Aguilar, Superintendent of Sac City Unified.
As our 20-21 academic year approaches, we know you have many questions about how we will return, what school will look like, and how we will keep our community safe. Anxiety and unease is understandable, as our staff, community, and most importantly, our students have experienced tremendous trauma over the last few months – in large part due to the impacts of COVID, but also due to systemic racism which has been brought to the forefront and cannot be forgotten in the development of any plan.
When our students start school on September 3 – they will have been off our campuses for nearly six months. That is too long to go without proper academic, social and emotional support. It is something we are acutely aware of as we create our plan to return together in the fall.
Our Return Together plan includes six key areas: Return to Health – Our Health and Safety Plan, which explains how we will protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and community. This is our number one priority. Right now, here is what we can expect in the fall: students and staff will wear masks, practice physical distancing, and healthy hand hygiene.
This means schools will look different – with greater spacing between desks, changes to increase air flow, and precautions in place to help our students adjust. We will need proper screening, at home and at our school sites. Our district has procured supplies, and will continue to provide what is needed to best ensure a healthy learning environment. We will also remain ready to adjust our plans should health conditions change.
Our next focus is Academics, which we will introduce as part of our Return to Learn Plan. We’ve heard from our community about their distance learning experience. While it might have worked for some, many of our students did not get the academic instruction or support that they needed. We are working hard to correct this. Our goal is to offer a learning model that gives you two choices: to participate through distance learning or a blended model, where students will attend school in person for some days each week, and other days will learn remotely.
We will provide you with these options so that you can decide what is best for your family. We know that your students’ experience is about more than the classroom. We are also developing plans for Sports and Athletics, Culture and Climate, Attendance and Engagement, and Nutrition. Together, we will create a plan that meets the academic, social, and emotional needs of all of our students.
As we lead up to September 3, we want our community to understand that your voice, your feelings, and your preferences are important. Our Return Together Process will be collaborative, because we know that the best things are a result of what we do together.
The development of our plan will move through three phases before we reach a final plan: Phase One, includes survey and review of guidance and research. We will share any supporting documents and information used to create our plan, along with feedback we get from our community. In Phase Two, we release draft planning documents and conduct additional outreach with our community. Because these draft plans may include negotiable effects, we will negotiate with labor partners as needed, before moving into Phase Three – our final plan.
Our goal is to involve you, while also providing you the information you need to be ready for our next academic year. We also must acknowledge and have rightly learned over the last few months that things can change. This is why we ask you to remain flexible. And while this pandemic might change, know that our decisions are based on the best research and guidance – including yours – and your health, safety, and needs in mind.
We thank you for your help in creating this plan, and look forward to seeing you again on September 3rd when we Return Together.
To learn more, please visit: http://www.scusd.edu/return-together