Dear Year Round Families:
On behalf of the IUSD Board of Education and District leadership, I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as staff and the 2020-21 Task Force plan for the new school year. The evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges to public education and unfortunately, guidance from the local and state agencies continues to shift, including ongoing debates about significant health guidelines. We will continue to monitor these guidelines and make any necessary adjustments.
To that end, the Orange County Health Care Agency recently informed all Orange County school districts that they have not finalized the guidelines required for schools to safely open to students and staff. Schools are legally required to attest to their compliance with certain guidelines, which cannot happen while the guidelines themselves are still in flux. In light of this information, and in acknowledging that approximately 70% of our year round families want some form of in-person, on campus instruction, we will be adjusting the start of the year round school calendar to August 20, to coincide with the traditional school calendar for the 2020-21 school year, and the opening of all other IUSD schools. We have every intention to go back to the year round calendar for the 2021-22 school year.
Since the onset of COVID-19, IUSD has closely monitored the impact of the pandemic, worked with expert agencies, and adapted, as necessary, to ensure the health and wellbeing of students and staff, while maintaining our promise to provide academic excellence and equity. When year round schools open on August 20, they will benefit from the most recent guidance and have access to the same resources and opportunities as our traditional schools.
Please know that we understand this change may be upsetting, disruptive and generate many questions. We are very sympathetic to this reality and our schools will work with families, who may have plans or prior commitments aligned with the year round calendar. In the meantime if you have immediate questions or concerns, please contact your school directly.
Also, please note that we are now canceling the July 1 Special Board Meeting and moving the staff presentation of the proposed academic models to our regularly scheduled July 14 Board Meeting at 6:30 p.m. We will also be developing additional resources, including a comprehensive FAQ, to answer the many questions we’ve received and to help families and staff develop a better understanding of each of these options.
Thank you for your understanding and partnership, as we work to support our students and teachers during this unprecedented time.
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District