IUSD Schools on Path to Open for In-Person Instruction

COVID-19 IUSD Update 9

Dear IUSD Community,

Sunday, August 23, marked the first day Orange County was removed from the California Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 monitoring list, putting OC school districts, including IUSD, on a path to offer in-person instruction, for those families who selected hybrid or traditional academic models.  In order for schools to begin in-person instruction, the County must meet the established threshold for Case Rates (less than 100 per 100,000 people) and Testing Positivity (less than 8%) for 14 consecutive days. If numbers continue the current downward trend or remain stable, in-person academic models will begin in IUSD schools following Labor Day weekend.

While we remain optimistic that our District will be able to open for in-person instruction, IUSD will continue to closely watch the data from the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency and provide updates to our staff and families, including any confirmed start date for in-person learning.  In the meantime, we wanted to provide you with a detailed update of our plans, so you know what to expect. Thank you in advance for carefully reviewing this information. 

IUSD Opening and Safety Planning Guide for Families and Staff

California Senate Bill 98 (SB 98), signed into law in late June, requires school districts to offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible, once local conditions are deemed safe.  In anticipation of being off the state’s monitoring list and meeting the requirements of SB 98, IUSD developed the Opening and Safety Planning Guide.  Aligned to the California Department of Public Health and the OC Health Care Agency guidelines for schools, the plan is designed to mitigate and reduce the risk of in-person learning, so that we can safely welcome students back to our classrooms and campuses.  The guide includes the following information:

o School Site Prevention and Safety Plans

o Personal Protective Equipment for students and staff

o Enhanced Cleaning Protocols

o Facilities Preparations

o Hygiene and Healthy Habits

o Protocols for Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Cases  

o Guidelines When to Close and Reopen Schools

o What to do before leaving home

o Arrival and Dismissal

o During the school day, including in class, recess and lunch

As part of this plan, IUSD has procured the following personal protective equipment and supplies for students and staff for the start of in-person instruction:

  • Nearly a half million face coverings, includes cloth face masks, disposable face masks and face shields to ensure TK-12 grade students and staff, who need them, will have access to face coverings any time they are on IUSD campuses. 
  • 1,400 air purifying units for classrooms.
  • More than 25,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, 21,500 boxes of hand wipes, 200 cases of liquid foam hand sanitizer.  Hand sanitizing stations are provided throughout school and District sites, particularly in areas without sinks. Nearly 5,000 boxes of gloves.
  • 12,000 three-panel desk safety shields.  To the greatest extent possible, classroom furniture will be arranged to provide maximum spacing. When six-feet distancing cannot be maintained, appropriate safety measures will be implemented, including desk safety shields. 
  • Directional and educational signage related to physical distancing, hand washing, recognizing the symptoms of COVID-19, and more will be placed throughout school and District facilities.

Classes and Teachers Transition to In-Person Learning Together

Over the summer, even after IUSD learned that our District, along with all OC school districts, would be starting the year online for all students, IUSD asked families to continue the academic model selection process.  By moving forward with this planning, IUSD was able to allocate resources and assign staffing for each academic model, so that when health conditions improved in Orange County, our District would be able to pivot quickly and re-open our schools to students, whose families selected in-person options. As a result, classes and teachers will transition to in-person learning together after the 14-day period. 

  • IUSD Virtual Academy (Grades TK-12 – includes ECLC) – No changes.  Students and teachers will continue in the 100% online academic model.
  • Elementary Kinder, Hybrid and Traditional Models (Grades TK-6 – includes ECLC) – Transition to in-person instruction at their neighborhood/assigned school per the selected academic model.
  • Middle School Hybrid (Grades 6-8 at K-8 schools and 7-8) – Transition to in-person instruction at their neighborhood/assigned school per the selected academic model.   
  • High School Hybrid and Blended Learning Models (Grades 9-12) – Transition to in-person instruction at their neighborhood/assigned school per the selected academic model, for hybrid classes.
  • Special Education (Grades TK -12 – Includes ECLC and IATP) – Special Education students will transition to in-person instruction at their neighborhood/assigned school per the selected academic model.  (Students enrolled in IVA will continue in the 100% online academic model.)   

Depending on space available, students and families may change academic models at the trimester for elementary and the semester for middle and high schools. If your family’s circumstances have changed, your neighborhood/assigned school will work with families to support the continued education of your student.  Please contact your school directly. 

The Next Two Weeks

IUSD will continue to monitor the data for our County, consult with health officials from the California Department of Public Health and the OC Health Care Agency, and collaborate with the Orange County Department of Education, including all Orange County school districts.  Schools and staff will use this time to prepare for the transition from online to in-person instruction. The IUSD Opening and Safety Planning Guide and your schools are available to answer your questions about academic models and opening and safety planning information specific to your school site.  Please also check your email regularly for updates. 

Thank you and we look forward to the prospect of safely opening our schools for in-person instruction.  Please visit IUSD’s COVID-19 webpage for ongoing updates, the Opening and Planning FAQ, information about Chromebooks and school meals, resources and more.  Also, take a moment to review the Opening and Safety Planning Guide for families and staff.  These resources, along with communications from your schools and information on their websites, will provide you with a wide range of helpful information.

Sincerely,

IUSD Communications