Messages from IUSD

For more information on COVID-19, please visit our webpage here.
October 2, 2020
iusd launches new covid-19 dashboard

The Irvine Unified School District is committed to providing accurate and transparent information regarding COVID-19 cases on our campuses, while also maintaining privacy and confidentiality for our students and staff.  To this end, the District has created a COVID-19 dashboard reflecting confirmed positive cases among District students and staff on our campuses (in-person instruction only).  This data will be updated regularly and as cases are confirmed.  

The Dashboard also provides information about IUSD’s communication process, parent reporting requirements, information about how families and students can limit the spread of COVID-19 and links to resources.  To access the dashboard, visit iusd.org/dashboard.

In addition to updated information on the dashboard, principals or school staff will also communicate new cases directly to their communities.  Please note that our District will only communicate and provide data for confirmed COVID-19 cases.
 

Language Support

Communication Archive:

sEPTEMBER 10, 2020
DISTRICTWIDE CHANGE TO CALENDAR AND IN-PERSON START DATES

Dear IUSD Community,

As expected, earlier this week, the California Department of Public Health announced that Orange County has successfully moved from the “purple tier” to the less restrictive “red tier” of the state’s color-coded system for tracking COVID-19 progress by county. Assuming the county’s data continues trending in a positive direction for 14 consecutive days, IUSD schools will reopen for in-person instruction, for those who selected an in-person academic model, September 24-25.

In-Person Instruction Begins September 24-25  

Students enrolled in the academic models listed below will begin in-person learning, at their neighborhood or assigned schools, between September 24-25.  Each academic model and cohorts within the models have varying schedules.  As a result, students will start on one of these dates.  Your school will contact families directly with more information and your student’s return date.   

  • Elementary Kinder, Hybrid and Traditional Models (Grades TK-6 – includes ECLC)
  • Middle School Hybrid (Grades 6-8 at K-8 schools and 7-8)
  • High School Hybrid and Blended Learning Models (Grades 9-12)
  • 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. Special Education students enrolled in IVA, will remain in IVA.  However, they may access some services at their assigned school.  Contact your assigned case manager for additional questions.

As a reminder, IVA students will remain in the 100% online academic model.

September 21 and 22 are Districtwide Non-Student Days

In addition to planning throughout the summer, IUSD administrators, principals, teachers and staff continue to diligently work around the clock to implement IUSD opening and safety plans and to prepare for the transition to in-person instruction.  To support these efforts, the District has moved two staff development days from October 12 and February 12 to take place on September 21 and 22, which will now be non-student days for all IUSD students.        

The transition schedule for back to school in-person instruction will be as follows:

  • Monday, September 21: Staff Development Day/Non-Student Day
  • Tuesday, September 22: Staff Development Day/Non-Student Day
  • Wednesday, September 23: Distance Learning Day
  • Thursday, September 24: First day of in-person instruction per regular schedule
  • Friday, September 25: Second day of in-person instruction per regular schedule

Please note that October 12 and February 12 will be restored as instructional days.  IUSD calendars online will be updated to reflect these changes. 

IUSD would like to extend a special thank you to the Irvine Teachers Association, the California School Employee Association, and our dedicated teachers, staff and leadership team for pivoting quickly to make this adjustment. Their ongoing planning and efforts will make a positive difference for our students as they transition back to campus.   

School Site Preparations and Communications

As schools continue to prepare their campuses and classrooms to welcome students back, principals will provide details of their planning so families are aware of their school’s safety procedures and protocols and know what to expect upon their return. In the meantime, please take a moment to view the District’s Opening and Safety Planning page, the COVID-19 resource webpage and our FAQ, as they contain rich and relevant information regarding our District’s plans and the reopening of schools.

In addition to the resources above, if you have questions related to your school or your student’s academic model, please contact your school directly.

Elementary Waiver Update (K-6 Schools Only)

The District is exploring the state’s waiver process, which allows for elementary students to return to in-person instruction independent of the state’s color-coded reopening system, and as allowed by the California Department of Public Health’s guidelines. This process is under discussion in many south county school districts.  IUSD will provide an update to elementary families, as more information is available. Please note that this waiver update does not change the information above and is only applicable to elementary schools.

Language Support Services

Language Support Services

SEPTEMBER 1, 2020
Update: in-person learning and new state framework

On August 28, Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health launched a new four-tiered system to track COVID-19 progress by county. IUSD leadership worked throughout the weekend with the Orange County Health Care Agency and the Orange County Department of Education to clarify the impact of this new framework on IUSD. Last night, the Orange County Health Care Agency announced that although county coronavirus rates continue to drop, the California Department of Public Health has moved the September 8 start date so that OC schools could be in a position to reopen for in-person instruction starting September 22, as long as the downward trend in coronavirus rates continues or remains stable.

The District will provide a detailed update, with IUSD’s start date for in-person instruction for students who selected an in-person academic model, when more information is available. As a reminder, IVA students will remain 100% online. Click here to read more about Orange County’s status and the new state framework as it relates to schools.

In the meantime, IUSD will monitor the data, while continuing our opening and safety planning to welcome students back to campus. In addition to keeping our community informed, the District also posts updates in the Latest News section on our COVID-19 resource page. For detailed information about the District’s safety planning, visit our Opening and Safety Planning webpage.

Since the onset of this pandemic, we have been operating in an ever-changing landscape in which guidelines and timelines evolve. Our District will continue to work with the California Department of Public Health, the Orange County Healthcare Agency and the Orange County Department of Education as we work toward a smooth transition to in-person instruction.

Thank you for your partnership and patience.

 

Language Support Resources

August 24, 2020
iusd schools on path to open for in-person instruction

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

august 12, 2020
2020-21 school year message from superintendent walker

Dear IUSD Community and Staff,

On behalf of IUSD leadership, we are excited to welcome our new and returning students to the 2020-21 school year, which starts on August 20 with online learning for all IUSD students.  While the start of this year is unlike any other, IUSD’s dedicated and talented teachers and staff are committed to academic excellence and supporting our students and families as we continue to navigate this ever-changing landscape together.    

Below is important information about our efforts to prepare for the new school year.  I would also like to take this opportunity to share a brief video message with our students, staff and families, which can be viewed by clicking here.

State Criteria for In-Person Instruction

As a reminder, Orange County remains on the state COVID-19 monitoring list, which means OC school districts, including IUSD, are currently not permitted to allow students on campus for in-person instruction. In order for schools to return to in-person instruction, daily case counts in Orange County must meet the following state criteria for 14 consecutive days*

  • Confirmed or probable cases below 100 per 100,000 residents
  • COVID-19 testing positivity rate below 8 percent

IUSD will continue to closely monitor the conditions in our county and provide updates to our community, as they are available.

* The California Department of Public Health recently announced that the state’s data system has experienced technical issues and they are in the process of recalculating this information.  

TK-6 Grade Waiver and Youth Sports 

The California Department of Public Health recently released new guidelines for youth sports and the criteria for school districts to apply for an elementary waiver to reopen for in-person instruction for grades TK-6 only. However, due to technical issues with the state’s data system, the Orange County Health Care Agency has informed OC school districts that it will pause consultations between the County Health Officer and California Department of Public Health until the electronic lab reporting system is resolved.  Read County Superintendent Al Mijares’ statement here

IUSD will continue to monitor this situation and work with the Orange County Health Care Agency and the Orange County Department of Education to clarify the requirements of the waiver application process.

Youth sports will resume once school starts on August 20 and will follow state guidelines, including physical distancing of six feet and skill, agility and conditioning activities only with no contact.  Coaches and schools will provide more information after the start of school.

Click here to read more about the new California Department of Public Health guidelines and click here to read the CIF 2020-21 sports calendar media statement.   

What Families Can Expect Next

  • Principals and staff from your neighborhood/assigned schools will reach out to families directly with more information about the start of the year, including schedules, teacher assignments, plans for each school site and more.    
  • Please direct school related questions to your school.
  • IUSD will continue to provide the latest news and information to our community, along with helpful resources. 

Preparing for Teaching and Learning

Although our teachers and staff are not officially back from summer break, they are working diligently to prepare for the new school year. This includes virtual professional development trainings, live webinars on a variety of teaching and learning topics, and on demand resources and supports, all of which have been developed and taught by IUSD staff. 

This incredible team of professionals are acutely focused on providing the highest quality educational experience we can envision, while working to address each student’s social, emotional and academic needs.  Now more than ever, it is essential to foster an educational environment that supports students, helping them to develop the necessary skills to become independent and successful learners and engaged citizens, who are able to meet challenges with grit and resiliency.  

I could not be more proud of our teachers and staff and would like to thank them for their hard work, enthusiasm and most importantly their care and commitment to our students. 

Mental Health and Wellness

In addition to coping with this protracted pandemic and the impacts on our daily lives, students are starting the school year in a way they never have before, which can result in stress and anxiety.  For these reasons, our teacher and staff trainings include strategies to help identify and support students who may be facing challenges or a myriad of emotions.  To learn more about IUSD’s investments in mental health and wellness resources and supports for students, visit our Speak Up We Care website. If your child needs support, please do not hesitate to reach out to staff at your school.

Also, families have ongoing access to Optimistic Household, the six-part series with interactive modules designed only for IUSD to foster learning and social emotional wellbeing at the highest levels for our students.  Visit iusd.org/OptimisticHousehold for more information.    

How to Access Updates and Resources

IUSD has developed a number of resources to help keep our community informed.

o Latest news and updates

o IUSD’s 2020-21 Opening and Safety Planning FAQ

o Chromebook checkout details and tech supports

o Daily grab and go meals information and community resources

o Special Education resources

o Mental health and wellness supports and services

o Links to national, state and local health agencies, and more.

  • IUSD’s Opening and Planning FAQ – Includes guidelines for schools, academic models, opening and safety information, IUSD resources and services, and more.   
  • Our Opening and Safety Planning Web Resource – Includes information about IUSD preparations, health and safety information, face coverings, and what students, staff and families can expect once Orange County schools are able to offer in-person learning. 

Stay Connected to IUSD and Our Schools

  • Make sure your contact information is up to date in Parent Portal.
  • Visit iusd.org, the COVID-19 and Opening and Safety Planning web resources and IUSD’s FAQ regularly.
  • Visit your school’s website and follow your school on social media.
  • Check your email often for information from your school, teachers and IUSD.
  • Please reach out to your school directly for information related to the school and the start of the year. 
  • If you or a family member have unsubscribed from school or District emails, you will not receive important updates. To re-subscribe, email helpdesk@iusd.org.
  • Follow IUSD on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  • Visit iusd.org/connect for more information about how you can stay connected.

I hope you have enjoyed time with family and had a relaxing summer.  We look forward to the new school year and greatly appreciate your partnership.

Sincerely,

Terry Walker Signature

 

 

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District 

 

 

july 23, 2020
ACADEMIC MODEL SELECTION CLOSED AND NEXT STEPS

The 2020-21 Academic Model Selection Form closed yesterday, July 22 at 5 p.m.  Thank you for making your selection, which will enable schools to begin scheduling for the fall, including allocation of staff and resources to meet the needs of our students and families. 

Selection Review and Next Steps

If you would like to view your family's academic model selection for your student(s), login to the Parent Portal and follow the directions provided in this guide.  Schools will reach out to families, who did not complete the selection form, in the next few days to confirm your preference.  As a reminder, if an academic model was not selected, students in elementary will be enrolled in the traditional model and students in middle and high school will be enrolled in the hybrid model.   

Those who wish to change their original selection should contact their school directly.

Additional Resources

To view a flowchart, which visually highlights the difference between starting school in the IUSD Virtual Academy (IVA) versus in-person options, teacher assignments and information about keeping students together from the same schools and grade levels, click here.  Students will retain priority at their neighborhood/assigned school, regardless of the model selected.  Also, see IUSD’s FAQ our COVID-19 resource webpage and our 2020-21 Opening and Safety Planning webpage, all of which are updated regularly.

IUSD will continue to monitor conditions in our county and work with expert agencies and officials.  As we have new or updated information, we will keep our community informed.

July 21, 2020
Academic model updates and selection deadline

This is a friendly reminder to select the preferred academic model of your choice by Wednesday, July 22 at 5 p.m. Your selection will enable IUSD to allocate resources and staffing for each academic model. Additionally, when health conditions change and Orange County is removed from California’s COVID-19 watch list, IUSD will be able to pivot quickly and re-open our classrooms and campuses to students, whose families selected in-person options. Absent this process, IUSD would have to disband existing classes and establish new classes with different teachers and students upon return to in-person learning.

To make your selection, login into the Parent Portal and follow the instructions. Please note, if a model is not selected, students in elementary will be enrolled in the traditional model and students in middle and high school will be enrolled in the hybrid model.

Per the Governor’s order, issued last Friday, OC schools cannot physically re-open for in-person instruction until our county is off the state’s list for 14 consecutive days. Unless conditions change, IUSD will begin the 2020-21 school year with online instruction on August 20.

Academic Model and Teacher Assignment Process

As the academic model selection deadline approaches, we know that some of our families have questions about the difference between starting school in the IUSD Virtual Academy (IVA) versus the in-person option. We have also received questions about teacher assignments and keeping students together from the same schools and grade levels. Below is a flowchart, which includes the following:

  • The selection process and next steps for beginning the school year. 
  • To the greatest extent possible, elementary and middle school students will be in cohorts by grade level and by their neighborhood or assigned school (including IVA students). While IUSD will try our best to keep high school students together, it may be more challenging due to course sequencing and schedules.
  • In addition, teachers will be assigned to students from their schools (including IVA students) to the extent feasible. This may change in some instances based on enrollment and need.
  • It is possible to change academic models at the end of the semester/trimester. Our schools will work with families as needs arise.
  • Just as our Virtual Academy will provide rigorous, high quality differentiated instruction, distance learning will also provide rigorous, high quality differentiated instruction and teachers in our traditional and hybrid programs will be able to access the curriculum and resources offered through our Virtual Academy. With the time to plan and learn from our Emergency Distance Learning experience, we can ensure that Distance Learning will provide tightly structured and standards aligned lessons, with frequent synchronous (live) learning, individualized support, peer-to-peer collaboration, and an infusion of new learning resources. Regardless of the format, IUSD students will receive the rich instruction, support, and connection they need from highly trained and skilled IUSD teachers and staff.

    IUSD Academic Model Flowchart 7.21.20

FAQ and Additional Resources

To view the above flowchart online or to download it, click here.

IUSD’s FAQ has been updated with additional questions we have received from our families. Click here to access the FAQ and please continue to visit our COVID-19 resource webpage and our 2020-21 Opening and Safety Planning webpage, which we continue to update.

The California Department of Public Health’s guidelines for California schools, on which the Orange County Department of Education has based its guidelines for OC schools, have been updated to reflect the Governor’s new mandates.

Please take a moment to review these resources, which provide a vast array of information that may be helpful to your family’s selection process and in preparing for the start of the new school year.

We are Here to Support You

We understand that this is a time of great uncertainty and the stress a decision such as this may cause some families. Please know that we are here to work with you and we remain committed to providing our students with the highest quality educational experience we can envision. For questions related to your school, please contact your school directly and to submit additional questions to the District, please visit our FAQ online submission form.

Thank you for your partnership and patience.
 

July 17, 2020
STATE SETS CONDITIONS FOR IN-PERSON LEARNING TO START FOR 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR

As we learned earlier today, Governor Newsom announced that all public and private schools located in California counties on the state’s monitoring list for rising coronavirus infections will be required to close for in-person instruction until the counties are off the monitoring list for 14 consecutive days. Because Orange County is currently on this list, all school districts in the county, including IUSD, will be required to start the 2020-21 school year in a distance learning format until conditions improve.

Implications for In-Person Academic Models

For IUSD, this decision does not affect the Virtual Academy but will temporarily affect the following approved 2020-21 in-person academic models:

  • Elementary - Traditional, Hybrid and TK/K
  • Middle and High Schools - Hybrid and Blended
  • Special Education - Hybrid and Traditional

While the current number of COVID-19 infections preclude in-person instruction at this time, we remain hopeful that the day will come when conditions in Orange County improve enough to be removed from the monitoring list. In anticipation of this day, IUSD will proceed with planning for all approved academic models with the caveat that all in-person models (hybrid, traditional, and blended) may be modified to start the school year in a temporary distance learning mode. Once we are permitted to open for in-person instruction, these affected models will revert to the originally planned design.

 

Academic Model Selection Process
 

Please keep this temporary distance learning requirement in mind as you select your preferred academic model. A parent must select one of the in-person options if they want their child to participate in on-campus instruction once conditions permit. Students will begin the year in distance learning with the same assigned teachers they will have once in-person instruction is allowed to start.

We understand that the Governor’s announcement may generate additional questions and concerns; therefore, we are extending the deadline for families to select their academic model to Wednesday, July 22 at 5 p.m. Families must select their models by this date to allow our schools sufficient time to align necessary staffing and to build schedules so that we can honor our families’ preferences and implement the Board approved academic models for the 2020-21 school year.

Rigorous Distance Learning

As you consider your choices for this fall, please understand that, even if we begin the school year in a distance learning format or spend some portion of the year in distance learning, students' experiences will be very different than in the spring of last year. Just as our Virtual Academy will provide rigorous, high quality differentiated instruction, distance learning will also provide tightly structured and standards aligned lessons, with frequent synchronous learning, individualized support, peer to peer collaboration, and an infusion of new learning resources. Our students, regardless of the format, will receive the rich instruction, support, and connection they need.

While we realize that the COVID-19 pandemic has generated uncertainty and fear, and our families and staff have had to adjust and make so many sacrifices, know that we remain committed to providing educational equity and excellence. Our schools will work closely with our families to ensure that our students receive the support that they need, and we will do everything in our power to deliver on our promise to create the highest quality educational experience we can envision.

IUSD will send a follow up communication early next week, including additional resources to support our staff and families. Thank you for your understanding and partnership.

JULY 15, 2020
IUSD 2020-21 ACADEMIC MODELS AND SELECTION PROCESS

Important: academic model selection is needed for each student by July 19.
Information and process described here.

IUSD remains committed to the safety, health, and wellbeing of our students, staff and families and to providing educational equity and excellence for our more than 36,000 students. The challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic remind us, each day, of the importance of this collective commitment. To that end, last night, the Board of Education made the critically important decision to approve the academic models for the 2020-21 school year.

The Board also voted to require face coverings/masks at all times on IUSD campuses and in classrooms for all staff, students, and visitors. Face coverings/masks may only be removed when maintaining physical distancing of six feet or more and at the direction of a teacher or other staff, or when drinking, eating, or participating in recess/physical activity. Persons with a medical or mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering may be exempt per state guidelines. Click here to read more.

The academic models outlined below are aligned with state and local guidelines for schools and designed to meet the interests of our students, staff and families. School principals will provide information with directions for families to make their academic model selection. You will have today, July 15, through Sunday, July 19 to make your selection, please check your email for this important communication.

Elementary Schools (TK-6):

  • IUSD Virtual Academy, hybrid, TK/K and traditional models.

Middle and High Schools (Includes 6-8 grade students at K-8 schools):

  • IUSD Virtual Academy, hybrid, and blended program (grades 9-12 only) models.

Special Education:

  • Elementary: IUSD Virtual Academy, hybrid and traditional models.
  • Secondary: IUSD Virtual Academy, hybrid and blended learning (9-12). Traditional model is only available for Moderate/Severe programming and Autism Specific Programming.
  • Pre-K Early Childhood Learning Center and Irvine Adult Transition Program: IUSD Virtual Academy, hybrid and traditional models.

Click here for more details about IUSD’s academic models for the 2020-21 school year.

Additional Resources:

Click here to access the Planning FAQ and the 2020-21 Opening and Safety Planning resource page for a wide range of information that can support your decision-making process.

Thank you for your engagement and partnership.

July 2, 2020
HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT IUSD'S 2020-21 PLANNING?

Dear IUSD Community,

Our staff continues to work diligently on planning for the 2020-21 school year to meet the diverse needs of our community. A critical component of this process is feedback and input from our families. In addition to IUSD's two recent surveys, staff is developing a comprehensive frequently asked questions (FAQ) resource to help answer the many questions we have received through the Task Force, surveys, direct communications to the District and Board of Education, and on social media.

Click here to view a list of questions submitted by our community and to submit additional questions.  If you do not see your question listed, you will have an opportunity to add it through our online submission form. Many families are asking similar questions, so staff is grouping them by topic areas to streamline the FAQ for easy reference.

The District will notify our community next week when the FAQ is available. Thank you for your partnership and participation throughout this planning process. We look forward to receiving your questions and connecting you with information and resources to aid in your family’s decision-making process.

Sincerely,
IUSD Communications

July 1, 2020
face covering update

As districts in Orange County continue to prepare for schools to reopen in August, all of these rapidly developing plans are being built in reference to the guidelines issued by the California Department of Public Health, the Orange County Health Care Agency, and the Orange County Department of Education.  In Superintendent Walker’s June 25 communication to the IUSD community, the information provided reflected the current guidelines for Orange County schools as set forth by the above agencies.  As it relates to the wearing of masks in classrooms by students, the IUSD Board of Education has not formally considered, and therefore has not made a decision, whether the District should go beyond the current state and county guidelines. 

There has been some confusion or misinformation that IUSD has made a decision about masks that is “anti-mask” or “anti-science.”  IUSD would like to assure our community that neither assumption is correct.   The Board and District leadership will continue to examine the guidelines for Orange County schools, which are evolving, while monitoring health conditions in our county and state before making final decisions.  This includes masks and face coverings for both students and staff.  Please note, however, in anticipation of the start of the new school year, IUSD has already procured enough cloth coverings and face shields to support free access for all students and staff.  In addition, IUSD is working with the California Office of Emergency Services to secure an additional 141,000 cloth and disposable masks for students.

Throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis, IUSD has closely monitored the impact of the pandemic, worked with expert agencies and adapted, as necessary, to support the health and wellbeing of our more than 36,000 students and over 4,000 staff, while maintaining our promise to provide academic excellence and equity.  This process has centered on student and staff safety, which will remain a priority and will help guide our decisions. 

During the regularly scheduled July 14 Board of Education Meeting, the Board will consider the Task Force recommendations and further details about the proposed academic models and related guidelines for schools. If the current county and state guidelines about masks do not change in the future, the District will consider at a later time whether to adopt more stringent requirements.  

To watch the Board Meeting online, click here or tune into Cox Channel 39.

June 29, 2020
COMMUNITY UPDATE AND SPECIAL BOARD MEETING CHANGE

Dear IUSD Community,

Today, we informed our year round families that the Orange County Health Care Agency has not finalized the guidelines required for schools to safely open to students and staff in time for the start of year round schools on July 15. 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. 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 note, we have canceled the July 1 Special Board Meeting and moved 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.

Sincerely,

Terry Walker Signature
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Click here for the full message to year round families.    
 

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June 29, 2020
CHANGE TO YEAR ROUND CALENDAR FOR 2020-21

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.

Sincerely,

Terry Walker Signature
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District
 

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June 25, 2020
IUSD 2020-21 fAMILY SURVEY NO.2 AND UPDATE

Dear IUSD Community,

As we continue our planning for the 2020-2021 school year, we know that designing academic models that meet the diverse needs of our students and families is critically important. We appreciate the feedback and considerations you shared in our first family survey. The Board of Education and the IUSD 2020-2021 Task Force carefully reviewed these responses to understand your preferences for online, blended, and traditional academic models. Final recommendation of these academic models will be brought to the Board of Education for approval at the July 1, 2020 Special Board Meeting.

The models outlined below were designed to meet the interests of our students, staff, and community and align with the California Department of Public Health guidelines and Orange County Department of Education guidelines.

Please carefully review the contents of this letter and each academic model before completing the IUSD Family Survey No. 2. The survey is open through Monday, June 29 until 5:00pm.

Academic Models Aligned to Local and State Guidelines

The guidelines established by the California Department of Public Health, the OC Health Care Agency, and OC Department of Education informed all our planning efforts and the design of each academic model. These guidelines include promoting handwashing, encouraging face coverings, cleaning and disinfecting, allowing for physical distancing, and creating smaller cohorts of students, when possible. For more information about these practices and protocols in our schools click here.

While our families identified the protocols listed above as important considerations, two, in particular, have drawn significant attention – masks and the use of classroom spaces on our campuses.

Masks and Face Coverings

IUSD schools will follow the local and state guidelines related to masks, face coverings and face shields. Current guidance from the OC Health Care Agency states, “face coverings should be worn by students, staff and visitors when six feet of distancing is not feasible and other exemptions do not apply.” To clarify, face coverings, including face shields, are recommended but not required. Additional face covering guidelines include:

  • Teach and reinforce use and potential benefit of cloth face coverings, masks, or face shields, especially when physical distancing is not feasible.
  • Encourage all staff to use face coverings or face shields.
  • Recognize that some people have medical or mental health conditions that prevent them from effectively or safely wearing a face covering.

IUSD will provide our staff with both masks and face shields in accordance with these guidelines. For additional information about face coverings, please see the links to the guidelines listed above. Should this guidance change, IUSD will inform our families.

Click here for more information about face masks.

Classroom Spaces

Local and state health guidelines recommend that schools maximize space between seating and desks to the extent possible. Teacher and other staff desks will be placed at least six feet from student desks. When physical distancing is more difficult, it is recommended that schools consider the use of study carrels or partitions when possible.

Changing Academic Models

IUSD understands that some families may wish to change to a different academic model during the school year. Our schools will do their best to accommodate these requests and will provide additional information regarding the process for initiating a change.

Academic Models

The State Legislature announced this week that schools should return students to in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible. To that end, all IUSD families will have the option to return their children to an in-person model of instruction at their neighborhood school or prior approved school of choice.

Please click here to access the survey and an overview of each academic model for Elementary, Middle and High School Programs, including our Year Round Schools.

As you consider the different academic models, we anticipate that you may have additional questions. IUSD staff is working on Frequently Asked Questions  and a 2020-21 Planning webpage, which will both be available soon. In the meantime, if you have specific questions you would like addressed, please add them to the open-ended response option in the survey or email them to info@iusd.org.

Special Education, English Learners, and Students who receive additional supports

Students who participate in the District's Special Education programs or services, have 504 plans, or receive language development support may select any of the academic models offered. For students who are in Special Education and/or receive related services, access to those related services will be provided to the fullest extent possible either in person or virtually.

Flexible and Adaptable Planning

The rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has required IUSD to work closely with state and local agencies and officials to understand the implications for our schools and adapt as needed to serve our students and families. Please know that the safety of students, staff and our community is our priority; therefore, we will continue to be vigilant and adjust as needed to ensure our practices align with the current conditions, while maintaining academic excellence and equity for all students.

We understand that living in an environment of constant change can generate frustration, fear, and a sense of uncertainty. Please know that our District will continue to follow expert health guidance and provide our community with the most timely and accurate information available. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we engage in this complex and important work.

Finally, I would like to thank you for your partnership. Our parents play an important role in helping us deliver on our promise to provide the highest quality educational experience we can envision. Our current circumstances have challenged us all, but together we will ensure that our children continue to learn at the highest levels and to thrive both in school and beyond.

Sincerely,
Terry Walker Signature
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

IUSD Language Support

June 22, 2020
IUSD 2020-21 Family Survey Update

Dear IUSD Families,

Thank you for your participation in IUSD’s family survey and for your feedback regarding your preferred academic model for the 2020-21 school year.  IUSD received 16,423 responses with preferences captured below:

  • 41% prefer Traditional Learning – Students receive instruction on-campus, in-person 5 days a week to the greatest extent possible.
  • 37 % prefer Blended/Hybrid Learning – Students receive instruction through a combination of on-campus, in-person lessons and online Distance Learning each week.
  • 22% prefer Distance Learning Only – Students receive instruction via online Distance Learning only.

Academic Model Pie Chart

Task Force Update

IUSD’s 2020-21 Task Force is currently reviewing your feedback as they consider the design of each academic model.  On Thursday June 25th, you will receive a communication that will include a more detailed description of each model along with a second survey.  This second survey will be designed so that our families can carefully evaluate these more detailed options and again communicate their preferences.

Please note that IUSD will provide in-person AND online only options for students.  It is our intention to offer options that align with family preferences  to the extent possible, while adhering to California Department of Public Health and Orange County Department of Education guidelines.  Continuing to collaborate with our community and staff will be critical as we endeavor to maximize our resources and meet the compelling needs of our students on very compressed timelines.   

Rapidly Evolving Information and Flexible Planning

Throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic, information and situations have evolved rapidly.  IUSD’s process has been to work collaboratively with state and local expert agencies and officials to monitor this fluid situation, while prioritizing the safety of students, staff and our community.  All decisions will continue to be made through this lens and in accordance with health guidelines as they are issued and updated.

The Orange County Department of Education recently released their guidelines titled Orange County Together: A Guide for Safely Reopening Schools in the COVID-19 Era, which reinforce the recently released California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines. However, since both agencies released their guidelines last week, CDPH language regarding masks in schools continues to evolve.  Once we have information that is more definitive and understand what this means for school districts throughout California, we will keep our families informed.

This is one of many examples of how, in the era of COVID-19, information and guidelines can change requiring IUSD and our families to pivot.  As we have shared, our plans will remain flexible to allow IUSD to adapt to state and local guidelines, while maintaining equity and academic excellence for our more than 36,000 students.

Next Steps and Timeline Reminder

During the Board of Education Meeting tomorrow, June 23 at 6:30 p.m., staff will provide an overview and update to the Board.  Please note that no action will be taken by the Board during the meeting.  This is an informational presentation.  To watch the meeting, which will be streamed live, click here or tune into Cox Channel 39. Survey feedback, including more than 6,000 comments, from our community have been provided to both the Board and the Task Force.

Below is a reminder of our timeline for planning and communications.  Again, our next communication to you will be on Thursday, June 25.  You will receive any new updates related to CDPH guidelines and a second survey with more detail for each academic model.

  • Progress Report to Board of Education – June 23
  • Task Force Design of Proposed Options – June 24-25
  • Final Family and Staff Surveys (Proposed Options) – June 25-29
  • Final Recommendation to Board of Education – Early July
  • Communication update to families – Early July

Thank you for your continued partnership during this ever changing and fluid situation.

Sincerely,

terry walker signature
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Language Support

jUNE 15, 2020
2020-21 school year survey

Dear IUSD Families,

As we have shared, IUSD will continue to inform our community of our planning efforts for the 2020-21 school year. Our Task Force is currently considering various plans to maintain continuity of instruction and provide equity and academic excellence for our more than 36,000 students. The impact of COVID-19 notwithstanding, we are committed to delivering the highest quality education we can envision while prioritizing student and staff safety.

2020-21 Family Survey

Your input is critical to our planning process. Please take a moment today to complete the District’s 2020-21 Family Survey, which is open through Wednesday, June 17. We recognize the compressed timeframe; however, the work of preparing for the new school year is an urgent and compelling task, and we want to ensure our families have time to evaluate their options.

In this survey, you will have an opportunity to provide information about your child and your family’s needs, and to identify preferred academic models for the 2020-21 school year. Please know that we consider your feedback carefully.

Academic Models

The District is reviewing the recently released guidelines and recommendations for reopening schools from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Department of Education, as we await specific Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) direction for our county.

At this time, as California and Orange County are entering into Phase 3 of the state’s reopening criteria, IUSD is considering the following academic models to meet the needs of our students and families. We recognize the importance of both in-person and online distance learning options; however, the models may look different at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Your feedback will serve to guide our consideration of options that best align with our families’ interests:

  • Traditional - Students receive instruction on-campus, in-person 5 days a week to the greatest extent possible.
  • Blended/Hybrid Learning - Students receive instruction through a combination of on-campus, in-person lessons and online Distance Learning each week.
  • Distance Learning Only - Students receive instruction via online Distance Learning only.

Once we receive your feedback through the 2020-21 Family Survey, more information about each academic model will be provided. We are firmly committed to engaging in an inclusive process and considering the diverse needs and input of our community before finalizing any planning.

Tentative Timeline

In an effort to allow parents to plan and prepare for the upcoming school year, including our year round families, the following tentative timeline is provided:

  • Initial 2020-21 Family and Staff Surveys – June 15-17
  • Review of Family and Staff Survey feedback – June 18-23
  • Progress Report to Board of Education – June 23
  • Task Force Design of Proposed Options – June 24-25
  • Final Family and Staff Surveys (Proposed Options) – June 26-29
  • Final Recommendation to Board of Education – Early July
  • Communication update to families – Early July

Flexible Plans

Our year round schools resume on July 15 and our traditional schools on August 20. As you know, much can change during this time and we are hopeful that any new developments will only improve our opportunities to return to as normal of a school environment as possible. Our plans include considerations for each of California’s reopening phases and can be scaled to meet those phases as needed. IUSD will continue to work collaboratively with state and local expert agencies and officials to closely monitor this fluid situation. Please know that the safety of our students, staff and families is our top priority and all decisions will be made through this lens in accordance with health guidelines.

Thank you for your partnership, engagement and support. We look forward to receiving your immediate feedback on the survey so that we can continue the timely and vital work of preparing for the 2020-21 school year.

Sincerely,
Terry Walker Signature
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

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May 27, 2020
PLANNING UPDATE FOR 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR

Dear IUSD Community,

I would like to express our District’s collective gratitude and sincere appreciation for your partnership and support in managing the significant changes and challenges created by this global pandemic. We also recognize and empathize with the realities of these impacts and have developed richer insights into how to navigate these challenges with your continued feedback.

While IUSD is working diligently to support students, teachers, staff and families in the final days of this school year, we know that our community is looking ahead to the 2020-21 school year, wondering what it may look like. Our IUSD team is working daily on planning for the new school year. Below is a brief update to keep you informed about our planning considerations and next steps.

As you know, the COVID-19 public health crisis continues to evolve and is fluid. Although we do not know what conditions will be at the start of the new school year, IUSD will continue to collaborate with expert agencies, state and local officials, the Orange County Department of Education, other school districts, and our students, staff and families. We will explore options for safely beginning the school year, while maintaining academic excellence, which has become the hallmark of IUSD.

Start of the 2020-21 School Year
At this time, both year round and traditional schools are scheduled to start on time (July 15 and August 20 respectively). We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide an update for our year round schools once we learn more about the implications of the awaited California Department of Public Health guidelines, which are set to be released for review in early June with additional guidance from the Orange County Health Care Agency. We will continue to provide our entire IUSD community with updates as we have them. Please ensure your contact information in Parent Portal is up to date and that you check your email regularly this summer.

IUSD Task Force
District staff will continue to work through the summer, while following the guidelines of expert agencies, to ensure we are ready for the safe return of students and staff, whether in-person, through distance learning or a blended approach. This includes convening a task force comprised of District leadership, parents, students, principals, teachers, staff, and school nurses. More information about the work of this task force will be provided in the coming weeks, including opportunities for all IUSD families and staff to share their insights and feedback to support our planning.

Fiscal Considerations
As you may know, the Governor recently announced proposed cuts to education funding, which is another important consideration in the IUSD planning process. However, IUSD’s growth in recent years, coupled with our sound fiscal investments and management has positioned us to address these potential challenges better than most districts in California. We will continue to monitor these state funding developments and proactively advocate for the interests of our IUSD community.

Safety is our Top Priority
Please know that the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and families is our top priority. Any IUSD decisions will be made through this lens.

In the meantime, please visit iusd.org/COVID19 for an FAQ, resources and information.

Thank you for your continued partnership and support as we work together to navigate this complex situation, while taking into account the many diverse perspectives and needs of our community.

Terry Walker Signature
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

 

April 28, 2020
Update April 28

Update April 29: Today, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond issued a statement about his intent to explore the possibility of California schools starting earlier with state and national leaders.  Click here to read his full statement.

Update April 28: IUSD is aware of comments made by Governor Newsom during a press briefing this afternoon. With “cautious optimism,” the Governor discussed the possibility of schools reopening for the 2020-21 school year starting this summer. Additional guidance for schools will be coming from the Governor’s office in the following days. As we have more information, we will provide updates to our community.

In the meantime, IUSD will work with state and local agencies and health experts to understand what this possibility may mean for our district and students. Please know that IUSD’s decision making process will be based on expert health guidelines to ensure the safety of our students and staff.

This is the first time IUSD or any California school district has heard about this possibility. Thank you for your patience as we work to better understand what it means.

Please continue to visit iusd.org/COVID19 for updates, information and resources.   For all COVID-19 communications from Superintendent Walker, click here.   

IUSD Language Support

April 20, 2020
IUSD Emergency Distance Learning Survey

Dear IUSD Community,

It has been just over one month since IUSD began Emergency Distance Learning in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. During this unprecedented time, our teachers, staff and principals, with support from District staff, have been working diligently to provide distance learning to our TK-12 students.

IUSD remains committed to continuity of learning that will support students as they work toward mastery of essential standards and demonstrate sufficient understanding of core content that will help prepare them for a successful transition to the next level. Feedback from our students and families is critical in achieving these important goals. Please take a moment to complete ’s brief Emergency Distance Learning survey, which will help teachers and staff reflect, adapt and continually improve distance learning for both students and families.

The Emergency Distance Learning survey is open through Friday, April 24.  All survey responses are anonymous and will be kept confidential – your candid feedback is appreciated.

Although our school sites and facilities are closed to the public, our staff continues to serve and support teachers, who are working to deliver high-quality educational experiences despite the significant challenges and limitations of distance learning. For additional resources, including FAQs, information about mental health and wellness, grab and go meals, and other support, please visit iusd.org/COVID19.

Thank you in advance for your participation and for your ongoing engagement.

Sincerely,
Terry Walker Signature
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Additional Resources: 

April 15, 2020
IUSD Grading During Distance Learning

Dear IUSD Community,

As previously communicated, in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, all IUSD schools will continue to provide emergency distance learning through the end of this academic school year. The District’s goals during this time are to provide learning activities that build appropriate grade-level skills and content knowledge, maintain a connection between students and teachers, and account for the variety of demands this unique time places on students, families and staff. This transition to distance learning requires a different approach to student grading that will hold students harmless from the difficult circumstances they may face.

We know some students may struggle to process new material or demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of course content under these extraordinary circumstances. Our lower income students and students with special needs may experience even greater challenges, while students whose families have been impacted by this disease may not have the ability to fully engage in distance learning. In recognition of the anxiety, stress and inherent educational inequities that exist across our nation, institutions of higher education are encouraging a credit/no credit model as the most equitable approach to codifying student learning.

To this end, during last night’s Board Meeting, after thorough discussion and deliberation, the Board of Education approved IUSD staff’s recommendation to move to “credit/no credit” grades for the final reporting period of the 2019-20 school year for all students. The Board’s decision included direction from the State Board of Education that requires districts to implement grading practices that “do no harm” to students during emergency distance learning. This decision also included guidance from UC, CSU, state community colleges, Stanford’s Challenge Success, admissions officers from elite universities and feedback from IUSD principals, teachers and leadership, the Orange County Department of Education and Orange County school districts. Please review our frequently asked questions for more information on this topic.

In response to the pandemic, colleges and universities are leading the way in the transition to credit/no credit option. In order to eliminate the inevitable inequalities presented by distance learning, CSUs and UCs will accept credit or passing grades for A-G courses in winter/spring/summer 2020. The message from higher education institutions is clear: students will NOT be penalized for grading changes enacted by school districts in response to COVID-19.

Colleges lean heavily on an official document from all high schools called the School Profile. School Profiles explain circumstances to colleges, including graduation requirements, grade point average calculations, honors courses, average SAT/ACT scores, and other elements that make schools unique. In this case, the shift to credit/no credit in the face of a national pandemic will be described and accepted without penalty. The move is temporary and will be discontinued when students and staff return to school in 2020-21.

Furthermore, Stanford’s Challenge Success program and Joe Feldman, author of Grading for Equity have issued grading guidelines for distance learning:  Guidance on Grading/Crediting Policies During COVID-19  and Recommendations for Grading During COVID-19 . Their research suggests that stress related to COVID-19 will negatively impact student academic performance. In order to ease this negative impact, our District’s transition to credit/no credit will allow students and families to eliminate the pressure of performing competitively in this altered school environment. It reassures families that student work during this pandemic will be valued, but students will not be penalized for not being able to perform competitively under these circumstances. Our goal is to continue to support our students’ learning, build connections with them, and find ways to support them during distance learning.

Teachers, staff and administrators will remain focused on keeping our students highly engaged, connected, and invested in their learning. Teachers will continue to have daily contact, to assign work, to provide feedback on the work, to host online discussion forums when age appropriate, and provide resources to ensure that our students have a variety of opportunities to strengthen their understanding of essential learning targets. IUSD remains committed to preparing students to be successful at the next level.

For more information and resources, please continue to visit our dedicated COVID-19 resource webpage at iusd.org/COVID19. Included on this page is information about distance learning, mental health and wellness resources and contacts, food and other assistance for families in need, enrichment resources, and more.

Thank you for your understanding and partnership.

Sincerely,

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Additional Resources: 

Additional Language Support:

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April 1, 2020
Governor Directs CA Schools to Remain Closed through 2019-20

Dear IUSD Community,

Today, Governor Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Thurmond announced that all California schools will remain closed to students through the end of the 2019-20 school year, as a result of increased COVID-19 cases throughout the state. The extension of school closures reaffirms the Governor’s previous statements and his intention to continue “stay at home” orders to protect the public health.

What this Means for IUSD
While schools will remain closed to students, I would like to emphasize that distance learning and IUSD services will continue, including school counseling services, mental health and wellness supports, grab-and-go meals, Chromebooks and connectivity, and more. Please continue to visit iusd.org and iusd.org/COVID19 for ongoing updates, information and resources for students and families.

Early Planning Has Enabled Continuity of Learning
Education is an essential service and IUSD leadership and staff recognize the extraordinary responsibility to support continuity of learning and services for our more than 36,000 students. To that end, within days of closing campuses to students and the public, IUSD implemented Emergency Distance Learning. Our principals, teachers and support staff will continue to provide the highest quality distance learning we can envision, utilizing a variety of carefully vetted tools and resources.

More Information to Follow
In the coming days, we will share updates from state and higher education agencies that will provide important clarification about grades, graduation and other related topics. We also know that policy changes are being made at the collegiate level to ensure that student admissions are not adversely impacted by COVID-19. In the meantime, please visit iusd.org/COVID19, which includes frequently asked questions and other updated resources.

Discussing this News with Students
Finally, although IUSD and many in our community anticipated the possibility of this new announcement, it may be very disappointing and difficult to process for some. Please take a moment to discuss this news with your children and to listen and acknowledge how they are feeling.  For information about IUSD mental health and wellness supports and resources, click here.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership.

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Additional Resources: 

Additional Language Support:

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March 31, 2020 Update

Update (March 31): IUSD is aware of statements made by the State Superintendent of Schools, Tony Thurmond, indicating that it is unlikely California school sites will reopen before the end of the school year, bolstering comments made by Governor Gavin Newsom a couple of weeks ago. IUSD has been closely monitoring this situation and following all guidance from federal, state and local officials and expert health agencies, in addition to collaborating with other Orange County school districts. We are in the process of working with these organizations to determine what this means for our school district and next steps. As we have more information, we will keep our community informed.

IUSD emergency distance learning and services continue as planned. For more information and ongoing updates, visit iusd.org/COVID19.

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March 27, 2020
With Gratitude and Respect

Dear IUSD Community,

Two weeks ago today, the Irvine Unified School District closed our schools to the public due to the COVID-19 health crisis. As your superintendent, an educator and a father, I have a deep appreciation for the challenges this has presented our community. At a time when it would be easy to find more wrong than right, more negative than positive, I have witnessed our staff, families and students make the conscious choice to face these challenges with grit, resiliency, adaptability, grace, compassion and hope.

Our teachers and staff have been working around the clock to support students and families, as we settle into this temporary “new normal.” Within days of closing our school sites, IUSD’s emergency distance learning was up and running. In the last two weeks, IUSD’s Nutrition Services has served more than 52,000 meals to students, while our IT team has distributed more than 4,000 Chromebooks. Our families have jumped in with both feet and are working with our teachers and schools to provide continuity of learning for students during this unprecedented time.

As we continue to move forward, together, I felt compelled to reach out to you and express my gratitude and respect for our community with a brief video message.

I have always maintained that it is the “US” in IUSD that makes our District stronger and over these last two weeks this has never been more true. We are committed to working with you and to continually improving how we serve all of our more than 36,000 students.

On behalf of the IUSD Board of Education and staff, we hope you enjoy your spring break. For updates and resources, including an FAQ, visit iusd.org/COVID19.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership.

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Additional Resources: 

Additional Language Support:

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March 24, 2020
School Closures Extended to May 1

Dear IUSD Students and Families,

In recent weeks, the State of California escalated its efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, through the executive order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom last Thursday, calling for California residents to stay at home, with exceptions for attending to essential needs. Over the weekend, a presidential Major Disaster Declaration also acknowledged the scope of this crisis and bolstered California’s emergency response efforts.

Locally, the Orange County Health Care Agency tightened restrictions on public and private gatherings last week and the Orange County Superintendent of Schools, Al Mijares, expressed his support for Orange County school districts to extend school closure dates. “Keeping children home from school is a drastic measure, one that shows how seriously health officials and educators are taking this public health threat,” said Mijares. “We must do our part now to flatten the curve.”

Based on these conditions, directives and preventive measures, the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education and I have extended the closure of our schools through Friday, May 1.

If we learn, prior to May 1, that circumstances have changed and that we can safely reopen our schools, IUSD and our dedicated staff will do so at our earliest opportunity. To that end, the District will continue to monitor closely the guidance from federal, state and local authorities and coordinate our actions and responses with expert health agencies and other OC school districts.

Partnership with our Families
As we continue to navigate this dynamic and unprecedented time, our partnership remains critical. The information and resources included below are intended to help IUSD and our families ensure that students remain engaged, connected and supported. Please continue to monitor and review the online information, updates, and resources on our dedicated webpage at iusd.org/COVID19, on iusd.org and on District social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

Education and Services Continue
As previously communicated, education is considered an essential service under the Governor’s executive order, so our teachers, administrators, and staff remain engaged in maintaining district operations and continuity of learning for all students. Although our school sites are closed to the public, our facilities remain open to staff so that education, support, and other services can be provided.

Mental Health and Wellness Supports and Resources
The outbreak of COVID-19 can result in various forms of stress, especially for students who may be struggling to process all of the implications of this health challenge and the impact of social distancing. IUSD’s Prevention and Intervention team, as part of the District’s
Speak Up We Care initiative, has developed resources that may be helpful for students and families. This includes information about available IUSD supports, how to talk with children and teens about COVID-19, community mental health providers and resources, maintaining a sense of connection, and other healthy practices. Our staff will continue to be actively engaged with students both academically and in support of social-emotional wellness. More than ever, it is critical that our students sustain a sense of hope, confidence, and optimism. Click here to learn more.

Emergency Distance Learning
Distance Learning (EDL) opportunities will continue through May 1, excluding Spring Break. Principals and teachers will consistently communicate with parents and students, so please remain in close contact and reach out to your school, if you have questions or need additional support.

Our principals, with support from District staff, will remain in close contact with their teachers to ensure they have the resources needed as they diligently work to provide distance learning to our TK-12 students. Teachers will continue to access school sites, while observing California Department of Public Health guidelines, and obtain technological support, office equipment and other educational resources as needed.

Thank you for your partnership last week during our initial launch of distance learning. As EDL extends into the coming weeks, district leadership, principals, teachers, and staff will continue to work with students and families, soliciting feedback and adjusting instruction to optimize learning outcomes and support our families.

Technology Support and Internet Access
IUSD’s Information Technology team has been working around the clock to provide students access to devices and the internet during this time. As a reminder, Distance Learning opportunities can be accessed from any device at home, the District will continue the Chromebook checkouts for those in need. Please note, to adhere to social distancing guidelines, the technology checkouts will require an appointment in advance. To request an appointment, complete this Technology Access Form. After completion of the form, you will be provided with pick-up location options.

For questions about devices and IUSD-related technology, email helpdesk@iusd.org. For questions about internet access, including free and low-cost internet options, please visit our Support Center.

Meals and Community Resources
Last week, our Nutrition Services staff served more than 24,000 grab-and-go meals to IUSD students. The District will continue to provide free breakfasts and lunches to any student who needs them through the extended closure, at the same locations and hours of service, excluding Spring Break (March 30-April 3).

Beginning April 6, 2020, Nutrition Services will be providing free breakfasts and lunches to any IUSD student who needs them on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the same locations and hours of service currently in place. The meals provided on Monday will include meals for Monday and Tuesday, meals provided on Wednesday will include meals for Wednesday and Thursday, with meals provided on Friday for that day. This change is being made to reduce parent trips and better align our practices with the principles of social distancing.

IUSD has connected with our community partner Families Forward, to augment IUSD meals and to help link families to food assistance over the Spring Break and/or for long-term assistance. Click here to learn more and for additional community resources, including housing services for any family experiencing a crisis as a result of COVID-19. The District will keep this page and information updated to help connect our families to vital resources.

Looking Forward
On behalf of the Board of Education and the District leadership team, we fully appreciate the impact this extraordinary situation is having on our students and families. We look forward to this crisis coming to an end and welcoming our students back to their schools.  In the meantime, we will continue to communicate regularly and collaborate with other school districts and institutions of higher education to address questions that could impact our students, including transcripts, graduation requirements, promotions and other end of the year activities.

Thank you, again, for your patience and unparalleled support. We encourage you to consistently visit iusd.org/COVID19 for updates, resources, information, and frequently asked questions. We recognize the dynamic challenges this environment creates, so please reach out if there is anything the IUSD team can do to better serve you.

With gratitude and respect,

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Additional Resources: 

Additional Language Support:

Language Support Links

March 19, 2020
COVID-19 Update: Governor's stay at home order

Dear IUSD Community,

Governor Newsom has issued an open-ended statewide “Stay at Home”  order.  While IUSD learns more about what this means for our organization in the coming days, education is still considered an essential service.  This means that we will continue to provide free breakfasts and lunches to any IUSD student who wants one at the same locations, days and times

Chromebooks will also still be distributed tomorrow (March 20) to families who have an appointment.  Please note, to support social distancing guidelines, the technology checkouts will require an appointment in advance.  To request an appointment, complete this Technology Access Form.

Distribution will now only be held at the District Office (5050 Barranca, Irvine) during your designated appointment time. However, please know that IUSD Emergency Distance Learning opportunities can be accessed by any device at home, including mobile phones.  For tech support, email helpdesk@iusd.org.  

Once IUSD has more information, we will provide an updated anticipated return date for schools.  In the meantime, Emergency Distance Learning opportunities will continue as planned.

Please continue to check www.iusd.org/COVID19 for updates and information.  As IUSD has more information, we will keep our community informed.

Thank you for your partnership and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times together.

Sincerely,

 

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Additional Resources: 

Additional Language Support:

Language Support Links

March 15, 2020
Reminders for the Week Ahead

Dear IUSD Community,

As communicated last Friday, the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) closed our schools and facilities out of an abundance of caution and after careful deliberation. Although, there were no confirmed or connected cases to IUSD, the public health crisis created by COVID-19 warrants that we take steps to prevent the spread of illness.

As a reminder, IUSD schools and facilities will be closed to students and the public from March 16 to an anticipated return date of April 6. Below are important dates for our families:

  • Monday and Tuesday will be off days for students, while staff uses those days to prepare for Emergency Distance Learning (EDL) opportunities that will be available starting Wednesday. Please continue to check your email for additional communications that will be sent on Tuesday, March 17.
  • Spring Break for year round schools is March 23 to April 3 (No EDL options during this time).
  • Spring Break for traditional schools is March 30 to April 3 (No EDL options during this time).

Although the District Office and school sites are closed they remain staffed. For questions related to your school, please contact the front office.  If you have questions for the District, after reviewing the information on iusd.org/COVID19, including our frequently asked questions (FAQ) page, email info@iusd.org.

This is an unprecedented time that has caused disruptions throughout every level of our society. We know that our families may have many questions and concerns related to IUSD schools and services, which is why we have developed an FAQ webpage to answer questions related to childcare providers, meals for students who need them, access to devices and connectivity, among many other questions. Please visit this page often; staff will continue to update it as information is available.

You will continue to receive communications throughout this time from me and my team and your schools. Please ensure that your contact information is up to date in Parent Portal.

On behalf of the Board of Education and IUSD staff, I want to thank our community for their support and understanding as we work through this time together. If we practice patience and understand that adapting quickly is critical, we will be able to continue to serve and support our students and families. 

Thank you for your partnership.

Sincerely,

 

Terry Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Additional Resources: 

 

Additional Language Support:

Language Support Links

March 13, 2020
ALl IUSD Schools to Close Effective March 16

Dear IUSD Community,

After careful deliberation, the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) has made the decision to close all IUSD schools and facilities effective Monday, March 16 with an anticipated return date of Monday, April 6. The public health crisis created by COVID-19 has put our institutions, including K-12 school districts, in uncharted territory and we must take steps to prevent the spread of illness. In addition to proactive actions taken by IUSD, we will continue to follow the guidance of public health experts to protect our students, families, staff and the entire IUSD community.  As we have more information, we will communicate with our community and provide updates on iusd.org/COVID19.

The IUSD Board of Education held a special emergency Board Meeting today at 12:30 p.m. to discuss school closures and the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation. The Board of Education authorized me to take the necessary action to protect students and staff, including the closure of all IUSD schools and facilities.

“On behalf of the IUSD Board of Education, our first priority is the safety of our students, staff, families and community,” said President of the Board of Education Betty Carroll. “We stand prepared to support our Superintendent and District staff with all available resources as they work diligently to proactively protect and support our more than 36,000 students.”

What this Means
As a result of this rapidly changing situation, we are now at a point where public safety concerns warrant the closing of schools. While our school facilities will be closed, plans to support student learning, nutrition services, and childcare options, will be implemented.

IUSD will utilize Monday and Tuesday of next week to continue our planning efforts so that we can transition effectively to a distance learning environment that supports the diverse needs of our students.

Please know that IUSD understands that the closing of any school has significant consequences beyond the loss of instructional time and will result in challenges for many of our families. We are committed to providing available resources to support our families.

Next Steps
Additional information regarding these supports and services will be shared as soon as possible. On behalf of our school administrators, teachers and District, I thank our community for your understanding as we work to implement distance learning and provide continuity of instruction and services. The circumstances in California and the nation will undoubtedly pose challenges; however, if we practice patience and understand that adapting quickly is critical, we will be able to continue to serve and support our students and families.      

Social Distancing Guidance
Expert health agencies advise that to effectively support social distancing and the extraordinary measure of closing schools, students should stay home and minimize social contact as much as possible to keep caregivers and adult family members safe. While children have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from this virus, these steps are critical in supporting public health as they can transmit the virus to those most vulnerable.

Public health officials recommend that families make arrangements for childcare during closure that avoid leaving children with elderly people who are more vulnerable to the impact of the virus.

Stay Connected to IUSD
IUSD will communicate with you often and as we have new information. In the meantime, continue to visit iusd.org/COVID19 and District social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for updates. Please make sure your contact information is up to date in Parent Portal.

If you have questions, after reviewing the resources available at iusd.org/COVID19, please send them to info@iusd.org. We will do our best to answer questions in a timely manner and will regularly update our frequently asked questions.

Our District has always maintained that it is the “US” in IUSD that makes us stronger and successful as a district. This has been a stressful time for families and I thank you for your understanding of the many unique considerations of K-12 school districts in serving our diverse population. By working together, we can and will continue to support our students through this difficult time.

Thank you for your partnership and support.

Sincerely,

Terry Walker
Superintendent of School
Irvine Unified School District

 

Additional Resources: 

Additional Language Support:

Language Support Links

March 12, 2020
COVID-19 New State Guidelines for Public Gatherings

Dear IUSD Community,

Effective immediately, the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) is following and implementing the newly issued guidelines from Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). We continue to work with these agencies as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA), the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) and other Orange County K-12 school districts. This is a rapidly evolving situation and the District will continue to update our community as we have new information, including our COVID-19 webpage.

Please note, similar to all OC K-12 school districts, at this time, there is no recommendation for closing schools. With the information we have now, IUSD schools will remain open with the following modifications, in accordance with CDPH guidelines, until further notice.

  • All field trips are canceled and/or postponed. (The District is looking into reimbursement options; schools will provide parents information regarding refunds when available.)
  • All non-essential small and large gatherings, meetings, events, assemblies, school open houses, performances, festivals and other activities will be canceled or postponed.
  • Routine athletic events can continue without spectators in attendance. Larger events such as tournaments or invitational meets (more than 250 people) will be canceled or postponed.
  • Please note, mandatory and self-quarantine guidelines have not changed. For information about current guidelines and travel restrictions, review CDC guidelines and visit iusd.org/COVID19 for information related to IUSD.

I would like to reiterate that local and state public health officials have informed IUSD and other OC K-12 school districts that it is appropriate for schools to remain open and maintain as normal a schedule as possible. However, by taking these important social distancing steps now, we are supporting the public health of our community.

Principals will communicate to their school communities regarding postponed or canceled events and activities. IUSD will continue to keep our community informed as we have new information.  In the meantime, please visit iusd.org/COVID19 for updates and information.

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,
Terry Walker signature

Terry Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Additional Resources: 

Additional Language Support:

Language Support Links

March 10, 2020*
COVID-19 Update from Supt. Walker

Dear IUSD Community,

The Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) continues to closely monitor new developments related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), engage in preparedness planning and work with expert partner agencies. Please take a moment to read the following update.

IUSD has also developed a COVID-19 webpage, which has the latest news and information. Check this webpage regularly for new updates.

Updated CDC Self-Quarantine Guidelines

  • Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded the self-quarantine guidelines by asking travelers, who have returned from a country with widespread transmission (including China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea) to stay home for 14 days from the time they left the affected area. For more information, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html.
  • In accordance with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines, those who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 should also be excluded from school for 14 days from the day of their last exposure.
  • It is IUSD’s expectation that students, staff and those visiting our campuses follow these guidelines to help protect the public health and prevent the spread of the virus. This includes spring break travel.
  • Students who meet this criteria for self-quarantine, should contact their school’s principal, who will work confidentially and collaboratively with families to support the continuation of instruction throughout this process.

IUSD Actions and Preparedness

  • Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) has informed the community that the risk remains low for Orange County. However, as testing is more widely available, cases may increase, requiring school districts, municipalities, businesses and individuals to be prepared.
  • Since my last communication, District leadership and the appropriate staff have been participating in weekly conference calls led by the Orange County Health Care Agency for Orange County K-12 school districts to receive the most recent and relevant guidance for schools.
  • IUSD has increased hand sanitizer stations, illness prevention posters and reminders about proper hand washing throughout our campuses, in addition to increased custodial cleaning crews. While these measures already exist on our campuses, we want to reinforce and support good practices, which are key to preventing COVID-19 and other illnesses.
  • IUSD’s COVID-19 planning includes a wide range of options to safely provide instruction, including online and/or other distance learning options.
  • IUSD has developed a COVID-19 resource webpage at iusd.org/COVID19 that includes updates, frequently asked questions and other important information.
  • For questions about COVID-19 and related medical guidance; federal, state and county health guidelines; travel advisories; health screenings at U.S. ports of entry; quarantines and other government agency related questions, visit:

Fieldtrips and Questions about School Closures

  • IUSD continues to follow guidance from CDPH for public gatherings and community events. At this time, there are no recommendations from the CDPH for canceling school activities, including field trips, or closing schools in our area.

We’re in this Together

  • Students, staff and others visiting our schools and District facilities should stay home when sick and follow all expert agency guidelines.
  • Continue to follow and reinforce proper handwashing and other efforts to reduce the spread of illness, including sneezing or coughing into a tissue or elbow/upper arm, washing frequently touched surfaces, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Click here for IUSD health guidelines.
  • Please know that IUSD understands parent concerns and the anxiety this situation may cause for students and families. The District will continue to work closely with expert partner agencies and provide our community with accurate and timely information as this situation evolves.
  • I also ask that our community do its part to assess and evaluate information you may be hearing on social media or in the community. It is important for us to spread knowledge, not rumors. If you have question, please contact your school principal first.
  • Parents/guardians are encouraged to visit iusd.org/COVID19 for the latest news and information, including frequently asked questions. This site will be updated as the District has new and confirmed information from expert agencies.

By working together, we can support accurate information and help protect the public health of our community. Thank you for your partnership and support.

Sincerely,

Terry Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

*Last updated March 10 , 2020 at 7:32 p.m. to add Japan to the CDC self-quarantine guidelines. 

Additional Resources: 

Additional Language Support:

Language Support Links

For translated versions of previous communications, please see the communication archive section below.

February 27, 2020
Coronavirus Update & Spring Break Travel

Dear IUSD Community,

IUSD continues to closely monitor the situation regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), while working with expert partner agencies to ensure we are providing our community with medically accurate and timely information. As you may be aware, on February 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made statements during a briefing that signaled a change in tone from previous communications by asking individuals, communities, governments, businesses and schools to be prepared should the United States experience an increase in COVID-19 cases. In response, the County of Orange declared a COVID-19 emergency yesterday afternoon. County officials stated that although there are currently no cases of coronavirus in Orange County, their goal is to ensure resources are available and that all residents and visitors to Orange County are prepared.

Health Guidelines Remain the Same
Although these new developments may cause concern for some in our community, the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) has informed Orange County school districts that the following guidelines, published in my February 2 letter, have not changed.

  • Travelers to the United States, who have been in China’s Hubei province within 14 days, will face a mandatory quarantine and will be monitored by public health officials.
  • Travelers to the United States from mainland China will face enhanced screening and a self-quarantine of up to 14 days to ensure they do not pose a health risk.
  • OCHCA will exclude students under mandatory quarantine from school for 14 days from their last exposure and will communicate with Orange County school districts, colleges and universities to ensure high-risk students remain out of school for the identified period.
  • Students under voluntary self-quarantine should be excused from school during this period.

IUSD is monitoring global coronavirus advisories and we will update our community if the CDC changes its mandatory or voluntary quarantine requirements to include additional countries.  Regardless, we are informing all families, including new families, about the guidelines and that the District expects them to be followed to support public health.  As a public institution and in accordance with state law, IUSD is not authorized to refuse access to a healthy student.  We will continue to monitor and adapt to the situation as needed.  For additional questions related to travel and health guidelines, you may also contact the OCHCA by clicking here

To read the full letter I sent to IUSD families on February 2, click here.

Spring Break Travel
As a reminder, if our families travel to mainland China or the Hubei province over the upcoming spring break, they will be subject to the above guidelines and any new guidelines that may be implemented. For a list of countries with COVID-19 travel advisories, visit travel.state.gov. We ask that if you travel to any affected countries that you follow all related guidelines to support the health and safety of our community.

Newly Enrolled Students
IUSD schools are providing guidelines to families of students enrolling in the District, which are available in Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish and can be found by clicking here.

According to the Health and Human Services declaration issued on January 31, federal and state officials are screening travelers entering the U.S. at ports of entry. IUSD cannot and does not have the ability to monitor travel of our students and their families. If we become aware that students enrolled in our District have traveled from affected regions, we provide families with the guidelines from expert health agencies and work confidentially and with compassion to support our students.

However, in accordance with state law, IUSD cannot ask for forms of identification related to immigration status. This includes asking for passports and checking travel status.

To support public health, IUSD follows the guidance of expert agencies, as outlined above, and we expect our community to do so as well. This community effort will help ensure the health and safety of those who attend, work and visit our campuses.

IUSD Preparedness
Over the last five years, IUSD has invested nearly $14 million in the safety and security of our campuses and District, which includes emergency preparedness and management planning. As part of this commitment to safety, IUSD is in the assessment phase of continuity planning that began in 2019, so that in the event of an earthquake, wildfire, widespread medical emergency, and other human made or natural disasters, the District will be able to continue instruction and maintain the operations of our school district.

Our planning efforts are geared toward a wide range of options for safely serving students that could include blended and/or online learning in the event of an emergency. IUSD will continue to develop plans, as part of our normal preparedness efforts, and our staff will account for any new developments related to COVID-19. To learn more about IUSD safety resources and investments, visit iusd.org/safety

What Parents and Students Can Do
IUSD has and will continue to communicate with our students and families about the importance of:

  • Following all expert healthcare agency guidelines and IUSD’s health guidelines for students.
  • Keeping children home when they are sick.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or coughing into your elbow/upper arm (“vampire cough”) and teaching these habits to your children.
  • Frequent handwashing.
  • More healthy habits can be found by clicking here.

Updates and Information
As communicated, in my two previous letters, the District is committed to keeping our community informed. As we have updates, we will continue to provide that information to our community in a timely manner.

Language Support
Our language support team is in the process of translating this letter into Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish and will post them to iusd.org in the coming days. In the meantime, below are links for language support, please contact our team directly.

Thank you for your support and engagement. Through our continued partnership, we can support the health and wellbeing of our students.

Sincerely,
Terry Walker Signature
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

*This letter was last updated on 2/27/20 at 6:30 p.m.

Additional Resources:

Additional Language Support:

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For translated versions of previous communications, please see the communication archive section below.

February 2, 2020
Update From Superintendent Walker: revised guidelines

Dear IUSD Community,

Last Sunday, I communicated with you about the outbreak of pneumonia in China, caused by the Novel Coronavirus and concerns this may raise in our community.  As committed, IUSD continues to monitor this situation and work closely with expert agencies such as the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA).  Below are revised health guidelines for schools from OCHCA in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ national public health emergency declaration issued Friday, January 31, 2020. 

Updated Federal GuidelinesFAQ
As part of the emergency declaration, which went into effect today (Sunday, February 2) at 11 a.m. PST., Americans returning to the United States, who have been in China’s Hubei province within 14 days, will face a mandatory quarantine and be monitored by public health officials. Americans returning to the United States from other parts of China will face enhanced screening and a self-quarantine of up to 14 days to ensure they do not pose a health risk. 

Updated Guidelines for Orange County Schools
In response to the new federal guidelines, OCHCA will exclude students under mandatory quarantine from school for 14 days from their last exposure and will communicate with Orange County school districts, colleges and universities to ensure high-risk students remain out of school for the identified period.  Students under voluntary self-quarantine should be excused from school during this period. 

To support public health, IUSD follows the guidance of expert agencies and we expect our community to do so as well.  This community effort will help ensure the health and safety of those who attend, work and visit our campuses. 

It should be noted that according to OCHCA, at this time, there is only one confirmed case of the Coronavirus in Orange County (a man in his 50s who is isolated and in good condition). The risk to the public in Orange County and throughout the United States remains low.

Guidelines for IUSD Students Under Mandatory and Self-Quarantine
Please know that the District is committed to maintaining the privacy of our students.  Our schools will work with students and families under mandatory or self-quarantine with sensitivity and confidentiality. 

Mandatory Quarantine

  • OCHCA will notify IUSD of any students under mandatory quarantine, who have been excluded from attending school due to recent travel from China’s Hubei province within 14 days.
  • Once IUSD has received notification these individuals are cleared to return to campus, schools will communicate with affected families to make arrangements.
  • Schools will work with students to support continued learning at home.
  • Related absences will be excused.

Self-Quarantine

  • Students who have recently returned from other parts of China are asked to self-quarantine and provide schools with documentation and/or a doctor’s note.
  • Schools will work with students to support continued learning at home.
  • Related absences will be excused.

IUSD understands that missing school, for any reason, can cause concern and stress for our families and students.  We will work collaboratively with families throughout this process.  However, to maintain a healthy and safe environment for all students and families, these guidelines have been put into place. 

In addition, we ask parents, caregivers or others, who may be under mandatory or self-quarantine to remain off campus as well. 

Masks
At this time, public health officials say there is no need to wear facemasks in the United States. However, as a precaution, students are allowed to wear facemasks on all IUSD campuses, if desired. Please note, IUSD students, who are sick must follow IUSD health guidelines and should not be sent to school sick, even if they wear a mask. 

Additional Information and Resources
For information about healthy habits to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, IUSD health guidelines and FAQs from IUSD and OCHCA, click here.

IUSD staff will continue to closely monitor this situation, which is evolving as countries and expert health agencies learn more about the Coronavirus.  As we have updates, information and resources from OCHCA or other agencies, the District will provide them to our community.

Language Support
Our language support team is in the process of translating this letter into Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish and will post them to IUSD.org in the coming days.  In the meantime, below are links for language support, please contact our team directly. 

Thank you in advance for your partnership.  Together, we can keep our community healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Terry Walker Signature

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Click here to read the Orange County Health Care Agency FAQ and click here for IUSD’s updated FAQ.

Additional Resources:

Language Support Links

January 26, 2020
UPDATE FROM SUPERINTENDENT WALKER

Dear IUSD Community,

You may have heard news reports about a new coronavirus that has caused an outbreak of a respiratory illness and that there has been a confirmed case in Orange County. We understand this may be a source of concern for our community and ask that you read the following important information.

OverviewFAQs

The first known cases of 2019-nCoV — short for “2019 novel coronavirus” — were reported in December in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as MERS. A novel coronavirus — often shown as “nCoV” — is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) says the risk for school children in Orange County is minimal. Internationally the illness has primarily affected adults – elderly patients with pre-existing conditions.

According to the OCHCA, the Coronavirus is spread, similarly to other illnesses like the flu and common cold, through coughing or sneezing by those who already have it. Symptoms can include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and OCHCA Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the OCHCA recommends taking these daily precautions for this or any other illness:

Travelers who are sick should stay home and call health care providers.

If you have recently been to Wuhan, China and have developed fever with cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel or have had contact with someone who is suspected to have novel coronavirus stay home and call your health care provider immediately. If you do not have a healthcare provider or if you need to be seen at a hospital, do not go directly to the hospital. Please call the emergency room to get instructions before going in.

Stay home when you are sick.

Stay home from work and school and try to avoid errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading the illness to others.

“Students and staff with influenza symptoms including a fever, a cough or sore throat should stay home and not attend classes or participate in other group activities for at least 24 hours after the fever resolves without the use of fever-reducing medications,” says Pamela Kahn, Orange County Department of Education’s coordinator of Health and Wellness.

Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by coughing, sneezing or unclean hands.

Clean your hands.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Here is a three-minute video from the CDC about proper hand washing: https://youtu.be/eZw4Ga3jg3E

Practice other good health habits.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

For more information, visit the Orange County Health Care Agency’s website at: ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/epidasmt/epi/dip/prevention/novel_coronavirus

IUSD Guidelines

If your child is sick, please follow these guidelines for when to keep your child home:

  • A temperature of 100 degrees or above
  • Students must be fever-free without fever-reducing medication (such as Tylenol or Motrin) for at least 24 hours before returning to school
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea. Student may return to school 24 hours after last episode
  • Uncontrollable cough or wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Suspected communicable disease (i.e. chicken pox)
  • Suspected infections
  • A rash of unknown origin – student may return to school when written authorization is received from the health care provider
  • Students must stay home for the first 24 hours on antibiotic therapy

Next Steps

IUSD staff will continue to closely monitor this situation and work with the appropriate agencies. We will provide additional updates as needed.

Please know that the safety of students and staff is our top priority. If we all follow these important guidelines, we can help keep our community healthy. Please share this information with your family and caregivers. If language support is needed for this information, please see the following resources below.

Thank you in advance for your partnership.

Sincerely,

Terry Walker Signature

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Additional Resources:

Additional Language Support:

IUSD Language Support Text