FAQ: IUSD Planning and Reopening Process

 

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iusd planning and Reopening process

Q: Is IUSD following guidelines for the safe return of students and staff to District campuses and facilities and if so, what guidelines?

A: Yes, IUSD is following guidelines of expert health agencies, as we have done since the onset of the COVID-19 public health crisis.  The guidelines established by the California Department of Public Health, the OC Health Care Agency, and OC Department of Education inform all IUSD planning efforts and the design of each proposed academic model for the 2020-21 school year. These guidelines outline important considerations and protocols, including cleaning and disinfecting, physical distancing, face coverings, handwashing, notification and reporting of positive cases, and grouping students into smaller cohorts, to the extent possible. For more information about these guidelines, click here.  

 

It is important to note:

  • There are dedicated guidelines for California schools and more specifically dedicated guidelines for Orange County schools from the California Department of Public Health, the Orange County Health Care Agency and the Orange County Department of Education.  These guidelines were developed specifically for schools, which as stated by these agencies, have unique considerations that vary from businesses, retail establishments and retail customers.  IUSD does not make up or determine these guidelines - we follow the established guidelines for all OC schools, provided by the agencies listed above. 
     

  • Guidelines for schools at the federal, state and local levels are continually evolving, which is beyond IUSD’s control.  IUSD continues to closely monitor the situation and guideline changes and we pivot to align our planning and practices.  However, living in this ever-changing environment means that our planning is also ever-changing and evolving.  We understand this can be a source of frustration but it is critical to have an understanding of this unprecedented environment we are navigating together.

Q: Are Orange County Schools Permitted to start the school year with in-person learning?

A: On July 17, Governor Newsom announced that schools in counties on the state’s monitoring list for rising coronavirus infections will be required to close for in-person instruction until they meet strict criteria to reopen. All OC school districts, including IUSD, will be required to start the school year in a distance learning format unless conditions in OC improve. Click here to read the full update. 

 

At this time, Orange County remains on the state COVID-19 monitoring list, which means that OC school districts, including IUSD, are not currently permitted to allow students on campus for in-person instruction and will start the school year with online instruction. If you have not already, you will receive more information from your neighborhood/assigned schools, including the IUSD Virtual Academy.

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
  • Positive COVID-19 test 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. Click here to read more about the new California Department of Public Health guidelines.

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

Q: What is the State's criteria for being removed from the Covid-19 monitoring list?

A: 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
  • Positive COVID-19 test 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. Click here to read more about the new California Department of Public Health guidelines.

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

Q: What is the status of youth sports?

A: The California Department of Public Health released new guidelines for youth sports on August 3.   IUSD will resume youth sports once school starts on August 20 and will follow all guidelines, including physical distancing of six feet and no contact conditioning activities only.  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. 

Q: What is the role of the 2020-21 Task Force?

A: As District staff continues to diligently plan for the upcoming school year, a critical component of these efforts has been IUSD’s 2020-21 task force, which is comprised of District leadership, parents, students, principals, teachers, staff, and school nurses. Through an interest-based process, the task force has provided important input from a broad range of perspectives to help meet the diverse needs of our more than 36,000 students and their families. Their work was integral to the design of the proposed academic models.

 

Q: How have IUSD families been included in IUSD’s planning process?

A: In addition to the task force, another critical component of IUSD’s 2020-21 planning process has been feedback and input from our families. IUSD has reached out to our community through two family surveys, asking for feedback about your preferred academic models and to provide us with information about your family’s unique needs.  Staff also developed an FAQ online submission form to receive questions and hear concerns from our community.  In fact, this FAQ is comprised of questions we have received through our online submission form, in addition to Task Force input, survey feedback, direct communications to the District and Board of Education, and inquiries on social media. Our community is what puts the US in IUSD and we appreciate your ongoing partnership and engagement. 

 

Q: What is driving IUSD’s practices and planning, guidelines or parent surveys?

A: As stated above, IUSD follows the guidelines established by the California Department of Public Health, the OC Health Care Agency, and OC Department of Education, which inform all IUSD planning efforts and the design of each proposed academic model for the 2020-21 school year. However, within the guidelines is flexibility, which enables IUSD to consider and strive to meet the unique and diverse needs of our more than 36,000 students and their families to the greatest extent possible.  Our District asks for input from families through the survey process so that as we plan and prepare in accordance with the guidelines for OC schools we have a better understanding of our community’s needs.

 

Q: Why do state and local guidelines allow for flexibility?

A: As we have seen throughout this pandemic, there are regional and local variances and unique needs, which require flexibility.  The same holds true for Orange County School Districts and for IUSD schools and facilities, which have different features and varying needs.  Flexibility will enable each school to meet the unique needs of its facility and community to ensure they can safely welcome back students and staff.

 

Q: How will IUSD respond if state or local guidelines change?

A: Since the onset of COVID-19, IUSD has closely monitored the impact of the pandemic, worked with expert agencies, and adapted, as necessary, to help ensure the health and wellbeing of students and staff, while maintaining our promise to provide academic excellence and equity. The District will continue to monitor this situation and health conditions in our city and county.  Should the guidelines change, IUSD will continue to pivot and adapt, while keeping our community informed with timely and accurate information.

 

 

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