Teleflora flowers Valentines Day 2021
Coronavirus resourses

Teacher of The Year Nomination form and NMSF Grant application

Teacher of the Year nomination are open.  Forms are being distributed this week.  Please nominate an outstanding educator for recognition.  Any staff member, parent or student may nominate educators for this honor.  Nominations need to be in the NMFT office by October 4th. 

more

More comments from the school board meeting

School needs to reopen in August for in person learning. It is imperative that our students receive the highest quality, most rigorous and equitable education possible. Giving an online option is a wonderful option for those who choose that is best for their family. For those of us who would like on campus instruction this is also a fair solution. The students learning from home will lessen class size thereby freeing up space for our kids to learn in the classroom.

******

 

Will masks be required for staff and students? For MS and HS, who will sanitize the classrooms/desks between class periods? If someone on campus/in class tests +, who will quarantine/how long? Will AC have special filters? If not, will classroom doors/windows all be open for cross ventilation? How will restrooms be cleaned? Stocked with soap and paper towels? Hand sanitizer stations around campus? Provide more information on SPED students being on campus for full days and 1/2 day Wed. How long is the sub list with high risk? When will details of the 100% online option be available? When is the deadline to enroll with 100% online? How will SpecEd services be delivered with 100% online? Can a HS SpedEd student opt out of all day option and only attend 1/2 day hybrid/actual classes (ie: student has 3 SAI classes and 3 gen ed classes, not in SDC all day) with all services (speech) online?

*****

Thank you for the work you've done to provide options to families. My kids will start fifth grade and kindergarten this fall. My fifth grader has always attended Davis and my kindergartener has been accepted to Davis for this coming year. Can you please provide assurances that if they choose the virtual option this year, they will be allowed to "return to" Davis at the end of the virtual period (whether that's a year or a semester)?

Who will be teaching the virtual classes? How large will the classes be? What sort of teaching and online teaching background will the teachers have? Who is in charge of the virtual academy and how are the teachers and administrators selected?

What resources will students need to have at home for the virtual academy? Will they be provided workbooks and textbooks, or will they be using screens and printers?

What opportunities will virtual students have for enrichment, such as choir, band, leadership programs (like Davis PALS), art, drama, etc.? What will the grading and attendance policies be for virtual students?

If school campuses are ordered closed again, will those students merge with the virtual students? Or will virtual students be kept separate? I really hope you'll consider offering one class at each grade level at each school as a virtual option, rather than having an entirely separate virtual academy.

Will on-campus students be required to wear masks? How will they be separated from one another and teachers and staff? Will they simply be distanced, or will there be plexiglass barriers? Many classrooms are so small they won’t accommodate many desks spaced six feet apart, with separate desks set aside for the second group of students using the classroom.

What is the “enrichment” option offered for half the day? Who will be in charge of the kids during that time? Will the same distancing and masking requirements apply during that period?

What will the lunch and recess periods look like? Who will be in charge of the kids during those times? Will kids be masked during recess and PE?
How will safety drills (fire, earthquake, and active shooter) be conducted on campuses?

Will all of these details be provided to parents in writing before we have to choose between on-campus and virtual options? When will parents need to decide?

******

The plan to reopen schools is too aggressive. Cases of COVID 19 in the district are climbing every day and are far worse than when the schools closed in the first instance. While live instruction is preferable, closing the schools for the first semester is the best course of action. As an alternative, the primary manner of instruction should be online with in person instruction available for those families who really want or need to send their children to school. If the board proceeds, a 2 full day plan is preferable. This allows for the cleaning of classrooms between groups of children. AM/PM classes would require the PM students to work in a potentially contaminated room or the teachers to do the cleaning (which they should not). Also, the number of times a child goes to a classroom increases their risk of contacting COVID 19 and bringing it home to whoever is providing care the remainder of the day—often grandparents who are at greater risk. AM/PM also exposes teachers to every child, every day, increasing the likelihood they will become sick.. I note you are meeting online. It is hypocritical to require your teachers, staff and students to expose themselves to the virus when you won’t even meet with a mask on. Rethink this plan, please.

******

I am a parent and teacher in Newport Mesa and am beseeching the board that every necessary precaution, including the use of masks and social distancing, take place if we are to reopen at a Level 2. People's lives are at risk. Teachers in Arizona contracted COVID while doing summer school, a school board member in my brother's district of St. Paul, Minneapolis died at 31 from COVID. Children can and HAVE had respiratory and hospitalizations due to COVID. I'm pleased there is an online option, but I will be teaching in the classroom and don't want to bring things home to my children. If the board is unable to meet in person due to safety reasons, should we really be requiring that of our staff and students? Please put the safety of our staff and students first, and listen to the medical experts. I am worried about the OC Board of Education and their no mask stance. This is playing with people's lives. We need to ensure the safety of all. Thank you for taking me comments into consideration.

******

There are too many unknowns. Cases are increasing exponentially. We cannot risk our children or our staff's health. I have immune compromised members in my family I need to protect.
• If a teacher tests positive for COVID-19 are they required to quarantine for 2-3 weeks? Is their sick leave covered, paid?
• If that teacher has 5 classes a day with 30 students each, do all 150 of those students need to then stay home and quarantine for 14 days?

• Do all 150 of those students now have to get tested? Who pays for those tests? Are they happening at school? How are the parents being notified? Does everyone in each of those kids' families need to get tested? Who pays for that?
• What if someone who lives in the same house as a teacher tests positive? Does that teacher now need to take 14 days off of work to quarantine? Is that time off covered? Paid?

• Where is the district going to find a substitute teacher who will work in a classroom full of exposed, possibly infected students for substitute pay? • Substitutes teach in multiple schools. What if they are diagnosed with COVID-19? Do all the kids in each school now have to quarantine and get tested? Who is going to pay for that?
• What if a student in your kid's class tests positive? What if your kid tests positive? Does every other student and teacher they have been around quarantine? Do we all get notified who is infected and when? Or because of HIPAA regulations are parents and teachers just going to get mysterious “may have been in contact” emails all year long?

• What is this stress going to do to our teachers? How does it affect their health and well-being? How does it affect their ability to teach? How does it affect the quality of education they are able to provide? What is it going to do to our kids? What are the long-term effects of consistently being stressed out?
• How will it affect students and faculty when the first teacher in their school dies from this? The first parent of a student who brought it home? The first kid?

******

As a high school teacher, I am concerned that your plan for secondary misses the mark. Nobody wants to be back in the classroom as much as teachers, but we also don’t want to put our lives on the line. Even young, healthy people have been killed or debilitated for the rest of their lives. Returning to school in any capacity for the sake of mental health is missing the reality of what will happen. How is it good for mental health to have your teacher go into quarantine and be worried about whether they will make it? Or to have your teacher admitted to the hospital? Or die? Or have any of those scenarios happen to a classmate? How disruptive will it be to have people constantly in and out of the classroom for fourteen day quarantines? Where will you find substitutes, period, but especially for a class that may have been exposed? How will you protect substitutes and also prevent them from being vectors across multiple schools and multiple districts? The most consistent option we have is distance learning. We should be focusing on creating a robust, engaging, distance learning option, with social-emotional connection built in. We should be on Phase 3 distance learning until the numbers are declining, with some supports in place to monitor the elementary aged kids that need supervision for their online work. Distance learning should not be only reserved for when we are forced into it by stay at home orders: we should be proactive about choosing the safest option for all.

With the hybrid plan, the students are being mixed up almost as much as normal, the teachers are exposed to the same number of students total, and the teachers are expected to work 200% to teach students full time in person and monitor their work full time online. Add onto that the fear of getting sick and dying and you have the most unhealthy work environment possible.
We already give everything to our jobs, including extra time for planning and extra money for supplies. Please don't ask us to give our lives, as well.

******

There needs to be additional options for part time schooling. We will not be sending our child to school full time. There is absolutely no way to protect them from this virus in any meaningful way than to keep groups very small and distance. You also have a responsibility to teachers etc. YOU SEEM TO TAKING YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO EACH OTHER SERIOUSLY BY MEETING VIA ZOOM. YOU OWE THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY THAT SAME RESPECT.

******

Opening schools up with zero safety precautions (and clearly very little thought on your part) recklessly endangers the lives of teachers, students, staff members, and families. School should not reopen for in-person teaching in the fall. If you are holding this forum over Zoom to not get COVID, how can you possibly advocate for schools to reopen with no masks, no social distancing, and no other safety precauations? What happens if a teacher gets sick: do all of his or her students have to quarantine for two weeks? Will the teacher still be paid for those quarantine weeks? There are too many unanswered questions, and with literal lives on the line, you need to very carefully consider whether returning to in- person instruction is the right choice.

******

I strongly believe that our children should go back to school in the Fall with proper hygiene measures in place that will allow both teachers and students to be safe. A hybrid option of learning seems like the most viable, one where the school day is split so there are less kids in the classroom. As long as social distancing is maintained and masks are worn I believe it is in the best interests of our children to have them return to school. Together with virtual education as an option for those not comfortable having their kids return, I believe, is our best option for allowing our youth to have normalcy in these very trying times. Thank you.

I applaud the parent choice and 100% online option. As for the other options, I have great concerns. Option 1 will never happen this school year. As of today, CA is backsliding in our control of the virus and more closures and state restrictions are issued daily. We will not reach the required Stage 4 of reopening in the foreseeable future. This option should be removed as it’s a waste of time and resources to pursue. Options 2 and 3 will only work until the first teacher, administrator or student tests positive for Covid and the vicious cycle of testing and quarantining begins. Even in small groups, the entire exposed group would have to be tested and quarantined, which will interrupt instruction repeatedly. All of the students who elect those options will end up bouncing in and out of online learning while sick, quarantined or awaiting test results throughout the year (if not all year). Switching back and forth between in person and online seems far more disruptive to student learning than all online. The district needs to put ALL of their time, effort and resources into creating and delivering exemplary online instruction to all students. I also recommend that the school year be delayed until September 8 to give teachers and administrators more time to prepare for online instruction. There’s no way teachers can return to work as scheduled and be ready to teach by August 24th. Thank you

******

Schools need to open 5 days a week. Our children are suffering. Parents can’t go back to work. If people are scared they can stay home but there needs to be a full time in school option ASAP

******

When voting for any plan, it may behoove you board members to keep in mind the large sum of money the district will have to come up with to fund the lawsuits that I’m sure will ensue with the first employee or staff member death when returning to work in an ill-prepared environment with lack of proper supplies and equipment under any model other than 100% virtual during this surge in the pandemic.

******

Opening schools up with zero safety precautions (and clearly very little thought on your part) recklessly endangers the lives of teachers, students, staff members, and families. School should not reopen for in-person teaching in the fall. If you are holding this forum over Zoom to not get COVID, how can you possibly advocate for schools to reopen with no masks, no social distancing, and no other safety precauations? What happens if a teacher gets sick: do all of his or her students have to quarantine for two weeks? Will the teacher still be paid for those quarantine weeks? There are too many unanswered questions, and with literal lives on the line, you need to very carefully consider whether returning to in- person instruction is the right choice.

******

100% Distance learning for the start of the school year is preferred based on the rising Covid-19 numbers in our state, and the risk of contraction for our students and teachers.

With the news of our neighboring counties, LAUSD and SDUSD, both deciding on 100% online learning for the upcoming school year, I feel it would be irresponsible of NMUSD to decide otherwise considering our current Covid-19 rising cases.

Sending our kids back to school will put our teachers and our families at risk, as children could unknowingly infect an immunocompromised. If our teachers become ill, what do we do? --If our teachers are so highly revered, then you must not risk their health and safety.

I recall reading about a local family; a single father who passed away from Covid-19 and his 2 minor children are now left without their FATHER. What are we going to tell our kids if and when they lose a parent, sibling, or their TEACHER, because we opened our schools without proper protocols and procedures in place?

...My child will be attending CMMS 100% virtually, because as a single parent, I'm worried about sending her back to school without a vaccine-- it's just not worth the risks.

Thank you for your time,

******

Thank you for taking our public comments. I have been following this closely and will say despite wanting the 100% on campus option; I am pleased with the half time but every day hybrid. I feel being at school getting face time with the teacher every day is so important and will help with consistency for these kids. I wish there would have been a presentation like you held on June 17 in order to provide more details because there are many unanswered questions just based on the summary posted on the agenda.

1.What about kids in sports or other extra-curricular activities? Will they get the afternoon session or is there an option to choose which
session, morning or afternoon to attend? Or if they have a 0 period will they get the early session?
2.The teachers will still be exposed to all the children throughout the day, so I am unclear how this limits their exposure. But if masks work and everyone will be wearing them, then I guess it is a mute point.
3.I would like to see the bell schedule to see the actual number of instructional minutes and what is the state requiring at this point? It sounds like the teachers will be required to teach the same lesson twice a day, morning and afternoon?
4.Where do sports stand? Seems like some sports can easily start now and social distance, outside practices, it should also not be a one size fits all solution.
There are positive stories coming out of Europe and other countries that have gone back to school with precautions, I am confident the decision makers are reading up on their successes and troubles.
In light of the recent spike in numbers, I hope we are able to look at the cause of this and not make the children suffer from other peoples irresponsible behavior. All the families I know have been doing the right thing, staying at home as much as possible in order to help and it seems like we will be punished for all the others who have been out not following social distancing guidelines, my guess is they do not have kids in school. So please let us have our school social bubbles, even if it is just for half a day. Thank you again for listening.

******

As both a parent, community member, and professional working within this district, I would urge the board to reconsider options which place students on campus for full days. With current numbers in Orange County rising, this is far too risky a plan. To quote Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA epidemiologist, "We cannot open schools in areas of high transmission without great risk--especially to teachers and staff." As a specialist in the district, I travel and share work spaces. Before COVID, some facilities at sites did not provide space to meet the needs of staff to work privately and confidentially. Spaces were already crowded and poorly ventilated. How will I work safely as a professional? As a parent, how will my child be able to learn safely under these plans?

When the district closed in March, we all went into crisis mode. During the distance period, it was crisis schooling. I am lucky to work amongst talented colleagues who went above and beyond. Administrators who were available and listened. Who did what they could. We learned new modes and ways to reach out students, put in countless hours adjusting our methodologies, connected with students' familities in new ways, and tried to manage our own home lives during a global pandemic. We know it was difficult for our students, their families, and our hearts ached for the ones we could not reach like we would have liked to.

So I ask the board this, if we value our students and staff. What is more important? To rush back and try to go "back to normal" when we are coming back to a world that is far LESS safe than when we closed down in March? Or should we put or time and energy into looking at what didn't work about crisis schooling and put in the time NOW to do it right. Invest in curriculum that can be served in multi-platforms, obtain WiFi hot spots, open schools to curbside material pick ups, etc? I've seen so much innovation in this community during the COVID period. I'd urge the district to make a plan to make remote learning work and pivot back to in person when it is safer. If it means saving others' health, and possibly lives, to work and learn remotely just a little longer, we can do it.

 

******

If the irresponsible decision is made not to provide distance learning during this pandemic. We will not be sending our children to school. It is impossible to safely operate live school sessions. Hiring consultants, training staff, providing some masks will not be enough to prevent spread of the Covid 19 virus in the school setting.
Please support efforts to provide distance learning options for parents who do not feel comfortable sending their children to school this coming school year. While it is true that children have the lowest incidence of illness or morbidity, they are a vector for the transmission to those of us with elderly/compromised health individuals living with us.
Babak Heidari, DDS, MPH
Sheree Heidari, PHarmD, MPH

******

First, I would like to thank our NMUSD Board Members, staff and teachers for your hard work during this unprecendented time. The challenges we are all facing are overwhelming and your hard work is appreciated. This comment is in regards to the Parent Option for 100% distance learning for the 2020/2021 year. Our son will be entering 2nd grade at Davis Elementary and we expect that if we choose to participate in 100% Distance Learning during the pandemic, that he would retain his enrollment spot on the Davis roster, regardless of how the distance learning is facilitated (either by a Davis Teacher or via an online academy-style setup - with a non-Davis teacher). Distance learning is not forever, it is a temporary and much needed option, during a global pandemic. While we would prefer distance learning be taught by our Davis teacher(s), we understand that scenario may not be feasible, and we will be appreciative of any form of 100% Distance Learning option provided. Please also consider students with approved inter-district transfers, who opt for distance learning, as well. Opting for distance learning, during the pandemic, should not result in loss of any lottery spot or approved inter-district transfer spot. Students and their families should not be punished in any way for utilizing this option. Whether a family decision is based on medical conditions of the child or family members, or if parents decide they simply want to continue to practice more strict social distancing, as recommended by many experts, to reduce their overall exposure, no reason to distance learn should be met with a consequence such as losing a lottery or transfer spot. The fact is, as of today July 13th, COVID-19 case numbers in our city, county, state, and much of our nation are increasing rapidly. This is extremely unfortunate, and highly alarming, as we quickly approach the new school year. Student and staff safety should be highest priority, when navigating options during this difficult time. Thank you for your time and consideration.

******

As of right now I would only agree with number 3 100% distant learning. I do not think that it is ok to think are children will not get sick or die. Parents, teachers will if we send are kids back to school to soon. I do not have the answers on how to do this but I know it would be wrong to do so.

*******

Dear Board members, as a NMUSD alumna, a mom, and a mental health professional, I ask that you seriously consider the health and well-being of your students and dedicated staff when planning for the 2020-2021 school year. Given the increasing number of Covid-19 cases, it's important that we put health and safety first, which includes starting the year off with distance learning and moving to a hybrid schedule with safety protocols in place (i.e. social distancing and masks) as Covid-19 numbers decrease. I understand your job is not easy and many parents may disagree but, at the end of the day, the more conservative we are with our approach, the sooner we will be able to have our kids back in school full time. Thank you for your time.

******

I worry my children, a Sophomore and a Senior at NHHS, will miss weeks of school if required to self-quarantine and that the classes they need will not be available online. My daughter is taking Latin to fulfill her language requirement. If she must quarantine due to exposure in her English class, how will she continue her Latin studies? The Latin teacher already has a full course load; will he be required to teach an online class for the one or two students who have to stay at home? The Virtual University (VU), as I understand the plan, will only offer Spanish.

I recommend that the existing courses (brick and mortar if you will) be recorded and posted as part of the VU offerings. At the high school level this would be an invaluable tool for all students. We know that many of them will have to quarantine next year and this is the only way I see to keep them from missing weeks of class time. Recorded classes are also extremely useful to review material. If we plan well, we as a community can use the response to Covid-19 to improve our school district for all time.

 

******

As a concerned parent, may we please see photographic evidence of the preparations being made in the classrooms, restrooms, gyms and playgrounds. There is only a little over a month till classes are to begin so I’m supposing these things are we’ll underway. Also, please include photos of the stockpiles of PPE in the warehouse, as we are hearing of shortages at medical facilities. Best regards.

Children need to be in school (the physical location), in a classroom with teachers and aides on a regular full time basis. Prominent pediatricians have been discussing the importance of getting kids back to school for their overall health and for academic progress.

******

he current rate of COVID-19 in the Newport-Mesa community is too high to reopen schools. On the date of the last board meeting, there were 2.2 cases/1000 in Newport Beach; today there are 6.75/1000. The cases in the state are on track to double in 27.9 days; this translates to 30 kids with COVID-19 at CdM on the day school starts. These will mostly be 16 – 18 year olds. The current rate of infections clearly points to distance learning as the least disruptive option for the school opening. Although students are less likely to get sick, adults are vulnerable and still required on campus. A class without a teacher is a lousy learning option. Substitutes will be more scarce and an ill teacher cannot create lesson plans. A teacher dying from COVID is something that is tough for me to even comment on.

Once data shows it’s appropriate to implement the hybrid model, it is imperative that more steps to mitigate risk are put in place. The CDC has stated the virus does not spread easily from touching surfaces but rather is thought to spread mainly through respiratory droplets. The board agenda mentions a $6K budget for disinfecting surfaces but does not recognize the CDC recommendations regarding airborne spread. The fiscal impact of your model for reopening of schools is marked as Not Applicable. I take this to mean that not one dime will be spent on reducing the spread of this virus. There is no budget for masks or Plexiglas around teacher desks, or a plan to understand airflow in classrooms so we can make an informed decision regarding desk placement. Reducing the number of students in the class is an important and welcome step but that step alone does not do enough to mitigate risks. If we can’t rely on mandatory mask use for students and teachers and as well as other measures to reduce risk, we can’t open schools.

A plan to reopen with only physical distancing as a precaution is no plan, it is just a hopeful wish. I do not want to risk my life based on your wishes. I wish I could go back to the pre-pandemic job I love, but COVID is a reality. Data should be driving Board decisions. Based on the current trends in COVID-19 in Orange County, the obvious conclusion is to not reopen schools in August.

********

School MUST reopen with the kids back in school FULL time. Virtual learning was a complete disaster. I am not worried about my children contracting Coronavirus at school. Parents who are concerned should keep their kids at home. Children need to be in school academically, socially, for sports and for their own healthy well being. They are not at risk nor are the teachers. I am most concerned about the lack of education my children have received these past few months. Masks should not be worn to school either.

1. With the "Max 16 model", how is the number of students being determined commensurate with the classroom size (in meeting the state's guidelines)?

2. Besides masks for students and desks being a certain distance from each other, what protection is the district putting in place for students and teachers? Who will be responsible for taking temperatures, students wearing masks, district providing masks and other safety measures, complying to social distancing, etc.? Which leads to my next point.

3. With students attending school daily, what is the district policy/plans if teachers become ill? I can't think of any substitute that would be willing to come into a teacher's classroom that just fell ill (nor would teachers/parents want random substitutes in the classroom with their children). In addition, how would teachers be compensated if they do become ill (not every teacher has a great extent of sick days available)?

4. Last, a major concern is the lack of ventilation in some classrooms. The air in many classrooms is stagnant, even with air conditioners, fans, or doors and windows open. In some classrooms, this is due to a cement block (about 3 feet in length) that blocks the windows on one side of the classroom. What are the districts plans to ensure there is proper ventilation in the classrooms?

Dear NMUSD Board Members, has NMUSD considered giving school principles the authorization to rent commercial grade outdoor canopies to create flexible outdoor classrooms? In the event Covid continues to surge, having many large canopies would create large outdoor teaching spaces which would guarantee a successful opening to the school year during the first couple months of August and September when we are assured nice weather.

The "Outdoor Canopy Guaranteed Re-opening" would help teachers get to know their students in person before switching to zoom. In the event the schools are forced to move to online classes, having these open air canopies would offer a place for students to show up for outdoor "home room" where they get a little personal interaction with their teacher and get a little face time (outdoor socialization) with their friends before heading home for zoom school. It could also tie in with a social distanced PE class or classroom jog around the campus.

.

It appears being outdoors greatly reduces the chances of transmission. Why not take advantage of our fabulous weather by creating outdoor classrooms that allow for greater social distancing while increasing class size flexibility? For example, maybe the students meet in their classroom for 10 minutes (with a mask on) to go over an assignment and then spread out under the canopy to work away for the rest of that class period (without a mask on). If the school district were to mobilize and rent many commercial grade canopies (or allow their respective PTA organizations to do so) it would create a ton of social distancing flexibility to all but guarantee a successful opening to the school year.

*******

As we surpass 1,400 COVID cases in OC children this week, we still have zero studies showing the long-term effects of this disease. Orange County is in the midst of an outbreak. LA and SD have already made this difficult decision- we need 100% virtual. Once our outbreak here in OC has passed, that we can explore the Level 2 hybrid plan. As a household with 2 working parents and no extended family, we feel the pressure. We want our daughter in school. However, we are in a global pandemic. It is unfortunate, but without the proper national-level response, the spread has not been contained. It is inconvenient and uncomfortable. But our school districts cannot solve the national policy vacuum. They can only make the best decision with the hand dealt.

In the Level 2 plan, there is simply too much uncertainty for the children, putting them on an emotional rollercoaster. They deserve consistency. Hot weather, Air Quality, Rain days will all throw a wrench in this plan. You know that. Furthermore, what about when a teacher's spouse tests positive and they quarantine for 2 weeks? Then, will we be equipped to have entire classes quarantine at home for 2 weeks when their teacher tests positive? The mental toll on little ones 'waiting to see if teacher is okay' (or, god forbid, when they aren't) will expose kids to further uncertainty and trauma. And, when a student's parent is positive; with this model, will we swiftly and quickly have protocols to test-trace-isolate? Or, will parents simply get repeated vague HIPAA-compliant letters of 'Your child may have been exposed'. We know from OC's horrid 14% positivity rate that we don't have sufficient testing. All of this will add to uncertainty and anxiety among parents and children. Not to mention the anxiety of having to 'stay away from your friends', 'keep on your mask', 'wash your hands', 'don't hug your friend' that kids will be constantly barraged with.

Because we have active community spread right now, it is best to simply focus on excellence in distance learning. Teachers need PD. Online learning must provide the same quality and as much social interaction as possible. These kids who will be 100% online will be the most at risk emotionally, as they are already being separated from their home school and put into 'virtual academy' with a whole new set of peers. Teachers must have skills to engage them and make sure their emotional needs are met through dialogue, class discussions online, etc. This takes new tools. Furthermore, given that the Governor just walked back some of our business openings-- today- why not go with your instincts that he may very likely mandate schools go virtual? Why not be fully prepared for this scenario and test it out this fall rather than have another last-minute triage with less-than-effective outcomes. We can do better. We see the train coming, so rather than hope for it to take a turn, let's get prepared to handle it.

*******

As parents of two very young children (pre-K, and 2nd grade dual immersion) in the district, and with recent virus activity on the rise, we would prefer both our children to either remain 100% online, or partially return to the classroom. It's too soon. And teachers have enough on their plates to have to also increase awareness of keeping an eye over the cleanliness of our children.

With coronavirus spreading like wildfire in Orange County, it’s not safe to reopen our schools. We know that school age children can be infected by the virus, can die of the virus, and can act as vectors to spread the virus to their families (including older relatives who are at exceptionally high risk) and school staff (many of whom are older or who take care of older relatives, and thus again are at high risk). Masks, temperature checks, and social distancing reduce the risk of viral transfer but do not eliminate it. With the virus so prevalent in our community at the present time, and the harm caused by the virus to those it infects potentially so great, the risks of opening our schools outweigh the benefits. I agree that distance education is not equivalent to in-person education and that it poses many real challenges to all involved, but in-person education is not worth dying for, nor is it worth a life with permanent heart, lung, or nerve damage.

If the virus were under control and just found in small pockets of our population; if we had adequate testing and contact tracing to allow rapid identification and control of infectious outbreaks in schools; if we had adequate funding, equipment, and trained staff to ensure social distancing and other guidelines were met to reduce the likelihood of viral transfer; then we might be able to consider reopening our campuses for in-person teaching. But those conditions aren’t met, and reopening schools in August will allow the virus to spread further through our community, will lead to additional deaths, and will harm economic recovery by further prolonging the pandemic.

I ask you to follow the lead of LAUSD and indefinitely postpone the opening of NMUSD campuses until such a time as the virus is under control, testing and contact tracing are widely available, and funding, equipment, and training are provided for extremely safe in-person environments. And even when those conditions are met and campuses are reopened, I would request that everyone who wants a virtual, distance-based option be able to choose it, be they student, parent, or employee.

******

I am a teacher at Davis Magnet School and my son is a student at Woodland. I am requesting that NMUSD follow the lead of the Los Angeles and San Diego school districts, and begin the year with 100% online learning in the fall. As a result of our state and county's increasing number of COVID-19 cases, yesterday our Governor announced statewide shut downs of indoor services and recreation. The fact that this meeting is taking place with participants viewing over Zoom rather than sitting in the boardroom is evidence that it is not safe for groups of people to gather together at this time. I would like nothing more than to return to my campus to meet my new students, collaborate with my talented co-workers and principal, and see my supportive parent community. I know that when we return we will get used to wearing masks and be able to adapt our practices to accommodate social distancing requirements. However, until Orange County can slow and reduce the rate of infection, our children will be safer learning at home.

******

Dr. Navarro, President Fluor, and members of the Board, thank you for working to develop a multilevel plan for addressing the inevitable changes in circumstances during the upcoming year. As a teacher in NMUSD and district resident, I am deeply concerned about the feasibility of safely reopening our school campuses under the proposed plan, especially with now being under a modified Safer at Home order.

I have always been an advocate for the social-emotional and mental health of my students. I know students benefit from being in classrooms with teachers and peers, and I whole heartedly want to be back in my classroom, but only when it is safe for students, teachers, staff, and the families that they go home to. Please continue to follow the health and safety guidelines from the CDC, CDPH, and OCDE, not the recommendations, based on information from a biased panel of experts, that the OCBE approved last night. There’s not enough data regarding children and COVID-19 because we successfully quarantined them early on. Protect the health of students, teachers, and staff. We all matter.

You are discussing a full day for elementary schools, called “Max 16.” While this is well intentioned to support working families, I am concerned and have many questions. I’m concerned that this cannot be safely implemented and that we, as teachers, were not involved in the
conversation. It is my understanding that NMFT and the Superintendent’s Advisory Council were not informed of this model until Friday morning when the agenda for this meeting was published later that same day. District Priority C1 states, “NMUSD will build and foster meaningful partnerships and shared commitment with stakeholders including students, parents, employees, employee associations and community partners in the development of the whole child.” Teachers work with students daily and we deserve to have our voices heard as do parents. We know our students, how our school campuses function, and we all matter.

With regards to “Max 16”: How are classrooms being sanitized between groups of students? Who is supervising students during the “extended day” and are students being kept in their same cohorts from class? What is the plan for when a student, teacher, or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19?

I am passionate about my role as an educator and want to return to campus, but only if/when health and safety can be protected. Respectfully, we all matter.

******

My kids and grandkids attend and or teach in OC. We feel until the numbers in OC go down and stay down, distance learning is the safest way for everyone. Students, teachers, staff. Many parts of our district are low income with many generations living together. how many lives will be lost?

*I don't think schools are prepared to open safely even with precautions. No way the district has time or had time to figure it out. Please start the 2020-21 school year with distance learning only. People's lives are at stake.

If teachers and students will be going back to in person instruction in the fall, what will be the protocol when teachers and or students test positive for Covid? Will everyone on the site then need to be tested and quarantined? Will it be limited to students and teachers who have classes together? What about support staff?

******

I vote for Level 3 Distance Learning 100% as the mode for teaching 2020-21 school year.

*****

I was disheartened to hear the decision by the OCBE last night as well as the very one-sided and non-factual arguments submitted in support of that decision. I hope that NMUSD will act responsibly for the sake of our students, their families, the faculty and staff of every school in our district and their families in following all CDC recommendations and supporting our state’s leadership to keep our hospitals functioning well below capacity. Furthermore, I would like to add that we don’t know what we don’t know about this illness and that decisions affecting broad groups of people of varying ages and health conditions should be made cautiously and without internal bias.

With case numbers on the rise, I expect more people to choose the 100% virtual option. I would like to see the plan for how virtual learning would be rolled out in the Fall, specifically how the kids would be grouped and at what level. Would they be surrounded by their normal classroom peers and teachers? What about the level 2 option of half-days inside the classroom? What does that look like at this point in time?

We are living in fast and ever-changing times. I feel that we need an adaptable plan that allows for flexibility and understanding. This situation is not permanent. Out of great challenge come great opportunities for knowledge and experience. If we can find a way to listen and support one another, we can come through this stronger together. Thank you for all the work that is being done to solve this challenging problem.

In the NMUSD 3 level plan, does Level 1 and 2 take into consideration these questions regarding safety?

Will all students and faculty get tested for COVID-19 before they are to set foot on school campus? If a teacher tests positive for COVID-19 are they required to quarantine for 14 days?
Is that teachers’ sick leave covered and paid?
What if that teacher is sick for longer than 14 days?

If a teacher tests positive, do all of their students stay home and quarantine for 14 days? Do those students exposed to a diagnosed teacher get tested for COVID-19?
Who pays for those COVID-19 tests and who administers those tests?
Are those parents going to be notified if their student was exposed to COVID-19?

Does everyone in the students family need to be tested?
Who will pay for that students family COVID-19 test?
Will a substitute teacher be willing to work in a classroom of exposed and possibly infected students?
Substitutes work at multiple schools. If they are diagnosed with COVID-19, does each colleague and student that was is contact with that sub need to quarantine and get tested?
What is the protocol when a student in a class tests positive?
Does everyone in that class get notified of that exposure?
Will the school provide counseling for emotional affects on the students if, for example, their teacher dies from COVID-19?
Will the school provide counseling for emotional affects to students, if a student brings home COVID-19 to a parent or grandparent and that guardian consequently dies from COVID-19?

******

I am a teacher at Davis Magnet School and my son is a student at Woodland. I am requesting that NMUSD follow the lead of the Los Angeles and San Diego school districts, and begin the year with 100% online learning in the fall. As a result of our state and county's increasing number of COVID-19 cases, yesterday our Governor announced statewide shut downs of indoor services and recreation. The fact that this meeting is taking place with participants viewing over Zoom rather than sitting in the boardroom is evidence that it is not safe for groups of people to gather together at this time. I would like nothing more than to return to my campus to meet my new students, collaborate with my talented co-workers and principal, and see my supportive parent community. I know that when we return we will get used to wearing masks and be able to adapt our practices to accommodate social distancing requirements. However, until Orange County can slow and reduce the rate of infection, our children will be safer learning at home.

******

Dr. Navarro, President Fluor, and members of the Board, thank you for working to develop a multilevel plan for addressing the inevitable changes in circumstances during the upcoming year. As a teacher in NMUSD and district resident, I am deeply concerned about the feasibility of safely reopening our school campuses under the proposed plan, especially with now being under a modified Safer at Home order. I have always been an advocate for the social-emotional and mental health of my students. I know students benefit from being in classrooms with teachers and peers, and I whole heartedly want to be back in my classroom, but only when it is safe for students, teachers, staff, and the families that they go home to. Please continue to follow the health and safety guidelines from the CDC, CDPH, and OCDE, not the recommendations, based on information from a biased panel of experts, that the OCBE approved last night. There’s not enough data regarding children and COVID-19 because we successfully quarantined them early on. Protect the health of students, teachers, and staff. We all matter. You are discussing a full day for elementary schools, called “Max 16.” While this is well intentioned to support working families, I am concerned and have many questions. I’m concerned that this cannot be safely implemented and that we, as teachers, were not involved in the conversation. It is my understanding that NMFT and the Superintendent’s Advisory Council were not informed of this model until Friday morning when the agenda for this meeting was published later that same day. District Priority C1 states, “NMUSD will build and foster meaningful partnerships and shared commitment with stakeholders including students, parents, employees, employee associations and community partners in the development of the whole child.” Teachers work with students daily and we deserve to have our voices heard as do parents. We know our students, how our school campuses function, and we all matter. With regards to “Max 16”: How are classrooms being sanitized between groups of students? Who is supervising students during the “extended day” and are students being kept in their same cohorts from class? What is the plan for when a student, teacher, or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19? I am passionate about my role as an educator and want to return to campus, but only if/when health and safety can be protected. Respectfully, we all matter. Thank you.

******

My kids and grandkids attend and or teach in OC. We feel until the numbers in OC go down and stay down, distance learning is the safest way for everyone. Students, teachers, staff. Many parts of our district are low income with many generations living together. how many lives will be lost ?

******

If school is to reopen, it must have a mitigation plan in place for secondary students. There must be social distancing as well as mandatory face coverings for the health of our students, teachers and their families. To do any less is a disservice to our community. We all want our kids back in school but not at their expense and the expense of our teachers who have taken on a huge responsibility during Covid. Please if you choose to open, do it with proper mitigation for all involved.

******

If teachers and students will be going back to in person instruction in the fall, what will be the protocol when teachers and or students test positive for Covid? Will everyone on the site then need to be tested and quarantined? Will it be limited to students and teachers who have classes together? What about support staff?

*******

I want to thank you for all your efforts toward figuring out a way forward for the beginning of the school year. I can only imagine the weight of the responsibility you must be feeling these days. Please provide a 100% online learning option through each school, not in a separate online academy. Kids need consistency and the support of friends, familiar teachers, school culture, and extra-curriculars (band, choir, student council, etc.). If online learning can be streamed out of each classroom or at least one classroom / teacher per grade, that would allow for both teachers and students to transition more smoothly to online learning in the case of renewed shelter-in-place orders. Imagine if we have to flip-flop between hybrid and online learning for all students in a sudden transition like the one we experienced in March. If that were to happen, this time around, I believe parents would expect their kids to be engaged in all-day online learning facilitated by their child's teacher; is it fair to ask teachers to plan for 50% of their students and lessons at a time, then suddenly switch them to 100% distance learning for 100% of their students? Davis Magnet families have still not received an answer about their children's status at Davis if we opt for the 100% online learning in the fall. Would enrolling in a 100% online academy knock kids out of Davis? How many students can the online academy handle? Will you survey parents to guage interest before moving ahead? You might find that more families are interested in 100% online than you expect. Who will the teachers be, and how will they be selected? How many kids will be in each class? Will instruction be in real-time on zoom or asynchronous? As for the hybrid model, will masks be required on campus? Will the students be safely distanced? How will cleaning between each period in secondary be handled? What is happening for elementary students when they're on campus but not in their classroom -- who will be supervising them and what will they be doing? Will these questions be answered before parents must make a decision? We are all experiencing caution fatigue. Kids want to be in school, and parents and teachers want them to be there. Teaching and learning from a distance is challenging. But please let us all rise to the challenge and continue 100% distance learning district-wide in the fall, as several nearby districts are deciding to do. Let the NMUSD community be resilient and work together - we can do it. We'll get back to normal one day, but for the safety of all students, teachers, and the entire community, that day should come when COVID-19 numbers are dropping, not surging. Thank you for your consideration and leadership.

 

******

 

 

 

 

 

Sandy Asper: Interview with Britt Dowdy

The link below is an interview with Britt Dowdy, N-MFT President, regarding the union's vision this year. 

https://youtu.be/jfKP41tcDLk

Tentative Agreement
Newport-Mesa Unified School District and 
Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers
August 11, 2015
 
more

Pages