Recent messages and directives from Gov. Gavin Newsom and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, have made it clear that it is in everyone’s best interests to offer students and education that is provided through distance learning and other instructional strategies.
Learning and instructional programming will continue, just not in the manner that has been our tradition on our school campuses, but with students and teachers in two different locations. Students will not be returning to their school sites for the remainder of this semester/school year.
In consultation with Dr. Simon Paul, Madera County Health Officer, and Sara Bosse, Director of Madera County Department of Public Health, it was stated that the need for safety through social distancing dictates that we continue to keep our school campuses closed to students during this pandemic. It would be impossible to maintain social distancing in the traditional school setting. Therefore, no large gatherings should be sponsored by school districts.
School is not out. The school year is not over. It is only dismissed from the school site for students. Students will be engaged in meaningful instruction through distance learning.
Distance learning is defined as the student and teacher being in different locations. There are a variety of instructional strategies that may be used, from printed materials for students to complete from home, to telecommunication interactions, to internet instruction and online resources.
All school districts are in the process of being surveyed for needs around technology devices and connectivity for students. We are hopeful with the partnership announced by the governor with Google, that students in Madera County will benefit from those resources. As schools are rolling out different opportunities for students with home studies, the creativity and imagination of our community is remarkable.
Your students, staff and families are so fortunate to have leaders who are flexible in dealing with this unpredictable situation working diligently to keep instruction and learning a priority in these uncertain times. You are keeping Madera County safe, heathy and connected.
Cecilia A. Massetti,
Madera County Superintendent of Schools