Plan is contingent on parents’ response
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
John Adams Elementary School second grade teacher Cece Gallegos sits at one of the desks in her classroom. The desk has been fitted with a shield for social distancing as she is preparing for the return of students to the classroom.
In the face of financial incentives and moral support from Sacramento, Madera Unified School District is setting its sights on resuming person-to-person learning in its schools.
Teachers have been notified that they no longer have the option of conducting classes from home, but must now report to their schools, and a tentative schedule for bringing students back to their classrooms is being formulated.
The plan for reopening Madera’s schools is presently contingent upon the results of a survey, which seeks to determine whether parents will send their children to school or prefer the distance learning arrangement.
According to MUSD Superintendent Todd Lile, the district is committed to reopening its elementary schools in the next few weeks, but first it must know the overall enrollment of every school and classroom so it can properly assign teachers, develop transportation schedules, and ensure all safety measures are supported each day. Thus, the definitive plan will require parents to respond to the district’s survey as soon as possible.
Once the parent survey results are in, the district will know how many parents prefer in-person instruction and how many parents want distance learning. This will enable the administration to develop a reopening schedule that meets the needs of all students across the district.
The district will adhere to public health guidance in terms of keeping students physically distanced in the classroom. Accordingly, each classroom can accommodate between 14-18 students for in-person instruction at a given time depending on the size of the classroom. If more than this number request in-person instruction for any one classroom, the daily schedule will have to be split, resulting in in-person instruction for half the day or on alternating days.
Parents have been advised that those who select distance learning for their children should expect the possibility that their child may not keep the same assigned teacher that the child has had so far this school year. Teacher changes may need to be made when finalizing enrollment.
Following is the potential reopening schedule if conditions and legislation allow:
TK-1 to return on the week of March 15.
Grades 2-3 to return on the week of March 22.
Spring break is scheduled for March 29-April 5.
Grades 4-6 to return on the week of April 5.
Safety guidelines will include but are not limited to the following:
Daily disinfecting will take place in all classrooms, restrooms, offices, and cafeterias throughout the day. These common areas will be cleaned and sanitized nightly with disinfecting foggers by school site custodians.
Disinfecting spray bottles and paper towels will be in all classrooms and offices for staff interim disinfecting of furniture and high contact surfaces in between classes.