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Regular Governing Board Meeting 07/16/2020 07:00 PM Virtual Meeting
MEETING OF THE GOVERNING BOARD
July 16, 2020
1 . OPENING PROCEDURE
2. REQUESTS TO ADDRESS THE GOVERNING BOARD
Dena Dragoo, Teacher- Read a letter written from San Gabriel Valley Teachers Union Presidents asking to start the year with Full Distance Learning.
Stephanie Bucey, Teacher - Reopened the school year with a month long virtual academy. Would like the ability to return to the classroom and teach virtually.
Chad Budde, Teacher- Teacher 21 years. Member DL Committee. Committee requests that the board respect our decisions and 1) adopt a version of option 4. 2) Continue to look into ways where teachers can meet in person safely.
Iraise Garcia, Teacher - Letter from SGTA Executive Board on behalf of all SGTA. Majority of our teachers do not feel it is safe to open schools. Results out of 168. 66% would like to teach a virtual academy. Please commit to a K-12 virtual academy.
Derrick Chin, Parent - Father of 3 students at Mckinley. Family would prefer not to have it in person. Would like 100% virtual class in a monitored manner. Would like teachers to monitor students' games, youtube experience.
Kyle Devriendt, Community Member - If we have a virtual academy, teachers need to be up to standard by Aug 17th so that virtual learning is up to par, vigorous, robust. He is in support of a Hybrid Model, believes there is a model to get students back in a safe way. Hoping that the school board and teachers association are looking at all options.
Jenny Chow, Parent - Concerned with Internet Safety - For Distance Learning there will be a lot of time unmonitored. What is done with data for students who are on various academic websites. Consider installing touchless faucets.
Connie Chow, Parent - Grandparents are watching my kids. Cannot afford a tutor. Can you group live learning together? Or else I have to quit my essential job. How will the district accommodate parents already putting lives on the line.
Lourdes Arrellano - Question regarding the platform to use for Virtual Learning. What platforms will the district be using? Can we use one platform? Can we use something simple for the students so they are not getting bored and distracted. Can we limit the number of places the students need to go to complete assignments?
Angela Acosta Anguille- Parents not receiving feedback about returning to school. SGUSD needs to be more open and provide better communication with parents. Include students and families in the decision making process instead of families relying on updates on social media.
Andy Jeong- Supports Virtual Academy because there is a spike in cases and hopefully we will follow the decisions of LAUSD. Still open to a Hybrid model and Zoom sessions and understands that families still have trouble with technology availability and hopes it can be solved by families helping each other or support from the district. Families want internet safety for their children and offered a website for parents to use.
Bobbie Collins- Romero, Parent - Wanted to say Thank you to Teachers, Board and all Staff. I have let go of normal. Son will be an incoming 7th grader. I am opposed to any school reopening plan in the 20-21 school year. The reopening must be based on science. With no vaccine in place, please consider a Virtual Model. As always, kids first.
Chanda Stom, Teacher- Teach chemistry at GAB. Friday March 13, which she refers to as P-Day (Pandemic Day), the normal has changed. Thanking school Board for trusting Administrators. Care and concern for the people. Colleagues want to go back, but numbers are spiking. This is a Novel virus. Children are able to spread disease. We are still in the first wave. There will be a second wave. Why not start 100% DL, give staff enough time to prepare. Teachers want to create rigorous curriculum. Please air on the side of caution and when safe move to a Hybrid.
Veronica Inojos , Parent - We are at high risk for returning to campus. Would like to recommend if supplies can be given to students to keep learning, like books. If they are attending schooling, How will they be screening staff and students? Throughout the day? Still opened to Distance Learning. I would like to make sure everyone is safe.
Amy Eng Johnston,- Pandemic devastating and distance learning causes serious struggles for students and families. However the risk of the spread of the virus needs to be realized and we should focus on creating the best online learning experience for our students so we don’t cause a disruptive learning experience by starting with reopening and then closing again.
Yasmin Maestro, Teacher - at Roosevelt has taught for 20 years. She has a good grasp and understanding of what happens in the schools on a daily basis. She knows her students and their needs. Hybrid opens a need for manpower and time. She would love to return, but she does not feel safe for herself, nor for students, nor staff. She has three kids at SGUSD. She has been experiencing DL as a parent and a teacher. She wants her children safe and healthy as well as students at SGUSD. As a teacher and parent she wants DL because it is the best and safest decision. Family support will be more needed at this time and prepare parents for this new way of learning. Thanking Everyone.
Wendy Quinde, Parent- Parents and guardians have not been given the opportunity to give their input on our return to school. Our children should not return to school in the fall. COVID-19 needs to be controlled versus exposing children and teachers. Concerned about the health risks, especially because her children get easily sick and does not want to take any chances of them losing their lives to COVID-19. Strongly urges the board to vote to continue online learning until it is safe for everyone to return safely.
Terri Hopper, Teacher- Want to return to my classroom and to teach art to my students instead of teaching ceramics virtually from my dining room table, but it cannot be done safely. The Hybrid model has been written but the number of COVID-19 cases have spiked recently and although I would love to see my students, it is not safe and I hope you vote for 100% distance learning.
Kat Ross, Teacher- She would like to say two things: 1) She wanted to say that she really liked working with the district admin. She wants to thank Admin for listening to the teacher's voices. Admin is doing a great job. 2) She is a visual arts teacher who teaches hands-on studio classes and still I support DL only for the first semester. A decision needs to be made to help teachers and parents to prepare for the year.
Daphne Traege, Teacher- I love what I do because I love being in the room with my students. The trials and tribulations of the Traeger family were evident (two teachers and 4 kids in one house). There is trauma for students going back and forth with different models. Do distance learning well and stay with it. The Hybrid model would cause teachers with children to take time off and getting subs would be challenging. High schoolers struggled during distance learning because they were babysitting for neighbors who had to go to work and leave their young children at home. So we would like a flexible schedule for the students. We can do this and we can do this safely.
Dr. Gary Scott- He acknowledged how wonderfully dedicated our SGTA teachers. He feels confident that with this group of teachers we will make next year happen. Thank you to Zulma.
3. SPECIAL REPORTS AND PRESENTATIONS
A. PRESENTATION - Recommendation of Phased Reopening Plan for San Gabriel Unified School District, School Year 2020-21 Presentation by Superintendent, Jim Symonds - Thanked everyone who made public comments. We have amazing teachers who took ownership and we survived. Made it through the end of the year with virtual graduations. Now working with our task force to reopen the school district. Proud of Ed Services team that created the virtual online academy. Now we need to have a robust, challenging virtual academy. Major spikes in the past week. Phone conversations with Dr. Ferrar. 10,000 children diagnosed in the county. State has given local control to districts. Most districts in our area have decided to go to virtual learning. Friday Governor Newsom will give a talk at 12 noon. Many changes with the infection rate. Tonight I will talk about my recommendation to the Governing Board. My main priority is the Health Safety and wellbeing of students and staff. Tonight you will learn about the plan, the phases of our reopening. See Complete Presentation for information on : 5 key areas in reopening schools, guiding principles, COVID Task Force Group, Best Practices on Reopening Framework,
Distict Nurse, Kathy Leon- The numbers are different (presentation on 2 days ago). 59 deaths today. Over 7,000+ new cases. On June 23 there was 88,000k, but just in a few weeks close to double. The Positivity rate is still at 9%. New testing sight will be added in San Gabriel Valley due to community transmission. The positivity rate should be 5% for 14 days in order to reopen. We are at 9%. Higher levels of community transmission have been spread through students and it is likely through schools this will increase. Kathy said it would be reckless to open schools in SGUSD since our community transmission is so high. Presentation Information: San Gabriel numbers. She mentions that the science is unclear. It was noted that ⅓ of the kids are testing positive in Florida and consequences of COVID are very concerning. We don’t know and it is scary and it is frightening. Key findings for Recent LAC DPH Study (slide); Example of a Long Term Projection: Daily Patients (slide); A Patient's Journey: COVID 19 (slide); Who is at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (Slide) Kathy mentioned all they types of illnesses that plague our students (i.e. 541 students with asthma); LAC DPH Reopening Protocols (slide) Kathy mentioned that are not enough staff to implement protocol nor classified staff. She mentions a quote that says Science should drive decisions on reopening schools. Evidence should drive decision and not politics. Regarding education the state needs to listen to educators and Admin to see how we manage curriculum during this pandemic. Her job is to see that family and kids are safe. Our kids can die and she doesn't know how we can deal with such a reality. So far she is aware of 3 staff members testing positive members, 6 staff members have been quarantined. Family members of staff- so far one family member died. We still don’t know all those numbers.
Assist. Supt of Business, Will Wong - Liability Considerations - Joint Powers Authority believes that it is unclear if our insurance carriers will cover COVID if an employee were to get sick. Districts should not count on liability if anyone were to get COVID. It could potentially reduce our reserve. There is an Assembly Bill in the making for blanket liability coverage for school districts. Could possibly have COVID waivers for parents to sign to hold the districts harmless.
Supt. Jim Symonds: So what if we Don’t Reopen in Person?
Asst Supt of Educational Services, Dr. Joan Perez- She is asking us to hone in our focus on educating our children. Presentation information: Phased in approach (slide): Start with Virtual academy. Three different phases. (see slide for phases). She mentioned the specific needs for TK, EL, and SPED to better engage students. When the positivity rate falls under 5% then we can move to Phase 2 (launch hybrid). In Phase 3-inperson learning with preventative process. In a Phase- in Approach (slide): What the first weeks of school will be like. How will the Fall 2020 Virutal Academy be different from DL in Spring 2020 (Dr. Perez “Teachers did a Dam good job!”) (slide). Student Access, Social-Emotional Needs, and Learning (slide): Special Eduation guidelines, ELLs Resources and support, Students Needing Targeted Supports. How will the Virtual Academy change (side): increase of minutes. Here is a snapshot of sample scheduling:
Sandra Dunville, Washington School Principal - Presenting a sample schedule for TK-5, whole class online instruction (slide- Sample TK-5 Virtual Learning Schedule). Participation and attendance will be mandatory. It’s important that the students understand and feel like they are in school and be participatory. So grateful for our library teacher that read to the students online.
Chris Guyer, Jefferson Middle School Principal - Presenting a sample schedule of what the secondary might look like (slide- Sample 6-12 Virtual Learning Schedule). It will be much more structured and provide more contact online with the teachers. We don’t expect the parents to be the main instructor. The teachers have the expertise and they want to connect with the students and want it to succeed.
District Coordinator, Heather Wolpert - Discussion on Professional Development. Launching a season of learning, shifting to continue to provide learning opportunities for our entire staff. P.D Offered: August 1st - Focus on Tech tools. Focusing on engagement, online learning loss, creating virtual learning lessons that provide equity. We will also support our parents to increase communication and offer advice from many experts for our students and families. We will be hosting different webinars, helping families on how to support their children, Our staff and families are eager to help our students during this pandemic.
Asst Supt of Educational Services, Dr. Joan Perez -How will we help our families? With a phased in approach, and do it well. We cannot do Distance Learning and a Hybrid at the same time. This will allow us to take virtual learning and go deeper so we are prepared for the Hybrid Model. The phased in approach will help reinforce teachers. We will always offer 100% Distance Learning should parents opt in to that. Next steps, continue to work on the details in the phases . Refine the Hybrid Model. The Task Force will finish the Reopening Framework. MOU Negotiated with Employee Associations,
Closing comments by Dr. Perez: New beginnings! This is an opportunity to do it well and prepare them for their future. This has forced us to prepare our students for the future.
B. DISCUSSION - Recommendation of Phased Reopening Plan for San Gabriel Unified School District, School Year 2020-21
Member - Cristina Alvarado - So Impressed by district, teachers and administrators. Such passions among our community. In response to the recent burning of our San Gabriel Mission, it was noted that “ We are a Tight Community.” We are meeting on zoom now because we don't want to expose ourselves, so we do not want to put our students in harm.
Vice President - Rochelle Haas - Thank you everyone for all of the work that you are doing. How will the family support and training be delivered? My concern is that even though there is more structure planned for the coming year, there will still be a responsibility placed on the families to monitor their child’s participation. This will continue to present challenges for parents who work. How will learning losses be addressed for the coming year? Also, I have a parent asking how can we be sure that teachers are logging in to deliver instruction and how will teachers be tracked? Can a sub be brought in to cover for a teacher not able to log on?
(After Dr. Perez and Ross answered the questions, Dr. Scott asked Rochelle if she had any follow up)
Rochelle - No follow up . Parents really wanted to give input on how we will start the school year and the district survey didn’t ask enough questions. Working parents with young students have a lot of concerns and would like to be able to give their feedback. Families are concerned that they were not given the opportunity to give their thoughts.
Dr. Perez answered: Regarding academic loss- Implementing benchmarks reading and math for baseline. Will be meeting with teachers and doing “data dives” regarding the needs of our students. Programs like iReady will be used for data and at the high school will use the adopted curriculum for benchmarks. District will also be using interim assets for benchmarks. The greatest challenge are the little ones. District is looking into ESGI for assessing phonemic awareness. These are all things that will be implemented for measuring learning loss. As for parent support: we will bring in keynote speakers and we will map out schedules, as well as provide support (meeting weekly support- not just one and done; like coffee with Ed services. Heather Wolpert: Also added that translation will be done for all our ELL parents.
Asst. Supt. Ross Perry - Regarding Substitute teachers- sick or out for a day; several subs that were long term and were trained for virtual learning; do virtual training in the beginning of the year. We are preparing for this situation..
Clerk - Andrew Ammon- Thank you. Keeping it brief. Everyone has been working hard. I thought we would be voting on a plan. It is a moot point. Fighting a losing battle on too much screen time (anxiety, tension). Social emotional component is important. He would feel responsible for exposing kids to COVID. He also feels for the other social emotional issues (such as sucide and depression). Communication with the parents needs to be addressed. We are a small community and we need to do better about communication. As we develop plan parent communication is essential. We need collaboration with parents and teachers.
Member - Cheryl Shellhart - I wanted to say that I agree with Jim Symonds comments. Students, staff safety and well benign is our priority. So many unknowns, we understand a decision has to be made. This cannot work without the support of our caregivers.
I have several “Asks”: I think it would be advantageous to create a timeline to go from phase to phase to be able to move; 2) We need to develop tools for parents to help them create a learning environment at home. I.e, help explain homework, Investigate more resources for childcare, shelter, family support, counseling, mental health support, look at suicide rates, need to seek more parent input in our tasks forces, communication is key. Not sure how much teacher involvement has been in this process, I don't know if all the stakeholders have been invited into this process.., need to make sure our virtual academy is more robust, make sure communication is more timely. What will it take to transfer from phase to phase?
Mrs. Shellhart concluded with what school will look like when we return.
President - Dr. Gary Scott - Closing statements. His concerns are that parents need to be more involved and that is not easy to accomplish. Language issue or tech issue, how will we provide to make this work. We are going to do best practice. Schools will never look the same way again. Traditionally in education it is slow moving, but we will figure out a way to make this all happen. We all need to accept that we need to address. We are lucky, we have some great folks. Great job Jim Symonds. Education is a complex issue. We can always do better.
4. ACTION ITEMS
A. SUPERINTENDENT'S OFFICE
1. Approve Recommendation of Phased Reopening Plan for San Gabriel Unified School District, School Year 2020-21
Discussion:To Table the motion 3a to recommend phase reopening until Tuesday night, July 21st
Motion: Cheryl Shellhart motion to move the vote to Tuesday due to Governor Newsom’s press conference on Friday July 17th at 12:00 p.m. Second to table the action motion 3a. Will place on the agenda next Tuesday night by Christina Alvarado
All in favor. 5-0
Adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
5. NEXT MEETING REMINDER(S)
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
We ARE stronger together!
Join us at the next Board Meeting!
July 21, 2020
6:00 Open Session, Closed Session, 7:00 Open Session Reconvenes
Keep wearing those shirts!!
Show we are unified!