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Update from the Superintendent - March 24th
Posted 3/24/21

Dear Scotts Valley Community,

As I’m sure you are aware, Santa Cruz County metrics continue to improve and assuming we continue in this direction, our County may move into the Orange tier in the last week of March.

Last night at the Board meeting, I presented information and was joined by Jennifer Buesing, the County Office of Education Director of Safety, and the School Liaison to Public Health.  We provided updated information regarding our state monitoring system, as well as the updated guidance recently announced by the California Department of Public Health.

Again, I want to applaud our district and staff for being the first public school district in this county to fully implement hybrid schedules during the month of March. By next week, all grade levels TK - 12 will have been invited back for hybrid instruction. We also reviewed the potential impact that we are concerned about regarding travel and gatherings over spring break. The outcome of spring break will significantly impact the next steps our districts will be able to take. Our hope is that the community adheres to the CDPH travel advisory and we will continue with the positive progress in moving into the Orange and even less restrictive tiers. As many of you know, once we have opened up hybrid instruction, regardless of the colored tier our county is in, we will be able to continue to remain open providing hybrid instruction.

Since CDPH just recently amended its guidance for social distancing in classrooms, we are reviewing and determining our classroom capacity with 3-foot distances between student desks. For those who have not read the updated guidance closely, this 3-foot change is only for classrooms and only between students. CDPH is still advising adults to keep 6-foot social distancing and also for teachers to keep 6 feet between themselves and their students. Additionally, this is also the guidance for eating areas, even if outdoors. While our schools are focusing on and completing the implementation of the hybrid schedules this week and next with 4th, 5th, 6th, and 12th graders returning this week, to be joined by 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th grades next week, we are also discussing shifting to a less restrictive classroom capacity with the new 3-foot guidance. We are analyzing facility use and space. After spring break, we will survey parents to assess parents' comfort level and confirmation for your students to receive in-person instruction with 3-foot distancing instead of six. We need to receive those survey results and then determine our staffing and facility needs accordingly. Please bear with us, we were just rolling out hybrid schedules, only to have a quick shift by CDC and CDPH regarding the distancing for classrooms only. We intend to bring back more students into the classrooms this year as we are able, and we will be in communication with our parent community about making this transition.

Additionally, we are expecting to receive additional guidance from CDPH regarding large gatherings and specifically, senior activities and graduation. It is our intent to be able to provide our seniors as many opportunities as we are able for the last portion of their senior year. Again, those gatherings will be determined in part by Public Health and the case rate for Santa Cruz County.

We have been reaching out to other districts outside of Santa Cruz and gathering ideas and options to transition into a less restrictive socially distanced classroom environment. We are also working collaboratively with our teacher's union in making these changes.

I am pleased and excited for all of the students that wanted to and were able to return to campuses for hybrid instruction through the month of March, and we will continue to make adjustments upon return from spring break. 

Here is the link to the County Superintendents letter regarding the above information.

Thank you,
Tanya Krause, Superintendent