If we remain in the red tier for two weeks, we will receive more guidance from public health officials about what is allowable.
Currently, we have the following options for in-person supports.
For the time being, we have the following options:
- Serving small cohorts of students in Special Education: This is when a school district provides instructional supports for a small number of students on school campuses. This is a very targeted approach. OUSD is excited about a recent MOU with AFSCME, our labor partners representing paraeducators, to engage with a small number of students who receive special education services in special day classes (SDC) and who have been identified as regressing severely in their educational outcomes. This cohort approach will also allow us to begin to address a backlog of special education assessments for our students.
- A county waiver allowing for in-person instruction for TK-6 students: OUSD can apply to the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) for a waiver which would allow in-person learning for a larger number of elementary school students (e.g., bringing K-2 students back for in-person instruction) as long as we meet a number of safety and other requirements. ACOE requested that school districts let them know if they are interested in applying for a TK-6 waiver. We have indicated that we are interested in applying for a waiver and will implement the next steps to work through the likelihood of this option. To be clear, expressing interest does not mean we are moving forward with this option, rather it keeps this door open as we continue to plan. Obtaining a waiver is a lengthy process. So far, 16 of the 18 districts in Alameda county have expressed interest. If COVID-19 conditions improve, and if we are able to come to an agreement with our labor partners, and if we gain approval from the state and county, then we would be able to bring more elementary students back for in-person learning rather than remain only in a distance learning setting.
City-led learning hubs and other supports:
In addition to the options above, we are also working with the city and community partners (after-school program providers) to support learning hubs, pods, and virtual tutors. At this point, these are very limited and are able to serve between 100 and 150 students. We are prioritizing limited student groups for these opportunities including unhoused students, foster students, newcomer students, and referred students from particular schools in our community. In alignment with the 4Ss, these supports will have extensive safety protocols in place.
We are exploring every option to help our students and families receive the support they need. I am committed to keeping the community as up to date as possible about these options going forward.