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SRCS 10/17/20 Update: Transitioning to In-Person Learning Update
Posted 10/16/20

Dear San Rafael City Schools Community,

Thank you all for your patience and flexibility as we make decisions that respond to the learning needs of our students, while also prioritizing the health and safety of our students, teachers, staff and community. Here are some important updates:

Elementary Schools (TK-5) (Not including students in Connected Classrooms)
We partnered with Marin Health and Human Services (MHHS) and local healthcare providers to offer widespread COVID-19 testing over the past two weeks so we could better understand our local data to guide our decisions for when to return to in-person learning. We’re grateful to our SRCS community for overwhelmingly responding - we estimate more than 1,000 students, family members, teachers and staff were tested! Due to such a remarkable turnout, we want to be sure all the results are processed and analyzed by MHHS before we make a final decision about the timeline. I do want to share that the initial information looks very promising. We are hopeful that we can begin hybrid in-person learning for grades TK-2 on Nov. 9, and grades 3-5 the following week, but this is not yet official until the testing results are received and the data is comprehensively reviewed. We anticipate sending a communication on Wednesday, Oct. 21. 

Please mark your calendars for our upcoming virtual Town Halls! We will be joined by MHHS leaders to review the results of the recent testing and other relevant data; learn about the soon-to-be-released MHHS Student & Family Handbook; better understand safety protocols and procedures; and more. Further information about these sessions and additional parent, family and student safety updates and topics will be shared next week.


TK-5 Return to In-Person Learning 
Town Halls
For Teachers & Staff
Thursday, Oct. 22, 1 - 2 pm
ZOOM link to be shared prior
For Parents & Families in English
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 6 - 7 pm
Live on SRCS’ Facebook Page (recording available after)
For Parents & Families in Spanish
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 6 - 7 pm
Live on SRCS’ Facebook Page (recording available after)

As a reminder, next week is “Safety Week” for elementary teachers and staff, with dedicated time for them to review the school safety plan and prepare their classrooms. Monday, Oct. 19 will remain a non-student day, and Tuesday through Friday will be asynchronous learning after lunch. Student schedule here.

Middle Schools (6-8)
Based on public health guidance and in the best interest of our SRCS community, we will not be moving to the next phase of hybrid in-person learning for all middle school students for the rest of 2020. We are hopeful that with the start of the new semester in January 2021 we will be able to transition to some in-person learning, and we are working hard to make that happen in a safe manner.

While I know this is very disappointing news, I am happy to share that the Middle School Re-Entry Team recently reconvened and came to consensus on a plan for greater student accountability within the existing remote learning schedule. We believe the updates will better meet the needs of the community. Davidson Middle School will be sharing a letter with more detailed information later today. 

Additionally, we are partnering with Bay Area Community Resources (BACR) to establish a DMS Learning Hub, which will serve approximately 30 students with a consistent, supervised learning environment. This in-person program will provide opportunities for us to further clarify our safety protocols in preparation for bringing students back some time in January.

High Schools (9-12)
As a reminder, we announced that we are not moving to the next phase of hybrid in-person learning for all high school students until the start of the new semester in January 2021 at the earliest. However, similarly to middle school, we’re bringing back targeted groups of high schoolers for some small, in-person learning. I am delighted to share that starting Nov. 2, we will have Learning Hubs at all three high schools!

Closing Thoughts
I know that this has been a difficult time, and I also know that working together we can make great things happen for our students. Please remember that we all have a collective responsibility to decrease the spread of COVID by social distancing, washing hands and wearing face coverings.

Jim Hogeboom