I have been receiving a lot of questions about our current situation regarding COVID, COVID testing, and a possible transition into a traditional school model. Let me take some time to answer these questions.
Q: Are we preparing to transition back to a 5-day a week, all students everyday traditional school day? And if we do, when?
A: Eventually we hope to get back to a traditional model. Students, and especially parents, are still asking for this model. I plan to have this topic on the board agenda as a discussion item for the next several months. Remember, our board will make the final decision after looking at all the current information. We know that information is changing, often on a daily basis. Currently, Butte County is not trending well with the new number of COVID cases. We had our first positive case this week in one of our schools. In that case we were able to quickly follow the COVID procedures and that class is currently in quarantine. I don't see our district trending towards a traditional model right now, but we hope that can change. When we transitioned to a hybrid model, we had to rush the process and had reasons for doing so, based on the county COVID numbers. I will not rush the process to a traditional model. The soonest the district would start looking at a traditional schedule would be after the holidays. Given our current increase in cases and the pending flu season, we have a lot of unresolved questions that make it impossible to predict when and if we will be able to return to a traditional schedule this year.
Q: If Butte County moves back into the RED tier, will the district go back to 100% distance learning again?
A: NO, we will keep our same programs. Even if the county moves into the RED or PURPLE tier, OCESD will still be able to provide a hybrid (in person) instructional program, IFLC and distance learning. If we do fall back into the PURPLE we will need to reevaluate our safety needs, but we can still remain open at the schools.
Q: I heard a vaccine might be available in the near future. Have you heard anything? How will it impact our schools?
A: The Butte County Health Department confirmed that a vaccine is pending release and may be available by the end of the year. I have heard this in the news as well, which I think brings hope to many people. However, how soon it will be available to the general public is unknown and how it will impact schools and students is also a big question. It is our hope that once the vaccination is available to the public that our State Public Health Department will provide further direction and guidelines for our schools.
I hope this helps answer some of your questions. Thank you parents and families for being so flexible during these ever changing times.
Have a nice day,
Oroville City Elementary School District