11/20/20 Message from Superintendent: Virtual Learning Will Continue After Winter Break



 November 20, 2020

 Dear Rowland Families:

I hope this email finds you and your family doing well and staying healthy. As we approach the Thanksgiving Break, I hope you are making plans for a safe and enjoyable time to rest and relax. 

I want to assure you that the health and safety of our staff and students remain our top priority. As a follow-up to my communication sent on October 15, we continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 data, which includes case rates for Los Angeles County, the local cities that Rowland Unified serves, and the areas specifically within our school district boundaries. As you have likely heard through news media, the case rate in Los Angeles County continues to rise and the County remains in the purple, or widespread tier.

Each and every one of us in Rowland Unified greatly miss seeing our students on campus and had hoped that we would be able to welcome them back soon. Unfortunately, having students learning on campus continues to not be possible.  We will not reopen our school campuses for in-person learning on January 11, 2021, and no known date is available as to when we will be able to resume in-person learning. Therefore, we will continue to remain in the all Virtual Classroom model until further notice. School campuses will remain closed for in-person learning until Los Angeles County, and our local data, has RUSD in the red tier and State and local health experts have deemed that it is safe to reopen with precautions and safeguards put in place. When this happens, we will begin to phase in having students return to campus.

In the meantime, we continue to plan and prepare for when we are able to welcome our students back to campus. This planning includes meeting with our 2020-2021 Reopening Planning Team and reviewing both safety measures and instructional models. Schools and classrooms will look different when we are able to reopen and we are preparing with many safeguards for our school sites that include, but are not limited to:

  • Safety measures such as, thermal temperature scanners at the entrance to our facilities, signage for social distancing, upgrades to air conditioning units, removing or disabling drinking fountains and replacing them with touchless bottle filling stations, enhanced cleaning protocols using electrostatic disinfectant sprayers, touchless hand sanitizer stations in all classrooms and common areas, plexiglass office dividers and student desk dividers, as well as personal protective equipment, including face coverings.
  • Instructionally, parents will continue to have the option to have your child participate in in-person learning or remain all virtual. The instructional model will change from what was described in the summer, as we have realized that the design of the blended and virtual classroom model needed some adjustments to ensure equity of instructional time, access to courses, minimize disruption to the current class rosters and the relationships that have been built between student and teacher, and increase flexibility to move seamlessly in or out of virtual learning should the health conditions require us to do so.

As a result, we are exploring Real Time or Simultaneous Instruction. In this model, teachers would resume instruction from their classrooms, with the specific bell schedule still to be determined, with students who select in-person instruction, while students who continue in the virtual classroom model would join the class via live stream. Considering a Real Time Instructional Model allows the ability to offer both groups of students’ continuity in learning and equity in instructional time, keeping classrooms together in their current configurations while allowing parents the option of in-person or virtual learning, and the flexibility to transition if needed due to changes in health conditions.

Please continue to keep connected with us and if you need assistance, join us at our upcoming Parent Workshops to support you and your child with virtual learning and family wellness. Upcoming dates are:

Thank you again for all that you are doing to support learning during this time. We are all in this together and we appreciate your continued support. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Break!


With Gratitude,

Julie Mitchell, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools  


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