COVID-19

October 22, 2020 

January 4th Reopening in a Hybrid & Full Distance Learning Model

Please take a few minutes the list to a video message from Superintendent Dr. Garcia. Subtilties can be accessed by clicking the CC on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. To have the subtilties in Spanish, please click in the Settings Wheel and select “Spanish” after enabling the CC. A sign language interpreted version is also available and this can be found below.

Por favor tome unos minutos la lista para ver un mensaje de video del Superintendente Dr. García. Se puede acceder a las sutilezas haciendo clic en CC en la esquina inferior derecha de la pantalla. Para tener las sutilezas en español, haga clic en la rueda de configuración y seleccione “Español” después de habilitar el CC. También está disponible una versión interpretada en lenguaje de señas, que se puede encontrar a continuación.

 

 


September 25, 2020     *Spanish translation below/Traducción al español a continuación

Good Evening Downey Unified Families,

We are a little over a month into the start of school and I would like to thank you again for your patience, flexibility and grace as we continue to navigate through this unprecedented time. I want to provide an update as to where we are today and where we are headed. A few weeks ago, the state shifted the metrics on tracking county COVID-19 data.  A new color-coded, tiered system was rolled out which uses two metrics to measure COVID-19 spread rate and test positivity percentage. These tiers are designated by four colors:  Purple (widespread), Red (substantial), Orange (moderate) and Yellow (minimal with the lowest restrictions).  Los Angeles County is currently in the Purple tier.

Los Angeles County needs to be below seven (7) positive cases per day per 100,000 population for 14 days before we are eligible to move to the Red tier.  The county would then need to remain at that tier for an additional 14 days before school districts can consider reopening schools in a Hybrid Model (50% in-person, 50% Distance Learning).  The state’s website that tracks COVID-19 metrics has an interactive map that can be found by clicking here.

In August, a TK-6 Waiver option was set to be made available by the state for districts, but this application process has been suspended for districts within Los Angeles County. However, the State of California has approved 1:1 (one-to-one) in-person assessments/testing and small cohorts for students who require specialized support and services [special education students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and English Learners (EL)] for all school districts in the state, following all state and county safety protocols. I am pleased to share that on Monday, September 21st, we began 1:1 in-person assessments/testing for our students with IEPs.

Moving forward, we are continuing to evaluate the option of bringing small cohorts of students with special needs back to school at the end of October. A cohort is considered a group of no more than 12 children or youth and no more than two adults in a supervised environment in which those adults and children stay together for all activities. A preliminary survey will be sent to our Moderate/Severe special education families to gauge their intentions for in-person small cohort instruction and services. Once specific details are established, additional information will be shared with our Moderate/Severe special education families.

Our priority remains to bring our students back on campus as soon as possible and in a safe manner when we are permitted to do so by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH). Currently we participate in weekly meetings with the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) and LADPH to be fully informed so that we can make timely and effective decisions.  We want to reiterate that whenever we bring any of our students back to campus, we will do so with safety as our top priority. Our families will be given the option of staying in a full Distance Learning Model or having their students return in a Hybrid Model once we reach that milestone.

We will continue our focus on the whole child which includes the educational, mental and social emotional needs of our students. You have our commitment that we will continue to create learning environments where our students feel safe and can thrive. As we say in Downey Unified, “Our Kids Deserve The Best…” and this means that each and every one of our kids deserve to learn in a space that is inclusive, where they ALL can be their best.

In closing, our next regular Board of Education meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 6th. During each meeting, a Return to School update is provided. I urge our families to tune in to these meetings to stay informed. Links to watch our Board meetings are included on our website, under our Board of Education page.

Additional information will be shared with our families as details continue to develop and LA County gets closer to moving into less restrictive tiers. Thank you for your patience, flexibility, grace and continued support of Downey UNIFIED.

Sincerely,

John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D.

Superintendent

 

Estimadas Familias del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Downey,

Ha pasado un poco más de un mes desde el comienzo de las escuelas y quisiera agradecerles nuevamente por su paciencia, flexibilidad y amabilidad, mientras nos desplazamos a través de este tiempo sin precedentes. Quiero proporcionarles una informaciὀn actualizada de donde estamos hoy y hacia donde vamos. Hace algunas semanas, el estado cambiὀ las medidas para el seguimiento de los datos del COVID-19 en el condado. Se implementὀ un nuevo sistema escalonado codificado por colores que utiliza dos medidas para revisar la tasa de propagaciὀn del COVID-19 y el porcentaje de positividad de la prueba. Estos niveles escalonados están designados por cuatro colores:   Morado (ampliamente extendido), Rojo (substancialmente extendido), Anaranjado (moderadamente extendido) y Amarillo (mínimamente extendido y con las restricciones más bajas). El Condado de Los Ángeles está actualmente en el nivel Morado.

El Condado de Los Ángeles necesita estar debajo de siete (7) casos positivos por día, para una poblaciὀn de 100.000 personas, por 14 días, antes de ser elegible para pasar al nivel Rojo.

El Condado deberá entonces permanecer en ese nivel por otros 14 días adicionales antes de que los distritos escolares puedan considerar la reapertura de las escuelas en un Modelo Híbrido (50% en persona, 50% en Aprendizaje a Distancia). La página de internet del estado que realiza el seguimiento de las medidas del COVID-19, tiene un mapa interactivo que puede ser encontrado apretando en este enlace para visitar: https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/.

En agosto, el estado estableciὀ una exenciὀn para los estudiantes de TK-6, pero este proceso de aplicaciὀn ha sido suspendido para los distritos dentro del Condado de Los Ángeles. Sin embargo, el estado de California ha aprobado las evaluaciones en persona (de uno a uno) y pequeños cohortes (grupos), para estudiantes que requieren de apoyos y servicios especializados (estudiantes de educaciὀn especial con Planes de Educaciὀn Individualizada (IEPs) y Aprendices de Inglés (EL), para todos los distritos escolares en el estado, siguiendo todos los protocolos de seguridad del estado y del condado. Estoy muy complacido de compartir con ustedes, que a partir del lunes, 21 de septiembre, comenzamos las evaluaciones/examinaciones en persona, para los estudiantes con IEPs.   En agosto, el estado estableció una opción de exención de TK-6 para los distritos, pero este proceso de solicitud ha sido suspendido para los distritos dentro del condado de Los Ángeles.

Continuando hacia adelante, estamos evaluando la opciὀn de traer pequeños cohortes (grupos) de estudiantes con necesidades especiales, de regreso a la escuela, para el final de octubre. Un cohorte, es considerado un grupo de no más de 12 niños ὀ jὀvenes y de no más de dos adultos en un ambiente supervisado en el cual esos adultos y niños permanezcan juntos para todas las actividades.  Una encuesta preliminar será enviada a nuestras familias de educaciὀn especial Moderada/Severa para conocer sus intenciones de una instrucciὀn y servicios en un pequeño cohorte, en persona. Una vez que sean establecidos los detalles específicos, será compartida una informaciὀn adicional con nuestras familias de educaciὀn especial Moderada/Severa.

Nuestra prioridad continúa siendo traer nuestros estudiantes de regreso a las escuelas tan pronto como sea posible, de una manera segura, cuando tengamos permiso para hacerlo de parte del Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Los Ángeles (LADPH). Actualmente, estamos participando de reuniones semanales con la Oficina de Educaciὀn del Condado de Los Ángeles (LACOE) y del LADPH para estar completamente informados para tomar decisiones efectivas y oportunas.  Deseamos reiterarles que en cualquier momento en que decidamos traer nuestros estudiantes de regreso a las escuelas, lo haremos con la mayor seguridad como nuestra máxima prioridad. Se le dará la opciὀn a nuestras familias de permanecer en el Modelo de Aprendizaje a Distancia completamente ὀ permitir que sus estudiantes regresen a un Modelo Híbrido una vez que obtengamos ese nivel.

Continuaremos enfocados en el niño completo, incluyendo las necesidades educacionales, mentales y social emocionales de nuestros estudiantes. Ustedes tienen nuestro compromiso de que continuaremos creando ambientes de aprendizaje donde nuestros estudiantes se sientan seguros y que puedan triunfar. Como nosotros decimos en el Distrito Escolar Unificado de Downey, “Nuestros Niños Merecen lo Mejor…” y esto significa que cada uno de nuestros niños merecen aprender en un espacio que los cubre a todos,  donde TODOS pueden dar lo mejor de si mismos.

Para cerrar este mensaje, nuestra prὀxima reuniὀn de la Mesa Directiva de Educaciὀn, se realizará el martes, 6 de octubre. Durante cada reuniὀn, será proporcionada informaciὀn de actualizaciὀn acerca del Regreso a la Escuela. Les invito a que asistan a estas reuniones para que permanezcan informados. Los enlaces para ver nuestras reuniones de la Mesa Directiva están incluídos en nuestro sitio de internet, bajo la página de Mesa Directiva de Educaciὀn.

Una informaciὀn adicional será compartida con nuestras familias a medida en que los detalles continúen desarrollándose y el Condado de Los Ángeles vaya pasando a niveles menos restrictivos. Muchas gracias por su paciencia, flexibilidad, amabilidad y apoyo continuado para el Distrito Escolar Unificado de Downey.

Sinceramente,

John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D.

Superintendente


Downey Unified will re-open via full Distance Learning on Wednesday, August 12th

August 10, 2020     *Spanish translation below/Traducción al español a continuación

Dear Downey Unified Families,

As you know, Los Angeles County continues to be on the state monitoring list and we are required to start this school year in a full Distance Learning Model. With instruction beginning via Distance Learning on Wednesday, I want to welcome all of our families to the 2020-21 school year! I don’t think this is what any of us had in mind when we imagined the first day of the fall 2020 semester, but I am confident it will a great year!  All of our teachers and staff truly miss our kids and wish we could see their smiling faces in person in our classrooms, but sadly that is not our reality right now.

Although we may not be welcoming your children with a high-five or handshake on Wednesday, our teachers and staff have been working tirelessly to prepare for their return both academically and emotionally. I am pleased to share that we are ready! We have learned so much from the spring and have worked incredibly hard over the past few months to make our full Distance Learning program significantly stronger than it was at the end of last year.  I want to thank each of you for being with us through this constantly changing journey, I know it hasn’t been easy.

Updates regarding the first day of school have been shared by each of our schools, so please make sure to check your email, your Parent Connect account or your school’s social media for details.

As we continue down this new path together, I wish all of us a wonderful school year ahead, full of new opportunities for growth and learning. We are so excited to welcome our kids and we are going to ensure they get the best education possible.  Welcome everyone and, as a Downey Unified family, let’s make it a great school year… together!

Sincerely,

John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendent

 

10 de agosto de 2020
Estimadas Familias del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Downey,

Como ustedes saben, el Condado de Los Ángeles continúa estando en la lista de monitoreo del estado y estamos siendo requeridos para que comencemos este año escolar en un Modelo Completo de Aprendizaje a Distancia. Comenzando la instrucciὀn con el Aprendizaje a Distancia este miércoles, deseo darle la bienvenida a todas nuestras familias para el año escolar 2020-21!  No creo que esto fuera lo que ninguno de nosotros tenía en mente cuando imaginamos el primer día del semestre para el otoño del 2020, pero estoy confiado de que este será un gran año! Todos nuestros maestros y personal extrañan sinceramente nuestros niños y desearíamos poder ver sus caras sonrientes en persona en nuestros salones de clase, pero tristemente esta no es nuestra realidad en este momento.

A pesar de que puede ser que no le estemos dando la bienvenida a nuestros niños con un ‘high-five’ ὀ un apretὀn de manos el miércoles, nuestros maestros y personal han estado trabajando arduamente para prepararse para el regreso tanto en la parte académica como emocionalmente. Estoy muy orgulloso de compartirles que estamos listos! Hemos aprendido muchísimo de la primavera y hemos trabajado increíblemente durante los últimos meses, para hacer que nuestro programa de aprendizaje a distancia sea significativamente más fuerte de lo que era al final del año escolar anterior. Deseo agradecerle a cada uno de ustedes por permanecer con nosotros a través de esta jornada de constantes cambios, que sé, no ha sido fácil.

Actualizaciones relacionadas con el primer día de escuela, han sido compartidas por cada una de las escuelas. Por lo tanto asegúrense de revisar su correo electrὀnico, su Conecciὀn de Padres ὀ la página en los medios sociales de nuestras escuelas para mayores detalles.

Mientras recorremos este nuevo camino juntos, les deseo a todos un año escolar maravilloso, lleno de nuevas oportunidades para crecer y para aprender. Estamos muy entusiasmados de darle la bienvenida a nuestros estudiantes y les aseguramos de que van a recibir la mejor educaciὀn posible. Bienvenidos a todos, y como familia Unificada de Downey, hagamos de este año un gran año escolar…. Juntos!

Sinceramente,

John Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendente

 


July 21, 2020  

*This video has subtitles available in both English and Spanish.  Please click the CC on the bottom right corner of the video to select the appropriate subtitles./Este video tiene subtítulos disponibles en inglés y español. Haga clic en el CC en la esquina inferior derecha del video para seleccionar los subtítulos apropiados.


July 14, 2020

Please click here to read this in Spanish/Haga clic aquí para leer esto en español

Dear Downey Unified Families,

Yesterday, the Governor made an announcement regarding Los Angeles County’s surge in COVID-19 cases and instituting the closure of a number of facilities. In addition, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health published health orders yesterday with protocols for the reopening of K-12 schools. The District is continuing to review these extensive health orders and regulations.  All of us would like to see students back in school when it’s safe to do so; however, given yesterday’s announcements, the District is reevaluating how school will resume in August. At this time, it is highly unlikely that in-person instruction, even in a “Hybrid Model,” will be possible when the upcoming school year starts.

Due to these recent developments, our Return to School Family Survey will be delayed pending decisions made during the Board of Education meeting on Monday, July 20th. An update to the community and staff will be provided following the Board of Education Meeting.

Sincerely,

John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendent


Please click here to read this in Spanish/Haga clic aquí para leer esto en español

July 10, 2020

Dear Downey Unified Families,

I hope you are safe and well. The disruption to all of our lives caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been profound and I know you have been anticipating details regarding Downey Unified’s plan for reopening in August. As shared previously, we were expecting the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) to publish their health directives for the return to school in June; unfortunately, these guidelines have still not been released. That being said, we feel for the 2020-2021 school year we have sufficient information necessary to project what our return to school would look like.

Having surveyed our parents/guardians first in June, we are now surveying our staff and this data will guide portions of the second Return to School survey that will be sent to you on Tuesday, July 14. In anticipation of this survey, we want to provide you with a comprehensive look at what August would look like for students.

Following the completion of the Return to School survey (July 14-July 17) parents/ guardians will be asked to complete the On-line Registration process (July 20-July 27) for each of their students. During this window, parents/guardians will be asked to select one of the two instructional models for the first semester which will last until December.

The school year will begin in August for students and the District’s two planned instructional models for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year are outlined below. As things are ever changing, LACDPH orders may require an adjustment and we are prepared to transition all students to Full-Time Distance Learning if necessary.

Return to School Options

Below are the two Return to School Models that will be offered in the survey (grade-specific schedules will be included to better assist your survey response).

Option 1: Hybrid Model

A blended model with In-person Instruction and Distance Learning Instruction following social distancing requirements.

  • Students assigned to a teacher(s) as in the past
  • Classes divided into Cohort A or Cohort B based by last name
    • Siblings will be kept in the same cohort
  • Cohorts attend in-person and at home on designated days
  • Cohorts not on campus for instruction participate in Distance Learning
  • Breaks, recess and lunch will be staggered to allow students to eat safely outdoors/indoors with appropriate social distancing
    • Students will not have access to playground structures or allowed to share playground equipment
  • Elementary, middle and high school schedules will be available in the upcoming survey

Option 2: Full-Time Distance Learning Model

100% Distance Learning Instruction

  • Full online Distance Learning curriculum will be implemented at all grade levels
  • All classroom instruction will be done online
  • This learning model will provide daily instruction by Downey Unified teachers
  • Students will be held accountable for attendance and grades
  • Robust curriculum based on State standards

We Are Downey UNIFIED

We are all in this together and our commitment to each other as members of the Downey Unified family has never been more evident and important. Before returning to school, all students and parents will be asked to fill out a set of commitments that will help us maintain a safer learning environment. These commitments will outline the required health and safety protocols and behavioral expectations for all students. Please see below for a complete list of safety protocols and procedures that will be implemented.

As a District, we are committed to keeping you informed and updated. We are respectfully asking that all parents/guardians complete our Return to School Survey which will be sent out on July 14. Your choices regarding the various options described above will help us anticipate staffing needs and make necessary adjustments. We ask that you complete this survey by July 17 and thank you in advance for your support.

Sincerely,

John A. Garcia, Ph.D., Superintendent

 

Health and Safety Protocols for 2020-2021

The District will adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), California Department of Education (CDE), the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), and the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Based on guidelines provided by the above agencies, we have outlined a list of initial protocols that will be implemented.  All parents and students who choose to participate in the Hybrid Model will be required to sign a commitment and adhere to all safety protocols.

Social Distancing

Classroom Space:

The minimum social distancing between students’ workspaces, between educator and student workspaces, will be 6 feet. In most classrooms this will result in no more than 15 students.

No Shared Supplies:

Students will be provided with personal items and required not to share items such as pencils, pens and scissors.

Breaks, Recess and Lunch:

Staggered times will be implemented to allow for proper social distancing and limiting contacts. Students will not have access to playground structures or allowed to share playground equipment.  Lunch will be staggered to allow students to eat safely outdoors/indoors with appropriate social distancing.

One-Way Directions/Movement:

Movement through buildings will be one-way and maximize social distancing as feasible.  Directional markers, as well as social distancing markers will be used.

Multiple and Assigned Entry Points:

Campuses will have multiple entry/exit points to maximize social distancing.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Face Coverings:

The District will require the use of facial coverings for all students and staff in accordance with LACDPH guidelines currently in effect. The District will provide face coverings to students and staff upon request.

Students with special needs and program staff will be provided additional PPE as necessary.

Hand Washing:

Students, employees, and visitors will be required to wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer upon entering District sites and classrooms.

Hand Sanitizer/Soap:

Every classroom and common areas (libraries, offices, etc…) will be provided with hand sanitizer that complies with CDC and Public Health guidelines.

Every room with a sink will be stocked with soap and additional handwashing stations have been made available at our secondary campuses.

All hand washing/hand sanitizing supplies noted above will be restocked as needed each day.

Other Health and Safety Issues

Daily Cleaning and Disinfecting:

At the end of the school day, the District will ensure that all classrooms, restrooms, and workspaces are cleaned and disinfected.

All staff and students will need to assist in safely cleaning workspaces throughout the day.

Wellness Self-Screening and Monitoring:

Prior to arriving at school, all students, teachers and staff will be required to take their own temperature and complete a wellness self-screening questionnaire each day. The expectation is that anyone who is sick will remain home for the protection and well being of others.

Visitors (i.e. parents/guardians) will be asked to complete a self-screen prior to entrance. Anyone who answers “yes” to the wellness screening questions will not be allowed on campus.

Students and staff that begin to demonstrate any COVID-19 related symptoms during the school day will be sent to a designated medical room/area on site to be evaluated.  Parents/guardians of students will be contacted and required to pick up their student as soon as possible.

Upon notification that an employee or student has been infected with COVID-19, the District will follow all LACDPH protocols.

 




*Spanish Translation below/Traducción al español a continuación

Dear Downey Unified Families,        (sent to families on 6/30/2020)

I want to start by saying that I hope this message finds your family well and enjoying summer to the extent possible during this unprecedented time. As shared in my last update, we were expecting the LA County Department of Public Health to publish their health directives for the return to school last week; unfortunately, these guidelines have still not been released.  That being said, we feel for the 2020-21 school year we have sufficient information necessary to project what our return to school would look like.

As of now, because of social distancing limitations, we would only have two models for our families when we return in August.  Based on these limitations, a five-day per week return to school for all students is not a viable option.

The first choice is a Hybrid model, which is being proposed to have students return to school in-person for two days a week and then participate in Distance Learning for the remainder of the week. The second choice, for those families who have health related concerns and/or other concerns related to an in-person return to school for their children, will be a Full Time Distance Learning model.  This model will include a robust curriculum that parallels learning objectives the Hybrid model would provide to students.

We are hopeful that the LA County Department of Public Health will publish their health directives for schools soon. Either way, we will be sending out a much more detailed and descriptive parent survey next week to again collect your input.

As things frequently change and we are in a time when it seems that there are more questions than answers, I want our families to know that we will keep you updated as new information becomes available. As I have stated since we first transitioned to Distance Learning in March, I thank each of you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.

Sincerely,

John Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendent

 

Estimadas familias de Distrito Unificado de Downey:

Quiero comenzar diciendo que espero que este mensaje encuentre bien a usted y a su familia y que disfruten el verano en la medida posible durante este tiempo sin precedentes. Como se compartió en mi última actualización, esperábamos que el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Los Ángeles publicara sus directivas de salud para el regreso a la escuela la semana pasada; desafortunadamente, estas pautas aún no se han publicado. Dicho esto, creemos que para el año escolar 2020-21 tenemos suficiente información necesaria para proyectar cómo sería nuestro regreso a la escuela.

A partir de ahora, debido a las limitaciones de distanciamiento social, tendríamos dos modelos para nuestras familias cuando regresemos en agosto. Un modelo híbrido, que se propone que los estudiantes regresen a la escuela en persona durante dos días a la semana y luego participen en la educación a distancia durante el resto de la semana. El segundo modelo, para aquellas familias que tienen inquietudes relacionadas con la salud y / u otras inquietudes relacionadas con un regreso en persona a la escuela para sus hijos, será un modelo de aprendizaje a distancia a tiempo completo. Este modelo incluirá un plan de estudios robusto que es paralelo a los objetivos de aprendizaje que el modelo híbrido proporcionaría a los estudiantes.

Esperamos que el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Los Ángeles publique pronto sus directivas de salud para las escuelas. De cualquier manera, enviaremos una encuesta para padres mucho más detallada y descriptiva la próxima semana para recopilar nuevamente sus comentarios.

Como las cosas cambian con frecuencia y estamos en un momento en que parece que hay más preguntas que respuestas, quiero que nuestras familias sepan que los mantendremos informados a medida que haya nueva información disponible. Como he dicho desde la primera transición al aprendizaje a distancia en marzo, agradezco a cada uno de ustedes por su paciencia y comprensión durante este tiempo sin precedentes.

Sinceramente,

John Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendente


*Spanish Translation below/Traducción al español a continuación

Dear Downey Unified Families,   (sent to families on 6/18/20)

I want to start by thanking those who were able to provide input by filling out our first Return to School Parent Survey.  We are happy to inform you that this survey effort enabled our District to collect almost 17,000 submissions. The initial data gathered determined that 51% of our respondents would prefer a Full Return (8,512), 25% would prefer Hybrid (4,200) and 24% would prefer Full Time Distance Learning (3,963)​ beginning the 2020-21 school year. Utilizing our initial data, the Los Angeles County Department of Education’s Framework, the California Department of Education’s Return to School Guidance and the California Department of Public Health’s guidance, our Return to School Committee has been working tirelessly to develop a variety of return to school scenarios for next school year. Five focus areas have been identified and subgroups have been created to facilitate our district efforts as we dive deeper into specific components of these respective areas.  This collective work will allow group members to concentrate their activities around the following five focus areas: Instruction, Safety and Health, Social and Emotional Support Systems, Family and Community Engagement, and Operations.

We expect that the LA County Department of Public Health will publish their health directives for returning to school next week. Our work groups will evaluate those and then work to develop a second, more detailed, parent survey that will be sent out in early July. This survey information would then be used to further support our Return to School Committee members as they continue their work to finalize a comprehensive plan (set to be determined no later than July 15) that would include school schedules and cleaning protocols.

As shared on June 4th, a Human Relations Council (HRC) has been created and the Council’s steering committee had their first meeting last Friday. At this time, the primary objective of the HRC steering committee is to begin to look inward, in an effort to identify and explore the steps needed to enhance our ability to provide a more equitable and more inclusive learning environment for all our students and staff. This first meeting dove deep into the topics of implicit bias and systemic racism, and many reflective conversations were had. The steering committee’s second meeting was held this week and during that meeting a purpose was defined and discussions were held to determine the process that would be followed to expand council representatives to include staff, students, parents and community members.  The goal is to have a full Human Relations Council meeting with all stakeholders present prior to the start of the school year.

We know that change does not occur over night and again, you have our commitment that we are listening and we will do what needs to be done to further an environment where all our students feel heard and included. During this challenging time, we want to reassure our families that we continue standing together and we will work tirelessly as a Downey UNIFIED family and always get better as a district.

Sincerely,

John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendent

 

Estimadas familias de Distrito Unificado de Downey:

Quiero comenzar agradeciendo a aquellos que pudieron dar su opinión completando nuestra primera Encuesta de Padres de Regreso a la Escuela. Nos complace informarle que este esfuerzo de la encuesta le permitió a nuestro Distrito recolectar casi 17,000 envíos. Los datos iniciales recopilados determinaron que el 51% de nuestros encuestados preferiría un retorno completo (8,512), el 25% preferiría híbrido (4,200) y el 24% preferiría el aprendizaje a distancia a tiempo completo (3,963) a partir del año escolar 2020-21. Utilizando nuestros datos iniciales, el Marco del Departamento de Educación del Condado de Los Ángeles, la Guía de Regreso a la Escuela del Departamento de Educación de California y la Guía del Departamento de Salud Pública de California, nuestro Comité de Regreso a la Escuela ha estado trabajando incansablemente para desarrollar una variedad de escenarios de regreso a la escuela para el próximo año escolar. Se han identificado cinco áreas de enfoque y se han creado subgrupos para facilitar los esfuerzos de nuestro distrito a medida que profundizamos en componentes específicos de estas áreas respectivas. Este trabajo colectivo permitirá a los miembros del grupo concentrar sus actividades en las siguientes cinco áreas de enfoque: Instrucción, Seguridad y Salud, Sistemas de apoyo social y emocional, Participación familiar y comunitaria y Operaciones.

Esperamos que el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Los Ángeles publique sus directivas de salud para regresar a la escuela la próxima semana. Nuestros grupos de trabajo los evaluarán y luego trabajarán para desarrollar una segunda encuesta para padres más detallada que se enviará a principios de julio. Esta información de la encuesta se usaría para apoyar aún más a los miembros del Comité de Regreso a la Escuela a medida que continúan su trabajo para finalizar un plan integral (que se determinará a más tardar el 15 de julio) que incluiría los horarios escolares y los protocolos de limpieza.

Como se compartió el 4 de junio, se creó un Consejo de Relaciones Humanas (HRC signas en inglés) y el comité directivo del Consejo tuvo su primera reunión el viernes pasado. En este momento, el objetivo principal del comité directivo de HRC es comenzar a mirar hacia adentro, en un esfuerzo por identificar y explorar los pasos necesarios para mejorar nuestra capacidad de proporcionar un entorno de aprendizaje más equitativo e inclusivo para todos nuestros estudiantes y personal. Esta primera reunión profundizó en los temas de sesgo implícito y racismo sistémico, y se mantuvieron muchas conversaciones reflexivas. La segunda reunión del comité directivo se llevó a cabo esta semana y durante esa reunión se definió un propósito y se sostuvieron discusiones para determinar el proceso que se seguiría para expandir los representantes del consejo para incluir al personal, estudiantes, padres y miembros de la comunidad. El objetivo es tener una reunión que incluya el Consejo de Relaciones Humanas con todos los interesados antes del comienzo del año escolar.

Sabemos que el cambio no ocurre durante una noche, pero queremos que sepa que usted tiene nuestro compromiso de que estamos escuchando y haremos lo que sea necesario para promover un entorno en el que todos nuestros estudiantes se sientan escuchados e incluidos. Durante este momento desafiante, queremos asegurarles a nuestras familias que seguimos unidos y que trabajaremos incansablemente como una familia UNIFICADA de Downey y siempre mejoraremos como distrito.

Sinceramente,

John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendente


District Update on May 22, 2020

Dear Downey Unified Families,

As we have shared in prior updates, a few months ago we never thought we would be finishing out the last week of the 2019-20 school year in this fashion. Since leaving each other at the end of the school day on Friday, March 13, and quickly beginning our distance learning journey, we can say that this has been a challenging and trying time for all of us. That being said, we could not be prouder of our entire Downey Unified family… Our students, parents and staff immediately faced this new landscape head on and everyone rose to the challenge.  As with any new challenge, there were obstacles that we have had to overcome and, as a community, we have all grown through this process, adapted and leaned on one another to make it through this unprecedented time.  Words cannot fully express how privileged we are to be a part of this Downey Unified family!

On that note, this week is Classified School Employee Appreciation Week and we want to take a moment to thank our classified staff for ALL they have done to support the entire district during this challenging time.  Our non-teaching staff are the foundation of our district and we would not be able to serve our students without all their tireless work. From the bottom of our hearts, we want to share our appreciation and we ask you to please join us in honoring our classified staff!

As we look forward to the summer and begin to prepare for the 2020-21 school year, we want to assure you that the safety and well-being of our students, staff and families are our top priorities. Once Los Angeles County enters Phase 3 and the County Department of Health allows us to safely open our doors, we will be doing so with our families, staff and community in mind. However, as we all know how fluid these last few months have been, we ask you to continue to be as flexible and adaptable as possible as we plan for the fall.

With the first day of school set for August 12, we want to make you aware that we have created a Return to School Committee to develop options for how our students will come back in the fall. This committee is made up members of our team from every department and teachers from all levels within the district to cover all aspects of what this could look like. As mentioned above, this situation is continuously shifting, and these plans may change based on the County Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines as well as any state guidelines for opening schools. However, as we do our best to begin to have plans in place, we want our parents to tell us about their interest in students returning to school physically or learning at home in an online distance learning setting.

As such, we will be sending out a survey to our families next week in order to collect input to help guide our plans moving forward. Additionally, over the course of the next few months, we will continue reaching out to you to gather more feedback as we know that your thoughts may change as this situation evolves.

As we have since February, we will continue to work closely with the Los Angeles County Office of Education and look toward that office for guidance and recommendations for next school year. However, our plans for the fall will be Downey Unified specific and we will tailor them to fit the needs of our families.

Please make sure to continue to check the Downey Unified App, your email, as well as our website and our social media pages as the first survey will be sent out late next week.

Although we are physically apart, we are always together when it comes to providing the best for our students. Thank you!

Sincerely,

Donald E. LaPlante, President, Board of Education

John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendent

Estimadas familias de Distrito Unificado de Downey:

Como he compartido en actualizaciones anteriores, hace unos meses nunca pensé que estaríamos terminando la última semana del año escolar 2019-20 de esta manera. Desde que nos separamos al final del día escolar el viernes 13 de marzo y comenzamos rápidamente nuestro viaje de aprendizaje a distancia, puedo decir que este ha sido un momento difícil para todos nosotros. Dicho esto, no podríamos estar más orgullosos de toda nuestra familia del Unificado de Downey … Nuestros estudiantes, padres y personal de inmediato se enfrentaron a este nuevo paisaje y todos aceptaron el desafío. Como con cualquier nuevo desafío, hubo obstáculos que tuvimos que superar y, como comunidad, todos hemos crecido a través de este proceso, nos hemos adaptado y apoyado unos a otros para superar este momento sin precedentes. ¡Las palabras no pueden expresar completamente cuán privilegiados somos de ser parte de esta familia Unificada de Downey!

Esta semana es la Semana de Apreciación del Empleado Clasificado de la Escuela y queremos tomarnos un momento para agradecer a nuestro personal clasificado por TODO lo que han hecho para apoyar a todo el distrito durante este momento difícil. Nuestro personal no docente es la base de nuestro distrito y no podríamos servir a nuestros estudiantes sin todo su trabajo incansable. Desde el fondo de nuestros corazones, queremos compartir nuestro agradecimiento, ¡únase a nosotros para honrar a nuestro personal clasificado!

Mientras esperamos el verano y comenzamos a prepararnos para el año escolar 2020-21, queremos asegurarles que la seguridad y el bienestar de nuestros estudiantes, personal y familias son nuestras prioridades principales. Una vez que el Condado de Los Ángeles ingrese a la Fase 3 y el Departamento de Salud nos permita abrir nuestras puertas de manera segura, lo haremos teniendo en cuenta a nuestras familias, el personal y la comunidad. Sin embargo, como todos sabemos cuán fluidos han sido estos últimos meses, le pedimos que continúe siendo lo más flexible y adaptable posible mientras planeamos para el otoño.

Con el primer día de clases programado para el 12 de agosto, queremos informarle que hemos creado un comité de Regreso a la Escuela para desarrollar opciones sobre cómo regresarán nuestros estudiantes en el otoño. Este comité está compuesto por todos los departamentos dentro del distrito para cubrir todos los aspectos de cómo se vería esto. Como se mencionó anteriormente, esta situación cambia constantemente, y estos planes pueden cambiar según las pautas del Departamento de Salud y los del CDC, así como las pautas de nuestro Gobernador para abrir escuelas. Sin embargo, a medida que hacemos nuestro mejor esfuerzo para comenzar a tener planes, queremos que nuestros padres nos digan sobre su interés de cómo les gustaría que los estudiantes regresen a la escuela, físicamente o en línea con aprendizaje a distanciamiento.

Como tal, enviaremos una encuesta a nuestras familias la próxima semana con el fin de recopilar información para ayudar a guiar nuestros planes en el futuro. Además, en el transcurso de los próximos meses, seguiremos en contacto con usted para obtener más comentarios, ya que sabemos que sus pensamientos pueden cambiar a medida que esta situación evolucione.

Como lo hemos hecho desde febrero, continuaremos trabajando estrechamente con el Departamento de Educación del Condado de Los Ángeles y buscaremos orientación y recomendaciones para el próximo año escolar. Sin embargo, nuestros planes para el otoño serán específicos al Unificado de Downey y los adaptaremos para que sean únicos para satisfacer las necesidades de nuestras familias.

Asegúrese de continuar revisando la aplicación del Unificado de Downey, sus correos electrónicos, así como nuestro sitio web y nuestras páginas de redes sociales, ya que la primera encuesta se enviará a fines de la próxima semana.

Aunque estamos físicamente separados, siempre estamos juntos cuando se trata de proporcionar lo mejor para nuestros estudiantes. ¡Gracias!

Sinceramente,

Donald E. LaPlante, Presidente, Junta de Educación

John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendente


District Update on May 7, 2020

Video transcript in English and Spanish can be found below. 

With sign language interpretation:

English transcript:

John Garcia Superintendent of Downey Unified, reaching out from my house as all of us are spending a lot of time in our homes right now. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to share some updates, so as we get closer to the end of the school year, I wanted to make sure and provide some updates as to where we are. First and foremost, I want to thank everybody for all of the work that they are doing. Our staff, our parents, our community support, and you know what most of all, our kids they are absolutely amazing. So, we have quite a few things happening in the month of May, what traditionally would have been our physical in-person end of school year. And in order to provide us with a message on behalf of the Board of Education, I would like to introduce the President of our Board of Education Mr. Donald LaPlante.

Thank you, Dr. Garcia. On behalf of my colleagues, thank you. I’d like to thank the teachers. Teacher Appreciation Week is this week, California Day of the Teacher is Wednesday, May 13th. You made it happen from day one. You went home on Friday the 13th and by Monday morning March 15th, you were up and running, providing instruction remotely. In other parts of the state, it took weeks to work out the details and get up and running. You took our motto of “Our Kids Deserve the Best” and made it happen, knowing that we’d work out the details later.

The week of May 17th to 23rd is Classified School Employees Week. Our Instructional Assistants are working with their teachers to help students, and the rest of our Classified Staff are either working remotely to keep the district functioning or coming in daily to make sure our facilities are safe, secure and operational. We’re sorry you will all miss the donuts, bagels and other treats in the lounge to celebrate those days and weeks. We’ll make it up to you.

But especially last Friday, was School Lunch Hero Day and our Food Service staff are true heroes to our students. From the week school went virtual they have been providing meals for about 4,000 students a day. That’s 8,000 meals a day, 40,000 meals a week. Over a quarter million so far. All safe and bagged, and ready to eat. Thank you to the other staff who have pitched in to make this happen knowing that in the current economic bad times these meals may be the only ones available to our students. We’re also proud that district-wide, over 8,000 computer devices have been distributed to students who needed them to continue the instruction at home with you. This is over a third of our students. We’ve also distributed Internet hotspots to about a hundred students who needed them, but there’s still more students needing them. Our board and district leadership have made this need for Internet connectivity a priority as we’ve taught via zoom as our local legislative representatives. We’ve told them about the great thing you’re doing in the teaching, feeding and caring for our students, but it also emphasized the critical need for Internet, personal protective equipment as we go forward and adequate funding.

Finally, on Tuesday, Mrs. Krista Ylauan and her class were surprised by Channel 7 News and the Helpful Honda man who gifted her class with hundreds of books, Target gift cards for all the students and enough coffee to keep Krista going until the fall. It’s been seen by hundreds of thousands and also caught the attention of our local Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard who featured it yesterday on her social media platform although Mrs. Y got the spotlight, we know you’re all doing the same great work. Dr. Garcia, back to you.

Thank you, Mr. LaPlante. So really appreciate that and I know you shared there’s a variety of different celebrations for all of our staffs this month: administrators, nurses, our school lunch heroes, teachers, our classified staff. And again, I want to reiterate, we really do wish we could do all of this in person like we normally do but we will be there, we’ll be back as soon as we can, and we will figure out a way to make sure that we get that done. I do want to address a little bit about some of our students. We do know that this year, in addition to our seniors who I’ll get to in a minute, we have our fifth and our eighth graders who are promoting from their respective grade levels to new schools and so we want to make sure we know, that you know, that are thinking of you. And that each one of those schools and principals and staffs will figure out ways to address and acknowledge our promoting fifth graders and eighth graders.

I want to address specifically our seniors. I think all of us have been through our high school graduations and none of us ever went through anything like this before, so we’re really putting a lot of focus and emphasis on how can we make this the best that we possibly can for the seniors of the class of 2020. It started a few weeks ago with interfacing with some of the senior representatives, letting them know how badly we feel for them, that we’re sorry they’re going through this and we’re committed to making the best of it. The board has given us direction to figure out what we need to do to make this the best possible experience we can for our seniors. So, to that end, we did some

surveying of our seniors and our parents, and we’ve heard you. The number one choice of seniors all across the district and parents was that all of you want to hold out for a traditional commencement ceremony whenever we can do. In the summer, the fall even, as far out as next Winter Break. We heard from over 50% of our seniors and parents, they will absolutely come back for that. So, we will continue to work on. But we also heard that you want to honor the time slot of when those graduations would have been from Columbus High School on May 27, from Downing High School on May 28th and Warren High School on May 29th.  And that you wanted to do something virtually or digitally, some kind of celebration, not a commencement ceremony but some type recognition. We will absolutely, absolutely do that. We are also working with the city of Downey to see if we can get some kind of fireworks show at the end of that. And so, want to make sure we honor that time as well and we’ve heard you and we do want to celebrate you for sure.

So, as we move forward, looking past those promotions and what would normally been those end of year celebrations and commencement ceremonies, we’ll continue to work on those and refine those. We also look toward the summer and what will summer school look like. Unfortunately, because of the limitations of not being able to physically be present with each other, many of our summer programs will not take place this year. Our STEAMWorks for kindergarten, TK through 8 students, will not, our summer 101 put on by our Adult School will not. We will have Extended School Year for our students with IEPs, will definitely have credit recovery for our high school students and grade repairs as we always do. Those will be via a distance learning model and so we’ll continue on with those programs in a distance format as well.

As we look toward next year, we don’t have all the answers at this point, but here’s what we do know. That the Board has been very clear with us and given us direction that whatever happens, we are starting for our students on August the 12th. Whether it’s in a distance learning format, whether it’s in a partial distance learning format, but we do not anticipate, unfortunately, that all of our kids will be able to come back on the same day. So, it’s going to look very, very different than it has in the past. Again, we don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like, but we will continue to keep you posted throughout the coming months on what that is going to look like. Our goal is to try to bring some of our staff back partially in the summer and then get as many of our folks back in August as we can, assuming, that they don’t have a compromised immune system or that it’s going to be safe to bring them back. We want to bring back as many of our staff as we can and be there for our students on August 12th. We’ll continue to work on what our plans look like.

In addition to that, we’ll be surveying our community and our parents to talk about: What do you feel? Where are you in relationship to sending your child to school? Would you be comfortable sending them one day a week, or two days a week or whatever that looks like? Would you not be comfortable sending them at all? In which case you want to keep them home for family reasons, for a full distance

learning model. We just want to get a gauge of where our community is in relationship to that. But what we do know, is that we’ll continue to work together, we’ll be there for our students however we can, whenever we can and do what we can to make sure that their learning continues.

Also, as we look forward to next year, you may have seen this morning I’m taping this on Thursday morning May the 7th, that the state budget is going to look very different for next year. Our school district budget is about 95% dependent on the state of California and what our allocation is from the state level. And according to the Los Angeles Times this morning, our state revenues are going to be down

significantly, not only for the last part of this year, but even into next year and that’s going to have an impact on us. We don’t know exactly what that will look like yet, but we do know that there will be challenges ahead.

I do want to end with this, as we move forward. Physically we are a part, but in Downey Unified, we’re always together. When we talk about Downey Unified, the emphasis is always on Downey UNIFIED. That we are a family. That we are in this together. And the challenges we have faced so far in the last few weeks, have been about us coming together as a family and being the best that we can for our community and for our kids. As we move forward and as we look forward, our Board of Education continues to give us direction that we need to be the best we can for kids. That our kids deserve the best regardless of what is going on around, and we will always be committed to providing that for them.

I want to thank all of you. Our staff again, our community and our amazing, amazing students in Downey Unified, for coming together during this time, for knowing there are challenges ahead but that we will face them together. UNIFIED, as a family, and we will work through it together, supporting one another. Thank you everyone and I look forward to my next communication.

 

Spanish transcript:

John Garcia Superintendente del Unificado de Downey, llegando desde mi casa ya que todos estamos pasando mucho tiempo en nuestros hogares en este momento. Han pasado algunas semanas desde que he podido compartir algunas actualizaciones, así que a medida que nos acercamos al final del año escolar, quería asegurarme y proporcionar algunas actualizaciones sobre dónde estamos. En primer lugar, quiero agradecer a todos por todo el trabajo que están haciendo. Nuestro personal, nuestros padres, nuestro apoyo comunitario, y nuestros estudiantes que son absolutamente increíbles. Tenemos algunas cosas que suceden en el mes de mayo, lo que tradicionalmente habría sido nuestro final físico del año escolar en persona. Y para darnos un mensaje en nombre de la Junta de Educación, me gustaría presentarle al presidente de nuestra Junta de Educación, el Sr. Donald LaPlante.

Gracias Dr. García. En nombre de mis colegas, gracias. Me gustaría agradecer a los maestros. La semana de agradecimiento del Profesor es esta semana, el día del maestro en California es el miércoles 13 de mayo. Lo hicieron realidad desde el primer día. Regresaron a casa el viernes 13 y el lunes 15 de marzo por la mañana, estaban en funcionamiento, dando instrucciones de forma remota. En otras partes del estado, tomó semanas resolver los detalles y ponerse en marcha. Tomaron nuestro lema “Nuestros hijos merecen lo mejor” y lo hicieron posible, sabiendo que resolveríamos los detalles más adelante.

La semana del 17 al 23 de mayo es la Semana de los Empleados Escolares Clasificados. Nuestros asistentes de instrucción están trabajando con sus maestros para ayudar a los estudiantes, y el resto de nuestro personal clasificado está trabajando de forma remota para mantener el distrito en funcionamiento o ingresando diariamente para garantizar que nuestras instalaciones estén seguras y operativas. Lamentamos que todos extrañen las rosquillas, bagels y otras delicias en el salón para celebrar esos días y semanas. Se lo compensaremos.

Pero especialmente el viernes pasado, fue el Día del Héroe del Almuerzo Escolar y nuestro personal del Servicio de Alimentos son verdaderos héroes para nuestros estudiantes. Desde la semana en que la escuela se volvió virtual, han estado proporcionando comidas a unos 4,000 estudiantes por día. Eso es 8,000 comidas al día, 40,000 comidas a la semana. Más de un cuarto de millón hasta ahora. Todo seguro y en bolsas, y listo para comer. Gracias al otro personal que ha colaborado para que esto suceda sabiendo que en los malos tiempos económicos actuales estas comidas pueden ser las únicas disponibles para nuestros estudiantes.

También estamos orgullosos de que se hayan distribuido más de 8,000 dispositivos informáticos en todo el distrito a los estudiantes que los necesitaban para continuar la instrucción en casa con usted. Esto es más de un tercio de nuestros estudiantes. También hemos distribuido puntos de acceso a Internet a aproximadamente un centenar de estudiantes que los necesitaban, pero aún hay más estudiantes que los necesitan. Nuestra junta y el liderazgo del distrito han hecho de esta necesidad de conectividad a Internet una prioridad, ya que hemos enseñado a través de zoom como nuestros representantes legislativos locales. Les hemos contado sobre todo lo que están haciendo en la enseñanza, alimentación y cuidado de nuestros estudiantes, pero también enfatizó la necesidad crítica para Internet, equipo de protección personal a medida que avanzamos y financiación adecuada.

Finalmente, el martes, la Sra. Krista Ylauan y su clase quedaron sorprendidos por el noticiero del Canal 7 y el hombre de Helpful Honda que regaló a su clase cientos de libros, tarjetas de regalo de Target para todos los estudiantes y suficiente café para mantener a Krista en funcionamiento hasta el otoño. Han sido vistos por cientos de miles y también llamó la atención de nuestra congresista local Lucille Roybal-Allard, quien lo presentó ayer en su plataforma de redes sociales, aunque la Sra. Y fue el centro de atención, sabemos que todos están haciendo el mismo gran trabajo. Dr. García, de vuelta a usted.

Gracias señor LaPlante. realmente aprecio eso y sé que compartieron que hay una variedad de celebraciones diferentes para todo nuestro personal este mes: administradores, enfermeras, nuestros héroes del almuerzo escolar, maestros, nuestro personal clasificado. Y de nuevo, quiero reiterar, realmente desearíamos poder hacer todo esto en persona como lo hacemos normalmente, pero estaremos allí, volveremos tan pronto como podamos y encontraremos una manera de hacer lo que siempre hacemos.

Quiero hablar un poco sobre algunos de nuestros estudiantes. Sabemos que este año, además de nuestros alumnos de último año a los que llegaré en un minuto, tenemos a nuestros alumnos de quinto y octavo grado que están promoviendo desde sus respectivos grados hasta nuevas escuelas y por eso queremos asegurarnos de que sepan, que estamos pensando en ellos y que cada una de esas escuelas, directores y personal descubrirá formas de abordar y reconocer nuestra promoción de los alumnos de quinto y octavo grado.

Quiero dirigirme específicamente a nuestros alumnos de ultimo año. Creo que todos hemos pasado por nuestras graduaciones de la escuela secundaria y ninguno de nosotros había pasado por algo como esto antes, por lo que realmente estamos poniendo mucho énfasis en cómo podemos hacer esto lo mejor que podamos para los alumnos de la clase de 2020. Comenzó hace unas semanas con la interacción con algunos de los representantes principales, haciéndoles saber lo mal que nos sentimos por ellos. que lamentamos que estén pasando por esto y estamos comprometidos a hacer lo mejor posible. La junta nos ha dado instrucciones para determinar qué debemos hacer para que esta sea la mejor experiencia posible para nuestros mayores. Entonces, para ese fin, hicimos algunas encuestas de nuestros estudiantes y nuestros padres, y te hemos escuchado. La elección número uno en todo el distrito y los padres fue que todos ustedes quieren esperar por una ceremonia de graduación tradicional siempre que podamos hacerlo. En verano, incluso en otoño, hasta el próximo descanso de invierno. Escuchamos de más del 50% de nuestros estudiantes y padres, ellos definitivamente regresarán por eso. Entonces, lo haremos y continuaremos trabajando con ese fin. Pero también escuchamos que desean honrar el intervalo de tiempo en que esas graduaciones habrían sido de Columbus High School el 27 de mayo, de Downey High School el 28 de mayo y Warren High School el 29 de mayo. Y que quisieran hacer algo virtual o digitalmente, algún tipo de celebración, no una ceremonia de graduación, sino algún tipo de reconocimiento. Lo haremos absolutamente. También estamos trabajando con la ciudad de Downey para ver si podemos obtener algún tipo de espectáculo de fuegos artificiales al final de eso. Por lo tanto, queremos asegurarnos de que también honremos ese tiempo y que lo hemos escuchado y queremos celebrarlo con seguridad. A medida que avanzamos, mirando más allá de esas promociones y lo que normalmente serían esos finales de las celebraciones de año y ceremonias de graduación, continuaremos trabajando en ellas y perfeccionándolas.

También miramos hacia el verano y cómo será la escuela de verano. Desafortunadamente, debido a las limitaciones de no poder estar físicamente presentes, muchos de nuestros programas de verano no se llevarán a cabo este año. Nuestro programa de STEAMWorks para los estudiantes de TK hasta octavo grado y Summer 101 organizado por nuestra Escuela de Adultos, no se llevarán a cabo este verano. Tendremos un año escolar extendido para nuestros estudiantes con IEP, definitivamente tendremos recuperación de crédito para nuestros estudiantes de secundaria y reparaciones de calificaciones como siempre lo hacemos.

Estos serán a través de un modelo de aprendizaje a distancia y, por lo tanto, continuaremos con esos programas en un formato a distancia también.

A medida que miramos hacia el próximo año, no tenemos todas las respuestas en este momento, pero esto es lo que sí sabemos. Que la Junta de Educación ha sido muy clara con nosotros y nos ha dado instrucciones de que pase lo que pase, comenzaremos con nuestros estudiantes el 12 de agosto. Ya sea en un formato de aprendizaje a distancia, ya sea en un formato de aprendizaje a distancia parcial, pero no anticipamos, desafortunadamente, que todos nuestros estudiantes puedan regresar el mismo día. Se verá muy, muy diferente de lo que ha sido en el pasado. Nuevamente, no sabemos exactamente cómo se verá, pero continuaremos manteniéndolo informado durante los próximos meses. Nuestro objetivo es tratar de recuperar parte de nuestro personal parcialmente en el verano y luego recuperar a la mayor cantidad posible de personas en agosto, suponiendo que no tengan un sistema inmunitario comprometido o que sea seguro para traerlos de vuelta. Queremos traer de vuelta a nuestro personal tanto como podamos y estar allí para nuestros estudiantes el 12 de agosto. Continuaremos trabajando en cómo se ven nuestros planes.

Estaremos encuestando a nuestra comunidad y a nuestros padres para hablar sobre: ​​ ¿Qué sientes? ¿Dónde estás en relación con enviar a tu hijo a la escuela? ¿Te sentirías cómodo enviándolos un día a la semana, o dos días a la semana o lo que parezca? ¿No te sentirías cómodo enviándolos? ¿En cuyo caso desea mantenerlos en casa por razones familiares, a un modelo de aprendizaje de distancia completa?

Solo queremos saber dónde está nuestra comunidad en relación con eso. Pero lo que sí sabemos es que continuaremos trabajando juntos, estaremos allí para nuestros estudiantes como podamos, siempre que podamos y haciendo lo que podamos para asegurarnos de que su aprendizaje continúe.

Además, como esperamos con ansias el próximo año, es posible que hayan visto esta mañana, estoy grabando esto el jueves 7 de mayo por la mañana, que el presupuesto estatal será muy diferente para el próximo año. El presupuesto de nuestro distrito escolar depende aproximadamente del 95% del estado de California y de nuestra asignación del nivel estatal. Y de acuerdo con Los Ángeles Times esta mañana, nuestros ingresos estatales van a estar bajos significativamente, no solo durante la última parte de este año, sino incluso hasta el próximo año y eso tendrá un impacto en nosotros. Todavía no sabemos exactamente cómo se verá, pero sí sabemos que habrá desafíos por delante.

Quiero terminar con esto, a medida que avanzamos. Físicamente estamos separados, pero en el Unificado de Downey, siempre estamos juntos. Cuando hablamos del Unificado de Downey, el énfasis siempre está en UNIFICADO de Downey. Que somos una familia. Que estamos juntos en esto. Y los desafíos a los que nos hemos enfrentado hasta ahora en las últimas semanas han sido sobre nosotros uniéndonos como familia y siendo lo mejor que podamos para nuestra comunidad y para nuestros estudiantes. A medida que avanzamos y miramos hacia adelante, nuestra Junta de Educación continúa dándonos instrucciones de que debemos ser lo mejor que podamos para los niños. Que nuestros hijos se merecen lo mejor independientemente de lo que esté sucediendo, y siempre nos comprometeremos a proporcionarles eso.

Quiero agradecerles a todos ustedes. Nuestro personal nuevamente, nuestra comunidad y nuestros increíbles y asombrosos estudiantes en el Unificado de Downey, por unirse durante este tiempo, por saber que hay desafíos por delante pero que los enfrentaremos juntos. UNIFICADO, como familia, y trabajaremos juntos para apoyarnos mutuamente. Gracias a todos y esperen mi próxima comunicación.


Dear Downey Unified Families,    (emailed to families on 4/7/20 at 9:15pm)

As promised last week, we’re reaching out to you this evening to provide you with an update following our recently concluded Special Board of Education meeting. In a public address on April 1, Governor Newsom emphasized that it is incumbent upon all of us to comply with the “safer-at-home” orders to help save lives. The Governor, along with State Schools Superintendent Thurmond and the Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Duardo, also recommended that California schools should remain physically closed for the rest of this academic year.

Based on these recommendations, during tonight’s Special meeting, Downey Unified’s Board of Education voted to extend the closure of our school facilities and continue our distance learning for students throughout the remainder of the school year. We want to emphasize, this does not mean the 2019-2020 academic year is finished. While we will continue to stay physically apart, our educators will continue to provide distance learning instruction and our students will stay engaged in their learning until the very last day of school on May 31, 2020.

Our staff has been preparing for all possible scenarios and, with your support, we are ready to meet this new challenge together. As of today, we have distributed 4,200 devices to our elementary students and over 2,500 devices to our middle and high school students. In further preparation, a Distance Learning Portal was launched early last week that will serve as a focal point for our families to access our schools’ various distance learning plans. We encourage everyone to visit this portal along with your school’s respective webpage.  This can be found through a banner posted on our district’s website at www.dusd.net.

This portal also includes three other areas to support our families: a Family Resources section, which provides mental health, stress management and general health resources; a Special Education section, which provides various home learning, extended learning and related services resources for our families with students with special needs; and a District Update section, which includes the most recent updates regarding this ever-evolving situation.  For any families who do not have the ability to get internet access, we ask you to please reach out to your child’s teacher or your school’s principal for support. Our staff is committed to working directly with our families to make sure all of our students are being educated during this time and will coordinate with each of you personally.

We recognize this difficult but necessary decision may cause disappointment, and we deeply understand the hardship that continuing to educate our children remotely creates for everyone impacted. We are always concerned about the social and emotional well-being of all our students and you have our commitment that we will continuously work on ways to stay connected, even at a distance. This is especially true for all students who represent the Class of 2020, which includes most significantly our high school seniors, as well as our eighth graders and our fifth graders.

We have been thinking about our graduating seniors a lot this week…  This is certainly not what we expected their last few months of their senior year to look like.  We are committed, Class of 2020, that we will be able to salvage a portion of the senior year experience for you.  We are all sorry you won’t celebrate this rite of passage in its entirety with the all traditions of your final months of your senior year.  As Dr. Garcia shared with you in a video message two weeks ago, we are committed to holding a graduation ceremony at some point for our seniors.  This celebration is still in the research stages, but you have our commitment that we will do all we are allowed.  To that end, Dr. Garcia is having a video meeting on Wednesday and Thursday with senior class representatives from all three high schools to gather input. In the coming days and weeks, we will provide our families with information regarding how grades, graduation, transcripts, scholarships and summer school will be handled.

Spring Break starts on Monday and we hope that all of our students, families and staff are able to take time away from distance learning to enjoy each other. We know how hard we all have been working to adjust to this new landscape, and we encourage you to take this opportunity to relax and recharge your batteries in preparation to return revitalized and ready to finish out the end of the school year. We know that two weeks ago, Dr. Garcia also shared that we would not be serving meals to our families during Spring Break; however, our Board of Education felt the need to continue to support our families during this week. Therefore, during Spring Break (April 13 through April 19), meal distributions will continue however the distribution days and sites will be reduced to three days at three sites. Meals will be distributed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Carpenter Elementary, Price Elementary and Downey High.  On Thursday, meals will be distributed to account for having no distribution on Friday.

We truly want to thank and recognize our amazing Food Services staff, our site administrators and all the district volunteers who have made distributing meals to our families possible.  We also want to thank our essential employees who have continued to make sure our district is able to serve students and families during this time.

We understand that some of you may have questions and want to assure you that once there are definitive answers, we will update you. In the meantime, our new reality as students, parents and educators continues to evolve as we work to meet another challenge together. Our Downey UNIFIED family is strong, and we are confident that we will continue to support one another and get through this together. It is important that we stay connected, and you have our commitment that we will keep you informed. Please continue to check our website and follow Downey Unified on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for updates. Stay safe everyone thank you for providing our kids the best!

Sincerely,

Donald E. LaPlante, President, Board of Education

John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendent

Estimadas familias unificadas de Downey:

Como prometido la semana pasada, nos comunicamos con usted esta noche para brindarle una actualización luego de nuestra reunión de la Junta Especial de Educación recientemente concluida. En un discurso público el 1° de abril, el Gobernador Newsom enfatizó que nos corresponde a todos cumplir con las órdenes de “seguridad en el hogar” para ayudar a salvar vidas. El Gobernador, junto con el Superintendente Estatal Thurmond y la Superintendente de Escuelas del Condado de Los Ángeles, Dra. Duardo, también recomendaron cumplir con este objetivo, todas las escuelas de California deberían permanecer físicamente cerradas por el resto de este año académico.

Con base en estas recomendaciones, durante la reunión especial de esta noche, la Junta de Educación del Unificado de Downey votó para extender el cierre de nuestras instalaciones escolares y continuar nuestro aprendizaje a distancia para los estudiantes por el resto del año escolar. Quieremos enfatizar, esto no significa que el año académico 2019-2020 esté terminado. Si bien continuaremos manteniéndonos físicamente separados, nuestros educadores continuarán brindando instrucción de aprendizaje a distancia y nuestros estudiantes seguirán participando en su aprendizaje hasta el último día de clases el 31 de mayo de 2020.

Nuestro personal se ha estado preparando para todos los escenarios posibles y, con su apoyo, estamos listos para enfrentar juntos este nuevo desafío. A partir de hoy, hemos distribuido 4,200 dispositivos a nuestros estudiantes de primaria y más de 2,500 dispositivos a nuestros estudiantes de las escuelas intermedia y secundaria. En preparación adicional, a principios de la semana pasada se lanzó un Portal de Educación a Distancia que servirá como punto focal para que nuestras familias accedan a los diversos planes de educación a distancia de nuestras escuelas. Alentamos a todos a visitar este portal junto con la página web respectiva de su escuela. Esto se puede encontrar mediante un banner publicado en el sitio web de nuestro distrito en www.dusd.net.

Este portal también incluye otras tres áreas para apoyar a nuestras familias. Una sección de Recursos Familiares, que proporciona recursos de salud mental, manejo del estrés y salud general; una sección de Educación Especial, que brinda varias oportunidades de aprendizaje en el hogar, recursos de aprendizaje extendido y recursos de servicios relacionados para nuestras familias con estudiantes con necesidades especiales; y una sección de Actualización del Distrito, que incluye las actualizaciones más recientes sobre esta situación en constante evolución. Para esas familias que no tienen la habilidad de tener acceso al internet, le pedimos que por favor se ponga en contacto con la/el maestra/o de su estudiante o el/la director/a de la escuela para apoyo.  Nuestro personal está comprometido a trabajar directamente con nuestras familias para asegurar que todos nuestros estudiantes sean educados durante este tiempo.  Ellos coordinaran con usted personalmente para enviarles paquetes instruccionales a su casa.

Reconocemos que esta decisión difícil pero necesaria puede causar desilusión, y entendemos profundamente las dificultades que el educar a nuestros hijos de forma remota crea para todos los afectados. Siempre estamos preocupados por el bienestar social y emocional de todos nuestros estudiantes y trabajamos continuamente para mantenernos conectados, incluso a distancia. Esto es especialmente cierto para todos los estudiantes que representan la Clase de 2020, que incluye más significativamente a nuestros estudiantes de último año de secundaria, nuestros estudiantes de octavo grado y nuestra clase de quinto grado.

Hemos estado pensando mucho en nuestros graduados de último año esta semana … Esto ciertamente no es lo que esperábamos que parecieran los últimos meses de su último año. Tenemos la esperanza, Clase de 2020, de que podremos salvar una parte de la experiencia del último año para ustedes. Todos lamentamos que no celebren este rito de iniciación en su totalidad con las tradiciones de su semestre final de su último año. Como compartió con ustedes el Dr. Garcia en su mensaje de video hace dos semanas, estamos comprometidos a celebrar una ceremonia de graduación en algún momento para nuestros estudiantes. Esta celebración aún se encuentra en las etapas de investigación, pero usted tiene nuestro compromiso de que haremos todo lo posible. Con ese fin, el Dr. Garcia tiene una reunión de Zoom el miércoles y jueves con representantes de la clase del 2020 de las tres escuelas secundarias para recabar información. En los próximos días y semanas, proporcionaremos a nuestras familias información sobre cómo se manejarán las calificaciones, la graduación, las transcripciones, las becas y la escuela de verano.

Las vacaciones de primavera comienzan el lunes y esperamos que todos nuestros estudiantes, familias y personal puedan tomarse un tiempo lejos del aprendizaje a distancia para disfrutar el uno del otro. Sabemos lo duro que todos hemos estado trabajando para adaptarnos a este nuevo panorama y realmente esperamos que todos aprovechen esta oportunidad para relajarse durante este tiempo en preparación para regresar revitalizados y listos para terminar el final del ano escuelar. Sabemos que hace dos semanas el Dr. Garcia compartió que no serviríamos comidas a nuestras familias durante las vacaciones de primavera, sin embargo, nuestra Junta de Educación sintió la necesidad de continuar apoyando a nuestras familias durante esta semana. Durante las vacaciones de primavera (del 13 de abril al 19 de abril), las distribuciones de comidas continuarán, sin embargo, los días de distribución y los sitios se reducirán a tres días en tres sitios. Las comidas se distribuirán el martes, miércoles y jueves de 10 a.m. a 12:30 p.m. en Carpenter Elementary, Price Elementary y Downey High. El jueves, el doble de la cantidad de comida se distribuirá por tener un día de distribución menos el viernes

Realmente queremos agradecer y reconocer a nuestro increíble personal de Servicios de Alimentos, los administradores de nuestros sitios y todos los voluntarios que han hecho posible distribuir comidas a nuestras familias. También queremos agradecer a nuestros empleados esenciales que han seguido asegurándose de que nuestro distrito y todas nuestras escuelas continúen sirviendo a los estudiantes durante este tiempo.

Reconocemos que algunos de ustedes pueden tener preguntas, queremos que sepan que una vez que haya respuestas definitivas, los actualizaremos. Mientras tanto, nuestra nueva realidad como estudiantes, padres y educadores continúa evolucionando a medida que trabajamos para enfrentar otro desafío juntos. Nuestra familia unificada de Downey es fuerte, y estamos seguros de que continuaremos apoyándonos unos a otros y lograremos superar esto juntos. Es importante que nos mantengamos conectados, y usted tiene nuestro compromiso de que lo mantendremos informado. Continúe visitando nuestro sitio web y siga a Downey Unified en Facebook, Instagram, Twitter y YouTube para obtener actualizaciones. ¡Manténgase saludable y gracias por brindarle a nuestros


Superintendent’s Update – April 1, 2020

 Please click here to read: English and Spanish

——————————————————————————-

To support you and your student through this process, we wanted to provide the following links with some helpful tools and tips:

Governor Newsom and LA County officials’ new public health guidelines sent out on March 19 ordering people to: Stay home; Only leave home for essential items; Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.

—–

Mensaje de video del Superintendente:

Buenas tardes a todos, John García del Distrito Unificado de Downey.

En primer lugar, quiero agradecer a toda nuestra familia del unificado de Downey. Nuestra comunidad, nuestro personal, todos en el transcurso de la última semana y media, han sido absolutamente increíbles. En nombre de la Junta de Educación y de mí mismo, solo quiero decir cuán orgullosos estamos de toda nuestra familia del Unificado de Downey por la acción rápida que fue tomada. Para hacer que las cosas sucedan para nuestros hijos, todo, desde continuar alimentándolos, hasta nuestro plan de continuidad de aprendizaje, asegurándonos de que nuestros hijos obtengan lo que necesitan para su educación. La semana pasada entregamos cientos de dispositivos a nuestros estudiantes de secundaria y preparatoria. Esta semana, el lunes, comenzamos a repartir dispositivos a nuestros estudiantes de primaria que también los necesitan para continuar su aprendizaje, y estamos muy entusiasmados con que eso suceda.

Al mirar hacia adelante, quiero compartir con ustedes que el viernes la Oficina de Educación del Condado de Los Ángeles hizo una recomendación para trasladar la salida de la escuela del 30 de marzo a que los estudiantes no regresen hasta el martes 5 de mayo. Quiero compartir que, en la reunión especial de la Junta de Educación de esta tarde, la Junta votó para continuar con la salida de nuestros estudiantes hasta el 5 de mayo y regresar ese día. Quiero compartir algunas cosas sobre lo que va a suceder durante este tiempo. Continuaremos distribuyendo comida a nuestros estudiantes. La semana pasada, servimos miles de comidas a nuestros estudiantes de una manera fácil de llevar. Realmente quiero reconocer nuevamente a nuestro increíble personal de Servicios de Alimentos, los administradores de nuestro sitio y todos los voluntarios que han estado ayudando con eso. Continuaremos haciéndolo con la excepción de las vacaciones de primavera, que están programadas para el 13 al 17 de abril. De nuevo, continuaremos distribuyendo comidas durante el horario de 10 a.m. a 12:30 p.m.

Quiero compartir un poco sobre lo que está sucediendo con las pruebas estatales, estamos entrando en nuestra ventana de pruebas. A partir de ahora, el estado de California ha cancelado todas las pruebas estatales. Eso incluye todas las pruebas de tercero a octavo grado y también el grado once. La única excepción no es a través del estado de California, en realidad es del Consejo de Educación Superior. Las pruebas de Colocación Avanzada continuarán para aquellos de ustedes padres y el personal de la escuela secundaria que trabajan con estudiantes en las clases de Colocación Avanzada. Las pruebas AP continuarán según el Consejo de Educación Superior, este año tendrán un formato diferente. Va a ser más en línea. Continúen trabajando con sus directores y su personal para obtener información sobre cómo se llevarán a cabo estas pruebas.

Por último, antes de llegar al final, quiero dirigirme a nuestros estudiantes directamente … Chicos, estamos pensando en ustedes. Esta es una forma realmente difícil de salir de su último año escolar. Sabemos que han estado esperando este año toda su carrera educativa, y queremos que sepan que lo sentimos y lo sentimos a ustedes. Continuaremos trabajando con nuestros directores y maestros de escuela secundaria, para figurar qué es lo que podemos hacer. No sabemos cómo lucirá el futuro, especialmente a medida que se profundicen los meses de abril y mayo. A medida que comencemos a principios de mayo, sabemos que son las últimas semanas de su último año, sabemos que hay muchas actividades. Vamos a seguir trabajando en lo que podamos hacer dependiendo como estén las cosas en ese momento en el estado de California, lo que este sucediendo con las instrucciones del gobernador y el condado. Pero estudiantes, quiero que sepan que a la Junta y yo estamos pensando en ustedes al igual que sus maestros y directores. Queremos hacer algo y trabajaremos duro para hacerlo.

Para terminar, solo quiero compartir que lo superaremos juntos. Continuaremos trabajando juntos como una familia unificada de Downey. Realmente no puedo enfatizar esa palabra lo suficiente, que realmente somos una familia. Continuaremos haciendo lo mejor que podamos, trabajando juntos y colaborando. Nuestros hijos se merecen lo mejor … Todos ustedes son lo mejor. Gracias a todos y que tengan unas buenas noches.

Le proporcionamos los siguientes enlaces con algunas herramientas y consejos útiles:

Las nuevas pautas de salud pública del gobernador Newsom y de los funcionarios del condado de Los Ángeles se enviaron el 19 de marzo a las personas para: Quedarse en casa; Solo salga de casa por artículos esenciales; Evitar reuniones de más de 10 personas.



Dear Downey Unified Families,       (Sent on 3/16/2020 at 8:40pm)

In an effort to keep you continuously informed as we navigate through these next two weeks together, I’m reaching out to update you on the continuation of the meal distribution program for our Downey Unified students as well as provide a short update on the continuity of learning plan for our students.  I am happy to share that our meal distribution program started successfully today at Downey High School with a drive-thru/walk-up distribution for Downey Unified students. Tomorrow, March 17, Warren High School and Unsworth Elementary School will also be distributing free meals to our students. Please be advised that students need to be present to receive one free breakfast meal and one free lunch meal.

Beginning Wednesday, March 18 the free meal distribution program will expand and include all following sites:

  • Carpenter
  • Gauldin
  • Imperial
  • Price
  • Unsworth
  • Downey
  • Warren

Our free meal distribution program is for Downey Unified students from grades TK through 12 and also includes students in our Early Childhood program.  It’s important to note that any Downey Unified student can obtain these meals from any school listed above.

You have our commitment that we will continue to ensure that supportive learning resources will be provided for all our students.  Please make sure to check your email regularly to stay up to date with the latest information from your child’s school.  If you are a high school parent, please make sure to check the Columbus, Downey or Warren websites for additional information.  I also want to urge you and your student to follow your school(s) on social media as they are continuously posting updates.

In addition, please make sure to follow Downey Unified on social media as we continue to provide updates and news on those platforms as well as our website (www.dusd.net).  To provide further support, we have also included links on our website for various internet providers who are offering special discounts.

Again, I can’t thank you enough for your continued support during these unprecedented times.  I will continue to update you as things progress.

Sincerely,

John A. Garcia, Ph.D., Superintendent

Estimadas familias unificadas de Downey:

En un esfuerzo por mantenerlo continuamente informado mientras navegamos por las próximas dos semanas juntos, me acerco para informarle sobre la continuación del programa de distribución de comidas para nuestros estudiantes del Unificado de Downey, así como para proporcionar una breve actualización sobre la continuidad de plan de aprendizaje para nuestros alumnos. Estoy feliz de compartir que nuestro programa de distribución de comidas comenzó con éxito hoy en la Escuela Secundaria Downey con una distribución de autoservicio / paseo para los estudiantes del Unificado de Downey. Mañana, 17 de marzo, la Escuela Secundaria Warren y la Escuela Elemental Unsworth también distribuirán comidas gratis a nuestros estudiantes. Tenga en cuenta que los estudiantes deben estar presentes para recibir un desayuno y un almuerzo gratis.

A partir del miércoles 18 de marzo, el programa de distribución de comidas gratis se ampliará e incluirá todos los siguientes sitios:

  • Carpenter
  • Gauldin
  • Imperial
  • Price
  • Unsworth
  • Downey
  • Warren

Nuestro programa de distribución de comidas gratis es para estudiantes del Unificado de Downey de los grados TK a 12 y también incluye a los estudiantes en nuestro programa de la primera infancia. Es importante tener en cuenta que cualquier estudiante del Unificado de Downey puede obtener estas comidas en cualquier escuela mencionada anteriormente.

Usted tiene nuestro compromiso de que continuaremos garantizando que se proporcionarán recursos de aprendizaje de apoyo para todos nuestros estudiantes. Asegúrese de revisar su correo electrónico regularmente para mantenerse actualizado con la información más reciente de la escuela de su hijo/a. Si usted es un padre de la escuela secundaria, asegúrese de consultar los sitios web de Columbus, Downey o Warren para obtener información adicional. También quiero insistirle a usted y a su estudiante a que sigan a su(s) escuela(s) en las redes sociales, ya que continuamente están publicando actualizaciones.

Además, asegúrese de seguir al Unificado de Downey en las redes sociales mientras continuamos brindando actualizaciones y noticias en esas plataformas, así como en nuestro sitio web (www.dusd.net). Para proporcionar más asistencia, también hemos incluido enlaces en nuestro sitio web de varios proveedores de Internet que ofrecen descuentos especiales.

Nuevamente, no puedo agradecerles lo suficiente por su continuo apoyo durante estos tiempos sin precedentes. Continuaré actualizando a medida que avancen las cosas.

Sinceramente,

John A. Garcia, Ph.D., Superintendente


Good Evening Downey Unified Families,            (Sent on 3/13/2020 at 8:45pm)

As was shared earlier today, based upon the advice from the Superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education and coming out of an Emergency School Board Meeting that was held at noon today, our Board of Education unanimously voted to suspend on-site instruction and programs for students starting on Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27.

This was a difficult decision, but clearly needed, as we work to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The closing of any school has real challenges beyond the loss of instructional time. We want to reiterate that this decision was not due to a case within our schools; this was done out of an abundance of caution to lessen the spread of the virus.

While we have halted on-site instruction for our students during this period, plans are in place for continuity of learning. As shared earlier, our dedicated staff have worked tirelessly over the past week to create educational materials that our students can access at home.

For our TK to 5th grade students, both digital and paper instructional materials have been created and were distributed to students prior to the end of the school day today. Packets have been prepared at all sites and you will receive notification from your child’s elementary school principal by Monday with the date and times these materials will be available to be picked up if your child was absent today and did not receive them. Again, please be on the look out for a message from your elementary school principals for further direction.

Also shared earlier, our middle and high school students will have access to instructional material through email and the schools’ websites. All of our middle and high school teachers are utilizing Google Classroom as a way to disseminate instruction and communication.  Students were given codes today to access this instruction. All materials were made available and disseminated digitally.

All middle and high schools are making devices available for students who do not have access to them at home.  Your child’s middle school or high school principal will notify you on Monday with the date and time that devices will be available for pick up.

As we know that many of our students rely on school meals, we plan to provide a breakfast and lunch meal to our students.  We are coordinating with our Food Services Department and our vendors to provide these meals as soon as possible.  We anticipate these meals will be available midweek at various district locations yet to be determined and we will provide details once they are finalized early next week.

We thank you for your patience and trust as we work together to maintain some sense of normalcy during these unprecedented times. You have our commitment that we will keep you informed as this situation continues to evolve.

In closing, to support you and your student through this process, we are providing you the following links with some helpful tools and tips:

Sincerely,

John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendent

—–

Buenas tardes familias del Unificado de Downey,

Como se compartió más temprano el día de hoy, con base al consejo del Superintendente de la Oficina de Educación del Condado de Los Ángeles (LACOE) y después de salir de una Reunión de Emergencia con la Junta Escolar que se celebró hoy al mediodía, nuestra Junta de Educación votó unánimemente suspender instrucción en los sitios y programas para estudiantes a partir del lunes 16 de marzo hasta el viernes 27 de marzo.

Esta fue una decisión difícil, pero claramente necesaria, ya que trabajamos para frenar la propagación del coronavirus. El cierre de cualquier escuela tiene desafíos reales más allá de la pérdida de tiempo de instrucción. Queremos reiterar que esta decisión no se debió a un caso dentro de nuestras escuelas; Esto se hizo por precaución para disminuir la propagación del virus.

Si bien hemos detenido la instrucción en el sitio para nuestros estudiantes durante este período, existen planes para la continuidad del aprendizaje. Como se compartió anteriormente, nuestro personal dedicado ha trabajado incansablemente durante la última semana para crear materiales educativos a los que nuestros estudiantes puedan acceder en casa.

Para nuestros estudiantes de TK a 5to grado, se han creado materiales de instrucción tanto digitales como en papel y se distribuyeron a los estudiantes antes del final del día escolar del viernes. Los paquetes se han preparado en todos los sitios y usted recibirá una notificación del director/a de la escuela primaria de su hijo/a el lunes con la fecha y las horas en que estos materiales estarán disponibles para ser recogidos si su hijo/a estuvo ausente el viernes y no los recibió. Nuevamente, esté atento a un mensaje de los directores de las escuelas primarias para obtener más instrucciones.

También compartido anteriormente, nuestros estudiantes de las escuelas intermedias y secundarias tendrán acceso a material de instrucción a través del correo electrónico y los sitios web de las escuelas. Todos nuestros maestros de intermedia y secundaria están utilizando Google Classroom como una forma de difundir la instrucción y la comunicación. A los estudiantes se les dieron códigos hoy (viernes) para acceder a esta instrucción. Todos los materiales están disponibles y se difundieron digitalmente.

Todas las escuelas intermedias y secundarias tendrán dispositivos disponibles para los estudiantes que no tienen acceso a ellos en casa. El director/a de la escuela intermedia y secundaria de su hijo/a le notificará el lunes con la fecha y la hora en que los dispositivos estarán disponibles para recoger.

Como sabemos que muchos de nuestros estudiantes dependen de las comidas escolares, planeamos proporcionarles un desayuno y almuerzo a nuestros estudiantes. Estamos coordinando con nuestro Departamento de Servicios de Alimentos y nuestros proveedores para proporcionar estas comidas lo antes posible. Anticipamos que estas comidas estarán disponibles a mitad de semana en varios lugares del distrito aún por determinar y proporcionaremos detalles una vez que se finalicen a principios de la próxima semana.

Le agradecemos su paciencia y confianza mientras trabajamos juntos para mantener un cierto sentido de normalidad durante estos tiempos sin precedentes. Tiene nuestro compromiso de que lo mantendremos informado a medida que esta situación continúe evolucionando.

Para concluir, quisiéramos apoyarlo a usted y a su estudiante a través de este proceso, le proporcionamos los siguientes enlaces con algunas herramientas y consejos útiles:

Sinceramente,

John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendente


Dear Downey Unified Families,                                   (Sent on 3/13/2020 at 1:30pm)

Based upon the strong advice from the Superintendent of Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) and coming out of an Emergency School Board Meeting held at noon today, our Board of Education unanimously voted to close all of our schools and programs for students starting on Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27.

While there will be no school for students during this period, plans are in place for students to continue to learn during this time. Our dedicated staff have worked tirelessly over the past week to create educational experiences that our students can access while our students are not at school. Our intent is to have resources to be accessible for all students.  As of today, all of our schools have prepared for continuity of learning.  For our TK to 5th grade students, both digital and paper have been created. Packets have been prepared at all sites in conjunction with digital options.  Teachers are prepared with their communication for families that they have been using all year.

Our middle and comprehensive high schools will receive a separate communication from your school on how to access instructional material through email and the schools’ websites. All middle and the two comprehensive high school teachers are utilizing Google Classroom as a way to disseminate instruction and communication.  Students will be given codes by the end of the school day to access instruction. All materials will be available and disseminated digitally as well as in hardcopy for those who need it. Columbus High School will be providing instructional packets for all students by the end of the school day.

A full statement with additional details will be released later today.

Sincerely,

John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendent

Español:

Basado en la fuerte recomendación del Superintendente de la Oficina de Educación del Condado de Los Ángeles (LACOE) y saliendo de una Reunión de Emergencia del Consejo Educativo realizada hoy al mediodía, nuestro Consejo Educativo votó en unanimidad para cerrar todas nuestras escuelas y programas para los estudiantes comenzando el lunes, marzo 16 hasta el viernes, marzo 27.

Mientras que no hay escuela para los estudiantes durante este período, tenemos planes para que nuestros estudiantes continúen aprendiendo durante este tiempo. Nuestro personal dedicado ha trabajado incansablemente durante la última semana para crear experiencias educacionales a las cuales todos nuestros estudiantes tendrán acceso. Empezando hoy, todas nuestras escuelas están preparadas para la continuidad en el aprendizaje.  Para nuestros estudiantes de Kindergarten Transicional hasta nuestros estudiantes de quinto grado, han sido creadas experiencias digitales y escritas. Paquetes han sido preparados en todas las escuelas junto con las opciones digitales.  Los maestros están preparados con sus comunicaciones para las familias que han estado usando durante todo el año.

Nuestras escuelas intermedias y preparatorias, recibirá una comunicación separada de parte de la escuela en como acceder su material instruccional a través de los correos electrónicos y las páginas de internet de la escuela. Todos los maestros de las escuelas intermedias y las dos escuelas preparatorias están usando Google Classroom como un manera para distribuir la instrucción y la comunicación. A todos los estudiantes se les darán códigos al finalizar el día escolar de hoy para acceder la instrucción. Todos los materiales estarán disponibles y distribuídos digitalmente, al igual que impresa para aquellos que la necesiten. La Escuela Preparatoria Columbus proporcionará paquetes instruccionales para todos los estudiantes al final del día escolar.

Comunicado complete com detalles adicionales será enviado hoy.


Good Afternoon Downey Unified Families,                                   (Sent on 3/12/2020)

I want to start by thanking you all for your flexibility and patience as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. As you are aware, Governor Newsom has announced that California public health officials issued an updated policy on gatherings to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19 with the second community transmission in LA County being accounted for.  The state’s public health experts have determined that gatherings should be postponed or canceled across the state until at least the end of March. Non-essential gatherings should be limited to no more than 250 people, while smaller events can proceed if the organizers can implement social distancing of six feet per person. Our district office held another department head and association meeting today in light of these issues and we wanted to inform you of our steps moving forward. At this time there are no reported cases within the City of Downey. That being said, the well-being of our students and staff continues to be our top priority; and we have decided that any events up to Spring Break (April 13- April 17) that do not allow for social distancing will be either postponed or cancelled entirely.

Our principals will be reaching out in regard to each school specific event, but as a district the breakdown of events are as followed:

  • All Open Houses and Future Freshman/6th Grade Nights are postponed until further notice.
  • Field Trips have been cancelled and will potentially be rescheduled. This is due to the destination potentially having more than 250 people as well as not having the ability to facilitate social distancing. We will be reevaluating some of these on an individual basis. (Once we return from Spring Break)
  • All Awards Assemblies are postponed.
  • All School Dances are posted until further notice.
  • Femineers Gala has been postponed and will be rescheduled to a later date.
  • Parent Empowerment Summit has been postponed and will be rescheduled to a later date.
  • Carnival of Champions has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date.
  • Career Fair has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date.
  • Parent Education/Coffee with Principal are being postponed until Spring Break.  We are working with our schools to find a way to do a live streaming of these events so our parents are still able to be informed on the meeting topics.
  • Coffee with the Superintendent will be now conducted virtually through a Zoom meeting or live- streamed.
  • High School Plays and Productions will begin limiting ticket sales to have less people in attendance at each showing to allow for social distancing.

In general, our schools are using their best judgement and considering the social distancing guidelines above when it comes to school events, activities and field trips. We are considering these questions when making a decision:

  • Does the event/activity/field trip require a large number of students, staff, and/or families to gather in one location?
  • Could the event have a staggered schedule so fewer people are in attendance at one time?
  • Can the event/activity/field trip be postponed or rescheduled?

We are still working closely with the California Department of Public Health, County of Los Angeles Public Health, California Department of Education, the Los Angeles County Office of Education and the City of Downey. We again want you to know that we are prepared in the instance of a possible transmission of COVID-19. Our district is taking this extremely seriously and we are continuously meeting and, as shared, have plans in place should they need to be implemented.  At the end of the day, the district does not make the ultimate decision to enact a school closure.  The LA County Department of Health makes this decision and we will follow the guidance of this agency.

We are continuing to work diligently with our schools as well as the agencies mentioned above to prepare should we need to make adjustments to school schedules.  We will continue to monitor things extremely closely in real time and be in communication with all agencies as additional details become available.  If you or your child is feeling ill, we urge you to stay home until your illness has subsided.  If you or your child has a temperature, you should not return to school until fever free for 72 hours without use of fever-reducing medication. Get the flu vaccine if you have not done so this season, it’s not too late. Being protected against the flu will decrease the number of people using healthcare resources and allow resources to be available for people who may have COVID-19.

As we shared before, the District’s Operations (Custodial) Department is utilizing our Electrostatic sprayers which are extremely safe and effective in deep cleaning/sanitizing all surfaces and we are moving forward with purchasing more. These high-performance sprayers cover more ground in a more effective manner and an organic probiotic cleaner coats and deep cleans all surfaces. With that, we are making it a top priority and are dedicated to continuously disinfecting frequently touched surfaces such as door handles/knobs, desks, drinking fountains, lunch tables, and deep cleaning bathrooms, locker rooms, school buses and any other surfaces.  We have adjusted our custodial staff’s schedules and now have man/woman power working around the clock to make sure our facilities are sanitized and clean to keep our students and staff healthy.

Please be on the lookout for ongoing communication as this continues to be fluid and changes rapidly.

Sincerely,

John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendent


 

Dear Downey Unified Families,                                                    (Sent out on 3/10/2020)

As keeping in continuous communication is important during times like this, I’m reaching out to provide a brief update. As shared last week, we are continuing to work in partnership with various agencies and closely monitor the coronavirus situation. We have been in constant communication with the California Department of Health, LA County Department of Health, the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) and the City of Downey.  We want you to know that we are prepared in the instance of a possible transmission of COVID-19.  The following outlines the steps taken and meetings that have been held in order to further solidify a districtwide plan.

The district is having weekly conferences calls with LACOE to discuss countywide preparedness and as needed calls with LA County Department of Health. Immediately after the LACOE call last week, our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staff met to debrief and plan for the possibility of a school closure. A meeting was held this afternoon with the City of Downey to coordinate with the city agencies on a communitywide response.

Additionally, yesterday an all-day meeting was held at the district office where all necessary staff attended to further develop plans in regard to our school closure procedures should we need to implement that step.  Supplementary to what was shared with you last week, our current steps are focused on addressing the hygiene of our schools and our staff/students in an effort to increase the prevention of spreading germs and solidifying our action plans in the instance of a school closure that address continuous education as well as the possibility of ongoing food service for our students.

We will be meeting with all school administrators tomorrow to go over the steps that will need to be taken in regard to any school closure(s) and as additional district office meeting is set for Thursday afternoon that will again include all department heads to continue the conversation, provide updates and further solidify our plans, should they need to be put in place.

I want to close with a few thoughts. As we are a family here in Downey Unified, I want you to know that every single member of the district is taking this extremely seriously and we are continuously meeting and, as shared, have plans in place should they need to be implemented.  At the end of the day, the district does not make the ultimate decision to enact a school closure.  The LA County Department of Health makes this decision and we will follow the guidance of this agency.

As we all want to stay healthy and prevent the spread of any virus within our schools, please know that we have all hands on deck and are working literally around the clock to stay on top of this.

Thanks for all you do to support our schools, our students and each other!

Sincerely,

John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendent


Downey Unified Families,                               (Sent out on 3/5/2020)

As the news of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continues to spread throughout the media and the concerns continue to grow regarding the safety and wellness of your children in regard to this virus, we want to share our plans moving forward as well as include some of the various communications that we have sent to parents over the last few weeks.

We are working closely with the California Department of Public Health, County of Los Angeles Public Health, California Department of Education, the Los Angeles County Office of Education and the City of Downey to be prepared and have plans in place to keep our students, staff and families informed and safe.

On Tuesday, March 4th, Los Angeles County declared a local health emergency in response to the coronavirus and we want to make you aware that we are continuing to work diligently with our schools as well as the agencies mentioned above to prepare should we need to make adjustments to school schedules.  We will continue to monitor things extremely closely in real time and be in close communication with all agencies as additional details become available.

For your information, we want to share the steps Downey Unified is currently taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus):

As we know, the best prevention against this virus is to wash our hands often so we are further partnering with PURELL®, and their partner company GOJO, to launch a handwashing campaign districtwide. Signage will be displayed at each campus and hung in classrooms, common areas and in the main offices. Teachers and staff will also be promoting this through various avenues to make students aware and emphasize the importance of handwashing.

Additionally, every classroom within the district, as well as libraries, have received 8 oz. hand sanitizers for all students and staff to use. Larger, two-liter size, sanitizers are also being placed prominently in the main offices of all our campuses for parents and visitors to use prior to entering.  Free-standing sanitizing stations are being purchased and will be placed in high traffic areas as well as near the entrance and exit of the cafeterias.

The District’s Operations (Custodial) Department is utilizing our Electrostatic sprayers which are extremely safe and effective in deep cleaning/sanitizing all surfaces and we are moving forward with purchasing more. These high-performance sprayers cover more ground in a more effective manner and apply cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants that deep clean all surfaces. With that, we are making it a top priority and are dedicated to continuously disinfecting frequently touched surfaces such as door handles/knobs, desks, lunch tables, and deep cleaning bathrooms, locker rooms, school buses and any other surfaces.

Tips to protect yourself and others:

  • Wash hands with liquid soap and water, rubbing for at least 20 seconds and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap is not available. (The soap provided at all of our schools meet all the specified Health Department criteria)
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue in the trash. (Vampire style)
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you or your child has flu-like symptoms including a fever, stay home until you or your child are fever free without medication for at least 24 hours.
  • Students with mild illness should stay home.
    • Mild Illness means:
      • Fever ≥ 100F
      • Productive moist cough (spewing respiratory droplets) even without fever should stay home.
  • A person with a mild cough (not productive) or sneeze and no fever does not need to be sent home.
  • A person should not return to school until fever free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication.
  • Get the flu vaccine if you have not done so this season, it’s not too late. Being protected against the flu will decrease the number of people using healthcare resources and allow resources to be available for people who may have COVID-19.

With spring break and possible family vacations approaching, you should be aware that the disease has spread to other countries and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued new travel warnings with increased concern for South Korea, Japan and Italy. Travel warnings for mainland China have not changed. Additional details about these travel warnings can be found on the CDC travel page.

Please know that the safety and wellness of students and staff is our top priority.  If we all continue to follow these precautions, we can help to ensure that we all remain healthy.

Here are some additional links to help answer any other questions you may have:

At times like this, I am particularly grateful for the strength and togetherness of our Downey Unified family. We thank you for your cooperation and support in helping us maintain a healthy and safe learning environment for all.

Also for your information is an email that was sent out to families on February 26, 2020, sharing our deep partnership with various agencies in our effort to keep our students, staff and families safe.  Please click here to read this email.

Lastly for your information and to potentially ease some concerns, please watch this short video from the Los Angeles County Office of Education where LA County’s Superintendent, Dr. Debra Duardo addressing concerns following CDC comments on spread of coronavirus.

Facts on coronavirus informational video:

Be sure to visit our Facebook for the lastest news and information click here