During the August 25 Board of Education meeting, the school board voted that the start date for the 2020-2021 academic year will now begin on September 8, instead of the originally planned September 2 date.
The month of September will be remote for all students and faculty.
September 2, 3 and 4 are now Superintendent Conference Days.
“We felt that, given everything that is going on and the amount of training that is needed to make sure we can build off of what worked in the spring, … we could use a few extra days of training,” said Superintendent Roberto Padilla. “This to us is like the 2.0 version. It’s not a race.”
The days will be used for additional training to prepare staff for the academic year. There will be new curriculum training, Google Classroom training and more. It will also be an opportunity for faculty and staff to welcome the students.
“If you take a look at other districts, most districts are frontloading their conference days in order to make sure the new health and safety protocols are being implemented, as well as ensuring teachers are ready to go for virtual instruction,” said Padilla.
September 29 and 30 will each be half day Superintendent Conference Days.
Other changes include November 3 and 25 now being full days of instruction, as well as February 16, 2021. The number of emergency days was reduced to four.
“I think remote is here to stay,” said Padilla. “And because I believe that, more people should be practicing it. If we’re going to get really good at this, we need more practice and experience with it. I think that’s going to serve our community well.”
The district plans to use the month of September as a period of assessment. They hope to “observe other districts and engage with other districts who started in a hybrid environment.”
They are anticipating an October transition at the earliest. However, the district will stay remote if needed.
“I’m really encouraged by our educators and leaders,” said Padilla. “Whereas, maybe other communities may have not had a successful experience, this pandemic has brought us together and I think that speaks volumes about the kind of community we have.”