William S. Hart Union High School District

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Miscellaneous » COVID-19 Action Plan » COVID-19 Action Plan

COVID-19 Action Plan

The Hart District is excited to welcome students back to campus in a Blended Learning format (Stage 2 of the Four Stage Plan for Full Return to Campus) effective March 29.  All students have the option to participate in Blended Learning or remain Online Only. The District is closely monitoring all state and county guidelines and continuing to plan for a full return to campus. 
 
(See Los Angeles County's ranking on the state metrics here and the current County numbers here)
 

At the 5/19/21 Governing Board Meeting, Superintendent Kuhlman confirmed that the Hart District is planning for full-time, five days a week instruction for the 2021/22 school year (barring an unforeseen turn with the pandemic). Masking and social distancing requirements for schools have yet to be announced by the state and county. We are hoping to receive more information on June 15.   

 

Parents will receive a survey in June asking for their instructional preference for the fall semester: in-person instruction or an independent study option through the award-winning Learning Post Academy.

Vaccines are now available for students 12 years of age and older. For more information about vaccines for teens, please click here.

Dear Hart District families,

 

We are thrilled to share that we have been given the authorization to schedule in-person graduation ceremonies for all Hart District senior classes!

 

Together with our colleagues at College of the Canyons, we have been working behind the scenes for months to obtain the go-ahead from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.  This week, we received verbal and written approval for our plans.

 

Graduations will begin at 7:00 pm and will be located at the COC stadium (unless otherwise noted).  Graduation dates are as follows:

 

May 26 – Bowman (6:00 pm)

May 27 – Golden Valley

May 28 – Hart

June 1 – Canyon

June 2 – West Ranch

June 3 – Saugus

June 4 – Valencia

June 5 (Sat.) – Academy of the Canyons (time and specific location at COC to be determined)
Learning Post Academy (location and time TBD)

 

Our plan was only authorized after we demonstrated that we will comply with state and county guidelines for outdoor activities.  Your senior’s individual school site will share details in the days to come, but we want you to be aware that masks will be required at all times and spectators will be assigned seats to ensure appropriate spacing (county health officials determine masking requirements).  Health orders limit venues to a reduced maximum capacity.  As a result, we will have to restrict each graduate to a minimum of two spectator tickets.  A random lottery will be offered to those interested in obtaining additional seats.  As always, the graduations will be live-streamed so everyone can enjoy the celebrations.

 

I would like to extend a special thank you to our partners at COC who supported our efforts throughout this entire planning process.  Without their help we would not be able to offer this special opportunity to our graduating seniors.

 

Each of your individual school sites will be sharing more information soon.

 

Best regards,

 

Mike Kuhlman

Superintendent

With the current downward trend in cases and Los Angeles County's recent move to the Orange Tier, the Hart District is actively working on a plan that adheres to all state and county requirements to provide in-person graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2021. Some of these requirements include:
  • Adhering to venue capacity limits
  • All spectators must be from the same household
  • Spectator seating must be fixed and labeled with six feet of distance between households
  • Masks must be worn at all times and self-screening symptom checks performed
  • All participants must maintain six feet distance at all times
  • Spectators may not come onto the field after the ceremony
 
Exact dates and details will be provided soon.

Good evening Hart District Families,

I’m writing today to provide an update on our plans for re-opening to blended-learning.  Today we learned the good news that LA County’s adjusted case rate has dipped below 7/100k.  The new rate is 5.2/100k.  Meeting this threshold opens the door for the start of in-person learning.  We are close to welcoming more students back on campus.

So when will students be eligible to return?  The LA County Office of Education recently said “two weeks.”  LA County then countered that it could be sooner.  Now we learn the State could change the criteria to further accelerate eligibility due to increasing vaccination rates.

While this is all good news, the lack of clarity presents challenges to those of us working to organize a safe and successful start to blended-learning.  Therefore, to ensure an orderly transition, I am writing to confirm that (assuming there are no additional curveballs) March 29 will be the date that we launch our blended-learning model.

Families are currently being asked to confirm their choice of either the blended or the online-only options.  In the next three weeks we will share invitations for exclusive campus tours for 7th and 9th grade students.  Hart District teachers will familiarize themselves with redesigned classrooms and will trouble-shoot new technology.  We are finalizing the return of our School Resource Officers.  Be on the lookout for videos which will familiarize students with new expectations on campus. 

We need all of your help to make this a successful transition.  There are other schools in California who have been offering blended-learning for many months.   Their success has been dependent upon everyone’s commitment to following the rules.  Masking, social distancing and good hand hygiene remain the keys to our continued progress.  Thank you for doing your part!

With hope and enthusiasm for what lies ahead,

Mike Kuhlman 

Superintendent                           

The Los Angeles County Department of Health strongly recommends that all schools in the county suspend in-person instruction services and activities during the month of January as much as possible. Based on this recommendation, the District has temporarily paused all small cohort instruction and athletic conditioning. The Governing Board will meet on 1/13/21 to consider the scope and duration of this pause.
 
UPDATE - At the 1/13/21 Special Meeting, the Governing Board voted to suspend small cohort instruction until February 8. Athletic conditioning will be temporarily paused with the issue to be re-evaluated at each successive Board meeting until conditioning may resume. The January 26 administration of the PSAT test has been cancelled and parents have been notified of other opportunities available to take the test.
 
UPDATE - At the 1/20/21 Regular Meeting, the Governing Board voted to resume athletic conditioning on 1/27 with voluntary participation and all safety protocols enforced.
School staff has been designated for COVID-19 vaccinations in Phase 1B. For more information on vaccine distribution in Los Angeles County, click here.
State restrictions on the return to in-person instruction prohibit the transition to Blended Learning on January 11 as planned. Counties must meet the criteria for the Red Tier on the State's Blueprint for a Safer Economy for four weeks before schools can open for in-person instruction. The Board will consider potential dates for reopening based upon logical breaks in the academic calendar once Los Angeles County is eligible. Potential dates for reopening include February 8, March 22, and April 26. These dates can only be considered if the County determines that schools are eligible to reopen at that point.
In anticipation of a return to campus in a Blended Learning format for the spring semester, families are asked to choose between the following options: Blended Learning, Online Only, and Independent Study. Decision forms must be submitted for each student by November 13. More information on the three options can be found at the links below:
 
10/12/20 - Small Cohorts Return to Campus for Targeted Instruction and Services
Beginning Monday, October 12, small cohorts of students (maximum of 12 per group) with special needs began returning to campuses across the district for targeted instruction and intervention services. Participation is optional and all public health requirements are being followed including daily health screenings, masks, and social distancing. 
 
9/24/20 - Los Angeles County Office of Education Clarifies Four Week Requirement for Return to In-person Instruction
The Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) provided the following written confirmation of the four week requirement for students to return to campus for in-person instruction: Qualifying County data needs to be sustained for four weeks.
First two weeks
“A county must meet criteria for the next less restrictive tier for both measures for the prior two consecutive weeks in order to progress to the next tier." (here)
Second two weeks
“Schools can reopen for in-person instruction once their county has been in the Substantial (red) tier for at least two weeks.” (here)
 
9/21/20 - Sports Teams May Begin Conditioning on Hart District Campuses
Beginning Monday, September 21, fall sports teams will be able to start conditioning. Spring sports will follow once the protocol has been implemented successfully with fall sports. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines will apply, which means this return to play is for conditioning only. All activities will be held outdoors in small, five-to-ten person pods with social distancing of eight feet or more during strenuous activity and frequent hand washing or sanitizing. Cloth face coverings must be worn by all when not engaged in a conditioning exercise. Equipment sharing will not be allowed, including passing a ball back and forth between two or more people. No visitors or spectators will be allowed.
 
Participation is voluntary for all athletes, coaches and staff. Non-participation will not have a negative impact on the student athlete or staff member in any way. All who take part will be asked to sign a form acknowledging they are there voluntarily, and will need to provide a self-certification screening.
 
** Update September 28 - Spring sports have also begun conditioning.
 
9/2/20 - The Governing Board Discusses Potential Dates for the Transition to Blended Learning
State restrictions on the return to in-person instruction prohibit the transition to Blended Learning on September 14 as previously planned. At the September 2 Governing Board meeting, the Board voted to consider potential dates for reopening based upon logical breaks in the academic calendar once Los Angeles County is eligible to open for in-person instruction. Potential dates for reopening will include October 19 and November 16. These dates can only be considered if the County determines that schools are eligible to reopen at that point.
 
9/2/20 - Los Angeles County Allows In-person Services for Small Groups of Students with Special Needs
On August 14, Governor Newsom announced that school districts would be allowed to bring small groups of students with disabilities and other acute needs to campus for one-on-one services and small group intervention (maximum of 12 students per cohort), dependent upon approval by their local health department. On September 2, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health authorized school districts in the county to be able to provide these services effective September 14. While this authorization is not a mandate, the Hart District is working on plans to provide targeted services and supports for students with special needs.
 
8/28/20 - Governor Newsom Announces a New State-wide Monitoring System
Today Governor Newsom announced a new state-wide COVID-19 monitoring system that ranks counties on tiers based on community transmission. Schools can reopen for in-person instruction once their county has been on the Substantial (red) tier for at least two weeks. Los Angeles County is currently on the Widespread (purple) tier. For more information, click here
 
7/17/20 - Governor Newsom Announces Full Online Learning Requirement for all Counties on the COVID-19 Monitoring List
Today Governor Newsom announced new expectations for the reopening of schools.  The Governor's statement indicates that the Hart District should begin classes on August 11 in an online format.
 
While today's announcements will necessitate time to digest the specifics, I want to be clear that the Board's decision on Wednesday is consistent with these latest guidelines from the State - at least in terms of our immediate next steps for online learning.
 
Stay tuned for more information.  
 
Mike Kuhlman
Superintendent 
 
7/15/20 - The Governing Board Votes to Open the School Year with Five Weeks of Full Online Learning
At the July 15 Governing Board meeting, the Board adopted a modified Fall 2020 Action Plan for the start of school that temporarily calls for Online Learning. The Board authorized the following:
  •      Classes will begin on August 11, 2020, in an online format
  •      Online instruction will continue for approximately five weeks (through the first progress reporting period - September 11)
  •      Staff will report to work as assigned for the start of the school year *Amended on 7/29/20 to allow teachers flexibility to teach from their classrooms or at home
  •      Training will start right away to enhance online instruction, to prepare for the next phase of Blended Learning, and to implement safety procedures as outlined in the Reopening Protocols for K-12 Schools, with the overriding goal to fully reopen.
To view the entire Board presentation, click here
 
6/30/20 - The Governing Board Chooses Blended Learning for Fall 2020
At the June 30 Special Board Meeting, the Board directed staff to move forward with planning for a Blended Learning model for the fall 2020 semester and to include a fully Online opportunity for families that are not ready to return to in-person learning.
 
 
 
 
 
Planning Priorities
1. Comply with LA County Health Order requirements as a means to keep students, staff, and families safe and to minimize the transmission of the COVID-19 virus
2. Provide options for parents (either Blended Learning or fully Online models of instruction)
3. Bring students back to campus as quickly as it is deemed safe to do so
4. Respond flexibly to changes in health orders
 
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
 
What is a Blended Learning model?
To comply with social distancing requirements, each school has been split into two cohorts. Cohort A will physically attend school on Mondays and Tuesdays. Cohort B will attend school on Thursdays and Fridays. Students will participate remotely on the days they are not in the classroom. All students will work remotely on Wednesdays unless scheduled by the teacher to be in the classroom for intervention or enrichment.
 
What options do I have if I do not want my student to return to campus?
For families that are not comfortable with their students returning to campus, an Online Learning program is available in addition to an independent study program.
 
How do I enroll in either the Blended Learning or Online Learning program?
Families submitted their decision forms in Fall 2020. If you would like to change your decision, please contact your school site.

How were students selected for each cohort?
Cohorts are separated alphabetically by last name. If for any reason children in the same family are initially placed in different cohorts, please advise the school principal so a change can be made.

Do siblings within the same family or household have to choose the same program?
No, the instructional program choice is an individual one for each student.
 
Can students switch program models?
Students will be allowed to switch program models (i.e., leave Online Learning to attend Blended or vice versa) as space is available. Because classes are staffed based on the initial requests it may be difficult to switch programs, however, we will examine requests based on space and staffing available.
 
Is attendance taken for each program?
Yes, student attendance is part of both Online and Blended Learning.
 
What is the daily instructional schedule for the Blended Learning model?
Students physically attend school two days each week. They are released at lunch and complete their school day with remote activities. Students participate through remote learning on the days they are away from campus. 

Which platform is used for the online component Blended Learning model?
Students access their assignments via Google Classroom, Apex, or Canvas (for Castaic HS and Advanced Placement only). These assignments are designed/determined by their regular classroom teacher.
 
The Hart District has expanded its access to Apex, a highly recognized online learning program. Apex curriculum provides content, assessments, and learning activities to students in all core content areas as well as most elective courses. All teachers and students have access to Apex. The teachers can customize its use at the appropriate level for their courses.
 
Are students required to complete online assignments in the Blended Learning model?
Student assignments, whether completed remotely or on site, need to be submitted and will be used in the grading/evaluation process.

What are the logistics for school arrival and dismissal?
The procedures follow current Los Angeles Department of Health orders regarding social distancing, cloth face coverings, no gathering, etc. All families have received communication regarding procedures in place at their school site.
 
What does the lunch period look like?
Lunches are "grab and go." Students pick up their lunch from a cart and exit the campus. Carts are placed in multiple zones and students are directed to the appropriate zone to decrease any large groups. All lines to the carts are marked for students to maintain a 6-foot spacing.
 
Can students participate in assemblies or other group activities in these models?
Group activities are not allowed. We will not be able to mix classes or limit the 6-foot distancing for assemblies.

Are visitors and/or volunteers be allowed on a school campus during the 2020/21 school year?
We have been encouraged by the Department of Health to restrict access to the school campus; only visitors and volunteers who are essential to the operation of school will be allowed, and they must be pre-approved by the principal.

Will there be field trips in 2020/21?
Not at this time. Most venues are still closed, but virtual field trips can be provided as appropriate.
What is the daily instructional schedule for the Online Learning model?
Online Learning students are assigned to cohorts and follow the same schedule as the Blended Learning model. Instruction includes face-to-face meetings with teachers in every class period every day. Attendance is taken during each class. Additional classwork is assigned outside of the “live-meeting” period. Parents should plan on a minimum of four hours of school work/instruction each day.

Who teaches the classes in the Online Learning model?
Online students have been scheduled with teachers and peers from their home campus to allow for a seamless transition to Blended Learning if and when the student is ready to return to campus.

Which platform is used for Online Learning?
Students access their assignments via Google Classroom, Apex, or Canvas (for Castaic HS and Advanced Placement only). These assignments are designed/determined by their regular classroom teacher.
 
The Hart District has expanded its access to Apex, a highly recognized online learning program. Apex curriculum provides content, assessments, and learning activities to students in all core content areas as well as most elective courses. All teachers and students have access to Apex. The teachers can customize its use at the appropriate level for their courses.
Are all teachers, staff, and students required to wear masks?
Yes
 
Are students allowed to remove their masks if they remain 6-feet apart while in the classroom?
According to the current County Health Order, masks must be worn in campus at all times.

Are students allowed to remove their face covering at any time during the school day?
Students may only remove masks to eat or drink.

What type of masks are allowed and/or provided for students?
The state provided two cloth face coverings for every student. Schools have paper/disposable face coverings available for students who forget their face covering. Students may wear their own personal cloth masks if they choose. Bandanas or scarf ties will not be allowed.

Can partitions or face shields replace cloth face coverings?
According to the Department of Health, we are not allowed to replace face shields for cloth face coverings for students. Partitions can be used, but they are used when a 6-foot distance cannot be maintained. Face coverings must still be worn when face shields or partitions are used.

How is hand-washing and hand sanitizing handled during the day?
Students are required to use hand sanitizer when entering the school site each day. From that point, there will be many opportunities for hand-washing or sanitizing depending on the facilities available and the activity. Hand sanitizer stations are provided as needed in common areas and classrooms without sink access.

Can we use hand-washing only rather than hand sanitizer?
While we prefer hand-washing for our students, some classrooms do not have easy access to sinks/water for this task. Use of hand sanitizer allows for schools to address the health concern appropriately.
 
Are there daily symptom checks?
The Department of Health orders require daily symptom checks for students and staff. We use a digital reporting system for daily symptom checks for students that are completed by parents BEFORE bringing students to school.

What is the determination as to the number of students per class period?
Our average classroom is 960 square feet. For each student to have a 6-foot social distance "bubble," we can accommodate a maximum of 26 students per classroom. Dividing each class into 2 cohorts results in a maximum of 19 students per class.

What are the considerations for changing classes for each period? What is done to sanitize the desks during each change of class?
Classes are dismissed in such a way as to avoid crowds of students in the halls. Students exit single file in a manner that does not result in crowding. Our custodial teams have been trained in the disinfection techniques outlined by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Additionally, all students and staff should sanitize hands prior to entering each classroom prior to touching any surface.

What is the procedure for student’s use of the restroom during the day?
Students have restroom availability when needed. 
 
How often are restrooms be cleaned during the day?
We follow the guidance provided by the Department of Health on the frequency of cleaning and the process. Staff uses appropriate cleaning materials and follows industry standards for appropriate cleaning / sanitizing disinfecting of restroom facilities.

Can students help wipe down desks, chairs, classrooms, etc.?
At this time, we are unable to include the help of students with cleaning. Several years ago many restrictions were placed on the types of cleaning materials that may be used in classroom, when students can be present, and preventing them from using them directly. Certainly, managing their own items and ensuring they do not share personal items with others is how students can support keeping things properly cleaned.

How does the A/C unit work in order to ensure that recycled air (possibly contaminated by the occupants inside the room) isn’t just blowing through the room?
The Hart District has ensured that each school’s HVAC system is in good working order. HVAC systems are set to maximize indoor/outdoor air exchange unless outdoor conditions (recent fire, very high outside temperature, high pollen count, etc.) make this inappropriate. Portable, high-efficiency air cleaners have been installed in each classroom. Doors and windows will be kept open during the school day if feasible and if outdoor conditions make this appropriate. Air filters have been upgraded to the highest efficiency possible.

What will happen if/when a student tests positive for COVID-19?
If one student or staff tests positive, contact tracing will be initiated and close contacts will be asked to quarantine for 10 days or until a negative test is received. If there is an outbreak (3 or more individuals testing positive within a 14 day period), the Department of Health will be notified and provide guidance.
Do students with Individualized Education Plans continue to receive special services support if they choose the Online program?
Students with IEPs have the opportunity to select the exclusive Online option or a Blended Learning option. The basic framework is the same, but we have created additional options to lay on top of the basic framework for special populations. 

How are students who receive special education services in a general education classroom supported (i.e.,RSP, Speech, etc.)?
Students continue to receive their special education services as indicated in their IEP within either program – Online or Blended Learning model. The format of those services conform to the overall format of the program. Specific minutes and activities will be provided during the IEP process.

Are 504 plans be continued?
Yes, 504 plans are accommodated.
 
Are English Learner supports be available in both formats?
English Learner supports are provided in the Blended and Online formats. Bilingual instructional assistants continue to support students and teachers
What is the protocol if a teacher/staff/student tests positive for COVID-19?
The District will follow all protocols established by the Department of Health. Each situation will be handled according to the person exposed, the amount of time of exposure, and the distance between themselves and the potentially infected person. We will thoroughly clean the classroom/school following suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Will we be notified each time a student, staff, or teacher tests positive for COVID-19?
Privacy laws do not allow us to notify the community of individuals (staff or students) who test positive. If there is an exposure concern, however, we will provide the appropriate notifications to the Health Department officials and to the affected families as we do with other exposure issues. Additionally, the Hart District has a COVID-19 Dashboard here that is updated regularly to reflect known positive cases on campuses within the last 14 calendar days.

When will schools return to the traditional 5 days per week model?
Schools will return to the traditional model when the county reaches Stage 4 in the recovery plan and restrictions are released by the Department of Health.
What does Apex provide with regards to courses and staff support?
 
The Apex platform has been adopted District-wide to provide teachers and students with an additional educational resource support tool for teaching in the Online and Blended Learning programs. The platform is not intended to replace currently adopted curriculum, but rather to support the scaffolding of lesson development and classroom integration. While the Apex platform can be utilized as a "stand-alone" asynchronous course, the goal is to allow the system to provide structure, organization, and enhancement to your scheduled synchronous learning activities with students. 
 
Efforts moving forward will be centered on providing all staff with an abundance of professional development and training with regards to the functionality and usefulness of the Apex program. The District is developing a multi-phase schedule to facilitate teacher preparation ultimately leading to the primary objective of returning to the academic setting full-time.
 
Discounted childcare opportunities for WSHUSD employees
A Step Ahead (for elementary age children) - (661) 607-2333
Montessori of Valencia - (661) 257-4161
Montessori of Stevenson Ranch - (661) 259-5500
Montessori on Copperhill - (661) 673-5676
Montessori of North Park - (661) 263-3265