William S. Hart Union High School District

Skip to main content
Main Menu Toggle
Fall 2020 Action Plan/Coronavirus Information » Fall 2020 Action Plan/Coronavirus Information

Fall 2020 Action Plan/Coronavirus Information

The Hart District has the challenging task of designing a plan for a return to school in the fall that complies with state and county health orders while also balancing the desires of the community we serve. The Governing Board has the authority to make decisions with regard to some aspects of reopening plans, however, the scope of the decisions the Board can make is limited by the health orders. Current health orders do not allow for the “full reopening” of schools and the Board does not have the authority to ignore these mandates. (See Los Angeles County's ranking on the state metrics here and the current County numbers here)
 
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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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 
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
 
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)
 
How will school start in August?
School started on August 11 with Online Learning for all students. The existing 2020/21 school year calendar will be in effect, including any identified breaks and holidays.
 
Do students go to class every day during the online-only learning period?
Yes. Please see the daily schedule here.
 

Do students have to attend class at their assigned time, or can they do the online-only learning at a time of their choosing?

Students MUST be present during their classes' assigned times. Attendance will be taken daily. Teachers will take attendance in Infinite Campus.

 

Will there be live instruction each day?
During the online-only learning period, teachers are expected to be present and live with their students.
 
Will teachers have the capability to answer questions during the online-only class period either via video or email/chat feature?

Yes. Teachers have designed lesson plans for online-only learning similar to a traditional class period. During this time, teachers are giving direct instruction, guided instruction, and time for students to practice independently and to ask questions.

 

How are teachers going to monitor participation during the online-only class?
Similar to a traditional class period, teachers are engaging students to participate. For example, teachers may call upon students to share an answer to a prompt, demonstrate their process for solving a problem, share samples of their writing, etc.

How does my child join or access his/her classes?
Directions and invitations have been sent to your student's Hart District email account. 

What if my student forgets their Hart District email password?
For Google password resets, please call 661-259-0033 x777

Who should we contact if my family needs technology assistance?
Please email your school principal, assistant principal, counselor or social worker. Email addresses can be found on the school website.

How can my child get additional support if needed?

Please contact your school counselor if your feel your child needs additional supports. 

How does my child make an appointment with his/her counselor?
Counselors have a variety of ways to meet with your child including email, phone, or virtually. Please see your school website for more information.

Will student meals be available during the online-only period?
Grab and go breakfasts and lunches are available to all children 18 years and under at all Hart District schools between the hours of 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday. For more information, click here.

What will the schools do to engage students socially?
Teachers are teaching “live” daily and planning activities that build relationships between students.  ASBs will be conducting a variety of online activities for students to participate in.

How will mental health services be delivered during online-only learning?
Similar to the closure last year, all mental health services will be delivered via Telehealth.

Can sports teams meet/practice during the online-only learning period?
While schools remain closed to in-person instruction, they may not be used for athletic programs. Athletes can do conditioning and skill-building activities only on an individual basis or with members of their immediate household, not with cohorts of students from different households (no small groups of students, even if outdoors at school). 

Will we have Back to School Nights?
We will be holding virtual Back to School Nights on September 1 for all high school and on September 3 for all junior high schools.

Are the school campuses open during the period of online-only learning?
Visitors to the school other than parents of enrolled students will be limited to those who are essential for the school’s operation. Visitors will be by appointment only and are pre-registered in a visitor log that includes a visitor’s name, phone number, and email address. Screening will be conducted before visitors may enter the school. Screening will include a temperature check and check-in concerning cough, shortness of breath or experience of fever and any other symptoms the visitor may be experiencing. 

What is a Blended Learning model?
To comply with social distancing requirements, each school will be split into two cohorts. Cohort A will attend school on Mondays, Tuesdays, and alternating Wednesdays. Cohort B will attend school on Thursdays, Fridays, and alternating Wednesdays. Students will participate remotely on the days they are not in the classroom.
 
When is the Blended Learning model going to start?
State restrictions prohibit the transition to Blended Learning at this time. Once Los Angeles County is eligible to open for in-person instruction, the Board will consider potential dates for reopening based on logical breaks in the academic calendar.
 
What options do I have if I do not want my student to return to campus for the fall semester?
For families that are not comfortable with their students returning to campus for the fall semester, an Online Learning program will be available.
 
How do I enroll in either the Blended Learning or Online Learning program for the 2020/21 school year?
Current Hart District students will be automatically enrolled in the Blended Learning model unless they have submitted a request for exclusive Online Learning. If you have not submitted a request for Online Learning and would like to, please contact your school registrar.
 
Students who are new to William S. Hart UHSD must complete the standard enrollment process at their neighborhood school. Office staff will support proper enrollment in either programming option at that time.

How will students be selected for each cohort?
Cohorts will be 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 we are staffing classes based on the initial requests it may be difficult to switch programs, however, we will examine requests based on space and staffing available.

Will attendance be taken for each program?
Yes, student attendance will be part of both Online and Blended Learning.

Will normal grading and evaluation processes occur in the 2020/21 school year?
Yes, regular grading practices, following existing Board Policy, will continue for both programs. The guidance provided during the spring closure was limited to that period of time.

What should students do if they have no computers or internet access?
Students needing computers should contact their school site administrator and can be provided a Chromebook. Information on reduced cost internet services can be found here
What is the daily instructional schedule for the Blended Learning model?
Students will attend school two-three days each week. They will be released at lunch and complete their school day with remote activities. Students will participate through remote learning on the days they are away from campus. 

Which platform will be used for the online component Blended Learning model?
Students will access their assignments via Google Classroom, Apex, or Canvas (for Castaic HS and Advanced Placement only). These assignments will be 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 will be given access to Apex. The teachers can customize its use at the appropriate level for their courses.

Will students be required to complete online assignments in the Blended Learning model?
Student assignments, whether completed remotely or on site, will need to be submitted and will be used in the grading/evaluation process.

What happens to students in Cohort A on holiday Mondays?
On all weeks with Monday holidays, students in Cohort A will attend on campus on Wednesdays.

What happens to students in the Blended Learning model if school has to close again?
Students will remain with their classroom teachers and follow a digital format similar to that being provided in the Online Learning model.

What are the logistics for school arrival and dismissal?
The procedures will follow the current Los Angeles Department of Health orders regarding social distancing, cloth face coverings, no gathering, etc. Each site will finalize its process and communicate with its parent community prior to the transition to on-campus learning.
 
What will the lunch period look like?
Lunches will be "grab and go." Students will pick up their lunch from a cart and exit the campus. Carts will be placed in multiple zones and students will be directed to the appropriate zone to decrease any large groups. All lines to the carts will be marked for students to maintain a 6-foot spacing.

Will 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.

Will 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 will be assigned to cohorts and follow the same schedule as the Blended Learning model. Instruction will include face-to-face meetings with teachers in every class period every day. Attendance will be taken during each class. Additional classwork will be assigned outside of the “live-meeting” period. Parents should plan on a minimum of four hours of school work/instruction each day.

Who will teach the classes in the Online Learning model?
Online students will be 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 will be used for Online Learning?
Students will access their assignments via Google Classroom, Apex, or Canvas (Castaic HS and Advanced Placement only). These assignments will be 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 will be given access to Apex. The teachers can customize its use at the appropriate level for their courses.
Will all teachers, staff, and students be required to wear masks?
Yes

Will students be 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 inside all public spaces at all times.

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

What type of masks will be allowed and/or provided for students?
The state is providing two cloth face coverings for every student. Schools will have paper/disposable face coverings available for students who forget their face covering. Students may wear their own personal cloth face coverings (i.e., masks, neck gaiters, etc.) 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 will hand-washing and hand sanitizing be handled during the day?
Students will be 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 will be 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.
 
Will there be daily symptom checks?
The Department of Health orders require daily symptom checks for students and staff. We are looking into a digital means for doing daily symptom checks for students that will be completed by parents BEFORE bringing students to school.

Has there been a 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. The plan to divide 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 will be done to sanitize the desk during each change of class?
We are exploring ideas for dismissal of classes in such a way as to avoid crowds of students in the halls. Students will exit single file in a manner that will not result in crowding. We have a sub-committee currently exploring all aspects of sanitization. Our custodial teams have been trained in the disinfection techniques outlined by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Additionally, we will have all students and staff sanitize hands prior to entering each classroom prior to touching any surface.

What will the procedure be for student’s use of the restroom during the day?
Students will have restroom availability when needed. 
 
How often will restrooms be cleaned during the day?
We will follow the guidance provided by the Department of Health on the frequency of cleaning and the process. Staff will use appropriate cleaning materials and follow 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 will 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 will ensure that each school’s HVAC system is in good working order. HVAC systems will be 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 will be installed, if feasible. Doors and windows will be kept open during the school day if feasible and if outdoor conditions make this appropriate. Air filters will be 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 those that have been exposed will be asked to quarantine for 14 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.
Will 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 a sub-committee of specialists working together to create additional options to lay on top of the basic framework for special populations. We want to take the time we have available to create the best possible options for educating your children. We will be sending communication directly to you with the specific implementation options for your children.

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

Will 504 plans be continued?
Yes, 504 plans will be accommodated.

Will English Learner supports be available in both formats?
English Learner supports will be provided in the Blended and Online formats. Bilingual instructional assistants will continue to support students and teachers
Will student meals be available during the online-only period?
Grab and go breakfasts and lunches are available to all children 18 years and under at all Hart District schools between the hours of 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday. For more information, click here.
Decisions about athletics and extracurriculars will be guided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Reopening Protocols for K-12 Schools and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). 
 
Can sports teams meet/practice during the Full Online Learning period?
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.
 
Will high school sports teams be allowed to play in 2020/21?
On July 20, the CIF State and Southern Section released the high school athletics plan for the 2020/21 school year. In essence, the three seasons of athletics (fall, winter, spring) have been condensed into two seasons (fall, spring) with those sports listed as fall beginning competition this December and January. For the complete statement and information regarding when each sport would be starting competition, please click here.
 
When will tryouts for sports teams begin?

Once we are given clearance to proceed, your athletic coach will contact you about tryout dates.

 

Where do I turn in my child's athletic paperwork?

Students will turn their athletic paperwork to their coaches once they are allowed to meet in person. 

Will the District require all staff and students to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to school?
Not at this time. Students and/or staff who show symptoms will follow the appropriate protocols for testing, self-isolation, etc. Anyone who feels they have symptoms of COVID-19 should remain at home and contact their health care provider.

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 me 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.

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