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February 19: Return to In-Person Instruction Progress Continues and 6th Grade Return To Learn

Dear SUSD Families and Staff,

I’m pleased to report that solid progress is being made in reopening schools. Saratoga USD is the 4th district to reopen in Santa Clara County.

Last week, we welcomed almost 100 students in grades TK-2 back to campus for Hybrid in-person learning! These students join other students who have already been on campus for Learning Labs, Tree House, and targeted services. We are so excited to see more children in classrooms and on the playgrounds. A Mercury News photographer stopped by Foothill School and took some wonderful photos on the first day of Hybrid Learning.

Grades 3-5 Hybrid in-person instruction begins at our elementary campuses this coming week. Parents will receive updates from their school. District wide results of the 3rd-5th grade Return To Learn Tickets are:

  • 55% of 3rd-5th grade families want to keep their child in Distance Learning
  • 27% prioritized staying with their teacher in either Distance or Hybrid
  • 18% are ready to return for Hybrid in-person regardless of teacher/school

6th graders will return to campus starting March 4. Return to Learn Tickets will be sent this weekend. A Parent Orientation is scheduled for Monday, February 22 at 6:00 p.m. Due to meeting size capacity, ONLY parents/guardians of Redwood 6th Graders should attend this meeting. The Zoom link will be sent with the 6th Grade Return To Learn Ticket.

In order for grades 7th-8th to reopen per Santa Clara Public Health directive, the county’s adjusted COVID-19 case rate must drop below 7.0 for 5 consecutive days. The county case rate as of February 17 is 10.9. We anticipate that the case rate will continue to decline, plans are underway for reopening 7th and 8th grades. Stay tuned.

In other good news, vaccinations will be available for educators starting February 28. Staff are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible and many have already done so. The district has provided proof of employment documentation for staff to take to their vaccination appointments. Staff are also encouraged to to be tested for COVID-19 every two weeks via our on-site testing, sccfreetest,org, or through their healthcare provider.

For families returning for in-person instruction, it is strongly recommended that your child be tested for COVID-19 before starting school. The county recommends that students coming onto campus be tested every 2 weeks while in the Purple and Red tiers. Contact your healthcare provider or book via Families should also prepare by printing the Top-10 Return to Campus Reminders and downloading the ParentSquare app for the daily health screen.

Staff is working hard ensuring that family needs are being met as much as possible during the return-to-learn transition. Although we want students back on campus for as many days as possible, we need to follow the county directives of maintaining safe stable cohorts in our classroom with 4-6 foot distancing between students. Our current classroom sizes permit 10-14 students at a time. As the public health department eases on restrictions, more options may become available. 

I am proud of the hard work done by our teachers and staff to launch return-to-learn as soon as the county deemed it safe. We hope this is a beginning step towards more normalcy in the weeks ahead.

Ken Geisick Ed. D