Coronavirus Updates and Information
June 10 Update on School Reopening
Dear Staff and Community Members,
Thank you all for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times. As you know, we are dealing with a pandemic that requires guidance from our health care leaders. Guidance for schools to safely reopen has been nonexistent until the past few days, and the guidance that did come out has a lot of unanswered questions. On June 5th, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released the following document: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-schools.pdf
The cover of the CDPH guidance document includes the following statement:
"All guidance should be implemented only with county health officer approval following their review of local epidemiological data including cases per 100,000 population, rate of test positivity, and local preparedness to support a health care surge, vulnerable populations, contact tracing, and testing."
As you may have heard on the news, our county public health department, the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) has had two directors resign within the last month; furthermore, we have received no guidance from them whatsoever. We have reached out to them on numerous occasions, and the Orange County Superintendents organization has also reached out to them. Even though we know of cases where people in our area have the Coronavirus, we have had no communication from OCHCA on “contact tracing” even when we have requested them to investigate reports of individuals who may have or have been exposed to the Coronavirus.
In an effort to let our community and public know about the lack of direction from our health care leaders, I voiced my concerns to a reporter from the Orange County Register. Below is a link to the article: https://www.ocregister.com/2020/06/08/reopening-schools-state-guidance-includes-face-coverings-a-whole-new-look-for-classrooms/
On June 8th the California Department of Education (CDE) released a guidance document, “Stronger Together: A Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California’s Public Schools.” This guidance requires schools to provide social distancing of six feet for staff and students, and the wearing of masks or face shields for all students and staff.
However, the mandate of approval to open schools from our county public health agency is still required by the CDPH as stated above. There are many other requirements included in the CDE guidance document. Below is a link to the document: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/documents/strongertogether.pdf
What does all this mean for the Magnolia School District, and do we have a plan to reopen our schools?
This means that we need to get approval from health care officials to safely reopen our schools, and we are working on plans for three different scenarios to open our schools.
We currently have two stakeholder groups working on our plans. One group is comprised of certificated employees and the other is comprised of classified employees. Our work in developing our plans to reopen schools will be based on the following four guiding principles:
- Safety: The safety of our students, staff and community will guide our work. Students will return to school campuses when we have developed safe environments, strategies and protocols that ensure the safety of students, staff and community members.
- Science: Information on the spread of the Coronavirus and the number of cases in our area changes on a daily basis. We will look to the most up-to-date information and to our health care officials for guidance and approval of our plans.
- Staff Support: Increased support for our staff to provide quality instruction through these challenging times is of utmost importance. We will identify and provide the training, support and resources they need to teach our students.
- Student Learning: The three guiding principles above, Safety, Science and Staff Support, will set the conditions for student learning. We will need to continue to be innovative, creative, persistent and flexible so that we continue to address the needs of our students.
What might school look like this fall?
Our first day of school for students is August 31st. This gives us more than two months to prepare for different possibilities. We have identified three different possible models:
- In-Person Learning: Under this model students and staff would return to school. This decision would be based on our four guiding principles and approval from health care officials. We would ensure that all safety protocols are in place and followed.
- Blended Learning: This model would include both In-Person Learning on a modified schedule and At-Home Learning. This decision would be based on our four guiding principles and approval from health care officials. We would ensure all safety protocols are in place and followed.
- At-Home Learning: Under this model we would continue to provide Distance Learning options. We will fine-tune the way instruction is provided and the way students respond to that instruction. We will also provide high-quality training and professional development for our teachers and staff members.
Which option above is most likely to occur in the fall?
At this time the most likely option is At-Home Learning; however, this decision has not yet been made and our goal is to get students back to school as soon as it is safe to do so. We will be sending out updates over the summer regarding the work of the stakeholder groups and we will continue to proactively seek guidance from our health care officials. New information regarding the Coronavirus is continuously being released, and using our four guiding principles we are hopeful that we will develop a safe model to have students return to In-Person Learning soon.
We understand that once schools do reopen for Blended Learning and/or In-Person Learning, there could be parents/guardians who still have safety concerns and may not want to send their children to school. We will have two additional options. We will be opening a Virtual Academy and a Homeschooling option. Both of these programs will be open to all students and families.
Will technology continue to be provided to our students?
We have been a “one-to-one” school district for many years. This means each student has their own Chromebook or digital device to use for learning. We will continue to ensure that all students have access to these devices. Our Technology Department takes pride in ensuring that students and staff have access to the technology they need to teach and learn.
In closing, I would like to sincerely thank our staff, students, parents, guardians and community members for their hard work, dedication, flexibility and understanding as we navigate this temporary normal. We will get through this. Students and staff will get back to school as soon as it is safe to do so. We continue to be an exemplary school district with exemplary staff and students. We continue to be at the forefront of elementary education. We will continue to provide rigorous academics with high expectations, the use of technology and an innovative focus on all students.
Frank Donavan, Ed.D.
Previous Messages (click on a message to expand)
Superintendent Update #3, 4/3/20
April 3, 2020
Dear Magnolia School District Parents, Guardians and Staff,
On April 1, 2020, Governor Newsom and Orange County Department of Education Superintendent Mijares recommended keeping schools closed to students for the remainder of the school year due to safety concerns related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In response to these statements, and in consensus with our Board of Trustees, it was determined that in order to stay safe we will extend the closure of our schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Although schools will be closed to the public, At-Home Learning Plans, online instruction and student work packets will continue to be provided through the last day of school, June 11, 2020. All schools and Online and At Home Learning will be closed for our scheduled Spring Break, April 10-17, 2020. Our talented teachers will continue to provide Online and At-Home Learning before and after Spring Break. We ask that our parents/guardians remind their children to do the following:
- Complete assignments/activities on At Home Learning plans and as assigned by teachers
- Reach out to teachers with any questions
- Make use of our student learning resources page for fun online learning activities at www.magnoliasd.org
- Read and write as much as possible
- Wash hands frequently, do not touch face/eyes/mouth, cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, practice social distancing
- Check our website for regular updates www.magnoliasd.org
We are saddened that the end of the school year will not look like what we had planned. We realize this means we will no longer hold end-of-the-year activities as we have done for the past 125 years. We are working on alternative ways to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and staff. It is difficult to think that we can no longer hug our friends and gather in crowds; however, we make these social distancing sacrifices to keep ourselves, and our loved ones safe, and to save lives. The 2019-2020 school year will be remembered for many things. We hope it will be remembered for a time when we all came together during difficult circumstances to place “family and others first.”
Stay strong, stay healthy, stay safe and please stay home,
Frank Donavan, Ed.D.
Superintendent Update #2, 3/19/20
The following is an important update regarding the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19:
In order to continue our safety measures to prevent the potential spread of the Coronavirus, all schools in the Magnolia School District will remain closed through April 17th. If this date is extended we will contact you immediately.
We are working closely with multiple agencies including the California Department of Education, Orange County Department of Education, and the Orange County Health Care Agency to do everything we can to keep our students, staff and community safe.
Our schools and district office will not be open to the public during this time; however, parents can pick-up or drop off necessary materials and information during each school's designated hours or between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM at the district office. We ask that you contact us during these hours by telephone.
We will continue to post information on our website so please check frequently for important updates.
We will continue to provide At Home Learning opportunities, and Grab and Go Meal services at all of our schools.
Superintendent Update #1, 3/15/20
Dear Magnolia School District Families,
The health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. With that in mind, an emergency meeting of the Board of Trustees was convened Friday evening, March 13th, 2020. The Board provided direction authorizing me to take all appropriate action to respond to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Out of an abundance of caution, in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, and with guidance from local, state, and federal health experts, students will be dismissed from school beginning Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. To date, there are NO confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Magnolia Elementary School District or any other districts in Orange County. We will be providing additional communication should it become necessary to extend school closures beyond this time. This is not an easy decision and not one that was taken lightly. The closing of any school has real consequences beyond the loss of instructional time.
Federal, state, and local health agencies advise that students should stay home and minimize social contact as much as possible to keep caregivers and adult family members safe. While children have not been shown to be at high-risk for serious illness from COVID-19, these steps are critically important in supporting public health as children can transmit the virus to those that are most vulnerable.
Our District is taking the following steps to provide support to our families:
- All students were sent home with At-Home learning materials on Friday, March 13. We will be providing additional At-Home learning updates and resources as they are developed.
- At-Home Learning plans may be accessed digitally by visiting www.magnoliasd.org/apps/pages/homelearning
- Families can also use our regular MSD technology resources available by visiting http://students.magnoliasd.org
ACCESS TO MEALS
Starting Tuesday, March, 17, the District will be providing school meals at all nine schools so that students have access to breakfast and lunch during the two weeks that school is closed. Meals will be provided through a drive-up/walk-up service where students may take their meals to-go during the following time periods:
- Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 AM
- Lunch: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
The menus will be available on the Food Services website at https://www.magnoliasd.org/menus/ There is no registration required but children must be present to receive a meal.
ACCESS TO INTERNET
Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/ or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. More information about Internet Access can be found by http://www.magnoliasd.org/internet-access/
We will continue to send updates to families via phone and web messages on any developments that may impact student attendance at school. This information will also be posted on the district website, www.magnoliasd.org.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and our entire district staff, I thank each of you for your patience and trust as we all work together through this unprecedented public health crisis.
The Orange County Health Care Agency on Monday, February 3 published a new infographic with some basic facts
The one-pager, explains how it’s spread, what symptoms are associated with the illness, and what steps you can take to protect yourself from airborne respiratory diseases.
COVID-19 Operations Written Report
CHOC's COVID19 Telephone Advice Line
CDC's Tips to Keep Children Healthy While School's Out:
City of Anaheim Updates
Child Care and Student Supervision
Due to coronavirus (COVID 19), children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school will get extra food benefits. These food benefits are called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT benefits. P-EBT benefits help families in California buy food when school is closed.