• May 15, 2020

    Dear AUSD Families,

    I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. As we are fast approaching the last weeks of the 2019-20 school year, I wanted to share that we have made the decision that our school campuses will not physically reopen this school year. Even though the Governor and San Diego County officials are slowly reopening some public areas and businesses, the current COVID-19 situation does not meet the state or county requirements that will allow us to safely reopen schools before the summer.  

    PLANNING FOR THE 2020-21 SCHOOL SURVEY

    We are actively planning for the 2020-21 school year. When we return to school in the fall many things will likely be changed including new procedures for students and staff, a much greater use of online and digital tools, flexible schedules, the potential of more temporary school closures, and more learning options for parents to choose for their students. In addition to changes to our traditional full-time in-school instruction, we will be expanding our independent, home school, and hybrid learning options that include a combination of online learning and in-school instruction, and we will offer a vibrant distance learning program. To plan for the future, we want to capture your thinking and identify your preferences and interest in possible models of teaching and learning for the upcoming 2020-21 school year. Please click here to complete the parent survey. The survey will be open until Friday, May 29, 2020. 

    PROMOTION CEREMONIES

    This year has created many changes and forced our students to miss out on many of the time-honored traditions such as walking the stage for eighth-grade promotion or saying goodbye to elementary school or having friends sign each other’s yearbooks.   We are committed to recognizing our students’ achievements and celebrating them, even if it is not what we had all hoped or planned to do. Each school (BOES, CELC, JMMS, MVLA, SHES) will hold a drive-through promotion parade and virtual ceremony.  These events will include students with their families driving onto their decorated school campus with their family, past cheering staff, to be recognized. This will allow for some closure and celebration at the end of the school year. 

    PICK UP AND DROP OFF OF MATERIALS

    Our schools will soon be notifying families and students how they can return and retrieve belongings from campus in the coming weeks. Students who will be returning next year will be able to keep their Chromebooks over the summer. Eighth-grade students and those not returning next year will have a time scheduled to drop off the Chromebooks checked out from the District. We plan to continue to provide Chromebooks to our students next year and will be providing low-cost insurance plans for purchase to protect against the cost of replacing damaged Chromebooks. 

    I very much look forward to the time we are all back on campus. Until then, stay well and healthy. As always, thank you for your continued support.

    Sincerely,
    Rich Newman, Ed.D.
    Proud Superintendent

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    May 1, 2020

    Dear AUSD Families,

    I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy! As we come to the end of the second week of distance learning I wanted to share a few thoughts and updates. First, I am extremely proud of the work that is going on in our virtual classrooms. I have had the opportunity to sit in on several Zoom classroom lessons this week, including an elementary math lesson, a directed draw lesson with our kindergarten students, and complete a middle school PE workout. I am truly amazed by the engagement of our students and the remarkable efforts of our teachers and staff to keep students connected to academic content. I also want to thank each of you for all you are doing in these difficult times to support your children and their learning.  I know it is a strain on families and I appreciate the collaborative efforts of all to keep our kiddos moving forward.

    Earlier this week Governor Newsom mentioned the possibility of an early start to the 2020-21 school year. It is important to know that no order has been given to California school districts to adjust their established 2020-21 school calendars. While we share the goal to get students and teachers back into the classroom as soon and as safely as possible, an early start to the next school year may not be feasible and at this point in time, we have no definitive plans to do so. School calendars take a great deal of planning and coordination and any changes could have major fiscal implications. At this point, we do not see starting the 2020-21 school year in July as a likely option for us. 

    I recognize that one of the questions everyone has at this time is, "When will we be back?"  There is no question I would like to answer more than this one, and it is just as difficult for me to not be able to give an answer as it is for you to not receive one.  My commitment to you is to monitor the day-to-day briefings from the Governor, coordinate with the San Diego County Office of Education and local health officials, and take guidance from the California Department of Education as we navigate these uncharted waters together.  Know that we want our students back in class as soon as it is safe and as soon as we get the green light to do so. We are planning to recognize our fifth and eighth-grade students this year with a virtual promotion and drive-through ceremony. 

    Lastly, there has been a lot of speculation about what school might look like for students in the fall. Because health orders at the federal, state, and local levels change so frequently, it is not possible to predict what guidelines and restrictions will be in place in August. The District is planning for many options to ensure that students, families, and staff are supported and safe as we move into the 2020-21 school year. One such option is a robust distance learning program for those that would prefer to continue utilizing that model into the next school year. As information and details are available, we will share those with you. We will also be sending a survey out in the near future to get your feedback.

    As always, we appreciate your continued support. Together we will come back stronger than ever!

    Sincerely,

    Rich Newman, Ed.D.
    Proud Superintendent

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    April 14, 2020

    Dear AUSD Families,
    I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. On Wednesday, we launched our distance learning plan or all AUSD students. I am very proud of our staff who have done an incredible job moving to a fully online learning program in a very short period of time.  The video below outlines our distance learning plan. You will also find our AUSD Flexible Plan for Instructional Continuity which outlines our plans for a range of options when we return to school. Stay healthy and please continue to check back for updates and important safety and health announcements 

     The AUSD Flexible Plan For Instructional Continuity

    Sincerely,

    Rich Newman, Ed.D.
    Proud Superintendent

     

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    April 1, 2020

    Dear AUSD Families,

    There are many questions circulating after remarks by Governor Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond about if and when California campuses will reopen this school year.  

    I want to be very clear that the 2019-20 school year is not over. It has just transitioned from classroom instruction into distance learning. As Superintendent Thurmond said today, “schools are closed but classes are in.” As I shared in my message yesterday, our mission remains the same as it did before this crisis.  We will work to ensure that each student receives the education that he or she deserves and needs to build a bright future. The purpose of our distance learning plan and related educational activities is to teach students essential standards and content and to keep students working toward end-of-year expectations. 

    Alpine Union and the San Diego County Office of Education continue to carefully monitor guidance from federal, state, and local public health and education agencies. All decisions about when and if we will reopen will be made in conjunction with local public health officials. 

    We remain extremely concerned about the social and emotional well-being of all of our students and are working on ways to stay connected even at a distance. We also know that many students are very concerned about missing out on end-of-year activities and celebrations. Please know that we are planning how we might offer these experiences in different formats and/or at a later date.

    While we continue to hold out hope that campuses will be safe to reopen later this spring, or at a minimum to celebrate our students’ promotions, we are focused on transitioning into a new way of teaching and learning to meet the health and safety impacts of COVID-19. We will launch distance learning for our students on April 15. 

    While we recognize this situation poses challenges and hardship to many families, the most effective way to slow and disrupt the transmission of this pandemic – and therefore get back to normal -- is by continuing to implement social distancing practices. I continue to be grateful to Alpine and all of the members of our school community for everything you are doing during this unique and difficult time. 

    I appreciate your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time. In the meantime, please trust that we are doing everything in our power to prioritize student safety, keep our community updated, and work toward the goal of getting our teachers and learners back together as soon as we can.  

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Rich Newman
    Proud Superintendent