AUSD Reopening Schools Plan and Communication

AUSD Reopening Schools Plan

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted every facet of our lives. Each of us has been forced to make changes to our daily life that would have been unimaginable prior to this moment in time. Since our schools closed on March 13, 2020, we have been asked to limit our interactions with others, wear face coverings, and alter our very way of life. We realize that these changes are overwhelming, especially for children, and that many of their days have been filled with our shared sense of uncertainty, trauma, and grief. 

Our children will continue to navigate in a very uncertain world, and as a District, our goal is to create a safe, healthy and welcoming environment where our students can find their passions and reach their potential. We believe strongly that schools are essential to ensuring our students are prepared to be both successful citizens and future leaders. In education, we often discuss the importance of teaching critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. These four “C”s are considered vital skills that students must master to be successful in the 21st century. However, especially in this time of COVID-19, our students have been forced to miss out on another critically important “C” -- Connection. 

We believe that connecting students and helping them develop strong peer relationships is critical to their development. Our students need the opportunity to learn and grow from each other, make mistakes, try new things, and be present with peers in a safe and healthy learning environment. Because each student is unique, they are also best served when working directly with a teacher, getting immediate support and help when needed. If the rules and regulations permit schools to operate in person, we believe it is our moral imperative, when safe and possible, to provide the option for students to return to school and learn in classrooms with teachers. 

We have taken the guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), California Department of Education, and other agencies to develop our plan for reopening schools. In fact, we have adopted the CDPH guidelines, which we are required to follow, and put together a plan for how AUSD schools will operate going forward. It is our hope that as we begin to return to “regular” routines, we will once again be able to provide our students with a safe and nurturing learning environment. 

 Our plan also provides options for those parents who would prefer not to return to school at this time. We realize that we will need to remain flexible, and adjust our plans to accommodate the changing needs of our students and families. In addition, we must be ready to adapt to changes that may result from shifts in health conditions, as we will likely see school closures as outbreaks occur. To that end, we have built an adaptable and flexible plan that provides a range of learning options and provides the flexibility for parents to make changes to their child’s learning option while also meeting the challenges that lie ahead.

I hope you will take some time to read our plan and take our short survey.  Please note the purpose of this survey is only to help us plan for next year and get an idea of instructional option interest. You will have an opportunity later in the summer to formally register for the option that will work best for your family. This survey should take you about 5-10 minutes to complete. We have also created an email address, returntoschool@alpineschools.net which can be used to share your ideas and questions. We appreciate your open and honest feedback and look forward to the reopening of schools.  In partnership,

Dr. Rich Newman
Proud Superintendent
Alpine Union