PUSD Board of Education Approves Facility Closure and Student Dismissal March 16 through March 27, 2020

Friday, March 13th, 2020 - Posted in All District News COVID District Communications

This afternoon, the Piedmont Unified School District Board of Education unanimously passed the following motion:

“PUSD Board of Education moves to close school facilities for non-essential functions, suspend in-classroom instruction, and dismiss all PUSD students beginning March 16 through March 27, 2020 in order to:

  1.  Slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state and in our community, reduce the number of people infected, and protect those who are most vulnerable to severe illness.
  2.  Plan and prepare for continuity of educational services during a pandemic that may last for an extended period of time.

 With the expectation that teachers continue to provide a continuity of education through distance learning, actively engage in communications with administration, colleagues, families, and students; and that staff necessary for essential district-wide services/operations continue with their responsibilities either at a school site/district office or virtually (if applicable).”

With this decision, beginning March 16, 2020 all school site facilities are closed to students and the general public.  All extra-curricular activities, including athletics, instrumental, vocal, dance, and dramatic productions are also cancelled.  Additionally, all school site facilities rentals by the public are cancelled.

During this time, district leaders will coordinate with county health officials, the Alameda County Public Health Department, and California Department of Education to determine if returning on March 30th is advisable.

 Continuity of Education

School site educators are developing plans to deliver a continuity of education for students district-wide.  Distance learning will be utilized, so we expect students and families to monitor email, Infinite Campus, and Schoology regularly for homework/learning activities, important updates, and messages from teachers and the administration.

Our goal is to begin communicating distance learning opportunities in the afternoon on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

These communications, including expectations and specific learning opportunities will arrive directly from site educators and the administration.

Need Support with Technology?

During this prolonged school dismissal, if PUSD students or families are in need of school-related technology support, please email help@piedmont.k12.ca.us

We recognize that access to wifi is critical for students in order to access learning supports and assignments. If you are without wifi during this time, you may request to check out a mobile hotspot from the District that can provide filtered and metered wifi over cellular.

Please add your contact info to this form and we will reach out with more information and availability!  https://forms.gle/HgfXjMZBzaHpKhtY7

Elementary educators and administration will email a separate communication regarding the opportunity for families to check-out a Chromebook from their school site, if needed. Please be on the look-out for this email.

 Protecting Public Health

We are facing an unprecedented health crisis and new information is surfacing hourly. It is likely Alameda County will see many cases of COVID-19 in the coming weeks and months which will require a measured, sustained response.

Protecting public health requires a community-wide response, and we need the help of families to remain united in our response. 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 a high-risk group for serious illness from COVID-19, they are still able to transmit the virus to populations who are most vulnerable to serious illness, such as older adults and those with compromised immune systems. Please encourage students to avoid large public gatherings such as malls, movie theaters, and other spaces, especially those that are indoors.

The Alameda County Public Health Department continues to provide essential information around the importance of social distancing.  Please review their alerts regularly by visiting the following link:  http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov.aspx

As parents and caregivers, you are your child’s first teacher, and you are your child’s most influential teacher. Ongoing developments regarding COVID-19 may be overwhelming, especially to younger children. Parents and caregivers can help children understand the situation better by discussing children’s questions and concerns.

Reporting Illness

While the District is shifting to offsite learning for continuity of educational services during the next two weeks due to the public health threat of COVID-19, PUSD seeks to continue to monitor the health status of our students and families.

So that we can be prepared for our return to normal operations with onsite learning at the end of this closure period, it is important that we are able to adequately assess the frequency and duration of illness within the community. To be able to address our concerns, even though regular school is not in session, we are asking families to continue to contact their school sites on the regular attendance line to keep them informed when students are ill, and to share the nature of their illness (ie. flu/Influenza, common cold, COVID-19).

If you have questions or concerns, the District nurses, Carol Menz and Amy Jo Goldfarb, will be available by telephone and email. They can be reached at 510-594-2751 or nurses@piedmont.k12.ca.us.

H1 Construction

The STEAM building construction now underway on the high school campus operates independently from the schools, and may continue even in the event of a school facilities closure.  The construction site is self-contained and cordoned off from the rest of the campus.  The District’s contractor, Overaa, controls the site and all construction operations.  At this time, Overaa does not anticipate any interruption or delays in the construction.

Essential Services

During this time of school facilities closure, the District must maintain certain essential services to ensure the continuance of payroll, accounts payable and receivable, and human resources, just to name a few.  Due to the recommendations around social distancing, the District office is not receiving visitors and is closed to the public during this time.

If you have district-related questions that are not specific to a school site, please contact us by email at questions@piedmont.k12.ca.us or by calling at 510.594.2600.

State Funding During Facilities Closure

We have been coordinating with the County Office of Education and the California Dept. of Education.  Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an executive order ensuring California public school districts retain state funding even in the event of physical closure.

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