Dear AUSD Community,
Albany Unified School District is working diligently toward the goal of returning to in-person instruction for our students and staff. I am writing to share an update on our progress and some things to come.
We recently negotiated an agreement with our teachers’ union to reopen our preschool classrooms at Albany Children’s Center. As a result, our preschool students returned to hybrid in-person preschool on Monday November 9, 2020. Students are attending preschool in cohort groups of no more than seven students on Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday for a half-day session. No classes meet on Wednesday as the site is closed for deep cleaning between cohort groups.
The outdoor pool at Albany Aquatic Center is now open and serving our community and local swim teams. We hope to open our indoor pool when in-person instruction resumes or sooner.
We recognize the impacts of school closures on students and families and the great need to return to in-person learning as soon as practicably possible. As we continue to work towards returning to in-person instruction, we are fully committed to continuing to work with our labor partners to reopen in ways that are safe and measured. To that end, we have recently established three reopening advisory committee task forces: one for elementary schools, one for Albany Middle School and one for Albany High School. These groups, composed of our certificated and classified staff, parents, students, site and district administrators, and a school board member, will provide critical input on a number of essential issues to assist in guiding a process for reopening.
To help inform our reopening process and decisions, we have designed a survey to gather input from families regarding their return to school preferences. Responses to this survey are non-binding; however, it is critical that every family complete this survey as your input will help us to determine the number of students likely to return to hybrid in-person instruction, the number of students likely to remain in 100% remote learning and the resources and staffing needed to launch both models when it is deemed safe to do so. A second survey will be sent out asking families to commit to one option in the coming weeks.
We are scheduled to present our Elementary Reopening School Plan at an upcoming Superintendent Community Forum. More information about this forum will be forthcoming. As our target date for reopening secondary schools is February 1, 2021, we will be sharing the details of our reopening plans for AMS and AHS in January 2021. Please note that returning to in-person instruction is contingent upon reopening clearance from Alameda County Health Department, meeting all safety readiness requirements outlined in our Alameda County Readiness Dashboard, and negotiated agreements with our labor partners.
Finally, as the holiday season approaches, our county has provided guidance for families regarding how best to stay safe from COVID-19 during the holidays: https://covid-19.acgov.org/covid19-assets/docs/press/holiday-recommendations-2020.11.09.pdf
Together, we can do this. Stay Safe, Healthy and Encouraged.
Frank Wells, Ed.D.
Superintendent - AUSD