Small cohorts of students enrolled in the Winters Joint Unified School District special education program are officially meeting on campus for in-person learning in Phast 2 of the school districts reopening plan.
Assistant Superintendent Sandra Ayón said while the small cohorts started first at Shirley Rominger Intermediate School, all of the school sites have rolled out the Phase 2, in person small cohort plan for their special education program.
However, staffing challenges have kept interventions for students enrolled in the ESL program (English as a second language) or who are socioeconomic disadvantaged (foster and homeless youth) to online Zoom engagements.
According to Ayón, moving the special program students forward to in person learning was easier because they already have staff specifically for the special education program. It’s harder to provide separate in person learning opportunities for students in ESL or socioeconomic disadvantaged because the teachers providing those services are also teaching social distancing classes.
Phase 3 planning
Winters JUSD administrators plan to present an update to the Board of Trustees at the school board meeting this Thursday, Nov. 5 at 6 p.m.
Ayón said there are many moving parts, and with the guidance constantly changing new challenges have come up with previous Hybrid Learning and Long-term distance learning models. However, site administrators and their teams have persevered and continued to stay on top of trends and best practices.
“There’s no manual for this time of living. We’re all just trying to do our best,” Ayón said. “Our teachers love our students. They work hard and they love their jobs. They haven’t changed that because it’s distance learning. We also have to take care of them so they don’t get burned out.”
She noted that if Yolo County does get moved back to the purple tier students would remain in the distance learning model. And, if the school district submitted a waiver to the county requesting for in-person learning opportunities, it would only address students in TK through fifth grade.
“We want to make sure that we’ve done our part,” Ayón said. “Our preparedness has to have a solid plan so when we do open, we stay open. If we go back to purple we won’t be able to open, even with our best plans.”
She said the required quarantine pieces of the puzzle have proven to be extra challenging if a family or staff member tests positive. She said the quarantine could last from 14 to 28 days depending on circumstances.
Ayón encourages families to join in on Thursday to hear what the most current updates and information is regarding the reopening plans. She also encourages them to contact her with any questions or concerns they may have regarding the reopening plan and/or social distancing.
“If people don’t ask questions I don’t know what I have to answer to,” Ayón said.
The public can access Winters JUSD school board meeting agendas and packets online at https://bit.ly/WintersJUSDBoardAgendaCommunitySite/.