Dear Hickman Families, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of our students and staff over the past year and to update you on the latest information. On March 19 the Centers for Disease Control issued updated guidance to schools based on the most current studies. A key point in that guidance was that e vidence suggests that many K-12 schools that have strictly implemented prevention strategies have been able to safely open for in-person instruction and remain open. Since Hickman was open sooner than most schools, we can confirm that statement. Since reopening under a waiver in September to do hybrid learning and later fully opening in February, we have only had a few incidents in which we had to quarantine classes. The new guidance also states, a ll schools should prioritize universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing. The evidence is clear that these are the biggest factors for slowing the spread and keeping schools open. Of course kids will be kids and we are beginning to see a bit of complacency creeping in. Please help us by reinforcing proper mask wearing at school with your kids. The new guidance also reduces the spacing needed in the classroom from the original 6 ft down to 3 ft. When we opened fully in February, we received the approval from our county health department to do so with 4 ft spacing and plexiglass dividers. While we are trying to maintain as much spacing as possible, we will adhere to 3 ft MINIMUM spacing in the classroom. We will now make the plexiglass dividers optional and allow classroom teachers to decide whether they want to keep these for a time. I know this last year has been difficult, but our students have learned to adapt and be resilient in the face of adversity. They will be able to tell their own children about being a student during the Pandemic of 2020-21. Thank you again for your support and continued understanding during these uncertain times. We are Warriors! Paul Gardner Superintendent
Hickman Community Charter District Meeting of the Board of Trustees October 12, 2020 Regular Session begins at 5:30PM PUBLIC MEETING Due to social distancing requirements, our public meeting will be held online until further notice. Regular Session starts at 5:30PM and can be accessed by using the following link: Join Zoom Meeting https://us04web.zoom.us/j/75706894269?pwd=cWpMSFdKMkkwU2pTYksrQjk5czcvdz09 Meeting ID: 757 0689 4269 Passcode: Hickman All documents related to open meeting agenda items, which have been provided to members of the Board of Trustees prior to the meeting, are available for examination at the Hickman Community Charter District Office, 13306 Fourth Street, Hickman, CA the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The agenda and documents can be made available in appropriate alternative formats to persons with a disability. A request for these documents in an alternative format, or for other disability-related modifications or accommodations, including auxiliary aides or services, may be made by contacting Patti Angle at (209) 874-1816 AGENDA ATTACHED (Posted: 10/9/20 2:30 PM )
Dear Hickman Elementary Families, Stanislaus County COVID-19 infections rates have continued to drop and our preparations for having students back have gone well. Therefore, last night the school board approved our gradual return to school for Hickman Elementary under a waiver that was approved by both state and local public health authorities. Our students will start back as follows: October 12: Grades K-1 October 26: Grades 2-3 November 9: Grades 4-5 We will begin with a blend of onsite instruction and distance learning. Students will be divided into two cohorts per classroom. One cohort will attend school on Monday and Tuesday and the second cohort will attend on Wednesday and Thursday. All classes will begin at 8AM and end at 1PM with staggered arrival and departure times. Students will be distance learning when at home. Ms. Barnett will send a post to all K-1 parents with all the details you need to know later this week. All other parents will receive their information 2 weeks prior to their students' start date. Those of you that have decided not to return your students will be transferred to our Option 2 Independent Study (Acellus) Program on the date that the school opens for your grade level. Our staff will be in touch a week before that date to get you started. It is my sincere hope that we can have all of our students back with us every day soon. Until then, we believe that this measured return will allow us to better educate our students while lowering the risk of infection and the need to close school again. Sincerely, Paul Gardner Superintendent Hickman Community Charter District 13306 4th St. Hickman, CA 95323 209-874-1816 [Tuesday, Sep 29 at 12:09 PM] The Option 2 program that I mentioned for families that opt not to return now is the Acellus program.
Dear Hickman Families, The special board meeting to consider filing a waiver to open Hickman Elementary School scheduled for tonight has been postponed until Wednesday, September 9. We did this to give school staff more time to consider new information released by the state late on Friday. We will contact you with log in information at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. Thank you for your understanding. Paul Gardner Superintendent
Dear Hickman Charter Families, You have most likely heard the information that was released by numerous sources on Friday about Stanislaus County Schools being eligible to submit waivers to reopen our campus for our optional classes. Waiver submissions will be triggered when infection rates are below 200 per 100,000. These rates have been trending down steadily and are estimated to reach that rate sometime this week. While we are all excited about getting kids back on campus, below are some important details about the waiver requirements that some of those stories failed to mention. We want you to understand fully what this means. The waiver only allows for the opening of grades K-6. Grades 7-8 will not be allowed on campus for classes until the county is off the watchlist completely. Waivers may be eligible for submission in the next few days, but the approvals will take 14 days or more after that submission. After our waiver has been submitted, we will have a few weeks’ time to meet with staff and families to determine how to safely proceed and bring back our onsite classes. The waiver requires that we consult with our labor groups, parents, and other stakeholders. We will be doing that in the coming days by providing a draft of the waiver for you to review. Opening under a waiver will require strict health and safety precautions such as masks and small class sizes in order to facilitate social distancing. There are also some requirements that we need to work through with our partners at the County Health Department and County Office of Education. These include plans for regular testing of staff and contact tracing if there is an infection. Please be patient as we work through all these details. Our first priority is providing an environment that is safe and healthy for all. More to come in the next few days. Sincerely, Paul Gardner Superintendent
Love Our Schools would like to share a free resource for students and families in need of FREE wi-fi access this school year made possible by our faith-based partners in Stanislaus County! Almost every location has a Guest login while some may require a password which is included in the map if you click on their location. If you have questions, please contact our faith-based partners directly. These locations will offer wi-fi access between 8-5pm, Monday through Friday, strictly outdoors. Access inside the buildings or restrooms may not be available to the public. We ask that visitors respect church grounds and the surrounding area and most importantly follow local and state mandates to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask or face covering, washing hands and social distancing of at least 6 feet. Click HERE to visit website!
Dear Parents and Staff, I hope this post finds your family healthy and safe. There has been a lot of news and social media chatter in the last few days about the rising COVID-19 infection rates in California. Stanislaus and most of the other counties our schools serve remain on the state’s COVID-19 watch list. It was our hope to announce by mid-July our plan for opening schools in August. Given recent developments, I am afraid that we will have to delay that decision for at least 1-2 more weeks. I request your patience and flexibility as we work with the county health department to choose a way forward that balances the physical health of our students, their families, and our staff with the educational and social-emotional needs of our students. Our contingency plans continue to be in order of priority: 100% re-opening with thoughtful safeguards while providing options for those that do not feel comfortable sending their kids to school. Re-opening with an A/B schedule for in-person classes and distance learning to reduce the number of students at school at any one time. Distance Learning only. AGAIN, NO DECISION CAN BE MADE YET. I pledge to continue to keep you updated. Sincerely, Paul Gardner Superintendent
Dear Hickman Families, It is surreal sitting in my office on a beautiful Spring day and looking out at an empty campus. I am so used to seeing kids laughing, yelling, and yes sometimes screaming (K-1 kids tend to like to scream outside my window). I miss those sights and sounds. I pray that I can see them again soon. Below are a couple of things that you might be wondering. Early Start? We understand many of you have questions following Governor Gavin Newsome’s press conference on April 28 in which he suggested schools might start the 2020-21 school year as early as late July. Unless mandated, w e will not start the 2020-2021 school year early. Unlike many districts which start in mid-September, students are already scheduled to start homeschooling with Hickman Charter School on August 12. There is little to be gained by starting school earlier. School calendars take a great deal of planning and coordination; any changes would have significant implications. What will School Look Like in August? We are planning for several contingencies. The most likely situation for August is that we will be in Phase 2 of California’s Pandemic Roadmap . In this phase, schools would open but need to provide safety precautions – physical distancing, face coverings, extra cleaning and disinfecting, etc. This will have little effect on homeschooling except for our onsite and vendor classes. As you can imagine, this is impossible to separate students adequately with our onsite classes full. Therefore, we are working with staff and families to come up with the best way to keep students, their families, and staff as safe as possible. HCS Directors Ms. Reynosa and Ms. Hansen will be reaching out for input from you in the near future. The plan above is not written in stone and will be dependent on many variables. But I think it is best for us all to start thinking about it as a school community. Thank you and stay healthy and safe. Sincerely, Paul Gardner Superintendent
Dear Hickman Families, It is surreal sitting in my office on a beautiful Spring day and looking out at an empty campus. I am so used to seeing kids laughing, yelling, and yes sometimes screaming (K-1 kids tend to like to scream outside my window). I miss those sights and sounds. I pray that I can see them again soon. Below are a couple of things that you might be wondering. Early Start? We understand many of you have questions following Governor Gavin Newsome’s press conference on April 28 in which he suggested schools might start the 2020-21 school year as early as late July. Unless mandated, w e will not start the 2020-2021 school year early. Unlike many districts in the larger urban areas who start in mid-September, our students are already scheduled to return August 12. There is little to be gained by starting school 2-3 weeks prior to that date. School calendars take a great deal of planning and coordination; any changes would have significant implications. What will School Look Like in August? We are planning for several contingencies ranging from a continued closure to full opening. However, the most likely situation for August is that we will be in Phase 2 of California’s Pandemic Roadmap . In this phase, schools would open but need to provide safety precautions – physical distancing, face coverings, extra cleaning and disinfecting, etc. As you can imagine, this is impossible with full classes. Therefore, we are working with staff and families to come up with the best way to open while keeping students, their families, and staff as safe as possible. It may be that we have to create A/B schedules in which half of our students come on some days and half on other days. On their off days students would be doing distance learning or taking part in the class remotely. There are literally a dozen ways to do this. We are looking into models that show promise and will get input from you and staff before we move forward with any plans. More to come. The plan above is not written in stone and will be dependent on many variables, but I think it is best for us all to start thinking about it as a school community. I will be sending out a survey soon to get your input. Thank you, stay healthy, and remember that WE ARE WARRIORS! Sincerely, Paul Gardner Superintendent