CUSD Families, As you may be aware, new cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County are continuing a downward trend, which is good news for reopening campuses for in-person instruction. Current estimates are that the numbers will decrease sufficiently to allow reopening of elementary schools (PreK-6) in early November. Please note that this estimate is based on current data and could change if conditions change. Secondary schools (7-12) will take longer to reopen safely, as their potential for the spread of illness is higher due to much larger student populations and intermingling of students changing classes multiple times each day. In reopening campuses, the safety of students, staff, and families will remain our top priority. CUSD will adhere to protocols and procedures recommended by state and local health officials to prevent the spread of illness, including frequent cleaning and sanitizing of buildings and surfaces, routine hand-washing/hand-sanitizing, and social distancing. More information on these measures is forthcoming next week. To allow for social distancing, a staggered, or “hybrid,” schedule will be necessary to minimize the number of students on campus at a time, beginning when elementary schools reopen. Students will attend school in one of two groups: GROUP A - Monday and Thursday; OR GROUP B - Tuesday and Friday Families will be notified next week of their child(ren)’s group assignment. All students within a household will attend school on the same days. On the days they are not at school for in-person instruction, students will participate in distance learning. We know you are likely to have questions in the coming weeks. Please continue to check ParentSquare for updates. In the meantime, if your child is struggling academically or has social-emotional needs that are not being met, please keep in mind that CUSD has additional resources available to support students and families during distance learning. Please reach out to your child’s teacher or school. Thank you for persevering through extraordinarily challenging times. We are looking forward to seeing students back in classrooms as soon as safely possible. Sincerely, Scott Siegel, Ed.D. Superintendent
CUSD Families, The ASES team has assembled another round of fun and creative activities that families can do with children after daily learning. Among the October activities are yarn monsters, clothespin bugs, and a marshmallow launcher! Instructions for these and more are attached. October also brings parent-teacher conferences for grades PreK-8. They're virtual this year, but as important as ever for discussing students' progress, strengths, and needs. Attached are tips for making the most of this time with teachers.
CUSD Families, The FACTOR Parent Academy is a five-week course that helps families support their children's educational journey by providing practical information on topics including: Social, emotional, and physical development Navigating the educational system Resources for becoming college and career ready This year's virtual program will also address distance learning support and information on reopening schools. Classes begin Tuesday, October 20 at 6 p.m. For more information and the ZOOM links, please see the attached flyer. To register, please click the Registration Form .
CUSD Families and Staff, The Ceres Learns podcast has returned for the 2020-2021 school year with a new co-host, Deputy Superintendent Denise Wickham, joining Superintendent Scott Siegel for a monthly Q&A on education topics. Episode 1 is a distance learning and reopening update available HERE or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or iHeart Radio. For prior episodes or transcripts in English and Spanish, please visit our podcast page . Also now available is the second episode in the "Equipping Children to Thrive" parent webinar series, titled "Understanding My Child's Behavior." Watch in English or Spanish HERE (be sure device volume is on). Wishing all of our families and staff a pleasant weekend!
CUSD Families, Our ASES staff has put together four weeks of fun and creative activities that families can do with children after daily learning. Ever make a butterfly out of coffee filters, a bunny out of socks, or a monster out of a paper bag? Those are just a few of the activities you'll find in the attached instructions. On Saturday, Sept. 19, El Concilio will host free drive-through dental screenings for children ages 2-17, between the hours of 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at 1314 H Street, Modesto. If interested, please see the attached flyer and register at (209) 523-2860.
CUSD Families, Recently, we were excited to announce that, in addition to breakfast and lunch, children 18 and younger could also receive supper during daily CUSD meal pickups. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which regulates child nutrition programs, provided new guidance today that reverses this action, effective immediately. We are deeply disappointed that, beginning tomorrow (Sept. 9), supper will no longer be provided. However, all children 18 and younger may still receive breakfast and lunch 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. daily at CUSD schools except Argus/Endeavor, Hidahl, La Rosa, Patricia Kay Beaver, and Whitmore Charter. No student ID is required and children need not be present. Thank you for your understanding.
CUSD Families, We are excited to share that all children 18 and under now have access to supper through CUSD's meal distribution program during distance learning! Breakfast and lunch pickup will continue to be available from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. weekdays for students enrolled in a CUSD school (student must be present or parent must have Student ID card or number). In addition, supper is now available for any child where breakfast and lunch pickups are offered (no ID required). We are also excited to introduce a new resource, the "Thrive" Parent Webinar Series. This five-part series is designed to help families equip their children with tools, skills, and behaviors that support growth and well-being in all facets of life, including academics. See Episode 1, "Structure, Limits, and Routines," HERE in English or Spanish (be sure device volume is on). New episodes will be released monthly through December on topics that include communicating with kids, coping with stress, and fostering resilience.
CUSD Families, I would like to address a topic that has made the press over the last day or so. Let me start by stating that I am committed to proceeding with extreme caution in regard to any action on this topic. Stanislaus County is on the state’s COVID watch list. To come off the watch list, there are criteria that must be met, including the number of new cases, which should be under 100. (This is different than the number of newly confirmed cases each day as reported in the media. If you are interested in the criteria and how the numbers are calculated, here is a link https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/COVID19CountyDataTable.aspx .) Stanislaus County currently is at 287. If we drop below 200, school districts will be permitted to apply for waivers to allow limited numbers of students to return for in-person instruction at grades TK-6. The Stanislaus County Health Services Agency announced yesterday that the county is dropping at a rate that might allow waivers to be submitted by the end of August. This information has been shared through some social media channels in a manner that could easily be misconstrued as advocating for a rapid reopening. I want to assure you that CUSD is not going to rush into any action in this regard. While we will begin to explore what a waiver might look like for our district, I am cognizant of several factors. Our stakeholders (parents and staff) need to be involved. I am concerned about a rush to reopen similar to what occurred in our society in May that led us to the situation we are in now. I am not convinced that the number of new cases, testing and contact tracing are indicative of reopening at this time. I also want to be very appreciative of the fact that changing our distance learning model to include limited in-person instruction might lessen the effectiveness of what we are doing. With all of that said, I also know that we want to see our students back in classrooms. Balancing these competing interests demands that we proceed cautiously and thoughtfully. Please know that the safety and best interests of our students and staff will drive this planning. We may also proceed more slowly than other districts. As we navigate the planning process, I would rather be careful than fast. Thank you for your understanding and patience. Scott Siegel Superintendent
Good evening CUSD Parents, Preschool enrollment for the 20-21 school year is continuing through the summer. Please call us at 556-1545 or visit our web page http://www.ceres.k12.ca.us/cms/One.aspx?portalId=5439732&pageId=5983358 for more information.
CUSD Families and Staff, the 2019-2020 Report to the Community offers a snapshot of the recently completed school year. The report is now available HERE . Have a safe and pleasant weekend. (LEAPS & BOUNDS Coffee Bar was recognized in this issue!)