Letter from Superintendent Jeremy Decker
Monday, November 16, 2020
Jeremy Decker Superintendent
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Eric Heitz Stephanie Ahmad Bill Adams Rich Carnation George R Valenzuela
Lois Standring Chief Business Officer
Lisa Saxon Director of Educational Services
Kathryn Hill Director of Special Education
Chris Canelake Director of Human Resources
Brad Rigney Instructional and information Technology Services Director
Windsor Unified School District 9291 Old Redwood Highway Building 500 Windsor, CA 95492-9217 P: 707.837.7700 F: 707.838.4031 www.wusd.org
Dear Windsor Unified School Community,
I’m sorry that it has been so long since my last communication. I have been itching to send something home for a couple of weeks now, but have been holding off with the hope that I would have more information regarding the plans for in-person instruction. Luckily now, after a great meeting with our teacher’s union this week, I do.
As a reminder, our school district has made the decision to continue with distance learning through winter break regardless of what tier we are in. Be that as it may, there has been a considerable amount of planning that has taken place over the last month by our staff as we prepare for in-person instruction when possible after winter break.
For the next few sections, I have to warn you that I am going to get into the “weeds” a bit.
Please bear with me as I think many of you will find these more detailed considerations
COVID-19 Tiers Explanation:
The state has developed a four tier system that allows counties to be responsive and loosen and tighten restrictions on activities as needed based on how widespread COVID is in their community.
Purple Tier 1Widespread: many non-essential business operations are closed.
Red Tier 2Substantial: some non-essential business operations are closed.
Orange Tier 3 Moderate: some indoor business operations are open with modifications. Yellow Tier 4 Minimal: most indoor business operations are open with modifications.
Under the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, every county in California is assigned to a tier based on the following metrics:
New Cases per 100,000 per day
Overall Testing Positivity
Testing positivity in lowest quartile of Healthy Places Index
The Sonoma County Office of Education created the following videos to help explain the tiers, and what it means to be Getting Ready for the Red Tier (Spanish Version).
Brooks Elementary School – Cali Calmécac Language Academy – Mattie Washburn Elementary School North County Consortium Program – Windsor High School – Windsor Middle School Windsor Oaks Academy – North Bay Met Academy
Current Metrics for Sonoma County:
Sonoma County unfortunately continues to be placed in the most restrictive purple tier due to our high rate of new cases per 100,000 per day. Below you can see the Current Metrics for Sonoma County. Please keep in mind that we are placed in our tier based on our “worst” data.
Windsor’s Plans for Reopening In-Person Instruction:
The district is planning for a phased in approach to reopening schools. We have planned for a 7 phase reopening based on the metrics that I have mentioned above. The phases are as follows:
Phase 1: Special Education Classes: NCC, ED, SDC
Phase 2: English Learners (1’s and 2’s)
Phase 3: Foster youth, youth experiencing homelessness, and other high needs students
Phase 4: Grades TK/K
Phase 5: Grades 1-2
Phase 6: Grades 3-5
Phase 7: Grades 6-12
time. Instead, they will be phased in based on the aforementioned metrics above. As our metrics improve, we will bring more students back. The table below provides the specific metrics that will need to be met in order for each group to return to in-person instruction:
1-5 will happen when we enter into the red tier, but they will not all happen at the same
NCC, ED, SDC
6.5 7.5% 7.8%
English Foster, homeless, Grades Learners high need students TK/K
6.0 5.5 5.0 7.0% 6.5% 6.0% 7.3% 6.8% 6.3%
Grades 1-2 4.5 5.5% 5.8%
Grades 3-5 4.0 5.0% 5.3%
Grades 6-12 3.5 4.5% 4.8%
Adjusted Case Rate
Positivity Rate- County
Health Equity Quartile
This can be a bit confusing, but I will attempt to explain the above table and how it works by outlining when we would be bringing back English Learners for in-person instruction. English Learners will return for in-person instruction once
the metrics in the above table are realized.
Currently, the “Positivity Rate” and “Health
Equity Quartile” in Sonoma County have already
been met, but the reason that English Learners are
unable to return is because the Sonoma County
“Adjusted Case Rate” is far from being met. It is
currently 11.5, and we have identified 6 as the
threshold for bringing this phase back for in-person instruction. As soon as all the thresholds have been met, we plan to bring back that group of students for in-person instruction. When students do return for in-person instruction they will have to abide by a number of rules that will be shared at a later date (wearing facial covering, washing hands, etc.). Please know that should you wish to keep your child on distance learning, you will be able to do so for the entirety of the school year.
Coronavirus Cases Are Currently Spiking
There may be a chance that we reopen at some point in the future because the metrics have improved, but after some time have to close again because the metrics take us back to the purple tier. This is currently occurring in a number of places around us as coronavirus cases are currently spiking. Many of our surrounding Counties are currently backsliding to a more restrictive tier, or in danger of backsliding to a more restrictive tier:
Napa: Orange tierRed tier (in danger)
Santa Clara: Orange tierRed tier (in danger)
Contra Costa: Orange tierRed tier
Solano: Red tierPurple tier
All of this is to say that we don’t know what the future holds, but we are making sure to do our best to plan for everything that we can.
I have said it before, and I will say it again...thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this very difficult situation. We will continue to do our best to balance the educational needs of our students with the safety of our students, staff, and families.
Please continue to give yourselves, and everyone else around you, as much grace as possible. Sincerely,
Windsor Unified School District
Adjusted Case Rate
5.3% 7.3% 7.0%
Health Equity Quartile