A Message from our Superintendent
Dear Parents and Community:
I hope this finds you and your family safe and well.
We begin the new school year in the place none of us wanted to be - with our kids still not able safely to return to normal on-campus learning. It goes without saying how disappointed we all are that we cannot welcome the kids back. We know the educational impact, especially on our youngest and neediest learners, will not be positive. We know Distance Learning can never fully take the place of a caring professional teacher helping a student in person. We know this creates massive child care problems for families. We know our kids want desperately to be back with their friends. We also know we have to be safe, and to do so we have to follow the guidance and mandates from the SLO County Public Health Department.
The 2020-21 academic school year begins August 20. We are working to receive permission to have (at least for TK-5) some kind of opportunity for students and parents to meet their new teacher in person for at least a few moments. We are “test driving” new technology to allow for access from home to the daily lessons with live interactive video as well as the capacity to view a recording of the daily lesson later in the evening when parents are home from work and able to help their children with school.
Classroom instruction will originate from the teacher’s classroom, not from the teacher’s home. Much training and access to additional support for technological issues as well as added instructional assistance are coming into place. Distance Learning will be significantly improved over what we had to piece together last March. Every child will have a Chromebook. District capacity to support technology is being upgraded significantly. I will never retreat, however, from the personal and professional belief that the clear majority of students need to be back in school ASAP, safely, as determined by the SLO County Department of Health. Finding that balance of a swift but safe return is our challenge, and we work toward that goal every day. Whatever we do will be fully approved by the Public Health Department, and regulations for safety such as wearing of masks will be strictly enforced as required by law.
We have attempted to keep you informed of particular issues and answer frequently asked questions on our Wednesday evening PRJUSD YouTube broadcasts. Nate Maas, Director of Student Services, has personally responded to over 3,000 emails. We invite your continued input and suggestions for guest presenters on Wednesdays. We have previously featured Special Education, Food Services, Nursing and Instruction. Georgia Brown and the Dual Immersion program will be the first of individual site presentations. You can see all of the broadcasts here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTG5DZtaQn-Mo3IGcohE2Mw
Please rest assured that the District has over 800 employees who are committed to educating your children safely no matter what happens. None of this is “fair” and our solutions will likely never be totally “fair.” We do seek your cooperation, understanding, and support as we all struggle with these unprecedented times.
Curt Dubost, Superintendent