In a letter posted on the Rim of the World Unified School District’s website on Friday, Feb. 19, the district announced the return of elementary school students to in-person classes:
During the Rim of the World Unified School District’s board meeting on Feb. 18, many comments were shared on the topic of returning students to in-person instruction. This was consistent with our most recent parent survey, in which 70 percent of parents stated they would like their student(s) to return to in-person instruction. This is a priority for the district as well.
In Governor Newsom’s elementary school reopening plan, a county needed to maintain a COVID case rate of less than 14 per 100,000 people for five consecutive days. As of Feb. 17, San Bernardino County met that goal.
The second requirement by the state is for school districts to have an updated safety plan approved by the county Department of Public Health.
The district has updated its safety plan to include the availability of weekly COVID testing for staff and students. Unless changed by state legislators, testing is optional.
The district has also partnered with Mountains Community Hospital to make vaccines available to district employees. However, San Bernardino County is only able to supply a limited number of vaccines. Many employees are getting vaccinated at various locations. Like COVID testing, vaccination is not required.
Since the two primary requirements have been met, ROWUSD has announced that elementary schools (grades TK-5) will reopen in a hybrid model on Monday, April 12, 2021. [Under the hybrid model, half the students will be in school on Monday and Tuesday, the other half on Thursday and Friday.]
Parents can choose to have their children return to school or remain in distance learning/Home Choice. The district and labor partners are collaborating on measures to ensure that students and staff are safe upon student return. Parents can begin picking up personal protective equipment (PPE) on Wednesday, March 31 at their children’s elementary school.
In anticipation of reopening schools, the district has been implementing staggered opportunities for students to return to in-person instruction. Preschool returned to campus in February, and specific special education classes will begin in-person instruction on March 1, 2021. Elementary schools will have specialized cohorts return in mid-March.
Additionally, certain high school sports have been allowed to participate in athletic conditioning per California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) guidelines. CIF also permitted specific sports to compete. Rim High School’s cross-country team was the first team to do so. Further, secondary cohorts such as advanced placement science and ceramics were able to come to school to complete projects they are unable to do at home. Finally, Rim of the World High School seniors will be able to participate in some end-of-the-year activities thanks to Amanda Markovich, Stephanie Phillips, Kristil Cobb and the PTSA.
We encourage parents, staff and the community to reach out to their local state legislators to advocate for our students. School districts are still operating under a proposed plan that has yet to be passed at the state level. The near-weekly changes have made it difficult for school districts to meet their requirements. Even as we wait for a final plan, Rim of the World Unified School District will continue to provide the best education possible for our students.
Links for additional information include:
ROWUSD COVID Safety Plan: https://www.rimsd.k12.ca.us/domain/924
CDPH Reopening School Guideline Summary with additional links: https://www.casbo.org/cdph-releases-updated-covid-19-and-reopening-in-person-instruction-framework-guidance/
February Survey Results from Employees and Parents: https://www.rimsd.k12.ca.us/domain/933