2/24/21 Superintendent Letter Regarding Opening of Schools Information and Survey

February 24, 2021

Dear Rowland Families:

I want to thank you again for all that you are doing to support your child’s learning during this difficult time. We greatly value the ability to work together in support of our students and families.

The health and safety of our staff and students remains our top priority. I am extremely proud of the work our dedicated maintenance and operations team has done to prepare for when we are able to safely welcome our students back to campus. Improvements include upgrades to classroom ventilation systems; furniture arranged to ensure physical distancing with individual plexiglass dividers on student desks; water fountains with touchless bottle filling stations; hand sanitizer stations in all classrooms, offices, restrooms, and common areas; clearly marked social distancing pathways and signage throughout campuses; and improved cleaning protocols including the use of the Clorox 360 disinfectant systems.  

Following Governor Newsom’s Safe Schools for All announcement on December 30, there has been a great deal of conversation about students returning to in-person instruction. On the federal level, President Biden has shared his national goal of having students return to in-person learning within his first 100 days in office. At the state level, Assembly and Senate representatives have been working with the Governor to reach an agreement regarding reopening schools. At this time, all conversations are focused on providing the opportunity for in-person learning for students at the elementary level. 

Monitoring COVID-19 case rates is one important element in the overall safety of our communities and the school reopening process. There is encouraging news that the COVID-19 case rates in Los Angeles County are declining. As a result, recently, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced elementary schools are eligible to reopen when case rates fall below 25 cases per 100,000. In addition to lower case rates, reopening requires compliance with additional criteria which is currently the subject of proposed legislation in Sacramento as mentioned above. 

Additionally, school employees have a strong interest in being vaccinated before reopening for in-person instruction. We have entered into a partnership to support our employees with receiving the vaccine as soon as it is available. As of today, availability of the vaccine for school district employees is anticipated to begin in early March.  

As we review the latest available information from health and state officials, we will remain in the Virtual Classroom distance learning model until further notice. However, to guide our future planning, we would like your input. A brief survey will be sent to you this week to gather your interest regarding in-person or virtual classroom learning for your child(ren) as an important component in considering Spring school reopening. While we are asking for input from all grade levels, based on current restrictions reopening is being explored only for elementary grades, TK-6 at this time. The ability to resume in-person instruction at the secondary level, grades 7-12, has not yet been granted.  This survey will be used to assist us with our planning and to enable us to better understand the interests of our parents as it relates to in-person or virtual classroom learning for your child(ren). Your feedback on this quick survey will not be binding. Instructionally, parents will continue to have the option to have their child participate in in-person learning or remain all virtual.

We will continue to stay connected with you. Please do not hesitate to contact your school if you have any questions or need any support during this challenging time. While we are physically distant, we remain socially connected and are here to serve our students and families.  

With Gratitude,

Dr. Julie Mitchell


Rowland Unified School District