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Fall 2021 General Updates
Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we are working to finalize our plans for the upcoming school year. If you have been following the news, you know that coronavirus cases and deaths are rising rapidly across California and in L.A. County. These conditions prompted the governor Monday to order churches and some businesses that had reopened to close.
While neither the county nor the state have issued new orders for schools, we have serious concerns about the spike in coronavirus cases and the lack of comprehensive testing and contact tracing in our communities, which have some of the highest rates of coronavirus cases in the city. After reviewing the most recent data and consulting with health officials, we do not anticipate conditions will improve in the coming weeks.
That is why Camino Nuevo Charter Academy schools will start the school year with all students on distance learning for at least the first month of school. Other school systems including L.A. Unified and San Diego Unified have announced similar plans.
We will reassess our learning model by September 10 and decide whether to continue exclusively with distance learning or if we can move to a hybrid model that allows for some students and staff to be on campus, following strict health and safety precautions, while also continuing with distance learning.
• August 10: First Day of Distance Learning Grades K-12
• August 26: First Day of Distance Learning Preschool
• September 10: Decision on Adding Option of Hybrid Model
As we navigate this crisis, we are fully committed to providing a quality instructional program while doing our best to ensure the health and safety of our students, families, and staff. For the past eight weeks, a committee made up of network and school leaders as well as teachers has met regularly to discuss how to balance these priorities and safely open schools. The group considered the academic, social, and emotional needs of our students as well as the health and safety risks associated with a full and partial opening of our campuses.
One of the biggest factors that influenced our decision to postpone opening schools was feedback from our community. About half of all the Camino Nuevo parents we surveyed in May told us that they were not comfortable sending their child(ren) to school. Another 30% said they didn’t want their child in school because a close family member at home had a compromised immune system. We are aware that teachers and staff have similar concerns. Given the data, we believe it is best to focus on providing distance learning to all students until the situation improves. I want to thank parents for participating in our survey and the reopening committee for their hard work and thoughtful recommendations.
If state and county health officials deem it is safe for schools to open in September, we are prepared to introduce a hybrid learning model that would allow for students who need in-person instruction to get it. We would follow strict safety protocols such as requiring screenings and face coverings for students and staff, limiting class sizes, keeping children in small groups at recess, and strengthening sanitizing procedures throughout the day. If it is safe, we will provide virtual and on-campus training on these safety measures for staff in August.
The decision to open schools is one I take very seriously. As a parent, I have agonized over the decision to send my own daughter to her preschool. Before deciding to do so, I needed to be certain that her school was prepared and ready to take all the necessary precautions. I hold our schools to the same high standards as my daughter’s school and expect that we will create the safest possible environment before we bring back students and staff—even if it is only a small number who opt in. Our staff, students, and families deserve nothing less.
We will also focus on ensuring that our distance learning program is stronger this year, with more synchronous, real-time instruction and support opportunities for students and staff. That’s why we will start the school year by connecting students to devices, introducing them to our expectations, and getting them excited about a new year of learning. This fall we hope to provide laptops and hotspots to all students who need them, eliminating one of the biggest barriers for distance learning.
I anticipate there are many more questions, and we will continue to share more updates as soon as we have answers. If you have questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your school leadership team.
Thank you for your support, and stay tuned for more updates.
Chief Executive Officer
Wednesday, June 24: Tentative Plan for School Reopening
Thursday, April 2: Distance Learning Extended Through June 16
Message from the CEO
In response to the escalating coronavirus pandemic and new guidance from state leaders, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy has made the decision to provide distance learning to all students for the remainder of the academic year. This means that our school campuses will not be reopening on May 1 as previously announced.
We are looking forward to seeing your children’s beautiful smiles and hearing their voices again starting Monday, April 13, the first day of remote instruction or distance learning. Before I tell you more about our plans, let me elaborate on the decision to keep our schools closed.
On April 1, both California Gov. Gavin Newson and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond urged all districts to close schools for the rest of the school year out of an abundance of caution. With the number of coronavirus cases sharply on the rise, health officials warn that the situation could get much worse if social distancing restrictions are relaxed too early. Extending these restrictions — and keeping students out of schools — is essential to slowing the spread of the virus and saving lives.
We know that prolonged school closures are an inconvenience for families and that students were looking forward to returning and celebrating the end of the school year together. However, the current circumstances require us to prioritize the safety of staff members, students, and families. That’s why our focus now is on providing distance learning to students through the remainder of the school year. We anticipate that our authorizer, Los Angeles Unified, will follow the same state guidance and extend campus closures beyond May.
I want to thank all of you for your patience and support as we navigate uncharted territory and prepare to kick off distance learning on April 13. As a reminder, our schools will observe spring break from April 6-10. While staff and students are “off” next week, I encourage all families to start preparing for this significant shift in how we will continue to teach and learn.
Distance learning is a way of providing instruction and services when students and teachers cannot meet in person at school. It will look different for students depending on their grade level, learning needs, and access to technology. As part of our planning, we made calls and sent out a survey to identify families without internet-connected devices in the home. Based on the responses we received, we will offer two options for learning. The first is paper learning packets for students who do not have internet access at home and do not require a laptop. The second is online learning for all other students who have internet access, including students who require special education services and high school students who must complete required courses for graduation and college matriculation.
Starting Monday, April 13, students with access to an internet-connected device will receive specific instructions from their teachers on assignments and expectations for distance learning. Students who require a laptop will be able to borrow one and will be contacted by their school. All other families will be able to pick up paper learning packets starting Thursday, April 16. You do not need to contact the school; your school will contact you with more details.
As we embark on distance learning, it will take some time for teachers, students and families to get comfortable to the changes. Some of our teachers currently offer assignments and activities online, but that is significantly different than moving all teacher-based instruction and learning to a remote learning environment. We are doing our best to design and implement a new way of teaching and learning at Camino Nuevo. While distance learning won’t be a substitution for in-person schooling, our goal is to do our best to meet the needs of all students so that they can remain engaged and learning through the rest of the year.
To ensure clear communication between home and school, principals and school family coordinators will be updating you through ParentSquare during this period of closure. Teachers are responsible for assigning tasks and preparing students for home instruction and will be monitoring students’ progress online and via phone. In order to maximize two-way communication, please make sure your school has your current contact information. Your child’s teacher will be in contact after spring break to help make this transition for you and your student as smooth as possible.
We anticipate there are many questions about how distance learning will work, and have done our best to answer those questions in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of our website.
Thank you for your partnership and support.
Chief Executive Officer
Tuesday, April 24: Extended School Closures and Distance Learning Plans
Message from CEO
All Camino Nuevo Charter Academy campuses are closed through at least May 1. All staff and students will be off for spring break from April 6 to April 10 as originally planned. We want to stress that this is being done out of an abundance of caution and that no students nor staff in our community have tested positive for the coronavirus.
During this time, students should remain home and continue working on assignments from their teachers. If your child has completed these assignments, there are plenty of educational resources on our website available for free. We’re looking forward to our teachers being back online next week. They will be receiving training on how to provide academic instruction to students as our schools prepare to shift to distance learning, starting, April 13. In a distance learning model, students move to mostly online learning, but still receive guidance and support from teachers.
We know there are likely many questions about distance learning. Families will get very specific information soon on how this plan will work for younger and older students and how we will provide support for families. We also understand closing schools has a tremendous impact on everyone’s lives, but we need to do what is best for the health and safety of students and staff. If you have to stay home with your children, we want to make sure you are considering the following options:
Food Resources: All Camino Nuevo families are welcome to pick up meals from the 64 Grab & Go Food Centers operated by L.A. Unified and the Red Cross. Each child can take home two meals. Open weekdays now 7-11 a.m. Find the nearest one to you here. The National Hunger Hotline 1-866-3 HUNGRY and 1-877-8 HAMBRE (1-866-348-6479 and 1-877-842-6273) refers people in need of emergency food assistance to food pantries, government programs, and model grassroots organizations that work to improve access to healthy, nutritious food, and build self-reliance.
Unemployment Insurance Flexibilities: Californians who may be missing work because of coronavirus can now apply for benefits through the state's EDD. Specific policies instituted as a result of the virus can be seen here (also available in Spanish). The department is providing workers and caregivers various options to collect payment. Sick or quarantined Californians who are unable to work as a result of the virus can file a disability insurance claim online. If you're unable to work because you're taking care of a sick or quarantined relative with COVID-19, you can file a paid family leave claim, according to EDD. Those who have had reduced hours or have lost their job due to their employer shutting down operations, can file an unemployment insurance claim. (Source: KQED)
Free WiFi Hotspots: Comcast and Xfinity announced all their hotspots are free. Comcast Free Internet Essentials broadband program gives families 60 days of free internet. To sign up, go to their website www.internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish. Visit www.wifi.xfinity.com for more information on their hotspots.
Free Educational Resources: If you want to find out about more free educational resources join the following Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/445786889466638/. Some popular websites are BrainPop, ClassDojo, Khan Academy, Kids Discovery and HippoCampus which are either free or being offered for free at this time.
Lastly please do not hesitate to reach out to us if your family needs support during this difficult time. You can contact your school’s family services coordinator or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you more updates as we have more information.
Chief Executive Officer
Sunday, March 22, 2020: Managing Stress & Talking with Children
Friday, March 20, 2020: Why We Discontinued Meal Service
Message from CEO
Today was an especially difficult and emotional day for our staff and families. It was the last day of meal service at our schools during this closure period.
We know this decision impacts many of you so I want to take a moment to explain why this decision was made. As we shared in yesterday’s robocall, this was not an easy decision but one that was necessary for everyone’s safety.
We made the decision after circumstances changed late Thursday and health officials announced a dramatic rise in coronavirus cases and ordered all residents to stay indoors as much as possible.
We also carefully considered the stricter social distancing requirements and guidance from health officials, which limit how many people can be outside and how far apart people should be from each other. These requirements made it nearly impossible for us to ensure everyone’s safety while continuing to serve food. Simply put, the risk was too high for our staff members and you, our families.
L.A. Unified and the Red Cross have taken extra measures to protect staff and visitors at the Grab & Go Food Centers. These centers are open weekdays from 7-10 a.m. and all families are welcome. If you must go for food, please take every precaution, including keeping a distance of at least six feet apart from others. You can find the nearest center to you here. The locations are also posted outside our school entrances.
I want to applaud everyone from our schools who volunteered to distribute nearly 7,000 meals this week. I am so proud and inspired by their dedication and commitment to our scholars and families. This week, custodians also began deep cleaning and disinfecting classrooms, cafeterias, and other parts of our schools. They will continue cleaning through next week.
We will miss seeing you after this week, but we will remain touch and get through this moment together. By Tuesday, March 24, families will get an update with our plans for the weeks ahead and what you can do to prepare.
If you haven’t already, please complete the technology survey here and download the ParentSquare app on your phone so you stay informed. You can also find more support on our website, including resources on mental health and helping your child learn at home. For questions or concerns, you can respond to this message and one of us will get back to you soon.
Thank you for your patience and flexibility while our schools remain closed.
Chief Executive Officer
Friday, March 13: All Camino Nuevo Schools Closed March 16-17
Message from CEO
In response to the widening coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Los Angeles public schools, including all Camino Nuevo Charter Academy campuses, will be closed starting Monday through March 27.
While no individuals in our school communities have tested positive for COVID-19, these citywide school closures are necessary to slow the spread of the virus and minimize the risk to staff members and students.
Camino Nuevo has been preparing for a safe, orderly closure of schools. We recognize that closings will upend lives, disrupting daily routines, particularly for those of you with limited childcare options. But our priority during this unpreceded public health emergency is keeping all students and staff members safe.
While schools are closed, our goal is to ensure the continuity of learning. Teachers have prepared packets with readings and other activities for students to complete at home while school is closed. You will receive a notification through Parent Square with more information, including when and how to obtain a print version of the packet for students without internet access at home.
Our schools plan to provide grab-and-go meals for students who need them. We will send an update about this as well once we have consulted with local school and health officials and know when and how these meals will be distributed.
All families will be notified in advance about reopening times before March 27. Before schools reopen, trained staff will clean and disinfect school facilities, including classrooms, cafeterias, restrooms and other common areas. If closings need to be extended beyond March 27, we will notify you as soon as possible.
It is important we come together as a community and support one another during this time. Listen to facts and avoid responding to fear. Monitor official sources of information, including www.publichealth.lacounty.gov and www.cdc.gov, and continue to practice general infection prevention measures.
Older adults and people with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease, are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you or anyone in your family starts experiencing symptoms, please call your primary care doctor. If you do not have one, call 211 and they will direct you to one.
Go to our main website for more critical updates and resources. If you have additional questions during school closings, please direct them to us at email@example.com.
Thank you for your partnership and understanding as we emerge from this much stronger.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020: Schools Remain Open, Out-of-School Field Trips and Travel Suspended
Message from CEO
Today (March 11) the L.A. County Department of Public Health confirmed the first coronavirus-related death and six new cases, including the county’s second case of community transmission. None of these cases involve students or adults who work in schools.
Public health officials have recommended that schools in the county remain open but take more stringent measures to limit the risk to students, staff, and families.
Given these developments and out of an abundance of caution, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy schools are taking the following additional precautions:
Out-of-School Travel: All out-of-school travel plans for staff and scholars are postponed through April. This includes travel outside a Camino Nuevo school for field trips, internships, community service, sporting events, college visits, conferences, and professional development. Schools will continue to hold staff meetings/professional development and other instructional and enrichment school-based activities as usual. Your school will send notices about upcoming events and field trips that have been canceled.
Visitor Screenings: We continue to welcome visitors and families on our campuses. However, schools are limiting visitors by not allowing those with symptoms of fever and/or respiratory infection or who have traveled recently to coronavirus-impacted countries. If it becomes necessary to postpone upcoming events involving families, your school will notify you.
Health and Wellness: Teachers and staff with any fever and/or respiratory infection symptoms should not come to work. Teachers and staff should self-screen (i.e., check themselves for subjective fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as cough) for respiratory infection symptoms each morning before interacting with students. If students or staff have symptoms of respiratory infection, stay home and notify your school.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020: Schools Remain Open, Cleaning High-Touch Objects and Surfaces
Message from CEO
Today (March 10) the Los Angeles Board of Education moved to declare a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak. This decision is a precaution, not cause for panic. It frees up resources for district and charter schools and gives Supt. Austin Beutner the authority to respond to the outbreak more swiftly and close schools, if necessary.
At the moment, LAUSD has no plans to shut down schools. That means our schools will remain open and all school-based events, services, and activities for students and staff will continue as planned. As a reminder, our schools are closed Friday for staff professional development.
I understand that concern is growing as we see in the news how coronavirus has affected other parts of the world and is spreading here at home. That is why we are taking preventative measures to protect the health and safety of students and staff.
Our custodial teams are working extra hard to keep schools clean. They are using virus and bacteria-killing disinfectants to scrub down common areas and frequently-touched surfaces like desks, tables, door handles, and restroom fixtures. We are also keeping every campus stocked with cleaning supplies and disinfectants.
In addition, we continue to encourage everyone to follow these practices that have proven effective in curbing the spread of viruses:
If you or your child are sick, stay home and notify the main office.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Cover your cough or sneeze.
As we move forward, it is important to keep things in perspective and make sound, data-based decisions. As of Tuesday, L.A. County had 20 confirmed cases of the virus and none of those involve patients with connections to schools. All patients with the virus are in isolation, according to public health officials.
We will continue to monitor this fluid situation and follow the guidance from LAUSD, our authorizer, and the L.A. County Public Health Department which includes updating our contingency plans should Supt. Beutner order school closings. If that happens, we will follow our school safety plans and promptly share information with you.
If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your school and continue to monitor official sources for accurate and up-to-date information, including www.cdc.gov and publichealth.lacounty.gov.
Chied Executive Officer
Thursday, March 5, 2020: Follow Good Hygiene Practices to Stay Safe
Regularly washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and avoiding unnecessary touching of eyes, nose, or mouth after washing.
Covering sneezes and coughs with a tissue or sleeve, not hands.
Staying home when you or child are sick. If your child develops a fever, a cough, or has difficulty breathing, please keep them home and seek medical attention.
Please feel free to reach out to your school’s main office if you have any other questions. You can also reach out to your health care provider or the LA Department of Public Health at (888) 397-3993.
Thank you for partnering with us to keep all of our scholars, families, and staff healthy.
Chief Executive Officer