Dear Ojai Unified Families,
On Tuesday, October 6th, Ventura County Public Health (VCPH) announced that Ventura County had moved into the red tier for COVID monitoring. If the county remains in this category for 14 days, Ventura County schools will be allowed to reopen campuses on October 21, if they can meet strict health and safety guidelines.
On Wednesday, October 7th, the district held a special Board Meeting as a result of the VCPH announcement. You can watch the recorded discussion here.
Based on feedback from staff, data from our parent survey, and our ability to comply with the health guidelines, we have developed the following plan:
Families with elementary students will have an option to return to campus on November 2, or choose to remain in a modified version of distance learning or homeschool. We are still working on many of the specific details and are scheduling Town Hall meetings the week of October 19th to provide you with further details.
Matilija and Nordhoff will remain in distance learning through the first semester (January 22). While we all want to return to campus together, this decision was made based on a variety of factors, including:
- The lack of available space in many of our secondary classrooms to accommodate the required 6-foot social distancing, even in an A/B model
- The fact that students would attend multiple classes in a day, and one confirmed case or exposure could require the quarantining of hundreds of students and multiple teachers
- The disruption to learning this semester that would occur if we transitioned to a different learning model mid-semester
- Ventura County Public Health guidance that would limit our ability to implement some electives, such as Band
Although disappointing, this decision will keep our students and staff safe while maintaining the best learning environment possible. In order to mitigate the social impact for students, we are working with both schools to develop small group opportunities for students to be on campus with their peers, while following all safety guidelines. These options may include tutoring, social opportunities, lab experiences, athletics, and clubs. You will be receiving more information from your site as these are developed.
Chapparal, Summit, and A Place to Grow will all continue with a modified return to campus.
Finally, as our 2020/21 Instructional Calendar has changed, we want to remind our families that Monday, October 12th is a school day, and not a teacher in-service day. For the updated 2020/21 Instructional Calendar please click here for English and here for Spanish.
I know that this year has many ups and downs, and living with uncertainty is hard for all of us. Every staff member in our district is doing their best to ensure that we serve our students and families through this transition. “Our present circumstances don’t determine where we can go; they merely determine where you start.”— Nido R. Qubein
We appreciate your support as we travel this road together.
Dr. Tiffany Morse, Superintendent