Frequently Asked Questions Pertaining to School Reopening

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  • Staff

Frequently Asked Questions:  Updated July 4, 2020

 

My children will return to the same school they attended last year. Do I need to do anything to ensure they are registered?

If you children are returning to the same school and will be participating in our hybrid option (two days face to face with their teacher and three days of distance learning), you do not need to complete any paperwork. Your child will be assigned to a classroom for the coming year when our principals return during the week of July 20, 2020.

 

I want my children to be in one of the full-time distance-learning options. What do I need to do?

On July 6, 2020, we will be posting the forms you need to complete for full-time distance learning including making a choice of the type that interests your family. These forms will be found in the Enrollment section of our website, www.westside.k12.ca.us. Once you have completed the form, please submit it as directed. The deadline for submitting your request is Thursday, July 16, 2020, by 3:30 p.m.

 

I currently attend a Westside School on a transfer from either another school in the district or from another school district. If I choose distance learning, will my child be able to return to his/her current school when schools fully reopen?

If your child attends any of our schools on a transfer and you choose a full distance-learning option, when our schools reopen your child’s seat at the school will be reserved. While this includes all schools in the district, those with the most transfers are Gregg Anderson Academy, the IDEA Academy at Cottonwood, 6th grade Honors at Hillview or Joe Walker Middle School. If you choose for your child to attend school outside of Westside Union School District and return at a later date, it will be necessary for your child to be re-enrolled in the school district. At that time, you will be assigned to your home school and may request a transfer to any of our schools based on available space.

 

My child is a current student at Leona Valley School. I understand that students will go to school there on a regular five-day-per-week schedule. Do I need to re-enroll my child to maintain my seat at the school?

If your child attended Leona Valley School through the end of the 19-20 school year, he/she remains a student at Leona Valley School for the 20-21 school year, and you do not need to re-enroll your child.

 

I would like to transfer my child to Leona Valley School for the 20-21 school year. What is the process?

Leona Valley School will serve K-6 grade students in four classes. Students that completed the 19-20 school year at that site will continue to attend the school. Some additional seats are available for transfer. If you are interested in transferring there, please complete the intra-district transfer form available on the Enrollment section of our website no later than 3:30 p.m. July 16, 2020. If more students apply than the space available, a lottery will be held to assign the remaining seats. Please note that classes at Leona Valley School are combination grades.

 

Will my children be assigned to school on the same 2 days of the week?

The site principals will make every effort to keep siblings attending the same school on the same schedule unless you make a specific request for them to be on separate schedules. If you have children in more than one of our schools, you will need to work directly with the principals to coordinate a schedule to meet the needs of your family. Our principals and secretaries will return to work during the week of July 20, 2020.

 

What if schools are able to reopen during the school year? Will we remain on this same schedule or will we be able to return to school on a more traditional schedule?

It is the goal of the Board of Trustees that our school reopen on a more traditional schedule as soon as the guidance and/or order of Los Angeles County Public Health or California Public Health advise that the threat of COVID-19 has reached a level that social distancing is no longer required and it is safe for students and staff to return to school.

 

Will other schools open more fully if there is sufficient space due to students taking the full-time distance-learning options and there being additional classroom space to socially distant the students?

The Board of Trustee’s goal is to reopen our schools following all the health orders. If there are sufficient seats available at any of our schools to reopen to five days per week, as we were prior to our closure in March, then we will reopen those schools as soon as possible.

 

Transportation is necessary for my child to attend school. If we live in a bussing zone, will bus transportation be available?

The District is part of a transportation collective with Lancaster School District and Antelope Valley Union High School District. We are working with the other districts to try to arrange transportation to and from school. Since the capacity of the bus is greatly reduced due to social distancing, it is taking time to work out the schedule. However, we are working to meet our obligation as best as possible.

 

How often will the classrooms be cleaned?

The classrooms will be cleaned at the end of each school day, and will be deep cleaned on the day (likely Wednesday or Friday) that students are not on campus.

Restrooms will be cleaned throughout the day as needed. Students will be eating with their cohort of fellow students either in their classroom or outside their classroom, but not in the cafeteria as congregate gatherings do not comply with guidance from Public Health.

Students should bring water with them to school to avoid use of the classroom or school drinking fountains.

  

Will students be required to wear face coverings at school?

Everyone on the school site will be required to wear a face covering. Staff will work with students about the safe way to handle their masks and how to take care of washing them (if that is possible). Face coverings are intended to prevent the person wearing them from spreading their germs to others. As many carriers of the Coronavirus do not show symptoms for extended periods of time, the use of masks is critical to curtailing the spread of the virus.

 

What about wearing face shields?

Face shield may be worn but a face covering will still be required. A face shield protects you from the droplets of others but does not prevent the spread of your germs to others. Some face shields are being manufactured that contain a covering around the bottom of the shield that will contain a person’s droplets and therefore, may be a complaint face covering.

 

Will children’s temperatures be taken every day? 

Each morning the temperature of the students and staff will be taken. If someone is running a fever, they will be sent home. It is important that parents do not send their children to school if they are sick, and it is equally important that if your child gets sick at school and you are contacted by the Health staff that you pick up your child promptly. These measures will help control the spread of the virus that caused COVID-19.

  

I understand that children will not be allowed to play with students from other classes. Is that the case?

Yes, students will be in class and on the grounds with the cohort of the same students throughout the day. The reason is to both control the spread of infection and to limit the potential closure of the school. If an outbreak occurs in a class, it may require quarantine for the entire class. If students were not in a cohort, it may require the quarantine for the entire school. We must work together to ensure that we do not have to close either our classes or our schools again.

 

What about after-school care for my child?

We are working with our vendors to re-establish after-school care at our school sites. We anticipate that they will be able to return if they follow all of the guidance and orders from Los Angeles County Public Health and the California Department of Public Health.

 

What about childcare on the days my child is not in school?

We know that the social-distancing requirements we must follow create hardships for our families that need to return to work or other pursuits. We are exploring every option to help address this concern over the coming weeks. We continue to work with our childcare vendors and local community resources to determine how we can provide childcare on the days that students are not in school. As more information becomes available we will share it.

 

Why did the District decide to limit classroom time to two days a week rather than develop a schedule that is five days per week but split between morning and afternoon?

When the Board evaluated various options for a reopening, their primary goal was the safety of the students and staff while maximizing in-class time. Unfortunately, numerous conditions made the idea of splitting the day unrealistic. For instance, having students in two separate sessions during the same day would require a complete cleaning of the school twice daily, which would not be realistic given the limited time between sessions. Additionally, the bussing situation would have proven even more problematic. Under the social distancing guidelines, a drastically limited number of students could be on the bus at any given time. We must share our bus system with other members of our cooperative and the split daily schedule simply would not work.

 

How does limiting in-school time to two days a week protect students, staff and the community when they are still exposed to others?

Under the reopening plan, students will be exposed to substantially fewer students as they are members of a cohort and do not have widespread interaction with others outside their cohort. The two-day classroom system will allow adequate social distancing and accommodate this cohort approach. Utilizing this strategy, along with other protective efforts (such as mask requirements, enhanced cleaning), will provide an enhanced level of safety for children, staff and the community.

 

Who actually makes the decision to restrict in-classroom instruction?

Under State law, the decisions on reopening schools is made by the individual school districts in consultation with public health officials in Los Angeles County and the California Department of Public Health. Additionally, the Los Angeles County Office of Education provides input and guidance on these decisions. While the decision ultimately rests with the District, we are obligated to follow the guidance from these other authorities. Rest assured that our ultimate goal is for students to all return to our schools as soon possible. When conditions permit a return to a more traditional classroom environment, we will eagerly move in that direction.

 

What will happen with extracurricular activities like sports and clubs when school returns?

At this point, any activity must adhere to guidance from Public Health officials. It remains unclear what activities will be permissible when school returns in the Fall. That said we would share additional guidance as it becomes available.

 

Please Remember:

All of our plans for reopening our schools are subject to the guidance/orders of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, California Department of Public Health, local orders, California Department of Education, to name a few and all working conditions are subject to collective bargaining with our labor partners.

 

Parents have asked for the names and addresses that can be contacted about changing some of the guidance/orders about the operations of schools. 
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Kathryn Barger

Los Angeles County Supervisor 5th District

500 West Temple Street, Room 869

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone (213) 974-5555

 

Dr. Barbara Farrer

Los Angeles County Director of Public Health

313 N. Figueroa Street, Room 806

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone (213) 240-8144

 

Dr. Debra Durado

Superintendent, Los Angeles County Office of Education

300 Imperial Highway

Downey, CA 90242 

Phone (562) 922-6111

 

Tony Thurman

California Superintendent of Public Instruction

California Department of Education

1430 N Street

Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Phone (916) 319-0800

 

Tom Lackey

Assembly Member 36th District

41301 12th St W Suite F, Palmdale, CA 93551

Phone (661) 267-7636

 

Scott Wilk

State Senator, 21st District

848 W. Lancaster Blvd, Suite 101

Lancaster, CA 93534

Phone (661) 729-6232

 

Governor Gavin Newsom

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone (916) 445-2841