Saturday, 06 March 2021

Putting Students First: Reopening in March

Kelseyville Unified School District Superintendent Dave McQueen. Courtesy photo.

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. – They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

A year into the pandemic, it feels like we’ve walked about a thousand miles.

For most people, this year has been somewhere between inconvenient and devastating.

For our students and staff, it certainly hasn’t been the year we hoped for, but I truly believe things are on the verge of getting better.

We’ve just received word from Lake County Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace that our elementary schools are allowed to open using a hybrid model.

At Kelseyville Unified, we will welcome K-5 students back on school campuses the week of March 8 via the hybrid model. This means students will log in for online classes Monday, March 8, and will attend classes on campus Tuesday, March 9, according to each school’s hybrid schedule.

When Lake County reaches the red tier, we will be allowed to open our secondary schools, grades 6 to 12. The exact date will be determined once we hit the red tier.

In our county, the COVID case rate is dropping and the number of people getting vaccinated is rising, both of which help improve the health of our community and speed our progress toward fully reopening schools. You can review the details at www.covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy and www.health.co.lake.ca.us/Coronavirus/COVID-19_Data.htm.

I know some people are nervous about our bringing students back on campus, and I understand that, but I believe we can provide a high degree of safety.

Part of keeping students and staff safe includes vaccinating as many people as possible as quickly as possible. We were able to offer the vaccine to all Kelseyville Unified employees, most of whom opted in. They will get their second doses between Feb. 18 and March 3.

Even those who are vaccinated will continue to maintain social distancing and wear masks. We will also maintain rigorous cleaning and disinfecting for all Kelseyville Unified School District facilities, and we will require students to adhere to safety measures for their own protection and the protection of their peers and Kelseyville Unified staff.

Part of our goal in bringing students back to the classroom is related to their academic success. Although we’ve seen some truly excellent online teaching, we know the best place for students to learn is in the classroom with their teacher and peers.

Another reason we want to bring students back to campus is related to their social development and emotional health. At school, young people learn to interact with others their age; school is a place where students learn to give and receive social and emotional support.

They also have the opportunity to engage in sports, the arts, clubs, and other hobbies where they can connect with others who enjoy the same activities they do.

According to the California Interscholastic Federation and North Coast Sections, the organizations that govern school sports, as of Feb. 1, when we’re in the purple tier student-athletes at Kelseyville High School may begin practicing for the following spring sports: cross country, tennis, swimming, golf, track and field, plus cross country. Once we reach the red tier, we can start baseball and softball.

We’re holding off on sports at Mountain Vista Middle School until we move from the hybrid model to regular school, which may not happen until next year.

I recognize that not everyone is ready to send students back to the classroom, so we will continue to offer a distance learning option for families who prefer to wait.

If you would like to learn more about how Kelseyville Unified is preparing to welcome students back to the classroom, visit our website at www.kvusd.org.

Dave McQueen is superintendent of Kelseyville Unified School District.

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13Mar
03.13.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
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