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MESSAGE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT July 22, 2020

Last week, I shared with you that we made the decision to begin the school year with distance learning and asked you to be prepared for distance learning to begin on August 6. I am calling to confirm that message, that distance learning will begin on August 6. We will also resume meal service for students at that time, we will have a meal schedule soon.

Last Friday the Governor announced that schools and school districts may only reopen for in-person instruction if they are located in a local health jurisdiction that has not been on the county monitoring list within the prior 14 days. If the local health jurisdiction has been on the monitoring list within the last 14 days, the school must conduct distance learning until their jurisdiction has been off the monitoring list for at least 14 days. The monitoring list is comprised of three areas: elevated disease transmission, increasing hospitalization, and limited hospital capacity. As of yesterday, our county continues to be on the monitoring list for elevated disease transmission, which is determined by the number of cases per 100,000 in the population over the last 14 days and the positive testing percentage over a 7-day period with a 7-day lag; the county, to be removed from the list in these areas, must be below 100 new cases per 100,000 or below an 8% positive testing rate. Our county does not meet the criteria for either of these areas, with 182 new cases per 100,000 and a 17.8% positivity rate.

As your superintendent, I would like our students back in school as soon as possible so, in addition to following our county data, I am also following our district’s boundary and regional data. In the past 12 days, the number of new cases in Hesperia Unified’s boundary area is 304, well above the standard set by the California Department of Public Health at 100 per 100,000. I will continue to monitor all of our data and work with public health officials to guide our reopening as soon as we have Department of Public Health approval and are able to safely do so.

In the meantime, staff is working diligently to provide the most robust distance learning possible. And, we are also preparing to provide additional services for our students as soon as we are able to partially or fully reopen our physical school sites. We are coordinating Chromebook pick-ups for our first graders and have ordered additional Chromebooks for our Kindergarten and transitional kindergarten students, though they are back-ordered and may take some time getting to us. In the meantime, we are working with elementary principals to secure enough devices for students who need them.

We are also preparing for safety measures to be in place immediately for the staff working on-site and additional measures for when we reopen our physical sites for students. We have ordered electro-static sprayers to disinfect and sanitize our sites and hand sanitizer will be in every classroom and multiple places throughout each site. The state is providing face coverings for students and staff including face shields for teachers, and additional thermometers. We have also ordered additional face covering and shields and thermometers, as well as plexiglass dividers for public areas. We are developing these and additional standards so that we may safely open as soon as possible.

I have had a few questions about our athletic programs. You may be aware that the state shut down youth sports and forced us to close our summer conditioning. On July 20, CIF issued a press release regarding the impact of COVID-19 on fall sports for the 2020-21 school year. According to the release, education-based athletics for the 2020-21 academic year will proceed with a modified schedule postponing the beginning of the traditional fall season of sports to December 2020. Each CIF section will release its own calendar to reflect regular season start and end dates along with section playoffs. Hopefully, our current situation with COVID will improve so that we can return to our athletics plan in a timely manner.

We are expecting further guidance from the County Department of Public Health and will continue to examine ways that we can provide additional support for our students. Again, I will keep you posted as circumstances change. And, thanks again for your understanding and support.


MESSAGE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT July 14, 2020


This message is from Dave Olney, Superintendent of the Hesperia Unified School District. 

Since our closing of the physical school sites on March 13, our staff has continued to prepare for the 2020-21 school year in the midst of COVID-19. It has always been my intention to fully reopen our schools as soon as we were safely able to do so. I have tracked this pandemic continuously, examining the various projection models, as well as our county and local data.

I have regularly met with local health officials and have been in contact with our local hospitals. A few weeks ago it appeared that, due to the lower incidence of COVID in the high desert, that we would be able to reopen with certain modifications and safety protocols. In the past couple of weeks unfortunately, that has changed. In the past three weeks, the number of cases in our school district community have doubled. In speaking with our local hospitals, they are beginning to implement surge plans that they did not think they would need to implement. While school-age children are not as susceptible to COVID, as of June 23 we had 21 childhood cases in Hesperia. We have already had a few employees test positive as well as a student.

A few weeks ago, our Tier 1 plan for athletics, allowing our students to condition outdoors with social distancing, was cancelled due to state restrictions. Further state restrictions have once again been put into place in our county. With the current restrictions and the cases in our community, we are unable to meet the guidelines that have been put in place for reopening schools by the Centers for Disease Control, the California Department of Public Health, the California Department of Education, and the San Bernardino County Department of Health.

I was informed by the Department of Public Health that both six-foot distancing and face coverings were necessary. We do not have the facilities, staffing, or financial resources necessary to accommodate such protocols. I am not a medical expert and I have to rely on the health experts for their guidance to keep our students and staff safe. After consulting with our San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, last night, as superintendent, I made the decision that as of today, our school year will begin August 6th with distance learning. Please know that this situation will be continuously monitored and we will make changes as soon as we are able.

There is a possibility we may delay the start of the school year and there is always the possibility that new information will arise that will help us shift to a different model. I will keep you informed of any changes that occur, and I want to assure you that any decisions that I make will be made in consultation with health officials. I will continue to coordinate efforts with the San Bernardino County Department of Health, review all options, and make the best decision I am able to make to ensure the safety of our students and staff.

In the meantime, staff is working diligently to prepare for much-improved distance learning practices. So, at this time, please be prepared for distance learning to begin on August 6 and I will inform you of any changes. Thank you for your understanding during this extremely challenging time. 


MESSAGE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT June 25, 2020

This message is from Dave Olney, Superintendent of the Hesperia Unified School District.
 

As we approach the last week of June and with the beginning of the new school year only being six weeks away, I wanted to reach out and let you know that we are continuing to work on plans for the new year. In the first week of June, the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Education released guidelines for the reopening of schools. Both documents state that these guidelines are not a one-size-fits-all and they also state that they may change.

While our community has had and continues to have COVID cases, we have not been hit as hard as other areas in our county and state. And, there is still much to be learned about the coronavirus. We are learning more about our vulnerable populations, how the virus is spread, and how we can minimize transmission. I know many of you share my desire to reopen schools, but we also know that we need to do everything we are able to do to protect our students, staff, and families to the greatest extent possible.


We are addressing personal protective equipment, cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing standards, staff training, hygiene education, and procedures and protocols for transportation, campus entry and exit, visitors, classrooms, meal service, physical education, athletics, recess and passing periods, materials and resources, illness screening, communication, and many other areas.


Throughout this planning process, we are also working closely with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health and the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools We will be prepared for the new school year, whether we have to continue with distance learning or are able to fully reopen or partially reopen in a blended learning format using both in-class and distance learning. It is my hope that we will be able to fully reopen our schools but, in the meantime, we will continue to work closely with local health officials and make an informed decision.


My goal is to have a decision to you within the next three weeks, knowing that even if that happens, we will continue to monitor this evolving situation. Next week you will see a second parent survey. I ask that our families complete the survey so that we know how you are feeling about this upcoming school year and we can hear your concerns. We want our students, staff, and families to be as safe as they can be, and we want to provide the very best education. I wish you all a safe and enjoyable summer and I will keep you updated as we get closer to the new school year.


MESSAGE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT APRIL 1, 2020

MESSAGE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY 21, 2020
This message is from Dave Olney, Superintendent of the Hesperia Unified School District. 

As every year winds down, I typically reflect on how the year has gone. I don’t think I ever could have predicted a year quite like this. That said, I am very proud of our teachers, our students, our families, and all of our support staff that have made the best of a difficult situation. Our district, who has for years has been striving to stay current with technology and developing critical thinking skills in our students, I believe was far better prepared for this crisis than most. Thank you for all of your support during this time.

It was my hope, and that of our school board, that we would have restrictions lifted in time to honor the Class of 2020 in grand fashion and in person. Unfortunately, those restrictions have not been lifted. To recognize our graduates, each high school will be having both a virtual graduation and a drive-through diploma ceremony. The virtual graduation will include our principals’ address, student speeches, and even a few special guests; and each of our graduates will be honored. I’d like to personally invite all of you to the virtual graduations that can be accessed through links we will provide on our website, the schools’ websites, and social media. Oak Hills High School’s virtual graduation will premier on May 26 at 6:00pm, Sultana High School’s virtual graduation will premier on May 27 at 6:00pm, Hesperia High School’s virtual graduation will premier on May 28 at 6:00pm. Our smaller high schools will premier their virtual graduations on May 29 with Shadow Ridge at 4:00pm, Mojave High School at 5:00pm, and Canyon Ridge at 6:00pm. I hope you are able to join us in recognizing the Class of 2020. 

I know there are many questions about our plans for the future. First, summer school for middle and high school students will continue in the distance learning format we are currently in. Elementary summer programs will also be held through distance learning. Please contact your child’s school or website for more information.

For the 2020-2021 school year, we have three teams currently working on a variety of plans. My hope is that we are able to fully reopen our schools in August. If that is the case, we have a team working on safety and cleanliness protocols to ensure students and staff remain as safe as possible. We are looking to invest in safeguards that are researched to work with the Coronavirus. Our other teams are planning for other scenarios that could occur, including improving distance learning should we be forced to return to that process. We are using public health and Centers for Disease Control guidelines, and are keeping up to date with all of the latest developments. The good news is that the high desert has not experienced COVID-19 to the same extent as our neighbors down the hill. Regardless, while I do hope to have our schools fully open on August 6th, we will take every precaution for our young people, our staff, and our community.

Once again, thank you for all of your support not just over the past couple of months, but all year long. I wish you all a wonderful and safe summer. We will continue to keep you updated on our district’s plans moving forward.

Distance Learning
During the initial closure, we have provided supplemental resources that you can use with your children. Distance learning began on April 6. You can read our plan for distance learning here:  https://5il.co/e08q


IMPORTANT LINKS:

San Bernardino County Public Health Department: http://wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/coronavirus/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Here is a new statewide portal to help essential workers find safe, reliable, and accessible child care: MyChildCare.ca.gov.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What if my child does not have a Chromebook, a textbook, or other materials he or she needs?
All secondary students should already have their Chromebooks.  If your 1st - 6th grade student did not pick up their Chromebook, please visit the Chromebook Support website to email your site to make pickup arrangements.

I need help with my Chromebook.  What do I do?
Visit our Chromebook Support website for direction.

Do I need to turn in my Chromebook?
Only if you are not planning to return to an HUSD school next year.  Visit our Chromebook Support website for direction.

Will Graduations still happen?
A virtual graduation for each site will be produced. The video will include a message from the principal, student speeches, all names being called, and pictures of every graduate, along with other elements. Release dates are as follows:
Oak Hills: May 26 - 6pm
Sultana: May 27 - 6pm
Hesperia High: May 28 - 6pm
Canyon Ridge: May 29 - 6pm
Mojave: May 29 - 5pm
Shadow Ridge: May 29 - 4pm

In addition to the virtual graduation, the high schools are planning Diploma Ceremonies. The events will be held in a drive-thru format, with students being assigned a designated time slot by alpha. The graduate will exit the vehicle, a counselor or administrator will read the graduate’s name, the graduate will walk across the stage and the principal will hand him or her a diploma. The graduate will also receive a keepsake graduation program that will include the names of the speakers for the virtual format, as well as all graduates’ names and their accolades, and information on accessing the video. 

All of the comprehensive sites are conducting the drive-thru Diploma Ceremony on June 2nd and 3rd. The alternative sites are conducting their Diploma Ceremony as follows: Shadow Ridge School on May 21, Mojave High School on May 27, and Canyon Ridge High School on May 28.

Pre-K Registration for next year

To receive an application, please see our Enrollment Page for the information you need to submit via email before an application will be mailed to you.

General Registration Questions 
Enrollment and registration for new TK through 12th grade students will take place online with your child’s school.  See our Enrollment Page for more information.

How long are we going to be closed?
In coordination with Governor Gavin Newsom, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools’ Office, and other San Bernardino County school districts, the Hesperia Unified School District will keep our schools closed through the end of the school year (May 28).  We hope to reopen for the new year as scheduled on August 6.

What are the plans for next year?
For the 2020-2021 school year, we have three teams currently working on a variety of plans. Our hope is that we are able to fully reopen our schools on August 6th. If that is the case, we have a team working on safety and cleanliness protocols to ensure students and staff remain as safe as possible. We are looking to invest in safeguards that are researched to work with the Coronavirus. Our other teams are planning for other scenarios that could occur, including improving distance learning should we be forced to return to that process. We are using public health and Centers for Disease Control guidelines, and are keeping up to date with all of the latest developments. The good news is that the high desert has not experienced COVID-19 to the same extent as our neighbors down the hill. Regardless, while I do hope to have our schools fully open on August 6th, we will take every precaution for our young people, our staff, and our community. We will continue to keep you updated on our district’s plans moving forward. You can access the student calendar for 2020-21 here.

What should I do if I am not receiving notifications from the District?
Please email your contact information to public@hesperiausd.org.  Be sure to include your student's name as well. 

What if I need transcripts?
Transcripts are available by requesting online via Parchment. They are being processed. There is no fee for current students.  Previous students will pay $3.75 per transcript.
For proof of GED, go to this website to make a request.

What do I do if I think I may have COVID-19?
Click Here for More Info

I need a student work permit. What do I do?
Please visit the page linked below for more info:
https://www.hesperiausd.org/o/husd/page/work-permit--4

Anxious about college?
Please visit the two links below for more info:
Underclassmen
Seniors

Support for Parents and Students
The California Parent and Youth Helpline provides support and resource referrals to parents and youth during the current COVID-19 pandemic, 7-days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Call or text 1-855-4APARENT (855-427-2736) for services in English, Spanish and other languages. For more information, please visit: https://caparentyouthhelpline.org/


Hello HUSD families. As we plan for next school year, we need your input on how best to meet the educational and health and safety needs of our students and families. Please complete the survey below by Friday, June 5th to help us with our planning. Thank you for your time.

Parent Survey