Liberty Union High School District Board Approves Hybrid Reopening Plan, Failure Rates Concerning

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On Thursday, Superintendent Eric Volta sent out the following letter to parents after this weeks school board meeting reiterating their commitment to reopening once Contra Costa County is out of the Purple Tier as directed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

With the county in the purple tier, the District does not anticipate students returning to the classroom under a hybrid model on January 12 – but do hope to return in the third quarter.

Board Member Erick Stonebarger provided the following data on Thursday to further clarify comments he made during the meeting where he stated data is concerning on grade point averages and had concerns over graduation rates.

GPA below 1

  • 2019-337 students 4.38% of district
  • 2020-1085 students 13.9% of district

GPA below 1.99

  • 2019-1104 students 14.35%
  • 2020-2155 students 27.61%

According to Stonebarger, 27% of the students in the district failing in the first quarter even though its basically the same teachers. he highlighted its not the teachers or students who are failing, its the system that is not working.

“This is the first real data we’ve seen.  The damage that is being done is potentially significantly life changing,” stated Stonebarger.

Superintendent Eric Volta provided a further breakdown of the data where he says the data Mr. Stonebarger was referring to was the % of students at each comprehensive site in 5 core subject areas that have one or more “F’s”.

 Oct.  Q 1 2019Oct.  Q 1 2020
Freedom High School9.26%20.27%
Heritage High School6.65%13.88%
Liberty High School9.96%22.87%
   

 

Volta explained the 1,085 refers to the number of students at the above schools that have below a 1.00 GPA as compared to 337 the year prior.  Distance Learning, despite great efforts, e.g. home visits, tutorial hours, device and mi-fi check outs, parent meetings, is proving a tough place to learn.

“I truly am humbled by the efforts of many on our campuses.  Unfortunately many of the on-site and classroom supports we have in place can’t be replicated in Distance learning. This is why we were one of the first districts to have a return date for high schools. Unfortunately now we are under the “purple” and no telling when we might return,” stated Volta.

Here is a copy of his letter issued this week:


Dear LUHSD Community,

Last night the LUHSD Board approved the attached Hybrid reopening recommendation guidance. This plan is the result of incorporating the current health orders and over a month of conversations receiving input from faculty, staff, administration, and most importantly, the elected officials that represent our community, the Board of Trustees. As a result of these conversations, you will notice a few changes from the original A1, A2, B1, and B2 hybrid schedule approved in July. The proposed schedule:

  1. Keeps our A/B calendar intact to allow for movement to and from distance learning. Students will be required to attend class at school and at home.
  2. Excuses students at lunch time to discourage students from congregating unsafely.
  3. Allows full-time distance learners the choice of fully virtual learning, or to remain in their classes to prevent the Student/Teacher shuffle that would take place if all full-time distance learners were moved to a virtual school.  (A survey will be going out next week for families wishing their students to remain on full-time distance learning.)
  4. Will allow teachers to continue lesson planning in the same fashion they are doing now. Teachers will be required to, at a minimum, keep the at-home students online for 10 minutes and assign asynchronous work, but may also require the at-home students to remain online for the entire class hour depending on the lesson.
  5. Allows for face to face, and on-line interventions at the end of the day for students. Face to face tutoring must be prescheduled to guarantee safe social-distancing.

OUR first quarter grades illustrate that our students desperately need to be back on campus to take advantage of on-site interventions and to be motivated to succeed by their teachers in a classroom setting. The events of the last semester have shown just how important the ritual of going to school is to a vast majority of our students.

Obviously we have all seen the recent data of increased cases in California, and that Contra Costa, along with 40 other counties, has been placed in the Purple or Widespread tier. By Health Order, schools cannot reopen while their county is in the Purple or Widespread tier. In order to move back down to any lower tier, it will take two weeks of lower tier data. Thus, with the holiday season coming up, health officials are predicting that we remain in the Purple tier through the approved January 12th reopening date.

This being the case, we find ourselves again in a position of not knowing exactly when our students will return to school.  If we cannot open on January 12th, it is our hope to return as soon as possible in the third quarter.

Sincerely,
Eric Volta

File attachments:
COVID reopening schools 1-12-21.pdf

 

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