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Straight Talk With The Superintendent

In an effort to provide the most comprehensive and accurate information regarding the fluid situation concerning students in the Oakdale Joint Unified School District, The Oakdale Leader will collect pertinent and timely questions for Superintendent Marc Malone to address for the community. The Oakdale Leader will dedicate space every week as needed to address the community’s questions and concerns.


1). Now that the school board has voted to approve the hybrid learning model for a tentative return date of Jan. 4 for the secondary school sites, what kind of preparations are underway at the campuses to accommodate the new safety protocols?

The reopening plans for each secondary site has been posted on their respective website for public review. The safety protocols in place for the secondary schools is very similar to those followed at the elementary sites. The sites will stagger release times and coordinate paths of travel to provide opportunity for proper social distancing. Face coverings are mandatory and we will continue to stress proper hygiene. One noticeable difference is that students will clean and sanitize their work space (desk) at the end of each period because they will be changing classes. Additional staff will be brought in during the day to clean frequently touched surfaces. Sites will be deep cleaned nightly to be ready for the next school day.


2). Will there be additional resources available for students who might need more than one class period of in-person instruction? Will there be an opportunity to schedule more one-on-one time with teachers if a student is struggling?

To properly represent the content of our 7-12 Reopening Model we are no longer going to refer to the afternoon instruction period as “Office Hours.” That title has proved to cause some confusion. That block of time will now be referred to as “Guided Instruction” in our plan. Guided Instruction in the afternoon will be used to strategically address course content. Both cohorts of students will have access daily to the course specific guided instructional blocks of time. This affords all students significant daily contact with their teachers and provides the flexibility needed to meet the needs of students at all academic skill levels. In addition, the utilization of these academic blocks will provide support and instructional time to students that may be struggling in a specific subject. The public can refer to the document titled “OJUSD 7-12 Hybrid Schedule Supporting Success for All” on the district website to read the clarification on this topic.


3). With Stanislaus County returning to the purple tier, at what point will the district decide to postpone the return to campus for the secondary school sites?

The entire community can track this process by viewing the “California Blueprint to a Safer Economy.” This website is developed by the California Department of Public Health and clearly shows the latest trends in the virus. At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least three weeks before moving forward. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. Once the county reaches the lower tier it must then meet the qualifying criteria of that tier for two consecutive weeks. When this occurs, secondary schools can open. By monitoring the data and using the guidance we should be able to predict an opening date as we move into the month of December. Of course, any opening date will be communicated with advance notice.


4). Are there any updates on current cohort quarantining?

The community can view the current number of active cases of COVID-19 in the district, by viewing the COVID-19 Dashboard that is posted on our district website. The active case information is updated each Thursday.