Tag Archives: In-person learning

Benicia School Superintendent: Goal to begin in-person learning on March 22

Update from Superintendent Dr. Young 2/11/2021

Dr. Charles F. Young, Superintendent, Benicia Unified School District

Dear Community and Staff,

As we head into the four-day weekend, Monday being President’s Day and an opportunity to pause and reflect on the long lineage of presidents in our great country, I wanted to provide a quick update on matters related to in-person learning.

In-person Learning Review:  During the January 14 Board meeting, the Trustees voted to remain in distance learning through March 19, 2021, with the desire to return to in-person instruction, implementing the approved hybrid learning plan, on March 22, 2021, which is the first day of the 4th quarter, State rules permitting.

The good news is recent COVID-19 case rate data is showing positive signs of trending in the right direction in the three primary categories:  New COVID-19 positivity rates per day per 100k, positivity rate (7 day average) and ICU availability.

Please use the following link for detailed COVID-19 data.  Hover your cursor over Solano County for our data. https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/)

As a follow-up to the February 4th Board meeting, the Trustees asked that we explore options related to small group, in-person instruction before the implementation date of the larger hybrid plan mentioned above.  We will be discussing this item at the upcoming Board meeting on Thursday, February 18th.

Safety Plans:  Since the January 14th Board meeting, the State established a new requirement called the COVID-19 Safety Plan, which consists of a COVID-19 Prevention Program and COVID-19 Guidance Checklist.  Districts are required to submit this plan to the County Health Director for approval before heading back to K-6 grades in-person hybrid learning.  Fortunately, we worked very closely with our two unions earlier in the year and passed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU’s), which outline, in considerable detail, the required safety elements for in-person instruction.

Most, if not all, of the safety requirements are included in the MOU’s and we were able to transfer them to the COVID-19 Prevention Program which is nearing completion for submission.  Please find the COVID-19 Prevention Program linked here.  If you have any feedback or comments, please email them to Dr. Gill, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources:  kgill@beniciaunified.org.

Vaccine:  Although the COVID-19 vaccination is not required for in-person learning, the enhanced protection and sense of safety it provides, is obvious.  The main challenge, as per Dr. Matyas, the Solano County Health Director, and who presented at the last Board meeting of February 4th (recording), centers on the demand for the vaccine being greater than the supply.  We are continuing to work closely with Dr. Matyas regarding a specific date and plan for the availability and distribution of the vaccine in BUSD.

The following link will take you to the Solano County Health Department’s COVID-19 Vaccination plan.  This is a VERY useful website and provides all related information related to the vaccine and its distribution, including the following COVID-19 interest form sent to all staff last week.  https://www.solanocounty.com/depts/ph/coronavirus_links/covid_19_vaccines.asp

Governor’s Safe Schools for All Plan:  In my last newsletter, I referenced the Governor’s plan and that it was still being negotiated in the legislature.  As of today, we do not have any clear updates regarding this plan and whether or not it will be passed.  I will provide more information as it is made available to us.

LCAP/Strategic Plan Survey:  We are beginning the process of collecting information on key goals and initiatives for our LCAP/Strategic plan.  This document plays a central role in providing clear direction for key initiatives and goals for our district.  Your input is vital to this process.  Please watch for an additional email with a link to the survey.

Thank you!
Charles Young

Benicia Schools to remain in ALL VIRTUAL LEARNING until at least January 14

Benicia Unified School District

Superintendent Update, December 18, 2020

Dear BUSD Staff and Families:

Charles F. Young, BUSD Superintendent

I hope this communication finds you and your families well and taking in the beauty and joy of this holiday season.  As we head into winter break, I wanted to provide you with the following updates:

Last Night’s Board Meeting Regarding In-person Learning:  The Board Trustees unanimously approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), that was passed by the Benicia Teachers’ Association.  The MOU outlines the impacts and effects related to any in-person learning and was part of the motion the Trustees passed at the November19th Board meeting.

As a reminder, the Board Trustees voted 3-2 at that Board meeting to approve the implementation of in-person learning:  Pending eligibility on the California State Government’s four-tiered system and approval of the Memorandum of Understanding with our Benicia Teachers Association (BTA) to implement in-person hybrid learning.  In my update of Friday November 20th, I clarified by stating until that happens, BUSD we will remain in virtual instruction at least through the winter break.

While the Board Trustees did pass the MOU last night, they asked for the November 19th item to be brought back to the January 14th board meeting for further discussion regarding the timeline for implementation. This means we will remain in our virtual learning model at least until the January 14th board meeting.  I will provide an update following that meeting.

Trustee Changes:  During last night’s meeting, we also thanked outgoing trustee Dr. Stacy Holguin for her outstanding work as a Board Trustee during the past five-and-a-half years.  Thank you Dr. Holguin!  You served with distinction and we are forever grateful for your commitment to BUSD.  We also swore in two trustees: Dr. Gethsemane Moss, who has served on the Board since August 2019 and is starting a new, four-year term, and welcomed CeCe Grubbs, who is starting her first four-year term.

Our Amazing Food Services Department:  I want to give a shout-out to Ms. Tania Courntey, our Director of Food Services, and her absolutely amazing team, for preparing meal packages for over 400 of our BUSD families.  These food packages cover the two-week winter break period and were provided free to any family who requested one.   Thank you Ms. Courtney and team!!

The Future:  As we head into the holidays for a much needed break, I sincerely hope everyone is able to find ways to safely connect with family and friends in ways that build strong and supportive bonds.  We need each other more now than ever.

As a school district, we will continue our ongoing focus on providing the best educational experience for all of our students.  We will continue the important focus, from the Board level to the classroom, on equity and opportunity, striving to ensure the success of all our students (all means all), while focusing on any barriers that may impede the success of any student in our system.

The future is bright for our great district and I have the utmost confidence in our entire team as we continue to reflect, improve and keep our focus on our most noble task: helping each student reach his or her potential in a safe and welcoming learning environment.

Happy Holidays Everyone!  Be safe and be well.

Sincerely,
Charles F. Young, Ed.D.
Superintendent

Benicia School Superintendent Young: Letter on COVID-19 plans

YOUNG: “…transitioning to in-person instruction is not like flipping an on-off switch…. For now, we will remain in our virtual learning model until the Board approves any changes.”

Solano County COVID-19 Tier Status

Sep 22, 2020 | Latest News, nCoV
Charles F. Young, BUSD Superintendent

Dear BUSD Community,

I hope this communication finds everyone safe and well.

As you know, the Governor implemented a new Covid-19 monitoring system on Friday, August 28, 2020.  There are four tiers to the system: Tier 1 is purple-wide spread; Tier 2 is red-substantial; Tier 3 is orange-moderate, and Tier 4 is yellow-minimal.

As of today, September 22, 2020, Solano County has moved to Tier 2, red-substantial.  If our county remains in the Tier 2 status for 14 consecutive days, school districts will be permitted to hold in-person instruction.  The maintenance of Tier 2 status would allow for schools to implement an approved hybrid model as districts phase into in-person instruction. For more information on Solano County Covid-19 data, see https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/

While we view this as positive news, it is important to note that transitioning to any in-person instruction, including the hybrid models presented before the start of the school year, takes a good deal of planning and preparation. Our administrators, teachers, staff, and Board have been working together to monitor the changing landscape and consider the District’s options. Our planning includes aspects that must be bargained with the teachers union (BTA) and the classified staff union (CSEA).

It is important to note that transitioning to in-person instruction is not like flipping an on-off switch; rather, it is more like bringing a sizable power-grid back on-line, which has to be done thoughtfully, carefully and judicially to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved.

We are currently working on next steps and will discuss them in detail at the October 16th Board meeting. For now, we will remain in our virtual learning model until the Board approves any changes.

We appreciate your patience as we work through this process with the health and safety of everyone involved as our primary goal.

In partnership,
Charles F. Young, Ed. D
Superintendent