Superintendent's Corner

  • Earliest Launch of Hybrid Program Will be February

    Posted by Sandra Lyon, Ed.D. on 12/1/2020 2:00:00 PM

    Sandra Lyon

    I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving holiday, even though it was likely quite a bit different than in years past. If you followed the strong recommendations of local, state and national health officials, you kept your Thanksgiving gathering to those you live with, and you didn’t travel to other places to celebrate with other family members or friends. The same recommendations will be in place for the December and New Year’s holidays as well.

    As I write this post, the metrics around our COVID-19 positivity rate, number of cases and hospitalization rates are still on the rise here in Riverside County as it is in most of the nation. Governor Newsom noted earlier this week that hospitalizations could double or even triple and capacities in state intensive care units could be overwhelmed in the next few weeks following the Thanksgiving holiday. We remain in the state’s purple tier and expect to be there for quite a bit longer, which means that we cannot even consider opening our schools to more than just very small learning hubs as we have been doing for the past several weeks.

    We had hoped to be able to start our hybrid program of having up to 50 percent of our students back in the classrooms two days a week a week after winter break in mid January. We know now that this will not be possible, and the earliest we would be able to move forward with our hybrid instruction plan would be during the month of February. Even that is tentative at this point based on whether we are able to move into a safer tier after the holidays.

    Please know that getting our students and staff back in their classrooms as soon as possible is something we all want and are eager to have happen. At the same time, the health and safety of our students and staff has been and always will be our number one priority and remains in the forefront of every decision that is made, both by staff and by our Board of Education.

    As several vaccines are expected to be approved within the next few weeks, we are getting glimpses of light at the end of what has been an extremely dark tunnel. Still, it will be at least several months before the general population will have access to vaccines, and it is still unknown how long it will be before children will begin to be vaccinated.  Until then, we will be monitoring our county case data and determining if the local health status is such that we can move forward with our hybrid plan at some point.

    Your continued support and understanding means more than you could know. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher(s) and/or principal whenever you need to with any questions or concerns you may have. I wish you and your families a safe and healthy holiday season.  We are all in this together, and we will get through it together, stronger than ever. Meanwhile, please remember to wash your hands, maintain your distance, keep your gatherings small and safe, and cover your face!

    See you next month!

    Sandra Lyon, Ed.D.

    Superintendent of Schools


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