Dear Franklin-McKinley Community: 

In our last update, we shared with you our intention to move forward with the planning process for the next school year. After weeks of discussion and input from many stakeholders including our members of our Reopening and Social & Emotional Advisory Work Groups; a thorough review of the Public Health Guidelines; and evaluating what works best for our students, we want to start the school year with as many of our students as possible returning to in-person settings—safely. If the current public health guidelines hold, we believe that when we follow critical health requirements, we can safely return to in-person school this fall with plans in place to protect all members of our FMSD school community.  

The Advisory Work Groups were given the task of creating recommendations and considerations for Cabinet to review. The groups have been meeting regularly over the last 3 weeks to plan for high quality learning experiences in the new school year grounding the discussion in the intent of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Resolution . Each work group has explored various learning and support models, and reviewed survey feedback from all of our stakeholders. Given the impact of the Pandemic on our students, families and staff, our main priority is to provide time and space for individuals to process traumatic events, re-establish connections with each other, and receive support that promotes healing.
We are offering our students one of two options:
  • Hybrid Model for families who wish to have their children access high quality learning both in person and through distance learning.
  • Virtual Learning Model for families who wish to have their children access high quality learning from home. 
Hybrid Learning Model (A/B Two Day Rotation)
The Reopening Advisory reviewed several hybrid models and is recommending we implement the two day A/B rotation cohort schedule. Half of the students will report to school on the A schedule and the other half of students will report to school on the B schedule, allowing for two full days of in person learning a week. Assignments will be provided for students on their 3 days of Distance Learning when students are not reporting to school in person with opportunities for synchronous class time on Fridays. 
Benefits to Hybrid Learning Model
  • Reduces safety issues having a smaller number of students at a time in school; keeps students in cohorts. Allows disinfection to take place after school and for transporting students on school buses.
  • Allows for in-person socialization for students and staff two full days a week and potential for targeting instruction with smaller class sizes.
  • This model allows for students to receive in-person instruction every other day supporting students in having opportunities to apply practice and extended learning on Distance Learning days. 
  • Goals for students with IEPs will be addressed and students will be able to receive related services such as speech, occupational therapy, and adaptive physical education. Some of these services will be provided virtually in order to maintain social distancing precautions. 
  • May better meet planning needs of families for childcare and employment. Considerations will be made for children in a family to be assigned to the same on-site times to better support scheduling.
  • Allows for professional development, student centered planning meetings (i.e.,504, SST’s) and teacher planning weekly.
  • Multi-tiered approach to support students, with a focus on our English learners, Foster Youth, and Socio-Economically Disadvantaged, and Special Needs Students.
  • Allows for students to receive mental health and well-being services allowing for social distancing protocols. 
  • Preparing staff, families, and students to potentially move to virtual learning if there is an outbreak.
  • Accommodating physical space issues by leveraging outside learning spaces and partnerships with community-based organizations.
Virtual Learning Model
The Virtual Learning Model will enable students to learn online. Students will not be expected to attend school in person. All of their classes will take place remotely, Monday-Friday. Remote Teaching and Learning will not be the same as it was during the spring 2020 school closure. We have learned a lot and will continue to make improvements to our educational programs. We will be acquiring a new online/cyber education platform to help us deliver effective online instruction. 
Benefits to Virtual Learning Model
  • Instruction is provided remotely and students will have access to their teachers during the regular school day hours.
  • Students can expect daily lessons with face to face connections.
  • Virtual office hours and small group sessions to meet social and academic needs.
  • Students will continue to access to mental health and wellness services. 
  • Support from case managers and academic intervention teachers to meet student needs during regular school hours.
Social & Emotional Learning (SEL)
The SEL Work Group is developing a universal approach to adopting systemic strategies that embed SEL into every aspect of school life. Social emotional learning will be critical in re-engaging students, supporting adults, rebuilding relationships, and creating a foundation for academic learning. This group is charged with thoughtfully planning around the well-being of educators so they can support the social and emotional well-being and learning needs of their students, acknowledge and prepare for the potential trauma that staff and students have faced during the COVID-19 school closures, and recognize and empower educators’ and staff’s strengths. The SEL Advisory Work Group has proposed a recommendation to adopt The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) evidenced based framework to support students and staff in educating the whole child, and equipping students for success in school and in life. The SEL Advisory Work Group will continue to focus on recommending practical tools and resources for creating a safe, supportive environment for learning.
Next Steps
The Advisory Work Groups and the subcommittees (Health/Safety, Instructional Programs, Special Education, and Parent Engagement) are continuing to develop detailed plans for the reopening of schools and welcoming back our students. In addition, district staff is engaged in areas addressing teaching & learning, mental health & wellness, and operations for the 2020-2021 school year. We will be asking parents/guardians to select from the two models to help determine staffing needs for each model.  

We understand that a return to an in-person work schedule may present personal concerns. Please be assured that we will be implementing the safety precautions as outlined in the Public Health Reopening of Santa Clara County K-12 Schools guidelines. 

We strive to support our students and staff in the safe return to school this fall. Reopening plans will remain a living document and will be updated as needed to keep up with the latest recommendations and evidence from Public Health. I thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we continue to formulate our plans for next school year. Our priority is to ensure students receive an equitable and positive learning experience while maintaining both student and staff safety. By working together, we will ensure our students continue learning, feel supported, and are prepared to thrive.


Juan Cruz
Franklin-McKinley School District |