July 21, 2020

Dear VCS Community,

We know that our families and staff have a lot of questions about what the next school year will look like due to COVID-19, and we want to keep you informed with the most up-to-date information. 

On July 17, 2020, the State Health Officer ordered the closure of all in-person operations, athletic and extracurricular activities at schools in counties on the State’s monitoring list (including Santa Clara County), except for elementary schools that obtain a waiver from the local health officer.

In accordance with the county guidelines and recommendations, VCS is actively pursuing the Elementary School Waiver . Our request for elementary in-person learning has been received and is currently in review by Santa Clara County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Department.

The decision to pursue a waiver for in-person learning at the elementary was based upon the state and county health department recommendations and current scientific evidence, including:

  • COVID-19 related risks in schools serving elementary age students appear lower than and different from the risks to staff and students in schools serving older students.
  • There appears to be lower risk of child-to-child or child-to-adult transmission in children under 12
  • The risk of infection and serious illness in elementary school children is particularly low.
  • In-person instruction is academically and socially critical for younger students.
Additional details will be communicated directly from our elementary campus as information is received from the county regarding acceptance of the waiver.

With potential exception to the elementary campus, VCS is planning to start the school year on August 17 th in Distance Learning mode. As mentioned in our previous communications, VCS is prepared for a flexible operating environment that will provide consistent learning in a variety of circumstances brought upon by the pandemic whether we are using full distance learning capabilities, hybrid or full in-person instruction.

VCS has invested in DTEN e nabled classrooms to enhance our distance learning capability and improve our synchronous learning environment. The DTEN technology will keep students connected with their teachers and friends with greatly enhanced live audio and visual classroom participation and allow students to attend their classes virtually. Students can easily control a full or partial real-time view for active participation in the entire classroom learning experience.

During this time of full distance learning, teachers will be instructing from their classrooms to take full advantage of the DTEN enhanced online learning experience for our students at home . 
The vision for this initiative goes beyond crisis response as we are building a strategy that enhances our teaching and learning environment moving forward.

What’s next? Please look for upcoming information in our The Road Ahead – Back to School planning guide with valuable information for on-campus COVID-19 prevention and monitoring preparations including:

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Transportation
  • Health & Safety
  • Facilities
  • Support Services
  • Student and Family Expectations
  • Campus Specific Information
  • Athletics & Extracurricular
  • Family & Community Engagement

We are anxious to see our staff and families back on campus as we plan and prepare for a safe return to in-person instruction as soon as the county public health guidelines permit.  

Thank you for partnering with us as we navigate through the coronavirus crisis together.

Looking forward,