June 5, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Thank you for your continued attention to communication regarding reopening MPCSD on August 20, 2020. As my last email was dense with new information, I will attempt to keep this communication as straightforward as possible.  

I have resources to share with you. I have some information I need from you ( please don’t miss the parent survey below ).

Our reopening planning process has one goal in mind: students in school as often as possible, for as long as possible, as safely as possible. 

I thank parents who have sent their input and questions. We are providing information as quickly as possible; you will continue to receive new information throughout the summer. Here are current steps you can take to become more informed:

You have many questions and they deserve answers. We have scheduled a “Q&A Session with the Superintendent & School Board President” on June 9, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. Questions will not be taken LIVE. Please submit your questions in advance here . Join the Zoom webinar by clicking here.  

One important question that continues to arise and is deserving of the clearest of explanations is, “ Why can’t MPCSD just bring back all students in the fall? ” The answer is simple. It is not possible to do so under the San Mateo County Health Department guidelines. We simply don’t have the combination of staffing, square footage, and budget to do so. While we are one of the first districts to publicly address a reopening plan, more and more districts will begin to share their plans and it will become clear that returning to school as we once knew it is simply not going to happen anywhere.

Is this inconvenient? Yes. Does this put an extraordinary burden on working parents and low income families? Yes. Does this potentially exacerbate inequities? Yes. Will this be hard on our children? Yes. Do we have an alternative? Unfortunately, No. But we DO have the most amazing and creative staff in education and an incredibly supportive community. We WILL design our way to a innovative new normal and take care of our most vulnerable. 

All reopening models involve risk. However, MPCSD believes that students need to be in school. The COVID-19 Response Team’s recommendation to the Board for an alternating-week, “on-campus/off-campus” model provides families access to modified in-person instruction that balances risk and the essential instructional and relational time children need with their teachers and peers.

Our solution is a “dial” that can move up or down as the health conditions change, not a “switch” that is turned on and off. When it is safe enough for all students to return to school, as determined by the San Mateo County Health Department, we will move to open our schools completely, to everyone, all day. Conversely, if the San Mateo County Health Department puts stricter guidelines in place, we can flex to a more “off-campus” curriculum. Being nimble to adjust to the dynamic pandemic circumstances is critical.

To help us better plan the details you most want determined, we need your help. Please complete this survey by Friday, June 12 at 4:00 p.m. That’s just one week from today! Please don’t delay. Only ONE response per family, so discuss the questions and have one person in your home complete the survey. 

Thank you for your time, your understanding, and your support as we plan to make the very best we can of this most unwelcome situation.

Erik Burmeister, Superintendent | mpcsd.org
Governing Board
Stacey Jones , President
Sherwin Chen, Vice President
David Ackerman
Mark Box
Scott Saywell