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2020-2021 School Reopening

For ALL school related questions and concerns, please contact your school site directly.

Elementary End of Year Updates

MAY 28, 2021 - MODIFIED SCHOOL DAY

Friday, May 28, 2021 will be a modified school day for all elementary schools  in Newport-Mesa Unified School District (except for Cloud Campus). Each school will follow-up with families regarding specific bell schedules for that day. Each year a modified school day is typically scheduled in the Spring, however this year it will be at the end of the school year.  

ELEMENTARY PROMOTIONS

Elementary schools are making plans for in-person sixth grade promotions. COVID-19 safety precautions will continue to be in place. 

In-Person Promotion Safety Requirements:

  • Four guests per student (Yellow tier)

  • Face Masks 

  • Social distancing

  • Pre-registration for all guests

PROMOTION SCHEDULE:

SCHOOL DATE TIME
Adams Elementary 6/11/2021 8:45 am
Andersen Elementary 6/11/2021 8:15 am
California Elementary 6/11/2021 9:00 am
College Park Elementary 6/11/2021 8:30 am
Davis Magnet School 6/11/2021 9:00 am
Eastbluff Elementary 6/11/2021 9:00 am
Harbor View Elementary 6/11/2021 10:00 am
Kaiser Elementary 6/11/2021

Group A:  9:00am

Group B:  10:30 am

Killybrooke Elementary 6/11/2021 9:00 am
Lincoln Elementary 6/11/2021 8:30 am
Mariners Elementary 6/11/2021 9:00 am
Newport Coast Elementary 6/9/2021 9:30 am
Newport Elementary 6/11/2021 10:00 am
Newport Heights Elementary 6/11/2021 9:30 am
Paularino Elementary 6/11/2021 8:30 am
Pomona Elementary 6/10/2021 9:00 am
Rea Elementary 6/11/2021 9:00 am
Sonora Elementary 6/11/2021 8:30 am
Victoria Elementary 6/11/2021 9:00 am
Whittier Elementary 6/11/2021 9:00 am
Wilson Elementary 6/11/2021 8:45 am

 

Additional details about sixth grade promotions will be shared by your child’s school. 
 

 

Please watch this video update from Superintendent Russell Lee-Sung regarding elementary full day Instruction beginning today and secondary full day instruction starting next week.

YouTube Video Link (approx. 2.5 minutes)

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education approved transitioning secondary schools (grades 7-12) to full day in-person instruction four days and maintain one day of distance learning per week, starting the week of April 26, 2021. 

This does not apply to Cloud Campus, which is a 100% virtual learning school, and Back Bay/Monte Vista High Schools, which are already serving students full days in their current model.

Reminders:

  • Schools will maintain their current schedule, including at-home learning 

  • Cohorts A and B will be combined and required to attend in-person 4-days a week, with distance learning 1-day a week

  • Continue to adhere to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines, which include:

    • Face coverings 

    • Optimized ventilation

    • HEPA air cleaners

    • Space between seating and desks in classrooms will be maximized and aligned to the current CDPH guidance. 

Please view the Frequently Asked Questions for additional information. 

With spring recess upon us, I want to remind everyone to please continue to do their part in following all COVID-19 precautions. We need everyone to continue to do all they can to mitigate the spread. 

April 6, 2021

Reminder: Elementary Schools Transition to Full Day Instruction On April 21

Friday, April 9, 2021, will be a remote learning day

All elementary schools are scheduled to transition to Level 1 - full day instruction beginning Wednesday, April 21, 2021. In order to allow our teachers and staff to prepare for this transition, Friday, April 9, 2021, will be a remote learning day for all elementary students, including Special Day Classes. School principals will communicate with parents the exact schedule for this day. 

  • Elementary schools will return to the 2019-2020 schedule 

    • Start and end times will be the same as the 2019-2020 schedule. 

    • All students will report to school at the designated start time and there will no longer be an AM/PM cohort or hybrid schedule. 

  • The District will continue to adhere to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines, which include:

    • Face coverings 

    • Optimized ventilation

    • HEPA air cleaners

    • Plexiglass between students

    • Space between students in classrooms will be maximized, with efforts to maintain six feet, but no less than 3 feet 

  • Playgrounds will be available for students

    • Each school is finalizing plans to rotate playground and outdoor activities to meet social distancing guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions (Updated 4/2/2021)

Staff is finalizing plans for a smooth and safe transition to full day instruction and principals will share details of the transition as they finalize their plans. 


Board of Education to Consider Secondary School Transition to Full Day In-person Instruction

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education will consider transitioning secondary schools (grades 7-12) to full day in-person instruction at a special board meeting on Thursday, April 8, 2021. 

The consideration is for secondary schools to transition to full day in-person instruction four days and maintain one day of distance learning per week, starting the week of April 26, 2021. 

This action would not apply to Cloud Campus, which is a 100% virtual learning school, and Back Bay/Monte Vista High Schools, which are already serving students full days in their current model.

Additional details:

  • Schools will maintain their current schedule, including at home learning 

  • Cohorts A and B will be combined and required to attend in-person 4-days a week, with distance learning 1-day a week

  • The District will continue to adhere to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines, which include:

    • Face coverings 

    • Optimized ventilation

    • HEPA air cleaners

    • Space between seating and desks in classrooms will be maximized and aligned to the current CDPH guidance. 

We will update you later this week about the status of transitioning secondary schools to full day in-person instruction. 


REMINDER: FULL DAY SCHEDULE FOR FALL 2021

With the exception of the state prohibiting districts from opening with a full day model, our District intends to provide full-day instruction for all TK-12 grade students in fall 2021. In addition, we will continue to offer the 100 percent virtual school, Cloud Campus, as an alternative.

Our schools have begun discussions and planning efforts for end of year graduations and promotions, which will be in-person now that Orange County is in the Orange Tier (see charts below for a few exceptions).

While graduations and promotions are planned to be in-person, with speeches and performances, there will be COVID-19 safety precautions in place. 

In-Person Graduation and Promotion Safety Requirements:

  • Two guests per graduate (or 4 guests if we move to yellow tier)

  • Masks required 

  • Social distancing

Since not everyone will want or be able to attend the in-person graduation and promotion, a live-streaming of each event will be available.

GRADUATION SCHEDULE:

SCHOOL DATE TIME LOCATION
Back Bay/Monte Vista High Thursday, 6/10/21 10:00 AM In-Person:
Hyatt Regency Amphitheater
Cloud Campus High Wednesday, 6/9/21 6:00 PM Virtual Ceremony
Corona del Mar High Thursday, 6/10/21 1:30 PM In-Person:
Davidson Field
Costa Mesa High Thursday, 6/10/21 1:30 PM In-Person:
Mustangs Field
Early College High Thursday, 6/3/21 5:30PM In-Person:
Jim Scott Stadium

Estancia High

Thursday, 6/10/21

3:00 PM

In-Person:
Jim Scott Stadium

Newport Harbor High

Thursday, 6/10/21

6:00 PM In-Person:
Davidson Field
Seamless Transition Education Program (STEP) Thursday, 6/3/21 5:30 PM Virtual Ceremony

PROMOTION SCHEDULE:

SCHOOL DATE TIME LOCATION

Corona del Mar Middle

Wednesday, 6/9/21 1:00 PM

In-Person: Davidson Field

Costa Mesa Middle

Wednesday, 6/9/21 2:30 PM

In-Person:
Mustangs Field

Cloud Campus Middle Wednesday, 6/9/21 6:00 PM

Virtual ceremony

Ensign Intermediate Wednesday, 6/9/21 4:30 PM

In-Person:
Davidson Field

TeWinkle Middle Wednesday, 6/9/21 6:00 PM

In-Person:
Jim Scott Stadium

Additional details about the graduations and promotions, including sixth grade promotions, will be shared by the school administration as it becomes available. Schools also will share information related to end of year activities and senior events, as guidance on these gatherings was recently updated. 

March 19, 2021

As was shared last week, we would be working diligently to create plans to bring our elementary students back full time. We are pleased to announce that all NMUSD elementary schools will return to full day instruction beginning Wednesday, April 21, 2021. 

On April 21 each elementary school will return to the 2019-2020 schedule that was in place prior to COVID. Start and end times will also be the same as the 2019-20 schedule. All students will report to school at the designated start time and there will no longer be an AM/PM cohort or hybrid schedule. 

We will continue to adhere to the CDPH guidelines which include face coverings and other safety measures. Space between seating and desks in classrooms will be maximized. Efforts will be made to maintain six feet but no less than 4 feet. Mitigating safety measures have also been taken in all classrooms including optimizing ventilation, HEPA air cleaners, and plexiglass between students.  

Principals, teachers, and District departments will continue to work together on detailed plans for a smooth and safe transition back to full day instruction. There is still much to be finalized over the next four weeks. As we approach the start date school site-specific information will be provided by principals. The District website now includes a transition to Level 1 frequently asked questions (FAQs) that provides general information and answers to some commonly asked questions. 

We are also committed to transition our secondary students to full day as soon as possible and will continue to work towards that goal. Today, the CDC updated its guidance on social distancing which is an important step in removing a key challenge for all schools. The CDC revision also validates that schools are safe when layers of safety measures are in place. With this new CDC guidance, the California Department of Public Health will now consider amendments to the state and county guidance that all California schools must follow. We will closely monitor the updates and work towards a full day as soon as possible. As a reminder, we have also committed to full day instruction for the fall for both elementary and secondary schools and any changes in distance requirements will further assist in achieving this goal. 

We all need to do our part to adhere to the guidelines to continue our downward trend of COVID-19 cases in our county so that we may keep moving towards normalcy as well as more flexibility within the state safety guidelines in the future.

Thank you for your support and patience as we continue to prepare for this next important step.

We are all fully committed to the academic progress, social-emotional well-being, health, and safety of our students. We recognize that being in a distance learning and hybrid model throughout this school year has been a challenge for everyone. To that point, we thank you all for your resilience and support of our students under these challenging circumstances.

While the hybrid model for our students has been delivered with skill and dedication by our staff we have always strived to move to normalcy. Having our students back in the classrooms with all of their classmates and enjoying the full benefits of school continues to be our goal.

SOME POSITIVE SHIFTS HAVE RECENTLY OCCURRED…

In recent weeks we have seen a steady reduction of new COVID-19 cases and positivity rates in our county and local communities. Orange County is now on the verge of transitioning from the Purple Tier to the Red Tier for the first time since early November. 

In addition, our teachers and staff became eligible for the vaccine earlier this month and many have already received their vaccinations. There are now multiple options for educators to get vaccinated, including PODs exclusively for educators, healthcare providers, and retail pharmacies such as Walgreens, CVS, and RiteAid. While supplies are limited, they are expected to dramatically increase in the coming weeks. 

Another significant change occurred with the most recent update to the California Department of Public Health guidance regarding social distancing in classrooms. While social distancing continues to be required, the update provides more flexibility to maintain less than 6 feet distance under certain conditions. This clarification was recently confirmed with state and county officials.  

FULL DAY ELEMENTARY INSTRUCTION FOR CURRENT YEAR (2020-21)

We have been working on plans to increase in-person instruction time for our elementary students this school year. Due to the improving circumstances, we are considering full-day instruction to commence after spring recess. There is much work to be done to make this transition. We will be working closely with our principals, teachers, employee associations/unions, and all district departments toward this goal. 

This change is not yet confirmed and details are not yet available, confirmation will be provided within the next couple of weeks. This consideration is only for elementary schools; not secondary schools.

FULL DAY SCHEDULE FOR FALL 2021

Due to these positive circumstances, our District intends to provide full-day instruction for all TK-12 grade students in Fall 2021. With the exception of the state prohibiting districts from opening with a full-day model, we are committed to providing this as an option and will begin preparations. In addition, we will continue to offer the 100 percent virtual school, Cloud Campus, as an alternative.

Having our students back in classrooms full time provides many benefits and we believe that these positive improvements with COVID-19 will give us the ability to make this a reality for our students. 

Thank you for your support and continued patience as we prepare for this next step.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) is pleased to announce the reinstatement of several sports activities at our high schools. With a recent change of the CDPH guidelines and the new COVID case rate for Orange County dropping under 14 this past week, NMUSD has authorized our outdoor moderate/high contact sports to compete when their season of sport officially begins.

Low contact outdoor sports such as cross country, swimming, track and field, golf, and tennis were already cleared to begin during their season, but now sports such as basketball, football, water polo, volleyball (outdoor), baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer and competitive cheer may begin competitions when their season starts. At this time, indoor sports are still not permitted to compete until the county COVID case rate drops further.

NMUSD will follow the state guidelines and requirements to ensure the safety of our student athletes and coaching staff. One state requirement is that practices and inter-team competitions are not open to the public and spectators are restricted except for the team’s immediate household members.  

Site principals, athletic directors and coaches will communicate with student athletes and parents on specific preparations, processes, and expectations to resume athletics at each of their campuses.

Our collective efforts to reduce the spread of the virus have made a difference to allow us to take another step towards normalcy. We are excited to have many of our student-athletes back in these important and meaningful student activities and will continue to update you on the status of remaining athletes to return.

The district would like to provide important updates and reminders related to our schools, COVID-19 and vaccinations for our employees. 

Secondary Schools Resume In-Person Instruction - January 25, 2021

As scheduled, middle and secondary schools will resume in-person instruction, in the hybrid schedule, on Monday, January 25. Thank you for your understanding and support during the temporary shift to distance learning these past three weeks.

Our Board of Education and school district leadership are committed to support safe in-person instruction. We will continue to closely monitor staff and student COVID-19 cases and the impact of COVID-19 to our workforce, who support students inside and outside the classroom. Particularly at this time of increased cases throughout our county, we are proud of our Human Resources Division who tirelessly work to fill vacancies and absences, and to our employees and substitutes who support the instructional program and essential operations of the district. 

Safety Protocol Reminders

Although there is minimal spread within our schools and worksites, the safety protocols that we implemented are critical for our collective safety. It is essential to stay home when sick, when awaiting test results or when in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive. We need to follow all of the safety precautions, all of the time, in order to slow the spread and continue to offer in-person instruction. Reducing the spread is critical right now in order to support our healthcare system.

Please view this short video reminder of important COVID-19 safety precautions to follow.

Vaccinations for School District Employees

Last week we shared with you that our healthcare employees (nurses, health assistants, etc.) became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of Phase 1a of the state and county vaccine distribution plan. Across the county, these employees have begun to receive their vaccines. Other district employees are eligible to receive the vaccine as part of Phase 1b, which is anticipated to begin in February. It is important to understand that vaccines are distributed on a phased, tiered schedule that is dictated at the county level.  NMUSD employees were provided vaccination information last week and will be notified when OC Health Care Agency informs the District of their eligibility to obtain the vaccine. The success of Orange County’s vaccination plan depends on everyone being patient and allowing priority groups to be vaccinated first. Visit the OC Health Care Agency Website for more information.

Thank you again for your support and efforts to keep each other safe and our kids learning.

Please see the January 15, 2021 video update from superintendent Russell Lee-Sung, where he discusses secondary education, vaccine distribution, and additional items related to instruction in our district.

 

Dear Newport-Mesa Families,

Happy New Year and I hope you had a safe and restful winter break. As we approach the second half of the school year, I would like to follow up with a few important reminders from the communication sent on December 18, 2020.  

  • Secondary schools (including secondary Special Day Classes) will transition to 100% Distance Learning, January 4, 2021 - January 22, 2021; and will resume hybrid instruction on January 25, 2021. You should have received specific information regarding the schedule directly from your student’s school.
  • Cloud Campus and Early College High School will remain with their current schedules
  • Elementary schools will continue with the current hybrid instructional schedule 

It is especially important to continue to adhere to all the safety protocols when returning from winter break. We are all in this together and each person must do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Here is a reminder of these important guidelines.

  • Adhere to the CDPH travel and holiday advisories
  • Get tested for COVID-19 if symptomatic or in close contact with an infected person
  • Stay home if you do not feel well
  • Stay at least 6 feet from people not in your household
  • Avoid crowds, gatherings, and travel
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces 

We look forward to 2021 and getting through this pandemic together. As always, thanks for your support, flexibility, and understanding. 

Russell Lee-Sung
Superintendent
Newport-Mesa Unified School District

On December 17, 2020 The Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) Board of Education approved a temporary shift to Distance Learning for all secondary schools, grades 7-12, beginning Monday, January 4, 2021 through Friday, January 22, 2021 and temporarily suspend all in-person student activities districtwide from the start of winter break through Friday, January 22, 2021.

Temporary Shift to Distance Learning Board Presentation (December 18, 2020)

KEY INFORMATION

  • Secondary schools (including secondary Special Day Classes) will transition to 100% Distance Learning,
    January 4, 2021 - January 22, 2021; and will resume hybrid instruction on January 25, 2021
  • Cloud Campus and Early College High School will remain with their current schedules
  • Elementary schools will continue with the current hybrid instructional schedule
  • Extracurricular activities, including athletics, also will be suspended, from the start of winter break through January 22, 2021
  • Grab-and-go student meals will continue to be provided at all secondary schools, with the exception of Early College High School and Ensign Intermediate (meals can be picked up at the nearest secondary school), and typical student meals will continue to be provided in elementary 

Significant increase of COVID-19 cases throughout the state, Orange County and our local community has impacted our District and workforce, severely limiting our ability to find appropriate substitute employees who provide critical services. The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) and other experts have warned that another surge of positive cases is expected immediately following the winter break and holiday season at a time when Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity is nearly depleted in the Southern California region.

WHY THE SHIFT TO DISTANCE LEARNING?

  • Eliminate student-staff and student-student contact at our largest and most populated schools, serving our older students
  • Reduce the number of contacts during this significant increase of COVID-19 cases
  • Maintain consistent cohorts of students and prevent mixing of cohorts, which is more difficult to maintain at the larger secondary schools
  • Secondary students have greater independence to learn digitally
  • Allow for redistribution/repurposing of critical staff to support elementary sites 
  • Regardless of the county COVID-19 data or the regional stay at home order, NMUSD schools will be able to reopen for in-person instruction after this temporary shift to Distance Learning

WHY NOT ELEMENTARY?

  • Greater educational benefit of in-person instruction for the younger elementary students  
  • Elementary sites have fewer students on campus and consistent cohorts in each classroom, which allows for in-person safety protocols to be more effectively maintained
  • COVID-19 cases and staffing availability will continue to be closely monitored 

SCHOOLS ARE NOT THE SOURCE OF RECENT SURGE IN CASES

  • We remain confident in the health and safety measures implemented in our schools and their effectiveness in combating COVID-19 
  • State and local health officials also echo that the health and safety measures schools have implemented, which include physical distancing, face masks, ventilation enhancements, smaller cohorts, timely contact tracing and notifications, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, have been effective in combating COVID-19 

REMINDERS

Now more than ever, we encourage everyone to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the protocols.

  • Adhere to the CDPH travel and holiday advisories
  • Get tested for COVID-19 if symptomatic or in close contact with an infected person
  • Stay home if you do not feel well
  • Stay at least 6 feet from people not in your household
  • Avoid crowds, gatherings, and travel
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

RESOURCES

Your tireless efforts and flexibility during this pandemic is appreciated. We wish you all a safe, healthy, and restful winter break. Whether in person or via Distance Learning, we will continue to meet student’s needs and provide quality education and student support.

With the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Orange County and our local community, we are making a recommendation to a temporary shift to Distance Learning for secondary schools after the Winter break. This will allow us to maximize the safety of our students and staff, and maintain operations of our instructional program. This recommendation will be considered by our Board of Education on December 17, 2020

The recommended changes include:

  • Secondary schools, including secondary Special Day Classes, will shift to Distance Learning, Monday, January 4, 2021 through January 22, 2021, and will resume hybrid instruction on January 25, 2021. (Cloud Campus and Early College High School will remain in their current schedules.)
  • Elementary schools will continue with the current hybrid instructional schedule.
  • All in-person student activities will be temporarily suspended districtwide for athletics, arts and extracurricular programs from the start of winter break through January 22, 2021.

Critical factors and considerations for this shift:

  • Significant increase of COVID-19 cases throughout the state, Orange County and our local community has impacted our District and workforce, severely limiting our ability to find appropriate substitute employees who provide critical services. 
  • The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) and other experts have warned that another surge of positive cases is expected immediately following the winter break and holiday season at a time when Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity is nearly depleted in the Southern California region. 
  • Eliminate student-staff and student-student contact at our largest schools who serve our older students. 
  • Maintain in-person instruction for students in our elementary schools within the current hybrid learning model due to the significant benefits to our younger students.

Keep in mind that regardless of the county COVID-19 data or the regional stay at home order, NMUSD schools would be able to reopen for in-person instruction after this temporary shift to Distance Learning.

We are appreciative of your understanding and recognize the impact any change has on families. This is the most challenging period of the pandemic and we will continue to prioritize the safety of students and staff as our most important guiding principle in our decisions and actions.

The Southern California stay at home order DOES NOT IMPACT Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) or any other school district already open for in-person instruction. The Governor’s office clarified that schools that reopened with or without a waiver, can remain open. 

Students will continue hybrid in-person instruction, and teachers and staff will continue to work from their assigned locations. 

Throughout this pandemic we have implemented health and safety precautions aligned to state and county guidelines, to keep our schools safely open for hybrid in-person instruction. State and local health officials also have cited evidence that the health and safety measures schools have implemented, which include physical distancing, face masks, ventilation enhancements, smaller cohorts, timely contact tracing and notifications, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, have been effective in combating COVID-19. California Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly also noted that schools are not the source of the current COVID-19 surge, they continue to have low case and transmission rates, and may remain open during the pandemic.

The NMUSD COVID-19 Dashboard publicly reports positive cases for both students and staff. The dashboard demonstrates that the total number of cases is below the 5% threshold that would trigger a school to consider a move to 100% Distance Learning, under the California Department of Public Health requirements.

We remain focused on safety, make adjustments where needed, and meet regularly with the Orange County Health Care Agency to stay up to date on any changes in the county or statewide. 

While the stay at home order does not impact our schools and the current guidance for schools is unchanged, we fully support the message the Governor communicated to adhere to the important safety protocols. We all must come together as a community and follow the necessary actions to mitigate COVID-19 — wear a mask, avoid large gatherings, maintain social distancing. It is up to all of us to not only protect ourselves, but protect each other. We appreciate the efforts of everyone at school, work and in our personal lives to mitigate COVID-19 and thus help us keep our schools open and ensure our healthcare systems are not overwhelmed.

The importance of our educational systems has never been more evident than right now. This has not been easy on anyone, but we strongly believe that what students need most right now, in addition to quality instruction, is consistency, routine, support from caring adults and a sense of normalcy, which our schools are providing. Thank you for your support, trust and dedication as we continue to provide hybrid in-person instruction amidst an ever-changing pandemic

As we approach Thanksgiving week and the holiday season I want to wish all of you and your family the best. It is important for all of us to take the time to rest and reflect on the most important things we can be thankful for. Especially during these difficult times it is more important to do this for each other and ourselves.

As you know, we have been urged to approach the holidays very differently by our state due the rise in positive cases throughout our country. Recently, guidance was issued for holiday gatherings that encourage us to celebrate within our own homes and avoid non-essential travel. The state also instituted a curfew from 10 pm to 5 am everyday until December 21. While all or some of these measures may affect our holiday plans and traditions, it is necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to avoid further impact to our health care system, businesses and schools.

Now, more than ever, I encourage each of you to consider these state and county guidelines during the holiday season and to continue your diligence in following the health precautions, not only within our schools, but in the community. 

I know that our holidays will be different, but it does not mean it needs to be without connection and joy. Let’s look for ways to celebrate the holidays with those you love and care for with meaningful and deeper connections.

For more information on the guidance for holiday gatherings and travel I have added some links below.

For more information on the guidance for holiday gatherings and travel, visit the following links, Guidance for the Prevention of COVID-19 Transmission for Gatherings; Travel Advisory. 

I wish you all a safe, restful and grateful Thanksgiving.

Russell Lee Sung
Superintendent
Newport-Mesa Unified School District

Orange County and 27 other counties were suddenly moved back to the most restrictive purple tier of California’s color-coded COVID-19 tracking system. State guidelines note that if a county falls back into the “purple tier”, schools that have already resumed in-person instruction prior to today are not required to close. 

Since all Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) schools have reopened for hybrid in-person instruction, our schools will remain open. Per current state guidelines, a school or District-wide closure will be based on circumstances of individual school and District-wide COVID-19 cases, and is not tied to the State’s 4-Tier system once schools have opened for in-person instruction. 

As a reminder, our District consults with the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) to determine the extent of staff/student COVID-19 cases and possible school closures. For more information on the criteria for school closures please see the NMUSDSchool Reopening Plan (page 19).

AGREEMENT REACHED WITH NEWPORT MESA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS FOR SECONDARY REOPENING 

We are pleased to announce that the District reached an agreement with the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers (NMFT) the evening of November 2, primarily related to the reopening of our secondary schools for Level 2.  

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • Employees will assist in disinfecting desks in their classrooms

  • Approval of the hybrid secondary instructional model 

    • Four days a week, full days with alternate cohorts 

    • Each class divided into two cohorts; students remain in their assigned cohorts and attend in-person classes on the days designated on their schedules; and students in either cohort may elect to participate in at-home learning

    • Daily live interaction of at least 15 minutes per class with at-home cohort 

    • Student support/intervention block of 30 minutes

    • One day a week Distance Learning (DL) for both cohorts, with teacher professional development and staff/department collaboration time 

    • School sites will vote to finalize their school schedules and will communicate specific schedules later this week

The District and NMFT will continue to negotiate items related to elementary schools for the 2020-2021 school year. 

REMINDER: Costa Mesa Middle and High School, Corona del Mar Middle and High School, Ensign Intermediate School, Estancia High School, Newport Harbor High School and TeWinkle Middle School will transition to hybrid in-person instruction on Monday, November 9, 2020.

 COVID DASHBOARD

In an effort to continue to provide accurate and up-to-date information related to COVID-19 in our schools, a dashboard was created that states the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases by school. The number listed includes staff and/or students within the past 14-day period. This information is updated daily. In the event of a positive case in our schools, as appropriate and under the direction of the Orange County Healthcare Agency, the school nurse, principal, or District staff will notify any staff or students who are considered to be a close contact with a COVID-19 positive person.

(The following information excludes Cloud Campus, and Special Day Class students) 

At their October 27th Board of Education meeting, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education took action to set dates for secondary schools to transition to hybrid in-person instruction. 

  • NOVEMBER 3, 2020 - BACK BAY/MONTE VISTA TRANSITIONS TO HYBRID IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION

  • NOVEMBER 9, 2020 - SECONDARY SCHOOLS TRANSITION TO HYBRID IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION

Costa Mesa Middle and High School, Corona del Mar Middle and High School, Ensign Intermediate School, Estancia High School, Newport Harbor High School and TeWinkle Middle School will transition to hybrid in-person instruction on November 9, 2020.

Early College High School - Early College High School will remain in distance learning until further notice due to challenges related to their alignment with the Coastline Community College system.  

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2020: NON-STUDENT INSTRUCTIONAL DAY 

To allow teachers time for professional development as they make final preparations to transition to hybrid in-person instruction, Friday, October 30, 2020 will be a non-instructional day for secondary students (this excludes Early College High School, Special Day Classes (7-12), Elementary (PK-6) and Cloud Campus). Due to this change, January 11, 2021 will be a student instructional day.

INSTRUCTIONAL MODEL - LEVEL 2 

The Board also approved a revised hybrid instructional model that addresses several areas that were needed to better support students in this challenging environment. The features of the revised hybrid model include:

  • Two cohorts to reduce the number of students on campus at one time by approximately 50%

  • Two days of in-person instruction, two days of at-home learning, and one half-day distance learning per week

  • During at-home learning days, students and teachers connect during the assigned period

  • At-home learning may include simultaneous, synchronous, asynchronous, and/or independent learning. This provides more frequent teacher-student contact focused on providing continuity of Instruction.

  • As needed, there will be an option to learn at-home every day while remaining at current school

  • Student support with teachers is included four days a week in the bell schedule

  • One half-day per week will be dedicated to ongoing teacher professional development and/or meeting time including strategies and practices specific to hybrid instruction

Further site-specific information about the instructional model, schedule and option to learn at-home will be shared by school administration.

Earlier this month, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education took action to delay the secondary school (grades 7-12) transition to Level 2 - Hybrid in-person instruction in order to further assess the support structures for student learning while in-person and at-home within the Level 2 Hybrid model. This decision allowed an opportunity to review and enhance the instructional model to better support students under these challenging circumstances caused by the pandemic.

 

PROPOSED DATES TO TRANSITION TO IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION

At the upcoming board meeting on October 27, the District will recommend that all secondary schools (except Back Bay, Monte Vista and Early College High Schools) transition to Level 2 - Hybrid in-person instruction on November 9, 2020.  

The District will also recommend that Back Bay/Monte Vista High School transition to Level 2 - Hybrid in-person instruction one week earlier, on November 3, 2020. Early College High School will remain in distance learning due to the challenges related to the alignment with the Coastline Community College system.   

PROPOSED REVISED HYBRID MODEL 

In addition, a revised hybrid model for Level 2 will be recommended at the board meeting. Features of the revised hybrid model address concerns related to the frequency of student/teacher interaction, student support, and the ability to learn at-home while remaining at their current school. The recommended hybrid model will consist of:

  • Two cohorts to reduce the number of students on campus at one time by approximately 50%

  • Two days of in-person instruction, two days of at-home learning, and one half-day distance learning per week

  • During at-home learning days, students and teachers connect during the assigned period

  • At-home learning may include simultaneous, synchronous, asynchronous, and/or independent learning. This provides more frequent teacher-student contact focused on providing continuity of instruction. 

  • As needed, there will be an option to learn at-home every day while remaining at current school

  • Student support with teachers is included four days a week in the bell schedule 

  • One half-day per week will be dedicated to ongoing teacher professional development and/or meeting time including strategies and practices specific to hybrid instruction

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2020: NON-STUDENT INSTRUCTIONAL DAY  

If the start dates are approved as recommended, Friday, October 30, 2020 will be a non-instructional day for secondary students in order to allow teachers time for professional development as they make final preparations to transition to hybrid in-person instruction. No instruction will be provided on this day. (This excludes Early College High School, Special Day Classes (7-12), Elementary (PK-6) and Cloud Campus)  

HEPA AIR CLEANER FOR ALL ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY CLASSROOMS  

While High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) cleaners are not required for our classrooms, since we have fully functioning ventilation systems in our classrooms, the District will provide HEPA cleaners for all elementary and secondary classrooms. HEPA cleaners force air through a fine mesh that traps particles. This is an addition to our already enhanced ventilation practice that meets the state guidance, such as replacing and upgrading filters and increasing ventilation time before and after occupancy. 

Friday, October 9, 2020 is a Student Instructional Day

At a special board meeting on October 8, 2020, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education took action to delay the secondary school (grades 7-12) transition to hybrid in-person instruction no later than December 17, 2020. This change will not impact elementary schools, students currently receiving Special Day Class services (TK-12), or the Cloud Campus. 


Due to this delay, Friday, October 9, 2020 will once again be a student instructional day for all secondary students.


The District’s recommendation to delay the transition was made with input and support from all secondary site principals. While we have every intention to reopen our doors for students in a hybrid learning model and schools were making final preparations to implement health and safety measures, some significant complexities and challenges recently surfaced regarding the implementation of the hybrid model at secondary schools.

One complexity at the secondary level is the need to create two balanced cohorts to reduce the number of students in the classroom at one time without impacting students and their courses. Imbalanced cohorts created challenges that would not allow us to meet the social distancing requirements in many classrooms. Due to varying class sizes in secondary classes, there is difficulty in evenly dividing cohorts, while maintaining social distance. 

Multiple instructional areas also surfaced, which prompted a deeper discussion on the benefits and disadvantages of moving to a hybrid structure at this time. One example is that the current hybrid model provides less teacher-student interaction than the current Distance Learning model. This additional time will allow staff an opportunity to adjust secondary hybrid plans that will seek to:

  • Design models to increase student and teacher learning interactions
  • Improve models of learning while students are at home
  • Design structures for additional student support
  • Provide additional targeted and intentional professional development

Collectively, principals, teachers and District administration are committed to use this time to make adjustments that better addresses the needs of students in a hybrid model. 

Secondary schools also require teachers and other certificated staff to have credentialing in specific subject areas, and due to a number of secondary teachers recently noting an inability to work in an in-person setting, we have a need to hire qualified teachers to fill these vacancies. While we are working with teachers to make accommodations as best as possible, there is still a need to fill vacancies for the transition to hybrid instruction. Hiring and filling vacancies in this environment has become increasingly difficult, as there is a countywide shortage of qualified teachers and available substitute teachers. 

We apologize for the change and recognize the impact on parents, families, students, and staff. These are difficult decisions that we have to make, but are always done with the best interests of our students and staff in mind. Thank you for your continued understanding and flexibility during this pandemic. We will continue to keep you updated on our progress. 


The following information is for secondary schools only. Elementary schools are not affected by these changes and will continue as scheduled. 


In order to allow our secondary teachers additional time to make final preparations for the transition to hybrid in-person instruction on October 12, 2020, the following modifications will be made to secondary (grades 7-12) student instructional days. 

(The following dates exclude Cloud Campus, Estancia High School, Special Day Class students and staff who have already begun in-person instruction. See further below for information for Estancia and Early College High School.)

  • Tuesday, October 6 and Thursday, October 8, 2020

Half day Morning Instruction Only (grades 7-12 only)

Distance learning on October 6 and 8 will only occur in the morning. The afternoon will be reserved for teachers to make final preparations for the transition to hybrid in-person instruction on October 12. As a reminder, Wednesdays are already scheduled as a half day so there is no instruction in the afternoon as usual.

  • Friday, October 9, 2020

Non-student day/ No instruction (grades 7-12 only)

Friday, October 9, 2020 will be a non-student day at all secondary schools. (see exceptions above) Therefore no Distance Learning instruction will take place on this day. To make up this instructional day, January 11, 2021 will be a student instructional day in lieu of the scheduled professional development day. 


ESTANCIA HIGH SCHOOL - New start date for hybrid in-person instruction: October 19, 2020 

Due to the end of semester and timing of final exams (the week of October 12) under the 4 X 4 instructional model at Estancia High School (EHS), the new start date for hybrid in-person instruction will be October 19.

In order to allow EHS teachers additional time to make final preparations for the transition to hybrid in-person instruction on October 19, the following modifications will be made to instructional days:

  • Tuesday, October 13 and Thursday, October 15, 2020

Half day Morning Instruction Only

Distance learning on October 13 and 15 will only occur in the morning. The afternoon will be reserved for teachers to make final preparations for the transition to hybrid in-person instruction. As a reminder, Wednesdays are already scheduled as a half day so there is no instruction in the afternoon as usual.

  • Friday, October 16, 2020

Non-student day/ No instruction 

Friday, October 15, 2020 will be a non-student day. Therefore no Distance Learning instruction will take place on this day. To make up this instructional day, January 11, 2021 will be a student instructional day in lieu of the scheduled professional development day. 


EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL -  Hybrid in-person instruction begins October 12, 2020 

Early College High School (ECHS) will transition to hybrid in-person instruction on October 12, 2020. ECHS will share specific information related to changes to the distance learning schedule to prepare for the transition to hybrid in-person instruction.


COSTA MESA AND NEWPORT BEACH REMAIN BELOW THE COUNTY COVID-19 AVERAGES

The cities of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach continue to decrease and remain well below the county averages on both new COVID-19 case rate (per 100,000 population) and positivity rate measures. For Costa Mesa the new case and positivity rates are 1.73 and 1.2% and for Newport Beach .82 and .80%. However, with this encouraging news we must remain vigilant in continuing to follow health and safety measures and take COVID-19 tests when needed (accessible through your healthcare provider or county test sites - OC Health Care Agency COVID-19 Testing Sites). Through our collective efforts, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach have continued to trend in the right direction and remain at lower than county average levels.

PREPARATIONS FOR HYBRID IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION 

As communicated in previous updates, our school and District staff continue to implement layers of health and safety procedures for students and staff to transition to Hybrid In-Person Instruction. Schools will be finalizing these new protocols and adding visual reminders throughout the campus to promote social distancing, directional patterns on campus, and healthy hygiene. Hand sanitizers will be available and face masks will be provided if needed. 

Principals are continuing to meet, train and prepare staff regarding the new procedures and expectations. Principals will communicate specific school procedures to parents prior to the first day back on campus. We ask that you help us in supporting students during this transition, as school will look different this year.

We are excited to welcome students back on campus and thank you for your shared commitment to safety and quality education. Please visit the School Reopening Webpage for more information.

 

REMINDER: In-person instruction begins Tuesday, September 29 for TK-2 and Special Day Classes (TK-12), and Thursday, October 1 for grades 3-6

Monday, September 28, 2020 - Non-student day/ No instruction (PK-6 and SDC PK-12 grades only)

(Excludes Cloud Campus staff and students)

In order to allow our elementary and Special Day Class (SDC) teachers additional time to make final preparations for in-person instruction, Monday, September 28, 2020 will be a non-student day at all elementary schools and for all SDC classes Districtwide. Therefore no distance learning instruction will take place on this day. To make up this instructional day, January 11, 2021 will be a student instructional day in lieu of the scheduled professional development day. 

Secondary schools are not affected by this change and will continue with distance learning on this day, as usual. 

Change to Face Covering Requirement

We updated our requirements related to face covering for students. Based on input from the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers, face coverings will be required for all students over the age of two. This requirement now includes students in preschool programs, TK to grade 2. Face mask exemptions are available for students with a verified medical or mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering. 

Please view the School Reopening Plan (updated 9/25/2020) to see updated face covering requirements and  other updates (updates noted on the table of contents in red font).

Preparations for Level 2 - Hybrid In-Person Instruction on Staggered Timeline

Our school site and District level staff continue to work diligently to prepare and now implement the guidelines and layers of health and safety procedures for students and staff to transition to Hybrid In-Person Instruction. Schools are preparing their classrooms with plastic screens, arranging desks, visual reminders of healthy hygiene and social distancing, and making hand sanitizers and face masks available. 

District staff has completed the deep cleaning process and is prepared to implement the enhanced custodial services during the school day as well as in the evening. District staff also is finalizing the installation of enhanced filters in all ventilation systems prior to the reopening of our schools.

Elementary school principals have met with staff regarding the new procedures and expectations and are in the process of communicating procedures to parents prior to the first day back on campus. When your child arrives, new routines will be present. It is important that we support students in this transition and hold high expectations for their cooperation. To assist you, here are a few resources to help transition your child back to in-person school: 

The District continues to negotiate and meet regularly with employee associations, Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers (NMFT) and Classified School Employees Association (CSEA), on the transition to reopening schools, and supporting their work as employees of the District. These efforts will continue as we adapt our efforts to support the best possible learning and working environment.  

Stay Safe and Healthy

We look forward to the return of our students to our schools and thank you for your commitment to safety. Students can and will rise to our expectations with support and encouragement from all of us. 

As per Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) policies, parents or guardians may submit school transfer requests online. If parents/guardians would like to specifically submit a request for transfer to the 100% virtual school, Cloud Campus, transfer request applications must be completed via the Cloud Campus Transfer Request Form. The deadline to apply for a Cloud Campus transfer is Monday, September 28 at 8:00 am.

We will work to accommodate as many transfer requests as possible, but please know that all transfer requests are dependent upon availability. Based on District transfer policies, if requests exceed capacity, a lottery will be held for a random selection to rank the applications.  Applications will be accepted after 8:00am on Monday, September 28 and will be placed on the waitlist in the order received.

Transfer requests to Cloud Campus require a student to remain in Cloud Campus for the entire 2020-2021 school year. Cloud Campus is a separate school and is NOT continued distance learning at your home school. Students may return to their previous school for the 2021-2022 school year.

Parents will be notified via email regarding the status of their transfer request application by beginning Monday, September 28. 

These certainly are challenging times as we continue to navigate this pandemic that affects us all. We truly appreciate everyone’s efforts to manage this crisis and continue to educate and support our students.

Orange County Schools are Eligible for In-Person Instruction

As of tomorrow, Orange County will reach a milestone that allows all schools to reopen for in-person instruction. This is based on the 4-Tier state system in which Orange County has continued to reduce the new case rate and positivity rate to qualify for eligibility. Orange County’s average is now 4.7 per 100,000 population for new cases and 3.9% for the positivity rate. 

Costa Mesa and Newport Beach Below County Averages

Locally, the cities of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach fall below the county averages on both new case rate and positivity rate measures. For Costa Mesa the new case and positivity rates are 2.1 and 1.6% and for Newport Beach 1.47 and 1.5%. However, with this encouraging news we must remain vigilant in following the health and safety measures and take COVID-19 tests when needed (accessible through your healthcare provider or county test sites - OC Health Care Agency COVID-19 Testing Sites). Through our collective efforts, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach have continued to trend in the right direction and remain at lower than county average levels. 

Preparations for Level 2 - Hybrid In-Person Instruction on Staggered Timeline


Elementary Teachers (TK-6) and Special Education SDC Teachers (TK-12) ONLY 

On September 24, 25, and 28 teachers will continue to provide instruction in the morning, however, the afternoon on these three days will be designated to allow teachers to prepare for Level 2 -  in-person instruction. Schools will be in contact to provide specific details regarding instruction on these dates.


In July we committed to set a reopening date for NMUSD after the county became eligible to reopen in-person instruction. Earlier this month, in anticipation of all OC schools becoming eligible to reopen, we announced staggered start dates for transition to Level 2 - Hybrid in-person instruction: September 29 (TK-2 grade and Special Education SDC TK-12); October 1 (3-6 grade); and October 12 (7-12 grade). For many, this news is highly welcomed, while others have reservations to transition to hybrid in-person instruction. However, the direction from our state has been to return to in-person instruction when individual counties become eligible. 

Returning students to Level 2 - hybrid in-person instruction when safe has been our goal. We continue to implement procedures and protocols in alignment with health and safety guidelines from the California Department of Public Health and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is critical that everyone support the District and state requirements such as face coverings, distancing, washing hands, screening and staying home when ill. We must collectively provide clear and consistent direction to students to follow the new rules and procedures for the health of themselves and others.

Our District also continues to negotiate and meet regularly with both of our employee associations, Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers (NMFT) and Classified School Employees Association (CSEA), on the transition to reopening, and supporting our employees in their work.

What triggers school closures once we reopen?

Based on current state rules, once our schools open, school or District closures will be based on circumstances of individual school and District COVID-19 cases, no longer tied to the 4-Tier state system. For more information on the criteria for school closures see the NMUSD School Reopening Plan (page 19).

School Specific Information 

Specific information to assist you and your child in the transition to Level 2 - hybrid In-person instruction, will come directly from your child’s school prior to the start of Level 2 - hybrid In-person instruction. This information will include dropoff and pickup instructions, schedules and other important safety precautions. General Districtwide information and resources are available on the School Reopening webpage

Finally, whether as a parent/guardian, teacher or staff member, we must provide reassurances to students and set clear expectations to follow the new procedures at school. I know students can and will rise to our expectations with support and encouragement from all of us.

Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we transition to hybrid in-person instruction.

As Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) continues to prepare for the staggered transition to modified in-person instruction, starting on September 29, we would like to share the updated School Reopening Plan that includes some important new information. Site specific information will be provided by principals prior to the opening of school.

 As a reminder the School Reopening Plan includes the following information:

  • School Reopening Timeline 

  • 2020-2021 Instructional Models

    • Instructional Model - Elementary (TK-6) 

      • Level 2 - Hybrid Schedule - Elementary (AM Cohort) 

      • Level 2 - Hybrid Schedule - Elementary (PM Cohort) 

    • Instructional Model - Secondary (7-12) 

      • Level 2 - Hybrid Schedule - Secondary (7-12) 

      • Instructional Model - Estancia High School 

      • Instructional Model - Early College High School

      • Instructional Model - Back Bay/Monte Vista High School

    • Virtual School: Cloud Campus (TK-12)

    • Level 3 - Distance Learning (TK-12)

  • Technology Resources

  • Cleaning Procedures & Supplies

  • Safety Precautions (updated)

    • Face Coverings (updated)

    • Wellness Screening (updated)

    • COVID-19 Case: District Process (updated)

    • Student COVID-19 Reporting Procedures (new)

    • Hygiene & Healthy Precautions (updated)

  • Social Emotional Support

  • High School Athletics 

  • Childcare Resources 

  • NMUSD Helpline (714-424-5050)

  • Communications Plan (new)

  • Additional Resources (new)

At the special board meeting on September 10, 2020 the board approved the start dates to reopen Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) schools and transition to modified in-person instruction (level 2). The staggered reopening of schools starts with elementary and students with special needs (TK-12), followed by middle and high schools. See below for the start dates and instructional models for modified in-person instruction (Level 2).

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2020 

Transitional Kindergarten – Grade 2 

and

Special needs students receiving Special Day Class (SDC) services (TK-12)

Thursday, October 1, 2020 

Grades 3 - 6 

Monday, October 12, 2020 

Grades 7 – 12 

School Reopening Plan (Updated 9/11/2020)

Elementary: Transitional Kindergarten - 6th Grade 

The instructional model for elementary optimizes safety and in-person instruction by reducing the number of students on campus.  

  • INSTRUCTIONAL MODEL: Half Day Daily Hybrid – 2 Cohort (AM/PM) Model (page 4 of School Reopening Plan)

    • Each cohort meets for in-person instruction, either in the morning or afternoon, for half day on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
    • Each cohort meets in-person in the morning for half day, every other Wednesday
    • For half day when not on campus for in-person instruction, students participate from home via asynchronous learning from their teachers and independent learning
    • Other half day instruction, such as physical education, music, science, intervention, enrichment support and/or special education services (if eligible) is currently being planned (additional information about this instruction will be shared by your child’s school)
    • Extended learning sessions on campus will not be provided at this time
    • Effort will be made to keep families in the same AM/PM cohort
    • Students in SDC will attend full days, except Wednesday half day
    • School bus transportation services including bus stops will be limited
    • Students receiving school bus transportation will be assigned to the AM cohort
    • Face coverings are required for all bus passengers. Learn more about transportation services at the transportation website.

Secondary: 7 - 12th Grade 

The instructional model for middle and high schools optimizes safety and full day in-person instruction two days a week, while also reducing the number of students on campus and minimizing the number of transitions from class to class.

  • INSTRUCTIONAL MODEL: Full Day Hybrid – 2 Cohort Model* (page 7 of School Reopening Plan)

    • Each cohort meets for in-person instruction 2 full days a week on either Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday
    • On days when not in in-person instruction, secondary students will participate in Distance Learning with asynchronous learning from their teachers, intervention, enrichment, and/or special education services (if eligible)
    • On Wednesdays, both cohorts will meet via Distance Learning in the morning for half day 
    • Students will be assigned to a cohort (M & Th or T & F) that best aligns to their current classes
    • Students receiving SDC services will be full days, except Wednesday half day
    • School bus transportation services including bus stops will be limited

Students receiving school bus transportation services will be assigned to a cohort that best balances the riders per day. Face coverings are required for all bus passengers. Learn more about transportation services at the transportation website

*Exceptions (previously approved): Estancia High School – Level 2 with the 4 x 4 model; Early College High School – Level 2 full day hybrid; Back Bay/Monte Vista High Schools – Level 2 full day traditional schedule. 

Safety Guidelines 

NMUSD will adhere and implement the most recent updated safety guidelines per the California Department of Public Health including but not limited to:

  • Limit number of students on campus at one time 
  • Social distancing in the classroom and throughout the school, including recess and lunch
  • Minimize transitions and person to person contact
  • Signage and directional traffic patterns on campus
  • Clear plastic barriers (elementary classrooms) 
  • Maintain student cohorts (elementary) 
  • Increase cleaning and disinfecting (page 15 of School Reopening Plan)
  • Require face covering (page 17 of School Reopening Plan) for students grades 3 and up; Strongly recommended for students grades 2 and below. All staff are required to wear face coverings. (Except for reasons allowable under the state guidance) 
  • Daily staff wellness screenings; and student visual wellness check (page 18 of School Reopening Plan)
  • Process for COVID-19 cases (page 19 of School Reopening Plan)
  • Promote healthy habits such as hand-washing and staying home when sick (page 20 of School Reopening Plan)
  • Limit non-essential visitors
  • Meet Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) standards 

School Closures after Reopening 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) established criteria for the closure of classrooms, school(s), or the District based on COVID-19 infection rates. We work with the Orange County Health Care Agency health officer to determine closures (page 19 of the School Reopening Plan).

Elementary School Waiver

While an elementary school waiver would not likely provide for the reopening of elementary schools earlier than the currently planned dates, the NMUSD Board of Education approved for the District to pursue a TK-6 elementary waiver for reopening of all elementary schools. Additional information about this process will be provided next week.

Newport-Mesa close to announcing date to resume in-person instruction (Level 2 - Modified In-Person)

Newport-Mesa Unified School District is in the process of determining a date for the reopening of schools, in Level 2 - Modified In-Person Instruction, with an announcement expected late next week. 

There is a new State of California framework that provides a blueprint for Orange County reopenings. The tiers are designated by four colors: purple (widespread), red (substantial), orange (moderate), and yellow (minimal with the lowest restrictions). Orange County is currently in the purple tier and with the county numbers trending in the right direction, is on track to transition to the red tier. Under this new system, Orange County schools may be able to reopen later this month.

Elementary School Waiver

 Our District is currently assessing whether to pursue the elementary school waiver for reopening in-person instruction. The elementary school waiver process requires support from our employee associations and parents districtwide, and has a 14-day waiting period after submission. Based on the potential timing of all Orange County schools being eligible for reopening without a waiver later this month, the waiver would not expedite the reopening of our schools.

More to Follow...

 Our District will continue to be in communication with staff and parents regarding the reopening of our schools. We are pleased that Orange County overall continues to move in the right direction and urge everyone to continue to follow the guidance of social distancing, wear face coverings, and avoid gatherings, especially as we enjoy our Labor Day weekend.  

 As you know, things related to the COVID-19 pandemic quickly evolve, we will continue to be flexible and continuously plan to safely return staff and students to campus. 

Resources:

Newport-Mesa Unified School District School Reopening Webpage 

State’s new four-tiered system to track COVID-19 progress by county 

 

Distance Learning continues as we prepare for reopening schools in modified in-person instruction.

While we monitor Orange County data during this 14-day period, district staff is diligently preparing for the reopening of our schools for modified in-person instruction.

Knowing that all Orange County schools may be eligible to reopen after the 14-day period, the planning and preparation that began in June will not only continue but has now been elevated. Formal meetings with our employee associations have been ongoing and will continue specifically on the details of the return to in-person instruction. It is important to emphasize that while a date has not been set for reopening of our schools, the preparation and implementation of all systems related to the transition back to in-person instruction is underway.

We all want our students back physically on campus with the safety protocols in place and look forward to the 14-day period to expire and reopening date to be set. As always we appreciate your understanding and support.

With the number of new COVID-19 cases declining, and a relatively low testing positivity rate, Orange County has made its way off the State’s Monitoring List as of August 22. This is a positive development and a testament to the communities in our county that have pulled together to reinforce the effectiveness of face coverings and physical distancing. It also brings schools within our county a step closer to resuming in-person instruction, but we’re not there just yet.

AT THIS TIME NO DATE HAS BEEN SET FOR OUR DISTRICT TO REOPEN IN-PERSON.

The county must now remain off the State’s COVID-19 Monitoring List for at least 14 consecutive days in order for schools to be eligible to reopen for in-person instruction with adherence to the state safety guidelines. However, county health officials are cautioning that transmission rates continue to exceed state thresholds in some areas of the county. Therefore we will work closely with the OC Health Care Agency to monitor the county and community data as we continue to plan and prepare to safely resume modified in-person instruction (Level 2). 

Once the 14-day period is complete and the county positivity rate and number of cases do not elevate above the standards set by the state, a start date will be set and details of the modified in-person instruction will be announced. Providing advance notice of a start date is essential to allow time to fully prepare for the transition from distance learning to reopening our campuses. This transition includes working with our employee associations, providing services to our students such as transportation and food services and implementing health and safety protocols. In addition, we will continue to closely follow the guidance of our public health partners, including the county Health Care Agency and the California Department of Public Health.  

Meanwhile, it is important for students to continue to fully participate and engage in distance learning every day. Additional updates and next steps will be provided as we continue through this 14-day period. Please view our 2020-2021 School Reopening Webpage for additional information.

We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we adjust to ever-changing conditions.

We would like to share some information related to expectations of Distance Learning and school schedules for the start of school on August 24. 

On August 18 teachers officially returned to work and schools worked with teachers to finalize schedules. If your school has not yet shared with you a final school schedule, they will by Friday. They also will communicate other important information related to the start of school via Distance Learning.

  • First week of school ONLY - August 24 – 28, 2020

    • Student instruction will occur in the morning via Distance Learning (up until lunch time, per each school’s schedule) and will focus on building connections, creating community and routines 
    • In the afternoon teachers will be engaged in professional development and preparation time
  • School Schedules

While each school’s schedule may vary, all schedules will include the following parameters:

Elementary:

  • Each school schedule will have the same start and end times as the 2019-20 school year
  • Daily, live (synchronous) whole class “morning meeting” 
  • Daily, live English Language Arts/English Language Development and mathematics instruction
  • Social studies and science is integrated into English and mathematics instruction
  • Wednesday minimum day
  • Consistent teacher office hours for parent/student questions and support
  • Daily, live and asynchronous minutes for instruction consistent with parameters outlined on page 11 (Level 3- Distance Learning) of the 2020-2021 School Reopening Plan

Secondary:

  • Each school schedule will have the same start and end times as the 2019-20 school year
  • Schedules will follow the odd and even schedule format
  • Each academic period will include daily 20-30 minutes of live (synchronous) instruction per class 
  • Daily, live and asynchronous minutes for instruction consistent with parameters outlined on page 11 (Level 3- Distance Learning) of the 2020-2021 School Reopening Plan 
  • Consistent teacher office hours for parent/student questions and support

Instructional Minutes Parameters

Grade Level

Live Instruction 

(synchronous)

Asynchronous

Combined Total

Instruction

(synchronous and 

asynchronous)

TK - Kindergarten 60-90 minutes per day 90-120 minutes per day 180 minutes
Grade 1 - 3 60-90 minutes per day 140-170 minutes per day 230 minutes
Grade 4 - 12 60-90 minutes per day 150-180 minutes per day 240 minutes

 

We thank you for your patience as schools work to create consistent and meaningful Distance Learning expectations in support of teacher preparedness and student learning. 

During the COVID-19 school closures in spring 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture provided a waiver to school districts throughout the country that allowed Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) to serve meals to students without requiring a student ID or payment. As of now, this waiver is no longer in place for the 2020-2021 school year. Starting August 24, NMUSD will serve daily grab-and-go meals at all school sites except Ensign Intermediate and Corona del Mar Middle/High School, due to ongoing construction. Students from Ensign, Corona del Mar, or Cloud Campus may pick up grab-and-go meals from any other NMUSD school. Locations and serving times are subject to change.

Meals will be available for pick up Monday through Friday from 11 am to 12:30 pm. Students can pick up meals from any school. Meals will be available for purchase or as part of the free and reduced meal program for students who qualify. 

MEAL PRICES

Meal Full Price Reduced Price
Breakfast $1.50 $.30
Lunch $3.25 $.40

 

Families will be asked for their student’s first and last name or student ID upon meal pick-up each day. Cash payments will not be accepted. There are two available options for payment:

  • Online through MySchoolBucks 

  • Mail a check payable to NMUSD Nutrition Services to 2985 Bear St. Bldg B, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

  • If the first two options do not work for you, please call Nutrition Services at 714-424-5090, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 1 pm for assistance (Spanish interpretation available)

FREE AND REDUCED MEAL PROGRAM

We strongly encourage families to apply for the free and reduced meal program if applicable. To qualify for the free and reduced meal program parent/guardian(s) must complete an application one of the following ways:

  • Complete an application online (student ID number is required) 

  • Submit an application in person at the secure dropbox located outside the Nutrition Services building at 2985 Bear St. Bldg B, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Paper copies of the application are available online on the Nutrition Services website or at the same address noted above

  • If the first two options do not work for you, please call Nutrition Services at 714-424-5090, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 1 pm for assistance (Spanish interpretation available)

Please know that we are working through new information as it becomes available and will update you accordingly. 

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) will reopen high school athletics beginning Monday, August 17, 2020 under specific guidelines recently issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for youth sports and school-based athletics. 

At this time, state guidelines permit only OUTDOOR activities and require all athletes to maintain social distancing of at least six feet and a stable cohort. For sports that cannot be conducted with sufficient distancing or cohorting, only conditioning and training is permitted. Any activity that promotes congregating is not permitted at this time (i.e. competitions, events, assemblies). 

Newport Mesa USD has developed a plan in accordance with the state guidelines along with an approval process that must be followed in order for each athletic team to begin activity. Athletic directors and coaches have been notified of the plan and approval process. 

Once we have reopened athletics for our school-based programs we will begin to consider outside user (non-district) groups where possible and while maintaining safety on our campuses and facilities. 

Please view the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District hosted a school reopening information meeting on August 5, 2020. The video recording of the School Reopening Information Meeting is available online via the District’s YouTube channel. 

While many questions can be answered by reviewing the School Reopening Plan, a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) also is available on the School Reopening Webpage.

Please know that we are working through some of the details of school reopening and the district and school sites will be in contact with families as soon as new information becomes finalized.

info meeting

Reminder: 

School Reopening: Information Meeting
August 5, 2020 
6:00 p.m.
Via Zoom: Information Meeting Link
The virtual information meeting will include a question and answer session.
Habrá interpretación al español a través del mismo enlace de Zoom

For the upcoming school year, Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) will offer an option of a 3-Level Plan or 100% Virtual School for the 2020-21 school year.  


Intent to Participate - Due August 7, 2020

We are asking parents/guardians to respond to this Intent to Participate form by
Friday, August 7, 2020 to select the option that is best for each student in their family.  

School Reopening Plan 

Please view the 2020-2021 School Reopening Plan for additional information regarding the reopening of schools 

School Reopening: Virtual Information Meeting 

August 5, 2020 

6:00 p.m.

Via Zoom: Virtual Information Meeting Link  

The virtual information meeting will include a question and answer session.

Habrá interpretación al español a través del mismo enlace de Zoom


The information provided is an essential step to prepare schedules and staffing for the start of the school year to accommodate appropriate space in the 100% Virtual School, if that is your choice. If a selection is not made and the Intent to Participate form is not received by the date above, your student will be included in the 3-Level Plan. An official enrollment process, confirming your student’s participation in one of the two learning models (3-Level Plan or Virtual School) will be sent prior to the start of school. 

Option 1: 3-LEVEL PLAN

The 3-Level Plan includes a 100% in-person, modified in-person (with social distancing), and a 100% distance learning level for instruction. The District will determine the level for all students (other than those in the Virtual School) and will be prepared to shift between the 3-Level Plan throughout the school year, based on state, county and local health department guidance, orders and/or local conditions at the time. For more information on the instructional models please use these links

Instructional Models:

Option 2: 100% VIRTUAL SCHOOL

Parents have the choice of a 100% Virtual School option instead of the 3-Level Plan as described above. Students with Individualized Education Plans and Section 504 Plans are eligible to select this option. 

Students selecting the 100% Virtual School option must commit to attend for the full 2020-21 school year. This is a change from prior announcements which is due to the significant impact to all district schools, classrooms and programs when students shift schools mid-year. At the conclusion of the 2020-21 school year students will have the opportunity to return to their current or home school site for 2021-22. 

Highlights/Overview:

  • Specialized lessons designed specifically for virtual learning
  • Research-based schedule that balances appropriate ratios of live and independent instruction
  • Instructional philosophy built on responsive teaching and feedback
  • Classes taught by NMUSD teachers, trained specifically in virtual teaching
  • Electives will be offered on a limited basis based on student enrollment

High School Only

  • Limited Advanced Placement (AP) courses will be offered based on student enrollment and interest. International Baccalaureate (IB) courses will not be offered.
  • CIF regulations require that students be enrolled in their home school to participate in interscholastic athletics. We are working to maintain high school student enrollment at their high schools to allow students to remain eligible to participate in athletics. 

Virtual School and Distance Learning Chart 

Be sure to submit this form for each student in your family before August 7, 2020. Please contact your student’s school or principal if you have questions. Thank you.  

Throughout this pandemic we have prioritized the safety of students and staff as our most important guiding principle in our decisions and actions. The information provided below regarding the start of the school year and the re-opening of our schools is in a question and answer format. 

  • Will NMUSD schools have in-person instruction or distance learning for the beginning of the school year on August 24 (August 12 for Early College High School)?

    Unfortunately with the elevated COVID-19 cases in Orange County, reopening our schools for in-person instruction is not possible at this time. In order to provide parents, teachers and staff adequate time to prepare for the start of the school year, we are announcing that all NMUSD schools will begin the school year with 100% Distance Learning. 

  • When will NMUSD schools begin in-person instruction or modified in-person with social distancing?

    We cannot predict exactly when in-person instruction may resume, but here are the steps to begin in-person instruction:

    • The first step, according to the state requirements*, is for our county to be removed from the State Monitoring List. Counties are placed on the list based on the number of new cases, positivity case rate, increase in hospitalization and availability of intensive care unit beds and ventilators. Orange County is currently on this list. 

    • Once Orange County is removed from the State Monitoring List it must remain off the list for at least 14 consecutive days. 

    • If both of these occur, the district will then notify parents and staff of the exact date of the start of in-person instruction, which will likely be a modified in-person instruction with social distancing (Level 2). The start date will be approximately 7- 14 days after notice is given to allow for the preparation of the return of students to school campuses.

      *There is an option within the state requirements that allows school districts to submit a waiver of the rules described above for elementary schools only. We are currently awaiting further guidance and clarification from the state and county before our district considers a waiver.

  • Will Distance Learning be the same as it was last spring?

It is important to recognize that last spring all schools had to shut down overnight and shift teaching and learning to a remote setting. This was a major challenge for every teacher, student and parent. 

For this coming school year, with more time to plan and new distance learning guidance from the state, there will be many enhancements and improvements to the learning experience for our students. More information about the instructional program will be provided to parents as we approach the start of the school year. 

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​How can I select the 100% Virtual School option

Parents will receive an Intent to Participate letter this week that allows parents to select the 100% Virtual School option for their student(s). 

This option requires your student to remain in the Virtual School for the entire 2020-2021 school year, but allows for the return to their current or home school for the 2021-2022 school year. 

Students who do not select the 100% Virtual School option will be included in the 3-Level Plan that allows for in-person instruction, in-person instruction with social distancing or 100% distance learning, depending on the conditions at the time. More information will be provided in the Intent to Participate letter.

  • Will I get more information about the start of the school year?

​​​​​​​Yes. As we get closer to the start of the school year you will be receiving more information from the district and your principal to prepare you and your student for the first day of school. Communication will also include information on how to ensure that your student has a Chromebook and internet connectivity.

  • Will meals be available?​​​​​​​

Yes. Student meals will continue to be provided even during distance learning. Parents will be notified of the days, hours and locations where meals will be available.   

We will continue to check the State Monitoring List, specifically for Orange County, to determine if we are able to safely return in-person according to the guidelines provided by the state. We are committed to prepare to meet the state safety and health guidelines for the return of students at our schools. Meanwhile, please stay safe and practice all safety guidelines so that our students can safely return to the classrooms, playgrounds and activities that they enjoy and where they thrive.

With the exception of Estancia High School, all high schools and middle schools will prepare for the start of the school year utilizing the structure from 2019-20, such as the traditional 8-period or 6-period day. 

Since June we have been working to create the best instructional models for our students for the upcoming school year. Our guiding principles of safety, connections and relationships, mental health and quality instruction have always been our priority. We have gathered input and guidance from our focus groups and advisory committees to provide the best solutions for our students, teachers and families. Countless models have been explored and none come without major challenges.

Last week, on July 21, we made a recommendation to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education to implement the 4 x 4 Model at our secondary schools for its benefits of safety, daily connections between students and teachers and a focus on fewer courses at one time. It was intended to limit the number of courses to reduce stress on students and allow for deeper learning for each course. This would also allow teachers to provide greater attention to fewer students per semester.

Unfortunately, throughout this crisis we have been required to address very complex challenges without the time to fully discuss proposals and options as we would normally do with our staff, parents, and students, particularly important for a change of this significance. 

Since the 4 x 4 model was announced we have heard and received a large number of comments, some in support and many opposed to this model. While all of the features of the model are intended to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are wide differences of opinions on the features and challenges that come with this model, and the necessary support for success is not evident at all school sites.

Therefore, in consultation with our principals and feedback received from teachers, counselors and community, we are taking the following actions: 

  • The implementation of the 4 x 4 Model in our secondary schools will not move forward.
  • With the exception of Estancia High School (EHS), all high schools and middle schools will prepare for the start of the school year utilizing the structure from 2019-20 such as the traditional 8-period or 6-period day.
  • With the support of the principal, staff and parents, Estancia High School would continue to implement the 4 x 4 structure for the 2020-21 school year.   

Now more than ever we must dedicate our time and resources to the start of the school year and to keep our focus on re-opening, distance learning and implementing all safety guidelines. Specific schedules including distance learning or modified in-person instruction will be shared by principals once finalized. We appreciate your support and understanding as we continue to navigate through these difficult times.

Outdated information - please see the latest news above.

On July 21, 2020 the Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) Board of Education approved the 3-Level plan for secondary instructional models for reopening the 2020-2021 school year.  

This new structure will be implemented for the 2020-2021 school year at all middle schools and high schools (excluding Early College, Back Bay and Monte Vista High Schools). Students will concentrate on 3 to 4 classes at a time to build a deeper connection to their teachers and subject matter which is particularly important during these times of change and uncertainty. This new model also promotes student and staff safety, with social distancing in place during in-person instruction. 

Listed below are some features of the instructional models that will be used and adaptable based on changing conditions throughout the year. 


Instructional Model: Secondary (7-12)
(Excludes Early College, Back Bay and Monte Vista High Schools)
 

The 4 X 4 model structure would be maintained for the entire 2020-2021 school year and will be used for the three levels throughout the school year. 

4 X 4 Model:

  • Students complete half of their courses in each semester (fall/spring), instead of all classes throughout the year
  • Students meet everyday instead of every other day
  • Students focus on 3-4 courses each semester instead of 6-8 classes
  • Students complete the same number of credits per year as a traditional structure. Typically, 60 credits for high school and 30-40 credits for middle school (10 credits per course)
  • Teachers focus on 3-4 courses each semester, providing greater individual attention to students and course preparation
     
  • Level 1 - 100%  In-person 
    Used if the State of California, Orange County guidelines or local conditions support instruction without the need for social distancing
  • Level 2 - Modified In-Person 
    • Promotes daily connection with teachers and access to support services and meals
    • Special Education (Special Day Classes) services will be full days, except Wednesday half day 
    • Students assigned a morning or afternoon cohort, Monday to Friday
    • Half day - receive in-person instruction on campus every day
    • Half day - engage in independent learning connected to coursework
    • Smaller class sizes to accommodate social distancing
  • Level 3 - 100% Distance Learning
    • Used if state guidelines do not allow for in-person instruction, Stay-at-Home order is issued by state, county or local health officials, or as necessitated by local health conditions

For more information about the model that was approved please view the presentation from the July 21, 2020 Board of Education Meeting - Approval of 4 X 4 Model for Secondary (presentation starts at 2:11:25) 

View the Secondary “4 X 4” Model Video for a summary of the model described above. 


Early College High School

 Instructional Model: Early College High School

 Early College High School will not use the 4 X 4 model described above due to their alignment to the community college system.

  • Level 1 - 100% In-person (same as noted above)
     
  • Level 2 - Modified In-Person
    • Students will be assigned to one of two cohorts:
      • Cohort A (Monday and Tuesday)- full day in-person instruction 
      • Cohort B  (Wednesday and Thursday)- full day in-person instruction
    • Fridays will include targeted student support and teacher professional development
    • Students may engage in on-campus, independent learning when not in in-person instruction with their teachers
    • Promotes daily connection with the school and access to support services and meals
  • Level 3 - 100% Distance Learning (same as noted above) 

Back Bay/Monte Vista High Schools

Instructional Model: Back Bay/Monte Vista High Schools

Back Bay and Monte Vista will continue with their traditional schedule. Back Bay will continue on a trimester system and Monte Vista will continue on a semester system. 

  • Level 1 - 100% In-person (same as noted above)
     
  • Level 2 - Modified In-Person
    • Students will report to campus each day utilizing their traditional schedule and will not use the 4 X 4 model described above.
    • Social distancing will be accomplished within the classroom and/or available space on campus.
    • Promotes daily connection with the school and access to support services and meals
  • Level 3 - 100% Distance Learning (same as noted above)

 100% Virtual Learning Option 

As an alternate to the 3-level plans, parents have an option to enroll students in the 100% Virtual Learning School. An intent to participate form will be sent to parents next week to indicate their preference to have their student in the 100% Virtual Learning School or the 3-level plans. 


 Resources:

More to follow…

Further details of reopening guidelines will be provided throughout the summer and at the August 4, 2020 Board Meeting. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom made an announcement today (July 17, 2020) regarding the start of school, which includes guidance that schools cannot physically reopen for in-person instruction until that county is no longer on the State Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days. Currently, Orange County is on the State Monitoring List. The Governor also announced additional criteria for reopening schools for in-person instruction in counties that are not on the State Monitoring List. Today’s announcement provides all California school districts with clearer guidance on when and how to safely physically reopen our schools.

What are the next steps for Newport-Mesa USD?

At this time we will fully review the newly issued state guidance and will make a determination for our district based on the criteria. As announced previously, the level we will use for the start of the school year within our 3-Level Plan will be determined at least two weeks prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year. If Orange County does not meet the state criteria to allow for reopening, NMUSD would implement 100% distance learning which is Level 3 of the 3-Level Plan and comply with the revised state guidelines. The 2020-21 school year starts on August 24, except for Early College High School which Starts on August 12.

Meanwhile, NMUSD continues to develop our Parent Choice Virtual Learning School and the 3-Level Plan which allows our district to adapt to the changing circumstance and switch to distance learning 100%, modified in-person instruction with social distancing, or in-person 100% when conditions get better and allowable under the guidance from the state, county and local health officials. 

Thank you for your support and understanding and we will continue to keep you updated of all these important decisions.

On July 14, 2020 the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education approved a 3-Level Plan for Re-opening the 2020-21 school year. The Board previously approved a Parent Choice - Virtual Learning 100% option for the 2020-2021 school year. 

3-Level Plan for Re-opening Schools - English and Spanish 

3-Level Plan for Re-opening Schools for the 2020-21 School Year

The District will be prepared to shift between the following learning models throughout the school year. The District will determine the level for all students, based on state, county and local health department guidance, orders and/or local conditions at the time. Alternatively, parents have the choice of a 100% Virtual Learning School option instead.

Level 1 -100%  In-person 

Used if the State of California moves to Stage 4 and Orange County and local conditions support instruction without the need for social distancing.

Level 2 - Elementary (TK-6) - Full Day “Max 16” Model* 

  • Students on campus all day (except Wednesdays)
  • In-person classroom instruction up to maximum capacity (16)* with social distancing - half day (morning or afternoon)
  • On-campus extended learning - half day (morning or afternoon); with parent opt-out option
  • Wednesdays - half day morning - all students/half day afternoon - teacher professional development 
  • Inclement weather/air quality day - In-person classroom - half day only. No on-campus extended learning offered
  • Students receiving Special Education (Special Day Classes) services will be full days except Wednesday half day
    *Maximum capacity may vary slightly due to classroom size. 

Secondary (7-12) - To be determined

While district staff was prepared to present the Level 2 instructional model for secondary students, it is being revised and anticipated to be presented to the Board of Education at a special board meeting tentatively set for Tuesday, July 21. Being a special meeting (not regularly scheduled) an agenda for this meeting will be posted on the District Agenda Webpage at least one day prior to the meeting.

School bus transportation will be limited for elementary and secondary schools. Available space will prioritize students with special needs. Other criteria for limited space will be determined by need and distance. Face coverings will be required for all passengers. 

Level 3 - 100% Distance Learning  

Used if a Stay-at-Home order is issued by state, county or local health officials, or as necessitated by local health conditions 

NMUSD will prepare for all three levels and confirmation of the level for the start of the school year will be determined approximately two weeks prior to the first day of the school on August 24 (August 12 for Early College High School). Reopening will be based on state, county and local health department guidance and/or orders and local conditions at the time. 

Parents/guardians will be provided with additional information on the approved models above and the parent Choice Virtual Learning option.  

100% Virtual Learning Option 

Within the next week or two, all parents will receive an Intent to Participate notice to indicate their preference to have their student in the parent Choice Virtual Learning 100% or the 3-level plan described above. This information is critical for district staff and principals to prepare schedules and staffing for the start of the school year.  

Further details of reopening guidelines will be provided throughout the summer and at the August 4, 2020 Board Meeting. For the latest information, please visit the 2020-2021 School Reopening Webpage

Dear Newport-Mesa families, 

As you know, Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) has been diligently working to determine a plan for the start of the 2020-21 school year which is set to begin on August 24. Early College High School starts August 12. 

On June 23, 2020 the NMUSD Board of Education took the following action:

  • Approve a Parent Choice - 100% Virtual Learning Option. Details of this parent option will be finalized and expected to be shared in mid-July.

    • Provides an option for parents who prefer not to send their student to a physical school setting, are concerned about potential changes during the school year due to health and government guidelines, and/or their student thrives in a virtual/distance setting

    • Reduces amount of students physically on school campuses

    • May address the need of students and staff in the high risk groups

    • Sets a foundation to continue and expand virtual learning in the district for future years

  • Direction to continue to explore alternative models to maintain social distancing per state guidance and keep students on campus as much as possible to support the instructional program and address the issue of childcare, particularly for elementary students.

  • Direction to prepare a 3-Level Plan that is adaptable for potential changing circumstances throughout the year and meets the state/county requirements for re-opening. The 3-Level Plan allows district schools to be prepared to shift between in-person, hybrid and distance learning necessitated by state, county or local orders and conditions. 

Next Steps:

The District will continue to finalize details of the Parent Choice Virtual Learning Option and the 3-Level Plan. The updated plans, alternative model(s) and other aspects of re-opening will be brought to the Board on July 14. An update to staff and parents also will be sent following this meeting. For the latest information, please visit the 2020-2021 School Reopening Webpage


Dear Newport-Mesa Community,

We have been advised to postpone the re-opening of athletics until the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) provides guidelines specific to school-based sports and extracurricular activities.  Similar to other Orange County School Districts, NMUSD was prepared to re-open athletics on July 6, 2020 aligned to guidance from a national high school athletics association. Regretfully, our plan to re-open athletics must be put on hold at this time.

Yesterday the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) confirmed with CDPH that at this time youth sports, including conditioning activities, are not permitted. The CDPH has yet to issue guidance for reopening recreational team sports or recreational youth sports activities. CDPH indicated that guidance specific to these activities would be released in the future, but provided no specific date. 

Until there is specific guidance provided by CDPH regarding recreational team sports or school-based sports, Orange County school districts have been advised not to operate summer youth sports programs. Once statewide guidance is released, we will work with the Orange County Health Care Agency to consider local community conditions when implementing our reopening plan for athletics.

As we wait for guidance, we will continue to prepare for the re-opening of athletics so that we can be ready to open as soon as possible. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding.


6/25/2020

Dear Newport-Mesa Community,

Aligned with guidelines from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC), which align with Orange County Healthcare Agency COVID-19 Phasing Guidelines, Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) will be opening athletics in a modified capacity, Phase 1, beginning July 6, 2020. 

Student participation in a program is voluntary and based upon parental discretion. Any student who chooses not to participate in summer workouts will not be penalized. 

The three-phased approach outlines pre-workout/screening, limitations on gatherings, facility cleaning, physical activity/athletic equipment and hydration protocols specific to each phase. Health precautions will be in place to comply with guidance intended to prevent transmission of COVID-19, including appropriate physical distancing and wellness screenings. 

The following protocols will be implemented for all athletes/coaches:

  • All coaches/teachers will participate in an NMUSD Athletics Reopening Training, prior to bringing athletes on-campus.

  • Athletes must turn in a signed NMUSD Athletics Reopening Parent/Guardian Notification Letter prior to participation in any program. School will provide parent waivers.

  • Athletes who fail to comply with social distancing and/or face covering guidelines will not be permitted to participate.

  • Only athletes are allowed on campus and all parents/guardians must remain inside their vehicles while dropping off and picking up students.

  • All athletes/coaches will wear face coverings at all times. Athletes/coaches will be allowed to remove their masks (maintaining six-foot distancing) for short periods throughout the workout/practice to avoid overheating.

  • Athletes will be screened daily upon arrival.The screening will consist of a health survey and temperature will be taken, recorded and maintained on a monitoring form.

  • Athletes with a temperature of less than 100.40, and no other COVID-19 symptoms will be given a bright-colored, circular sticker with the date indicating their clearance to participate in the program for the day.

  • Athletes with a temperature of 100.40 or higher or symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home and not allowed to participate in on-campus programs for 14 days or until clearance from a medical doctor is received.

  • After a temperature check and when transferring locations, students/coaches will wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer. 

  • Waiting spots will be clearly marked on the ground for athlete use in the adjacent parking lot for pick-up procedures. 

Schools will follow-up with additional information and parent waivers.

Facility Use By Outside User (non-district) Groups

At this time NMUSD is not authorizing the use of district facilities for outside user (non-district) groups. Priority is to safely re-open district summer and athletic programs in stages as described above. However, the District is currently reviewing which facilities may be safely re-opened without impacting district programs, on-going construction projects, or summer cleaning schedules. We appreciate the understanding and patience of our community. 

During the Board Study Session on June 17, 2020 the Board of Education received an update on the planning process, recently released guidance from the state of California and feedback and input received from stakeholders regarding the re-opening of the schools, instructional models, and health and safety measures.  Input has been gathered from various sources including the Superintendent’s Advisory and multiple Focus Groups of parents, students, certificated employees, classified employees, and special education. In addition, results from the recent Thought Exchange were shared.    

Board Study Session - June 17, 2020 - Building a Comprehensive Plan to Safely Reopen NMUSD Schools in 2020-21

Please take a moment to listen to a video message from Newport-Mesa Unified School District Deputy Superintendent Mr. Russell Lee-Sung,  about how our district plans to address the challenge of reopening schools on August 24th. We know there are many important questions on everyone's mind and in order to keep our students and staff safe and to continue student learning, we will be developing a comprehensive plan. Check out the Planning Update: 2020-2021 School Year video to learn more about the structure of how we plan to do that.

Planning Update: 2020-2021 School Year Chart - English

Planning Update: 2020-2021 School Year Chart - Spanish

COVID-19 DASHBOARD

COVID-19 Dashboard

Cloud Campus

Cloud Campus (TK-12 Virtual School)