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2020-2021 School Reopening

Newport-Mesa School Reopening Update | August 7, 2020

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

Contact Us 

(714) 424-5050
feedback@nmusd.us

Cloud Campus

Cloud Campus (TK-12 Virtual School)

Distance Learning and Virtual School Update

Please view the Distance Learning and Virtual School Update presentation that was presented to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education on August 4, 2020.