Phone: (650) 548-4209
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FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
GET READY FOR THE START OF SCHOOL!
Dear Parents and Guardians,
In mid-July, school districts in San Mateo County were provided direction regarding in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year, based on recently passed state law AB130. All school districts now have the best information we should expect before the start of school.
The Hillsborough City School District is ready to welcome all students back for in-person instruction at all levels for the 2021-2022 school year. We learned a great deal over the course of the last year and we continue to be thankful for our partnership with our parents and the community. Most importantly, we learned that we can operate schools safely. Additionally, we observed the incredibly positive energy when students and educators came together on our campuses - it was simply amazing.
In-person instruction will serve as the default for our students this year. We firmly believe all our teachers need to return to classrooms to focus on face-to-face teaching and learning. We are fortunate to have one of the lowest student-to-teacher ratios in the entire state. This will help us to serve our in-person students in the way our community expects and deserves.
Temporary legislation allowing for virtual classroom programs for the 2020-2021 school year has expired. For families who have medical issues or concerns, AB130 allows for Independent Study. As shared above, the vast majority of students should expect to return to in-person instruction. If necessary, a small fraction of students may choose to opt in to Remote Independent Study (RIS).
The Remote Independent Study program will be offered for the 2021-22 school year only. We are asking families to make a non-binding selection for the 2021-2022 school year for our planning purposes via a survey that will be sent to you on Monday, August 2nd. Your response to the survey is due on Wednesday, August 4th.
A final selection form will be sent to parents the week of August 9th.
As we have all learned over the last two years, information, rules, and guidelines change often. Please review the following important current factors for the 2021-22 school year:
All students are expected to attend in-person instruction. However, students and families that feel in-person instruction compromises their health may elect to participate in a Remote Independent Study (RIS) learning option that will be offered by the district.
At this time, HCSD will most likely utilize a third party vendor to provide a Remote Independent Study learning program. This means students in Remote Independent Study most likely will not be taught by a HCSD teacher.
As per the California Department of Education, the Independent Study program will include opportunities for daily synchronous instruction for students in grades TK-3, and opportunities for both daily live interaction and at least weekly synchronous instruction for grades 4-8.
Prior to enrollment in the Remote Independent Study program, families must meet with HCSD staff to discuss the program and procedures for enrolling, disenrolling, and re-enrolling.
For in-person instruction, masks will be required indoors for all staff and students regardless of age or vaccination status.
Students with a medical condition that prevents wearing a mask MUST obtain a medical exemption from a qualified physician in order to attend in-person classes.
Masks will not be required for staff and students when outdoors.
Social distancing will not be required on campus (indoors) or outdoors per CDC guidelines.
Students who select Remote Independent Study will be permitted to return to HCSD within five days of requesting a return (as per AB130). Every effort will be made to return elementary students to their home school pending space availability. If space is not available, the elementary students will be placed at another HCSD elementary school selected by the district.
Prior to selection and approval of Remote Independent Study for students with disabilities under IDEA, an IEP meeting must be held to review and develop an IEP addendum. The decision to approve/deny Remote Independent Study rests with the IEP team that includes both staff and parent/guardian.
Again, we strongly encourage families to participate in a full return to in-person instruction. This position is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and San Mateo County Health (SMCH).
We will continue to communicate with you often over the course of the next two weeks. If you are a parent who would like Remote Independent Study for your child, additional information will be provided before you need to make a final decision regarding programming.
Louann Carlomagno, Ed.D.
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent