Cajon Valley Union School District discusses in-person learning successes
District is CA's largest to re-open with state waiver
By: Mary McKenzie
(KGTV) -- Rios Elementary School in the Cajon Valley Union School District is one of only a few districts that took advantage of the state waiver program to reopen for in-person learning this fall and is the largest in the state to qualify for one.
More than 200 students attend Rios in-person, five days a week.
Principal Liz Loether says despite low case numbers, they're seeing the effects of Covid, and they're trying their best to help students cope as they get back to school, but still face the challenges presented by the pandemic.
Loether says those symptoms are showing up as social-emotional difficulties, reactions to frustration, levels of patience, and learning loss.
At Rios they've leveraged the resource of extra space to spread out their more than two hundred kids. They have teachers rotate instead of kids to minimize contact outside cohorts.
Another resource is technology. Rios was the first computer science elementary school in the country, and several years ago, the superintendent made it a priority for each of the 17-thousand students in CVUSD to have a Chromebook computer.
It proved to be crucial foresight when the pandemic left many other districts scrambling to get tablets and computers into students' hands.
It also meant none of the money schools got from the government was needed to buy computers.
"It did give Cajon Valley an advantage," says Board of Trustees Vice-President Jim Miller. Miller also says to qualify for the waiver to reopen, significant planning and coordination were required, with parents and with the teachers' union.
Both Miller and the superintendent, Dr. David Miyashira, talked about trust and a sense of the community "buying-in" to the push to go back to school in person this fall.
In CVUSD schools, two out of three students qualify for free or reduced-cost meals, and many of the parents are frontline or essential workers.
Many Cajon Valley schools are open in a hybrid model, but there are several like Rios which are open five days. Some of the schools are providing full-day free daycare as well for frontline workers and for school staff.
Roughly 20% of families have opted to do online learning full-time, but overall, the feedback they've received, he says, has been very positive.
He adds that they've heard from districts across the country who have asked for advice on how to replicate their model successfully.
"I'm personally very proud of Cajon Valley," says Miller.
Expert Panel Discussion Hosted by Cajon Valley Union School District and CBS News 8
SAN DIEGO COUNTY, California — Students across San Diego County have started to return to school with information coming from many sources regarding public safety, public health and public policy.
School officials get weekly updates from experts in these fields, but families, teachers, and students don’t always have all the same access to this critical information.
This panel of school officials, government officials and medical experts presented families the opportunity to hear from the experts directly, as well as get some of their questions answered.
Questions discussed included:
- How likely are children to catch and transmit COVID-19 at school?
- Is it safe for school employees to be in close proximity to students?
- Should children play together at recess and should they wear masks all the time?
- Do schools spread the virus to the wider community?
- Why don’t all school districts open and use the same safety policies?
This one-hour long program was moderated by News 8's Shannon Handy and is available to watch below:
- Summer Stephan, San Diego County District Attorney
- Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego Superintendent of Schools
- Dr. John S. Bradley, Rady Children’s Hospital / UCSD
- Dr. Alice Pong, Rady Children’s Hospital
- Chris Abe R.N., CIC, HEM, Vice President, Operations, Rady Children’s Hospital
The panel is hosted by Cajon Valley Union School District and CBS 8.
Student Meals Now Available at ALL Sites - Sep 10, 2020
Hello Cajon Valley Families,
The Child Nutrition Department would like to inform you that meals are available Monday through Friday, from 11 am to 1 pm, at ALL school sites, to all students, at no charge. We will have meals in the classroom for students on campus and drive-thru meals available for students off-campus. Children do not have to be present to obtain a meal.
Public health agencies:
Guidelines for staying healthy:
Hand Washing: Clean Hands Save Lives (CDC)