March 12, 2021
Dear Rowland Families:
It is hard to believe that it has been a year since we entered one of the most significant historical events in our lifetime. We appreciate your support as you have been alongside our educational team, navigating this new way of teaching and learning for our students. I want to personally thank all our employees who have come together during these extraordinary times to continue to provide care, connection, compassion, and educational excellence for our students.
Last night the Board of Education voted unanimously to continue virtual learning for the majority of TK-12 students through the end of this school year. The Board discussed at length the comprehensive safety measures, equipment, technology and instructional supplies, and teaching models that have been put in place in preparation for the return to in-person instruction. Extensive information was presented to the Board, including data from the District’s 2020-2021 School Planning Team and results from the recent parent interest survey that 8,451 families participated in. The results of the survey showed that 54% of parents preferred to remain in virtual learning versus 46% returning to an in-person, hybrid model.
The Board of Education discussed the need to engage the most vulnerable students who have struggled during virtual learning. The decision was made to provide in-person support for special needs, foster youth and at-risk students with a schedule yet to be determined and not beginning prior to April 26, 2021. Our Special Education and school support teams will work closely with our parents once available.
In looking ahead, our District will return to in-person instruction this summer, where we will focus on identifying students who have experienced learning loss, who need additional academic support, and who will require credit recovery options. There will be some online learning options during the summer as well. For the opening of the 2021-2022 school year, in-person instruction will continue, with the additional option for parents to select an all-virtual learning setting for your child.
For the Class of 2021, we all have a strong desire to provide safe, in person activities for our students. Our high schools and District will work with student groups to discuss creative ways to offer safe, in-person, social events for our seniors as their high school years come to a close. We are also continuously evaluating options for graduation and remain hopeful with the current downward trend in COVID cases that we will be able to safely recognize our graduates in some form of an in-person graduation ceremony.
We will continue to stay connected with you as information continues to constantly change due to health updates and guidelines. Please do not hesitate to contact your school if you have any questions or need support. While we are physically distant, we remain socially connected and are here to serve our students and families.
Julie Mitchell, Ed.D.
Rowland Unified School District