Dear Wonderful ECP Families,
It is hard to imagine that we are now at the end of October, over seven months of working through the challenges the pandemic has brought us. I know it is not said enough, but thank you for all that you are doing during this time. This letter provides an update on readiness factors that will ground our decision for any potential return to in-person learning, in addition to providing an update on the extension of distance learning.
5 READINESS FACTORS IMPACTING OUR RETURN TO IN-PERSON LEARNING
ECP continues to monitor State and local health guidelines, evaluate county COVID-19 indicators, and work towards ensuring that all appropriate health & safety systems are in place at school. We would like to share how we are evaluating both relevant external and internal factors that will impact the timing of our return to in-person learning. As such, please review the detailed information below on how we are preparing and ensuring we meet all readiness factors before reopening for any potential in-person learning.
Importantly, and in consideration of the state of readiness related to the 5 factors that will be reviewed below, we are now extending 100% distance learning, with a target return date of February 1, 2021. This does not mean that we will definitely return to in-person learning on February 1st. More information explaining our readiness preparation and planning will be explained below.
Though interrelated and operating on independent timelines, each of the 5 ‘readiness’ factors outlined below will all play a role in helping us to determine if and when it is safe to return to in-person learning. To be clear, we need to meet all five of these factors in order for us to return to our campus within a hybrid learning environment.
The first factor we need to consider is the new California statewide county monitoring tiered-framework, the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which governs decisions as to when schools might be eligible to re-open in-person. Schools are eligible to re-open for in-person learning once the county is off Tier 1 (‘widespread’) for two straight weeks and can advance to Tier 2 (‘substantial’).
The way it works is that the California Department of Public Health assesses all indicators, and makes risk tier determinations county by county each week. Counties must remain in the Tier their indicators dictate for three weeks before improving to a more advanced Tier; the county must also then meet the criteria of the advanced Tier for two weeks prior to progressing to the more advanced Tier. Essentially, there is a 5-week window to progress to a more advanced Tier.
Currently, Los Angeles remains in Tier 1 and is not ‘State-Ready’ at present.
The State guidelines represent only a minimum bar. Individual counties can choose to be more restrictive than the State framework, with local public health officials setting supplementary re-entry criteria that the county must achieve before reopening schools.
Once our counties have met any additional requirements set by local public health officials, we will be in a ‘County-Ready’ position to re-open to an in-person hybrid learning scenario.
Since the pandemic began, our Operations Team has been implementing necessary health & safety measures to minimize health risks to our students, families, and team members.
Once the LA County Department of Health provide safety guidelines for schools on how to re-open and all these health & safety measures are in place, then we will then be in a ‘School-Ready’ state to re-open to an in-person hybrid learning scenario, if and when we return to campus this school year.
While we work to prepare our school for a safe return to in-person learning, we are also aware that the pandemic has affected each of our families in many different ways. To this end, if and when we announce plans to return to in-person learning, families will have the ability to select a 100% distance learning OR hybrid learning option for their child. Until then, please continue to communicate the importance of washing hands frequently and keeping masks on around others: two important actions to combat the virus.
Once our families are ready for us, we will then be in a ‘Family-Ready’ position to welcome them back to our school within an in-person hybrid learning scenario they are comfortable with.
Practiced & Ready
And finally, once all health & safety measures are in place and our teaching, learning, & scheduling plans are finalized across the school, we will ensure that our team is well-practiced, and prepared to implement the new operational and instructional systems we will have in place to return to a safe learning environment for all.
Once we have well-rehearsed our hybrid learning scenario, we will then be in a ‘Practiced & Ready!’ position to re-open to an in-person hybrid learning scenario.
To reiterate, while these factors are interrelated, and will likely progress along different timelines, we must be in a readiness state for all five factors before we will return to in-person learning.
SO, WHEN MIGHT WE RETURN TO IN-PERSON LEARNING?
As you know, we previously announced that we extended 100% distance learning definitively to at least December 18th. In consideration of the state of readiness related to the 5 factors
reviewed, we are now extending 100% distance learning with a target return date of February 1, 2021. Again, this does not mean that we will definitely return to in-person learning on February 1st. Rather, while we cannot predict the future, we do feel it is important to set timelines to inform our planning and provide some predictability for our team members, families, and students. Our School Leadership Team will meet in early January to make a re-entry decision. If we have not met all external and internal readiness criteria at that time, we will set a new target timeline for ECP’s return to in-person learning.
As always, thank you for all that you do for our students, families, and community. I hope each of you continue to stay safe and healthy. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our office at (323) 800-4125.
Head of School