February 5 2021 – Partners in Education

February 5, 2021

Dear EGUSD Educational Community,

The purpose of this communication is to affirm the Elk Grove Unified School District’s desire, intent, and commitment to returning to in-person instruction in a manner that is as safe as possible, as soon as possible.  The Partners in Education group (PIE) is comprised of District staff, a school board member, and representatives from each of the seven labor groups.  PIE has been working collaboratively through the planning, negotiation, and meet and confer processes to develop and implement a means to ensure a safe return of staff and students to our schools.

Fortunately, we continue to see a decrease in the case rate in Sacramento County.  As a reminder, the County adjusted case rate is calculated by dividing the 7-day average number of daily cases by the population per 100,000.  We invite you to access links to State and County adjusted case rates which can be found on the District’s COVID-19 resource page at www.egusd.net/#covid-19-tab.  The State metrics determine the tier designation for respective counties, but the Sacramento County Public Health Dashboard serves as a leading indicator as to daily rates and informs us as to anticipated trends.  In subsequent weeks, it is anticipated that the daily and therefore adjusted case rates will continue to drop now that the case rate “spikes” likely caused by the holiday season have passed.

As re-opening proposals move through the legislature for consideration, EGUSD believes that the current labor agreements and safety plans that have been developed will afford opportunities for all students and staff to return to in-person instruction safely and efficiently.  As you are aware per previous District communications, EGUSD is prepared to return students whose families desire an in-person option once Sacramento County reaches the red-tier, which is marked by a weekly average case rate 7.0 or lower.  Again, we have seen a drop in case rates over the past two weeks, and we expect this to continue.  As such, we are anticipating offering the in-person option to students and families this spring.

For illustration purposes, if Sacramento County reaches the red-tier criteria for one week on Tuesday, March 2, then it will be eligible to move into the red-tier on Tuesday, March 9.  In this scenario, EGUSD will offer the in-person option for those families who choose to do so as follows:

  • Tuesday, March 23: PreK-3 and Jessie Baker School (includes all respective Special Education programs and services);
  • Tuesday, March 30: Grades 4-6 (includes ALL Self-contained Special Education programs and services from all grade levels, up to and including programs serving students who are age 22);
  • Tuesday, April 6:  Secondary grades 7-12.

The in-person option will be the In-Person Concurrent model comprised of the same technology-based instruction as students are accustomed to in distance learning, with the additional opportunity for students to access this instruction in-person in the classroom.  TK-1 students will be provided small group instruction, either in-person or through distance learning, and will not follow the In-Person Concurrent Instructional model.  There will be more details regarding this instructional model in upcoming communications from EGUSD.

We are aware there are reservations and concerns that the In-Person Concurrent model is not comparable to a full-return or a hybrid instruction model.  The mid-year implementation of the In-Person Concurrent model ensures continuity of both the instructional program and student/teacher relationships, in that it prevents the need to re-assign students, teachers, class schedules, and make track changes.  Furthermore, the In-Person Concurrent model also preserves the current levels of direct, synchronous instruction which would otherwise be reduced in an alternating hybrid model.

The roll out of the In-Person Concurrent model this Spring will inform decisions related to the 2021-2022 school year which commences in July 2021 for year-round schools.  Whereas determinations as to the implementation of the In-Person Concurrent model have been made for the 2020-21 school year, no final determinations have been made to date for the 2021-2022 school year related to specific instructional models, calendars, or school schedules.  It is our fervent hope that continued adherence to safety protocols and the distribution of vaccines will allow for further advancement towards a full return of students to campuses with an option for families who wish to remain in distance learning.

Lastly, we understand that there are many questions related to the availability and distribution of vaccines.  Please know that we are actively engaged to identify a means to have EGUSD staff vaccinated as soon as possible.  In the meantime, the health and safety protocols that we have developed will allow us to return to in-person learning and services while we continue efforts to make the vaccine available to our staff.  The vaccine, once available , will provide additional protection but does not replace the health and safety protocols that will be in place.  The District will communicate opportunities for staff to be vaccinated once plans are finalized.

As partners in communication, District staff and all seven labor groups are committed to making this return to in-person instruction a reality this spring.  The confluence of continued adherence to safety protocols, increased testing, and the distribution of vaccines will accelerate the decrease in the case rates of Sacramento County and get us closer to this goal.


EGUSD Partners in Education

Christopher Hoffman, Superintendent

Beth Albiani, Board President

Nancy Chaires Espinoza, Board Member

Rick Stancil, President, EGEA

Diane Campbell, President, AFSCME

Toni Minoletti, President, PSWA

Ralph Niz, President, ATU

Lezette Azevedo, NUHW

Susan Davis, EGTEAMs (EGBEST)

Kari Ballez, President, CSEA

Martin Hock III, EGTEAMs (EGAT)

David Reilly, Associate Superintendent


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