• Joey Lai

SMUSD Board Special Session - 9/4/2020

Updated: Sep 5, 2020

A couple thoughts on the special session held today about return to in-person school -

  1. Mark Schiel and his team did an excellent job presenting PPE plans, what safety routines will be, and how they will accomplish it. You can see he took in to consideration Board questions and community questions when drafting his presentation. I am comfortable with safety protocols that were discussed today. My only question is do we have enough staff to accomplish their plan, or will it be an all hands on deck approach (i.e. will teachers, staff, and admin assist in cleaning protocols between classes, or will we hire or contract more custodial staff)?

  2. Every option presented was an A/B option with in-person school 2 days a week (Monday would be virtual and half day for all) There is one additional AM/PM model that was proposed for Elementary, but given what the cleaning safety protocols would need to be, it does not seem like a viable option. If an A/B model with 2 days in-person and 2 days remote is only way to have some in-person schooling this year, then we are currently relying too much on our technology. The District issued Chromebooks don't work! Thus, in any model presented, the day your student is home by themselves online in an asynchronous learning environment, they are going to have issues. If the expectation is for a teacher to teach in person, while having a camera and lecturing to students at home simultaneously, that will be difficult as we know we will have technology issues. I really wish Carmen and Mark would have talked about what they are currently working on to ensure the technology would work with their A/B plan. They kept talking about relying on technology in general while not addressing the fact that there are widespread issues with the laptops issued.

  3. What happened to the first proposal for 4 day a week learning for Elementary?

  4. I would have like to have seen more dialogues on how they tried to get creative and why it may or may have not worked. For example, did they try to lease more commercial space to be able to have 4 day a week in-person learning since space is the main issue? How can we use KOC employees to assist with after school care for the A/B schedule or AM/PM schedule if that is what the Board chooses? What can we do to either swap out Chromebooks, or have families come to campus and drop off their laptop to be worked on, then re-issued?

If you were looking for 4-5 day a week in-person schooling it is not on the table unfortunately. At least we have an idea now of what the rest of the year will look like and parents can make more firm plans on child care or choose other options that meet their needs. I have attached slides from the meeting today that you can reference. If you need additional slides for reference please email me at and I would be happy to share.

*Updated 9/5/20 3:31pm to include a slide on the AM/PM option for Elementary.

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