The Del Norte Unified School District (DNUSD) has moved Phase 2 of reopening back by a week due to a delay in receiving critically needed supplies to make the transition.
In a video to the community posted Sept. 11, Superintendent Jeff Harris outlined the hurdles still facing the school district to meet its reopening goals.
He said in August, the Board of Trustees approved a gradual return to in-person learning that would have moved DNUSD into Phase 2 Sept. 14. “Phase 2 consists of continued distance learning for all students with groups not to exceed 14 students returning for in-person instruction and/or support,” Harris explained. “Students included in these first groups to return are those receiving intensive special education services and those students most at-risk, including foster youth, homeless youth, English learners, high school students who are significantly credit deficient and students with no internet access.”
Harris said to safely and effectively move into Phase 2, the district needed to have personal protective equipment, disinfecting supplies and family screening tools in place. While the district has most of the PPE it needs to begin working in person with students, the Facilities and Maintenance department still has not received critical supplies, including disinfecting spray and disinfecting wipes for every classroom that were ordered in April and May. He added the regional fires and road closures are further compounding difficulties receiving those supplies.
In addition, Harris said the school district has yet to receive an app families would use to screen their child at home prior to sending them to school.
“Unfortunately, we have had difficulty in working with the company providing the app. It was originally supposed to be available on Monday, Aug. 31, but we are now told that it will most likely be closer to Sept. 18,” Harris said.
Despite pushing back the Phase 2 reopening to Sept. 21, Harris said the administration’s goal remains to open Phase 3 by Oct 5. This would begin the two days a week of in person learning at 50% capacity.
Over the next week, Harris said families will be contacted to set up small groups and to provide information regarding transportation, cohort times and safety protocols for Phase 2.
A mailer will be sent home with information regarding universal precautions and how to safely re-enter school.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and cooperation as our staff continues to overcome challenges and obstacles and strives to ensure that each child receives the best education possible in the current situation,” Harris added.