Remote Instruction in Fall 2020 BUSD

A letter from Carl Coles, Superintendent Bonita Unified School District

After reviewing guidance from state and county public health and education authorities, consulting with local school districts, and monitoring the growing cases of COVID-19 within Los Angeles County, Bonita Unified School District will begin the 2020-21 school year with remote instruction through a distance learning model.
This decision was not taken lightly as we miss our students and families tremendously, however, we cannot in good conscience provide in-class instruction if it means jeopardizing the health of our students, staff, and ultimately the communities of San Dimas and La Verne. Bonita Unified is one of the largest employers within the cities and the safety of our 1,100 employees and 10,000 students will always be our first priority.
To say these are unprecedented times is an understatement. On July 13th, we received the Reopening Protocols for K-12 Schools from the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health; Order of the Health Officer. Contained in the Health Orders are multiple directives such as cleaning regiments, contact tracing for those that test positive for COVID-19, and 6ft social distancing, just to name a few. Under these orders, the District ultimately has two choices; a hybrid model where students attend 1 to 2 days per week or full distance learning.
Additionally, on July 13th, four months after schools shut their doors in the middle of the spring semester, Gov. Gavin Newsom re-imposed business and community closures to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Many of these businesses closed after receiving authorization to open just 3-4 weeks ago. Just like these businesses, there is no guarantee that our schools could remain open even on a hybrid model. Given the uncertainty of this pandemic, shuttering our campuses just days/weeks after potentially reopening is a possibility. Our students and staff deserve better. They deserve consistency in their educational planning, programming, and delivery.
Under normal circumstances, our 13 schools and district office spend all summer preparing for the subsequent school year. With the start of our fall semester just 5 weeks away and the possibility to receive a mandate that will close our schools once again, we must now turn our attention to what we can control. We will spend the remainder of the summer continuing our efforts in preparing for distance learning. Our preparation will ensure our readiness to implement a comprehensive and robust distance learning plan that will deliver the high-quality education that is the hallmark of Bonita Unified. Regardless of where the learning is happening, please know that classes will have high levels of accountability for students with rigorous curriculum.
“Preparing Every Student To Live Their Purpose”
We do understand that our families have concerns regarding childcare, and I want to assure you that we hear these concerns and we are actively developing plans to provide childcare to working families.
We know that our students, staff, and community are eager to regain some sense of normalcy. Bonita Unified is eager for this as well. Accordingly, in the event that there is a dynamic shift in our ability to provide a safe environment for our students and staff, our District is prepared to adjust our instructional model during the school year and return staff and students to campus as appropriate.
I have seen the Bonita Unified community do incredible things during this pandemic, and there is no doubt in my mind that despite the challenges we may face in the coming months, we will persevere and overcome together.
In the next several days/weeks, you will receive more information regarding registration, expectations for distance learning, childcare opportunities, and much more.
On behalf of the Board of Education, we want to thank you for your continued trust and support during these uncertain times, and we look forward to continuing in our mission in preparing all of our students to live their purpose.