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Message from the Superintendent: Downey School District Update

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 9, 2021

By Dr. John Garcia, Superintendent

First and foremost, I want to start off with welcoming everybody officially back to school! We are excited to have 90 percent of our students back on campuses in Downey Unified. It’s great to see kids back in school and back in their seats. We continue to provide robust online programs, for those who want to continue with their online education.

 

DUSD began a 14th online elementary school for the 2021-2022 year and continues to provide full online offerings at secondary school sites. There were some bumps along the way; I’m going to be honest about that. On our first day of school, unfortunately, the web filter was down, and we know a lot of our devices particularly iPads at the elementary and middle schools were not able to connect to the network. But they were able to get it back up after a couple of hours.

 

In regards to student Wellness Checks, checking in, and getting onto campus went very smoothly. There has been feedback and questions about class sizes. At the beginning of each year, we have students who move in over the summer and check-in at the beginning of the school year and we have students who move away and never check themselves out of the district. We are not always sure about who is coming and who has gone and it takes a couple of weeks to stabilize things.

 

I want to want to thank everyone for their grace, their patience and their flexibility as we continue to work through our challenges.  We have had some great successes along the way with our students back in school full time. We are very excited about that. I want to continue to encourage people to look at getting vaccinated. There was a vaccination clinic held Thursday, on August 26th at Downey High School, if you would like to register for future clinics, please visit myturn.ca.gov to get register.

 

The health orders in relation to students and adults are very, very different between those who are vaccinated and those who are not. We understand there are some very important reasons by folks may not be able to get vaccinated, however, we will continue to support vaccinations in the district.

 

At our last Board of Education meeting and there were some adjustments made to current protocols as far as what is happening in LA County and working with our partners at the LA County Department of Public Health. We know that there will be some venues that will be going toward outdoor masks potentially later on and we are going to follow suit with that by revising our protocol and updating our protocol to ask all of our students and staff to wear their masks, not only indoors but outdoors as well unless they are eating or drinking.

 

You may continue to find updated protocols on our Board of Education webpage for COVID-19 and Downey Unified. I encourage all of you to review that, it gives a nice synopsis of current conditions and revised protocols to move forward.

 

I want to ask all of you to continue to give us your grace, your patience and your flexibility, not only with our staff but with each other as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters together. Since March 2020, our daily routines continue to be very fluid and are in constant flux. We provide written updates, as well as video updates.
Again, Downey Unified family/families, it is great to be here. I want to thank all of you for a wonderful start to the school year; it’s just so good to see our kids back in school or online learning in robust elementary and secondary environments.

Thanks for everything and let’s have a great school year.

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