March 5, 2021
Dear Bonita Unified Students, Staff, and Families,
On February 5th, Bonita Unified School District set a target date of Monday, April 5th for elementary students to return to in-person instruction in a hybrid model. Since that date, we have watched COVID-19 case numbers continue to fall and staff vaccinations rise.
Today, I am pleased to announce that April 5th is no longer a target date but a firm date to reopen elementary schools for in-person instruction in a hybrid model. Many middle and high school students are now anxiously awaiting their turn to return to campus.
At this time, Los Angeles County remains in the purple tier. For secondary students to return to campus, the County must be in the red tier with an adjusted case rate under 7 per 100,000 for fourteen consecutive days. On March 2nd, that rate was 7.2.
With that in mind, and assuming that numbers will continue to fall, we are setting a target date of Monday, April 12, 2021, to reopen our middle and high schools, grades 6-12, for in-person instruction in a hybrid model. The secondary model is similar to elementary, where in which students who wish to attend school for in-person instruction can attend school two days per week. All students still have the option to remain in a distance learning format for the remainder of the year.
Please note that our hybrid models at both elementary and secondary schools are designed to meet the strict social distancing and stable cohort rules set forth by the State and County. At best, these rules allow for approximately 50% student capacity.
On March 13, 2020, what we may have called "normal" came to an abrupt halt. Since that time, it has been a roller coaster of emotions, highs, lows, fluid regulations/protocols, etc. However, the past several weeks have brought encouraging news. The case and transmission rates in Los Angeles County continue to fall, and we are now seeing a loosening of restrictions. I am pleased by this encouraging news; however, the road back to "normal" will not be immediate. The path is paved with strict regulations and protocols that will limit capacity, activities, and other things we took for granted pre-pandemic.
For our schools to open successfully and continue on a trajectory for full in-person instruction five days per week, it will take every student, parent, and staff to do their part. As I have stated before, reopening will not be perfect, nor should anyone expect it to be. The staff has been working tirelessly to make April a month that we can all remember as the start of a very successful road to "normalcy" for our 13 schools. As Superintendent of Schools, I am very proud of our students and staff for their resiliency, patience, and grit for the past 12 months. I ask one thing of the community; please share your gratitude with a teacher, counselor, custodian, principal, food services staff, school-age care staff, an athletic coach, etc. They are true heroes who love your children and very much look forward to continuing what they do best, forging meaningful relationships so every student feels valued and supported, both in person and virtually.
You can expect more communication from the District Office and your child's school site in the next several weeks.
On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you for your continued partnership. We are looking forward to making April a great month.
Carl J. Coles