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Newport-Mesa Schools will start the 2020-2021 School Year via Distance Learning
Posted 7/29/20

Newport-Mesa Unified School District Logo

Throughout this pandemic we have prioritized the safety of students and staff as our most important guiding principle in our decisions and actions. The information provided below regarding the start of the school year and the re-opening of our schools is in a question and answer format. 

  • Will NMUSD schools have in-person instruction or distance learning for the beginning of the school year on August 24 (August 12 for Early College High School)?

    Unfortunately with the elevated COVID-19 cases in Orange County, reopening our schools for in-person instruction is not possible at this time. In order to provide parents, teachers and staff adequate time to prepare for the start of the school year, we are announcing that all NMUSD schools will begin the school year with 100% Distance Learning. 

  • When will NMUSD schools begin in-person instruction or modified in-person with social distancing?

    We cannot predict exactly when in-person instruction may resume, but here are the steps to begin in-person instruction:

    • The first step, according to the state requirements*, is for our county to be removed from the State Monitoring List. Counties are placed on the list based on the number of new cases, positivity case rate, increase in hospitalization and availability of intensive care unit beds and ventilators. Orange County is currently on this list. 

    • Once Orange County is removed from the State Monitoring List it must remain off the list for at least 14 consecutive days. 

    • If both of these occur, the district will then notify parents and staff of the exact date of the start of in-person instruction, which will likely be a modified in-person instruction with social distancing (Level 2). The start date will be approximately 7- 14 days after notice is given to allow for the preparation of the return of students to school campuses.

      *There is an option within the state requirements that allows school districts to submit a waiver of the rules described above for elementary schools only. We are currently awaiting further guidance and clarification from the state and county before our district considers a waiver.

  • Will Distance Learning be the same as it was last spring?

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​It is important to recognize that last spring all schools had to shut down overnight and shift teaching and learning to a remote setting. This was a major challenge for every teacher, student and parent. 

For this coming school year, with more time to plan and new distance learning guidance from the state, there will be many enhancements and improvements to the learning experience for our students. More information about the instructional program will be provided to parents as we approach the start of the school year. 

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​How can I select the 100% Virtual School option

Parents will receive an Intent to Participate letter this week that allows parents to select the 100% Virtual School option for their student(s). 

This option requires your student to remain in the Virtual School for the entire 2020-2021 school year, but allows for the return to their current or home school for the 2021-2022 school year. 

Students who do not select the 100% Virtual School option will be included in the 3-Level Plan that allows for in-person instruction, in-person instruction with social distancing or 100% distance learning, depending on the conditions at the time. More information will be provided in the Intent to Participate letter.

  • Will I get more information about the start of the school year?

​​​​​​​Yes. As we get closer to the start of the school year you will be receiving more information from the district and your principal to prepare you and your student for the first day of school. Communication will also include information on how to ensure that your student has a Chromebook and internet connectivity.

  • Will meals be available?​​​​​​​

Yes. Student meals will continue to be provided even during distance learning. Parents will be notified of the days, hours and locations where meals will be available.   

We will continue to check the State Monitoring List, specifically for Orange County, to determine if we are able to safely return in-person according to the guidelines provided by the state. We are committed to prepare to meet the state safety and health guidelines for the return of students at our schools. Meanwhile, please stay safe and practice all safety guidelines so that our students can safely return to the classrooms, playgrounds and activities that they enjoy and where they thrive.