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COVID-19 School Update July 28, 2020

At a special meeting last Thursday, July 23, the Lagunitas School District Board of Trustees made some important preliminary decisions about re-opening school for 2020-2021. These decisions were made with the recommendation of the School’s Re-Opening Task Force, the Lagunitas Teachers’ Association (union), the school administration as well as the Department of Public Health and the Governor. 

This does not represent a comprehensive re-opening plan. The Task Force will remain active and will work to develop and recommend a workable plan to the Board of Trustees by October. 

  • Delay the start of school until August 24 to provide staff with time to prepare for the new school year under different conditions. 
  • Conduct school through a distance learning model beginning in August. On October 1 the district will begin formal assessment of the feasibility of in-person instruction.  In person-instruction will not begin until at least November 1 and will be subject to recommendations from the Department of Public Health and formal approval by the Lagunitas School District Board of Trustees. 
  • Authorize staff to partner with the San Geronimo Valley Community Center to provide social, recreational and child care options in strict accordance with recommendations from the Department of Public Health. 

These initial steps will provide several benefits: 

  • Remove uncertainty about when school will open and in what form.
  • Provide time for teachers to plan for and improve distance learning as early as possible and to ensure meaningful participation from all students. 
  • Reduce anxiety related to on-going spikes in COVID-19 cases in Marin. 
  • Provide more time to negotiate with labor unions.
  • Give time for subcommittees and staff to plan for in-person learning. 
  • Provide Additional time to implement safety protocols and purchase/ install new safety equipment. 
  • Receive Board approval of in-person learning after more information about the pandemic becomes available. 

We recognize that this situation will not re-create in-person school with all of its benefits and will continue to work together to make student learning activities as robust as possible while providing the safest conditions for students, families and staff.

Thanks to the 85 members of the re-opening task force for their hard work and representation of diverse stakeholder voices in this challenging time.  While this second wave of infections in our region have made things more difficult than anticipated, we still believe that our community has the capacity to adapt to the circumstances and will work together to provide our best effort for our children. 

Thank you for your resolve, flexibility, and (we hope) the good humor and patience we need to work through this as a community. Things are hard indeed but we are lucky to live where we do and to have each other to lean on, at least metaphorically. 

John Carroll,

Superintendent, Lagunitas School District