To begin, I appreciate your support during this challenging time and I truly recognize what a disruption this has caused for you and your children. I have spent countless hours, over the past week, thinking of you and your family. My wife and I have also attempted to help our own kids try to make some sort of sense and understanding out of this situation … trying to figure out how to make employment, school, and family all work out under one roof. It has undoubtedly been one the most challenging experiences of my life … personally as a parent and professionally as an educator. Thus, I sincerely express my gratitude and empathy for all you have done, and will continue to do, for your kids and family during this time.
As you will recall, at an Emergency Meeting of the Board of Trustees on March 13, 2020, the Board approved a resolution through an emergency measure, which grants me, as the Superintendent, the authority to “take all appropriate action to respond to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.” The Board of Trustees and I continue to place the health, wellness, and safety of our students and staff as our highest priority.
Unfortunately, based on today’s directive from the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) requiring all schools within Los Angeles County to close through Tuesday, May 5, to help contain the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), I have decided to extend the closure of all Walnut Valley Unified School District (WVUSD) schools (and the District Office) through May 5, 2020.
Beginning back on Monday, March 16, and now continuing through Tuesday, May 5, all schools and the District Office will be CLOSED. If deemed safe by Public Health and LACOE, schools and the District Office are tentatively scheduled to resume normal operations on Wednesday, May 6, 2020.
Spring Break continues to be recognized as April 10 – April 17.
I appreciate how quickly and efficiently, over the first 3 days of this week, our educators across the School District worked to provide a variety of educational resources meant to fulfill the originally scheduled school closures and thus lessen the learning gap that occurs in the absence of classroom instruction. However, I am also cognizant of the need to assess and determine how we might meet the curriculum, instruction, and assessment (including grading) needs of our students when that absence of classroom instruction grows beyond our initially planned closures. Therefore, led by various teachers, school administrators, and the Educational Services Division at the District Office, we will immediately begin collaborating and discussing what our distance educational program will consist of after April 20 (and throughout the remaining days of school closures). I encourage you to continue accessing the plethora of school, grade/course level, and global resources found at our Learning Enrichment and Resource Network (LEARN) at http://learn.wvusd.org/ .
I am also extremely thankful for our classified employees who continue to care for our facilities, feed our students, and perform other operations that are essential for our people and our organization. It’s amazing to realize that our Nutrition Services Team continues to serve nearly 2,000 meals per day during the school closures.
Finally, while I am confident that this decision was made with the best interest of our staff and students in mind, I also realize what a disruption this is for staff, students, parents, and our entire school community (not only in education, but also in our lives in general). As I recently shared with our staff, I am sorry that we are having to deal with this unprecedented issue. I feel bad for so many kids that are missing out on their educational experiences, whether it be a 5 year-old missing out on spending time with her friends and teacher, or the 18 year-old who might be missing his role in the musical, her last season of softball, or stressing over the potential loss of various Senior Year activities. With that said, I am grateful that many of our teachers and staff remain a constant source of support and encouragement for them and that they have you, as their parent, to provide compassion, love, and support…THANK YOU for continuing to help lead and guide our students through this unprecedented time. I truly appreciate all that you are doing to help our kids.
Robert P. Taylor, Ed.D.
Walnut Valley Unified School District