COVID-19 Help Guide: Family Communications

image of laptop keyboard, notebook, pen

In recent weeks, EUSD has regularly sent COVID-19 email updates to parents via the SchoolMessenger notification system. For your convenience, all current and past updates are available on this page.

May 22, 2020

Hello, EUSD Families.

While the 2019-2020 school year is winding down, our work as a district to serve the children of Escondido continues at full speed. We are focused on ensuring a safe conclusion to this school year, and on designing a safe environment for the next.

Year-end activities and celebrations may look quite different this year, but they will be delivered with the same dedication and care from principals, teachers, and staff members. None of us expected to be saying farewell over Zoom or returning iPads behind face coverings. But we are persevering, and a smile over Zoom or behind a face mask is just as welcome – and very much needed!

Here are the latest important reminders and updates.

Community survey: There’s still time to share your input on our Thoughtexchange as we plan for the next school year while continuing to respond to the conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Thoughtexchange platform will be open until midnight tonight. We encourage all stakeholders to share their thoughts, and to view and comment on the thoughts of others, focused on this key question: As we plan for the opening of the 2020-2021 school year, what should we be considering that will assist you in feeling comfortable about sending your children or returning to work at our school sites?

Nutrition Update: The district’s free to-go meal distribution for students 18 years and younger continues from 11 a.m. to noon weekdays. However, food distribution will not be held Monday, May 25. The regular schedule will resume May 26. The distribution locations are Central, Farr, Glen View, Juniper, Oak Hill, and Rock Springs elementary schools; Del Dios Academy; Mission Middle School; and Escondido, Orange Glen, and San Pasqual high schools. Please pick up meals at the school site closest to your home. Parents or guardians may pick up meals for children who are not able to leave their homes. Meal service is set to continue during summer.

End of year update: Drop-off events for student materials – iPads, iPad chargers and cords, textbooks, and school library books – begin Tuesday, May 26, at your school site. For inventory purposes and safety reasons, please return materials on your assigned date. Separate drop-offs for materials may be required for families with children in different grades and/or at different sites. If you have not yet returned your musical instruments used in band or the Allegro program, please bring them at this time. For your protection and the protection of others, please wear a face covering and follow all safety measures during these interactions.

Dates and times to return items to your school site are:

• May 26, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Grades 2, 5, and 8.

• May 27, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Grades 1, 4, and 6.

• May 28, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Grades K, 3, and 7.

• May 29, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Makeup day for all grades.

Distance Learning: Today, May 22, marked the final distribution of printed packets of learning materials. This packet includes activities for summer and additional social-emotional materials. Summer activities will be posted on the EUSD website by June 2.

Thank you for your continued support. Email communications@eusd.org if you have any questions. Be well.

Previous Family Communications

May 15, 2020

Hello, EUSD Families.

With just a little more than two weeks left in the 2019-2020 school year, we are reflecting on all that we have accomplished together under extraordinary circumstances, as well as turning our attention to planning for what is likely to be a very atypical new school year. I am incredibly thankful for the patience, compassion, and collaboration demonstrated by our families and colleagues.

Our goal over the summer is to design, refine, and improve our current distance learning experiences, and begin to develop some new and innovative models for educating the children of Escondido. We are investigating a range of options, including a full distance learning model, a hybrid distance learning model that may provide opportunities for students to attend school onsite between one and four days a week, and a traditional full-day model. Much depends on the progression through the stages of safe return outlined by the governor. We are working with the high school district as well as other education colleagues across the county to investigate a number of potential models to address what school might look like in August. Our next step is to collect your input.

Here are the latest important reminders and updates.

Community survey: The Escondido Union School District calendar identifies Aug. 11 as the first day of the 2020-2021 school year. In preparation for the reopening of our campuses with likely space-sharing restrictions, we need to take important actions to ensure that we protect the health of our students and employees. Many questions need to be answered before any one of us will feel comfortable and confident in bringing students and staff back to our facilities. Many of the answers can be found by listening and responding to the thoughts and feelings of all of our stakeholder groups.

Your participation is urgently needed as we plan for the next school year while continuing to respond to the rapidly changing conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are collecting your input via the interactive platform Thoughtexchange. This platform gives all stakeholders an opportunity to share their thoughts, and to view and comment on the thoughts of others. Participate and follow the discussion focused on this key question: As we plan for the opening of the 2020-2021 school year, what should we be considering that will assist you in feeling comfortable about sending your children or returning to work at our school sites?

Safety protocols: The health of our students, families, and employees is our top priority. We ask that everyone follow all safety protocols mandated by the state and county. As of May 1, the county requires individuals to wear face coverings in most public settings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please be sure to wear a face covering when you are participating in EUSD activities such as meal distribution, packet pick-up, and return of books and materials.

End of year update: Administrators are finalizing plans for tasks that typically close out the school year. Activities such as promotion will be determined by each school site. The final distribution of printed packets of learning materials is May 22, and will include activities for summer and additional social-emotion materials.

Families will need to return student iPads, iPad chargers, and cords, along with any textbooks, school library books, and musical instruments. Separate drop-offs for materials may be required for families with children in different grades and/or at different sites. We understand this may be an inconvenience, but the separation is necessary for inventory purposes and safety reasons. For your protection and the protection of others, please wear a face covering and follow all safety measures during these interactions.

Dates and times for those items to be returned to your school site are:

• May 15: Return of musical instruments.

• May 26, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Grades 2, 5, and 8.

• May 27, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Grades 1, 4, and 6.

• May 28, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Grades K, 3, and 7.

• May 29, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Makeup day for all grades.

Preschool enrollment: EUSD Preschool is beginning the process of registering children who will turn 4 years old on or before December 1, 2020, for enrollment in the 2020-2021 school year. All registrations will be completed through email and phone contact. To begin the process, please complete this form. The EUSD Preschool office is not open to the public at this time. Updates will be available by recorded message at 760-489-4131 or on the Preschool webpage at EUSD.org.

Intent to return: It is important for us to know if your family will not be returning to EUSD for the 2020-2021 school year as the result of a move or other circumstances. Please share this information with your child’s teacher.

Everyone counts: Every 10 years, the Census Bureau embarks on a monumental effort: counting every resident in the United States. The Census is especially important for determining the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities, including Escondido. Fortunately, the Census Bureau has taken steps to ensure that participation is simple so that  every single one of us is counted. In order to support a complete and accurate count, fill out your 2020 Census questionnaire now by phone, by mail, or online. Learn more at 2020census.gov.

Thank you for your continued support. Email communications@eusd.org if you have any questions. Be well.

May 8, 2020

Hello, EUSD Families.

As I reflect on a Teacher Appreciation Week unlike any other, I want to express my immense gratitude for our families, who showed our incredible teachers so much love in creative ways this week. As our teachers have gone above and beyond to ensure their students stay connected, our parents and guardians have gone above and beyond under trying circumstances to support educators.

Here are the latest important reminders and updates.

Reopening update: Today, California was allowed to begin to move into Stage 2 of modifying the stay-at-home order. This stage does not include reopening schools. The state continues to work with school districts and the education community to determine how best to safely reopen schools.

Safety protocols: The health of our students, families, and employees is our top priority. With that in mind, we ask that everyone follow all safety protocols mandated by the state and county. As of May 1, the county requires individuals to wear face coverings in most public settings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please be sure to wear a face covering when you are participating in EUSD activities such as meal distribution, packet pick-up, and return of books and materials.

Meal Benefit Application: Economic circumstances have changed for many families as a result of the pandemic. Families may turn in a Meal Benefit Application at any time during the school year. If your household income decreases, household size increases, or a household member starts receiving CalFresh, CalWORKs, or FDPIR, you may turn in an application at that time. One application per household is needed. Income eligibility guidelines can be found here.

Qualifying families with students attending the following schools may complete one application per household: Bernardo, Conway, L. R. Green, Miller, North Broadway, Reidy Creek, or Rock Springs elementary schools; Quantum Academy; or Bear Valley or Rincon middle schools. If your student does not attend any of those schools listed, you do not need to complete a Meal Benefit Application.

Families with children who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals may be eligible for other benefits, such as low-cost refurbished computers, reduced-cost internet from Cox, reduced utility bills, and waived fees for testing and college applications. Student information related to this program is highly confidential.

End of year activities: Administrators are finalizing plans for activities and tasks that typically close out the school year. Families will need to return student iPads, iPad chargers, and cords, along with any textbooks, school library books, and musical instruments. For your protection and the protection of others, we ask that you remember to wear a face covering and follow all safety measures during these interactions.

At this time, tentative dates for those items to be returned to your school site are:

• May 15: Return of musical instruments.

• May 26, noon to 3 p.m. Grades 2, 5, and 8.

• May 27, noon to 3 p.m.: Grades 1, 4, and 6.

• May 28, noon to 3 p.m.: Grades K, 3, and 7.

• May 29, noon to 3 p.m.: Makeup day for all grades.

Report cards: The last day of school is June 2. Final report cards will be mailed home within the first two weeks of June. Please note that participation with Distance Learning during the school closure only can help to improve a student’s grade. All final report card grades are based on their Trimester 2 grades and will remain the same or can be improved through participation in Distance Learning. The elementary report card will measure standards-based progress in reading, writing, and math. Report cards in middle school will include a grade for each class. All report cards will include comments that reflect student participation in Distance Learning.

Kindergarten enrollment: Registration is open online for Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten. EUSD is implementing full-day Kindergarten programs at all 17 elementary schools for the 2020-2021 school year beginning the first day of school. All Transitional Kindergarten programs will remain a half-day program. While school offices remain closed, parents and guardians may provide scanned copies of required registration documents – proof of residence, birth certificate, immunization record – by email to the clerk at your school of residence or to Lisseth Michel at the district office. Please include the school name if you email your documents to the district office.

Intent to return: It is important for us to know if your family will not be returning to EUSD for the 2020-2021 school year as the result of a move or other circumstances. Please share this information with your child’s teacher.

Thank you for your continued support. Email communications@eusd.org if you have any questions.

May 1, 2020

Hello, EUSD Families.

It is hard to believe that we are concluding our seventh week of California’s stay at home order and at the same time looking ahead to the end of our 2019-2020 school year. As we begin a new month, I hope this message finds you and your family safe and in good health.

Here are the latest important reminders and updates.

Return to school: As the status of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has unveiled additional details on the indicators needed to modify the stay-at-home order. The governor referenced the possibility of starting the 2020-2021 school year as early as July amid concerns of learning loss. He did not mention any funding or logistics of making such a shift possible, or any acknowledgement of previously agreed upon school calendars. The EUSD Board of Education’s approved school calendar for 2020-2021 identifies a start to the new school year as Aug. 11, 2020. We do not anticipate that the governor’s comments would result in an earlier start date.

When we are allowed to re-open our school sites, we likely will have changes to the educational environment that reflect social distancing and other guidelines and protocols that will be outlined by public health officials. We will share this information with you as it becomes available.

Kindergarten enrollment: Registration is open online for Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten. EUSD is implementing full-day Kindergarten programs at all 17 elementary schools for the 2020-2021 school year beginning the first day of school. All Transitional Kindergarten programs will remain a half-day program.

Preschool enrollment: Preschool registration for the 2020-2021 school year has been postponed. Updates will be available by recorded message at 760-489-4131 or on the Preschool webpage at EUSD.org.

Intent to return: It is important for us to know if your family will not be returning to EUSD for the 2020-2021 school year as the result of a move or other circumstances. Please share this information with your child’s teacher.

Nutrition update: The free meal program is growing with the addition of supper and weekend meals to the existing breakfast and lunch to-go service. Supper meals will be included in the distribution Monday through Friday and weekend meals will be included every Friday. The meal distribution service for students 18 years and younger continues at Central, Farr, Glen View, Juniper, Oak Hill, and Rock Springs elementary schools; Del Dios Academy; Mission Middle School; and Escondido, Orange Glen, and San Pasqual high schools. Distribution hours are from 11 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Please pick up meals at the school site closest to your home. Parents or guardians may pick up meals for children who are not able to leave their homes.

San Diego Hunger Coalition is supporting efforts to help families easily enroll in CalFresh/SNAP, an efficient tool in the fight against hunger. It enables individuals and families in need to purchase food from local grocers and farmers markets by providing extra money for groceries each month. Visit the Hunger Coalition’s CalFresh webpage to learn more.

Everyone counts: Every 10 years, the Census Bureau embarks on a monumental effort: counting every resident in the United States. The Census is especially important for determining the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities, including Escondido. Fortunately, the Census Bureau has taken steps to ensure that participation is simple so that  every single one of us is counted. In order to support a complete and accurate count, fill out your 2020 Census questionnaire now by phone, by mail, or online. Learn more at 2020census.gov.

School choice: School choice notifications currently are being sent via email to the address that was indicated in the school choice application. The communication will occur over the course of multiple weeks, beginning first with notifications of approved applications through the lottery, and then with notifications of waitlist numbers for applications that were not able to be approved on the initial round.

End of year activities: At this time, administrators are developing plans for end-of-the-year activities and recognitions to be held remotely to comply with the pandemic-related orders that prohibit gatherings. Additional tasks that typically close out the school year – such as the return of musical instruments, iPads, textbooks, and library books – will be scheduled soon. The last day of school is June 2.

Thank you for your continued support. Email communications@eusd.org if you have any questions.

April 24, 2020

Hello, EUSD Families.

It’s hard to believe, but we have just completed our sixth week of learning, connecting, and working remotely. Six weeks is a long time to be physically apart from our EUSD community, especially our students and families. Thank you for another great week of support and flexibility!

Here are the latest important reminders and updates.

Meal Benefit Application: Economic circumstances have changed for many families as a result of the pandemic. Families may turn in a Meal Benefit Application at any time during the school year. If your household income decreases, household size increases, or a household member starts receiving CalFresh, CalWORKs, or FDPIR, you may turn in an application at that time. One application per household is needed. Income eligibility guidelines can be found here.

Qualifying families with students attending the following schools may complete one application per household: Bernardo, Conway, L. R. Green, Miller, North Broadway, Reidy Creek, or Rock Springs elementary schools; Quantum Academy; or Bear Valley or Rincon middle schools. If your student does not attend any of those schools listed, you do not need to complete a Meal Benefit Application.

Nutrition update: Beginning April 27, three locations will be added to the free to-go meal distribution service: Farr, Glen View, and Oak Hill. Distribution continues at Central, Juniper, and Rock Springs elementary schools; Del Dios Academy; Mission Middle School; and Escondido, Orange Glen, and San Pasqual high schools. Distribution hours are from 11 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Please pick up meals at the school site closest to your home. Meals are provided for students 18 years and younger. Parents or guardians may pick up meals for children who are not able to leave their homes.

Social-emotional resources: Our robust resources to support the mental well-being of students and families includes an excellent series of related videos, the Social Emotional Learning Resources playlist on EUSD’s YouTube channel. Videos include suggestions for family activities and crafts as well as helpful lessons for the whole family. Learn how to take a mindful walk, track your feelings, manage worry and stress, stay connected, and more.

Distance Learning and Grading: Balancing life at this time is difficult, so we have provided flexible options for students. A few hours a day engaging with these learning resources can help maintain your child’s progress. Teachers will provide students with feedback and students will receive report cards at the end of the trimester. Student grades on the report cards either will stay the same or be improved from Trimester 2 via participation in distance learning assignments. The elementary report card will measure standards-based progress in reading, writing and math. Report cards in middle school will include a grade for each class. All report cards will include comments that reflect student participation in distance learning. We understand that these are challenging times for students and families. We love to see our students staying engaged with their learning, and trying to do their best. We also want parents and guardians to know that your family’s safety, health, and well-being are just as important to us.

Thank you for your continued support. Email communications@eusd.org if you have any questions.

April 17, 2020

Hello, EUSD Families.

Every one of us – students, parents and guardians, teachers – is embarking on an educational path far outside of our expectations and comfort zones. As we reflect on our official first week of distance learning, I know this to be true: Everyone is doing their very best to provide continuous learning for our students. That includes teachers, parents, and custodial, office, and nutrition staff members. Everyone wants the best for your children. Please know that whatever circumstances and conditions you are working under, the most important thing we can provide our children is to let them know that they are safe, cared for, and loved, and that this, too, shall pass. In the end, do your very best and let us know how it is going, because we are all in this together!

Here are the latest important reminders and updates.

Distance Learning: Our campuses are physically closed, but school is still in session. We know that there’s no replacement for teachers and children together in the classroom. We are doing everything that we can do to keep moving forward, to stay connected, and keep our students learning. Teachers will continue to connect with their students on an ongoing basis, via live class sessions, recorded videos, written messages, and/or phone calls. Continue to reach out to your child’s teachers and principals via email for questions and concerns.

All Distance Learning plan materials and additional resources are available online at eusd.org/students. Distribution of printed packets – intended for families that do not have at-home access to a computer, tablet, or the internet – will continue to take place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. every Friday at each school site.

Social-emotional resources: EUSD’s Distance Learning program includes robust resources to support the mental well-being of our students and families. Our Social Emotional Learning Resources are available here on the EUSD Student Resources website, and include video newsletters and age-appropriate activities. Social-emotional learning materials also are included in the weekly printed packets distributed on Fridays for families that do not have access to technology at home.

Child care survey: EUSD is conducting a survey to determine the child-care needs for emergency first-responders, health care workers, and grocery workers in our community during the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to complete this brief survey. The survey deadline is Friday, April 24. Contact Shannon Fralish at sfralish@eusd.org if you have additional questions.

Parent video: Our Educational Services team has created an informational video that provides a detailed guide through the EUSD Distance Learning program for parents and guardians. You can watch the video here.

Thank you for your continued support. Email communications@eusd.org if you have any questions.

April 13, 2020

Hello, EUSD Families.

Welcome back from a spring break unlike any other. We hope that you were able to enjoy some downtime at home with family.

Here are the latest important updates.

Distance Learning: As a reminder, our campuses may be physically closed, but we are still open for learning! Our team is excited for the official launch of our Distance Learning plan tomorrow. All distance-learning materials and additional resources are available online, at eusd.org/students. By now, you and your child should have been contacted by your child’s teacher, and suggested schedules for teacher instruction and assistance have been established to facilitate distance learning. Teachers will be making efforts to connect with their students on an ongoing basis. These connections may be live class sessions or they may be more individualized, such as recorded videos, written messages, and/or phone calls. The instructional tasks offered may take two to three hours for elementary students and three to four hours for middle school students. Your family can create the schedule that works best for you.

The next distribution of printed instructional packets will be 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 17, at each school site. The packets are intended for families that do not have at-home access to a computer, tablet, or the internet.

Website: The district’s website has been updated to include a one-stop resource webpage for quick facts and answers to frequently asked questions related to education and school district operations during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Nutrition: The district’s free to-go meal distribution continues from 11 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The distribution locations are Central, Juniper, and Rock Springs elementary schools; Del Dios Academy; Mission Middle School; and Escondido, Orange Glen, and San Pasqual high schools. Beginning Wednesday, April 15, the meal distribution at Mission Middle School will shift to the staff parking lot down the first alleyway. Please pick up meals at the school site closest to your home. Meals are provided for students 18 years and younger.

School choice: Notifications of school choice lottery results will begin Tuesday by phone for families that requested an intradistrict transfer for their child.

Questions? Email communications@eusd.org.

April 3, 2020

We continue to be filled with gratitude for our patient and dedicated EUSD families and employees. Together, we have accomplished much in three very unusual weeks. I encourage you to embrace the time at home with your family over spring break.

Here are the latest important updates and reminders.

Spring Break: The EUSD spring break will take place as scheduled, April 6 through April 13. Distance learning assignments will not be added during this time. Distance-learning instruction will resume Tuesday, April 14. The printed packets distributed today, for those without technology at home, are intended for the week of April 14. The next packet distribution will be 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 17 at each school site. As a reminder, all distance-learning materials and additional resources are available online, at eusd.org/students. The printed packets are intended for families that do not have at-home access to a computer, tablet, or the internet.

Nutrition Update: The district’s free to-go meal distribution continues from 11 a.m. to noon weekdays. However, food distribution will not be held Friday, April 10. The regular Monday through Friday schedule will resume April 13. The distribution locations are Central, Juniper, and Rock Springs elementary schools; Del Dios Academy; Mission Middle School; and Escondido, Orange Glen, and San Pasqual high schools. Please pick up meals at the school site closest to your home. Meals are provided for students 18 years and younger.

Enrichment Opportunities: Our STEM team has collected resources for fun enrichment activities to do from home. View the resources here.

Schools Reopening: The Escondido Union School District and the San Diego County Office of Education continue to carefully monitor guidance from federal, state, and local public health and education agencies. Schools will reopen when state and health officials determine that it is safe to return. All decisions about reopening will be made in conjunction with local public health officials. The 2019-20 school year is not over; it has just transitioned from classroom instruction into distance learning.

Distance Learning: After spring break, EUSD will begin to offer more structured online learning opportunities for our students. The distribution of printed packets for students without internet access will continue to occur on Fridays. Teachers will be reaching out to parents and posting their individual schedules to let students and families know when they will be available to virtually interact with students. This may include opportunities for teachers to conduct whole-group, small-group, or individual conversations with students and/or parents using various digital platforms. We do want to remind you of some helpful information for parents to consider when students engage with the online resources that can be found here. Click here to see a handout summarizing EUSD’s Distance Learning Plan.

Wifi Access: Enhanced wifi signals are now available at six school parking lots: Central Elementary (behind the preschool on South Broadway), Del Dios Academy, Juniper Elementary, Mission Middle, Reidy Creek Elementary, and Rock Springs Elementary. At these locations, any EUSD-issued devices will connect automatically to the EUSD-EDU network. Other devices can connect to EUSDGUEST; the password is guest2020. If you visit a parking lot for wifi access, please have your children remain in the vehicle to maintain social distancing practices.

Social Media Safety: We love to see that so many of our students and families are enjoying the video-conference element of distance learning. It seems as though everyone is using Zoom to stay connected, and it’s important to stay connected as we stay home. With that in mind, we ask that you respect the privacy of your other families by avoiding social media posts with photos  that clearly show other children in the class. While you may be OK with sharing your child’s photo, the parents of their classmates may not be.

Healthy Reminder: Please continue to follow the “stay at home” order and physical distancing protocol to curb the spread of COVID-19. In addition, if you must go out, the California Department of Public Health has updated its guidance to recommend wearing face coverings in public.

We appreciate your support during this public health crisis. We continue to prioritize safety and health of our students and staff as we work toward the goal of getting our teachers and learners back together as soon as we can. Email communications@eusd.org if you have any questions.

March 30, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.

Good afternoon, EUSD Families.

Week 3 of our temporary new normal is underway, and we hope that adjusting to our situation is becoming more manageable. We hope that you and your children have had an opportunity to explore the At-Home Learning Resources either online or through the printed packets distributed last Friday.

For today, we have a few important updates and reminders.

Spring break: The EUSD spring break will take place as scheduled, April 6 through April 13. Distance learning assignments will not be added during this time, but there are spring break enrichment activities for students online. Distance learning instruction will resume Tuesday, April 14. Schools will reopen when state and health officials determine that it is safe to return.

Learning materials: The next distribution of instructional materials packets will be from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 3, at every school. These printed packets are intended for families that do not have at-home access to a computer, tablet, or the internet. Materials continue to be provided online on the EUSD Student Resources website.

School wifi: Enhanced wifi signals are now available at six school parking lots: Central Elementary (behind the preschool on South Broadway), Del Dios Academy, Juniper Elementary, Mission Middle, Reidy Creek Elementary, and Rock Springs Elementary. At these locations, any EUSD-issued devices will connect automatically to the EUSD-EDU network. Other devices can connect to EUSDGUEST; the password is guest2020. If you visit a parking lot for wifi access, please have your children remain in the vehicle to maintain social distancing practices.

Nutrition: The district’s free to-go meal distribution continues from 11 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, including through spring break, at Central, Juniper, and Rock Springs elementary schools; Del Dios Academy; Mission Middle School; and Escondido, Orange Glen, and San Pasqual high schools. Please pick up meals at the school site closest to your home. Meals are provided for students 18 years and younger.

Healthy reminder: Please continue to follow the “stay home” order and physical distancing protocol to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Continue to take care of yourselves and your family. Thank you for your patience and support. Email communications@eusd.org if you have any questions.

Be well.

March 27, 2020 at 3:15 p.m.

Greetings, EUSD Families.

It’s been a busy week for everyone, and we are grateful for the commitment of our families and employees to helping our children continue learning in this temporary and challenging environment.

This week, we hope that you and your children have reconnected with teachers, and explored the At-Home Learning Resources either online or through the printed packets distributed Friday morning at all of our campuses. While we acknowledge that the at-home materials cannot be a complete replacement for our regular classroom communities, we hope that the distributed resources and materials provide a positive way for your child to continue learning and help them adjust to a new routine. EUSD is continuing to develop additional distance-learning opportunities and details will be communicated to you by your child’s principal and/or teachers.

We were happy to see so many of you at our schools today to pick up student learning packets. For families that do not have access to a computer, tablet, or the internet, the next packet distribution will be from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 3, at every school. Each packet is designed to provide a week’s worth of learning opportunities.

To support wifi access to the extent that is currently possible, we have enhanced wifi signals at the following school parking lots: Del Dios Academy, Rock Springs Elementary, Mission Middle, Juniper Elementary, and Central Elementary, behind the preschool on South Broadway. In addition, our IT team is working on doing the same for Reidy Creek Elementary as we know there are areas without internet coverage in that neighborhood.

At these parking lot wifi locations, any EUSD-issued devices will connect automatically to the EUSD-EDU network; other devices can connect to EUSDGUEST; the password is guest2020. Our technology team has determined that these locations offer acceptable speeds for wireless internet access. Our students can use these locations to connect to the internet while maintaining the appropriate physical distancing. If you visit a parking lot please have your children remain in the vehicle.

Cox Communication is now providing up to 60 days of free internet service for new participants to the Connect2Compete program. This program provides assistance for low-income K-12 families. We are grateful for the support that Cox is providing families so that more of our students can connect with their teachers as we continue our distance learning plan.

EUSD students in grades 3 through 8 have access to their district-issued iPad to support their at-home learning. We encourage older siblings to share their iPad with their younger K-2 siblings. If your child left their iPad at school, please email your school principal to coordinate pick-up. For those of you needing technical support for non-functioning iPads, please be patient as we find an efficient way to provide this service. We will communicate with you soon about how to access that support.

We would like to leave you with a few important reminders:

  • As a reminder, our schools will reopen when both state and health officials notify us that it is safe to return.
  • California remains under a “stay home” order. Everyone is required to stay home except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job. It is extremely important to follow the protocol to curb the spread of COVID-19. Do not hold get-togethers of any size; if you can stay home, you should stay home.
  • The district’s free to-go meal distribution continues from 11 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday at Central, Juniper, and Rock Springs elementary schools; Del Dios Academy; Mission Middle School; and Escondido, Orange Glen, and San Pasqual high schools. Please pick up meals at the school site closest to your home. Meals are provided for students 18 years and younger.

Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other. Thank you for your support. Email communications@eusd.org if you have any questions.

March 20, 2020 at 6 p.m.

Greetings, EUSD Families.

We know you have been flooded with a tremendous amount of information this week – information that changes in real time, multiple times a day. I feel it is important to share some of  the good that is happening during this extraordinary time.

As you know, the California governor issued a “stay home” order Thursday night. This means that everyone is required to stay home except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job.

The district’s free to-go meal program is considered an essential service. The meal distribution will continue with new hours at all eight previously identified school sites. Beginning Monday, March 23, the food distribution will take place from 11 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. This change will help better support the recommended social-distancing. As a reminder, the meal distribution sites are: Central, Juniper, and Rock Springs elementary schools; Del Dios Academy; Mission Middle School; and Escondido, Orange Glen, and San Pasqual high schools. We ask that you pick up meals at the school site closest to your home. Meals are provided for students 18 years and younger.

School districts and their employees are designated essential workers. Over the past five days, we’ve completed tasks we never thought we would ever have to tackle. It takes a lot to temporarily and partially close an organization, while ensuring that essential functions continue to operate. This first week, we have focused on health, safety, and nutrition, while also providing as many academic and social-emotional resources as possible while we prepared for the unknown.

Looking ahead, you can expect regular email communications every Monday and Friday, along with updates on social media and eusd.org. In the coming days, we will intensify our focus on academic resources and regular communication with your teachers and principals. Please reach out at communications@eusd.org if you have any questions.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

March 18, 2020 at 6 p.m.

Dear EUSD Families,

We are filled with gratitude for the overwhelming support and patience from everyone in our EUSD community as we have responded to the rapidly changing COVID-19 public health crisis, following the guidance from health officials at the county, state, and national levels.

Our top priority is the health and safety of our students and employees, as well as their families. In this time of profound uncertainty, it is important to briefly pause academic focuses in order to support everyone’s physical and mental well-being.

It is extremely important to adhere to the recommended protocol to curb the spread of this disease, especially these three points:

  • Do not hold any group gatherings unless absolutely essential.
  • Anyone exhibiting symptoms (including, but not limited to, cough, shortness of breath, and fever) should self-isolate at home unless they need to seek medical attention.
  • Adults age 65 and older should stay home.

Simply put, if you can stay home, you should stay home. Here are some updates:

Nutrition access

Our Nutrition Services team and high school district partners continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the children of our community don’t go hungry. For now, meals are being provided at eight locations on weekdays during the closure. Two sack meals – a breakfast and lunch – may be picked up during the hours listed below. The meals will be provided to any child age18 or younger. The child must be present to receive the meal. Meal distribution locations and times are:

  • Central, Juniper, and Rock Springs Elementary Schools, Del Dios Academy, and Mission Middle School will be open from 6 to 8 a.m.
  • Escondido, Orange Glen, and San Pasqual High Schools will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Please call 211 for access to referrals if your family is in need of immediate nutrition assistance. Feeding San Diego has created a map of food distribution locations around the county. Additional food distribution sites in Escondido include:

  • Escondido Community Child Development Center
    819 W. Ninth Ave., 92025. 760-839-9361. 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Foundry Food Pantry
    120 N. Ash St., 92027. 442-777-2081. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday.
  • Interfaith Community Services
    550 W. Washington Ave., Suite B, 92025. 760-489-6380. Second and fourth Tuesday and Friday of the month.
  • Ruth Anointed World Ministries Escondido
    777 W. Felicita Ave., 92025. 760-580-0835. 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday and 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday.
  • Salvation Army Escondido
    1301 Las Villas Way, 92026. 760-745-8616. 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Governor’s update

As many of you are aware, Gov. Gavin Newson during a news conference on Tuesday night expressed his opinion regarding a timeline for schools reopening. His statement was not an edict or a fact. At this time, it is premature to establish any change in our school closure plan based upon the governor’s message. The opening and closing of schools is still determined by local control – our school board. The governor has not yet mandated school closures like other governors across the country.

School closures alone will not have an impact on flattening the curve of the pandemic. School closures must be coupled with changes in behavior and adherence to social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19. The county’s top health official said that we are at a monumental turning point in this public health crisis, and it is our responsibility as educators to reinforce the importance of social distancing, isolation, and self-quarantine.

Technology access and assistance

Access to the internet allows for students to use a digital device (including their district-issued iPads) to utilize the online student academic resources provided on the EUSD website. A list of wifi hotspots can be found here. After typing in an address, the map shows all the available nearby free wifi hotspots. Select an icon to see the location details for each hotspot.

Our friends at Cox Communications have shared information that will help fast-track families in need of home internet access. Complete details can be found on Cox’s coronavirus support page. Cox has partnered with PCs for People for discounted refurbished computers. More information can be found here.

Academic resources

At this time we are essentially pressing pause on the curriculum from where we left off on March 13. While the length of this closure appears uncertain, we continue to coordinate with districts across the county to provide students with resources they need. Current resources include:

  • EUSD’s Educational Services team has prepared numerous resources to support students and families with learning opportunities at home. The resources are available at EUSD.org: Student Resources and Parent Resources.
  • In partnership with KPBS and the San Diego County Office of Education, students are encouraged to access state standards-aligned television programming scheduled by grade level. A student does not need access to a computer or the internet to watch. Tune into KPBS 2 with an antenna at channel 15.2, or on Cox 811 or Spectrum 1277. Additional digital content is also accessible through PBS LearningMedia.
  • We are working to address services for our students with disabilities and are contacting parents of those students directly.

In the meantime, EUSD remains dedicated to ensuring educational excellence for every student. During school closures, our hope is that learning will continue. We know that this is not a replacement for classroom instruction. Our goal for now is to provide learning materials and activities that can help students do the following:

  • Review material that they may have already covered, but not yet mastered.
  • Practice skills for learning and content area proficiency.
  • Engage in enrichment activities or independent projects in a particular subject area.
  • Identify an area of interest in a subject area to research and explore.

Finally, please remember that patience and strict cooperation with official health recommendations will contribute greatly toward keeping everyone healthy.

Sincerely,

Dr. Luis Rankins-Ibarra
Superintendent

March 16, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Dear EUSD Families,

We have entered uncharted territory with the COVID-19 public health crisis, and I want to make clear that our top priority is the health, safety, and well-being of every student, employee, and family member.

With that in mind, following all prevention and social distancing guidelines issued by the state and federal officials on March 16, 2020, is imperative. Minimizing face-to-face contact and maximizing communication through online opportunities is ideal, so please be sure to monitor email and phone messages.

The direction we are receiving from state and federal officials changes rapidly, and we will provide updates regularly as they relate to our district.

FAQs

Does EUSD have any active cases of COVID-19?

At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in our district. Please report any information regarding health status related to COVID-19 to Tracy Schmidt at trschmidt@eusd.org or 760-432-2361.

How can I access meals for my child?

In partnership with the high school district, we are providing meals at eight locations on weekdays during the closure. Two sack meals – a breakfast and lunch – may be picked up during the hours listed below. The meals will be provided to any child age 18 or younger. The child must be present to receive the meal. At this time, there are no plans for delivery service. However, please call 211 for access to referrals if your family is in need of immediate nutrition assistance. Meal distribution locations and times are:

  • Central, Juniper, and Rock Springs Elementary Schools, Del Dios Academy, and Mission Middle School will be open from 6 to 8 a.m.
  • Escondido, Orange Glen, and San Pasqual High Schools will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Will my child receive any schoolwork?

In order to ensure equal access to all of our students, we will not provide structured or required assignments at this time. Our Educational Services team has prepared numerous resources to support students and families with learning opportunities at home. These resources can be found at EUSD.org: Student Resources and Parent Resources.

Will my child continue to receive Special Education services?

The EUSD Special Education team is working to determine next steps for their students during this unprecedented situation. Parents of students in our Special Education program will receive a communication from the director no later than the end of day Wednesday.

Will the school year be extended?

The temporary closure is scheduled from Monday, March 16, through Monday, April 13, pending no other health concerns. It is important for everyone to remember that this closure is in response to a rapidly evolving public health crisis. We will update you immediately if we receive guidance on extending the time period of this closure. At this time, state officials do not plan to require an extended school year.

What is the status of my school choice application?

School choice notifications are on hold at this time.

How do I talk to my child about COVID-19?

It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If parents seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Parents should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy.

However, children also need factual, age-appropriate information about the serious nature of COVID-19 as a contagious illness, and concrete instruction about how to prevent the spread of disease. Teaching children healthy habits such as the importance of handwashing, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control on how to support their own health can reduce anxiety. Included in this communication is a resource for parents on Talking with their Children about COVID-19. If you notice that your child is experiencing significant fear or anxiety related to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, please contact your child’s medical provider, and/or 211 for referrals.

We realize that this public health crisis seriously impacts our children and families in countless ways – missed milestones and events, the loss of social interaction with friends, economic uncertainty, an abrupt end to athletic and arts seasons, and much more. But the message from health officials – and statistics – is clear: Anyone who can stay home should stay home. We must do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones during this challenging time.

March 13, 2020 at 6:45 p.m.

Dear EUSD Families,

Thank you for your patience and support during this extraordinary time of uncertainty as we navigate our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Our highest priority is the health and safety of our students and employees, and their families.

The temporary closure is scheduled from Monday, March 16, through Monday, April 13, pending no other health concerns. It is important for everyone to remember that this temporary closure is in response to a public health crisis. The closure is intended to promote the recommended social distancing and help support efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. The school calendar year will not be extended as a result of this closure.

We know that schools are an essential service and crucial to our communities. If you are in need of immediate resources, you can call 211 for access to referrals.

We are pleased to share that meal services will be provided during the school closure at centrally located areas within Escondido, in conjunction with the Escondido Union High School District.

Eight locations will be open for sack lunch and breakfast pick up on weekdays during the closure:

  • Escondido, Orange Glen, and San Pasqual High schools will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Central, Juniper, and Rock Springs Elementary Schools, Del Dios Academy, and Mission Middle School will be open from 6 to 8 a.m.

The meals will be provided to any child age 18 or younger. The child must be present to receive the meal. More information is included in this flier.

In order to ensure equal access to all of our students, we will not provide structured or required assignments at this time nor will we be providing an independent study option. Teachers will not be assigning any required work to students. Educational Services will be sharing resources with families who choose to use them.

While your student(s) remains home, we encourage you to continue practicing good hygiene, which includes:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects.
  • Get vaccinated for the flu if you have not already done so.
  • Avoid gathering or meeting in large groups.
  • If you feel for any reason your child may have or has been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your doctor immediately. Virus symptoms can range from mild to severe and could include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

We understand there will continue to be many outstanding questions. We are compiling answers, resources, and information, and will send additional communication as it becomes available. In addition to these letters, updates also will be posted to our district website and social media.

Any questions regarding the school closure and related situations can be directed to the EUSD communications email at communications@eusd.org. Any information regarding health status related to COVID-19 should be reported to Tracy Schmidt at trschmidt@eusd.org or 760-432-2361.

We appreciate your understanding and patience during this time.

March 13, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.

In alignment with the San Diego County Office of Education and in consultation with the County Health & Human Services Agency, the Escondido Union School District is closing starting Monday, March 16, through Monday, April 13, pending no other health concerns.

All schools, as well as the after-school programs, will remain open today only. Please support your child in ensuring they collect all personal belongings and iPad in preparation for the three-week closure.

It is important to note that the temporary closure of EUSD schools and the District Office is not the result of a contamination. At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in our school district.

Additional information will follow.

March 12, 2020

As EUSD continues to monitor rapidly updating information regarding COVID-19, district officials continue to follow the guidance from the California Department of Public Health, the California Department of Education, and the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency.

The guidance for closing schools has not changed.

We have an update from California public health officials on guidelines for gatherings. Out of an abundance of caution, non-essential school functions in EUSD will be suspended until after spring break. These are functions such as school assemblies, field trips, family engagement activities and events, and educational conferences, as well as districtwide events such as the smART Festival, Season for Nonviolence, Hack-a-Thon. We will continue to update this list and communicate with our staff and community via SchoolMessenger, our district website, and through social media.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its list of high-risk countries for travelers. Level 2 and Level 3 locations now include most of Europe, in addition to the previously listed countries of China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Japan. If your student has visited a country or city that is at a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice according to the CDC, you must report this to EUSD Director of Integrated Student Supports Tracy Schmidt and your school principal. Your child may be required to stay home and away from fellow students for 14 days after your return to Escondido, as recommended by the CDC. Any absence due to quarantine or illness will be excused.

The district is in daily communication with the San Diego County of Education and County Health and Human Services Agency, who continue to provide updates as necessary.

The following is a summary of the current guidance provided to school districts by the California Department of Public Health regarding the need for school closure. At this point, EUSD is in Scenario I.

Scenario I: Measures already are underway to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with schools remaining open.

Scenario II: Measures are taken if there are two or more community transmission cases of COVID-19, but no individuals within the school test positive. Schools remain open.

Scenario III: Measures are taken if one student, teacher, or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and exposed others at the school. One or multiple schools are closed.

Scenario IV: Measures are taken if multiple schools within a school district have a student, teacher, or staff member test positive for COVID-19. All district schools are closed.

March 11, 2020

The Escondido Union School District (EUSD) continues to monitor the current public health situation regarding coronavirus, officially named COVID-19.

The district is taking direction from primarily the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency. Decisions are also made in partnership with the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE).

At this time, there are no known cases of in EUSD. District officials continue to participate in daily meetings and review of written communications to best prepare in the event of an outbreak and to support the community. The State of Emergency declared by Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 4, 2020, was preparation-based, not because an outbreak currently exists. An emergency proclamation is designed to focus resources and expedite government response.

The district is prepared with plans and protocols in the event of school closures. The information provided to you by EUSD about COVID-19 will change rapidly. Officials will respond to those changes using the SchoolMessenger service to send out phone and text messages as well as email to those who have them on file with the district.

The following FAQs are intended to provide some clarity. New information will be provided as it becomes available.

What is the most important thing to do?

Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Health and district officials recommend that your child stay home if they have vomited, have active diarrhea, have symptoms associated with a fever, or are displaying respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, or a wet cough with associated droplets. It is still cold and flu season; COVID-19 is not the only reason to stay vigilant about being healthy.

If your student has visited a country or city that is at a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice according to the CDC, you must report this to EUSD Director of Integrated Student Supports Tracy Schmidt and your school principal. Your child may be required to stay home and away from fellow students for 14 days after your return to Escondido, as recommended by the CDC. At the moment, Level 2 and Level 3 locations include China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Japan. Any absence due to quarantine or illness will be excused.  Please check here for up-to-date travel warning information.

Should we stay home if we have a fever? 

Health and district officials recommend that all children and staff members with a fever – temperature of 100.4 F and higher – remain home from school and refrain from other activities until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the assistance of medication.

Hand sanitizer vs. hand washing: What wins? 

At this time, hand sanitizer has been placed in rooms (portable classrooms) without sinks and running water. Additional hand sanitizer dispensers have been ordered for placement in all classrooms. However, hand sanitizer simply does not compare to hand washing. The most effective way to keep germs at bay is to wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.

Do we need masks? 

The CDC does not recommend routine use of a face mask or respirator.

What if someone at EUSD is exposed to the risk of COVID-19? 

The district remains vigilant about investigating all reported exposure cases. Should a confirmed case of COVID-19 exist in EUSD, district officials will work in consultation with the expert public health agencies listed above to take the necessary next steps. This situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

What if a student or staff member appears sick at school?

If a student or employee at school presents with fever or productive cough, then the health technician may place a surgical mask on that student or staff member until the affected person leaves campus. If possible, that person will be isolated; however, a student must be visible and supervised by a staff member. If isolation is not possible, the symptomatic person will keep a 3- to 6-foot distance between others.

Will absences be excused if I decide not to send my student to school?

The district procedure for excused and unexcused absences remains in place. The district is not able to excuse an absence for a student who is being kept home due to concerns over attending. An absence will be excused if the student is ill, as well as be excused for other justifiable reasons under California Education Code. One of the EUSD practices that will be different in light of current circumstances, is that parents and caregivers will be able to call in their students’ absence due to illness rather than having to produce a doctor’s note after 10 days to have it excused.

Will you cancel school activities and events? 

No. Until there is guidance from the expert public health agencies listed above or the district experiences an outbreak that warrants this decision, all school activities will continue as scheduled. At this time, there is no recommendation to change district practices for large gatherings.

Will you cancel school trips?

No. Until a travel advisory is issued for the specific location or advice given by the public health agencies listed above or the community experiences an outbreak that warrants this decision,  trips will not be cancelled.

Will you close schools?

This is an extreme measure that would be disruptive to students, staff, and families. This decision would be made in consultation with the expert public health agencies listed above.

How should I talk to children about coronavirus?

Keeping calm and reducing fear is essential. Remember, EUSD schools have support staff at every site. If your child is exhibiting fear or anxiety related to this public health issue, please contact your school and you will be connected with support services.

Where should I check for information?

Please use only official government public health agency outlets to obtain information, including the CDC and San Diego County Health & Human Services.