November 18, 2020 - School officials have told families in Pleasanton and throughout the Tri-Valley that they continue to work on reopening plans in the wake of the return of Alameda County to the most restrictive stage.
In a letter to parents Tuesday, Pleasanton Unified School District Superintendent David Haglund said the return to the purple tier was disheartening, but acted "as a vital call to action for us to adhere to current health guidance as the holiday season approaches."
The most stringent tier of the four-tiered, color-coded COVID-19 risk system of the state is the purple 'widespread risk' tier. For 14 days before schools can reopen to students, a county must stay in the second-most restrictive red "substantial risk" category. If a school opens when a county is in the red or better tier, when the county returns to the purple tier, it may remain open.
Mountain House Elementary School District, which has 16 students, is the only public school district in Alameda County that remains accessible, said Michelle Smith McDonald, spokesperson for the county Office of Education.
While PUSD is uncertain of the reopening of schools, Haglund said officials will shift current January plans and seek to expand cohort student support services that are still approved for schools in purple tier counties. Cohorts are stable groups of up to 14 kindergarten through 12th grade students who, according to the state, may meet to receive tailored instructional support or intervention services.
Cohorts could help schools meet struggling students' academic and mental health needs, Haglund said. He urged students and family members to enroll in its Care Solace program in need of mental health assistance.
Cohorts are not intended for students in general education, but Smith McDonald said that school districts have some leeway to decide who are their most needed students. It may be students who are studying English or who are participating in programs for special education.
PUSD has said it will begin planning for the possible reopening of elementary and nursery schools. On Monday, Alameda County announced that it is not currently providing exemptions for elementary schools that wish to reopen, but Haglund said if the chance occurs, PUSD wants to be prepared.
PUSD was one of four Alameda County unified school districts, including the school district of Livermore, to request a reopening proposal, officials of the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District said.
"Please know that we care deeply for the physical and mental well being of each of our students and employees," Haglund wrote. "We understand that this news will not be received well by many, given that the related needs are significant and the consequences impactful. We are doing our very best to navigate this health pandemic with respect and thoughtfulness."
In a statement Monday, Alameda County Superintendent of Schools L. Karen Monroe said that the Office of Education would put all of its energy into helping schools in their attempts to prepare for potential reopening.
"As a county, state and nation, we clearly have some challenging days ahead, but there are signs of progress in fighting this virus and I am hopeful that the new year will bring with it an opportunity to be together, to learn and spend time with one another in person again," she said. In the meantime, we will be supported by our mutual responsibility to our children and communities.'
Pleasanton, California is blessed with some amazing schools - some of the best in the state! Check out our shortlist here:
Amador Valley High School
Foothill High School
Thomas S. Hart Middle School
Harvest Park Middle School
Pleasanton Middle School
Henry P. Mohr Elementary School
Vintage Hills Elementary School
Fairlands Elementary School
Walnut Grove Elementary School
After visiting these schools make sure to stop by and say “Hello” to us at our downtown Danville location, DPG Pavers Danville Location on 4115 Blackhawk Plaza Circle!