COVID-19 News

Joint Statement | Start of the 2020-2021 School Year

July 17th, 2020

Imperial County Schools to Start 2020-2021 School Year in Distance Learning Only Model

Dr. Stephen Munday, Imperial County Public Health Officer
Dr. Todd Finnell, Imperial County Superintendent of Schools

Today, Governor Newsom ordered all California counties on the state Monitoring List to return to school in a Distance Learning only model with no in-person instruction. Based on our current and anticipated public health conditions, Imperial County is on this list and is subject to this order. All schools will remain in this model until Imperial County has been removed from the Monitoring List for a period of 14 consecutive days. At that time, schools will be permitted to provide in-person instruction subject to comprehensive guidance and health and safety requirements.

As the Imperial County Public Health Officer and County Superintendent of Schools, we commit to work closely with each school in order to ensure a successful start to the upcoming school year. We understand the hardship this presents for our students and families and will work with our community to provide assistance and support.

We are all committed to the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and community.  Education leaders and public health officials have worked collaboratively since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain committed to this collaboration and will continually evaluate local health conditions and updated guidance from federal, state, and local sources.

As local health conditions improve and guidance evolves, our schools are committed to safely transition to in-person instruction and support services to the greatest extent possible. Recognizing that some parents may wish to continue in a distance learning model and not return physically to school for some time, Imperial County schools will offer a Distance Learning option for parents throughout the 2020-21 school year.

In the coming weeks, all schools will be developing comprehensive plans to address the following critical areas of our school programs: Mental Health and Social and Emotional Well-Being, Pupil Engagement and Outreach, School Nutrition, Pupil Learning Loss, Distance Learning Program, and In-Person Instructional Offerings. These plans depend heavily on local stakeholders, such as students, parents, teachers, staff and others, to ensure schools are meeting the diverse needs of our individual communities, with special attention to our most vulnerable and at-risk learners. Active participation by all stakeholders in this process is essential.