Courtesy of San Benito High School District Superintendent Shawn Tennenbaum:
Greetings to our San Benito High School students, families, faculty and staff, and community:
We hope that you and your loved ones are doing well. We understand there may be questions following Governor Gavin Newsom’s press conference on Tuesday referencing the possibility of reopening schools for the 2020-2021 school year as early as July to make up for the loss of learning during the current school year.
At this time, I want to clarify that we have not received this directive from our county leaders, San Benito County Health Department and local educational leaders, led by County Superintendent of Schools Krystal Lomanto. No clear decision has been made yet on a start date for the new school year; however, we potentially plan to open in August based upon our previously adopted school calendar. The health and safety of our students and staff remain our highest priority.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond released a statement Wednesday in response to the governor’s remarks that said in part: “We look forward to working closely with Governor Gavin Newsom and our partners in education to ask the right questions and seek the urgent answers schools need to determine their next steps in this new, uncharted future. We share the governor’s aspirations for re-opening our schools as soon as possible. If we are going to do this, it can only be done when we are sure we can protect the health and safety of everyone in our school communities.”
Thurmond added: “Even if schools reopen sooner than anticipated, it’s possible we will need to continue some form of remote learning to maintain social distancing. What will that look like, and what resources need to be in place to make that possible? Our broad coalition of leaders from across California and beyond will rise to this challenge by seeking answers to these hard questions.”
As we move forward with the process of developing initial plans for the next academic year, we will continue to monitor the latest guidance and information from our state and local leaders. The District will be developing plans for multiple school reopening scenarios that account for the specific learning needs of students following this period of school closure. As these plans come to fruition and we receive additional guidance from public health officials, more information will be communicated.
It is a community effort to ensure our students have the support they need during this unprecedented time. We will continue to monitor dynamics at all levels of government and remain committed to keeping our staff and community updated about any changes or modifications to the upcoming school year. We are grateful for the continued support from our school community as we navigate this ever-changing situation.
San Benito High School District Superintendent Dr. Shawn Tennenbaum