LA QUINTA —More than 500 people participated in a virtual version of Bailey & Coffee to Go on Wednesday to share their opinions and concerns as Desert Sands Unified School District looks to resume classes.
“Absolutely we want to re-engage with our kids,” Superintendent Scott Bailey told participants. “It’s all about relationships and public education, as you know. We miss that engagement we once knew as or normal. We look forward to that day but that won’t come until we know it’s safe and practical to get back into the traditional road.”
The school district is currently weighing two models to resume classes. They are:
- Distance/virtual learning
- A hybrid of virtual and in-classroom learning where students are adequately distanced. Half the class might attend two days and the other half two days.
Bailey suggested that classes might resume virtually, then move to a hybrid model and eventually work toward a traditional model.
The Desert Sands Board of Education is expected to make a decision at its meeting on July 9.
The decision on what to do comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continue to rise in both Riverside County and the state of California.
“We have incredibly talented staff and given the appropriate space and support they’re definitely going to provide a dynamic experience,” Bailey said. “I have full faith.”
On July 1, Riverside County health officials confirmed 745 new cases of coronavirus and six additional virus-related deaths.
The spike signals the county’s highest single day increase of confirmed cases since testing began in March. The county’s previous largest single day increase was July 1 with 662 new cases.
There are now 18,041 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county, and 463 of those have been fatal.
The highest number of virus-related deaths in the Coachella Valley as of Wednesday is Indio, which is in the DSUSD, with 30 deaths total. Palm Desert has a reported 29 deaths.
Coronavirus cases in Riverside County more than doubled in June. On June 1, there were 7,982 total coronavirus cases in the county, according to heath officials.
During the one-hour virtual Bailey & Coffee, some of the top thoughts and concerns expressed included:
- Daily sanitation will be crucial to keeping students and staff healthy.
- We also need to support parents on ow they can best support their student with virtual education.
- How do we keep teachers and staff safe?
- What will happen if a student does not respect the safety rules?
- We need to support both parents and staff with distance learning.
- Distance learning in the spring didn’t negatively affect grades, so a lot of kids in my son’s class didn’t show up. How will this be addressed?
Dr. Kelly May-Vollmar, Chief Innovation and Information Officer at Desert Sands Unified School District, assured parents that the fall term of classes “will be very different.” There will be “a lot of accountability in place.”
The most-often raised concerns were put together to form a word cloud, which you can see above.
You may watch Bailey & Coffee to Go by clicking here.
- Coffee & Bailey: YouTube
- DSUSD Word Cloud: YouTube