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COVID-19 Update from Principal Leighton

July 14, 2020


"To be, or not to be:  that is the question:  Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      --William Shakespeare

Dear Grizzly Community,

I am aware that there are a myriad of questions, concerns and anxieties that many of you have regarding the schedule for Granite Bay High School for the very near 2020-21 school year. I have them as well, so I've included the quote above from “Hamlet” to sum up my nighttime pacings.  


These are such unprecedented times!   I know many of you join me in the hope that whatever we choose, our students will be safe, happy and learning.


I continue to grapple with how much communication is helpful, especially when so many conditions are beyond our control, challenging, and seemingly endless. Our superintendent’s office has sent out consistent communication, and surveys, so I don’t want to bombard you with repetition.  You can expect that we will always be in alignment with all of the Roseville Joint Union High School District schools.  However, rather than answering a lot of individual emails, let me attempt to clarify where we all are at this moment.  


On June 23rd, the school board approved a five day per week, on-ground schedule with safety precautions in place. These precautions include staff and students wearing face coverings on campus, social distancing, and screening protocols for the home.  In addition, the school board supported an option to pivot to a hybrid schedule or full distance learning model if conditions require such a move. The current hybrid model proposal consists of 2 groups--A and B--that each hold half of the student body at approximately 1,000 students each.  Group A would attend on Monday and Thursday; B on Tuesday and Friday.  Wednesdays would be reserved for deep cleaning, virtual teacher/student interaction, asynchronous learning and staff meetings. 


The parent survey is asking you to choose--with the information you have right now--whether you want to send your child to campus in the on-ground, five-day-per-week and/or hybrid model, or want to keep them learning on-line (aka “Roseville Virtual Learning Academy”/RVLA).  The district and school board will decide what the on-ground schedule looks like, so you aren’t opting in to one or the other. 


The RVLA will look a little different than last spring in that there will be a set schedule for each class, expectations for synchronous and asynchronous learning times, and a set of core classes.  There are no guarantees that any special programs or classes (ie IB, Speech and Debate, AP, etc) will make it into the RVLA because of staffing--for now just expect a base program of graduation requirements, with some electives.  And no, I can’t tell you today exactly which classes are included or which teachers will be staff members.  (I will explain this further below).  Additionally, I wouldn’t expect the same grading scale from last spring, but that discussion has not yet begun.


The teachers are taking a similar survey.  In a perfect world, the number of GBHS teachers that want to teach in the RVLA will exactly match the number of GBHS students who enroll in it. We can’t determine that until the surveys are in, but likely we will mix and match students and teachers from across the district, and then we will have to retool the on-ground GBHS master schedule with our smaller student body and teaching staff.  


Please note that switching from or to the RVLA can only happen between semesters or terms that end in October, December and/or March.  And, most importantly, despite our desire to get students out of their pajamas and onto campus there is still the possibility that we all have to go back to Distance Learning.  As you have learned, we are bound by state and county regulations which are changing rapidly, even as I write.


Another very important final note--by choosing on-ground instruction (whether we land on five days per week or a hybrid schedule), you are accepting the requirement that your student will wear a mask all day long.  If you cannot abide by this stipulation, then you must choose the RVLA.


And, to add to the angst, in a week our choices may look very different!  Just do your best with the information we have right now, and please complete your survey by Thursday, July 16th.  As Polonius of “Hamlet” fame states, “...This above all: to thine own self be true.,,”


We should have a firm(er) decision after our July 28th school board meeting, but that decision is subject to change as well.  


Remember--we are in this together!  We did a fairly good job celebrating our seniors last spring despite the limitations, and we are just as committed to doing the best we can for all of our students this fall. I promise we will handle whatever comes our way with much thought, and great effort.


In appreciation of our partnership,

Jennifer Leighton

Principal, Granite Bay High School

916-786-8676 x5123