• July 17, 2020 

    boy working with a pencil and workbook at home Dear Foothill and Seedling Families,

    Today's announcement by Governor Newsom mandating the closure of all private and public K - 12 schools in Los Angeles County confirms Foothill's grades Kindergarten - 8 will begin the year in distance learning mode. As a state-licensed day care facility, The Seedling School (2 years - TK) will be prepared to open its campus on September 2 with strict adherence to safety requirements (screening, PPE, distancing, hygiene) as mandated by the state and public health departments.  Seedling will not offer a distance learning option, only in-person and day care, including early morning and extended day care.   

    We understand the decision to being the year in distance mode for K - 8 students will create difficulties for some families.  If our decision to open in distance learning changes your family's plans for the coming school year, please contact Director of Enrollment Colette Sims at csims@foothillcds.org by Tuesday, July 28. 

    Duration of Distance Learning  
    The key determinants to how long we remain in distance learning are 1) the rate of community spread 2) availability of a widespread testing and 2) the capacity for contact tracing.  The most current science-based guidelines indicate the autumn and winter months could be particularly difficult, which means there is a chance we could be distance learning mode through late January. We will continue to monitor the degree and duration of community spread of the virus and follow the guidance of our medical think force--comprised of 16 Foothill parent doctors-- along with state and local public health department guidelines for the safe re-opening of campus to students in Grades K - 8. 

    Tuition Will Remain Unchanged 
    We are senstive to how the decision to open the year in distance learning may raise questions about your family's financial commitment.  Maintaining our tuition levels whether in distance or in-person mode allows us to retain our invaluable teachers and staff and ensures: 

    • that we can offer 5 full days of instruction in the full academic and specialist curriculum by our trained teachers
    • when we re-open campus we will have the staffing required by our safety plan that calls for students to be placed in small cohorts, properly distanced, and taught by our trained teachers

    Distance Learning -- 5 Full Days of Instruction 
    Grades K - 8 will receive 5 full days of teacher instruction in the academic and specialist (e.g. Science, Spanish, Art, PE, Music) curricula, with increased opportunities for live instruction. After a summer that has included reflection on our recent parent satisfaction survey, best practices, and development focused on teaching and learning in a digital environment, our teachers will be prepared to engage students in whole group, small group, and individual instructional experiences that deepen learning and maintain the continuity of our core academic program.  

    What's Next? 
    In August you will receive communication about our plans for establishing connections and community in distance mode and more detailed explanations about learning day schedules and communications between home and school. I have attached the updated Key Dates for the 2020-2021 school year that reflects a fall start in distance model.  

    *We have scheduled a Zoom meeting for next Thursday, July 23 at 7:00p.m. so we can address your questions or concerns about the start of the school year.  Please click here to submit your questions so we can prepare ahead of time. 

    We thank you in advance for your steadfast support and trust in our efforts to serve you and your children.  Whether in distance mode or in-person, we are determined to pursue excellence in teaching and learning with our students.  

    I wish you and your family continued wellness.  I hope to see you on Zoom next Thursday.  


    Sincerely yours, 

    Mike

    Michael Silva 
    Head of School 

    *update 7/24/20:  To watch a recording of the Zoom meeting please click HERE.  Access password:  qVB+sa