Executive Summary: Truly Evergreen
Our district’s name, “Evergreen” has been a truly poignant symbol over the past year. An evergreen, as its name suggests, is a plant that retains green leaves throughout the year. An evergreen is also symbolic of immortality. In other cultures, the evergreen is a symbol of strength during hardship, invincibility, survivorship, and goodness in a chaotic world.
Our community has been all of this and more.
Since our district--like many others across the United States--shifted its schools into distance learning at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we found ourselves in uncharted waters as students, parents, and educators. We moved from seeing, hearing and encountering each other in person everyday to being safe at home, joined by technology, but physically separated. We had hope that the beginning of the school year would bring us back together, in person, again, only to have our community be faced with more devastation from this pandemic, and continued to come together in unity through our mutual support, goodwill, and goodness to each other, and continued to stay connected through technology and safe at home.
Our dedication to providing a world class education to our students remains truly evergreen, as is our commitment to support them socially and emotionally. We have continually implemented ways to improve our delivery of instruction remotely and support our most vulnerable of students with small cohorts.
Since the beginning of January 2021, several changes began to emerge that provided needed guidance and direction for districts to consider returning students to campuses for in-person learning:
- The revised California Department of Public Health Guidance released on January 14, 2021 opens opportunities for K-6 schools to return to in-person learning in counties currently in the Purple Tier when COVID-19 cases are below 25 cases/100,000 for five consecutive days;
- The increased availability of vaccinations, including the expansion of eligibility of teachers to receive the vaccination beginning on February 28;
- Updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control providing clearer guidance on the safe return of schools to in-person learning;
- Increasing evidence from schools that have returned to in-person learning that schools are not sources of widespread transmission; and
- Continual reduction in positive COVID-19 cases in Santa Clara County;
We can now realistically plan to open our doors to our students for in-person learning again.
Evergreen’s comprehensive Safe Together: Return to In-Person Learning Plan leverages our ability to work together as a Truly Evergreen community to assess our progress, county-level scientific data, and other variables. The objective is not just to return to in-person learning but to move flexibly between distance learning, hybrid, and in-person modalities, should local COVID-19 conditions change. This document incorporates Evergreen School District’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan comprising all the COVID-19 related safety measures the district has implemented in accordance with the California Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist and the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Program. Evergreen School District will continue to offer full Distance Learning to families choosing this model for their student. Families choosing to return to their school campus will transition to the In-Person Hybrid learning model on April 19, 2021.The Distance Learning Model will also be provided to all students, should we need to transition over to this model in the event of an outbreak or classroom closures. Please note that this plan may change as local, state and federal guidance and requirements change.