Like every other school in California, learning for Ravenswood students has been massively disrupted by remote learning since March, so the district wants to re-imagine what is possible to accelerate student learning in order to make up for Covid-19 disruptions.
Ravenswood already follows strict safety protocols for current staff, and the 200 students that attend learning hubs because remote learning has not worked for these students specifically. However, Ravenswood wants to proceed with bringing more students to campus if their plan is approved by the county.
While board members are developing a long term learning plan that will be a multi-year process to make up for learning loss, the district is eager to bring students back on campus as soon as possible.
Ravenswood schools will host on-campus Covid testing that will ensure protection for all staff and students whether or not they are in a learning hub. The Ravenswood district has dedicated a committee to develop and execute the long term plan. The main priority is still to be able to perform efficient contract tracing with anyone who may have contracted the virus to prevent any further spread.
The county has offered Ravenswood (among two other districts) the opportunity to participate in a pilot of a free eight week rapid antigen test. The program’s rapid tests will display Covid test results in fifteen minutes which could limit the recent surge in East Palo Alto Covid cases.
Despite the FDA raising questions about the accuracy of Curative testing, according to the Superintendent of Ravenswood, Gina Sudaria, Ravenswood is continuing to rely on “the advice of scientists at the Country Department of Health who still recommend Curative testing for Ravenswood.” Sudaria also mentions that the test takes two to four days to receive results. With the potential inaccuracies and wait time of Curative, this displays the potential benefit of a rapid test that is projected to begin early February.
Sudaria explains that “our first priority are the learning hub staff who are not being tested regularly (like normal staff) but who are reporting to campus. Next priority are all the students in learning hubs.” The Ravenswood board reinforces the desire to be guided by the new Covid cases per day in EPA rather than the San Mateo county as a whole because Covid has affected and spread in Ravenswood communities significantly.
Currently in the purple tier, the district is proposing a slow return of unique learners with moderate to severe learning needs as well as Transitional Kindergarten (TK) classes that consist of eleven students. The board wants to bring back one to three unique learners at a time in phases with short teaching periods ranging from 30 to 60 minutes daily.
Schools will have weekly evaluations and keep in touch with teachers as to how unique learners are adapting to in-person learning. In order to provide the most support for Ravenswood students, board members want to increase the amount of time students are with teachers as much as possible with parental and student permission. Additionally, classes will consist of no more than nine students per class with 31 students in total (two classes in preschool, one for K-2nd, one for 3-5th).
TK classes that consist of eleven students and one teacher who wish to return to in-person learning are expected to begin attending classes in February. Students in these TK classes will stay together in a learning hub class after school to continue necessary tutoring. The Ravenswood district is also currently finalizing the details for the returning students with the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula, the principals and district families in hopes of successfully executing their plan and goals.