Real Time and Past Updates

This section provides current and past updates to our COVID-19 scenario planning and updates throughout this very dynamic situation.

August 19th
August 19th
August 11th
August 6th
July 21st
July 17th
May 27th

August 19th

August 11th

August 6th

July 21st

July 17th

May 27th

August 19th | Plans for TEA@Home Through 9/18 for K-12 Remain Intact

As of today, Wednesday August 19th, Placer County is off of the state’s watchlist. If Placer County remains off of the watchlist for 14 consecutive days, schools would be permitted to conduct in-person instruction. However, out of necessity to base our school’s opening plans on certainty, we remain committed to our reopening plan communicated on August 6th, which has us in TEA@Home for the first 9 days of school (through 9/18) for our K-12 students. Our first 4 days of school will be focused on norms which is best done over a digital format as it enables face to face communication and active discussion with our students.

Here is an excerpt from our August 6th communication of our Reopening Plan for reference:

“We believe the best and right thing to do is for us to commit to TEA@Home through September 18th while planning to continue in a digital format through the end of the month. After September 18th, once Placer County has been off the State Watchlist for 14 consecutive days (per state mandate), we will start in person classes for all students the following week, with K thru 5th-Grade having the choice to participate in 5-days per week in-person social distance school, and 6th-12th grades in a hybrid model with 3 days per week in-person and 2 days per week digital.”

As many of you know, Placer County has been off and on the watchlist multiple times in the past few months, and TEA@Home is the only certainty we can plan around for the first two weeks of school. The earliest we will open for in person classes is the week of 9/21, if we are permitted to do so at that time.

As a reminder, please note during our first week of in-person instruction for all K-12 students, regardless of when that happens, there will be a week-long staggered start for K-12 students that focuses on norming in-person and on-campus social distancing protocols. Here is that anticipated schedule. Note these would be 8:30 – 3PM on-campus days.

Week 1 On-Campus Planned Schedule For All Students
– Monday = PK, K-2, 9-12
– Tuesday = PK, 3-5, 6-8
– Wednesday = PK, K-2, 9-12
– Thursday = PK, 3-5, 6-8
– Friday = PK, K-5

After our first week of on-campus instruction and norming, we will move to a 5 day per week schedule for Pre-K through 5th-Grade, and a hybrid schedule for MS and HS students. Here is that anticipated schedule, again with normal 8:30 – 3PM hours.

Week 2+ On-Campus Planned Schedule For All Students
– Monday = PK, K-5, 9-12
– Tuesday = PK, K-5, 6-8
– Wednesday = PK, K-5, 6-8, 9-12
– Thursday = PK, K-5, 3-5, 9-12
– Friday = PK, K-5, 6-8

We are currently discussing what is possible for Pre-K. There is greater flexibility in curriculum and logistics planning for our littlest ones, possibly allowing us to pivot to in-person instruction before 9/21. We are working on that now and will update our Pre-K families asap.

August 11th | COVID-19 Prevention Planning Live Q&A

On August 12th, the TEA Leadership hosted a live Q&A in response to the information we shared regarding our COVID-19 Prevention Planning. Parents pre-submitted questions and the leadership team responded on a Zoom call, with parents able to ask follow up questions via Zoom’s chat function. You can review a recording of the event here.

With one month until the start of school the time has come to plan for an opening scenario. While we are eager to get back on campus, according to the California Department of Health and Placer County Department of Health, it is not yet safe, nor are we permitted to do so at this time. At this point, we believe the best and right thing to do is for us to commit to TEA@Home through September 18th while planning to continue in a digital format through the end of the month.

As we look locally, we know Tahoe Truckee Unified School District is moving to digital learning starting September 2nd going through at least through the month. In their memo, they stated, “On Monday, August 3, the health officers issued a joint directive that ALL schools in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District must open in distance learning.”

We also know that there is a school waiver process that is being developed to go outside of county mandates. Our Leadership TEAm has decided not apply for a waiver to conduct in person classes if Placer County does not allow for all schools to conduct in person classes.

That said, as a small, agile school, we will be able to adapt and act quickly to conduct in person classes as soon as we are permitted.

After September 18th, once Placer County has been off the State Watchlist for 14 consecutive days (per state mandate), we will start in person classes for all students the following week, with K thru 5th-Grade having the choice to participate in 5-days per week in-person social distance school, and 6th-12th grades in a hybrid model with 3 days per week in-person and 2 days per week digital.

Further, we will prioritize getting our youngest in Pre-K within a day of the possibility of reopening after September 18th.

In the meantime, the best thing each of us can do to get us back to in person instruction as soon as possible is to follow state and county guidelines related to the COVID pandemic.

We appreciate all of the positive notes we have received during the summer from our families. We also value the variety of viewpoints and discussions we have received, as all of the feedback makes us better, and we are committed to hearing from you throughout the year.

We are doing our absolute best to deliver on our promise to you, and, at the end of the day, our teachers are incredibly committed to your kids and ensuring they get a TEA education – one that is not like any other, regardless of the circumstances.

Here’s to continuing solving this real world problem, together.

August 6th | 20/21 School Year To Start as TEA@Home

With one month until the start of school the time has come to plan for an opening scenario. While we are eager to get back on campus, according to the California Department of Health and Placer County Department of Health, it is not yet safe, nor are we permitted to do so at this time. At this point, we believe the best and right thing to do is for us to commit to TEA@Home through September 18th while planning to continue in a digital format through the end of the month.

As we look locally, we know Tahoe Truckee Unified School District is moving to digital learning starting September 2nd going through at least through the month. In their memo, they stated, “On Monday, August 3, the health officers issued a joint directive that ALL schools in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District must open in distance learning.”

We also know that there is a school waiver process that is being developed to go outside of county mandates. Our Leadership TEAm has decided not apply for a waiver to conduct in person classes if Placer County does not allow for all schools to conduct in person classes.

That said, as a small, agile school, we will be able to adapt and act quickly to conduct in person classes as soon as we are permitted.

After September 18th, once Placer County has been off the State Watchlist for 14 consecutive days (per state mandate), we will start in person classes for all students the following week, with K thru 5th-Grade having the choice to participate in 5-days per week in-person social distance school, and 6th-12th grades in a hybrid model with 3 days per week in-person and 2 days per week digital.

Further, we will prioritize getting our youngest in Pre-K within a day of the possibility of reopening after September 18th.

In the meantime, the best thing each of us can do to get us back to in person instruction as soon as possible is to follow state and county guidelines related to the COVID pandemic.

We appreciate all of the positive notes we have received during the summer from our families. We also value the variety of viewpoints and discussions we have received, as all of the feedback makes us better, and we are committed to hearing from you throughout the year.

We are doing our absolute best to deliver on our promise to you, and, at the end of the day, our teachers are incredibly committed to your kids and ensuring they get a TEA education – one that is not like any other, regardless of the circumstances.

Here’s to continuing solving this real world problem, together.

July 21st | Important Update Regarding COVID-19 Scenario Planning + Parent Survey

We wanted to provide you with an important update on the work we have been up to, plans for the coming year, and to get your feedback so we can best meet each family and student’s needs.

Academic Programming
As we discussed in our State of School address in May, we have been preparing for multiple scenarios so we can adapt and thrive during this dynamic COVID-19 situation.

Over the summer the leadership team has been planning for a social distancing in-person model and an upgraded TEA@Home model, depending on COVID-19 requirements. Our teachers return in August to continue the planning. We are ready to deliver in both formats. HERE is our program overview website to break-down the program for you. This will be further updated by teachers in August.

We will also host a virtual Back to School Night at 5:30 pm on August 25th (6-12th grade) and August 26th (Prek-5th Grade). We will send an invite with a zoom link soon.

Different Family Needs
While we adapt to Newsom’s order, we are seeking additional information from families so we can differentiate supports to the best of our ability and deliver on outcomes for our students. We understand that every family has different health and safety concerns. We want to do our best to support all of our families. Please fill out this survey so we can better understand how to support you as we continue to finalize plans.

A Very Dynamic Situation
With Governor Newsom’s order last Friday, TEA can only reopen for in-person instruction when the county has been off the monitoring list for 14 consecutive days. We are monitoring THIS for Placer updates. The situation is fluid, with Placer County falling off of the monitoring list today. The conditions will dictate how we operate.

Health & Safety
We have developed safety and risk mitigation measures based on CDC, CA State, and Placer County Guidelines to ensure student, faculty, and staff safety to the best of our ability when we are able to operate in-person. This includes, but is not limited to:
– Implementing check-in procedures to include temperature checks and handwashing.
– Designating outdoor classroom spaces for each class to utilize as much as possible.
– Arranging new locations for students around campus to best utilize our indoor spaces when necessary. (We will be sharing more information about our campus locations in mid-August.)
– Limiting non-essential visitors on campus (including parents, experts, etc).
– Staff training from our medical team and lead doctor.
– Ramping up cleaning, disinfecting and maintenance personnel to heighten our level of safety on campus. We will share more information about risk mitigation procedures in the coming weeks.
– Requiring face coverings when indoors and if social distancing is not possible outdoors.
– Capping enrollment numbers in all grade levels to be able to ensure 6 ft spacing.
– Updating our transportation policies and protocols to be able to use our two busses for transportation to-from school and for off-site outdoor activities / fieldwork (when it is safe to do so).

 

July 17th | RE: Governor Newsom’s Order to Close (Most) Schools in California

As many of you know, California Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference on Friday, June 17th announcing that public and private schools in the more than 30 counties currently on the state’s COVID-19 watchlist are prohibited from conducting on-campus instruction. This includes the county TEA resides in, Placer County. Under the current guidelines, TEA can reopen for in-person instruction at any time when the county has been off the monitoring list for 14 consecutive days. The good news is, we are still over 7 weeks away from our open date so we have plenty of time for the situation to mitigate. For more on the announcement, we recommend reading the memo issued by Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health.

We are continuing to monitor the situation, preparing the campus so we are ready when we are permitted to reopen, and planning curriculum to be delivered in person and virtually as needed. We have been working throughout the summer to prepare for the fluidity of COVID-19 and stay committed to delivering on our learner outcomes regardless.

We are all eager to get back to campus as soon as possible and will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our communiTEA. We will be sending a more detailed update next week along with a parent survey to hear from our families about how we can best support everyone during this dynamic COVID-19 scenario.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask them on the comment thread here and we will do our best to answer them. Or you are welcome to reach out to Mara Jenkins (mjenkins@tahoeexpeditionacademy.org) directly.

Thank you for your continued efforts to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 so we can (hopefully) all see each other back on campus on September 8.

May 27th | TEA Virtual State of the School

On Monday, May 27th we held a live (virtual) State of the School event that was open to all current families, new families for 20/21, and prospective families. The event started off with a brief introduction by our Co-Directors Mara Jenkins and Taylor Simmers. After the introduction, this MEMO was distributed and participants were given 20 minutes to read and prepare questions. When everyone returned to the call Mara, Taylor and Ken Martin (our facilities and operations manager) answered the questions on the Zoom event.