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Updates for Twin Rivers Employees

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April 14, 2020
 
Dear Staff,  
 
We hope you’re doing well under these challenging circumstances. As you know, our Distance Learning Program will launch on April 27. We understand that teaching and learning from home is a big shift for most students and educators, and to help ease the transition several departments have collaborated to provide critical support for teachers.
 
A new webpage has been created that includes resources and online professional learning for distance learning technology tools. Instructional resources include scope and sequences and example lesson plans at each grade level. This optional professional learning includes both self-paced and virtual webinar classes. Self-paced professional learning includes videos and other resources to begin learning distance tools on your own. Virtual professional learning includes a schedule of online classes presented by TR staff that focus on the technology tools needed to connect with students during this time. 
 
 
A big thank you to everyone for your efforts to help make this happen. 
 
March 31, 2020
 
Dear Staff,
 
I hope you and your families are safe and well. Although the last few weeks have been unprecedented for all of us, I want to especially thank you for trying new things to connect with your students.
 
You and I both know how important the connection is between teachers and students. During the past few weeks, the significance of those connections has magnified and deepened with the educational challenges raised by COVID-19. 
 
As we have previously stated, the Twin Rivers Distance Learning Plan will officially launch after Spring Break. This gives all staff time to organize, plan, and develop new routines as we continue to adjust to an extended school closure. You will have the time and support to help you prepare.
 
For some, you are out ahead, and we are already learning from many of you. It’s exciting to see! You’ve found ways to make connections with your students and families through hangouts, zoom, videos and more. Thank you for this. Please continue to innovate and keep students and families connected. No need to wait for the “official” date, if you are ready.
 
While Twin Rivers teaching and learning will be virtual on April 27, staff will have access to trainings, standards-based lessons by April 14. You can access the virtual platform at any time through the Twin Rivers Staff Room or the button on the main webpage. For technical support, please contact our IT Help Desk line at (916) 566-7802 or email TechSupport@twinriversusd.org.
 
Again, thank you. We are so proud of the hard work you are doing to ensure that learning continues for our students. 
 
March 23, 2020
 
To the Twin Rivers School Community,
 
I hope you are safe and well, and checking in with family and friends. That’s important. Hour by hour, minute by minute, our thoughts and actions are consumed by COVID-19. Worry, stress and anxiety are understandable. Please know we are here for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re family, committed to ensuring the health and safety of everyone in our community.
 
I can’t say enough about your patience and understanding as we work through the many complex issues related to school closures and COVID-19. Just last week, Miranda Chamberlain, a dedicated and compassionate Twin Rivers Unified teacher, responded to a coronavirus update to staff.
 
She’s concerned about student learning during this unprecedented global public health crisis. It’s unnerving when the Governor orders 40 million California residents to stay at home until further notice.
 
“I know you all are working hard to come up with the best solutions for our kids,” Miranda wrote. “It’s not an easy task.”
 
No, it isn’t. To be honest, it’s been a rough couple of weeks. COVID-19 has thrust us into unknown territory as we work to ensure a safe and supportive educational environment for our students—one that’s not in a traditional classroom setting with all the 21st century educational tools within easy reach for all.
 
We will move to remote work for our students this week. We will be launching a new website Wednesday, March 25, to support our families and students with home learning. I’m not sure who coined the phrase go slow to move fast, but it sure makes a lot of sense in our current environment. As we strive to provide every child with a robust learning experience under these extraordinary circumstances, all of us must think through thoroughly our everyday actions and decisions. We must remain future focused in this new reality of social distancing and stay-athome orders.
 
To our students, you are the heartbeat of Twin Rivers Unified and we have not lost sight of why we are here. Our promise to you hasn’t changed. We recognize your limitless potential and promise to continue to deliver you a high-quality education to fulfill all your hopes and aspirations. When the dust settles—we’re not sure when that will be—hopefully, we can all celebrate your accomplishments together.
 
Here’s some important information you need to know today:
 
Instructional Services
We’re close to launching our Distance Learning plan. We have a strong School Leadership team focused on addressing the content and technology complexities of providing continued learning options while students are at home.
 
The first phase provides resources and guidance for voluntary enrichment materials from now until Spring Break while we work to provide students the technology supports they need. The second phase involves a structured, teacher-directed plan for Distance Learning that will provide continuity of instruction for students, anticipating that our school closure may go beyond the Spring Break. We will continue to monitor this situation and will make the best decisions possible for the health and safety of students, staff and the community. Distance Learning will begin after Spring Break.
 
Students with Special Needs
Our Special Education team is working diligently to navigate the complexities of providing a Free and Appropriate Public Education to all of our students. Case managers are contacting their families to reestablish connections virtually with our students. They are working closely with Instructional Services to ensure accommodations for students are considered in the Distance Learning plan. Special Education will be working to train case managers and related service providers on tele-therapy and virtual IEP’s prior to Spring Break in the event school closures go beyond Spring Break.
 
Information and Educational Technology Services
If you need Internet access at home so your student can access online schoolwork, IT needs to know. Please visit our Coronavirus webpage to take a technology needs assessment survey. It’s available in English, Spanish and Hmong.
 
Nutrition Services
Beginning Tuesday, March 24, we are adding six more sites to distribute free meals to our students. The amazing Nutrition Services team has prepared and served 23,350 meals since March 17 (lunch and the next day’s breakfast). Click HERE for a list of all the sites.
 
Student Services
We have a new Student Services Support Line for Families—1.916.566.7801 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. School nurses, counselors, child welfare staff and foster care liaisons are available to answer your questions.
 
Several of you have asked about student testing. There will be NO mandated standardized tests this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. For our AP students, the College Board is developing a new 45-minute exam AP students can take at home. It’s free and we should hear about this by April 3.
 
Be sure to visit our District webpage at www.twinriversusd.org for information and updates through the weeks ahead.
 
Take care and stay safe! 
 
March 19, 2020
 
Sent to All Staff on behalf of Dr. Steve Martinez, Superintendent
 
As you know, information regarding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been evolving daily, even hourly. Just this morning, Sacramento County Public Health issued a legal Shelter-in-Place order to limit the spread of COVID-19. The directive is clear—individuals must stay in their homes and not leave unless absolutely necessary.
 
As a result, only a limited number of Twin Rivers staff will continue to work at District sites/departments to complete critical functions/essential duties—Police Services, some members of Nutrition Services to prepare and distribute meals for our students, and others as deemed essential to continue our necessary operations. Some of these individuals have been working since the closure. Others have been working remotely. As we explained in the March 18 message, your supervisor will contact you directly if your services are considered essential. If you are not contacted by your supervisor, you are to continue to work remotely.    
 
Although this is a very difficult and uncertain time for everyone, I’m immensely proud that all of you have not lost sight of the important work that must continue on behalf of our students and families. Thank you for being so responsive and caring. We will continue to provide you with important updates on the District’s Coronavirus Updates Website, including the Sacramento County Public Health Shelter-in-Place Order and FAQs and on what they mean to us.   
 
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented circumstances. Please know we are making the best decisions possible under extraordinary circumstances that are rapidly changing. As always, our top priority is the health and well-being of all of you, our students and families. Expect a status update from me on Friday, including information about rolling out educational supports to our students and families.   
 
Remember, we are a strong, united school community and COVID-19 has not and will not change that. Take care of yourself and your families.
 
 
March 18, 2020
 
Sent to All Staff on behalf of Gina Carreon, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources
 
As circumstances surrounding COVID-19 rapidly evolve, I know you remain committed to our mission as a school district and our critical work moving forward. At this time, our schools remain closed through Spring Break. However, there are key district operations that will continue in order to support our students, families and staff. Currently, we have employees who are at sites performing essential duties (Nutrition and Police Services). Other employees are telecommuting or waiting for direction when their services are needed.
 
Effective immediately, with limited exceptions, individuals currently working remotely will continue to do so the remainder of this week. Individuals who need to report to work the next few days will be contacted directly by their supervisors. If you are not contacted by your supervisor, you are to continue working remotely. A status update will be provided Friday, if not sooner. If there is a need to take authorized leave during this time, please document in our Absence Management System. If you are sick, stay home. In addition, California Governor Newsom has called for the self-isolation of individuals 65 and older and those with compromised immune systems. If you fall into these populations, please contact our disability manager Jacqueline (Rene) Wells at jacqueline.wells@twinriversusd.org if you haven’t already done so.
 
The California Department of Education (CDE), the Governor and a number of agencies have released guidance that addresses some of the most pressing issues related to school closures—distance learning, meals and school budgets are among them. We are finalizing an educational/operational plan for Twin Rivers based on their recommendations. This situation is extraordinary and I thank you for remaining calm and focused about the work ahead, while coping with your own personal and family concerns. It will take all of us working together to emerge stronger.
 
Thank you for all you do.
 
March 15, 2020
 
Sent to All Staff on behalf of Gina Carreon, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources
 
I thank you for your flexibility, patience and understanding as we respond to COVID-19, that’s not only impacting us, but the entire world. As a follow up to the email sent to all staff on Friday, March 13, I want to remind you that employees are on paid administrative leave while our schools are closed. This means you must be available to the District during this time should the need for your services arise. When/If you need to report to work, you will receive notification either from your supervisor or from the District collectively. If there is a need to take authorized leave during this time, please document in our Absence Management System.
 
In addition, California Governor Newsom today (March 15) called for the self-isolation of individuals 65 and older and those with compromised immune systems. If you fall into these populations, please contact our disability manager Jacqueline (Rene) Wells at jacqueline.wells@twinriversusd.org.
 
On March 13 the Governor communicated his expectation that educational services still be provided in some capacity, along with meal service and student supervision, if practicable. We anticipate that more clarity will come regarding expectations at the Governor’s press conference on Tuesday, March 17. His directive is aligned to our email stating that employees must be available to the District to provide services. 
 
Closing schools is a very difficult decision and one that is not made lightly. While we understand that this communication may not answer all the questions you have, this is an evolving situation and we will send additional information to you on Monday, March 16.  Again, we deeply thank you for your flexibility you have demonstrated.
 
March 15, 2020
 
Sent to All Staff on behalf of Gina Carreon, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources
 
As a follow up to our email sent to all staff on Friday, March 13, I want to remind you that employees are on paid administrative leave while our schools are closed. This means employees are required to be available to the District during this time. If an employee needs to report to work will be communicated either from the employee’s supervisor or from the District collectively.
 
On Friday, the Governor communicated his expectation that educational services still be provided in some capacity, along with meal service and student supervision, if practicable. We anticipate that more clarity will come regarding expectations at the Governor’s press conference on Tuesday, March 17. This is aligned to our email stating that employees must be available to the District.
 
Closing schools is a very difficult decision and one this is not made lightly. While we understand that this communication may not answer all the questions employees have, this is an evolving situation and we will send additional information to you on Monday, March 16.  
 
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
 
March 13, 2020
 
Sent to All Staff on behalf of Gina Carreon, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources
 
You should be in receipt of the letter from Superintendent Martinez which directed school closures effective Monday, March 16. Employees may question what the impact is to them. This communication is to address two of the most frequently asked questions:
 
  • Will I get paid during the school closure?
    • Yes, during this time of closure, the District will place those employees on paid administrative leave and you will receive your regular compensation during this period.
    • Already scheduled vacation, sick leave or other authorized leave will not be interrupted/affected.
    • If you are not available to report to work please report the absence in Absence Management. (See question number two)
  •  
  • Will I be required to be available to the District during the school closure?
  •  
    While unit members are on paid administrative leave, the District may, at its discretion, direct unit members, individually or collectively, to report to work or to work remotely. In addition, such employees may be assigned emergency duties, or absent specific work, remain on paid administrative leave until work becomes available. Unit members are not to report to their physical location unless asked, but must otherwise be prepared to work as directed. We have determined that the following must report to their regular work location on Monday, March 16:
     
    • All District Office Staff
    • Nutritional Services
    • Maintenance and Operations (including custodial)
    • Purchasing/Warehouse
    • Police Services
     
    If additional employees are needed for services, we will be in contact with you. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we respond to this evolving situation.
     
    March 13, 2020
     
    Twin Rivers Employees:
     
    Twin Rivers Unified is committed to keeping our employees up-to-date with information on COVID-19 as we receive guidance from the California Department of Public Health and Sacramento County Public Health. As of today, public health officials have not diagnosed any cases of COVID-19 in our schools.
     
    However, after long and careful deliberation, and in collaboration with other surrounding districts, we have determined it best to close our schools to protect the health and well-being of our students and staff as we try to help slow the spread of COVID-19. All schools will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday April 3. Our Spring break will still be held from Monday, April 6 through Monday, April 13. Schools will resume session on Tuesday, April 14.
     
    This will allow time for all of our school sites and departments to be sanitized and deep cleaned. It will also allow time to replenish supplies.
     
    During this time, identified essential service employees shall report to work to perform needed services, unless you have pre-approved time off or are utilizing your sick leave. Your supervisor will provide direction to you regarding if you will report to work during this time period. Site staff will not be allowed on campus. Please take all personal belongings that may be needed.
     
    For teachers and instructional staff, specific decisions regarding the provision of curriculum to students during this time is under consideration. More information will be provided early next week.
     
    Please know this is a rapidly evolving situation. We thank you for your support during this challenging time.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Steve Martinez, Ed.D.
    Superintendent,Twin Rivers Unified
     
    Feb. 11, 2020
     
    For All Staff … sent on behalf of Dr. Steve Martinez, Superintendent
     
    We are in the middle of the cold and flu season, complicated by reports of an outbreak of the new coronavirus first identified in China. To date, there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Sacramento County, according to Sacramento County Public Health. However, based on new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Sacramento County Public Health recommends that travelers returning from China should be excluded from school for 14 days after they left China.
     
    In the unusual event that a child or staff member is identified who recently traveled from China and has symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever and cough, the student or staff member should be sent home and the school should immediately contact Sacramento County Public Health at 916.875.5881.
     
    To help prevent respiratory viruses:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water
    • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
    • Avoid contact with sick people
    • Stay at home if you are sick 
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu shots for everyone 6 months of age and older
     
    To get the latest and most accurate information, please visit the following websites: