Public schools out through at least May 1: OUSD distance learning plans are underway

Austin Widger, Ojai Valley News reporter
The Ojai Unified School District will remain closed through at least May 1 and hopes to reopen May 4, and will reassess in the coming weeks.
The decision came based on guidance from the Ventura County Office of Education and consideration of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement that the schools may need to close for the rest of the school year, OUSD Superintendent Tiffany Morse told the Ojai Valley News. All school districts in the county are closed through May 1.


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In the meantime, remote learning will be provided for students in a three-phase plan. 

Phase 1 will take place for the first two weeks of school closure to allow for educational opportunities for students without submitting required assignments. It will provide enrichment activities and allow OUSD to assist families in getting devices and Internet access.
Phase 2 will have students work on assignments directly related to grade-level content, but may be an extension of what has already been taught in class. 
Phase 3 will become more clear as the California Department of Education updates its guidelines for distance learning in the coming weeks. 
Students will be expected to participate in Phase 3 of the distance learning plan. During Phase 3, Morse said she expects teachers will use videoconferencing, but the details are still being developed, she told the Ojai Valley News. “We have to ensure that whatever platform we use allows our teachers to provide a quality education experience for all students,” Morse added.
Morse said the district expects to reach Phase 3 by April 19.
OUSD’s student care teams will also continue to provide breakfasts and lunches at each school site for the duration of the closure from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
It is uncertain whether or not graduation ceremonies will be canceled at this time. If in-person ceremonies are not possible, the district will explore alternative ways to recognize the outgoing Chaparral and Nordhoff High School classes of 2020, according to district officials.