Mammoth Unifed stays course with distance learning only; Eastern Sierra Unified opens to partial in-class on Sept. 23

By: 
Times Staff Report
Staff Writer

What’s up with our schools now that we are in the “Moderate” tier?
On Sunday, August 23, Mono County was officially removed from the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) COVID-19 (Coronavirus) County Data Monitoring List following three consecutive days of local data meeting State thresholds, according to Mono County officials.
If Mono County remains off the list for 14 consecutive days, K-12 schools are permitted by the State to reopen for in-person instruction pending Mono County Health Officer approval.
Mono County Health Department and Mono County Office of Education are working closely together to ensure each school district can offer safe and high-quality instruction to students. However, it is crucial that residents are aware of the unique environments of each Mono County school district (Mammoth Unified School District and Eastern Sierra Unified School District) as well as the detailed planning currently underway to promote the health and safety of students, teachers, staff, and our greater communities.
Given the critically important task each school district faces in making plans to return to in-person instruction, parents and students should understand that their school district may need more than 14 days before they can safely welcome students back on campuses. The differences in virus prevalence combined with each school district’s unique needs and resources have compelled the Mono County Office of Education to forgo a one-size-fits-all approach to resuming in-person instruction and instead, support each district in making plans most appropriate to their respective communities.
Mammoth Unified School District (MUSD) faces additional challenges to returning students and teachers to classrooms with its greater student population and higher prevalence of COVID-19 cases in Mammoth Lakes. This will require thoughtful planning and deliberate policies which may result in students returning to classrooms further in the future. At this time, there is no scheduled date for in- person instruction at MUSD. Please visit the District’s website at www.mammothusd.org for additional information.
The Eastern Sierra Unified School District (ESUSD) board voted to return students to the classroom on Sept. 23, with a reduced in-person instructional schedule pending any changes to COVID-19 local data and guidance from the State. Please visit the District’s website at www.esusd.org for additional information.
In recognizing the countless ways students and families benefit through in-person instruction, it is a top priority of the Mono County Office of Education and Mono County Health Department to resume safe and high-quality in-person instruction as soon as possible. However, until we are confident in the plans and policies in place to protect our students, teachers, and staff, the public’s patience and understanding are greatly appreciated.

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