Dear DMP Community,

I hope your family continues to be healthy and safe. On Friday, Governor Newsom announced that all schools located in counties on the state monitoring list for rising coronavirus infections, which includes San Diego, would not be allowed to physically reopen in the fall, and would be required to start the school year with a virtual-only learning model. San Diego County must be off the state monitoring list for 14 consecutive days in order for its schools to be allowed to physically reopen.

I want to re-emphasize our commitment to honor many of our families’ wishes to reopen our school. Del Mar Pines is committed to physically reopening for our students, as soon as we are allowed to do so. We are hopeful that with San Diegans working together, our county metrics will be such that soon San Diego will no longer be on the state’s monitoring list.

We will make a decision on how we will be starting the year by mid-August. If we can begin school on campus, we will! If we are required to begin teaching remotely, we will continue remotely until September 11. We will re-evaluate the metrics in our area and communicate at least weekly with our community about any changes to our teaching model, with the goal of being on campus as soon as possible.

The San Diego County Office of Education has worked with public health agencies to create a uniform school reopening plan that describes the requirements a school needs to meet to comply with state and local guidelines for reopening.

We are sharing the following procedures and protocols to meet the requirements based on that plan and adding other significant measures.

Face Coverings
  • All students will be required to wear face masks and teachers will be required to wear masks or face shields.

Intensify Cleaning, Disinfection, and Ventilation
  • Bipolar Ionization Purification system has been installed in all HVAC units.

  • Classroom doors and windows will be open as much as possible to increase airflow.

  • Hand sanitizers in all classrooms and around campus.

  • Limited sharing of materials, supplies, and equipment among students.

  • Increased daily sanitation with both a UV-C decontamination unit, as well as, electrostatic disinfectant sprayer used throughout the campus.

  • DMP has purchased a COVID-19 training video series that the administration, teachers, parents, students, janitorial staff, and food servers will be required to watch.

Temperature/Health Screenings
  • Parents will be using a daily screening app to check their children’s temperature and symptoms before leaving for school. The app will let you know if your children are able to attend school that day.

  • Teachers will be using a daily screening app to check their temperatures and symptoms before leaving for school. The app will let the teacher know if they are able to attend work that day.

  • Student and staff temperatures will be taken again before coming on campus.

  • All health department protocols on self-isolation and guidelines to return to school will be enforced for students/teachers who have a fever and/or symptoms, or who have tested positive for the COVID-19 test.

Implementing Distancing
  • No parents/volunteers on campus.

  • Plexiglass shields on all student desks.

  • Desks all facing the front of the class and separated as much as possible.

  • Students staying in grade-level groups both inside and outside (no grade-level mixing).

  • Students and teachers will be instructed to stay six feet apart as much as possible during the day.

  • We will be increasing the number of recess and lunch times to reduce student density outside.

  • Four outdoor covered areas will be used, as much as possible, as outdoor classroom space.

The Governor has mandated regular testing of staff, and dedicated contact tracing through the state’s contact tracing workforce partnership. DMP will begin researching how to have this testing/tracing program in place before students return to school.

Once we are off the state monitoring list and know that we have taken all of these safety measures, we are planning to offer the following models of instruction when we are allowed. There will be a Google Form sent out this week for parents to state their preferred model of instruction for their children. Please understand that none of the models will return us to the pre-COVID school “normal,” but they are the models available to us for the foreseeable future.

Instructional Models
1- Students on Campus Model: (as much as possible)
  • Most students on campus five days/week

  • Students stay in the classroom, ancillaries come to the classroom or teach in outdoor spaces

  • Kindergarten will be moving to the Theater to increase physical distancing and allow for students to have carpet time and more movement. There will be two full-time teachers in the classroom for small, instructional groups for reading and math groups.

  • First and Second Grades – Two full-time teachers will be teaching each grade level. Each grade will be split into two groups of approximately 10-12 students in different classrooms. This will allow each teacher to continue with small reading and math groups. Both teachers will teach reading, writing, and math.

  • Third through Sixth Grades- Students will be in their classroom with the main grade-level teacher. There will be two math groups per grade with two teachers. One group will be in the main classroom and the other group will be in another classroom space (library or art room).

2- Hybrid Model (For Grades 3-6 Only): This model is to be used to support social distancing in the classroom (approximately half the students/day)
  • Grade 3-6 a Hybrid model: a combination of both face-to-face on-campus and online with both real-time and asynchronous activities. Approximately 50% of these students on campus each day with the other students learning from home.

  • Students will be using Google Classroom and Zoom for online instruction and will be remotely “in” the classroom, as much as possible, with the students who are on campus that day.

3- Full-Time Remote Learning Option (For Grades 3-6 Only): Parents would need to commit to this option for at least the first trimester.
  • Entirely online, with both real-time and asynchronous learning opportunities.

  • Students will be using Google Classroom and Zoom for online instruction and will be remotely “in” the classroom, as much as possible, with the students who are on campus that day.

4 – Required Remote Learning when our County is not meeting the state metrics to allow any students to be on campus. 
  • All students will be learning at home with both synchronous and asynchronous instruction using Google Classroom and Zoom for live lessons. Teachers will be keeping the daily schedule as similar to the on-campus experience as possible, with more scheduled breaks from Zoom instruction. Ancillary teachers will offer both synchronous and asynchronous lessons.

  • Students will transition back to on-campus learning when allowed to do so by meeting County metrics for the required time.

Whichever model your child will be working in, we have purchased three new curriculums to enhance and improve our students’ learning experience. First, i-Ready is for grades K-6. This online program delivers powerful lessons that motivate and teach students in both math and language arts at their own personalized level, whether students need support and reinforcement or acceleration.

 Into Reading is a new language arts program for second and third graders with updated stories, incorporating grammar and vocabulary, as well as comprehension and literary analysis. It has both online and paper versions of all curriculum components.

Finally, Mystery Science is being incorporated into grades K-5 that use the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Working with the teachers, Ms. Fritz will be sharing science content and activities that are built around engaging questions and children’s natural curiosity about the world. The program guides students to figure out the answers to questions for themselves, through the use of scientific practices and skills. We are excited to bring these three excellent instructional programs to our students.

I have been fortunate to be in a group with 19 independent heads of schools here in San Diego. We have been meeting weekly since the forced school shut down back in March. We have freely discussed concerns, issues, regulations, what is happening in our communities, and how to support each other through this difficult time. They have been a wonderful resource for me and our school.

We are also fortunate to have dedicated, adaptable, and supportive teachers who are committed to educating your children in the best way possible, while also maintaining a safe environment for their students and themselves.

I appreciate your patience and partnership as we navigate these uncertain times together.  We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we adjust to these ever-changing conditions to keep our students, teachers, and families safe, and help DMP emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever!

Here’s a video about what a day at DMP looks like for students this summer and next year.


Marci McCord