With everything happening with the coronavirus pandemic, we at BenitoLink want to provide a roundup of recent articles, as well as closures and cancellations happening in San Benito County.
As of 4:53 p.m. on July 1, 239 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in San Benito County since February. Thirty-five are active patients, 202 have recovered and two have died. For the most updated information, visit the San Benito County COVID-19 Dashboard.
From San Benito High School:
During a special meeting of the San Benito High School Board of Trustees on Tuesday, June 30, Principal Adrian Ramirez presented an informational slideshow to the Board addressing possible reopening plans for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.
The presentation is an update on where we are, so far, in the planning process. Comprehensive details of the school reopening plan, including scheduling and safety protocols, will be shared with the community in the middle and at the end of July.
Tuesday’s report was crafted using feedback from Google surveys, in which more than 1,000 responses were submitted by both students and parents, feedback provided by a student focus group, along with input from SBHS teachers, staff and administrators through Zoom feedback sessions.
Instructional Delivery Options
With the continued uncertainty surrounding the possible resurgence of COVID-19 and potential stay-at-home orders, we have to be prepared for all instructional delivery contingencies, ranging from the least restrictive (traditional, in-person learning on campus) to a hybrid approach (combining in-person and distance learning) to the most restrictive (a full distance learning approach).
We are also planning for various forms of blended learning and instruction, combining synchronous (face-to-face instruction in the classroom and via Zoom, with teaching and learning happening at the same time) and asynchronous, in which students follow content at their own pace with teacher guidance.
As we move forward, we know that we must be prepared to begin the year in any one of the three instructional phases and be able to adapt to transitioning out of one phase and into the other. Our goal is to maintain as much continuity and consistency between phases as possible.
We continue to plan to safely serve our students, faculty and staff using the latest guidance from the San Benito County Public Health Department, state health officials and the California Department of Education, along with continued coordination of local school superintendents.
The current plan is for all school staff and students to wear face coverings while on campus. We will monitor the most recent health mandates ahead of the Aug. 13 opening of school and follow the state guidelines at that time.
In classrooms and other instructional areas, various safety measures are under consideration. Information on cleaning, disinfection and ventilation will be addressed later this Summer.
After considering various instructional options for the coming school year, including having students take six classes simultaneously, three classes at a time, or two classes at a time in six-week intervals, plans are to have students take two classes each grading period, allowing them to complete a semester’s worth of credit per course each semester.
Under this hybrid instructional approach, the student body would be broken into two cohorts, with students coming to campus twice a week (Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday), attending one course per day, with the rest of the day devoted to distance learning for both classes. Students and teachers would not be on campus Wednesday when campus will be cleaned and disinfected. This day will include distance learning support for students, teacher preparation and collaboration time, and department planning meetings.
This instructional model allows for a quick transition back to full distance learning, if conditions require that, along with the possibility of returning to full, on-campus learning in the Spring semester.
Students Requiring Full Distance Learning
Based on an end-of-year survey of parents, an estimated 300 students would potentially need a full distance learning model, so we are continuing to brainstorm solutions to address the needs of those students.
Considerations for Critical Student Supports
As we plan schedules, instructional models and health and safety protocols, we are keeping in consideration the need for critical supports for particular student groups such as those in special education, special day classes, Advanced Placement, academy and co-taught classes, and others.
In the Fall semester, every student who needs one will be issued a Chromebook for home use and we will have access to nearly 500 hotspots that can be provided to students who need internet access.
I want to remind all students and parents that San Benito High School remains committed to our mission statement of educating all students to their highest potential so they have the greatest range of personal options upon graduation. We thank our community and stakeholder groups for their honest and detailed feedback as we plan for the upcoming school year while remaining cognizant of the uncertainties we have all dealt with since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Closures and Limited Services
Under order from the State, 19 counties in California are now closing indoor facilities; restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and family entertainment, zoos, museums and cardrooms. While San Benito and Monterey Counties remain open neighboring Santa Clara and Fresno Counties are closing these facilities.
The San Benito Stage Company will hold a virtual talent show July 25 and its hopes to hold other virtual shows before the end of the year.
The State has several hotlines for residents to call for suicide prevention, abuse, and mental health.
The Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, helps protect workers from health and safety hazards in almost every workplace in California.
Visit Cal/OSHA for information about workplace safety and health.
File a whistleblower complaint if you suffer retaliation for reporting a workplace safety hazard
Obtain free consultation services from Cal/OSHA.
Contact Cal/OSHA at 844-522-6734.
-State and federal elected officials’ COVID-19 web pages.
Food Distribution Community Food Bank www.communityfoodbankofsbc.org
Drive-thru service at the marketplace Fridays and Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 1133 San Felipe Rd. Hollister Sign-ups for supplemental food are done by phone 831-637-0340.
Food Distribution Salvation Army hollister.salvationarmy.org Drive-thru service Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m. 910 Buena Vista Rd. Hollister Sign-ups not required To schedule delivery call 310-753-6520.
Public Assistance CalFresh/Medi-Cal/Cash Aid/GA hhsa.cosb.us
apply online at www.c4yourself.com
Unemployment Insurance Benefits Employment Development Department
apply online at www.edd.ca.gov/ui_online
Senior Services Delivery of essential items and food City of Hollister and Jovenes de Antano
Disability/Paid Family Leave Employment Development Department
apply online at www.edd.ca.gov/sdi_online
United Way of San Benito County 2-1-1 Text your Zip Code to 831-898-211 or call 211 Text COVID2019 to 211211
Tips for avoiding COVID-19
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Keep a minimum of a six feet physical distance from others.
- Avoid people who are sick.
- Stay at home. Only leave to take care of essential errands.
- Cover your cough and sneeze.
- Cover your face (mouth and nose) with protective covering when in public
- Disinfect frequently touched objects.
- If you think you might be infected call your health care professional and follow their directions.
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