Educating Capistrano Unified students safely with a robust and challenging online curriculum Photo credit: Jae Forsythe

Educating Capistrano Unified students safely with a robust and challenging online curriculum

Jul 30, 2020

By Ryan Burris, Chief Communications Officer, Capistrano Unified School District

Capistrano Unified has spent the last three months building a reopening plan for the fall with the priority of providing an excellent education while ensuring the health and safety of our students and school employees.

On July 17, Governor Newsom announced that all schools within Orange County will be required to open the 2020-21 school year using online learning ONLY. Governor Newsom made this a requirement for all counties on the state’s coronavirus monitoring list. CUSD will reopen classrooms and campuses when the updated guidelines allow for school’s to safely do so.

The centerpiece of CUSD’s Trustee-approved reopening plan is a robust, consistent, and engaging curriculum that aligns with the District’s core values and can be successfully delivered both in a traditional school setting and online. In preparation for returning to school in August, our Board of Trustees approved a comprehensive online curriculum that has been vetted, used consistently with success, and delivers the District core values of rigor, engagement, consistency, and flexibility.

Our hybrid reopening plan includes:

K–5 Options when Orange County is removed from the monitoring list:

Students can spend 100 percent of their school time engaging in online learning or attending class on campus. Or they can split their time between home and school.

Secondary Options –– 6–12 when Orange County is removed from the monitoring list:

Students can choose 100 percent online learning or spend half their time on campus with a flipped classroom format utilizing independent study. CUSD will ensure juniors and seniors continue to have access to the resources they need to increase their options for post-secondary life after high school.

This plan provides an enriched learning curriculum compared to the distance learning initiative that was implemented quickly in response to the pandemic this past spring. CUSD continues its commitment to excellence in curriculum and instruction.

The 2020-21 CUSD school year will include an integration of mental health, emotional support, and social emotional learning. Administrator training was held in July and teacher trainings will be held in August. Monthly parent webinars will be held during the school year.

CUSD will also continue to foster cultural diversity in partnership with the district’s Cultural Proficiency Task Force, established last fall, and with our students, families, and staff. A workshop is planned in the fall to update the school board and the CUSD community on planned strategic actions and initiatives we are undertaking in this regard.

Although we are navigating unprecedented times, CUSD remains committed to academic rigor, consistency, and providing an engaging and flexible online and classroom educational experience for all students, while protecting the safety and security of families and employees.


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For more information on CUSD’s reopening plans, visit capousd.org.