Message from Superintendent Rodriguez regarding school reopening in April

on March 26, 2021

Monroe-Woodbury letterhead

March 26, 2021

Dear Monroe-Woodbury families and staff,

I am sure you are looking forward to the upcoming spring recess. Our students, families and staff have certainly earned this much-deserved break.

Outlined below is important information regarding several topics related to our district, including an update on the full reopening of schools in April. Please take a few minutes to catch up on district news.

Reopening of Schools – April 2021

At Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting, I provided an update regarding the district’s plan to fully reopen schools beginning in mid-April. Thank you to all our families for completing the questionnaire indicating your preference for in-person instruction or fully remote instruction for your child. On average, 79-83 percent of K-5 students (depending on building) chose in-person learning. 71 percent of middle school students will be returning to the building and 57 percent at the high school.

The target date for all K-5 students to return to buildings is Monday, April 12. The target date for 6-12 students is Monday, April 19. Please keep in mind that these target dates are subject to change based on factors such as infection rates in the school community and the Orange County Department of Health quarantine protocols.

We cannot wait to welcome back all of our students! Please view my Reopening Schools presentation from the March 24 Board of Education meeting for more information. Building principals will be in touch with additional details following the spring recess.

Student Calendar 2021-2022 School Year

The Board of Education adopted the student calendar for the upcoming school year at the March 24 Board meeting. View the 2021-2022 calendar so you can start making family plans for next year!

Water Testing for Lead in School Buildings

Beginning in 2016, new legislation required testing of all school water sources that are “currently used or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes.” The state established an action level of 15 micrograms of lead per liter, typically referred to as “parts per billion (ppb).” If a sample from a water outlet exceeds this action level, schools must take steps to prevent the use of the outlet for drinking or cooking purposes until it is remediated and follow-up testing confirms it is no longer above the action level. Tests are conducted every five years.

In late February, the school district conducted tests on a sampling of water sources in all seven instructional buildings. Results for three of these buildings have been received to date: North Main, Pine Tree and Sapphire Elementary. Test results indicated that several sources exceed the action level. We believe the higher than normal levels are due to the schools being vacant for consecutive months during the height of the pandemic, and then less populated for prolonged periods as hybrid learning resumed. The district will flush the systems and then retest in the next few weeks.

Principals will share building-specific data directly with families. More information may be found on the Water Testing page on the district website. If you have any questions, please reach out to your building principal.

Crusader Chat: Budget Planning for 2021-2022 School Year

Assistant Superintendent for Business & Management Systems Patrick Cahill provided an overview of the budget planning process for the upcoming school year at our latest Crusader Chat. A series of budget-related Chats will be shared in the weeks to come. Families and members of the school community are asked to share questions via the Budget Chat Question Form. Questions will be answered at upcoming Chats.

Please view Mr. Cahill’s presentation for information about the planning process and special considerations for the 2021-2022 school year.

Athletics Updates

  • I previously shared that the track and main turf field on the MWHS campus were damaged this winter. We received a cost estimate in the range of $20,000 – $30,000 to repair both the track and field, which will be covered by insurance. The M-W athletic teams have been utilizing the fields for practices and competitions. I will keep the M-W community informed as repairs get underway this spring.
  • Check out the livestreaming of athletic events that occurs on a weekly basis. District events are featured on the district’s LocalLive channel: A weekly schedule is posted on the district’s athletics page. We will expand coverage of building events as the school year progresses.
  • Registration for spring sports is underway. Visit the athletics page for more information.

Light It Up Blue for Autism- Friday, April 9

All members of the M-W school community are invited to wear blue on Friday, April 9, to help raise awareness and promote inclusion.

We are busy getting our buildings prepared for this next phase of reopening and look forward to seeing our students’ smiling faces in the near future. Enjoy the spring recess with your family. Rest. Recharge. And get ready for exciting times ahead!

Warm regards,

Elsie Rodriguez
Superintendent of Schools