UPDATE: September 9, 2021
Please take two minutes of your time to provide feedback on how we should allocate resources to best serve students.
In response to the pandemic, the federal government provided school districts with resources that must be used to address students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs, as well as the opportunity gaps that existed before, and were increased by, the pandemic. The resources, known as Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, must be used within three years.
We are seeking feedback from our students in grades 6 or higher, families, staff and community. The survey is two open ended questions – what’s working well for students, and what additional supports are needed?
A report on the feedback we receive will be provided at a special Board of Education meeting on Monday, October 4. Trustees will approve a plan for the resources at the October 18 Board of Education meeting.
Follow this link to access the survey.
The survey is completely anonymous and will remain open through Monday, September 20.
UPDATE: August 30, 2021
Please consider applying for our LCAP Advisory Committee. This is a great way to get involved in your student’s education at the District level.
The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Advisory Committee provides feedback on progress toward goals outlined in the LCAP and advice to the Board of Education regarding annual revisions to the plan. Translation will be provided as needed.
The first meeting is Tuesday, October 26 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. You may attend in-person or online.
More information and the application are available on our website at mcs4kids.com. Look for the orange LCAP rotating banner at the top of the page. Paper applications are available at your student’s school.
Applications must be received by Friday, September 17. If you plan to return the application to a school site, please submit by Tuesday, September 14, to allow time for delivery to the District office.
Also, high school parents – your student has the opportunity to get a jump-start on college with an Ethnic Studies course through CSU Stanislaus for FREE. This is open to all MCS high school students. Enrollment will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who complete the course with a passing grade will earn three college credits. The last day to register is Friday, September 3. Courses begin the week of September 7.
Access the CSU Stanislaus Dual Enrollment registration form here.
UPDATE: August 25, 2021
Important COVID updates, including the notification process, dashboard, quarantine, and a Vaccination Status and Testing Consent Form:
We are changing our COVID notification process so families will no longer receive multiple calls. Schools will continue to notify families when their student has been identified as a close contact to a COVID positive case. A close contact is defined as someone who was within six feet of the positive case for at least 15 minutes over a 24 hour period.
We are also updating the format of our COVID Dashboard to provide more timely, relevant information. The Dashboard will now show cumulative cases from the start of the school year, confirmed cases and positivity rate for the previous week, and now, daily COVID positive case numbers by location. This new daily report of COVID positive cases replaces the general notifications for an exposure on a school campus.
If your child is identified as a close contact, please pay close attention to the information your school provides. If your student is not symptomatic, they may return to school if they are vaccinated, or if they receive negative COVID tests before the end of the quarantine period.
The new Vaccination Status and Testing Consent Form will help our contact tracing team clear students who’ve been identified as close contacts to return to school in a timely manner. The form is completely voluntary. If your child is fully vaccinated against COVID, use the form to provide proof. If you would like to provide consent to allow your student to take a COVID test at school, use the form to provide consent.
It is important to note that we are in the process of setting up regular COVID testing at each school site with full implementation in the next couple of weeks..
The COVID Dashboard and a variety of resources, including the Quarantine Flow Chart and the Vaccination Status and Testing Consent Form, are available on our website. Look for the COVID-19 Data and Resources green banner near the top of the page.
UPDATE: August 5, 2021
Here are some last minute reminders before the first day of school on Monday, August 9.
We are excited to welcome students back to campus for in-person learning. Remember, when indoors on a school campus, everyone is required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are not required when outdoors.
For those families who submitted an interest form for the Modesto Virtual Academy (MVA) by Thursday, August 5, you will receive a SchoolMessenger call from MVA staff Friday, August 6 with next steps and plans for the first day of school.
Finally, if you haven’t already, please complete the Back To School Portal to ensure that your student’s school has the correct emergency contact information. This is something ALL families need to complete, regardless of attending in-person or through MVA. The Back To School Portal is accessible on the District and all school websites in the rotating banner at the top of the page.
Again, the first day of school for ALL students is Monday, August 9. We look forward to an amazing year full of student success.
UPDATE: August 2, 2021
This information was sent to families who attended MCS in the 2020-2021 school year:
AB 104 provides parents and guardians with options to address student learning gaps related to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are three main provisions of the law that families may consider for their student.
First, AB 104 provides a process for parents or guardians of students who were in kindergarten through 11th grade in the 2020-2021 school year to request that their student repeat the grade they were enrolled in last year. Qualification requirements vary by grade level.
Second, for parents or guardians of high school students, AB 104 provides a process to request that a letter grade received last school year be changed to a Pass or No Pass grade. The deadline to submit a request form to your child’s school is Friday, August 13, 2021. Any requests received after this time will not be honored per the requirements of the AB 104 law. You can access the request form on our website.
Third, AB 104 indicates that students who were in the 11th or 12th grade last school year, and who were not on track to graduate in four years, may be exempt from the district’s graduation requirements that exceed statewide requirements.
More information on each of these provisions, including next steps and deadlines, is available on our website.
Families will also receive more information regarding AB 104 via U.S. mail.
UPDATE: July 29, 2021
More updates for the upcoming school year – bell and bus schedules, student meals and device insurance.
Next, there will be no student meal pick-up Wednesday, August 4. Families received two weeks’ work of meals at the final distribution day of the summer yesterday. With the return of full-time, in-person instruction, students attending school in-person will receive daily breakfast and lunch on campus at no charge. Students in Modesto Virtual Academy, and children 18 & under not attending MCS, can pick up meals once-a-week at one of the 11 pick-up locations. Dates and times vary. See the updated meal pick-up schedule on our website at mcs4kids.com. Look for it in the rotating banner at the top of the page.
Finally, Modesto City Schools offers low-cost device insurance known as Limited Technology Coverage, or LTC, for school-issued computers. This is optional, and the cost is $20 per student. Coverage will last until the start of the next school year.
For more information regarding the LTC, or to purchase the coverage, go to our website at mcs4kids.com and click on the “Students” tab and then choose “Device Coverage.”
UPDATE: July 26, 2021
Please take a minute to read about three important updates for the new school year.
First, all families must complete the Back To School Portal for their student or students, preferably by the start of school on August 9th. The Back To School Portal is your way to ensure that your student’s school has the correct emergency contact information. The Back To School Portal is accessible on the District and all school websites in the rotating banner at the top of the page.
Second, the District and all schools use a program called SchoolMessenger to send updates to families via voicemail, email and text. You can customize the message delivery method through go.schoolmessenger.com, or by downloading the SchoolMessenger app. If you’d prefer to receive all messages via text, you can do that. Or if you prefer to receive general information via email and emergency information via voicemail, you can do that too. Go to the District website at mcs4kids.com and look for the SchoolMessenger announcement.
Third, Modesto City Schools is moving to a digital flyer distribution platform called Peachjar. Students will no longer bring flyers home in their backpack, instead, approved flyers will be sent via email, and available on school and District websites. If you have an email address on file for your student, you’ll receive a welcome email next week. If you’d like to opt out of receiving Peachjar emails, look for the “set email preferences” verbiage on the email. More information regarding Peachjar is available on our website at mcs4kids.com.
Again, the three updates:
- Complete the Back To School Portal – find it in the rotating banner at the top of the District and all school websites.
- Manage your SchoolMessenger communication preferences – use go.schoolmessenger.com or download the SchoolMessenger app.
- Peachjar is our new digital flyer distribution platform – look for a welcome email next week.
UPDATE: July 21, 2021
The new school year begins Monday, August 9. There are two learning options available for students – in-person and Modesto Virtual Academy or MVA.
Students attending school in-person, will receive instruction on campus, full-time, five days a week. As required by the California Department of Public Health, when indoors, masks will be required for all students and adults, regardless of vaccination status. When outdoors, masks are optional for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
Student desks no longer have plexiglass shields, and distancing between desks is back at pre-pandemic spacing.
The Modesto Virtual Academy is Modesto City Schools’ online, independent study program for students in grades TK-12. Independent study is self-paced. Students meet with a teacher once a week for one hour. These meetings can be in-person or virtual.
At the meetings, students receive a week’s worth of assignments, and complete the assignments on their own prior to the next meeting with the teacher. New this year, state leaders recently passed Senate Bill 130 which requires that students in grades TK-8 have daily interaction with a teacher or MVA staff member.
For additional information on MVA, or to submit an interest form, please visit the MVA webpage and read the list of MVA frequently asked questions (FAQ).
All students will have access to meals at no charge. Updates will be available on our website soon.
UPDATE: July 14, 2021
FREE Pre-Participation Sports Screenings
Doctors Medical Center will provide FREE pre-participation sports screenings for all of Modesto City Schools’ high school student athletes on Wednesday, July 21 in the Johansen High School Gym. These sports screenings are for ALL student athletes, regardless of the sport or season. A pre-participation sports screening is required for all student athletes prior to participating in any athletic practice.
Please attend during your school’s time slot:
- Beyer — 9 to 10:30 a.m.
- Downey — 10:30 a.m. to noon
- Davis & Johansen — noon to 1:30 p.m.
- Enochs — 1:30 to 3 p.m.
- Modesto — 3 to 4:30 p.m.
- Gregori — 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Students must bring a completed physical form signed by a parent or guardian. See your school’s website for information on how to obtain a physical form. Athletic Directors will have additional forms on hand at the event during your school’s scheduled time. For additional information, contact your school’s athletic director or your student’s coach.
UPDATE: May 20, 2021
Updates on Meal Pickup and the 2021-2022 School Year Calendar
There will be no meal pick up on Wednesday, May 26. Families received two weeks’ worth of meals at the final distribution of the school year on May 19.
Meal pickup will resume on Wednesday, June 2 and continue every Wednesday throughout the summer with a new time – 10:15-11:15 a.m. While meal pickup will continue at 16 sites, there are four sites that will no longer host meal pickup – those sites are Garrison Elementary, Modesto High, Roosevelt Junior High and Sonoma Elementary.
An updated meal distribution schedule is linked below.
The 2021-2022 school year calendar, complete with minimum days and collaboration days, is linked below.
UPDATE: May 11, 2021
Health & Safety Reminders for 8th Graders & Seniors
As we enter the last couple of weeks of school, and with the ceremonies approaching the week of May 24, we want to remind students to make informed decisions, so they are not required to quarantine and potentially miss their special event.
It is important to remember that COVID positive cases or exposures in the classroom or due to participation in outdoor sports require a 10-day quarantine, and if it is related to indoor sports, it requires a 14-day quarantine.
We are asking you as parents to please remind your students to be mindful of any potential COVID exposures outside of the school environment. Right now, it’s more critical than ever that individuals wear their masks, keep their distance, wash their hands, and avoid large gatherings with people outside of their immediate household. This is important so that it doesn’t cause students, classes or sports teams to be quarantined.
We appreciate your understanding as we work together to ensure our promoting 8th graders and graduating seniors can participate in their ceremonies the week of May 24.
UPDATE: April 19, 2021
Promotion and Graduation Ceremonies
With Stanislaus County in the Red Tier, we are excited to announce that we will be able to host in-person promotion and graduation ceremonies this year. The ceremonies will follow all health and safety protocols outlined by the California Department of Public Health guidelines, which limits attendance to 20% capacity of the facility, and requires face coverings, social distancing and screening procedures.
The full list of event dates, times and locations is linked below. Please note that while all ceremonies will occur on the original scheduled date, the time and location may have changed to accommodate the limited capacity and ensure the graduating class can stay together in one ceremony for each school rather than splitting into multiple ceremonies.
Due to the limited capacity, students participating in the ceremonies will be allowed two guests maximum at the event. There are also pre-registration, ticketing and assigned seating procedures that any attendees will be required to follow. More information regarding the registration process will be shared in the coming weeks.
For the additional family and friends unable to attend due to the limited capacity, in-person ceremonies will also be live-streamed, so family and friends will be able to watch the ceremonies as they happen, from home.
And finally, for students and families who may not be comfortable participating in the live ceremony, we will also provide a virtual graduation ceremony, which will feature students walking the stage so students will get the full experience. The virtual graduation ceremony will be available for viewing the evening of each school’s in-person event. Your school site will be reaching out with more information.
We are excited to be able to offer a variety of ways to celebrate our students’ hard work. Please keep in mind that guidelines and protocols could change. If Stanislaus County goes back to the Purple Tier, we would not be able to offer in-person ceremonies, so it is very important that we continue to wear a mask, wash our hands, and practice social distancing.
Your student’s school will share additional information in the coming weeks, including cap and gown distribution information and more details on how to register for the graduation ceremonies.
Update: April 15, 2021
Looking ahead to the next school year, it is our goal and priority to bring students back full-time, five days a week, while adhering to the health and safety protocols that will be in place at that time. We are also considering options for families who wish to keep their students at home in a remote learning format. We will keep you informed as we make progress in our planning.
Great news about in-person instruction!
While continuing to meet health and safety requirements, all junior high and high school sites will merge the A and B cohorts to expand 7th-12th grade in-person learning days beginning Monday, April 26. Students will be able to attend school on campus for in-person instruction four days a week. In-person learning will occur Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday will remain a distance learning day for all students, as well as the meal pick-up day.
It is important to note that families may choose to remain in 100% distance learning. Teachers will continue to provide simultaneous instruction for those on campus and those at home.
To help us plan accordingly, please respond to a three-question survey to indicate if your student(s) will attend in-person or remain in distance learning. The survey is available in English and Spanish.
Update: March 23, 2021
Great news on reopening, plus information regarding new junior high and high school bell schedules and new bus schedules for all.
Stanislaus County hit the red tier today! We are now able to welcome junior high and high school students back to campus for in-person instruction two days a week. All junior high and high school campuses will reopen in a cohort hybrid learning model on Monday, March 29.
Students in cohort A will return on Monday, March 29, for in-person attendance on Mondays and Tuesdays. Students in cohort B will return Thursday, April 1, for in-person attendance on Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will remain a distance learning day for all. Remember, parents have the option of keeping their student in 100% distance learning.
For our families with students in elementary school, you may be wondering why you are getting this call. When our older students return to campus, they will have new bell schedules. The new junior high and high school bell schedules require changes to the bus routes and pick up times for elementary students. Visit the District website at mcs4kids.com for the most up-to-date bus schedule information. A link to the bus schedules is available in the “Quick Links” menu at the bottom of the page.
Again, with the return to in-person learning at our junior high and high schools, bell schedules have changed. The changes to the bell schedule necessitated changes to bus schedules. Links to the bell schedules and the bus schedules are on the District website in the “Quick Links” menu at the bottom of the page. The new junior high and high school bell schedules and the new bus schedules begin Monday, March 29.
For our junior high and high school families, your student’s school will reach out with additional information later this week.
We look forward to seeing more campuses come to life starting on Monday, March 29!
Enjoy spring break!
UPDATE: March 10, 2021
Update on the Tuesday, March 9 tier reclassification announcement from the California Department of Public Health.
Unfortunately, Stanislaus County did not reach the red tier, and we are unable to reopen our 7-12 schools on Monday, March 15. While we are still in the purple tier, we are steadily making positive progress. Currently, our 7-day positivity rate is 5.3% and our case rate is 13.6 per 100,000.
Now that the County’s COVID case rate is below 14 per 100,000, more athletics can begin. Football season officially began yesterday, with games starting next week, and water polo will begin a couple of weeks. We are hopeful that we will be able to begin indoor sports in the coming weeks if Stanislaus County continues to make progress in decreasing positivity and case rates. Low-contact outdoor sports like cross-country and tennis began a couple of weeks ago.
We will continue to keep a close watch on the tier reclassification announcement that typically happens every Tuesday with data released from the California Department of Public Health. At this point, given the fact that our Spring Break is March 22-26, we are now projecting that the soonest we would be reopening 7-12 schools is on Monday, March 29.
Please keep in mind, this date is a moving target and its entirely speculative at this point. Per State requirements, Stanislaus County needs to reach the red tier BEFORE we can reopen 7-12 schools.
We will continue to keep families informed as information is available. Remember that information changes and is released on a very rapid basis, so we will do our best to be timely.
UPDATE: March 8, 2021
There are two separate updates – one for TK-6 families and another for 7-12 families.
TK-6 Families: Update on Merging Cohorts to Expand In-Person Learning
All elementary schools will merge the A and B cohorts to expand TK-6 grade in-person learning days beginning Monday, March 15. Students who elected to attend class in-person will be on campus four days a week. In-person learning will occur Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday will remain a distance learning day for all students, as well as the meal pick-up day.
Site and District operations staff have planned for students’ return based on the commitment families made for their student’s instruction. It is important to honor those commitments. If you have concerns regarding the commitment you made for your student, please reach out to your student’s school site.
More information, including site specific details, will be shared by your principal later this week.
Also, if you missed last week’s Community Forum, a recording of the event is available. Access the recording here: https://youtu.be/uJXLi_4706Q
Finally, Modesto City Schools regularly reviews and updates its policies and regulations. We would like your input on our policy regarding suicide prevention and intervention. A parent’s perspective into the serious issue of youth suicide provides us with valuable insight. Please take a moment to review our current Suicide Prevention Policy and Administrative Regulation. Then, take a few minutes to share your feedback in a quick four-question survey. Your feedback will be considered as we move forward with any revisions to the Policy and/or Regulation.
7-12 Families: Info Regarding State’s Tier Colors & Reclassification Process
As you know, per the California Department of Public Health, we cannot reopen our junior high and high school campuses until Stanislaus County reaches the Red Tier in the state’s reopening criteria known at the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.” Reclassification announcements typically occur every Tuesday. We will be watching the reclassification announcement that’s expected tomorrow, Tuesday, March 9, and will send an update to our 7-12 families on Wednesday, March 10.
You can check the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” website at covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy. Again, the website to check Stanislaus County’s tier status is https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/. You’ll then enter Stanislaus County in the search window near the top of the page, or scroll down to the interactive map at the bottom of the page and click on Stanislaus County for detailed information.
Also, if you missed last week’s Community Forum, a recording of the event is available. Access the recording here: https://youtu.be/uJXLi_4706Q
Finally, Modesto City Schools regularly reviews and updates its policies and regulations. We would like your input on our policy regarding suicide prevention and intervention. A parent’s perspective into the serious issue of youth suicide provides us with valuable insight. Please take a moment to review our current Suicide Prevention Policy and Administrative Regulation. Then, take a few minutes to share your feedback in a quick four-question survey. Your feedback will be considered as we move forward with any revisions to the Policy and/or Regulation.
We are crossing our fingers that we will have good news to share Wednesday.
UPDATE: March 1, 2021
Reminders on Community Forums and Engagement Survey
Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 2 is the Community Forum on expanding TK-6 grade in-person instruction and reopening 7-12 schools. Superintendent Noguchi and Cabinet will provide the most up-to-date information and answer questions. Spanish translation will be provided. Access the Microsoft Live event tomorrow from 6-7 p.m. Join the event online here: http://bit.ly/MCS-Community-March2. Or join via telephone by calling (805) 324-7680 and enter passcode 599 517 037# (English) / 626 372 228# (Español).
Wednesday, March 3 is the Equity and Racial Justice Community Forum. Participants will hear an update on the work that the Equity and Racial Justice Task Force has been doing this year, and the plan to continue the work next year and beyond. Participants will also provide feedback on the task force recommendations that will be presented to the Board of Education for approval. Spanish translation will be available. Access the event via Zoom Wednesday from 6-7 p.m. Join the event online here: http://bit.ly/mcs-equity-forum-march. Or join via telephone by calling (669) 900-9128 and enter meeting ID: 746 203 2524.
Today’s final reminder is for the Family Engagement survey we created to get your feedback on our communication and engagement efforts. Please take about 10 minutes to share your thoughts on our efforts at the school and District level. We will use your feedback to better meet your family’s engagement and communication needs as we move forward. The Family Engagement Survey is available in English, Spanish, Arabic and Farsi. Participation is confidential and voluntary. We pushed back the deadline to allow more time for families to participate. Access the survey here: http://bit.ly/2021-MCS-EngagementSurvey.
UPDATE: February 23, 2021
We have an exciting update on the efforts to expand in-person instruction for our TK-6 students, to reopen schools for our 7-12 students, and an invitation to a community forum for additional information.
Last night, at a special Board of Education meeting, Trustees heard a report on our plan to expand TK-6 in-person instruction by merging our student cohorts on campus. In order for sites to plan accordingly, families will need to commit to in-person instruction or 100% distance learning for each of their students for the remainder of this school year.
TK-6 schools will be reaching out to their families later this week with an update on how to make that commitment. At this time, there is no definite date as to when the expansion will begin, but we are targeting mid-March as the proposed timeline. Your student’s school will provide updates as they are available.
Now, for our 7-12 schools, we are planning to welcome students back on campus in a Hybrid Learning Model after Stanislaus County has been in the Red Tier for five consecutive days, targeting mid-March. The Hybrid Learning Model required by the State allows us to welcome students back on campus for in-person instruction two days a week. Students may also choose to remain in 100% in distance learning with real-time instruction from their current teachers.
To help us ensure we are following health and safety guidelines, each junior high and high school will split their student population in half to keep the number of students on campus at roughly half of the general student population. Your student’s school will keep you up-to-date as we make progress in these areas.
Lastly, Superintendent Noguchi and Cabinet members will host a Community Forum on Tuesday, March 2, from 6-7 p.m. in a Microsoft Live event to provide the most up-to-date information and answer questions on our reopening efforts. Spanish translation will be provided. Access the event with this link: http://bit.ly/MCS-Community-March2
UPDATE: February 16, 2021
We want to hear from you!
First, in an effort to increase engagement and improve communication, we created a Family Engagement Survey to get your feedback on a variety of topics. Please take about 10 minutes to share your thoughts on our efforts at the school and District level. We will use your feedback to better meet your family’s engagement and communication needs as we move forward.
The Family Engagement Survey is available in English, Spanish, Arabic and Farsi. It is available now and will remain open through Tuesday, March 2. Participation is confidential and voluntary. Access the survey here.
Second, we will host an Equity and Racial Justice Online Community Forum Wednesday, March 3, from 6-7 p.m. Participants will hear an update on the work that the Equity and Racial Justice Task Force has been doing this year, and the plan to continue the work next year and beyond. Participants will also provide feedback on the task force recommendations that will be presented to the Board of Education for approval.
Join us via Zoom Wednesday, March 3 from 6-7 p.m. Access the community forum here.
Your feedback is essential to ensure we are doing all we can to meet your family’s engagement and communication needs, and as we move forward with our equity and racial justice work. We would love to hear from you!
UPDATE: February 10, 2021
Update on Reopening 7-12 Schools
Since the beginning of the pandemic nearly one year ago, as a District, we have been eager to get students back on campuses as safely as possible. Through the waiver process, we were able to reopen our preschools and elementary schools in a Hybrid Learning Model in November.
Before we can reopen our junior high and high schools, however, Stanislaus County needs to not only reach, but also sustain, the Red Tier to meet the State’s criteria for reopening 7-12 schools. Our County is still well within the Purple Tier, so while we are not there yet, we remain optimistic and hopeful for a continued decline in the average daily rate of COVID-19 cases.
We are actively working with our labor partners to address the many complex operational logistics to reopen our 7-12 schools. We have made progress in completing the State’s Public Health requirements, and we will continue working on our plan to safely welcome our older students back to campus as soon as we are able to. It’s important to note that we are also striving to provide the option for families to keep their students in 100% distance learning, if they choose to do so.
It will take a continued community-wide effort and strong commitment to diligently following the health and safety protocols that are in place to reopen our 7-12 schools. We look forward to working with the Board of Education, our labor partners, our dedicated staff, and our community to welcome back our secondary students in a safe, responsible manner.
We will provide more updates as we make progress in this effort.
UPDATE: January 14, 2021
Reminder – CTE Program Overview Event
Career Technical Education, or CTE, combines academic knowledge with technical skills in hands-on, real life contexts to help prepare students for today’s workforce. Visit the CTE webpage on mcs4kids.com to learn more about our CTE programs and available courses.
Attend the CTE Program Overview virtual Microsoft Live event on Thursday, January 21, from 5-6 p.m. to learn more about how CTE programs help prepare students for their future. The event is primarily geared toward families and students in grades 7-11, but all are welcome.
Again, the CTE Program Overview is Thursday, January 21, from 5-6 p.m. Access the virtual Microsoft Live event at www.bit.ly/MCS-CTE-ProgramOverview-2021.
UPDATE: January 7, 2021
We look forward to resuming instruction on Monday, January 11. Our TK-6 students will return on the same schedule they were on prior to winter break. Cohort A students can attend in-person instruction Monday and Tuesday, and Cohort B students can attend in-person instruction Thursday and Friday, with all TK-6 students in distance learning on Wednesday. As always, parents and guardians can choose to keep their child in 100% distance learning.
Our 7-12 students will remain in 100% distance learning. Remember, according to the Governor’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, a county must be in the red tier for two weeks in order for junior high and high school campuses to reopen. With Stanislaus County still in the purple tier, we cannot reopen our junior high schools as planned on Tuesday, January 19. We will keep you informed of future updates as we make progress to slow the spread of COVID in our community.
For those of you with younger children, registration for kindergarten and transitional kindergarten begins Monday, January 11. For more information, go to mcs4kids.com and click on the purple “Enroll Now” banner near the top of the page.
Finally, mark your calendars for the Career Technical Education, or CTE, Program Overview event – Thursday, January 21, from 5-6 p.m. The virtual Microsoft Live event is primarily geared toward parents and students in 7th-11th grade, however all are welcome. Attendees will learn about the various CTE programs available at our high schools and how these programs help prepare students for their future. Some of the courses you will learn about include culinary arts, health services, broadcast media, ag science, auto mechanics, the Army JROTC, and more.
Again, the CTE Program Overview is Thursday, January 21, from 5-6 p.m. You can access the virtual Microsoft Live event at www.bit.ly/MCS-CTE-ProgramOverview-2021.
UPDATE: December 17, 2020
Here are some quick reminders about winter break, meal pick-up and Modesto Virtual Academy, plus an announcement about kindergarten registration.
The three week winter break begins Monday, December 21. Instruction will resume on Monday, January 11. Most campuses will be closed for the entire break.
The District Office and support sites will be closed December 24-28, as well as December 31 and January 1, but will be open with limited staff the remaining days of winter break.
There is no meal pick-up over winter break. The weekly meal pick-up will return on Wednesday, January 13.
Remember that there is room available in our online independent study program, Modesto Virtual Academy, or MVA. Visit our website at mcs4kids.com and click on the MVA graphic.
For those of you with children who will be ready for kindergarten or transitional kindergarten in the 2021-2022 school year, registration will begin on Monday, January 11. All registration will occur online. More information will be on our website and social media soon.
Finally, please help slow the spread of COVID so we can reopen more of our campuses and safely welcome students for in-person instruction. Remember to do your part and wear a mask, wash your hands and practice physical distancing.
UPDATE: December 9, 2020
Here are two important updates:
First, our Board of Education approved the Safe Schools Reopening Plan for our junior high and high school campuses. Per the plan, junior high school students would return Tuesday, January 19, and high school students would return two weeks later.
However, we cannot reopen our junior high and high school campuses unless Stanislaus County has been in the red tier for a minimum of two weeks. So in order for our campuses to open January 19, we would need to be in the red tier by January 5.
It is important to note that when we are allowed to welcome junior high and high school students on campus for in-person learning, families will still have the option to keep their students in 100% distance learning.
With our current regional stay-at-home order and surge in COVID cases, we do not anticipate being able to welcome students on our junior high and high school campuses in January. We will provide an update on the county’s status in early January before students return from winter break. More information on the plan is on the District website at mcs4kids.com under Safe Schools Reopening Plans.
Second, we now have room available in all grade levels in our online independent student program called Modesto Virtual Academy, or MVA. Although the program has been in the District for some time, we expanded MVA this year to provide additional learning options for families.
If you already submitted an MVA pre-registration form earlier this year, no action is needed. Our staff is currently working on those forms, so someone will be in contact with you to verify if you are still interested.
If you have not submitted an MVA pre-registration form and you would like for your student to participate in independent study, please visit the MVA webpage and complete the form.
Families will be contacted in the order the interest form was submitted and per grade level availability.
More information on both of these items is available on the our website.
UPDATE: December 3, 2020
Hello MCS Parents & Guardians,
I hope that you and your loved ones are safe, healthy, and weathering the pandemic as well as possible under these circumstances.
Today, the Governor announced a regional stay home order similar to what we experienced in March, with certain exceptions around essential services. The order will be enacted once a region has reached 15% or less of their ICU bed capacity. It is important to note, the order will not impact schools. Guidance for school districts allows those that have already reopened the option to remain open even under a stay-at-home order. School districts will be allowed to conduct in-person and other previously allowed hybrid and small group instruction models without modification.
Modesto City Schools will continue adhering to our “School Reopening Plans” and follow the safety protocols with guidance provided by the California Public Health Department and Stanislaus County Health Services Agency. These plans provide layers of protective measures, including face coverings, physical distancing, testing, contact tracing, health screenings, and regular cleaning and disinfection. As a result of these safety measures, schools in our county will continue to serve students on campus.
We are also awaiting more information from the Governor’s office and Public Health on how this may potentially affect athletic conditioning/extracurricular activities, so we will keep you updated once we know more.
COVID-19 has made 2020 a challenging time. However, we will get through this together.
Sara Noguchi, Ed.D
Modesto City Schools
UPDATE: November 5, 2020
MCS will host a Community Forum to discuss Equity in our school district. This event is taking place virtually using Zoom on Monday, November 16 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Spanish translation will be available.
We are seeking to hear from members of our community to share your perspective and feedback on the successes and challenges that MCS has when considering Equity and Racial Justice.
The forum will feature engaging conversations, as well as more background on the efforts the district has taken, and is planning on taking, to advance our Equity and Racial Justice Framework.
Once again, the MCS community forum to discuss Equity in our school district will take place on Monday, November 16, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. To access the event online, please visit https://bit.ly/mcs-equity-forum. If you wish to participate over the phone, you can call (669) 900-9128 and enter meeting ID: 830 0166 8529. Spanish translation will be available.
Also, as a reminder, daily meal pickups will end tomorrow, Friday, November 6, as we move to a once-a-week meal pickup schedule. Current pickup times and locations will remain the same, however, instead of a daily meal pickup, students will now receive a week’s worth of breakfast and lunches at each pickup every Wednesday.
Due to the Veteran’s Day holiday next Wednesday, students will receive seven days’ of meals on Monday, November 9. No other meal distribution will occur until Wednesday, November 18. After that time, meals will only be distributed on Wednesdays at the current locations and times. Students will receive five days of breakfasts and lunches each Wednesday. You need to also bring your student’s meal validation card that you received in the mail.
For more information on meal distribution, visit mcs4kids.com, or call 209-574-1619.
UPDATE: November 2, 2020
Big changes are coming to our meal pickup program.
Modesto City Schools is moving to a once-a-week meal pickup schedule. Current pickup times and locations will remain the same, however, instead of a daily meal pickup, students will now receive a week’s worth of breakfasts and lunches at each pickup.
Once-a-week meal pickup will start next week. Due to the Veteran’s Day holiday occurring next week, students will receive breakfasts and lunches for a full seven days on Monday, November 9. No other meal distribution will occur until Wednesday, November 18.
Then, starting Wednesday, November 18, meals will only be distributed on Wednesdays. Students will receive five days of breakfasts and lunches each Wednesday. Again, current pickup times and locations will remain the same.
To pick-up meals, you must bring your student’s meal validation card that was recently mailed to you.
Important details to remember:
- Daily meal pickup will end Friday, November 6.
- Due to the Veteran’s Day holiday, students will receive seven days’ worth of meals on Monday, November 9.
- No other meal distribution will occur until Wednesday, November 18.
- Starting Wednesday, November 18, meals will only be distributed on Wednesdays. Students will receive five days of breakfasts and lunches each Wednesday.
- Current times and locations will remain the same.
- To pick-up meals, you must bring your student’s meal validation card.
For more information, call 209-574-1619.
UPDATE: October 23, 2020
Earlier this week, our Board of Education took an important step forward in the effort to safely reopen our elementary schools to welcome back our preschool and TK-6 grade students. Trustees approved the Waiver Application, and District staff submitted the application to the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency and County Office of Education for review and approval.
While Stanislaus County is currently only permitted to look at reopening elementary schools using the waiver process, we have begun discussing the safe reopening of our junior high and high school sites, but we are not yet to the point where we are able to do so. But, for our junior high and high school families, much of the information regarding the reopening of elementary schools will also apply to junior high and high schools, so this information is important to you too.
First and foremost, it is important to know that as your student’s parent or guardian, the decision on whether or not your student will return for in-person instruction is completely up to you. Again, you have a choice on whether or not to send your student back to campus for in-person instruction.
It would be impossible to include all the reopening details in this message. All health and safety protocols, including mask requirements for students, are included in the Waiver Application and Reopening Plan on the District website.
Here are the key details on reopening dates and what learning will look like:
Elementary sites will reopen to groups or cohorts of TK-2 grade students on Thursday, November 12.
At this time, groups or cohorts of students in grades 3-6 are slated to return on Monday, November 30. This date is tentative as it is dependent on further discussions and input from Board Trustees, District leadership and our labor partners.
Classes will be split into two groups, or cohorts. Students will attend school on-campus either Mondays and Tuesdays or Thursdays and Fridays, receiving live instruction in the classroom from their teachers. Wednesdays will be distance learning at home for all students.
On the days when students are not attending school on campus, they will be online and distance learning from home, with their teachers instructing in real-time for both the students learning at home and those who are in the classroom.
As mentioned earlier, parents and guardians have the option to keep their students in 100% distance learning as is currently happening.
It is important to note that we are actively working with our labor partners to reach agreements on a number of items.
There are still many unanswered questions. We are working to address those questions and will share additional information as it becomes available.
UPDATE: September 29, 2020
Modesto City Schools is currently working on a plan for the safe reopening of our elementary schools. One of the several components required for safe reopening is the submission of a TK-6 Elementary School Waiver for approval by County and State Public Health Officials.
Other requirements of the waiver process include consultation with staff, parents and community members; and posting of a reopening plan on the District website. As part of this work, the District has developed the DRAFT MCS TK-6 Safe Schools Reopening Plan for Elementary Education for parent and staff feedback.
DRAFT TK-6 SAFE REOPENING PLAN:
Review the DRAFT of the TK-6 Safe Reopening Plan:
After reviewing the plan please take the time to fill out a survey to let us know your thoughts. We are also asking for feedback from 7-12 families to work in our future planning processes.
Let us know what you think about the DRAFT of the TK-6 Safe Reopening Plan by taking this survey:
TK-6 ENGLISH version(Survey is closed) TK-6 SPANISH version(Survey is closed) 7-12 ENGLISH version(Survey is closed) 7-12 SPANISH version(Survey is closed)
To provide additional information and help answer questions, please join us for one of two virtual community forums.
MCS will be hosting virtual interactive Reopening Forums on:
- Thursday, October 1, from 6-7 p.m.
- Monday, October 5, from 4-5 p.m.
We understand if you would like to wait to complete the survey until after the Forums. The deadline to complete the survey is noon on Wednesday, October 7, 2020.
It is important to note that at this time, Stanislaus County is only permitted to look at reopening of TK-6 schools. If the County reaches and sustains the "red" tier of COVID case measurement, we will look to the possibility of reopening junior high and high schools, but we are not yet to that point.
UPDATE: September 24, 2020
Modesto City Schools will host a Substitute Staff Hiring Event on Monday, October 5, from 1-5 p.m. in the parking lot across the street from the District Office, located at 426 Locust Street.
We are hiring for a variety of substitute positions including instructional paraprofessionals, operations staff, nutrition services, clerical, bus operators, teachers and more! You must pre-register for the event. More information and the pre-registration form is on EdJoin. No walk-ups will be allowed. Fingerprint and Tuberculosis fee waivers will be available.
Masks and social distancing will be required.
For more information, view the event details on EdJoin, or contact our Human Resources Department at 209-492-4060.
UPDATE: August 19, 2020
Due to unforeseen system issues, we will be performing critical maintenance on our core network equipment today, Wednesday, August 19, from approximately 7-9 p.m., and again Friday, August 21, from approximately 5-6 p.m. Students will not have access to the internet or District apps during these times.
On a happier note, our Technology Help Team will be working at our Reno Avenue location this Saturday, August 22, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. to provide technical assistance for District devices. If your student is having issues with their Dell Chromebook or HP Windows device, you can bring their device to 1017 Reno Avenue in Modesto, and our team of skilled technology experts will analyze the issue and take action to correct it.
This is a key opportunity for working parents to bring in their student’s device for repair or troubleshooting outside of traditional work hours.
Remember, if your student is experiencing technical difficulties the Technology Call Center is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at 209-574-8600.
UPDATE: August 17, 2020
Online Community Forum – Wednesday, August 19, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
With the launch of the new school year, Superintendent Noguchi will be hosting an online community forum THIS WEDNESDAY, August 19, from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
The purpose of the forum is to provide an overview of the start of the 2020-2021 school year, as well as to give you an opportunity to share input and feedback on distance learning. We also want to identify ways that we may be able to provide students, parents and staff with additional supports and resources.
Here is the live event access information:
ONLINE COMMUNITY FORUM
Wednesday, August 19 – 5:30-6:30 p.m.
EVENT ACCESS LINK: https://bit.ly/Aug19-MCSForum
If you cannot attend the live event, you can provide feedback via the online survey (available in English & Spanish): https://bit.ly/Aug19-DLsurvey
A recording of the Community Forum will be available on our website and social media later this week.
UPDATE: August 12, 2020
It is important that students follow these tips to reduce the chance for technical errors:
TIP ONE: Students need to access Schoology through the MCS App Portal, NOT any old bookmarked websites. Once your student logs in to their device, the MCS App Portal will open automatically on Chromebooks, but on HP Windows devices, your student needs to click on their internet browser to access the App Portal. Again, it’s important that they are not using any old bookmarked websites.
TIP TWO: Students need to shut down their device every night so important software updates can be automatically installed. To do this, students must turn off or power down their device, not just close the device. Also, make sure the device is connected to a power charger overnight.
TIP THREE: We recommend that your student turn on their device 30 minutes before their first class.
TIP FOUR: If your student is having device issues during the day, turn off the device and wait for at least 20 seconds before turning it back on again. This helps reset the device.
If you have any technical difficulties or questions, please contact the MCS Technology Call Center at 209-574-8600. They are open Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to help our students with distance learning. We’ve taken many steps to resolve technical issues, and we appreciate your understanding this week.
UPDATE: August 10, 2020
Due to technical difficulties, if your student was marked absent today, it will have no negative impact.
However, please keep in mind that teachers are still taking attendance, so we expect our students to be present and participate in their online classrooms.
All our teachers and staff are doing their best during this unprecedented time. Distance learning is a process, and we understand issues will happen, but we are working hard to keep our system up and running.
Tomorrow morning, please have your student log-in at their scheduled time according to the daily instruction schedules that were sent last Wednesday, August 5. If you have questions on the instruction schedules, please visit our website or contact your school site directly.
Thank you for your patience as we launch our distance learning classes. We are doing our best to address your concerns and deliver valuable education resources to our students.
UPDATE: August 9, 2020
The first day of the 2020-2021 school year kicks off Monday morning, August 10, at 8:30 a.m.
A little before 8:30 a.m., your students will need to log-on to their school websites to receive more information on the big kick-off event we have planned. You can find your school website at mcs4kids.com, under the Students tab. Click on School Directory and then choose your school to see their important announcements.
While distance learning is not how we wanted to start this school year, I promise there WILL be a time when we are all back together in our schools. It isn’t a matter of IF we will be back, it is a matter of WHEN. I know you, your students and their teachers really want this to happen.
This year, more than any other year, we must work together to ensure that your students learn and absorb skills to help them move forward. However, I recognize this year will come with challenges. What I have learned is that if we all work together, be patient with one another and with ourselves, and stay persistent, that we can indeed overcome anything.
To ensure your students are successful, I am asking for them to make a commitment to attend school online every day by logging-in to their device and participating in their classes. I promise that when your student uses the tools MCS has provided to help them do their best, I am positive they will be successful.
Again, I realize this is NOT the way we wanted to start the school year. But I give you my commitment that I will work to get us all back in our schools as soon as we possibly can.
You can help us reopen schools but we need to work together to slow the spread of COVID in our community. Please do your part and wear a mask, wash your hands and stay six feet apart.
Thank you for your ongoing support of Modesto City Schools.
We look forward to welcoming your students online Monday morning at 8:30 a.m.
Sara Noguchi, Ed.D
Modesto City Schools
Every Student Matters, Every Moment Counts
UPDATE: August 5, 2020
Daily Instruction Schedules are now available. Each Schedule is two pages. The first page is the “Year at a Glance.” Like the traditional school calendar, the Year at a Glance is color coded to indicate things like a minimum day or non-attendance day. The second page is the instruction schedule for each color code. For example, most Wednesdays are red and the schedule is different to accommodate a shorter school day.
There is one schedule for all elementary students, one schedule for all junior high school students, and a number of schedules for high school students. The schedules are clearly labeled – please be sure you are looking at the correct schedule for your student.
- Elementary Schools – all TK-6 students
- Junior High/Middle Schools – all 7-8 students
- Beyer, Downey, Enochs, Modesto
- Davis, Gregori, Johansen
For additional information regarding the Daily Instruction Schedules, please contact your student’s school.
Two more quick notes –
Remember to be on the lookout for your student’s meal pick up barcoded ID card in the mail. The new meal pick up program begins next week, and the card must be scanned in order to pick up a meal. If you don’t receive your card in the mail by Friday, please call the Nutrition Services Center at 209-574-1619.
Finally, the first day of school is Monday, August 10, and it is fast approaching. We are going to kick-off the school year like we never have before – with all 30,000 of our students logging in at 8:30 a.m. for a special message. Visit your school’s website for the event link.
UPDATE: July 31, 2020
Modesto Virtual Academy (MVA), our online independent study program, is full. Families who submitted a pre-registration form after July 17 are on a wait list and will be contacted if space becomes available.
Students on the wait list will participate in distance learning through their school site.
For additional information, or information specific to your student, call your school site.
UPDATE: July 30, 2020
Here are important updates on our meal pickup program.
The current meal pickup program has been extended through Friday, August 7. The current schedule was originally slated to end this week, but with campuses remaining closed, the current program will continue through next week, and end on Friday, August 7.
A NEW meal pickup program will begin on Monday, August 10, the first day of school. There are a number of changes in the new program.
Next week, every MCS student will receive a barcoded ID card in the mail. In order to pick-up a meal, this card must be presented and scanned by MCS staff. Once the card is scanned, the student will receive one breakfast and one lunch. Only MCS students can participate in this program.
The schedule has changed. All pickup locations will be open from 10:35 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – almost a two-hour window.
Five schools have been added to the schedule. In addition to the 15 previous locations, Fairview, Garrison, Martone, Robertson Road, and Sonoma will host meal pickup.
UPDATE: July 27, 2020
Here are three important technology updates:
First, you can submit the LCFF Household Income Form and update your student’s Emergency Contact Card online. Go to the District’s website at mcs4kids.com and look for the Back to School Portal at the top of the page. The LCFF Form helps MCS receive additional funding for programs to reach underserved populations. The Emergency Contact Card provides staff with important information related to your student. Please submit one LCFF Form per household and one Emergency Contact Card per student.
Second, we created Tech Help Centers for students AND parents that provide easily accessible descriptions, how-to tutorials, and trainings for our most frequently used applications like Go SchoolMessenger, PowerSchool and Schoology. The Help Centers are linked on the District’s home page.
Third, you can choose how you receive news and updates from your student’s teacher, school and the District with Go SchoolMessenger. Go SchoolMessenger is available on the web or a free downloadable app. Both tools let you see all your messages in one place, or you can elect when to receive messages via voicemail, email or text. Go to the new Help Center for easy how-to guides and videos.
UPDATE: July 20, 2020
Starting Tuesday, July 21, school site staff will begin to call families who submitted a pre-registration form for MVA to confirm their student’s placement for the 2020-2021 school year. We must confirm every student’s interest by the end of the day on Thursday, July 23.
Since we announced that the school year will begin with online learning for ALL students, the number one question we’ve received is, “What’s the difference between MVA and distance learning?” To answer that question and others, we’ve created a document addressing the differences between the two programs in a variety of areas.
The document is available on our website on the Modesto Virtual Academy web page.
UPDATE: July 15, 2020
As announced earlier this week, due to County Public Health orders, on Monday, August 10, all Modesto City Schools will start school ONLINE through either distance learning or the Modesto Virtual Academy. This requirement is based on the significant increase in COVID infections and hospitalizations, both in Stanislaus County and statewide. Once Public Health Officials identify a downward trend in hospitalizations and confirmed cases of COVID infections, schools may start to reopen in a phased approach.
MCS ONLINE COMMUNITY FORUMS – THURSDAY, JULY 16
We invite you to join our online Community Forums to share input on distance learning and to help us identify ways that MCS may be able to provide students and parents with assistance and resources (NOTE: Both forums will provide the same content):
- Thursday, July 16 – 11 a.m. – Noon
- ACCESS LINK: https://tinyurl.com/July16-Forum-11am
- Thursday, July 16 – 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Participants will hear from MCS Superintendent Dr. Sara Noguchi with more information on the distance learning plans for the start of the school year. This is also an opportunity to provide feedback on what works well and what can be improved so MCS can work to support you and your students.
If you cannot join the online Community Forums, you can provide feedback by completing the MCS Distance Learning survey at https://tinyurl.com/DL-survey.
For more up-to-date information and important announcements, visit www.mcs4kids.com or call the MCS Hotline at 209-492-6000.
UPDATE: July 13, 2020
Based on requirements announced today by State and County Public Health Officials, starting Monday, August 10, all Modesto City Schools will resume school ONLINE through either distance learning or the Modesto Virtual Academy. This requirement is based on the significant increase in COVID infections and hospitalizations, both in Stanislaus County and statewide.
Here is a recap of additional updates:
- Effective Tuesday, July 14, all sports conditioning, the ASES Summer Program, and any extracurricular activities (cheer, band, sports, theater/drama, etc.) are suspended until further notice.
- Starting Monday, August 10, MCS sites will start using distance learning and the Modesto Virtual Academy instruction models.
- Childcare and the Early Childhood Education facilities will continue to remain open, accompanied by strict safety and sanitizing/cleaning protocols that are already in place.
- MCS will be in contact with families to provide more information on next steps and what distance learning will look like for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
Modesto City Schools continues to remain focused on protecting the health and safety of our students, parents and staff. In the future, once State and Public Health Officials begin to identify a downward trend in hospitalizations and confirmed cases of COVID infections, schools may start to reopen in a phased approach.
We understand the challenges that our students and families may be facing, but it is very important that we follow the directions given by the health experts. While we are eager to see everyone in person, Modesto City Schools has a detailed plan in place to deliver high-quality education to our students at all levels TK-12th grades while they are learning from their homes. Our staff are here to help guide our students and families through the uncertainty we are facing over the next several months as we do our part to reduce the spread of the disease.
SAVE-THE-DATE – PARENT/STUDENT COMMUNITY FORUMS – THIS THURSDAY, JULY 16
We invite you to participate in our virtual Community Forums to share input on distance learning and to identify ways that Modesto City Schools may be able to provide assistance:
- Thursday, July 16 – 11 a.m. - Noon
- Thursday, July 16 – 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
- *NOTE: Both forums will provide the same content.
- IMPORTANT – The instructions to access the forums will be released on Wednesday, July 15.
Participants will hear from MCS Superintendent Dr. Sara Noguchi with more information on distance learning. This is also an opportunity to provide Dr. Noguchi with feedback on what works well and what can be improved in an effort to identify how Modesto City Schools can support you in a distance learning environment.
Watch for more information on how to access the Community Forums by Wednesday, July 15. For up-to-date information, please continue to visit www.mcs4kids.com or call the MCS Hotline at 209-492-6000.
UPDATE: July 9, 2020
The deadline to apply for assistance to buy groceries during the pandemic, also known as P-EBT benefits, is Wednesday, July 15.
P-EBT benefits are provided by the state of California to families with children who are eligible for free or reduced priced meals. These provide families up to $365 per child to spend on groceries. If you have not already received a P-EBT card in the mail and you think you qualify, you need to apply online by Wednesday, July 15 at https://ca.p-ebt.org/en/. For more information on the program, visit the P-EBT website or call the P-EBT customer service line at 877-328-9677.
If you need assistance with the online application, please call (209) 492-5113. Remember, the deadline to apply is Wednesday, July 15.
UPDATE: June 25, 2020
The deadline to submit the pre-registration form for Modesto Virtual Academy is Tuesday, June 30. Modesto Virtual Academy, or MVA, is an online independent study program for students in grades TK-12. The pre-registration form signifies interest in the program. Your student’s school of residence will call mid- to late-July to confirm your final decision on placement for the 2020-2021 school year.
Here are some quick facts about MVA:
- Every student will receive a device for the online learning program
- Academic and tech support will be available
- Students enrolled in MVA can participate in co- and extra-curricular activities at their school of residence
The pre-registration form is on our website at mcs4kids.com. Click on the Modesto Virtual Academy banner at the top of the page.
If you do not submit a MVA pre-registration form, your student will attend school on-campus in a traditional school environment. More information on the health and safety guidelines we will follow to ensure student and staff safety is available on our website at mcs4kids.com under 2020-2021 School Year Information. A School Reopening FAQ is also on that page.
Remember, the first day of school for ALL students is Monday, August 10. Again, submit the pre-registration form for MVA by Tuesday, June 30. Your student’s school will call mid- to late-July to confirm your decision on your student’s placement for the 2020-2021 school year. If you are interested in traditional school attendance, no further action is needed. We will communicate updates and any changes required by Public Health Officials over the summer.
UPDATE: June 16, 2020
More information on the 2020-2021 school year and the two education options available to students:
- The first option is Traditional School Attendance – On-campus: MCS will re-open all school sites for students to attend classes on-campus with a traditional school schedule. More information on the health and safety guidelines we will follow to ensure students and staff are protected, as well as to reduce the spread of the virus, is available on our website at mcs4kids.com under 2020-2021 School Year Information. A School Reopening FAQ is also available on that page.
- The second option is Modesto Virtual Academy – Online Independent Study: Pre-registration is NOW OPEN for our expanded Modesto Virtual Academy (MVA), an online independent study program for students in grades TK through 12. This option is for families who are interested in having their child learn at home, with an online program, and a weekly check-in with a teacher. More information about MVA, and the pre-registration form, are available on the MVA web page. Pre-register students by June 30. Individual school sites will follow-up with families by July 24 to provide a status update.
So, what’s next?
If you are interested in pre-registering your students for Modesto Virtual Academy, submit your interest online by June 30. If you are interested in traditional school attendance, no further action is needed, your child will come to school as planned on August 10. Keep in mind, the District will notify you if there are any changes required by Public Health Officials before that time. Be on the lookout for more information and ongoing updates as decisions are made over the summer.
UPDATE: June 12, 2020
Modesto City Schools 2020-21 School Year Re-Opening Plan and Protocols
In a coordinated effort with all school districts in Stanislaus County and the Stanislaus County Health Officer, I am pleased to announce that Modesto City Schools will plan
on our traditional opening of schools with our full respective student populations on August 10, 2020. In preparing for the reopening of schools, we aim to:
- Apply local control to the safe reopening of Modesto City Schools based on guidance from public health officials and local and state agencies.
- Reopen Modesto City Schools sites with thoughtful safeguards and protocols in place to minimize health and safety risks for students and staff.
- Recognize and respect parent/guardian decisions to choose a learning model that works best for their student(s).
All schools will have significant virus-related protocols in place to help create the safest environment possible for our students, staff and community. Social distancing will be practiced where practical or possible. Any family that is uncomfortable with a traditional opening can sign-up for our Modesto Virtual Academy, which is 100% online Independent Study. This instruction will be available for students in TK-12th grades, and the materials are very closely aligned to the instruction that is occurring in the traditional classroom. More information on the Modesto Virtual Academy will be available after June 16.
All schools will utilize our established methods of communication and organization for students physically returning to school on Monday, August 10, 2020. The community can look for communication on opening procedures from their respective school site(s) in the coming weeks.
Provided below are some of the specific protocols that will be in place effective for the first day of school on August 10, 2020. The listed protocols are not inclusive of all of the safety actions that MCS is taking to protect our student and staff population, but these are provided to give the community a general sense of what schools will have in place:
- If you are sick stay home...This applies to Students and Staff.
- Students and Staff will continuously be reminded to frequently wash their hands.
- The wearing of masks is encouraged. Students should plan to provide their own masks. However, in the event they do not have a mask, MCS will provide one upon request.
- Parents should begin the practice of taking student temperatures daily. If a temperature is recorded above 100 degrees, the student should stay home.
- Each school site is equipped with thermometers and will have a separate quarantine room for any student or staff member displaying symptoms of the virus.
- School Nurses may choose to conduct random temperature checks for students and staff.
- If any student or staff member is confirmed to have the virus, the entire school community will be notified and the County Health Officer will direct next steps for that respective student population.
- Desks will be spaced to allow maximum space available between students and staff.
- All desks will face the same direction.
- Hand sanitizer will be available in all instructional areas.
- Classroom entry/exit routines will be established to support social distancing.
- Shared student devices used in classrooms will be cleaned regularly according to sanitization guidelines.
- Tissues will be available in each classroom.
- Any student displaying signs of sickness will be immediately referred to the school site nursing station for assessment.
- All bus routes are continuously evaluated for maximum efficiency.
- In order to ride the bus, students will be required to wear a mask and sanitize their hands upon entering the vehicle.
- Students should plan to provide their own masks. However, in the event they do not have a mask, MCS will provide one.
- Social distancing will be utilized when possible.
- To the extent possible, lunchtime schedules may be staggered to reduce the number of students being served at one time, to the extent possible.
- Hand sanitizer will be available before and after lunches for student use.
- Tables will be available both inside and outside.
- Students will maintain social distancing while eating, to the extent possible.
- All restrooms will be routinely checked by staff for cleanliness, sanitation and appropriate supplies.
- Students will be trained and reminded to wash their hands.
- Students will be reminded of social distance practices.
- Use of balls and equipment will be evaluated for use on August 10, 2020.
- All students will be required to sanitize hands before reentry into the classroom.
- Instruction in these areas will be modified to align with the safety recommendations of the County Health Officer.
- Performances and competitions are suspended until it is determined by the County Health Officer that participation is safe.
Physical Education Protocols
- Students at the junior high and high school will take roll outside the locker room before dressing for activity.
- Students at the junior high and high school will be required to sanitize their hands before entering the locker room.
- Showers at the junior high and high school will not be allowed until the County Health Officer rules them safe.
- Social distancing will be maintained, to the extent possible, during indoor and outdoor activities for all students participating in physical education.
Athletic Sport Protocols
- At this time all organized team activities have been suspended until June 15, 2020.
- Effective June 15, organized team activities can occur with the following protocols:
- The team activities must be conditioning and skill-based only.
- No equipment may be used.
- All activities must be done outside.
- Social distancing will be followed where practical and possible.
- Athletes are to come dressed for the activities. No locker room will be available at this time.
- Athletes must not be in groups greater than 25 per coach.
- In the coming weeks, both the County Health Officer and the California Interscholastic Federation will make a determination of the sports that can be safely played this fall.
Before and After School Program Protocols
- Before and after school programs will be offered and will follow the same safety procedures as the regular school day.
Extra-Curricular Activity Protocols
- All in-person extra-curricular activities, assemblies, rallies, field trips, and any school-wide gatherings related to the 2020-21 school year will be suspended until the County Health Officer deems them safe. Virtual assemblies, rallies, field trips and other similar activities may take place.
- Mass gatherings of any kind are not permitted.
- No outside or parent classroom volunteers will be allowed until the County Health Officer approves their participation.
- Use of school facilities by outside entities will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Use of outside space may be permitted. Use of indoor facilities will largely depend on the entities proven ability to sanitize the facility after use.
This communication is meant to provide initial guidance as we progress through the summer. Again, this plan has been developed in accordance with County Public Health Officer and the other school districts of Stanislaus County. Please keep in mind, the State of California could issue a mandate that would require us to make changes to this plan.
Modesto City Schools appreciates your patience as we all work through this together. Our priority is on educating your children while also doing our best to protect them and our staff population from the spread of the virus. Please stay safe, enjoy the summer and expect further communication from the District and your respective school site as we move later into July.
Sara Noguchi, Ed.D
Modesto City Schools
UPDATE: June 9, 2020
This is an important update about the new school year, which starts on Monday, August 10. The District is offering two education options for your student’s return:
- Traditional School Attendance/Schedule – On-campus: We are planning on re-opening all Modesto City Schools’ sites for students to attend classes on-campus with a traditional school schedule. This is exciting news as we eagerly look forward to welcoming students back to our safe, secure and creative learning environments. We are taking many steps to do what we can to ensure students and staff are safe by thoroughly sanitizing our school sites during regular intervals and implementing additional health and safety protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
NOTE: MCS staff are still working out a variety of important planning details on return-to-school logistics, especially as it relates to school activities. We will keep families informed as more decisions are made prior to August 10.
- Modesto Virtual Academy – Online Independent Study: We are thrilled to announce the expansion of the Modesto Virtual Academy (MVA) Independent Study online program for students in TK-12 grades. We understand, as parents, that you may have concerns about sending your child back to school in a traditional fashion. MVA is 100% online independent study with once weekly check-in appointments with your child’s teacher(s). This option provides a clearly outlined curriculum for parents who are interested in continuing with an online learning model and having their child learn at home. MCS provides the Google Chromebook device and technology support to assist with your student’s learning needs.
Within the next week, all parents will receive a notice from MCS and/or your student’s school site(s) with the steps to enroll your child in the Modesto Virtual Academy, if you’d like to pursue that option. If you are interested in traditional school attendance, no further action is needed, your child will come to school as planned on August 10 (Keep in mind, the District will notify you if there are any changes required by Public Health Officials before that time). Be on the lookout for more information coming soon!
UPDATE: June 4, 2020
As the leader of Modesto City Schools, I empathize with the heightened emotions and call-for-change that the community is voicing given the most recent heartbreaking events and the murder of Mr. George Floyd in Minnesota. When you see and hear the scenes from the peaceful protests that are occurring throughout our region and country, it is clearly indicative of the desire for deep impacting social change that needs to occur across our community’s culture.
During these unsettling and troubling times, I am hopeful for a peaceful solution to emerge. I feel it is vitally important that we all work together to lead with kindness, compassion and understanding and to support one another on all levels. It is critical for us to objectively listen to the community’s voice and to acknowledge the extremely valid concerns of so many of us who are hurting deeply down to our inherent core values and beliefs as human beings. Remember, we are ALL human beings, regardless of our race, political beliefs, gender, socio-economic status, and many other important differences. All of these unique attributes as individuals contribute to the strength of our community as a whole.
As a District, Modesto City Schools celebrates the diversity and uniqueness of our student and staff population. We are committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in all of our schools. We care deeply for our Modesto community, and the young scholars we are mindfully leading on their education journeys. Our goal is to inspire them to achieve great success in life, and we practice this daily for every single one of our students. We believe that “Every Student Matters, Every Moment Counts,” and while there is more work to be done in our schools, in our city, and in our local community, MCS will never give up on this commitment and promise to our students and families.
Sara Noguchi, Ed.D
Modesto City Schools
UPDATE: June 1, 2020
A variety of summer distance learning opportunities – both enrichment and academic – are available to students all summer long.
Students in grades TK-12 can access enrichment activities in science, technology, art, and literacy. Virtual field trips allow students to explore zoos, aquariums, colleges and other landmarks around the world. There are also coding courses, Lego and reading challenges to engage students of all ages.
The enrichment activities are available on the District website at mcs4kids.com under the Summer Distance Learning section.
Students in grades TK-8 can also access academic standards-based lessons in core subject areas using Freckle. With Freckle’s resources, students can become fluent in key skills needed to master learning concepts across subject areas. Since Freckle is adaptive, students will progress to more challenging content as they achieve mastery.
Videos to help students log in to Freckle and complete the placement assessments are available on the District website at mcs4kids.com under the Summer Distance Learning section.
To help families who do not have internet access, we have launched WiFi hotspots in eight school site parking lots. Students using a District device will automatically connect to the WiFi once they are in the hotspot zone. If a student is using a personal device, they can use their District login details to access the WiFi. The sites with hotspots are Beyer, El Vista, Fairview, Hanshaw, La Loma, Mark Twain, Martone, and Robertson Road.
Maps showing the hotspot zones at the eight sites are available on the District website at mcs4kids.com under the Summer Distance Learning section.
UPDATE: May 28, 2020
Please read the following information on our meal pick up program and Pandemic or P-EBT benefits.
Our current meal pick up program will continue over the summer through July 31. There are a couple of things to note. Pick up times and locations will remain the same, with the exception of the pick up at Franklin Elementary. Beginning Monday, June 1, the Franklin pick up location will move down street to Mark Twain Junior High School. The drive-through pick up will be located on the California Avenue side of the school. Also, there will be no meal pick up on Friday, July 3, as it is a holiday for all MCS staff.
Remember, our meal pick up program is available to anyone 18 years and under. The schedule is available on our website in the rolling banner at the top of the page, and is read on the Information Hotline at 209-492-6000.
The state of California is providing Pandemic or P-EBT benefits to children who are eligible for free or reduced priced meals. P-EBT benefits provide families up to $365 per child to spend on groceries. If you have not already received a P-EBT card in the mail and you think you qualify, apply online by June 30, 2020. For more information on the program, visit the P-EBT website, or call their customer service line at 877-328-9677.
Finally, on behalf of Modesto City Schools, congratulations to all our families with graduates! We know successful students are the product of families who are invested in their student’s education, and for that, we say “thank you.”
UPDATE: May 22, 2020
In Wednesday’s update on the upcoming school year, Superintendent Noguchi shared that we’d be sending out a survey to gather your feedback to help guide our planning.
Your valuable insight will help us define the learning models we will use to provide lessons and new learning materials. Our priority remains focused on protecting the health and safety of our students and staff, while ensuring students receive a quality education.
Next school year will start on Monday, August 10, 2020. Our planning will ensure that we will be ready to temporarily change the models we use to educate our students if social distancing restrictions are still in place at that time.
To help us address your needs and desires for your student’s education, please complete the survey by FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2020. The survey is available in English and Spanish and accessible at tinyurl.com/2020educationsurvey.
If you are unable to complete the survey online, you can do so via phone. Please call (209) 574-1999 to verbally provide your survey input. This phone line is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Assistance is available in English and Spanish.
Keep in mind that Monday, May 25, is a holiday for all MCS staff in observance of Memorial Day. There will be no meal pick up, and the Information Hotline and phone survey line will not be monitored.
Again, the survey is available online at tinyurl.com/2020educationsurvey, or via phone at (209) 574-1999, in English and Spanish. The phone line will be monitored Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. with the exception of Monday, May 25, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.
UPDATE: May 20, 2020
Update on 2020-2021 School Year from Superintendent Noguchi:
Greetings MCS Families and Staff,
I hope you are all doing well under the circumstances. I find it very hard to believe that our students have not been on our campuses for over two months. I imagine that many of you are in the same boat that I am in and look forward to returning to a life and a schedule of normalcy.
I am extremely grateful for the creative, flexible and hard-working staff here at Modesto City Schools. I know they all miss their students as much as the students miss being at school. Thank you very much to all of our families who have been wonderful partners with us while we made this temporary transition to Distance Learning; we could not have done it without your support and commitment to your child’s education.
What Does Reopening Look Like for the 2020-2021 School Year?
I know you are all eager to know what will happen for the upcoming school year and what life will look like. One thing we know for sure is the start date for our 2020-2021 school year across all Modesto City Schools sites is Monday, August 10, 2020. That’s a definite. However, given the fact that none of us know exactly what the future holds, we are working ahead to plan for many scenarios. Over the past several weeks, District and School Site staff have been mapping out a variety of options of what reopening schools could look like for our students and staff.
I am sure that most of you have heard a handful of ideas and theories pertaining to reopening schools. There have been media stories, comments from politicians and elected officials, and a variety of public opinions floating around social media platforms. Even with this swirl of information and opinions, I want to reassure you that my top priorities are focused on both protecting the health and safety of our staff and students, as well as providing a top-notch education delivery system to help our students make forward progress in learning new material, whether that’s in-person or via remote learning or possibly a combination of both.
From what I understand today, based on guidance from the California Department of Education and Public Health Officials, schools will not resume “business as usual” for some length of time. Because of this, we are looking at a variety of instruction delivery models that take into account the current and potential future Health Orders and social distancing requirements.
As you know, there have been rapid changes throughout this pandemic, and, unfortunately, it has been difficult to create concrete plans for what the upcoming school year will look like. I will reinforce once again that the health and safety of our students and staff will continue to be the guiding force behind all our decisions. Over the next month, we will continue working diligently to create options that focus on protecting our students and staff while also advancing their learning outcomes.
We will be asking for input from students, parents/guardians and staff to help guide our decisions as we move forward. We’ve all learned a lot over the past two months of what works and what doesn’t, and we need to analyze what we’ve learned to ensure we make modifications for next year. Please watch for a survey coming your way within the next week. The survey will be accessible via internet and phone. Your input is critical to help us craft the models for our new way of learning.
Thank you for everything you are doing to support Modesto City Schools’ mission to serve our students. It is indeed a challenging and uncertain time, and I am so grateful for your commitment, as well as your patience and flexibility. No matter what our upcoming school year looks like, MCS will remain strong because of our dedicated community of people like you and the support and encouragement you are providing to our young scholars.
Have a wonderful evening,
Sara Noguchi, Ed.D
Modesto City Schools
UPDATE: May 7, 2020
For TK-6 families:
Modesto City Schools is providing families with the opportunity to purchase low-cost insurance known as Limited Technology Coverage, or LTC, for their school-issued computer. This is optional, and the cost is $20 per student. The LTC must be purchased by Friday, June 5, 2020. Coverage will last through Friday, August 7, 2020.
The LTC covers the first breakage and the first theft. However, if a computer is vandalized or lost, a $200 fee will be charged.
Power adapters are not included in the optional LTC purchase. If a power adapter is lost, stolen or damaged, a $35 fee will be charged.
This device coverage can be purchased through the District website at mcs4kids.com by clicking on the “Students” menu and then choosing “Device Coverage.” Debit and credit cards are accepted through the online payment service.
If you do not have a debit or credit card, you may send a cashier’s check made out to Modesto City Schools, and mail it to the Modesto City Schools District Office at 426 Locust Street, Modesto, California, 95351. Be sure to include your student’s name, ID number and school.
At this time, the LTC is only available to students in grades TK-6. The coverage was available to students in grades 7-12 earlier this year. Please call the Technology Call Center at 209-574-8600 for more information.
UPDATE: May 4, 2020
Dear Parents/Guardians and Graduating Seniors and 8th Graders:
While we wait for the social distancing health guidelines to be modified or lifted so we can try to have in-person graduation ceremonies this summer, we are excited to announce that we will be holding virtual ceremonies on the original graduation ceremony dates and times that were planned earlier this year.
**NOTE: A virtual graduation DOES NOT mean we won’t have an in-person graduation later this summer. If social distancing restrictions are lifted within the next couple of months in order to safely allow for hundreds of people to attend an event, we will do everything possible to give you the experience of an in-person graduation ceremony.
What does a virtual graduation look like?
- Students will have the opportunity to submit 8-to-10 second video clips (similar to TikTok) to make their personal mark on the ceremony. The videos must be appropriate with no foul language or inappropriate gestures.
- The virtual graduations will include traditional processionals, speeches, performances, calling of student names, virtual walking of the stage, and the best part of all…the recessional afterwards when it’s time to celebrate!
- We want our students to enjoy this process and be creative. The video will be available to everyone after the ceremony as a downloadable file to keep forever.
- Within the next couple of weeks, your school will be providing detailed ceremony information and instructions on how to access the virtual event, as well as details on caps and gowns, yearbooks and more end-of-year items.
We look forward to honoring students’ hard work and accomplishments in this exciting new and creative way!
Check your school’s website for updates and photos highlighting graduating seniors and 8th grade students. You can reach your school’s website at mcs4kids.com, click on “Students” and the “Schools Directory” link.
Also, graduation dates and times are available on the District website at mcs4kids.com. The information is also listed below…
Again, we are looking forward to hosting these virtual ceremonies while we wait to see if the social distancing guidelines are modified or lifted. We realize this doesn’t replace a traditional ceremony, and if we are able to, we will do our best to hold in-person ceremonies later this summer.
Virtual Graduation Dates and Times:
Junior High Schools:
- Hanshaw Middle School – Wednesday, May 27 at 6:00 p.m.
- La Loma Junior High – Friday, May 29 at 5:00 p.m.
- Mark Twain Junior High – Friday, May 29 at 5:30 p.m.
- Roosevelt Junior High – Friday, May 29 at 5:00 p.m.
- Beyer High – Friday, May 29 at 6:30 p.m.
- Davis High – Friday, May 29 at 7:00 p.m.
- Downey High – Thursday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m.
- Elliott Alternative – Wednesday, May 27 at 6:00 p.m.
- Enochs High – Thursday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m.
- Gregori High – Thursday, May 28 at 7:00 p.m.
- Johansen High – Thursday, May 28 at 7:00 p.m.
- Modesto High – Thursday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m.
UPDATE: May 1, 2020
Here are the latest MCS updates on the start date of next year, grading, and summer school:
To clarify statements Governor Newsom recently made, Modesto City Schools will not move the start date of the next school year. Our first day of school will be Monday, August 10. We are in the process of creating plans to address all learning needs, school schedules and adhering to social distancing requirements, so stay tuned for more information.
Next, at the April 20 Board of Education meeting, trustees approved a resolution regarding grading, officially making students’ third quarter grade their final grade for the year. Guidance from the state made it clear that grading policies must ensure equity, and students’ grades could not suffer in any way due to the pandemic.
For parents of seniors, Friday, May 8 is when teachers will report to principals on seniors’ credit or no credit status. If you have a senior who did not earn credit for the 3rd quarter, please encourage your student to reach out to their teacher as soon as possible to verify their current status.
Teachers can allow students the opportunity to raise their third quarter grade. Please have your student reach out to their teacher to find out if this option is available to them.
Remember, the distance learning that began April 13 is new learning. Students are encouraged to log in to Schoology each day to take advantage of the learning opportunities that are available.
As a reminder, the last day of this school year is May 29. Your school will be in touch soon with more details on end of year procedures. We are also moving forward with summer school from June 4-30 in a distance learning format. Students in grades K-6 are invited to participate based on the recommendation of a teacher or administrator. Students in grades 7-12 are invited to participate if they have credits they need to make up. Your school will send you information directly if your student will be invited to participate in summer school.
We are committed to ensuring our students receive high-quality instruction and other essential services during this time. We appreciate your continued patience as we navigate through this unchartered territory.
UPDATE: April 16, 2020
Here are the latest MCS updates:
As we come up on the end of our first week of distance learning, we are happy to report that as of Wednesday, nearly 80% of our students have logged in to Schoology and connected with a teacher. While 80% is good, we are striving for 100%. We feel it is SO important for students to connect with their teachers, that school administrators and office staff will be reaching out to families who have not logged in. Please ensure your students are learning each day – our teachers are doing great things online.
We know that the stay-at-home order and subsequent school closures have been difficult for many. There are a variety of social emotional supports available to students. If you feel your student would benefit from talking with someone about how they are feeling, help is available on the Information Hotline, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at 209-492-6000, or reach out to your child’s teacher. We will make sure to provide your student the support they need. There are also a number of resources available on our website at mcs4kids.com under the School Closure Resources for Parents & Students section.
Should you have any questions about distance learning, meal pick-up, free internet service, or anything else related to your student’s education, please check out the Frequently Asked Questions, or FAQ, for Parents and Students. It is available on our website under the School Closure Resources for Parents & Students section. Remember that information and guidance changes frequently and the document will be updated as needed.
Finally, remember that we are here for you! Although our buildings are closed, we are working remotely to provide our students what they need to be successful. Feel free to reach out to your school and leave a voicemail, someone will get back to you. Thank you for partnering with us on this unprecedented journey – we will get through this!
UPDATE: April 7, 2020
Here are the latest MCS updates –
First, this Friday, April 10 is a holiday for all MCS staff. Meal pick-up and the Information Hotline will not be available on Friday. To ensure our students still have nutritious meals, students will receive two breakfasts and two lunches at the Thursday, April 9 distribution. Meal pick-up and the Information Hotline will both return to their regular schedule on Monday, April 13.
For our families of 8th graders and seniors – refunds will be provided for the out-of-pocket dollars paid for the cancelled 8th grade and senior trips. Refunds do not include any dollars that were generated by fundraising efforts as this money will stay at the school site for future use. Refunds will be mailed to the student address on file sometime during the week of April 20. Please be patient as our schools need time to go through the necessary accounting procedures. For more information, please contact your school directly.
Also, since the majority of employees are working from home, when our employees call, it may be from a Caller ID blocked number. Please keep this in mind if you’ve contacted the District, your teacher or school site and are expecting a return call.
Finally, parents – please ensure your student is checking their Schoology account and both you and your student are checking your email. Some teachers and counselors have begun reaching out using these tools. Not familiar with Schoology? There are resources to help parents help their students on the District’s website under the Distance Learning section.
Remember – Friday, April 10 is a holiday for all MCS staff and distance learning officially kicks-off Monday, April 13.
UPDATE: April 2, 2020
The health and safety of students, staff and community remains our top priority. Based on recommendations from state and local health and education authorities, we are extending our school site closures and instead providing students with online distance learning through May 29, 2020. This date also marks the end of the 2019-20 school year.
Thank you for your continued patience as we transition from traditional classrooms to online distance learning. Teachers are training on how to provide instruction online in preparation for the official launch of online learning on Monday, April 13.
There are resources available on our website to help families support their TK through 12th grade students with online learning. In addition, over the next week, more than 15,000 devices are being distributed to our TK-6th grade and Elliott Alternative Education students so they can also join in the online learning process.
We know there are many questions about proms, graduations, student grading processes, and end-of-year celebrations. Please be patient as we work through all of the logistics. This situation is rapidly evolving and the decisions we are making focus on the best interests of the health and safety of our students, staff and families. We will provide you with more information, clarification and further details next week.
We will continue to provide the essential services that our community has come to rely on, including the meal pick-up program, and the mental health, technology and academic support services available through the District Information Hotline at (209) 492-6000.
We will keep you updated as new information is released. In the meantime, please do your part to continue social distancing and good hygiene by washing your hands. Together, we will flatten the curve. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this situation as a united community.
UPDATE: March 26, 2020
Greetings MCS families and staff,
Given the ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, I am EXTENDING our Modesto City Schools closures through May 3, 2020. This also aligns with the other school districts in Stanislaus County.
At this point, we will plan on resuming school on Monday, May 4, 2020, but please keep in mind, this may change depending on the situation at that time. My goal is, and always has been, to preserve the well-being of more than 30,000 children and 4,500 staff in this region.
First, I’d like to emphasize that it is VERY important that we all follow the shelter-in-place guidelines issued by Governor Newsom. This means that children and adults stay home as much as possible. I understand that children want to be out socializing with their friends, but medical experts advise this is very dangerous to the spread of the Coronavirus. So please, let’s all do our part to stay home and practice good hygiene through hand-washing and sanitizing.
In the meantime, we have the following important updates for our students – NOTE: this is what we know right now, but the situation is changing frequently:
- Meal Pick-ups:
- We are continuing our Monday through Friday meal pick-up service through May 1 for anyone 18 years and under.
- Information on meal pick-up times and locations can be found on our website at www.mcs4kids.com in the School Closure Resources section.
- Distance Learning Options:
- We are starting to roll-out additional Distance Learning options for our TK through 12th grade students. This will require that our teachers and principals participate in professional learning on how to support our students through distance learning. We are also developing helpful parent resources and training.
- More information can be found on our website at www.mcs4kids.com under the Distance Learning section.
- We will also start distributing computers to our K-6 students. Due to the large quantities of devices, this process may take a few weeks to complete, so we will follow-up with more information.
- If necessary, printed packets can be picked up Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm, at our CIPD office located at 1017 Reno Avenue in Modesto. They can also be reached by phone at (209) 574-1502.
- Printed packets will only be distributed through Friday, April 3.
- On Monday, April 13, our online learning will launch with teachers and students.
- It’s our goal to ensure all of our seniors graduate. We know how much this means to our seniors, and we want to pay tribute to all of their hard work.
- We are awaiting guidance from the California Department of Education on reframing graduation and A-G requirements. We should know more by the end of April.
- We are committed to having in-person graduation ceremonies, but the dates may need to be postponed to either the summer or later in the year, depending on the situation at the end of May. We will know more by the end of April, and we will keep families updated at that time.
- If necessary, seniors can initiate contact with their teachers online via Schoology to inquire about opportunities that teachers may be providing to improve student grades.
- 8th Grade and Senior Trips:
- We understand there is a lot of uncertainty right now given the current situation with the Coronavirus.
- We will provide families with an update on the status of both 8th grade and Senior trips by mid-April.
- High School Proms:
- Again, with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, many details are still up in the air. Some of our High Schools are taking steps to postpone their proms to a later date.
- However, it’s important for our students and families to understand that proms may need to be cancelled due to the unknown situation with the Coronavirus.
- We know how much this means to our students, so we are doing our best to keep you informed.
- Keep in mind, consistent with guidance from local and state public health, we are focused on student and staff safety, so that will always be our primary consideration as we make decisions moving forward.
Also, it’s important to point out that, as a school district, Modesto City Schools is an essential government service, which is demonstrated daily in our commitment to providing meal distribution, technical support and device assistance, and distance learning options, to name a few. However, except for some of our essential services, I am instructing the majority of our District staff to continue working remotely to encourage safety and social distancing.
Please continue to check our website at www.mcs4kids.com for important updates. We also have an information hotline available at (209) 492-6000. I understand the concerns and many opinions that are circulating about the Coronavirus. Rest assured, we are doing our best to continue to meet the very important needs of our students, staff and families during this unprecedented time.
Sara Noguchi, Ed.D
Superintendent, Modesto City Schools
UPDATE: March 20, 2020
Due to the Governor’s “stay-at-home” order, Modesto City Schools is closing its District Office and support sites to the public, with the exception of the Curriculum and Instruction, and Professional Development, or CIPD, Center. This change is effective immediately.
The CIPD Center will remain open to provide families a location to pick up printed distance learning packets, in addition to the meal pick up times and locations. Their office is located at 1017 Reno Avenue, and is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Although the District Office and support sites will be closed to the public, our staff will continue working remotely to provide the essential services needed to keep the District running. The main number for the District Office, (209) 574-1500, will be staffed Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Information Hotline will also remain staffed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. with updates, technology support, a recorded meal pick-up schedule and mental health support services. The Hotline number is (209) 492-6000. We will also post regularly to our website, so be sure to check online for important updates as well.
We are committed to keeping you informed as we continue to work through these closures.
UPDATE: March 18, 2020
All school sites will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, through Sunday, April 5. Remember that staff may be at schools tomorrow and Friday finishing up essential work, but they will not answer phones or welcome any visitors on campus during this time.
We’ve added a list of Parent Frequently Asked Questions to our website that addresses general information about the closures, meals for students, and distance learning. The list of questions is on the School Closure Resources page on mcs4kids.com and it will be updated on a regular basis.
The District Hotline mentioned yesterday will be ready for callers beginning March 19 at 8 a.m. The Hotline will provide technology support, a recorded list of meal pick-up times and locations, and mental health support services. The Hotline number is (209) 492-6000 and it will be staffed Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Finally, we are committed to keeping you informed as we work our way through the school closures. We will continue to use our messaging system, website and social media to share updates as needed. If you don’t already, please be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter at MCS4kids, and on Instagram at Modesto City Schools.
UPDATE: March 17, 2020
Meal pick-up will be available Monday through Friday starting March 19 through April 3, for those 18 years and under. Children must be present to receive a meal. Each child will receive a bagged lunch and breakfast for the following day. Locations are set up to be drive-through and families are asked to stay in their vehicle. Walk-ups are discouraged, but if it is necessary, please maintain social distancing of six feet. The schedule for meal pick-ups is available on our website at mcs4kids.com under the School Closure Resources banner. Printed copies of the schedule will be available at schools tomorrow, or at the District Office.
Information on how to access distance learning materials is available at mcs4kids.com. Printed copies of the information will be available at schools tomorrow, or at the District Office. The distance learning options, which include educational resources and practice exercises, are available on the District website, and will be available on school websites in the coming days. If you prefer printed materials, packets will be available at all scheduled meal pick-up times and locations, and at the District Office located at 426 Locust Street, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Finally, we are working on providing a hotline for families who need assistance during the school closures. The hotline will provide technical support for online learning, but more importantly, it will provide free counseling services during this trying time. We understand the challenges our families are experiencing and hope that the counseling services will help.
Remember, school closures begin Thursday and staff may be at schools finishing up essential work before spring break. Staff will not answer phones or welcome anyone on campus during this time.
We will continue keep you informed using our messaging system, websites and social media as needed. Thank you for your patience as we work through these details.
UPDATE: March 15, 2020
As your Superintendent, I value the enormous amount of trust invested in me to ensure we are providing a quality education and preserving the well-being of close to 30,000 children and 4,500 staff throughout this region. This is a responsibility I take very seriously.
After much deliberation, I have issued the order to CLOSE all Modesto City Schools sites effective this Thursday, March 19 through Sunday, April 5. I strongly feel this is in the best interest of our students and staff. Later this month, we will notify you if there will be an extension to the closure beyond April 5th.
By closing on Thursday, this gives our families who need it time to make arrangements for childcare. However, if the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in our County increases between now and this Wednesday, we will close our schools earlier.
During the closure, Modesto City Schools will continue to provide much-needed nutrition services to our families with pick-ups at our schools. We will provide the distribution schedule early this week.
We are also working on providing school work for our students to continue in their education while the schools are closed. This is not finalized at this time, but we will send updates once more information is available.
Also, with the exception of essential services, I will be instructing the majority of our District staff to work remotely to encourage safety and social distancing.
I understand the concerns and many opinions that are circulating about COVID-19. I am issuing this executive order as the Superintendent in order to meet the very important needs of my students, staff and families.
Please continue to check our website for important updates.
UPDATE: March 13, 2020
In alignment with all Stanislaus County Public School Superintendents, Modesto City Schools is following the guidelines issued today at 3:00 p.m. by Stanislaus County Public Health Official, Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, MD, MPH, pertaining to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The guidelines are linked below.
Based on Dr. Vaishampayan’s guidance and advice, we are keeping schools OPEN at this time. As a District, we directly rely upon and support the guidance from the County Public Health Official, especially given as medical experts, they are focused on the best interests of the community.
As parents/guardians, Modesto City Schools supports your decision to keep your children home amidst the schools remaining open. If you decide to keep your child home due to illness or related concerns to the Coronavirus, it would be considered an excused absence, with the expectation that your student complete their school work that was missed. This excused absence provision applies for any students missing school as of today, March 13, 2020. The absence notification needs to come directly from the parent/guardian, not from the student.
It is important to note that all MCS schools are taking precautions on a daily basis to thoroughly disinfect our sites using cleaners and sanitizers that are recommended by the CDC to protect against the COVID-19 virus. In addition, we are advising students, parents and staff to practice good hygiene by washing your hands for 20 seconds; using hand sanitizer; coughing or sneezing into your sleeve or tissue; and staying home if you are sick with a fever and other flu-like symptoms.
This is a fluid situation, so please continue to check our website for important updates.
UPDATE: March 12, 2020
Today, March 12, Modesto City Schools learned that two Downey High School students in the same household have been exposed to the Coronavirus as the result of a family member testing positive yesterday. The students have been tested, but at this time, they have NOT been confirmed to have COVID-19.
Modesto City Schools remains in close consultation with Stanislaus County Public Health to assess how to best keep our students and school community healthy and safe. Per Public Health’s recommendations, as well as the guiding principles on the COVID-19 virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all Modesto City Schools sites, including Downey High, will remain OPEN until further notice.
Public Health encourages any student or staff who is sick to stay home until free of symptoms for 72 hours, or after seven days from the start of symptoms, whichever is longer. Additionally, Modesto City Schools has been taking proactive steps to sanitize, deep clean and disinfect all school campuses and support sites on a daily basis.
The District will continue to work very closely with Public Health and the community to provide updates on any new developments. In the meantime, in order to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, remember to practice good hygiene including: wash your hands for 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer; cough or sneeze into your sleeve or tissue; and stay home if you are sick with a fever and other flu-like symptoms.
Continue to check our website for ongoing updates.
UPDATE: March 11, 2020
This morning, the Stanislaus County Public Health and Health Services Agency announced that two cases of coronavirus are confirmed in our County, pending verification from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One is a passenger from the Grand Princess cruise ship to Mexico, and the other case is being investigated in order to determine the source of the individual’s infection.
Modesto City Schools takes this very seriously, and we continue to take precautions in our regular cleaning and disinfecting of the school sites. Currently, there are no confirmed cases within Modesto City Schools’ student or staff population. Per Public Health guidance, we are not closing schools at this time, and we will continue to keep the public updated as more information is available.
As a reminder, to help prevent the spread of the flu or any viruses, please continue to practice good hygiene including washing your hands for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; and when sneezing or coughing, be sure to cover your mouth by using a tissue. And if you are sick, please stay home.
UPDATE: March 9, 2020
Over the weekend, the California Department of Public Health issued new School Guidance meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state, reduce the number of people infected, and protect those who are most vulnerable to severe illness.
Per the updated guidelines, effective tomorrow, March 10, 2020, we are restricting or cancelling all non-essential previously approved out of county and out of state travel and field trips to locations that have confirmed “community spread” cases of the coronavirus. The list of locations experiencing community spread will be reviewed daily.
Read the full letter from Superintendent Noguchi:
UPDATE: March 3, 2020
We continue to monitor the coronavirus, or COVID-19, situation. As of right now, there are NO confirmed cases in Stanislaus County. We understand there are concerns from parents and the public, and understandably so. This is a new virus and we are still learning from it. However, the health risks remain LOW in Stanislaus County and the general public in California.
Currently, all Modesto City Schools’ sites are following the same protocols that were set during the H1N1 pandemic, including:
- Increasing the cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces with a CDC and EPA approved cleaner for “emerging pathogens”
- Changing practices in school cafeterias to prevent the spread of germs
- Providing hand sanitizer dispensers at all of our support and school sites
- Monitoring students’ health based on current guidelines
- Separating students exhibiting flu-like symptoms and arranging for them to be picked up to go home
- Encouraging students, parents and staff to stay home if they have flu-like symptoms
To help prevent the spread of the flu or any viruses, please continue to follow the important tips we previously shared:
- Get an annual flu shot – this reduces flu related illnesses and the risk of complications.
- Practice good hygiene etiquette:
- When sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth by using a tissue. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.
- Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing. In the absence of soap and running water, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face since hands can become contaminated by objects.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you have flu symptoms.
Remember – the California Department of Public Health does not recommend the use of face masks for general prevention and says that handwashing provides better protection from infectious diseases.
We continue to work closely with our county public health official and local school districts to ensure we are all up to date on the latest information, and will keep you up to date of any changes or developments affecting Modesto City Schools.
For additional resources, visit:
ORIGINAL POST: February 27, 2020
We are closely monitoring the coronavirus, or COVID-19, situation. As with any health concern that reaches beyond Modesto City Schools, we have been working closely with our county public health official and local school districts to ensure we are all up to date on the latest information.
At this time, we are following the same protocols that were set during the H1N1 pandemic. We are monitoring students’ health based on current guidelines. Staff will separate any students exhibiting flu-like symptoms and arrange for them to be picked up to go home. Students, parents and staff are encouraged to stay home if they have flu-like symptoms.
To help prevent the spread of the flu, please follow these important tips:
- Get an annual flu shot – this reduces flu related illnesses and the risk of complications.
- Practice good hygiene etiquette:
- Avoid touching your face since hands can become contaminated by objects.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you have flu symptoms.
Additionally, the California Department of Public Health does not recommend the use of face masks for general prevention and says that handwashing provides better protection from infectious diseases.
This is a fluid situation. Our chairperson of school nurses receives regular updates regarding the coronavirus from state and local officials and shares these updates with school nurses across the District. Staff met last week and will meet again later this week following the District’s meeting with the County Public Health Official.
Please know that student and staff health and safety is always our top priority. We will keep you up to date of any changes or developments affecting Modesto City Schools.Attachments: