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: