School Notes

District looking to reopen secondary schools, again

Earlier this month, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education took action to delay the secondary school (grades 7-12) transition to Level 2 - Hybrid in-person instruction in order to further assess the support structures for student learning while in-person and at-home within the Level 2 Hybrid model. This decision allowed an opportunity to review and enhance the instructional model to better support students under these challenging circumstances caused by the pandemic. 

However, at the upcoming board meeting on October 27, the District will recommend that all secondary schools (except Back Bay, Monte Vista and Early College High Schools) transition to Level 2 - Hybrid in-person instruction on November 9. 

The District will also recommend that Back Bay/Monte Vista High School transition to Level 2 - Hybrid in-person instruction one week earlier, on November 3. Early College High School will remain in distance learning due to the challenges related to the alignment with the Coastline Community College system.   

In addition, a revised hybrid model for Level 2 will be recommended at the board meeting. Features of the revised hybrid model address concerns related to the frequency of student/teacher interaction, student support and the ability for students to learn at-home while remaining at their current school. The recommended hybrid model will consist of:

–Two cohorts to reduce the number of students on campus at one time by approximately 50 percent.

–Two days of in-person instruction, two days of at-home learning, and one half-day distance learning per week.

–During at-home learning days, students and teachers connect during the assigned period.

–At-home learning may include simultaneous, synchronous, asynchronous and/or independent learning. This provides more frequent teacher-student contact focused on providing continuity of instruction. 

–As needed, there will be an option to learn at-home every day while remaining at current school.

–Student support with teachers is included four days a week in the bell schedule. 

–One half-day per week will be dedicated to ongoing teacher professional development and/or meeting time including strategies and practices specific to hybrid instruction.

Names in the News

Despite nationwide concerns over declining enrollment for institutions of higher education due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Utah saw its largest total enrollment in its 170-year history for the Fall 2020 Semester. It also welcomed its largest, most diverse freshman class.

The following local students from Newport Beach joined the U’s Class of 2024: Samuel Breen, Peyton Cagle, Hannah Harvey, Lauramae Sanders, Zoe Ziebarth and Alyssa Watson from Newport Coast.

The University of Utah, located in Salt Lake City in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, is the flagship institution of higher learning in Utah. Founded in 1850, it serves more than 32,000 students from across the U.S. and the world. With more than 100 major subjects at the undergraduate level and more than 90 major fields of study at the graduate level, including law and medicine, the university prepares students to live and compete in the global workplace. 

Free flu vaccine offered by NMUSD

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) will host a Flu Vaccine Clinic this Wednesday, Oct. 28, by appointment only. Those desiring shots may book times between 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m.

The clinic will be held at HOPE Clinic/BESST Center, 2045 Meyer Place, Costa Mesa. To schedule an appointment call 949.515.6725.

Vaccines are available at no cost for non-pregnant adults and children four years and older. 

Patients are asked to wear short sleeves or a sleeveless top and masks. Children must be accompanied by one parent or guardian.

District to enhance air cleaners in all classrooms

While High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) cleaners are not required for NMUSD classrooms, since they have fully functioning ventilation systems in the classrooms, the District will provide HEPA cleaners for all elementary and secondary classrooms. HEPA cleaners force air through a fine mesh that traps particles. 

This is an addition to the already enhanced ventilation practice that meets the state guidance, such as replacing and upgrading filters and increasing ventilation time before and after occupancy.