All Needles Unified School District schools are preparing to start the school year with distance learning after California Gov. Gavin Newsom said districts in the state’s monitoring list have to begin with online classes. NUSD Supt. Mary McNeil said that the district is working diligently to provide a new rigorous distance learning program.

NEEDLES — Every Thursday, the Needles Unified School District is having meetings with parents via Zoom to keep them informed of new information about schools and other community events. During the July 16 parent/ NUSD meeting, NUSD Supt. Mary McNeil was presenting scenarios about what reopen- ing schools could look like.

The meeting was held before district officials knew Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to make the opening of the 2020-21 school year an online operation for schools in San Bernardino County.

McNeil said that the NUSD was instructed to prepare four different plans their first plan was 100% of students return to school, their second plan was 50% of students return (two days of on-campus learning Monday, Tuesday or Wednes- day and Thursday and three days of distance learning), their third plan was 20% of students return (one-day on-campus learning and four days of distance learning) and their fourth plan was 0% of students return and the district goes full distance learning.

After the presentation, McNeil stated that the following day, July 17, Newsom was going to talk about schools and how the state is going to handle schools opening.

Newsom said that all schools in the counties in the state’s monitoring list will need to start the school year by full distance learning, San Bernardino County is part of that monitoring list.

“Governor Newsom announced new regulations on school openings,” said McNeil. “These determined that the Needles Unified School District would open the year in distance learning. He set forth the regulations for moving out of Distance learning as it is dependent on San Bernardino county lowering their rates of COVID-19. I want to assure parents and staff that we are working diligently to provide a new rigorous distance learning program that can transition to a hybrid model and also to in-person instruction throughout the school year. More information will be coming.”

During the NUSD/Parent meeting McNeil stated that all opening plans have daily instruction and assignments for 180 days for 240 minutes/daily, attendance will be tracked, student contact will be mandatory daily, parent workshops to support students (technology support), student activities as allowed or online.

The NUSD will have a board meeting on July 28 to review the options and determine the start of the school.

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