Urban Discovery Schools

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COVID-19 Updates » UDS Framework for Pandemic Response

UDS Framework for Pandemic Response

Our Commitment: 
Urban Discovery Schools takes a cautious approach to in-person instructional offerings. This approach will be based upon:
  1. the leadership provided through the Governor's office, and state and local health agencies;
  2. local university partners and their medical research and advice on safety considerations during the pandemic;
  3. an understanding that we are an inner-city school system in a densely populated area with those areas having a higher propensity to spread the virus;
  4. that our learning community is comprised of members that are of multi-generational households, are themselves at higher risk, or care for others that are of higher risk;
  5. that our faculty and staff members are members of our learning community and must not be placed at risk as this undermines our ability to serve our broader learning community; and
  6. that we serve a diverse population that includes members that are essential workers that ensure that base service requirements for the maintenance and dignity of human life are provided for on a day-to-day basis.
We believe that these are prerequisite requirements and considerations for successful in-person learning to occur. Therefore, we have established a 28-day review cycle of these conditions before considering the reopening of schools so that we have a broad base of timeline dependent medical and health data to make decisions in consideration of opening of schools.
The tenents of UDS family empowerment and choice during the pandemic:
  • We believe that families must be presented with options and choices that reflect the diversity of our learning community.
  • For the duration of the pandemic, and until such time that it is deemed safe by healthcare professionals and scientists, we will always offer families the option to remain with distance learning.
  • We acknowledge that with new information families may need to reconsider previous choices.
  • To the extent possible we are committed to permitting a change to and from distance learning options.
  • A family always will reserve the right to place their student into distance learning at any time.
  • Placement within the phased school reopening model for in-school options will be based on the next available open seat within our equity and access framework.
Should those prerequisite conditions be in place for the phased reopening of in-person learning, Urban Discovery Schools are committed to an equity and access model. This model is based on the diverse needs of our community. As an inner-city school system in a densely populated area, we acknowledge that this pandemic has disproportionately impacted our communities, those at higher risk, and those that are caregivers for those at higher risk.

Our equity and access model considers the following student attributes:
  • Age;
  • 504 plans;
  • Individualized Education Plans;
  • Learning Loss;
  • Foster Youth;
  • Homeless Youth;
  • Credit Deficiency;
  • All factors from students designated by the state as being "high needs."
Our model for any in-person learning will conform to the following practices:
  • Social distancing restrictions until such time that a vaccine is in place;
  • Daily health certification checks via our online application;
  • Research defined and school system approved face coverings and other protocols;
  • Permits distance learning to continue for community members that are at risk;
  • Accounts for limited cohort/team-based interactions with student teams limited to eight (8) students per-team models with one lead instructor and one supplemental service provider for a grouping of no more than 10 people at a time and;
  • May have alternative schedules and school times, while taking a phased opening approach.
The phases for in-school options are listed here:

  • Phase 1: Grades T/K-1 with the orientation of grade 2.  

  • Phase 2: Grades T/K-3 and students deemed higher needs grades 4-5.

  • Phase 3: Grades T/K-5 and students deemed higher needs from grades 6-8. 

  • Phase 4: Grades T/K-7 and students deemed higher needs from grades 9-12. 

  • Phase 5: Grades T/K-9 and students deemed higher needs from grades 10-12. 

  • Phase 6: Grades T/K-12 are on campus and the LEA is examining options to move off alternative scheduling or school hours. Students deemed higher needs continue to have additional support options in place. 

  • Phase 7: Grades T/K-5 are on a regular full schedule while grades 6-12 remain on an alternative school schedule and school times. All students deemed higher needs continue to have additional support options in place. 

  • Phase 8: All students whose families deem it an appropriate option are provided in school services daily.
This provides our learning community a multiple tiered options approach with Phase 0 representing distance learning. It also provides the LEA and families with options that are not a one size fits all response. Finally, it allows the LEA to take a measured approach to school building and classroom openings and closures.
*Students deemed higher needs are those with 504 plans, Individualized Education Plans, demonstrated the highest quartile of learning loss, are foster youth, or homeless.
The LEA will work to ensure the following factors are paramount in any school reopening and are based upon Maslow’s (1943/1999) Hierarchy of Needs:
  • Physiological - Urban Discovery Schools is fully committed to ensuring that we connect our learning community to the foundational resources required to support and sustain human life. These include information and services for food, utilities, shelter, healthcare, clothing, and general psychological wellbeing. This includes crisis counseling and family supports, transition youth services, and equity support services.

  • Safety- We are fully committed to following scientific evidence and advice from unbiased and reputable sources that fall outside of politically appointed positions. This includes following research science and the advice of public health officials and research hospitals. We commit ourselves to social distancing until such time that there is a proven and effective vaccine. We commit ourselves to procedural safeguards including daily health screenings, masks hand washing, sanitizers, and certified custodial services to maintain a clean and healthy school increments. We fully commit to ongoing training and examining policies to ensure that students, faculty, and staff stay home when symptomatic or may have been exposed to the virus.

  • Social Needs of Belonging - We are committed to the social contract of our learning community that binds us together. We have dedicated teams to family and student engagement This includes: engaging in school routines as appropriate; holding public meetings of the board of trustees that are accessible online or via telephone conference; having family support representatives; having an Emergent Bilingual Coordinator; having family support services for effective online interactions; and having frequent two-way communication structures where community members can interact with school leadership and the LEA Chief Executive.

  • Esteem - We believe in the importance of honoring the dignity of our learning community through the need for respect, self-esteem, recognition, to build one's capacity, and to have freedom of choice. Therefore, we committed ourselves to respectful and timely communications. We will remain committed to the need for ongoing social-emotional education including the need for higher needs of race human relations and social justice education. We are committed to grading structures that balance recognition of achievement and rejoicing in continuous learning and growth. To build capacity we will continue to offer higher levels of professional development and supervisory support for our faculty and staff that will be parallel with parental support that when coupled will lead to higher levels of student achievement. Finally, we commit ourselves to honor our learning community by offering parents/guardians the freedom of choice and empowerment to select distance learning at any time for factors that they deem to be important to them and their household.

  • Self-actualization - We believe that every student and learning community member is capable of success. We are committed to ensuring that we offer the highest quality education and extended equity and access options to our students to ensure that they are developing into lifelong learners that have post-secondary options for a lifetime of successful contributions to our democracy. We believe that every student can reach a stage of self-actualization that advances their thinking and opportunities for a future of their choosing.
Senate Bill 98 (SB 98) established the Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan (Learning Continuity Plan, LCP), which is intended to (1) require a written report and envisioned an off-cycle Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) due December 15th, and (2) the ongoing need for local educational agencies (LEAs) to formally plan for the 2020–21 school year in the midst of the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan is intended to memorialize the planning process that is already underway for the 2020–21 school year. You can review the UDS LCP by clicking here. 
Comments and Feedback
Please direct feedback on specific actions and expenditures to ceo@urbansd.com.

Last updated on March 1, 2021