Millville Elementary School
Hello Millville Families!
I hope this message finds you doing well! It has been a fun week with our first ‘dress up’ days celebrating Constitution Week. I loved seeing students wear the red, white and blue and it made me long for years’ past when we could gather ‘round the flagpole with Mrs. Humphrey leading us in song. I know we’ll return to ‘normal’ soon, but it’s just not soon enough.
There’s more fun coming as Monday and Tuesday are “Talk, and Dress, Like a Pirate Days” and on Thursday and Friday we have “Super Spirit Days” during which students can wear their best, and the most, Blue and Gold!
Along with updates and reminiscing, I’d also like to offer some insight as to how the school day is running at Millville while we’re on the hybrid schedule. There has been some misinformation on a variety of topics shared through social media and the media which has resulted in misunderstandings and inaccuracies about Millville’s Reopening Plan. These topics include cohorts, masks, before and after school care, and the guidelines we are following. Our Reopening Plan has not changed in regard to the day to day but I will share with you some facts as to how we are operating:
The Before/After School Care Program: Our Before and After School Care programs take great measures to maintain cohorts. Students are initially grouped by grades TK-2, 3-5 and 6-8 and within those groupings, students are placed in their classroom cohorts and kept the required distance from the other students.
Cohorts on Buses:We are following the California Department of Public Health and Shasta County Public Health’s direction in seating students no more than two in a seat, but usually it’s one student in each seat; students wear face coverings on the bus and are in family cohorts.
Kids, Masks and Recess: Students do not wear face coverings when they go outside for recess, lunch or lunch recess. Never have.
Keeping a Distance: We make every effort to keep students distanced from each other to the recommended 6’. When students get too close to one another, we remind them to give each other space; this is generally when lining up and walking to and from class. Sometimes we have to raise our voices to be heard through our masks and kid noise. Also, we know they’re kids and when it’s play time, we just let them play.
Sneezing, sniffling: We do not send every child home who is sneezing or sniffling; we use common sense and an understanding of the weather, allergies and the effects of the smoke we’ve all been breathing.
Along with the above day to day review, I’d like to provide answers to some common questions and statements:
No child has had COVID-19 in Shasta County: Not true; as of today, since the first week of August, 43 kids of various ages under 18 have tested positive for COVID-19. You can check the numbers yourself by going back though the daily testing reports on the Shasta County Public Health website.
Do we have to follow the California Department of Public Health Guidelines? There is a misunderstanding that the CDPH and Shasta County Public Health’s guidelines are just that, guidelines or suggestions, and we don’t need to follow them. This is not true. The CDPH Guidelines have the force of law and were given that power by the Governor. Our local health agency also has the force of law when mandating stricter requirements than the CDPH. Whether we agree or disagree with the guidelines, we are required to follow them.
The State of Emergency has expired: Per our Shasta County Public Health Office there remains a State of Emergency in California and a locally declared public health emergency.
Other schools are open for five days, why isn’t ours? This is a fair question as on the surface it appears to some that we are staying hybrid for no apparent reason. Someone even said we are on hybrid because it’s ‘easy’ and the teachers don’t want to go back to five: both are false. The fact is we remain on the hybrid model to keep kids, staff and families as safe as we can. The primary reason we remain on hybrid is because of space in the classroom and the mandate to follow the CDPH and Shasta County guidelines to maintain the highly recommended 6’ between desks. Some schools and districts are following the minimum distancing of 3’. In many of our classrooms, this is still an impossibility with the size of the classroom and the possible number of students in seat.
Hybrid is easy for the teachers: In fact, if we want to talk “ease”, teaching all students in seat five days a week is “easiest”, but that statement is a disservice to all teachers. Teaching is not easy and the hybrid model is by far the most challenging model we could offer. Hybrid requires us to teach kids in class and also monitor kids’ work at home, fill out paperwork on all students, at school and at home, regarding attendance, participation and engagement while preparing for multiple lessons taught in one day. Daily planning time includes preparing to teach students who are in seat and preparing for students who are at home. Not easy at all.
I hope this offers some insight into why we are doing what we do. We don’t know what the next weeks will bring; changes are constant and perhaps some of those changes will allow us to open for five while still keeping kids, staff and families as safe as possible, which is the wish of every staff and board member.
Lastly, look for the link to the short Millville School Hybrid Survey below which focuses on our Millville families’ current perspectives about remaining on hybrid or opening for five days. We’ve heard from some of you and we look forward to hearing from the rest.
In the meantime, stay hopeful and have a wonderful weekend.
Millville School Board Meeting Follow Up
Thank you to all of the parents and staff who either attended the board meeting or contributed to the discussion via email. Every message, every statement is important to the board as they continue to consider what is in the best interest of our students’ health and education.
The board is currently researching other local school districts to determine how they are able to open for five days a week and still follow the mandated guidelines. The board will also send out a short survey asking for opinions on what school model parents would like to see Millville School implement and given the option of homeschool vs. hybrid or in seat, which they would choose.
In the meantime, the board has determined we will continue to follow the hybrid model through the first trimester and will discuss and revisit this topic at the October 20 board meeting.
Please check the updated bus schedule for your stops and times. There are many changes to the routes this year. Please call the school if you have any bus related questions.
Yearbooks will be distributed after school starts. A precise date will be published once we have the delivery date confirmed.
Millville School Office Hours
Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 2:00PM
8570 Brookdale Road, Millville, CA 96062
Phone: (530) 547-4471
Landline: (530) 547-7161
Fax: (530) 547-3760
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
California School Dashboard
Teachers use more than just test scores to determine how well a student is doing, because test scores alone don’t tell the whole story. And the same is true for schools – test scores are only part of a bigger picture of school success. That’s why the California School Dashboard contains a range of easy-to-use, color-coded gauges designed to give families a complete picture of a school or district. The Dashboard includes meaningful data on graduation rates, college/career readiness, attendance, English learner progress, suspensions and more. The state has created several videos – translated into Spanish – to help you learn about the Dashboard and how to use it. Find them on the California Department of Education’s YouTube channel!
The Mission of Millville Elementary School is to instill in our students an enthusiasm for learning.
To achieve this we will:
Provide our students with a high quality education;
Offer all students an introduction to the arts;
Foster a positive work ethic;
Create an environment of respect for one another, and
Spark an attitude of inquiry
...with the intent to guide our students to becoming productive, responsible citizens.
Our purpose is to develop students who are lifelong learners by providing quality, standards-based education through a caring staff, supportive families, and an involved community.
About Millville Elementary School
Founded in 1856, Millville Elementary School District is a firmly established and integral member of the small, rural ranching community of Millville. Located just 15 miles east of Redding, Millville School has a current enrollment of approximately 250 students, kindergarten through 8th grade. Our small school atmosphere allows us to get to know every student and to provide an education that caters to each students’ individual needs.
At Millville School, our purpose is to develop a love of learning in our students by providing a high-quality, standards-based education that is enhanced by arts, music, clubs and sports. We strive to create an educational environment that provides the basis for participation in a democratic society by promoting critical thinking, developing a sense of responsibility and self esteem, encouraging independence of opinion and action, and nurturing respect for others.
Providing a quality and comprehensive education for our students is only achievable through the efforts of our professional and caring staff, supportive families, and an involved community. It is through the combined efforts of our staff and community, on behalf of our students, that Millville School truly is “A Great Place to Learn”.