When North Monterey County Unified School District (NMCUSD) was forced to suspend its in-person learning along with the rest of the California in the Spring of 2020, 4,765 students, the kids of migrant workers, 38% of them homeless and foster youth, were suddenly cut off from school and the essential services they relied upon for their daily survival -- access to breakfast and lunch, family services, internet, or just a place to stay during the day.
Understaffed and overwhelmed with the daily operational hurdles they faced getting basic services to kids during the pandemic, NMCUSD leadership asked MKThink, who was then finishing up the Facilities Master Plan, to help them now devise a plan to get NMCUSD kids back to school quickly and safely.
In response, MKThink devised and facilitated a three phased Reopening Plan that addresses the unique needs of NMCUSD’s community under the shifting ground of state and county health guidelines. The plan, designed to pivot between phases, leverages the participation of 4 committees to address 8 areas of need.
To build community trust in the process, MKThink engaged key stakeholder groups from week one, via a series of virtual workshops with parents, staff, community members, and students. The team also devised a series of bilingual surveys, videos, signage programs, family handbooks, and press engagements, to inform stakeholders about the progress and implementation of the reopening plan.
MKThink continues to provide technical expertise, campus specific plans and tools kits to address the changing complexities of on-campus operations, transportation, and campus facilities during the pandemic. These include scenario modelling tools to analyze the capacity of each school site under social distancing guidelines, as well as classroom layouts, cohort operation plans, outdoor learning guidelines, and campus flow.
MKThink is continuously engaged with the district to help them ensure compliance, capture learnings, and update its master plan to incorporate learnings from the pandemic, from hybrid learning, and its future impact on the district .