SECTION 5: DISTANCE LEARNING/GRADES/TESTING
What will school look like during the closure?
Continuity of learning is the general term used to describe what school districts are expected to provide during a school closure or any emergency when education is provided from a distance.
What is Distance Learning?
Distance learning” means instruction in which the student and instructor are in different locations. This may include interacting through the use of computer and communications technology, as well as delivering instruction and check-in time with their teacher. Distance learning may include video or audio instruction in which the primary mode of communication between the student and instructor is on-line interaction, instructional television, video, telecourses, or other instruction that relies on computer or communications technology. It may also include the use of print materials incorporating assignments that are the subject of written or oral feedback.
How does grading work? Does the work my student is currently doing go towards their final grade?
A student's final grade can be no worse than it was when school closed on March 13, 2020 even if the student does not participate in the education program offered during the closure. Some students may have family/child care or other responsibilities given the hardship caused by this pandemic and may be unable to participate in the education program. If a student does participate in the education program a student can improve his/her grade.
Is Distance Learning the same thing as Independent Study?
No. Independent Study is an alternative instructional strategy. Distance learning is not.
What can I expect from my children's teacher(s)?
By Monday, April 13, all teachers will have established an on-line presence. Teachers are expected to utilize a variety of technologies (i.e. telephone, email, interactive platforms web conference tools including Google Classroom, ZOOM, and Class Dojo) to facilitate teacher-student interactions. They strive to be in contact with students a minimum of once a day.
Will students have to make up the instructional time due to school closures?
Unlikely. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction will ultimately make this decision in collaboration with the Governor and the State Board of Education. Based on current information, students will not be asked to make up the time they have missed.
What if I do not have a computer or Internet access?
See Section 3: Technology Support
Will students be required to do homework?
No. Not required. Districts cannot mandate homework during an emergency closure. However, it’s critical that students stay academically active during this time. Students need to read every single day, at an absolute minimum. Find internal District-supported on-line reading resources here and external resources such as the Global Digital Library for digital storybooks and StoryWeaver, a digital database of multilingual stories for children that can be used on a mobile device or a computer.
How can I help support my child’s teacher?
First and foremost, stay in close contact with your teacher(s) via email, Google, and ClassDojo. Also email your principal for additional assistance. If you are having trouble contacting your teacher or principal, call (951) 509-5000. A live person will assist you. We are all here for your children and ready to help. Use this daily lesson plan to provide added structure to your child’s day.
How will my child’s enrichment learning opportunities be supported?
First, teachers are facilitating activities, lessons, programs, and resources through a variety of distance learning strategies, ranging from creating material packets for pick-up to interacting with students via email, ClassDojo, and Google classroom. All teachers have or are in the process of establishing a virtual platform (i.e Class Dojo, Google Classroom) for communicating with students and families. Teachers strive to connect with students every single school day. Second, parents and other home-learning support providers should supplement teacher-facilitated activities by visiting these engaging web sites and by utilizing the learning materials available on the Education Resources resource web site. Find materials sorted by grade level here.
What about PE?
Our PE teachers are facilitating activities. Physical activity is critical under these conditions. Find details here, including a Weekly Physical Activity Log to record activity inside or safely outside of the house for a minimum of 100 minutes per week.
What about extra-curriculum activities?
Our teachers are providing a world of virtual experiences for students, including STEM, arts and music, and technology. Find numerous resources here. Parents and home-learning support providers can support teachers by taking children on at least one virtual field trip a day. Find links to a variety of virtual tours of STEM, farms, zoos, and aquariums, history and social studies explorations, museums, national parks, and music here.
Will the school still hold my scheduled IEP?
The IDEA, Section 504, and Title II of the ADA do not specifically address a situation in which elementary and secondary schools are closed for an extended period of time (generally more than 10 consecutive days) because of exceptional circumstances, such as the current outbreak of coronavirus. Every situation is unique. Teachers and specialists are working collaboratively with families to ensure instruction is accessible for the student based on the student’s individualized needs, while at the same time complying with federal, state, and local health official’s guidance related to social distancing and other preventative measures to keep students, teachers and service providers safe. Schools have paused all scheduled IEP meetings at this time and await further guidance on next steps. For additional details on services here.
How will grades be determined for this semester?
Teachers and staff are in the final stages of approving our plan. Guidance from the State Superintendent includes holding students harmless. In other words, a student's final grade can be no worse than it was when school closed on March 13, 2020 even if the student does not participate in the education program offered during the closure. In the event a student was not passing a class as of March 13, 2020, every opportunity to earn a passing grade (D or better) will be provided.
Does the Education Code pursuant to grades still apply during the closure?
Yes. ARTICLE 3. General Provisions [49062 - 49069.7]. The key points are as follows:
(a) When grades are given for any course of instruction taught in a school district, the grade given to each pupil shall be the grade determined by the teacher of the course and the determination of the pupil’s grade by the teacher, in the absence of clerical or mechanical mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency, shall be final.
(b) The governing board of the school district and the superintendent of such district shall not order a pupil’s grade to be changed unless the teacher who determined such grade is, to the extent practicable, given an opportunity to state orally, in writing, or both, the reasons for which such grade was given and is, to the extent practicable, included in all discussions relating to the changing of such grade.
Does the work my student is currently doing go towards their final grade?
Yes. As noted above, a student's final grade can be no worse than it was when school closed on March 13, 2020 even if the student does not participate in the education program offered during the closure. Some students may have family/child care or other responsibilities given the hardship caused by this pandemic and may be unable to participate in the education program. If a student does participate in the education program a student can improve his/her grade.
Who do I contact if I have questions about grades?
Start with your teacher. Then the principal. For general questions about grading practices and district policies email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will there be AP, IB & SAT exams?
SAT cancelled until June.
AP plans to coordinate an online, at home format. Including remote supports for AP students. Visit our HS High School Resource page for more info. Refund will be issued with no penalty for students who opt out.
IB has suspended tests. Students will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student's coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the IB Programme.
Will college admissions for juniors be effected?
The University of California and CSU announced they are drastically relaxing their fall 2021 admissions standards for applicants who are currently high school juniors, including suspending the requirement that they take standardized tests and allowing pass/fail grades for this Spring, 2020 classes affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Details for UC here and CSU here.
Will students be required to take any state tests or make up any state tests?
No. Governor Newsom has canceled the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) testing and there is no plan to make them up in the future.
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