Education Town Hall
Thank you to all of our presenters on the call.
Full Q&A Recap
*This information is posted as of 5/6/2020. As new information continues to become available, we encourage you to remain in contact with teachers>Principles>District Leadership. Should need additional contact information, please email us at [email protected] and we will connect you directly with the appropriate school district representative.
We have grouped questions into categories and have answers provided below. Questions which were directed at a specific District were followed up directly to the attendee. We also attempted to work individual questions into the more general full category Q&A to provide as much information as is currently available.
*Questions relating to an individual child should be directed at the child’s teacher, and if addition support is needed then the child’s principle.
Testing and Student Assessment
Q1: What is being done regarding state testing given the effects of the shutdown?
- A: State testing was canceled for the 2019-20 school year by order of the governor.
Q2 :Is there a plan to update parents on where their child was relative to the year’s targets before school was closed and provide specific learning goals for the remainder of the year?
- A: Final report cards will give parents information about where students were academically on March 17th and may include additional information from continuous learning efforts through June 19th.
Q3: How will you measure the requirements met in order to progress to the next grade level?
- By order of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction all students in grades K-8 will be advanced to the next grade level for the 2020-21 school year. In a rare occasion, and with parent permission, students who would benefit from repeating a grade level may be retained.
Q4: What does this shutdown mean for seniors and their college eligibility?
- A: Seniors will graduate as expected. Their transcripts will contain a notation that second semester grades may have been impacted by the mandatory school closure ordered by the Governor to stop the transmission of the Coronavirus. Colleges across the state and country are working with graduating seniors to ensure their eligibility. Specific questions should be directed to high school counselors and college admissions officers.
2020 Fall Start / Events:
Q6: Understanding that school districts are still waiting on guidance from the Governor, and that a lot can change in the next few months, what are some possible options parents and students can expect for returning to school in the fall? Similarly, for Fall sports?
- A: School districts, like parents and students, are very hopeful that school, including activities, will start in the fall with a normal schedule. That said districts understand that the Governor, and state and regional health authorities, may limit the start time and manner of school openings. While hoping for an on time start, districts will also plan for contingencies that may require some type of delayed or altered opening. As soon as districts have actionable information from state and local officials that information will be shared with parents and employees.
Q7: Will school districts be working on contingencies for if a second wave of the virus hits next fall?
- A: Again, while hoping for an on time start, districts will also plan for contingencies that may require some type of delayed or altered opening. As soon as districts have actionable information from state and local officials that information will be shared with parents and employees.
Q8: Is there a list of what platform the distance learning apps are optimized for? Some students have experienced some issues? Similarly, are there other options being explored such as Zoom?
- A: Each district has made its own decision about which online learning platform best suits the needs of their students, parents, and employees. The predominant platforms are Zoom, Google Classroom/Meets, Class DoJo, and SeeSaw but teachers have some autonomy in these decisions as well. Please contact your child’s teacher or principal for further information.
Q9: If students are experiencing issues with the distance learning apps, is there an outlet for them to get help?
- A: Yes, please contact your child’s teacher and/or principal to share your concerns and help develop a plan for developing proficiency with the distance learning apps and/or receiving some hard copy packets of learning materials.
Q10: If the teacher doesn’t have the technology at home to interact with students online, are there other options available?
- A: Yes, districts are working with staff to make sure that they have the tools and connectivity necessary to teach on an online learning platform. Please contact your child’s teacher and/or principal to discuss any specific concerns.
Lost Instruction / Summer Classes:
Q11: Is there any plan to make up for missed instructional time into the summer or by starting early next year? Will this be different for students that have classes that build on top of the other?
- A: Summer learning decisions will be made by districts individually. Check with your child’s school for additional information later in May. All districts, schools, and teachers realize that the end of the 2019-20 school year was less than ideal and will present challenges for everyone when school resumes. When school does resume a great deal of reteaching and remediation will take place that will prepare students for success during the 2020-21 school year.
Q12: Will alternative schedules be considered moving forward (i.e. earlier start, year-round school, etc.)
- A: School districts, like parents and students, are very hopeful that school, including activities, will start in the fall with a normal schedule. That said district’s understand that the Governor, and state or regional health authorities, may limit the start time and manner of school openings. While hoping for an on time start, districts will also plan for contingencies that may require some type of delayed or altered opening. As soon as districts have actionable information from state and local officials that information will be shared with parents and employees.
Q13: What day will classes be over this year?
- A: June 19th will be the last day of school for Central Valley, East Valley, and West Valley. Freeman is working with the state to determine their final day of school and will communicate that date to their parents as soon as possible.
Q14: What are some options being weighed regarding graduation?
- A: Each district will honor their graduating seniors in a manner that best meets the needs of their students, parents, and individual high schools. These graduations may be delayed and take place as originally planned, some may happen in a modified manner that permits social distancing, some may take place virtually. All of this will be determined as we learn how and when the state reopens following the Stay Home Order. Families will be notified as soon as these decisions are made.
Q15: When can students return to the school grounds in order to collect their personal belongings?
A: Schools will make these decisions individually. Please contact your child’s school for additional guidance.
Q16: Have parents been included in the development of the virtual education programs? Are they part of a feedback loop?
- A: Following the statewide school closure districts and staff moved quickly to develop online learning programs. Out of necessity and expediency this was typically done with little or no parent input. As the online learning programs have launched and are being used we have received input from students, parents, and teachers and have used that input to improve the online learning experience for all. If you have feedback on online learning to share please contact your child’s teachers and their principals.
Q17: What methods are parents able to provide feedback to each of the School Districts?
- A: School and district phones are being answered and calls will be returned. Additionally teachers and principals are available through email. If you have feedback on online learning to share please contact your child’s teachers and their principals.
Q18: How can we limit stress and support children emotionally? What best practices are you following…if there are any?
- A: Parents are the best judges of their child’s capacity for online learning during these very stressful times. Parents have the ability to alter their child’s workload as they see fit and should communicate their expectations to their child’s teacher or principal. Additionally, school counselors are available by phone and email if parents or students would like to contact them for assistance. Counselors can also assist parents in finding additional community support.
Q19: Has the governor’s office provided any guidance on safety regulations for schools when returning in the fall?
- A: As of this writing neither the Governor or local health care officers have issued guidance on safety requirements for reopening schools. Districts will watch for these regulations and when possible participate in their development. All requirements will be met prior to the opening of school in the fall.
Q20: Are there plans to provide meals for students in the summer?
- A: District’s are funded by the federal government for a summer feeding program that requires meals to be eaten at the school site. As long as funding is available that program will be available. We are hopeful that increased funding will be provided so that we are able to continue to offer the same grab & go feeding programs that we are currently offering. As soon as we receive direction from the state and federal school nutrition program regarding summer feeding we will notify families of the plan for this summer.
Q21: How are district budgets affected by the school shutdown?
- A: State revenue during the current Stay at Home order has been significantly reduced. Going forward that revenue reduction will undoubtedly affect all state funded programs including schools. We likely won’t know the full impact of those reductions until the conclusion of the next legislative session. As we develop our budgets for the 2020-21 school year we will do so with the knowledge that revenue reductions are highly likely.