Reopening Plan FAQ

  • Updated - 06.19.2020

    Q: Who will receive priority for 5 days/week in Fall 2020?

    A: First, we need to receive survey data from all parents. We may be able to accommodate all requests depending on the responses and site composition. If site space is limited, we will explore additional site options and provide equitable offerings to our families.

    Q: Will students with IEPs be given priority on campus Fall 2020?

    A: Under the current guidance, face to face learning is possible with the reopening of school. Student IEPs will be served in Fall 2020. When students are on campus, there will be a focus on providing the services that students require. 

    Q: Why does the parent survey include questions bout parents as essential workers?

    A: The question has been added not knowing what the state will require of us in the future. During closures, the government ordered all schools to provide free care for all essential workers. We need to retain this information moving forward.

    Q: Will families be able to return to a traditional schedule when we are no longer under COVID related health guidelines?   

    A: Yes. Fall 2021 or at a time of full opening of schools without space or distancing limitations as presently described in the Governor's "Phase 4" (subject to amendment), the District will conduct a diligent evaluation and analysis of the programs implemented under the Plan outlined herein. That evaluation and analysis shall include a compare and contrast to the delivery of student educational services as it existed Pre-Covid Pandemic Emergency Orders. The evaluation shall be made at both the District and Site specific levels. Input will be sought from all appropriate stakeholders, including but not limited to, Parents, Staff, and retained consultants. Such an evaluation and analysis will then be used to determine the next best steps in moving forward with the present Plan, return to a Pre-Covid State of Emergency Order education delivery model or some additional alternative yet to be developed. 

    Q: It says that parents will have the option for full-time on-campus learning as long as capacity allows. If the initial site parent survey revealed that the vast majority of parents want their students on campus, how will it be determined which students get this option? And will students have to be overflowed to other schools if there is no room?  If so, would teachers go with them? I know one of the concerns is to get students back with their peers/friends and into their school community of teachers and staff that they know and love. It is a little scary to think that our kids might be shipped off to a different and unfamiliar school after already having to adjust to something so new and unfamiliar these last few months.  Knowing whether my child would be at their home school or sent to another school would affect my decision about whether I send them back or keep them home

    A: Once we have data from all of our families we can start building classes/cohorts and examine the spaces available both for learning and outdoor enrichment/physical education which are unique to each campus. Each campus is different and will have varying capacity as well as parent input. No one will be forced to leave their home campus, but for families that really need 5-day a week school and care may be provided options at alternative sites with extra space. We’ve also been working with community spaces and other facilities that we may explore partnerships with. Many schools already use outdoor spaces for flexible seating and working. This can help us expand cohorts to include more students onsite. The guidelines just released from CDE don't specify hard numbers, but rather social distance. This gives us a lot of room to be creative and get students on campus. It also means that we have to have good data, facilities plans, and transport schedules (coordinating movement about campus at various times to avoid group co-mingling and congregation).  

    Q: If a survey comes out at the end of this week or early next week for parents to indicate their desire for next year, is there any option to change our choice? The status and information surrounding Covid-19 is constantly changing, and I know our family is especially interested to see what happens in San Diego in the next couple of weeks as the vast majority of the county is beginning to reopen and there have also been very large group gatherings with the protests and rallies.  The information that we acquire over the next few weeks/month will dramatically affect our decision as to what we are comfortable with. It is very stressful to think we have to commit now with no option for changing our mind based on new information.

    A: Parents could change at certain points of the year or extreme cases w/ immediate need based on principal discretion. We need a starting point though as soon as possible. Once this is established a principal and admin team could adjust as necessary. Yes. The COVID landscape and health guidelines have been in constant flux.  What most stakeholders don't accept and/or realize is that we must plan as if there will be a second spike of the virus and/or that some schools will have positive COVID tests and will need to shut down and quarantine for 14 or more days. This is why we are procuring more resources and reinforcing the digital E-learning and curriculum resources over the summer.

    Q: What is a “Learning Progression”?  Since they are being developed over the summer/fall, what is in their place for Fall 2020?-  

    A: Learning progressions are the small steps that students take in order to master the content area standards. Standards are large and complex. We break the standard into steps, written in student-friendly terms, that allow students to demonstrate both what they know and are able to do. Teachers can monitor these steps and support students toward standards mastery. There are current standards for all curricular areas (Math, English, History, Science, PE, Electives, SEL, & Career Development), most were developed in 2010.  We will be building student-friendly grade-level learning progressions for each.

    Q: The document refers to playlists for some teachers still in Winter 2021… Will they have more rigor?  

    A: In Fall 2020, teachers will be deciding and designing the content for their student playlists. They will be able to adjust lessons for their class including the appropriate level of rigor and use of a wide variety of resources. The playlist format may look the same, as students and families are now familiar with the delivery model, but the content and instruction will be provided by the teacher. Centrally, we will support staff with a standards-based curriculum, lessons, and units that can use, if they wish, or modify.

    Q: Will Middle school students have face to face access with content area teachers?

    A: Yes. Teams of teachers may rotate for face to face instruction during the time students are on campus. Each site will determine the scheduling of rotations and teams. As part of the safety guidance, student groups will not rotate to minimize exposure.  

    Q: Will Middle Schools offer electives?

    A: Yes. Depending on individual student schedules and site planning, students may be able to participate in electives on campus and online.

    Q: How will cohorts be determined? 

    A: Once we have all parent data, sites will create cohorts to meet the needs of their students.

    Q: School provided meals on page 15- are they provided free of cost for all as they are now, or how will it be handled for children who would normally bring money to pay for lunch?

    A: Currently, we have a waiver from the USDA which allows us to serve all children at no charge. Our hope is that the USDA extends the waiver, so we can continue our current service model. If the USDA does not extend the waiver, we will have to return to the established requirements of income-based eligibility, and meal applications. We are also going to promote online student/household accts., to help limit interactions and speed up service.

    Q: When will the district notify/inform parents/caregivers on the results of their choices (distance learning, hybrid or 100% tradition) and if those choices can be accommodated or given alternate choices?

    A: The district was hoping to be able to share survey results by the last of school; however, the survey has still not been submitted by all parents. The goal is to share the results as soon submitted so principals, teachers and parents know more of what to expect. 
    It is the districts goal to accommodate everyone’s first choice. However, this will be dependent upon site capacity and parent results. Actions the district and administrators are considering to accommodate capacity specifically for the hybrid and 100% traditional choices are as follows:

    • Temporary repurposing of unused classroom space, gyms, theaters/stages, libraries, multi-purpose rooms at each school site.  This approach is to help accommodate the choice as well as the school location previously attended.
    • Exploring the ability to rent and set up enclosed tents similar to those used for events and weddings.  These temporary structures would have air and heating for circulation. This option needs to be approved by the Division of the State Architects for large temporary structures so unsure of this will be allowable. This possible idea is to help accommodate the choice as well as the school location previously attended.
    • Exploring open capacity not being utilized at alternate school sites or community buildings.  This also needs to be approved.  If this were an option that potentially moves a child from their previous school to another location, parents would be given the choice to decline this option. 

    Q: How will the district and school administrators determine appropriate capacity?  If a given site’s capacity does not align with the demand based on parent choice, how will families be prioritized for a specific site?

    A: As mentioned earlier it is the districts goal is to work towards giving everyone their first choice. However if that is not possible with the actions outlined under Q1, priority will be first given to families that qualify as essential works (as defined in the survey).  Additional prioritization is not defined and will need to be discussed based on the parent survey results. 

    Q: If a parent/caregiver chooses one option and then determines it is not working as anticipated, can the parent/caregiver change their mind and switch to one of the other options? 

    Yes. Once school reopens if the initial choice is not working, a parent/caregiver can coordinate with school’s Principal or Assistance Principal to transition to another learning option. 

    Q: The district has a Homeschool Program, Design Learning Academy, was not listed as a return to school educational option. For families that think this would be a better option than the temporary distance learning is this possible?

    A: Yes.  Families can register for the Homeschool Program as they normally would. The link is provided here: Once at the site there is an “Apply Now” button to begin the process. 

    Q: What is the intent of the expanded hours of 6:30am – 6:00pm? Is the intent to have staggered instruction, to assist with “traffic flow” and/or operate like an extended day program for families who need early drop off/late pick up? 

    Similar to the pre-COVID school day the middle of the day will be protected as instruction time.  Likely around 9:00am – 3:00pm.  Please note however, this may look slightly different by school site based on parent survey results. 
    The extended hours in the morning and afternoon are intended to assist both working parents and walking families who need that additional support and help with the flow of students in accordance with the guidance. 
    The extended hours are also intended to be more than just childcare by providing structured enrichment and homework support with assigned school staff (e.g. SECAs, campus aides, etc.).  

    Q: Can you please describe the anticipated role of the “Advisory” teacher?

    A: At the elementary and middle school levels, a cohort (small group of students) will be assigned one certified teacher.  This teacher will be the single point of contact for students and parents/caregiver.
    At the elementary school level, the cohort’s Advisory teacher will also be their instructional teacher during the protected period mentioned in Q5.  Principals will use their discretion to determine instructional programs based on site capacity and input from teachers.
    For 4th and 5th grade levels, in schools where students previously rotated between classes to help prepare student (departmentalization is not a practice at all elementary schools.  This also falls under the discretion of the site principal and staff) for middle school the district and administrators are considering rotating teachers versus student cohorts to be align with COVID-19 guidance. 
    At the middle school level, each student cohort may be assigned a team of teachers in support of their core subject areas (Math, Science and English).  Middle School Principals and their staff will customize their master calendar based on parent survey results and input from teachers.

    Q: For the protected instructional time for students in the hybrid or 100% traditional options what will be the balance of live teacher instruction versus screen time?

    A: “Less tech and more human” is where we want schools to focus.  In-person connection between the teachers and the students is invaluable.  The Chromebook and online learning is intended to compliment in-person teaching and practice of concepts. 
    The idea is the balance of in-person instruction and use of the technology to similar to the way this was pre-COVID. 

    Q: How much autonomy will teachers have to design and teach lessons versus teaching to the district provided playlist?

    A: The district will be working with interested teachers and administrators over the summer to develop a more robust targeted learning management program that takes into account flexibilities according to student progressions so that more individualized playlists are available for students in all three return to school options.
    Teachers will customize and personalize teaching and learning to best meet the needs of the students with different learning modalities and academic levels.  Blended and personalize learning have been a districtwide initiative beginning in 2014

    Q: How will the district set up cohorts to meet the needs for students with an IEP? Will cohorts consider the complexity and/or acuity of the students learning needs versus lumping all students with an IEP together?

    A: This is an area that the district is actively seeking input on. They want to make sure they are very thoughtful in this area to address each students needs academically as well as the additional needs for those that choose to be on campus. 

    Q: How is the district working with the local high school districts to ensure middle school students and more specifically 8th grade students are prepared for high school?

    A: Cajon Valley Union Assistant Superintendent, Karen Minshew, meets regularly with Grossmont Union, Steele Canyon and Helix to discuss return to school plans as well as educational curriculum.