March 31, 2020
Dear WCCUSD Families,
The main focus of our work over the first two weeks of the school closures due to the coronavirus outbreak has been ensuring students have access to food and distance learning resources. As we enter week three, the focus has shifted to creating a sustainable distance learning platform that is accessible to all students, especially those from our most vulnerable communities.
We have also identified several questions that will require non-traditional solutions. Some of our most pressing and immediate questions have been about grades and report cards for the most recent marking period and our plan for distance learning now that the school closures have been extended. This message will give you additional details on the plan for grades and report cards and some of the expectations for the distance learning program that we will implement beginning on April 13.
Grades and Report Cards
Second trimester report cards for elementary school students will be distributed this week. You should receive them, if you haven’t already, over the next few days. They will be delivered by mail or electronically. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have not received the second trimester report card by Monday, April 13.
For secondary schools, the third quarter will end on Friday, April 3. Our goal is to have all report cards and Special Education Progress Reports completed by Monday, April 13. Distribution will take place no later than Friday, April 17 and may be done electronically or by mail.
Students and families should know that only assignments given to students on or before March 13, will be used in calculating grades. If your student receives an Incomplete (I) grade, there will be an opportunity to complete the required assignments and they will be given a timeline for doing so.
If you have any questions regarding grades or report cards, please contact your child’s teacher or school principal.
Calculating assignments for grades - Assignments given up to Friday, March 13
Elementary second trimester report cards delivered - March 30 - April 10
3rd Quarter ends for middle, high schools - Friday, April 3
Distance Learning Phase 2 begins - Monday, April 13
Secondary third quarter report cards, Special Education progress reports completed - Monday, April 13
Report cards, progress reports delivered - No later than Friday, April 17
After a lot of hard work and collaboration, we are ready to move forward with Phase 2 of Distance Learning. The first phase was an opportunity for teachers and students to become familiar with the resources and tools available to continue their engagement with instruction during the school closures. The second phase seeks to build on the lessons we have learned to provide engaging, empowering and challenging distance learning opportunities.
For Phase 2, we have worked with teachers, principals and families/parents to develop a set of guidelines and expectations that will inform the work as we move forward. WCCUSD’s Distance Learning will focus on mastery and deeper learning experiences, incorporate personalized learning, and offer a variety of opportunities to engage the lessons. Distance learning may include multiple delivery methods, including a wide variety of technologies, or print materials that are subject to written or verbal feedback. Teachers and administrators will be supported to prepare for this mode of teaching and will be trained in the use of available district digital tools. We are in the process of developing training opportunities for parents as well.
The current situation demands flexibility and patience as we continue to find the best ways to engage students. We understand that many students will have a variety of factors that influence their ability to engage with distance learning. No student will be penalized for forces beyond their control. As such, this distance learning plan is designed to be flexible and to allow students multiple ways to engage in learning.
There are still questions regarding assessments and grading, which we know is an important concern for everyone. We hope to have a more defined grading policy regarding the final marking period by April 13. We will create this work based on further guidance from the California Department of Education, Contra Costa County Office of Education, collaboration with other school districts, input from bargaining units, and a district task force.
We have created a Distance Learning Instructional Plan for WCCUSD Educators (https://bit.ly/33ZpNPu) that gives guidance and expectations to teachers, principals, counselors and other instructional support staff. A similar document for families will be completed in the next few days. In the meantime, I have included some of the key expectations for students below.
TK, K and 1st grade students will engage in distance learning through different formats and platforms. Not all TK/K/1st grade students have district-issued Chromebooks, therefore learning may occur through paper packets or online. For students who do not have Chromebooks, the learning will be treated similar to traditional independent study, with completed packets and/or engagement. Teachers may determine the platform for mastery for each student after assessing family resources and student needs. The District will continue to pursue acquiring Chromebooks for the remainder of students in need.
Students in TK/K/1st will be expected to:
Complete packets/work on a weekly basis
Communicate with teachers and seek assistance as needed
Read at least 30 minutes daily on their own and complete a Reading Log; younger readers may be read to, or engage with audio books
Engage in independent writing on a daily basis on their own
Participate in some type of daily physical activity on their own
Teachers will create a daily schedule that meets the time expectations for the grade level and have a completion time no later than 4 p.m. each day. Students can expect 3 hours and 30 minutes of instruction each day, but we understand there has to be flexibility for students and families throughout this process. Students will also receive arts, music and/or physical education instruction.
Students in Grades 2-6 will be expected to:
Log into digital learning platform daily
Complete and submit eLearning lessons and assignments/assessments as required by teacher
Communicate with teacher(s) and seek assistance as needed
Read on a daily basis for at least 30 minutes on their own
Secondary (Grades 7-12)
Teachers will provide 30 minutes of daily student learning time per period. Instruction is to be completed no later than 4 p.m. each day, but we understand there has to be flexibility for students and families throughout this process.
Students in secondary schools will be expected to:
Log into courses daily through the digital platform of your teacher’s choice.
Complete and submit eLearning lessons and assignments as assigned
Communicate with teachers as needed
Spend approximately 2-3 hours per day on coursework for all classes
Teachers will be asked to continue to support our English learners as much as they can in the lessons they provide weekly. Our focus is equity, access, and ongoing support for this special population of students using the state standards. The support will focus on language development growth, and support ELPAC and Reclassification.
ELD teachers will continue English Language Development classes though live online teaching to small groups or by recommending online resources to students to support their ongoing growth in English.
Case Managers and Related Service Providers will reach out to families to discuss the supports and services feasible based on current IEP goals and services and will schedule services to start during the week of April 13. Because IEP goals and services are by nature individualized and take into account the available services that are available at the time of the plan writing, some elements of the student’s IEP may not be possible to achieve in the current public health crisis. To the extent possible, we will provide appropriate services.
Family/Parent Support for Distance Learning
Families can best assist their student’s work by contacting your child’s teacher(s) weekly and supporting students to complete the assigned work. More specific details for parents will be shared soon. There are other actions you can take to support your child’s engagement in remote learning during the school closures.
Set a regular time and place for doing assigned work
Provide supplies and identify resources; and
Engage in what your child is learning.
Again, this is an unprecedented environment that will take patience and flexibility to ensure students continue to grow and learn. Now, more than ever, this will take a partnership between home and school to provide the best possible educational environment under difficult conditions.
Distance Learning Resources
If your student still needs access to wifi, several resources are detailed (https://bit.ly/2QZ7CUE) on the district website. These resources include access to free wifi hotspots in the community and access to lower priced internet plans.
As a reminder, there are resources to help you through this process. The District’s eLearning website is active and being populated with new resources (https://sites.google.com/wccusd.net/wcc-elearning/home) regularly. Support for distance learning materials and resources can be accessed by email at email@example.com. If you need assistance with technology to support your student’s distance learning, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (510) 243-3901.
If you have any questions about grades or distance learning, please reach out to your child’s teacher or principal.
The District has also created a one-stop shop for questions and references. If you have general questions, please email email@example.com or call (510) 965-4444 or (510) 965-4443 for Spanish speakers.
Thank you for your continued patience and support as we explore the best ways to continue educating the students we serve throughout this public health crisis.
Matthew Duffy Superintendent