Our dedicated and talented teachers and administrators have been working around the clock to transition to distance learning. We all recognize how difficult this transformation can be for our teaching staff and for you and your child(ren), and we are also seizing opportunities to leverage new learning modalities.
Since our first day, teachers have begun implementing a distance learning plan that, although will not replicate an in-school experience, will provide connection and learning in new and innovative ways. We continue to learn and grow in this process.
As we move forward with our plan, there may be modifications and adjustments as we see what is working and what may need to change. In addition, we are working diligently to address our students academic and social emotional needs, and we appreciate your support.
We have four goals in mind for every student in ESUSD:
Providing New Instruction
Preparation for the Upcoming School Year
Communication/Interaction with All Students
Providing New Instruction:
Our teachers will be continuing to deliver new instruction for all students. We firmly believe that with the technology and training our district uniquely possesses, we can ensure our students continue to learn. Grade levels and departments work collaboratively with their administrative team to focus on key instructional elements and best delivery methods.
Preparation for the Upcoming School Year:
All students will work on the essential standards to prepare them for the year ahead. While our distance learning model may preclude students and staff from spending the same amount of time on all standards and topics as if they were on campus, we have the opportunity to reexamine what students must know and understand, what is important to know, and what is worth being familiar with to be successful in the coming year. Our teachers are working with their administrators and colleagues on highlighting these key elements and then providing meaningful learning opportunities, and determining acceptable evidence for students to demonstrate understanding in a distance learning format. This will ensure they hit the ground running next year rather than trying to play “catch-up.”
For our students transitioning into a new school next year, we are still planning activities. We know how important this is and we want to make sure our students feel welcome and safe starting their new school year. More information to come...
Our staff are leveraging every tool available to them to provide clear communication and opportunities for both staff-to-student interaction and supervised student-to-student interaction. These tools include video conferencing applications such as Zoom or Google Hangout, email, phone calls, or other educational technology. We believe these opportunities to be critical in ensuring our students stay connected to school and their learning.
In addition, ESUSD teachers are available daily for students and parents. Their specific times to be reached will be communicated through the teachers and administrators. Our teachers are dedicated to at least one student interaction per student per week. The purposes for these hours include providing instruction, giving feedback, sharing of resources, and providing a personal connection.
Your child’s teacher will be utilizing multiple tools to inform next steps in instruction and provide insight into how individual students are understanding concepts. These assessments incorporate a variety of tools, potentially including: online formative tests/quizzes, essays, group collaboration, presentations, videos, etc, and may utilize websites such as Google Classroom or PowerSchool learning for submission.
We recognize that many students and families are concerned about how grading will be handled, especially at the secondary levels. We received guidance from the California Department of Education on April 1st that grading is a local decision. As such, we have formed a grading committee with key stakeholders to help guide our plan to ensure equity for all. We hope to present this to our Board of Education at the second meeting in April for approval. Thank you for your patience.
Recommended Amount of Time:
Please see the recommended amount of time that your student should be spending on independent learning each day below, according to grade level. These recommendations are based on California Department of Education Guidelines:
TK/Kindergarten: 1 hour
1st-3rd: 1.5 - 2 hours
4th-5th: 2 - 2.5 hours
6th - 8th 2.5 -2.75 hours (30-40 minutes per class based on a four period day)
9th -12th 3 -3.5 hours (30-45 minutes per class based on a 6 or 7 period day)
If your child is spending more time or is feeling overwhelmed please reach out directly to their teacher. We all want to be as flexible and supportive as possible while helping our students learn.
We want to stress again that while distance learning may be a stressor on families and educators, we really believe in our opportunity here to be innovative, creative, and collaborative to ensure every ESUSD student not only learns, but thrives. Thank you for your support and patience, we are all in this together!