Distance Learning Plan Set to Launch

Teacher preparation begins April 6; students to begin distance learning April 13
Posted on 04/01/2020
A father works with his child on homework at their home.

With extended school closures looming across the country and locally, parents are naturally wondering how their school-age children will progress academically while at home for the weeks or months ahead? While classes in our District will not resume on April 6 in the traditional sense, we are embarking on a Distance Learning Plan. The first week back from Spring Break (April 6-10) will be reserved for teacher planning, preparation, and professional development. Distance Learning will commence, to the extent possible, on April 13.

CVESD instructional leaders, in collaboration with teachers, school leaders and other curriculum and instruction representatives from throughout San Diego County, developed an engaging Distance Learning Plan that will support our students during the school closure period, however long it may last.

Distance learning means that learning opportunities are provided to students while the teacher and the student are in different locations, say outside the traditional classroom environment. Distance learning may include student-instructor interaction through the use of a computer and/or telecommunications technology to deliver instruction and check-in time. This 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, or other instruction that relies on printed materials (“packets”). The goal is to incorporate learning opportunities aligned to the core content areas of each grade level.

Parent helping child with homeworkCVESD’s Distance Learning Plan will also include professional learning and grade level collaboration for our teachers to ensure they have access to strategies and resources that promote high-quality learning opportunities for our students. As noted previously, the first week back from Spring Break will be reserved for teacher preparation. Teachers will also be reaching out to students to check in and will primarily be focusing on connecting and sustaining positive teacher/student relationships. Distance learning for students will start, to the extent possible, on April 13.

As we progress in implementing our Distance Learning Plan, we are mindful that not all students will have access to devices or high-speed internet. Therefore, we need to ensure that instruction can be delivered in both online and in non-technological settings.

The District’s instructional services department will post weekly distance learning updates on our District website to share exciting resources and fun learning opportunities for families to engage during this unprecedented school closure period.

“We are extremely proud of the dedication and commitment of our teachers and leaders as they work to design a caring, creative distance learning plan for our students,” said Gloria Ciriza, Ed.D., CVESD Executive Director, Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment. “This is new territory for our District and for school systems across the country. There are an incredible number of moving parts to this highly complex situation, with special considerations that need to be taken into account at every grade level. We appreciate the effort of so many to ensure a Distance Learning plan is in place for our students in such a short period of time.”

Dr. Ciriza encouraged parents to learn more about distance learning from the following websites:

State and Local Testing are Suspended

On March 18, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order to waive, pending federal approval, this year’s statewide testing for California’s students. Currently, all statewide assessment has been suspended due to the school closures. The suspended tests include all California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) assessments:

  • Smarter Balanced Assessment for English Language Arts and Mathematics (SBAC for ELA, Math)
  • California Science Test (CAST)
  • California Alternate Assessment for ELA, Mathematics, and Science (CAA for ELA, Math and Science)
  • California Spanish Test (CSA)

The annual summative English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) has been suspended as well. In addition, District Local Measure assessments will not be administered this spring. More information on the suspension of statewide testing and next steps are forthcoming.

Special Education Update

The Special Education Department is working closely with the San Diego County Office of Education and the local SELPA office reviewing each resource available to carefully see how it can support special education students. We understand the importance of specialized academic instruction for each child and the related services to support their learning. That said, we are working on distance learning plans for students with teachers and service providers. The focus this first week is on establishing routines and schedules, students understanding why there are not in school, and resources that promote social emotional learning, and behavior supports. Please refer to the general education weekly resources but use the resources on the Weekly SPED Distance Learning Link to support the unique needs of your child. As we gather more resources and review them, we will pass them along to you each week. Additionally, on March 21, the federal Office for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services disseminated a supplemental fact sheet entitled Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities. We miss our students and families. Please stay healthy and safe!

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Support at Home

Now more than ever, it is critical to address Social Emotional, as well as cognitive learning. This can be done at home in many simple and enjoyable ways. Mealtime is a perfect time for family “Meet Ups,” as we call them at school. Choose a topic, and take turns allowing each person at the table to share. Some ideas are:

  • What I Am Most Grateful For and Why
  • Something Special About (name of family member) is...
  • How I am Feeling on a Scale of 1-10
  • The High Point/Low Point of My Day was...

Sanford Harmony, the curriculum our District uses at schools to teach SEL, has created a free, online toolkit families can access at sanfordharmony.org. Help develop empathy in your child by watching a TV show or reading a book with your child and stopping to discuss how a character is feeling and why. A variety of titles, including How Full is Your Bucket, Stand in My Shoes, The Invisible Boy, and The Way I Feel are read aloud on YouTube.

At times like these, we can all use help to relax and relieve stress.

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