Union School District

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Union School District | School Year Updates

 

Reopening Physical Campuses in Stages

 
Union School District has developed a staged approach to educating students in the age of COVID-19. The goal is to engage students in meaningful academic and social-emotional learning, both online and in-person, as changing conditions allow and to the greatest extent possible. At this time, changes to the academic calendar beginning August 12, 2020, and ending June 4, 2021, are not anticipated.
 
Due to current conditions in the county, the 2020-21 school year started in Stage 1 with distance learning for all students. Conditions will continue to be monitored and will transition as soon as practicable to in-person instruction. Dates for each stage are flexible and may be adjusted based on conditions at the time; it may also be necessary at times to reevaluate and move to a previous stage. The district will continue to consult with the Public Health Department about the trends and impacts of COVID-19 and provide community updates as necessary.
 
Our decision to begin the 2020-21 school year in stages starting with distance learning is based on our commitment to safety for our staff, students and families. While our teachers, staff members and administrators all agree that we would prefer to see all our smiling students in person, we are all committed to providing a rigorous and equitable distance learning experience and continuing to prepare for the moment we can be together again in classrooms. 
 
Reopening Stages
 
The district is committed to providing an enhanced distance learning experience based on best practices, innovative curriculum and parent partnerships. All students will receive high quality instruction through a combination of both live (synchronous) and recorded (asynchronous) video and independent (asynchronous) learning activities.
 
Elementary students will participate in distance learning Monday-Friday, including morning check-ins with all students, small group instruction, and independent practice. In the afternoons, students will participate in independent learning activities via SeeSaw and Google Classroom.
 
Middle school students will participate in distance learning Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday in content area classes, including live class sessions, small group instruction, and independent practice. Wednesdays will be a combination of morning subject area workshops, office hours and student check-ins with afternoon independent learning assignments in Google Classroom.
 

Enhanced Distance Learning

With Enhanced Distance Learning, students will participate in their virtual classroom experience through a combination of live class meetings, small group learning sessions, and independent assignments. Access to learning content will be provided through SeeSaw, Google Classroom, Zoom and/or Google Meet. Additionally, enhanced distance learning will also include daily attendance, a return of grades in middle school, and grade level appropriate daily live interaction for all students.

Daily Instruction

Students will connect with teachers daily through a combination of live class meetings, small group sessions, and/or feedback on assignments. Access to learning content, assignments, and feedback will be through SeeSaw, Google Classroom, Zoom and/or Google Meet. While there is no mandated minimum amount of daily synchronous, or live instruction, general consensus in the education community suggests between 1-3 hours per day, depending on the grade level.

Attendance

Attendance will be taken daily in all stages. Attendance may include participation in live sessions, completion of assignments, and/or communication with school personnel. Students who do not participate will factor into schools' annual chronic absenteeism rate. Students who are absent from distance learning for more than three school days in a week will be referred for additional outreach and support.

Instructional Minutes

Students will receive daily instruction through a combination of direct instruction (through live and recorded video), small group instruction, and independent assignments.
3 hours per day for kindergartners.
3 hours, 50 minutes for grades 1-3.
4 hours for grades 4-8.

Grades

Elementary students will receive standards based reports cards at the trimester breaks. Middle School students will receive quarterly grades.

Serving Students in Need

English learners and students with special needs will continue to receive accommodations and support during distance learning.

Technology

Students enrolled in the district are assigned a district-issued device, with TK through 1st grade receiving an iPad and 2nd through 8th grade receiving a Chromebook. Families may check out a device for pick-up and request technical support from staff. If students or families need assistance with internet access, they may check out a mobile hotspot device from the district.
As of July 17, 2020, all public and private schools in Santa Clara County will continue Distance Learning in accordance with the State Public Health Officer's Order. We may consider in-person instruction once our county is no longer on the state’s monitoring list for 14 consecutive days.
Small groups of students eligible for special education and related services as well as other identified students will participate in in-person learning for a shortened part of the day for 1-4 days per week of targeted instruction and service delivery.
TK-1st Grade: When it is determined, based on conditions, that it is feasible to re-open classrooms, grade level in-person instruction with TK-1st grades will begin. Schools will begin in-person instruction with staggered schedules. Cohorts of students will attend 120 minutes per day, five days per week in either an AM or PM block. Asynchronous learning (i.e., learning activities via SeeSaw) will be assigned for an additional 60 minutes daily.
2nd-5th Grade: When it is determined, based on conditions, that it is feasible to re-open classrooms to additional grade levels, 2nd-5th grades will begin in-person instruction with staggered schedules. Cohorts of students may attend AM sessions for 150 minutes per day for five days per week with asynchronous learning (i.e., independent work practice and via Google Classroom) for an additional 80 minutes daily. Alternatively, an AA/BB schedule may be used, depending on total class sizes.
 
Group A:
Monday/Tuesday
Attend AM sessions for 150 minutes per day plus asynchronous learning for an additional 80 minutes
Wednesday-Friday
Asynchronous learning for 230-240 minutes (grade dependent) per day
 
Group B:
Monday-Wednesday
Asynchronous learning for 230-240 minutes (grade dependent) per day
Thursday/Friday
Attend AM sessions for 150 minutes per day plus synchronous learning for an additional 80 minutes
 
6th Grade: When it is determined, based on conditions, that it is feasible to re-open classrooms, 6th grade students will participate in an AA/BB block schedule, in-person, two days a week for 165 minutes and 75 minutes of asynchronous learning in the afternoons. The remaining three days, students will participate in 240 minutes of asynchronous learning with students completing independent work. Student cohorts will have staggered start and end times to allow for physical distancing during drop-off and pick-up times.
All students will attend regular classes on campus five days a week.
Families will have the option to choose to participate in distance learning for the duration of the school year. Every effort will be made to honor placement at the home-school should families request to return to in-person learning at some point during the school year. Families must commit to meet the attendance requirements for distance learning as outlined by state requirements. Any family that wishes to opt-in to distance learning during Stages 2-5 should contact their school principal to request the option.