Should I be actively teaching my child?
Every parent has a different level of desire and ability to work with their children academically. We suggest reassuring your kids that people care about them and that their teachers are doing the best they can during an unprecedented closure. If parents can help, it would be appreciated. Learning some life-skills during the closure is also important. It's never too early to discuss budgeting, how to change a tire, how to hang a picture frame, the art of handwriting a letter, or a million other things that people need to know.
Should I make sure my child does their assignments?
To the extent that any parent has the power to make our kids do anything, we would hope that our parents would encourage kids to take school and provided flexible learning options relatively seriously.
Should I monitor my child's time?
We are typically cautious about providing parenting advice. It's important that we all adhere to the shelter in place order to avoid contributing to the spread of COVID-19. The more structured time is for students, the less likely they will be to engage in behaviors counter to the order.
IEP / 504
The entire nation will struggle with how to best support students with IEP or 504 plans. Our team has been working on this topic for some time now. It's premature to share the status, but please know it is a top priority for the staff at PAUSD. Non-public schools are created to serve students with significant needs. For context, they have closed. More information on this topic will be available next week.
Students who need internet access
PAUSD is assisting families requiring service. This assistance is not provided for families traveling during the shelter in place order. To date, PAUSD has solved each reported issue.
Students who need a place to work from
With the shelter in place order in effect, PAUSD cannot provide space for students to work.
Under the guidance of the Santa Clara Public Health Department and Santa Clara County Office of Education, public schools in Santa Clara County are closed through May 1.
Governor Newsom has signaled in his press conferences this week that it is unlikely that schools will resume on April 13, but has not given a new estimated reopening date. Given the uncertain nature and time, Palo Alto Unified Staff has approached the closures in three phases.
Phase 1: Introduction to Flexible Learning Options
This phase has concluded with the end of the first week of school closures, March 13 - 20. The intent was to provide a baseline set of common study guides for elementary students as well as options to continue learning content for secondary students.
In addition, this phase allowed time for transition, as neither students nor staff had experienced an extended school closure like the one currently underway. Meal delivery, internet and device access, reconfiguration of home workspaces, content organization/distribution, and daily staff communication protocols needed to be set up or reconfigured from the normal operating procedures.
It is important to note that all activities were optional in this phase. No activities or recommendations were intended to replicate or replace classroom instruction.
Phase 2: Enhanced Flexible Learning Options
The second phase of the plan occurs between March 23-April 3. All activities in this phase are still optional, and not intended to replicate or replace classroom instruction. As both students and teachers adjust to new learning environments, technology, and commitments within the home, students and parents can expect additional resources to be provided for elementary students, while secondary students may see an increase in time expectations per course, per week.
Phase 3: Extended closure learning
Home educational options will further be enhanced beginning April 13. Assignments and grading are reevaluated. These plans will build upon the learnings of the first three weeks of this new model and will leverage the best asset of PAUSD: High Quality Teachers. The traditional educational model of Palo Alto Schools is decentralized, one that allows and encourages autonomy of our faculty, while maintaining a goal of high achievement for all students. Because of this autonomy, each classroom and course looks slightly different in our schools today, we can expect a similar rich diversity of resources in the extended closure learning model. Phase III is under development and will be communicated in greater detail as we approach Spring Break.
Will parents get to ask questions
Our team is working on ways to take more questions. We are currently consumed with ensuring our staff is up to speed and able to provide the best experience possible.