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Educational Services Reopening Manual


The PAUSD instructional plan takes a holistic approach by attempting to balance diverse elements including health, safety, academic programming, choice, science, implementation challenges, and resource allocations with the fact that a degree of uncertainty and fear will accompany any reopening efforts for schools. The plan addresses the need for a reliable model at all levels. The possibility of a full closure exists for all sites if conditions worsen. The reopening plan begins with smaller cohorts at the elementary level and a distance learning instructional model with opportunities for small groups at the secondary level. Review of conditions will occur routinely to increase or decrease physical attendance throughout the year.

Elementary Schools

All PAUSD schools will open the 2020-2021 school year in a distance learning model. We are confident that our instruction and support of students will be at the level PAUSD families have come to know and appreciate. 

Teachers are currently completing newly developed training modules designed to improve online planning and teaching skills, help transfer their well-established brick and mortar teaching methods to hybrid and full distance learning modalities.  We learned a great deal last spring about online instruction and are confident that our program will be greatly improved this year. 

Features of Full Distance Elementary Instruction

  • Instruction will occur throughout the day in a block schedule (see schedules below)
  • Each core subject block will begin with synchronous instruction
    • Students are expected to attend
    • Attendance will be taken
  • Music, PE, and Library will be primarily asynchronous lessons, with synchronous check-ins at the beginning of the block period
  • Pick up of student supplies and materials will be arranged by site principals most likely the week before school begins
  • Instructional minutes will meet or exceed the established state standard
  • Independent Work Time is allocated for students to complete work, read, etc.
  • Consistent and frequent communication will occur between home and school
  • Weekly parent and student feedback will be solicited
  • English Language, 504, and IEP Services for students will be embedded in the schedule
  • Special education distance learning for all grade levels (preschool-k) will be delivered synchronously and in conjunction with the full minutes outlined in their IEPs
  • Kindergarten and Young 5s begin the year with half days through October 9, 2020. Starting October 12, Kindergarten and Young 5s will begin full-day instruction if in Distance Learning and possibly in person
  • Back-to-School Nights will occur virtually within the first few weeks of school
  • Childcare options for families on school sites include PACCC, Right at School, and Kid's Choice (Nixon Only)

100% Distance Learning Model

The 100% Distance Learning Model will include a fixed schedule and will consist of both synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences. Each day will have at least three core content blocks and two "specials" blocks for a total of five blocks. Students will begin every morning with a live, in-person morning meeting. Synchronous instruction will be provided for core subject-specific blocks as well. In addition to the core subjects, students will have interactive read-alouds, art, music, PE, and Library. Specifics regarding what subject is being taught at each block will vary by teacher.

Secondary Schools

All PAUSD schools will open the 2020-2021 school year in a distance learning model. We are confident that our instruction and support of students will be at the level PAUSD families have come to know and appreciate.

Schools are not closed by public order and physical attendance for specific reasons is not prohibited. While schools will begin instruction through distance learning, routine opportunities for students to visit District sites in small groups for targeted activities when possible are being explored.

Mental health and support are an important aspect of safe schools and will be supported by small group interactions on site when possible. Full physical reopening will be considered at checkpoints commencing on September 11. PAUSD will remain in contact with surrounding school districts, Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD), Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE), and the California Department of Education (CDE) to evaluate conditions and best practices related to a physical return to school.

Features of Secondary Instruction

  • All schools will begin instruction through distance learning
  • Opportunities for students to regularly visit campuses for targeted small-group interactions when possible
  • Extra-curricular activities available in socially distanced settings when possible
  • Grades will be assigned
  • Synchronous live instruction daily
  • PAUSD+ will serve historically challenged students and provide support and consistency
  • Attendance will be taken
  • Physical returns to school will be evaluated routinely
  • Students who do not return when schools physically reopen will require medical exemptions and will move to a Home & Hospital setting. Home & Hospital course offerings may not mirror the breadth of courses offered during in-person instruction

Ongoing Instructional Support

The PAUSD Instruction Plan strives to deliver equitable, accessible, high-quality education by laying the foundation through multiple options that incorporate online learning into the traditional learning model while respecting the physical distancing guidelines. Teachers will continue to engage in the district and site-sponsored professional learning opportunities and assume instructional and ethical responsibility to close opportunity and achievement gaps and ensure fair and unbiased approaches when working with students and families.

In an effort to create and support student engagement:

  • All students are provided with smart devices and wifi access to ensure accessibility of the instruction
  • Teachers are provided with training and professional development in pedagogy as well as online and blended learning
  • For students impacted by COVID-19, provide academic accommodations
  • For students who have difficulty learning online, prepare alternative methods for showing mastery so that learning deficits do not occur
  • For students from low-income backgrounds, disabilities, English Learners, Foster/Homeless youth, and other vulnerable student groups, provided targeted support (PAUSD+), as needed
  • For students who are absent for more than 60% of instruction per week, establish procedures to re-engage