Frequently Asked Questions
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- Physical Distancing
- Hygiene Measures
- Cleaning & Maintenance
- Lunch, Recess, & Extracurricular Activities
What will be done to promote physical distancing?
We will encourage physical distancing throughout the day as possible. Schedules will be developed to reduce numbers of students in common areas during breaks, lunches, and reduce large gatherings. Classrooms will utilize space by spreading desks and tables around the room, as well as using vacant classrooms and outdoor spaces, as available.
Will temperature checks be taken for all staff and students each day?
The current guidance from the governor’s office requires temperature checks. Previous guidance from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department point to limitations of temperature checking. Once students are closer to a physical return, this section will be revised with a concrete answer.
What precautions will be taken for ensuring disinfection of surfaces on buses?
Disinfecting of buses and implementing protocols will ensure the health and safety of students that utilize District transportation. Windows or roof ventilation will be open to maximize ventilation during transport. Students may sit with siblings or cohort classmates. Final spacing plans are still in development.
Will students need to refrain from physical contact with their teachers and peers?
We will be following the physical distancing guidelines per the most current health order as most feasible. However, we also recognize the need for social connection and interaction. Parents should speak and work with their children about maintaining appropriate physical distance and boundaries and the importance of wearing a mask when physical distance is not possible.
Will there be changes to the arrival/departure procedures?
Per County Health Department requirements, drivers are to remain in their vehicles, to the extent possible, when dropping off or picking up students. When in-person drop-off or pick-up is needed, only a single parent or caregiver should enter the facility to pick up or drop off the child. All adults entering campus for in-person pick-up or drop-off must wear a face covering.
Are face coverings required?
Face coverings are required for all staff members and students in grades 3 and above. Students in grades 2 and below are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings. Students with disabilities may have modifications to the requirement.
Will schools review hygiene with students?
Hygiene practices will be reviewed regularly with students. We will teach and reinforce washing hands, avoiding contact with one's eyes, nose, and mouth, and covering coughs and sneezes among students and staff. We are adding hand sanitizer stations to high traffic areas on all campuses.
What measures will be implemented on campus to ensure the safety of staff and students?
Cleaning and Disinfecting: PAUSD will take essential actions to create a physical environment that promotes student and staff safety through established protocols and procedures. These will include daily disinfection of areas used by students and staff, focus on high-touch surfaces such as door handles and restrooms during the day.
What precautions will be taken for issuing food services on campus? What meal options will be provided for online learners?
Staggered lunch times will be developed through the site-specific logistic planning to reduce the number of students at lunch time. Hand sanitizer stations will be located near food service areas to support personal hygiene. Lunch options will be limited and students will eat in classrooms or outside.
What will lunch and recess look like?
School schedules will be developed to reduce numbers of students in common areas during breaks, lunches and reduce large gatherings. We will be providing schools with markings to indicate spacing for any area where students may line up such as the lunch area.
Will sports and extra-curricular activities be permitted for the 2020-21 school year?
Students will have the option to participate in on-campus sports and extracurricular activities as available. As high school athletics are governed by the California Interscholastic Federation, we will be adhering to the guidelines set forth by the organization.
Will music be provided in either on campus or virtual options?
Music classes will take place; however, current guidelines prohibit in-person singing or playing of instruments. We will monitor developments and adjust accordingly.
What happens if a student comes to school ill?
A child who is ill and exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be given a mask to wear if they are not already wearing one and supervised in a separate area until parents arrive to pick them up.
Will they be required to be tested for COVID-19?
PAUSD will advise sick staff members and students not to return until they have met CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation, including 3 days with no fever, symptoms have improved and 10 days since symptoms first appeared.
Will parents, students and staff be made aware if someone on campus tests positive for COVID-19?
Yes, the California Department of Public Health guidance states that schools should document/track incidents of possible exposure and notify local health officials, staff and families immediately of any positive case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality, as required under FERPA and state law related to privacy of educational records.
What happens if a staff member or student tests positive? Will school be closed for 14 days? Is there a procedure in place for quarantining in the event that a person on campus tests positive or in the case that a family member of a student or staff personnel tests positive?
We will follow the SCCPHD guidelines for closures, beginning with notification to families and staff members. There is not a predetermined blanket answer. Each scenario has different circumstances which could affect our ability to trace likely contacts. The SCCPHD will assist in the process.
Will truancy limits (10% of missed days) remain the same in event that a student is sent home for a minimum of 14 days due to COVID-19 exposure?
An absence of this type will not count towards truancy. Students with needs for extended absences will be supported on a case by case basis.
What happens to learning and teaching if an entire classroom or school needs to close?
The teachers and students would transition into an online learning model. PAUSD will have a plan and teacher training in place for this scenario.
What if a family member that lives in the same home with a student or staff member tests positive for COVID?
Close contacts (household or non-household) of confirmed COVID-19 cases should be sent home immediately, instructed to get COVID-19 testing, and, immediately and on day 10 of last day of exposure to the case. They should even if they test negative, remain in quarantine for a full 14 days after (1) date of last exposure to COVID-19 positive non-household contact or (2) date that COVID-19 positive household member completes their isolation.
Will students sent home due to COVID-19 exposure move to the distance learning program temporarily until it is safe for them to return, or permanently?
No. These students will not be enrolled into the distance learning program. They will continue with the work assigned from their in-person teacher via an Independent Study contract.
I would really like my student to return to a normal school day on campus; however, I am also worried he/she may contract COVID-19. What assurances do I have as a parent that every precaution will be taken to ensure my child's safety specific to this virus?
PAUSD will follow the SCCPHD guidelines and orders to the greatest extent possible to ensure safety for our students and staff.
- Attendance & Instructional Minutes
- Elementary Schools
- Middle & High Schools
- Communications, Childcare, & Training
- Definitions & Terminology
The following questions and answers were provided by an attorney representing the Santa Clara County Office of Education.
How will districts take and document student attendance on distance learning days?
"Each LEA shall document daily participation for each pupil on each schoolday, in whole or in part, for which distance learning is provided. A pupil who does not participate in distance learning on a schoolday shall be documented as absent for that schoolday." (EC 43504(d) and (f))
"Each LEA shall ensure that a weekly engagement record is completed for each pupil documenting synchronous or asynchronous instruction for each whole or partial day of distance learning, verifying daily participation, and tracking assignments." (EC 43504(e))
In order to be marked as present on a distance learning day, a pupil must engage in daily participation. What constitutes daily participation?
"Daily participation may include, but is not limited to, evidence of participation in online activities, completion of regular assignments, completion of assessments, and contacts between employees of the local educational agency and pupils or parents or guardians." ((EC 43504(d))
Can schools meet the 180 instructional days requirement through distance learning?
"For the 2020-21 school year, a LEA shall satisfy the annual instructional day requirements... through in-person instruction or a combination of in-person instruction and distance learning..." (EC 43502(c))
Annual instructional minute requirements were waived but daily instructional minutes requirements were not. What is the difference?
- Kindergarten: 180 per day (versus 200)
- Grades 1 to 3: 230 per day (versus 280)
- Grades 4 to 8: 240 per day (versus 300)
- Grades 9 to 12: 240 per day (versus 360)
How will instructional minutes be calculated for distance learning?
Day in which there is only distance learning: "instructional minutes shall be based on the time value of assignments as determined and certified to by a [certificated employee]." (EC 43502(e))
Day in which there is both in-person and distance learning: in-person instructional minutes plus "assignments made under the general supervision of a [certificated employee]." (EC 43502(e))
If a school implements distance learning, must they provide daily synchronous instruction?
Yes. "Distance learning shall include... daily live interaction with teachers and peers for purposes of instruction, progress monitoring, and maintaining school connectedness. This interaction may take the form of internet or telephonic communication, or by other means permissible under public health orders. If daily live interaction is not feasible as part of regular instruction, the [district board] shall develop... an alternative plan for frequent live interaction..." (EC 43503(b)(6))
What would be the class size for on-campus learning?
We don't have an answer at this moment. Schools are opening through distance learning. When schools reopen, they could open without class size restrictions beyond our contract. We could return to a hybrid model. It's too early to determine the transition back.
Can all classes be moved to outdoors?
No. While we appreciate the feedback from some parents, creating outdoor schools is not feasible. Our approved reopening plan involves guidance and negotiated assurances within a process. For reasons too numerous to explain, PAUSD will not move classes outdoors as a rule. Teachers will be encouraged to find times during the day when outdoor activities and learning may be appropriate, although outdoor instruction will NOT be mandated in any way.
What will happen to my high school student if students return to class and we select a distance learning option?
Students who do not return to high school campuses will utilize a version of the Home Hospital program. PAUSD is exploring third-party vendors such as UC Scout as options. The in-class teacher will not handle distance learning responsibilities. More information will be shared as the options are evaluated.
What would be the class size for on-campus learning?
PAUSD is starting with a full distance learning model at the secondary levels with 6th grade under consideration for a different approach. We may return to full class sizes at a point in time after September 11.
Have you ever considered a hybrid just for high school?
Yes we considered it, but the sheer number of students at our high schools does not make the hybrid model a practical option, both from a facilities and staffing point of view.
Is PAUSD expanding childcare options for parents, given the need to accommodate families without a parent at home?
Yes. PAUSD is maintaining current childcare partners and expanding options for families. Ultimately, it is likely that families will have several options until we open completely.
How will families be kept up to speed as things shift and evolve?
PAUSD will push updates to families through email each Friday, beginning on July 17.
Will training be provided to PTA/classroom volunteers regarding safety protocols?
Initially, volunteers on campus will not be permitted. At some point, we would like to have volunteers and will be monitoring safety regulations in order to welcome volunteers back to the school. We all are working together to prevent illness and reduce the number of people on campus for physical distancing.
Will distance learning students have synchronous instruction and a schedule?
Yes. Students will have a daily schedule to avoid conflicts. Teachers will also provide a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. The distance learning program will be significantly improved from the "crisis learning" of the spring.
Distance Learning: The model of learning involving solely synchronous and asynchronous learning without face-to-face instruction.
Hybrid Learning: The model of learning involving a combination of scheduled instruction in-person and asynchronous instruction from their teacher.
In-Person Learning: The model of learning involving all, or nearly all, instruction in an in-person setting with a teacher.
Independent Learner: A student who is able to achieve academic success on their own, with minimal support or supervision
School-dependent Learner: A student who benefits from or requires additional supports in order to experience academic success
Common Learning Day: Designated day when teachers will meet virtually with every student during a schedule to launch learning activities for the week.