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Frequently Asked Questions

What will be done to promote physical distancing?
PAUSD will encourage physical distancing throughout the day as possible. Schedules are developed to reduce numbers of students in common areas during breaks, lunches, and to 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.

What precautions will be taken for ensuring the 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.

Will students need to refrain from physical contact with their teachers and peers?
PAUSD will be following the physical distancing guidelines per the most current health order as most feasible. However, PAUSD also recognizes 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 the 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 the campus for in-person pick-up or drop-off must wear a face covering.

Will schools review hygiene with students?
Hygiene practices will be reviewed regularly with students. PAUSD will teach and reinforce washing hands, avoiding contact with one's eyes, nose, and mouth, and covering coughs and sneezes among students and staff. PAUSD added 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?
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, and 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. 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 adjusted to reduce the numbers of students in common areas during breaks, lunches, and reduce large gatherings. Markings to indicate spacing for any area where students may line up such as the lunch area are in place.

Will sports and extra-curricular activities be permitted for the 2020-21 school year?
Students 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 are currently taking place virtually. Current guidelines prohibit in-person singing or playing instruments. PAUSD continues to 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.

What happens if a staff member or student tests positive? Will the 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?
PAUSD 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 that could affect  ability to trace likely contacts. The SCCPHD will assist in the process.

Will truancy limits (10 percent 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 the last day of exposure to the case. 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 in the distance learning program. If students are sick, their first priority should be their health and recovery. When students have recovered, they should work with their in-person teacher to develop a plan and provide additional support as needed.

I would 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 continues to monitor, adjust, and follow SCCPHD guidelines and orders to ensure safety.

Can all elementary classes be moved outdoors?
Creating outdoor space for all elementary classes is not feasible. PAUSD cannot move all 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?
For students remaining in full distance learning, PAUSD is exploring options including third-party learning platforms and streaming. More information will be shared as the options are evaluated.

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 expanded options for families with an additional childcare provider at most sites.

Will training be provided to PTA/classroom volunteers regarding safety protocols?
Initially, volunteers on campus will not be permitted. At some point, PAUSD would like to have volunteers and will be monitoring safety regulations to welcome volunteers back to the school. The PAUSD community is working together to prevent illness and reduce the number of people on campus for physical distancing.

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 school day, in whole or in part, for which distance learning is provided. A pupil who does not participate in distance learning on a school day shall be documented as absent for that school day." (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, an 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))