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Academic Update
August 29, 2020
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Dear OUSD Community:

Thank you for your continued grace and flexibility in supporting your child’s learning these first few weeks of school. Our students have begun establishing regular learning routines and are now moving into core academic content. We are doing a lot to improve distance learning. Below are important points for families to know.

Distance learning will continue for the near future
In July, Governor Newsom mandated that schools in counties on the state’s watchlist operate in distance learning. Alameda county remains on the watchlist and OUSD cannot resume in-person instruction until it is removed from the watchlist. Additionally, Alameda County recently updated its Shelter in Place Order, which reiterated that schools must remain in distance learning. We will keep our community up-to-date if/when things change.

Daily learning schedules are school specific
Generally, the school day for students is 9:00am to 3:15pm. However, each school will create their own schedule (which may include earlier or later classes at the teachers’ discretion). Each school schedule must meet a number of minimum requirements such as live instructional minutes per day, total instructional minutes per day, small group support, and communications with families. Use this link to view sample schedules for elementary, middle and high. 
The minimum amount of overall daily instruction is grade specific
Below are the minimum number of instructional minutes for the activities (live instruction plus independent learning) in which your child will participate:
  • PK-K: 180 minutes per day 
  • 1st-3rd: 230 minutes per day 
  • 4th-5th: 260 minutes per day* 
  • 6th-12th: 275 minutes per day*
    *This is more than the minimum requirements set forth by the state for grades 4th-12th
The minimum amount of live instruction (synchronous) is grade specific.
Your child will receive, at minimum, the following live instructional minutes: 
  • PK-K: A minimum of 80 minutes on 4 days of the week and 60 minutes on 1 day
  • 1st-3rd: A minimum of 110 minutes on 4 days of the week, and 90 minutes on 1 day
  • 4th-5th: A minimum of 120 minutes on 4 days of the week, and 90 minutes on 1 day
  • 6th-12th: A minimum of 150 minutes on 4 days of the week and 60 minutes on 1 day
*1 day per week is a minimum day as during a traditional school year.
Prioritizing small group instruction
Based on feedback from families, we are prioritizing small group instruction to provide more personalized support for students. Student will participate in live whole class instruction (daily) and live small group instruction (at least weekly). Teachers will monitor student progress and schedule additional live small group instruction as needed.
Asynchronous instruction 
When students are not in whole class or small group instruction, teachers will provide students with tasks that are aligned to the District’s scope and sequence for their grade-level/ subject area sequence guidance documents. To view the District’s grade-level documents for your student, visit Family Central weekly or look to information from your school site. 

Minimum days:  Supporting improved teaching and learning, and equity
Just as during a regular school year, one day per week is a minimum day for students. Teachers and principals will use some time on minimum days for training, preparation and collaboration to improve distance learning. Additionally, beyond the minimum instructional minutes listed above, some students may be included in small group instruction to provide extra academic support. All students will participate in asynchronous instruction on minimum days as well.

Please note that the next four minimum days (September 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd) will involve only 60 minutes of live instruction and additional small group will not be scheduled. This is to allow for additional professional development preparation and training for teachers to improve distance learning and to ensure compliance with new state requirements.
Students will receive feedback and grades. 
Teachers will have the responsibility for determining grades for students in accordance with the standards for grading as established by District policy.
Professional development days for teachers / no school For students
Just as during a regular school year, there will be no school for students on four dates this year, to support improved teaching learning and equity through professional development. Please see our district calendar.

Case managers will support students in special education
All case managers will create a Distance Learning Plan for each student on their caseload that contains the services, accommodations, and supplementary aids the child will receive.

Distance learning protocols for students and families
Academic content from each class will be made available online for students and families to revisit as needed. Teachers will either record their lessons so that students may access the content later, or make instructional content available by some other means. Students may only be included in the video lessons with consent, based on the form that was included in registration packets at the start of the year. Additionally, families may notify their principal at any time if they do not consent to their student being included in the lessons recorded for other students (i.e. those who missed class). 

Family members may only take an audio or video recording of a class (or any parts of a class) on Zoom if they have first obtained written permission to do so from both the teacher and the principal. (See Ed. Code, § 51512 
We are committed to consistent communication with our students and families. 
On a weekly basis, teachers will inform parents and students of weekly academic goals consistent with their grade level scope and sequence. Each teacher will hold office hours for students and families, at least weekly, and share their availability to provide support and clarification via email, text, and/or other virtual platforms. 

We are committed to serving the whole child and doing all that we can to meet the needs of our families. 
We encourage all families to visit Family Central for information on food distribution, distance learning resources, tech support, tutorial videos, help with internet access, and more! It’s available in multiple languages and updated frequently. As a reminder, students and families visiting sites for food and device pickups must follow health and safety protocols (see  Family Central). We are also hosting weekly family support zoom meetings on different topics. Details can be found on Family Central.

Please reach out directly to your child’s teacher or school principal for further information about your child’s academic learning.

Thank you for your continued flexibility and partnership as we navigate these uncharted waters together. 
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In community,

OUSD Communications Team
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