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Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19

1. How long will on school-site classes be suspended? How does HUSD make decisions regarding school closures etc?

Currently, on-site classes have been suspended through June 4th, 2020 – the remainder  of the 19-20 school year. HUSD arrived at this decision through close collaboration with the Sonoma County Office of Education, neighboring school districts, and the Sonoma County Public Health Office. Furthermore, Governor Newsom and State Superintendent Tony Thurmond gave clear direction to all school districts in the state to maintain suspension of on-site classes and commence with distance learning for the remainder of the school year.

All future decisions will be made in similar collaboration with federal, state and county agencies and guidelines with the end goal of ensuring the safety of our students, staff and communities.

2. How is HUSD ensuring my child continues learning during shelter in place orders?

HUSD is focused on  providing high-quality asynchronous, (virtual instruction through recorded screencasts, recorded lessons through a videoconference and/or slideshows that are accessible without live interaction) distance learning model that provides all students an opportunity to have continuity of learning through this unprecedented crisis. Teachers are holding office hours, answering emails and/or phone calls within 24 hours and are holding live video conference sessions as needed or requested by students for specific assistance.  Bilingual staff are available to assist teachers and families to communicate both in writing and in real-time. Recognizing that our staff are dealing with the same issues as everyone else, including caring for their own family, we have created a system in which teachers can provide lessons and content for students outside of the regularly scheduled school day. This system allows for both student, family and teacher flexibility as all navigate different obstacles and personal issues during the COVID-19 crisis while maintaining educational continuity.

Our Distance Learning Plan, the document governing our approach to educating in this crisis, can be found here. Elementary aged students are engaged in a hybrid program that involves paper/pencil as well as technology-based learning. HHS and HJH students are engaged in an online learning created by their respective teachers.

3. What are expectations/guidelines for students during distance learning?

Our primary goal is to provide continuity of learning. Guidelines for distance learning and assessment vary depending on a student’s grade level:

 a.  Assessment for Elementary

Evidence of student learning, both in digital and/or paper form, will be turned into teachers; teachers will provide feedback and/or instruction based on student work in their one-on-ones and/or small group meetings with students. Students' third trimester grades will be based on the work they’ve done while distance learning, however, they will not be penalized with scores any lower than their trimester two marks. 

 b.  Grades for HJH

Semester grades for Spring of 2020 will reflect a credit or no credit system instead of letter grades. Teachers will continue to provide assignments and support students learning for students through the remainder of the school year. Students should continue to complete assignments and check in with their teachers on a regular basis in order to ensure that they receive credit and are as academically prepared as possible to begin next school year.

 c.  Grades for HS

 ·  Teachers will provide a maximum of 2.5 hours of work/meetings per week per class.
 ·  Student Participation will be rewarded - this could be checking in via phone, zoom, email or simply turning in assignments. 
 ·  Grades will be given in the traditional A, B, C, D, F system and GPA’s for the semester will be calculated in the student's cumulative GPA. 
 -  All letter grades as of March 13th are a minimum grade and will only be improved through distance learning activities
 ·  The final semester grade for all students will be the same or higher as grades on March 13th
 · There will be no finals schedule or summative finals given at the end of the 2020 Spring semester.
 ·  AP class instruction will  be focused on content that will be tested by College Board in May. Teachers will not begin introducing  any new content until after AP exams are completed.
 ·  Students will be given every opportunity to turn in work, participate, and show evidence of learning.

4. How can I support my student’s learning during this time?

Every family’s situation will provide for differing levels and ability to support their children’s at-home learning. We suggest reassuring your kids that people care about them and that their teachers are doing the best they can during an unprecedented change in the way we learn. If parents can help, it would be appreciated. Establish a routine and structure for your child’s day, read with them, help to create a quiet space for them to learn and work alongside them if you are able.  Encourage your student to join their teachers and classmates on video conferences, and/or on the telephone even if they don’t have questions as social interaction is very important.

Take time to teach your child valuable life skills. Urge them to help cook, clean and read about and research topics of interest to them. It's never too early to discuss money or budgeting, how to change a tire, how to hang a picture frame, the art of handwriting a letter and addressing an envelope, or a million other things that people need to know. Encourage your child to play outside, play catch with them, kick the soccer ball or just take a stroll.  We’ve created a parent resource page with ideas and activities that you can access to augment learning for your student during this time.

 5. What should I do if we are not getting the support or instruction we expect / think we need?

First, understand that there will be reduced expectations in this environment. It would be disingenuous to promise otherwise. We simply cannot replicate normal school routines and daily face to face instruction in distance learning. Furthermore, our staff are confronting different realities – internet connectivity issues, partners/spouses who have been furloughed or laid off, children homeschooling, and all other stressors that are part of this crisis.

Finally, please assume best intentions as many teachers are just getting started in an online or distance learning format.  Contact your child’s teacher first. If you do not get a response or improvement, please contact your School Principal.

6. How can my children receive meals that they normally get at school? How is HUSD helping address food insecurity?

HUSD is serving breakfast and lunch on the Healdsburg High School and Healdsburg elementary school campuses in a grab and go format daily, Monday-Friday, from 10AM-12PM. Additionally, we are distributing food at the Oak Grove apartments on Grove Street and the Canyon Run apartments in Parkland farms (Monday-Thursday), as well as Foss Creek apartments on W. Grant Street on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Multiple meals are provided in a grab and go format at each apartment complex on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10AM-11AM. HUSD has also been delivering food to Geyserville Schools, Westside Elementary, and Alexander Valley Elementary as well as supporting efforts to feed the local homeless population.

Finally, groceries are distributed on Thursdays at the HES campus from 12PM – 1PM.

For more information regarding food distribution, please contact Erika Mendoza at emendoza@husd.com.

7. How is HUSD addressing technology issues/inequalities?

As of Friday, April 6, all students in grades 6-12 are in possession of a school issued Chromebook.  We are in the process of issuing a district Chromebook to students in grades TK-5 who do not have access to a device at home.  Lack of internet access has presented issues for our students. We have already deployed over 50 mobile hotspot devices and worked with numerous other families to connect them to free internet services. We estimate that there are still 40 students in our district without connectivity and are working diligently to find solutions.  Please contact your School Principal and/or our Bilingual Parent Outreach and Education Coordinators if you are in need of a Chromebook and/or internet connection. More information on tech troubleshooting, resources and contact information can be found on the HUSD Parent Resources - Distance Learning Webpage.

8. What is being done for seniors at HHS?

Graduation and Prom have both been postponed, as has the Graduation Celebration. HHS Principal Bill Halliday has formed a working committee to address these important rites of passage as well as other typical end of the year festivities for our seniors. He will be communicating ideas and alternatives as they are identified. Recently, he sent a letter to seniors, which can be found here (English / Spanish).

9. How will distance learning and shelter in place protocols impact college entrance for current juniors and seniors?

This is a fluid situation. Seniors who have fulfilled HUSD graduation requirements will graduate. Colleges across the country are in the midst of addressing the inevitable needs that will come from this crisis. Please note that all high school students in the US are in the same situation and it will be in a college’s best interest to be flexible in order to recruit and admit students. We will communicate them to you as details are released. Here are some resources that are already available:

University of California letter
California State University letter
Community Colleges letter
Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities
Harvard University Letter
College Board:
  Advanced Placement
  SAT
  ACT

10.  Will there be school next fall? What about summer school?

We are currently planning on a return to in-person classes next August as well as offering in-person credit make-up options for our high school students in June/July. However, both of these situations are fluid and subject to change. There is already concern with a new surge next October and November. While nobody knows what will happen for sure, we will continue to work with our federal, state and county partners to ensure the safety of our students, staff and community and communicate any changes as soon as possible.

11.  Is the HUSD Board of Trustees still meeting? What about school governance councils and other committees?

Yes. The HUSD Board has held a weekly meeting since classes were suspended. Meetings are held via Zoom video conference and the public is invited to participate. Information regarding Board meetings can be found on our website at www.husd.com.

12.  How are the needs of students with special needs being met?

If your child has an Individual Education Plan or a 504 Plan, the case manager has designed a Distance Learning Plan that is specific to each student.  While the plan will differ from student to student, it includes a multi-virtual approach that provides digital reference materials, paper-based ‘packets’ and links to instructional videos that align with the student's goals.  Web-based appointments and/or class meetings as well as parent meetings/education is also being provided. Lastly, web-based consultation and collaboration with general education teachers is ongoing. Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Diane Conger, Director of Student Support Services at (707) 431-3383 or dconger@husd.com

For more information, please review: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R6Dy0WilRHAsx1nzw2WlqbCXO0lmGsYNqVg6u2OdY0k/edit?usp=sharing

13.  What do we do if my child’s chromebook isn’t working properly?

Students can reference the following document to help them troubleshoot and issues with their Chromebook. My Chromebook is not working at home? What can I try?

Students can also email library@husd.com to get assistance with Chromebook troubleshooting. Students should continue to complete the Chromebook Ticket System form if they are bringing in a Chromebook for repair, which is bookmarked on their Chromebook in the "Student Applications" folder.

Starting the week of March 23, HHS and HJH students/families can bring in Chromebooks in need of tech repair. There will be a station set up in front of HHS Room 52 (IT Office) on Wednesdays from 10:00 am-12:00 pm where students can drop off their Chromebook, and receive a loaner replacement. Students will be asked to properly clean/disinfect their Chromebook before it can be repaired. Students, please make sure to bring both your Chromebook and charger with you if you are coming in for a replacement Chromebook.

14. What do I do if I do not have a mask?

You can make your own mask at home. Click here: English / Spanish to learn how to make a mask with items your have at home. You can also order a free mask here.