While local school sites are closed for the duration of the coronavirus crisis, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District has released a voluntary "Remote Learning Plan" for students who are isolated with their families at home.
Starting on Tuesday (March 24), the voluntary program is scheduled to last through April 3 -- what was scheduled to be the first day of spring break -- and will focus on the review and reinforcement of previous material reviewed in class. A practice that district officials say will help acclimate students to a remote learning environment.
"We thank you for your flexibility and patience while we created this Remote Learning Plan," Christine Huajardo, SRVUSD's assistant superintendent educational services, said in a statement. "This plan was developed in conjunction with guidelines received Tuesday night from the California Department of Education. This plan also incorporates the many federal and state guidelines necessary to ensure equity for all of our students."
The SRVUSD Board of Education announced that it will be closing down all school sites during an emergency meeting on March 13, in an attempt to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus to students and the community at-large.
Attendance is expected to be suspended from March 16 through at least April 10, and while schools could potentially be closed for a longer period of time, district officials say they have been working with educators to create a remote learning environment that can support students by engaging in independent and flexible learning in an online setting.
Students will need an internet connection and a device which is capable of logging onto their school Google account in order to participate. Resident who are in need of either a device or internet connection can fill out an online Google Form or call 824-1840, to receive assistance from the district.
To get things going, all families will receive an email from their student's teacher on Monday with details on their course work as well as how to access it. Interested families will need to respond to their teacher's email no later than Tuesday, with confirmation that they will be participating in the Remote Learning Plan.
Remote learning will officially begin on Tuesday, at 9 a.m., during which time lessons and online work reviewing and reinforcing previous material taught in class will be available.
Students will periodically receive feedback and weekly updates on their progress during the duration of remote learning, however per state guidelines, district officials say formal grades will not be reported.
Teachers -- who have been participating in training and planning for the past week -- have been asked to not provide lesson plans prior to the launch of remote learning, but according to district officials, they will be available to answer questions on curriculum, individual student progress or to just say hello via email or the online platform the teacher is using.
Huajardo added that "we anticipate a higher volume of electronic communication during this time, so please be patient with our teachers."
As for the future, Huajardo said that all state standardized testing has been cancelled for spring 2020 by the state of California and summer school and extended school year registration and the middle school math bridge program have been paused.
Adding that the federal government is responsible for deciding the fate of AP and college entrance assessments.
No remote learning will be held during the districts already scheduled spring break from April 6 through April 10, during which time teachers and staff will not be available.
"While we are aware that this closure has the potential of extending beyond April 13, no official decisions have been made at any level regarding school closure past that date. Any decision will be made with guidance from the State of California," Huajardo said. "Nevertheless, the SRVUSD is planning for every contingency. Should school be postponed beyond spring break, the focus of remote learning will shift to new curricular material and progressing on the course standards for the year."
Free school meals during hiatus
For families who may need some assistance around breakfast and lunchtime, the SRVUSD is also offering drive through and curbside pickup meal services during school closures.
From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting March 23, district staff will be providing four meals -- two days worth of breakfast and lunch -- on Mondays and six meals -- three days worth of breakfast and lunch -- on Wednesdays.
No paperwork is required but children must be present during the pickup and food must be taken off-site after being acquired.
SRVUSD families can pick up food at one of the following locations:
* John Baldwin Elementary School, 741 Brookside Drive, Danville.
* Walt Disney School, 3250 Pine Valley Road, San Ramon.
* Gale Ranch Middle School, 6400 Main Branch Road, San Ramon.