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Reopening Schools: Phase One - Frequently Asked Questions


 

Key Information

We've revised the schedule for Wednesdays and slightly changed the daily start and end times to the school day (M-F). The schedule change allows for additional time for teachers with no reduction in synchronous instructional time for students. 

The revised schedule will start the week of September 14. 

Schedule Revisions 

Every Wednesday, all students, regardless of their assigned cohort, will login to their class during the AM cohort time slot. There will be no PM cohort on Wednesdays. This change provides students the opportunity to engage with their entire class one day a week. Additionally, every school day (M-F), will start 10 minutes later for the morning cohort and end 10 minutes earlier for the PM cohort. Please review the new schedules and become familiar with the changes. Please note ACMS and ACHS schedules vary slightly and are linked below. 

REVISED Elementary Schedule - Click Here

Note: To ensure we maintain and build upon the current level of synchronous learning time at elementary, students are asked to attend at least three PE classes throughout the week and all 4th and 5th grade students should attend one music class weekly. 

REVISED Middle/High School Schedule - Click Here

Note: Middle and high school students will have all six of their classes on Wednesdays to ensure that students see each teacher three times a week. 

REVISED American Canyon Middle/High School Schedule - Click Here

All new school registration paperwork and interdistrict and intradistrict transfer requests are online which is a new process for NVUSD in an attempt to reduce paper forms. Everything is now online.

Every school year families authorize technology use, update emergency contacts, and review NVUSD policies. This is Data Confirmation and is available through the Aeries portal. You should have received a Parent Square communication for Completing Your Data Confirmation which includes instructions for accessing the Aeries parent portal. See here for that communication.

Families can locate the Lunch application link while completing Data Confirmation in the Aeries portal.

Courses and teacher assignments for your student will be available through the Aeries portal beginning August 18. Please be sure to log back into the Aeries Portal to view.

Will families be able to choose whether they prefer AM/PM?

We recognize the many challenges that the ongoing pandemic is causing parents, students, teachers and our entire community. This is especially true for working parents trying to juggle their child’s class schedules. We worked very hard to find flexible ways to bring the best learning environment for our students and determined that splitting the classes into two cohorts was the best solution for learning as well as for safety once we return to school in person. Unfortunately, we cannot accept requests for changes to or from the a.m or p.m. schedule. We know this may be frustrating, but it was the only way we could accommodate 17,000 families as we aim to keep siblings together, and maintain an equal number of students per cohort in order to uphold COVID-19 safety measures. We appreciate your understanding that we simply could not effectively accommodate everyone on a household-by-household basis.

Will siblings be in the same AM/PM schedule?
Yes.

What is your expectation for NVUSD teachers/staff?

When we closed schools in March, we were operating in a public health emergency and expectations for staff and students were different. Starting this fall, and with safeguards in place, we are implementing increased accountability and expectations for students as well as NVUSD teachers, including:

  • Teachers TK through 12th grade will teach synchronously five days a week to meet instructional minutes requirements

  • Instructional staff will be available by appointment to assist students both online and in-person

  • Attendance will be taken and tardies will be given if students show up late to an online class


 

Virtual Learning information

When will my child be assigned their cohort?

Each child will be assigned a cohort (classmate group) model based on their last name so that siblings are on the same schedule:

  • AM Cohort: Last Name A through Lieu
  • PM Cohort: Last Name Lif through Z

We cannot accept requests for changes to/from the a.m or p.m. schedule and appreciate your understanding. We know this may be frustrating, but trying to accommodate 17,000 families on a household-by-household basis will be virtually impossible while also trying to keep families together, and maintain an equal number of cohorts to uphold COVID-19 safety measures.

Distance Learning 

Sample Elementary AM Schedule

 

Distance Learning 

Sample Elementary PM Schedule

8:00-10:30 AM Cohort Synchronous Learning (Teacher-directed lessons ELA/Math)
10:30-11:00 Break (recess)
11:00-12:00 Independent reading*
Math skills (Dreambox)*
12:00-1:00 Lunch/Play*
1:00-2:30 PE/Art/Science/Social Studies* 

*Learning activities provided, but work done independently.

8:00-9:30 Independent reading*
Math skills (Dreambox)*
9:30-10:00 Break (recess)
10:00-11:30 PE/Art/Science/Social Studies*
11:30-12:30 Lunch/Play*
12:30-3:00 PM Cohort Synchronous Learning (Teacher-directed lessons ELA/Math)

*Learning activities provided, but work done independently.    

Sample Synchronous Learning Schedule for an AM Cohort

8:00-8:10 “Arrival”:  Brief Connecting Activity and Attendance

8:10-9:10 ELA:  Teachers will provide direct instruction to their students during this time as well as providing time for students to engage in guided and independent practice with the teacher present for support

9:10-9:15 Stretch/Movement Break

9:15-10:15 Math: Teachers will provide direct instruction to their students during this time as well as providing time for students to engage in guided and independent practice with the teacher present for support. This timeframe will include both Number Corner and Bridges lessons

10:15-10:30 Closing Activity 

Sample Synchronous Learning Schedule for a PM Cohort

12:30-12:40 “Arrival”:  Brief Connecting Activity and Attendance

12:40-1:40 ELA:  Teachers will provide direct instruction to their students during this time as well as providing time for students to engage in guided and independent practice with the teacher present for support

1:40-1:45 Stretch/Movement Break

1:45-2:45 Math: Teachers will provide direct instruction to their students during this time as well as providing time for students to engage in guided and independent practice with the teacher present for support. This timeframe will include both Number Corner and Bridges lessons

2:45-3:00 Closing Activity 

 

Will my child have the same teacher if/when NVUSD moves into an in-person classroom environment?

If your child is in an online environment with a particular teacher and then opts diferer, we will need to resource our teachers differently depending on the teacher preference and numbers that we find from the survey. This could result in your child having a different teacher -- although every effort will be made to keep classes together with the teacher. It all will depend on survey results as we move into Phase Two.

When will kids find out when teachers are assigned?

Your child’s schedule will become available via the Aeries portal beginning August 18. 

Families: once you complete the online Data Confirmation, which includes all the necessary forms and verifications that you historically had to fill out on paper. We have moved to a fully online process.

As an essential working family, how are we supposed to be at home to support our child during virtual learning? 

We recognize the hardship that this pandemic has brought to our community, and especially to working parents. We are partnering with community partners such as the Boys & Girls Club to find options for our families and will have information after Labor Day. The State of California has established a website to help Californians working in essential sectors during the coronavirus response to find safe, reliable, and accessible child care options. Visit MyChildCare.ca.gov

When will students be provided with music and PE lessons?

The music and PE schedules are nearing completion and will provide students with access to music and PE classes outside of the 2.5 hours of synchronous learning time. Fourth and fifth grade students will have one weekly music class and 5th grade students who played an instrument last year will be able to continue this learning. Daily PE classes will be available for all students in grades TK-5. Both music and PE classes will be provided live with PE and Music teachers outside of the core learning time. Principals will share site music and PE schedules when they get them. 

How is attendance being taken?

Attendance will be taken every day for all students. It is still the expectation that students show up on time; otherwise, they will receive a tardy. Although no formal attendance is being taken during the independent/asynchronous time, assignments and other measures to check on progress will be implemented by the teachers.

Will my child be able to check out books from the library?

Yes! We are highly encouraging reading during this school year. For one, reading is a fundamental skill and critical learning foundation for our students and books have always been at the center of our instruction. Further, it provides a necessary break from screen time. We will let you know about how to access our library services that can be available to you and in the meantime, check out the Napa County Library system -- where you can reserve online and pick up books.

How can students pick up any school supplies for at-home learning during the distance learning phase?

Principals are creating a schedule for families to pick up student materials. These pick-up dates will be scheduled at various times throughout the distance learning phase and will be communicated directly to parents as soon as the schedule is finalized.

What online tools will be used in online learning?

Both options will utilize the same tools and platforms: For elementary, SeeSaw (K-2) and Google Classroom (3-5) will be used, and for middle and high school we will continue using Google Classroom. 

In addition, we’ve been able to be more thoughtful about the distance learning tools that work best for various age groups and needs. We know that active engagement in the online environment is very important. As such, the district has purchased new tools and platforms that will enhance the teaching environment and also meet the needs of our students with Individualized Learning Plans (IEPs) and English learners. These include:

  • Dreambox Math -- personalized and individualized support for Kindergartners through 8th graders 

  • Imagine Learning -- support for English learners 

  • iXL -- support for -- support for our special education/students with IEPs 

  • Unique Learning -- support for our special education/students with IEPs 

We also added tools to address some of the concerns around increasing student engagement in an online environment. We understand that it can be challenging for parents to navigate multiple online learning platforms. These tools are more “behind the scenes” resources that will enhance learning without requiring parents to log into and learn additional platforms. These include:  

  • Peardeck and Kami are tools that help teachers easily build engagement instructional content to encourage more online conversations while learning. They provide our teachers with easy, fun and new ways to teach online in a vibrant  way that keeps kids of all ages engaged in the material.

  • Edpuzzle - Helps take Video Viewing From Passive to Active. Also has an assessment feature that tracks student progress, making it easy for teachers to differentiate their instruction while empowering students with self-paced learning for all subjects and grade levels.

  • Screencastify - helps teachers easily share and post videos for students which is especially important for asynchronous distance learning.


Sample Secondary AM Cohort Schedule Sample Secondary PM Cohort Schedule
8:00-10:30 Three 48 minute periods
10:30-11:00 Break
11:00-12:00 Independent reading
12:00-12:30 Lunch 
12:30-3:00 Asynchronous learning
8:00-10:30 Asynchronous learning
10:30-11:00 Break
11:00-12:00 Independent reading
12:00-12:30 Lunch 
12:30-3:00 Three 48 minute periods

 

When will my child be assigned their cohort?

Each child will be assigned a cohort (classmate group) model based on their last name so that siblings are on the same schedule:

  • AM Cohort: Last Name A through Lieu
  • PM Cohort: Last Name Lif through Z

We cannot accept requests for changes to/from the a.m or p.m. schedule and appreciate your understanding. We know this may be frustrating, but trying to accommodate 17,000 families on a household-by-household basis will be virtually impossible while also trying to keep families together, and maintain an equal number of cohorts to uphold COVID-19 safety measures.

What might the breakdown of direct instruction/guided instruction/independent practice look like in a 48 minute class period?

Teachers and administrators are currently working on a guide for best practices for Synchronous and Asynchronous learning.  With having fewer students in each class session will also allow for increased opportunity for discussion and whole group work.  The district has also invested in tools to support engagement during distance learning, including Peardeck, Kami, Screencastify, and Edpuzzle.

When will kids find out when teachers are assigned?

Your child’s schedule will become available via the Aeries portal beginning August 18. 

Families: once you complete the online Data Confirmation, which includes all the necessary forms and verifications that you historically had to fill out on paper. We have moved to a fully online process.

What are some examples of what students will be doing during the asynchronous work time when students are not online with the teacher or in the classroom with the teacher?

Students will need to continue their learning beyond the core instructional time spent with their classroom teacher. The students have time built into their day to work on independent work for each class.  We will need to provide 48 minutes of asynchronous activity for the students that we see each day.   The district is investing in tools to support teachers in the assignment and distribution of online activities such as Dreambox Math (6-8), StudySync (English), Imagine Learning (English Learners), Rosetta Stone (English Learners), Unique Learning (SPED), and iXL (SPED).  Training for teachers that these programs support will occur during the opening of school.

How is attendance being taken?

Attendance will be taken every day for all students. It is still the expectation that students show up on time; otherwise, they will be marked as tardy. Although no formal attendance is being taken during the independent/asynchronous time, assignments and other measures to check on progress will be implemented by the teachers.

Is webcasting interactive?

You will see the teacher as though you were “sitting” in the back of the classroom. Students will have opportunities to interact with the other students in their online classes and teachers also separately. 

Will CTE (career technical education) classes be offered at the high school level?

Yes, our NVUSD CTE director is working closely with the school site teachers to be able to engage students in these courses. The CTE is super important -- college and career readiness will continue even during the pandemic and we honor all paths for the future.

Will my child be required to take a 5th period? What about the early flight?

A/B cohorts and social distancing rules are making this a difficult task but we are actively looking at what it might look like for students wishing to take a class before the normal school day. We don’t have an answer yet but will be communicating as soon as we do.

How can students pick up any school supplies for at-home learning during the distance learning phase?

Principals are creating a schedule for families to pick up student materials. These pick-up dates will be scheduled at various times throughout the distance learning phase and will be communicated directly to parents as soon as the schedule is finalized.


 

Will there still be a Period 7/Early Bird option?
Yes, we have a modified schedule to address the Early Bird and Period 7 options.  

Is NVUSD running the Food Program when students will not be on campus?
Yes -- NVUSD students will be receiving meals no matter which option they choose. This will likely be in a Grab-n-Go or Curbside pick-up model at specific sites. We are determining the schedule and will be finalizing our plans in the next few weeks.

How will food be served if we return to school?
Schedules for food service will depend on which phase we are in. So, we would start in a curbside model and also pre-packaged boxes or bags of food. If we transition, it will be then to the classroom for elementary students and a Grab & Go model from mobile carts in secondary. We are looking at best scenarios for how to utilize cafeteria vs. classrooms for eating.

How will resource/intervention be coordinated so students with IEPs get the services they need in addition to class time?
Our special education teachers and instructional services team is actively working and will be onsite to support students. A special Zoom webinar was hosted related to special education on Monday, July 27; an archive of the webinar may be viewed here.

As an essential working family, how are we supposed to be at home for our child to use virtual learning? 
We recognize the hardship that this pandemic has brought to our community, and especially to working parents. Child care is a very real concern and, as a school district, we want to offer support in any way we can. There are currently childcare options offered by NVUSD, NCOE, and Boys & Girls Club.

The State of California has established a website to help Californians working in essential sectors during the coronavirus response to find safe, reliable, and accessible child care options. Visit MyChildCare.ca.gov

Will my child still have access to extra support if they need it?

Yes -- NVUSD school counselors, psychologists, speech pathologists and other support services will all be available and working on-site and remotely. Information will be provided with all the back-to-school information you will be receiving before the start of school.

How can I get help with a technical issue or how to access the Aeries online portal?

Please email helpdesk@nvusd.org to schedule an appointment or get more information.

How do I find my student’s ID number?

From a desktop:
Go to www.parentsquare.com and login--if you have not done this before, use your email to Create a Password first. Then, from the PS home page click My Account (upper right hand corner). The page that opens will include a list of all your students and their student ID numbers. 

From the ParentSquare app:
In the main menu, select Students. Click on your student’s name to open their “Dashboard”--choose Overview to view the student’s ID number. Return to the main menu and repeat to find additional students’ IDs.

If you have more students than are listed in your account, contact communications@nvusd.org.

Will my child continue to receive support for speech therapy?

Yes -- NVUSD speech and language services will continue as stated in the IEP. Your coordinator/case manager will reach out to coordinate services. 

Will my child be able to check out books from the library?

Yes! We are highly encouraging reading during this school year. For one, reading is a fundamental skill and critical learning foundation for our students and books have always been at the center of our instruction. Further, it provides a necessary break from screen time. We will let you know about how to access our library services that can be available to you and in the meantime, check out the Napa County Library system -- where you can reserve online and pick up books.

When will the high school athletics program resume?

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), the governing body for all high school sports in California, modified their sports schedule due to COVID-19 concerns. Although it is up to each regional section to decide when to start and end their sports seasons, most sections likely won’t begin play until December or January. NVUSD is a member of the North Coast Section and we are working with our league (Vine Valley Athletic League - VVAL) at this time to determine what sports schedules will look like.  In addition, we will be working closely with Napa County Public Health to ensure a safe and healthy return when we are able.

Will there be any sports conditioning offered this fall?

The California Department of Public Health recently released guidelines around sports conditioning, approving physical conditioning and skill training with 6 feet of social distancing between participants. The state recommends athletes be placed in predetermined pods and that activities be held outside if possible. Athletic directors and coaches are currently developing a proposed conditioning schedule and protocols as all plans must be reviewed and approved by Napa Valley Department of Public Health. 

I have a specific question that is not addressed in any of the above questions - where can I get more information?

Still Have Questions?

Please read this full page for more answers. You can also email the school your student is enrolled in for 2020-21 or send email to reopening@nvusd.org.