Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Question: How has RBUSD been making decisions around Distance Learning? What are the goals for our program?
Answer: Student safety and social-emotional wellbeing is our number one priority. It is important to acknowledge that our students and families are in very different circumstances at this time; some safe at home, while others are reeling from economic distress and illnesses of loved ones. High levels of worry, anxiety, isolation and stress impact learning, and therefore distance learning must allow for flexibility, equity, and balance. One structure will not fit all of our students’ needs.
Our first goal was to transition all students and teachers into a new Distance Learning platform. Once students and teachers transitioned, the next goal was to provide students continuity of instruction focused around the essential learnings necessary for advancement to the next grade/course. As students are separated from teachers and peers by new distances, providing them with meaningful feedback in their work is pivotal to continue to advance learning.
Question: Why isn’t our school district going to all-day “live” teaching?
Answer: Each student and teacher’s home situation is different. We have close to 10,000 students and over 500 teachers in RBUSD. During this pandemic, we have had some families communicating the work load is overwhelming and too much, especially since they are still working. Simultaneously, we have had some families stating there is not enough academic rigor. In addition, students and teachers all have diverse proficiency levels around technology. This complex process requires everybody to have a growth mindset on the new Distance Learning Program as each day presents new challenges. Brain-based research has shown that chunking information into smaller increments is more effective and beneficial for a student’s mastery of learning. We are committed to providing our educational community flexibility, as it is based on pedagogical research as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Question: Will students be moving onto the next grade level? How will we know if each student is ready for the next level?
Answer: Yes, students will be moving onto the next grade level. Given the current circumstances, teachers will use ongoing assessments to inform teaching and instructional practices. Students will not be penalized for failing to participate during our Distance Learning Program. We are working on possible summer school options for supporting our struggling students and ESY students with an IEP. When we return to schools, teachers will take time to assess all students’ current levels to identify any areas of deficit that may exist and work to remediate and provide intervention as needed.
Question: Some teachers are using Zoom for live instruction. Why do you encourage the use of Webex or Google Meets?
Answer: Zoom is a free resource, and therefore, anyone can acquire links to videoconferences to steal personal information (names, emails, contact information) and disrupt teaching and learning. “Zoombombing” exploded overnight when Zoom’s usage went from 10 million to 200 million users. We want to protect our students from offensive content and empower our teachers to have the security control features for cameras and microphones. Teachers can also establish virtual waiting rooms to only admit their students. Consistent with our school district’s commitment to appropriate technology use, our priority remains to ensure that all students and staff are responsible and protected. We would never want to hamper teacher creativity and innovation. We believe dedication to one platform such as Webex, enables us to streamline and accelerate our supports for teachers more effectively.
Question: Are there additional resources available to parents regarding how to cope during this unprecedented time?
Talking to Children About COVID-19 from the National Association of School Psychologists