To create a video message using Powerpoint (it took my wife about 15 minutes to do this) follow these steps:
Here is an email based on last night’s video. I know the transitions between slides was rather quick…very quick, so back to the Stone Age with an email! Have a sweet day and be safe!
Attached is that teacher checklist, but again, it says MAY want to consider. You’re not required to show up at school today or take anything home.
1. When can teachers pick up curriculum and teacher resources?
School sites will only be open beginning Monday, March 23rd between the hours of 8:00am and 12:00pm for teachers to get materials: see a check list here. Teachers may not be on campus at any other time. Pretend you’re me when I go shopping. I’m like a commando. I go in, get out, unscathed and undetected.
2. What will happen to stipends for coaching, extra duties, 133s and etc?
You will continue to receive your full compensation.
3. Are we supposed to assess the students?
No. You can use the high school finals or the T2 elementary proficiencies to determine where the students are academically, but you don’t have to. You probably know better than anyone where the students are. And you don’t need a test to boot!
4. What am I supposed to teach and how?
Remember, the agreement states, “Flexibility will be provided to teachers to evaluate student progress and adjust work to meet needs of students.” YOU teach what YOU think your students need. Every classroom is unique, you’re the expert, and only you know the answer to that.
5. When will we know what we’re doing after these next two weeks?
During that first or second week, we will be negotiating a new agreement that will finish out the year.
6. Can I meet with others this week?
No. Remember, the next two weeks is distance learning. You may go to your school site Monday from 8am to 12pm, but please don’t have contact with anyone. Don’t go in other classrooms to say hi to staff. Don’t go in the staff lounge. We’re all supposed to act as if we are infected ourselves.
7. Can I Skype, Zoom, or use something called a phone to talk to my students?
I don’t want anyone to be accused of inappropriate language or pictures or anything else with students in a one-on-one video transmission. It’s your word against theirs. Let’s see what Teams has for us, and I’ll give you an idea about how I did this in a second.
8. The link to check out Modesto Schools distance learning plan didn’t work.
Yup, it didn't work for me when I first tried it. So, I did a workaround. Go to google and type in mcs4kids.com and hit enter and it pops up. Then click and check it out. Just remember, whatever they did, won’t be as good as whatever you do because you’ll customize a plan for your students. Modesto did a one size fits all approach which is easier, but not as good for kids
9. Can I make a packet for my students?
Yes. You can make a packet rather than digital. Send your packet to Printshop and it would be delivered to your school. The administrative and clerical staff would then distribute it when food distribution is done at every site. The district will increase site budgets to reflect these extra copies. Site admin should know this already.
10. How long should my office hours be?
That is up to you, but you need to be available during regular work hours in case your administrator calls. I’m going to make my office hours from 9-11, but if you make yours 8-3, that doesn’t mean you have to respond right away either.
11. Are we teaching for two weeks remotely?
The first week is for prepping (M and T) and staff development (W-F) and the second week is for teaching. You could start teaching tomorrow if you wanted. I would recommend using Q and sending an email to all parents and students tomorrow letting them know what you’re going to do, and your office hours. And remember to make it a BCC email. J
This is the FAQ that I promised earlier. Lots to report today, so off we go…and don’t scroll down to the bottom for the humor. Be good boys and girls. But the humor is especially good today. You better go get yourself a cold beverage before you start reading.
I want to thank those of you that have emailed me, advocating for your students, your school sites, and yourselves. If you have done that, you are officially a Union Thug because you care about the learning conditions of your students which are YOUR working conditions. Funny how that works. I have to laugh when someone writes, “ I don’t mean to bother you.” You’re not bothering me. You’re bothering me if you DO have a question, and you DON’T ask.
Will the district jeopardize its funding by not offering distance learning during COVID-19 related closures?The short answer is “no.” California Education Code Sec. 41422 does not require maintenance of educational programs to receive continued state funding. The Governor’s March 13, 2020 Executive Order (N-26-20) does not override this statutory provision, stating only that “if an LEA closes its schools to address COVID-19, as provided in Paragraph 4 of this Order, the LEA will continue to receive state funding to support the following during the period of closure,” listing four items that funding may be used to support, including: 1) continuing to deliver high-quality educational opportunities; 2) providing meals; 3) arranging for the supervision of students during school hours, to the extent practicable; and 4) continuing to pay its employees. The Order is clear that the LEA may continue delivering “educational opportunities to students to the extent feasible through, among other options, distance learning and/or independent study…”
Will my LEA have to make up days missed due to COVID-19 related school closures if it does not offer distance learning?
Again, the short answer is “no.” According to the California Department of Education (CDE), “when the State Superintendent of Public Instruction authorizes credit for days that school was closed, LEAs receive instructional time credit for the day(s) and minutes lost due to the emergency closure...The instructional time credit satisfies state law with regard to both the instructional day and minutes requirement.” (www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/ pa/formj13afaq.asp#SchoolClosure). Additionally, the Governor’s Executive Order states for “LEAs that initiate a school closure to address COVID-19, the closure shall qualify as a condition that prevents the maintenance of the LEA’s schools during a fiscal year for at least 175 days pursuant to Education Code section 41422...” Finally, the Executive Order suspends the affidavit requirements for waiver of the 175-day mandate, so long as the LEA’s top administrator certifies that the closure occurred to address COVID-19.
Do we have to ensure equity and equal access to learning?
If a school district continues to provide educational opportunities to the general student population during a school closure through distance learning, the school must ensure that students with disabilities also have equal access to the same opportunities. IEPs might need to be changed to accomplish this.
Will the closing of schools after my STRS retirement credit?
NOWhen will we know more about next week and the path forward?As directed in the Governor’s March 13, 2020 Executive Order, the California Department of Education will provide additional guidance on these issues tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17.