Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District

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FAQs: General DLA & Hybrid Programs

Signing Up for Your Choice

How can I sign up for my choice?
See instructions sent via email.
How long is DLA commitment for elementary school since they are on trimester system?
Two (2) trimesters.
Transitioning from Distance to Hybrid Model
Can a student transition from the Distance Learning Academy to the Hybrid model? What would the transition be for that? (Example if COVID 19 situation changes drastically--> potentially after Fall semester)

After the semester, students can transition back and it is space available at their school site; for secondary it is space available and classes available

Will Distance Learning Academy students still be considered part of their existing schools (i.e. in our case Lunada Bay Elementary) or will they technically be enrolled as a student at the "Distance" school? Is it possible that a child wishing to switch from Distance Learning to Hybrid could have difficultly returning to their familiar school campus should there be space limitations?
They are still part of their school and can be a part of school activities from their home school. Yes, it is possible for students to have difficulty transitioning mid-year.
Can my child go back to their home school the following school year? For example, Cornerstone…would I need to enter the lottery again for Cornerstone?
Yes, they can go back to their home school. If Cornerstone is your home school, you will not need to enter the lottery again.



Transitioning from Hybrid Model to Distance Learning Academy

Can a student transition from the Hybrid Model to Distance Learning Academy during the year?
If space is available.


Do both hybrid model students and distance learning model students utilize the same online learning program? Also, will they be using Teams or Google Meets?
All teachers have access to the platforms. Teams or Meets is school specific.
Should high school DLA students expect they will be using both APEX and UC Scout, requiring the student to use multiple platforms to complete their work, along with PVPUSD adopted curriculum and textbooks (pg. 16 of the Guide for Reopening Schools)?
Possibly. Teachers in each subject have selected which provider had the best course offering for their subject.
What classes use APEX vs UC Scout? How was this decided?
Teachers will share which platform they are using; teachers made those decisions.


Asynchronous vs Synchronous


What are the synchronous and asynchronous expectations for each grade level and for each format?

See Guide for Reopening Schools for specifics on schedules and anticipated independent work.



What does a typical day look like in the distance learning model? How will breaks work especially for younger children?

This information is available in the Town Hall presentation.



Which program offers the most “live” instruction, Hybrid or Distance Learning? Does the Remote portion of Hybrid provide more teacher/student interaction than DLA? If so, how?

In remote, they are the same; when students transition to Hybrid at secondary, there is less teacher interaction.






Does Synchronous instruction (at a distance, as we all will start the school year) mean three straight hours of screen time? Will it include breaks? Will it be straight “learning” instruction from teachers, or will it include “fun” activities like music, art and physical activity? If the latter, how will teachers instruct that over Zoom without parents sitting nearby small children to ensure their attention and cooperation?

Teachers will include breaks, "fun" stuff and independent practice. Students may not log off but will be working "off screen" and then come back to the group to discuss or share, etc.



Is Synchronous Instructional block a live instruction or Webinar or video streaming?

Live instruction, possibly live streamed, depending on the teacher.



What does the daily live instruction mean? Is there a minimum amount of minutes?

The District expects teachers to teach for the allotted time.





For the Distance Learning Academy does the "asynchronous" portion require the student to be participating online? Does it mean screen time?

Asynchronous means not live; it can be on screen, handouts, textbook, independent reading, etc.



Must Asynchronous instruction occur at a specific time, or do parents have discretion over when to implement?

Full discretion as long as it meets the teachers deadlines/timeline.



What does the independent work part mean? Can the independent/asynchronous work time be included in normal hours of school day? This is a concern especially for younger children.

Yes, can be part of the school day; older children will get some homework.



If we choose the Distance Learning Academy, will all the work be done in those hours of synchronous and asynchronous learning or will additional homework be assigned daily? Also, will special projects that would have been assigned in the year if not for COVID be given to DLA students. (For example, in 3rd grade the children did a wax museum project where they researched a career and gave a presentation.) These type of projects help build learning skills and make school fun.

Depending on the age of the student, they may have homework but it will be appropriately aligned to their age. Yes, very possible to have the "fun" projects from teachers.



Homework Concerns


How much homework will be assigned in the hybrid high school program? Will it be equal to the one hour each day that is assigned in the Honors/AP high school distance program?

Likely to be similar depending on the level of the course.



Why is the standard for amount of homework not being reduced? Given that the total hours of instruction are the same as a 'typical' on-campus school day, but with distance learning there are none of the other events that typically take away from school instructional time (Phys ed, Music, special events and assemblies, student council events, etc.), does it not make sense to utilize some instructional time for what would otherwise be homework, and allow students and parents some time post-3 pm to focus on other important areas such as physical education, music, etc.? I ask in the context of elementary school but believe it applies across k-12.

It is expected that teachers go through the standards for each grade/level and course so students are well prepared for the next level. In doing that, some of the homework may be reduced however, there will be practice/skill building that students will still need to.



Screen Time Concerns


Are there screen time differences between the hybrid and DLA? Between the two formats which one will allow for the least mandatory synchronous screen time?

Hybrid when reopened, will have less screen time because there is in person instruction.


I have a 5-year old about to start kindergarten. What is the reasoning of having her spend potentially up to hours with online learning when recommended screen time for someone her age is 1 hour? This seems very detrimental to her development. It seems like there should be much more consideration for these very young children.
Please see the Town Hall presentation regarding a sample day for students.
How much screen time does this involve for each grade level? Are there alternatives for children who are not able to be in front of a screen?
Each grade level will have some amount of screen time however, we are cognizant of the concerns regarding small children; there will be non screen time activities and independent asynchronous work.

Course Offerings


Will students be taking the classes for which they registered? Will course offerings be the same between DLA and Hybrid model? Are there classes in danger of being cut if teachers are shifted to the DLA? Will the same courses be offered such as advanced math, honors classes, and MCR classes in both models?

We will however, make every attempt to offer what students signed up for in both hybrid and DLA however it is possible if enrollment is low that we will not be able to offer all courses.



Will the same courses be offered in each model such as AVID, foreign language, 6th grade wheel, broadcast journalism, engineering and other electives?

We will make every attempt to offer what students signed up for in both hybrid and DLA however it is possible if enrollment is low that we will not be able to offer all courses.



Will there be music (all grades) and high school orchestra and marching band?

It is our intention to offer the same programs but are looking at numbers and feasibility.



How will sports work?

Sports will follow CIF guidelines. We are working with schools.



Will there be PE this upcoming year? If not, will high school students have to make this up at a later time in order to graduate?

PE will still be a course that students take if they need PE credits.
Can students change their course schedule now? My child might do distance learning and wants to save elective for a later date when it could be in person. Can they change their classes?
If a student wants/needs to make a schedule change, they should contact their counselor or Assistant/Associate Principal at their school.

I was wondering if there are any plans by the district to (virtually) preserve some of the enrichment programs (e.g., GATE) for students who want to learn more?

We are exploring ways to do some virtual programs. Our first priority is to start school and will then look at auxiliary programming.



Looking at the Hybrid Model schedule for 6-12, students are required to do online learning in the am from 8:15-11:05am, then expected to be at school at 11:50 to 2:40pm. How will this mid-day transportation issue be addressed for working parents and children who require public transportation (e.g. bus) to and from school. Besides the safety issues on public transportation, depending on where the child lives to take the bus, it takes up to 75 minutes roundtrip (between waiting for the bus and the drive to school). More time needed between school and home to transition.

We will work on transportation with PV Transit. Asynchronous instruction is independent and times when that is completed is flexible.



Will PVHS go back to a block schedule at some point?

Likely not this school year due to the pandemic, but once we are back to school, PVHS will go back to the block schedule.



How will math instruction be handled for 5th graders that have placed into 6th grade math under both the Hybrid and DLA models?

Accelerated elementary math students will be able to have access to 6th grade math in both DLA and hybrid.



Will there be options/requirements to have "office hours" in case kids need a few minutes of one-on-one time with their teacher?

Yes, teachers will have time available to work with students and address questions and concerns.





What will the grading policy be this upcoming year?

Grading will remain the same as all standards must be covered throughout the year.



How will the testing be standardized across different schemes (hybrid v/s online) and across different instructors?

Assessments are at the teachers' discretion.



Will workbooks or printed materials be sent home, or will we be required to print out work for my child? When will we get class/ teacher assignments, school supply lists and textbook/materials?

Workbooks and textbooks will be sent home for students, along with supply lists; families will be notified of teacher assignment closer to the start of the school year.



Will there be paper and pencil options available for families who want to reduce screen time (mostly for younger students)? I realize the online tools are more convenient and probably helpful to the teachers, but it’s difficult for young children to be in front of a screen for up to 6 hours each day, even during a pandemic.

There will be paper pencil workbooks for students and other practice pages for students to do that do not require screen time.



Will there be any procedure (i.e. registration, textbook pick-up) in the coming months where the student/parents will need to physically attend even if they opt-in for the Distance Learning Academy? If so, will they be able to send in someone else in their place?

Yes, we will be messaging families regarding materials pick up and registration.



At an earlier School Board meeting, it was said that UC Scout was NCAA approved. Per the UC Scout website, Basic and Plus courses are not NCAA-approved because UC Scout does not provide a teacher for them, but schools are welcome to go through the approval process with NCAA using Basic and Plus courses if they wish. Will PVPUSD be certifying these classes with the NCAA?
Are you aware of the vast number of APEX course answers on YouTube? I can't imagine that UC scout will be far behind. Will teachers be required to create their own testing for the online programs, and only use their own assessments for grading? It will also solve the issue below about fill in answers.
APEX testing uses fill in answers, and per the preview seem to mandate being typed in exactly to get credit. If you make an answer plural, misspell, use a variation of a word, will it be wrong? Can, and will, the teachers see the answer and adjust the score? We have used similar online programs with this issue in the past. It can be quite frustrating to the student.
Regarding NCAA, NCAA has provided guidance regarding COVID 19 approval and we will follow their guidance but all courses will be NCAA and UC A-G approved. All courses will be transcripted as PVPUSD courses Most teachers will be doing their own assessments with the students in order to offer an array of question types. Teachers will grade appropriately so if there is a spelling error but the answer is correct, it should be counted; teachers can be easily contacted if there is an issue.

Special Education/504 Plans


My questions are for children in SDC. Some disabilities make zoom meetings or continuous meetings non-productive for learning. Which option (hybrid or distance) will allow flexibility for students to work offline when students don't learn well in zoom meetings?
Could you explain how safety measures like social distancing will be done in classroom with almost one-to-one adult aid to students ratio and students who require physical prompting to attend? Are aids required to stay 6 feet away from students? Will aids float between students or be restricted to their assigned student? Will there be extra classroom aids for children who don't have a one-on-one?
For when/where will services like OT/speech/etc. will be scheduled for the hybrid and distance options? Will services be in-person?

SDC teachers and support providers are looking at ways to incorporate breaks and options for delivery of instruction in both the DLA and Hybrid models. Families should work with the case manager to adjust accommodations or modifications to meet the needs of their student. SDC students have the option of DLA or hybrid. Looking at the schedules and having access to accommodations and modifications to support students will help guide that decision for each family. Safety measures will be in place based on the guidance that we get from Los Angeles CDP-- in the guidance we are beginning to see some language around exceptions based on students with disabilities.
I am a mother who of 2 sons in the SDC program. My kids are unable to participate in zoom lessons independently. What accommodations have been for the special need kids who need 1 to 1 assistance to access the curriculum, speech, o.t, p.t., and APE?
Services will be delivered based on the IEP. For example, push in services may be delivered during synchronous instruction. Other services may be individual or small group during asynchronous time. Some services may continue to be delivered virtually while others may be deliver in person on campus.
Can a student have a preference for a teacher under a 504 plan?
A section 504 plan does not provide for an accommodation of selecting a teacher.
What is the plan for special education students and 504 students? What is the best plan to teach these students who need individual instruction?
The district has invested in learning platforms that are personalized for student's needs and levels. Teachers and service providers will work to develop a plan that works for the option selected by the family.

Social Groups


I have a couple of questions specific to 5th graders in elementary. Let's say a Cornerstone 5th grader is doing DLA for the entire school year (or for any portion of the school year for that matter). Will that student still be able to participate in graduation type activities or end of year activities (assuming at some point activities become allowed on campus or off campus) with their Cornerstone classmates even though their academic learning will be online? Here's another one: let's say a Cornerstone 5th grader gets placed at a different elementary school for the Hybrid program and let's say that it's the Spring trimester and 5th graders are doing a lot of their graduation prep and end of year celebrations during the school day. Does that mean this child has to do all of it at their "new" school with basically strangers? Will they not be able to celebrate with their Cornerstone friends they've possibly been with since Kindergarten?
Yes, to the best of our abilities, our sites will try to provide as many social activities as possible including clubs, activities, etc. If a student is in DLA, students should participate in their home school celebrations. A student in hybrid would participate in their school celebrations.
What are the current plans for senior activities?
TBD; so many unknowns.



Independent Study/Home School


If a student disenrolls from PVPUSD in order to homeschool for the 20-21 school year, will they be guaranteed a place back in their home school for the 21-22 school year?
If a student disenrolls from the District, there is no guarantee they will be placed back into their previous school.



How will PV Transit work? Will we have buses?
We will work with PV Transit to request transportation however cannot speak for them.
Will transportation (cabs) still be available when the hybrid in class start?
Transportation will still be provided for students with IEPs.

Teacher Related Questions


Who pays for the COVID testing if a teacher is exposed or exhibits symptoms? Those tests can be $150+, will there be a designated site for teachers to get access to COVID testing where they can get rapid results?
Depending on the circumstances teachers may seek treatment at one of the District's Care Stations due to exposure or symptoms.
What will happen if the district does not have enough teachers to support the hybrid model? This could happen if teachers request to work remotely and opt to take leave if forced to teach in person.
We are working with staff to gather that information. We are confident that we will have enough teachers to support both programs.
Has the district partnered plans for this school year with teachers? Do teachers at all levels agree that they can effectively teach under these conditions (both hybrid and remote)?
Both the Hybrid and Distance Learning Model will deliver curriculum effectively.
In the eight years our children have been part of the PVPUSD, there have been many learning platforms (i.e. Edline, Edmodo, Aeries, etc.) adopted by teachers but not just one platform universally used by all teachers. Is there anything the school district is doing to mandate and check that all PVPUSD 6-12 grade teachers consistently use the new Apex Distance Learning Platform (or UC Scout) for the entire year versus ignore it and use their own preferred platform or approach to online teaching this year?
The platforms that were chosen to use were done so after consultation from staff and faculty from across the District. There may be supplemental materials that a teacher may use however, the platforms will be consistent.
If the teacher is outside our homeschool, and there is a problem, which principal are we to contact? Is there a policy of how to report concerns about grades and educational disagreements?
Your homeschool administrator should be contacted. Prior to the beginning of the school year parents will have clear direction as how to handle concerns.
What accommodations or school policy procedures must the teacher follow to support the children that would be under quarantine in the hybrid teaching model?
Teachers and staff will work with parents and students to support them academically in either model.
What happens when a teacher needs to quarantine? Do the kids go virtual or get assigned a sub? What if there are not enough subs?
We will work with staff to ensure that students will be supported academically in the event a teacher is ill.

Questions from Teachers


Will teachers who teach in the online academy retain their current school assignments & classrooms when we all return to school?
The District will make every attempt possible to return teachers to the same assignment that the teacher had previously, however, much like after a teacher takes a "Leave of Absence" their same exact assignment is not guaranteed.

Miscellaneous Questions


A number of private youth sports teams use District facilities to practice or for competition (like basketball, soccer and swim).
What plans does the District have, if any, to provide them once again with access so that they may resume their athletic activities?
The LACDPH Reopening Protocol for K12 Schools says, use of school facilities for non-school purposes is not permitted.
Many parents would like to know what is going to be expected of them during these extenuating circumstances. Can the district provide a list of parental expectations by grade level?
Yes, we can give general overviews however, some teachers/sites may have some specific expectations.