Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District

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Distance Learning Instructional Plan



The goal for Distance Learning is the continuity of quality instruction which includes review of previously taught concepts, new material focused around essential standards and enrichment opportunities.  This instruction is delivered through a variety of ways, to reduce as much academic loss as possible and to support student learning during this time.


This instructional plan is a product of the collaboration with our employee associations to support students and staff during the school closure.



Goal: Our goal is for teachers and students to actively engage with each other throughout this distance learning program. Students will also maintain retention of previously taught concepts while introducing new material and concepts. Teaching and learning should be focused around the core essential standards for each course/grade level.

Timeline: Until further notice, likely through the end of the school year


Guidelines for Remote Instruction (CA Department of Education):

CA Department of Education Guidance on Distance Learning


Communication to parents and students regarding work and assignments should take place via individual teachers via the following methods:

  • AERIES Communications
  • PVPUSD Email
  • Edlio website
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Other PVPUSD approved platforms


Communication to families/students should happen at the end of the week (for the next week) or the start of the week to lay out expectations (required vs. optional) and when instruction is happening.

Instructional Program

  • “Distance Learning” is defined as instruction in which the student and instructor are in different locations. Instructional methods may include online instruction, printed instructional materials, phone calls, emails, text reminder applications, video conferencing and other means of communication.
  • It is highly recommended that students receive both synchronous and asynchronous instruction daily
    • Synchronous should be at the same time each week
    • Any schedule is site specific and determined by teachers and administration at that site

Asynchronous and Synchronous Learning

Examples of how synchronous video conferences can be utilized:

  • A whole class video conference at regular times during the week to introduce a concept, lesson or explain an assignment (e.g. 30 minutes 2x a week at the same time).
  • A whole class video conference to review a concept or give the class overall feedback
  • On-demand video conference – students sign up during office
  • Smaller groups for elementary students (10-12 at a time otherwise)
  • Small group video conference for students with similar needs (to support students)
  • Optional “live recess” to allow students to connect and socialize around learning (e.g. lunch with your teacher, show and tell, morning meeting to check in with kids)


Examples of how asynchronous teaching can be utilized:

  • A screen casted lecture for students to view prior to a live session
  • TK teacher records a weekly thematic lesson
  • A video introduction for key
  • Screencast of how to solve problems or approach an activity before students complete it independently
  • A short welcome video each morning and/or reflection video each
  • A screencast to offer feedback on student work and


Special Education teachers, psychologists, counselors and other providers—will provide in person support to students as close to what is written into the IEP.  Guidance from the California Department of Education as well as the Federal Department of Education will be followed in order to provide equitable and appropriate education for our students with special needs. Unless otherwise mutually agreed upon, meetings shall be virtual using an online platform such as Teams or Zoom. Special Education teachers will work collaboratively with core content teachers to accommodate and/or adapt lessons as necessary to meet the needs of students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) in a digital learning environment and ensure that lessons and activities are appropriate as documented in students’ IEPs.

What to cover

At this time, teachers should focus on essential standards for their grade/content area to ensure that students are learning the most pertinent standards for that course/grade level.  

Recommended time for learning opportunities:

This recommendation includes all content via synchronous or asynchronous activities. Live sessions and independent assignments are included in the recommended time.  Teachers may also provide optional enrichment activities as well.  This does not include PE, Music and any other additional offerings for students.

TK-K:  60 minutes per day
Grades 1-2:  90-120 minutes per day
Grades 3-5:  150 minutes per day
Grades 6-8:  2.5 - 3 hours per week, per class*
Grades 9-12:  3-4 hours per week, per class*

*grades 6-8 is approximately 30-45 minutes per class, per day; grades 9-12 is approximately 45 minutes per class per day


Independent reading may also be recommended:

  • 20-30 mins/day for elementary students
  • 45-60 mins/day for MS and HS students (through ELA classes)


Flexibility and support for students

It is imperative that students are given flexibility and support during this time.  That should include: flexible deadlines, make up opportunities, alternative assessments, alternative times, feedback and opportunities to redo, and above all else, compassion and grace for students during this time.  Here are some helpful reminders:

  • Student should not be kicked out of live sessions for being late
  • If a student is having internet connectivity issues, they should turn off their camera; please do not kick them out of the session
  • If you remove a student from a class for behavior, consider how they get the information that they missed; students must have access to curriculum and instruction
  • If a student doesn’t engage, please be sure to reach out to the student and/or parents and work through your site process to make contact with students and determine the student’s situation.


Grading and Feedback to Students

High School:  Letter grades will be issued for end semester 2.  Students will be able to choose an alternate grade for individual classes before a specified date.  If students do not choose the alternate grade before the deadline, the grades will default to a letter grade.  More information will follow on grading specifics.

Intermediate School: Letter grades will be issued for end of Trimester 3.  Students will be able to choose an alternate grade for individual classes before a specified date.  If students do not choose an alternate grade before the deadline, the grades will default to a letter grade.  More information will follow on grading specifics.

Elementary:  Report cards will remain standards based with some amendments to reflect the standards covered through the rest of the year.  Grade level meetings will be held to determine how the report card should be amended.  Comments should be included.  More information will follow on grading specifics.

Assessment during distance learning will look different than the traditional classroom.  Things to consider when grading and assessing students:

  • Grading the process rather than the outcome
  • Authentic assessment
  • Alternative ways to assess for students who need flexibility
  • Projects
  • Discussions and participation


Professional Development

  • Professional development will continue to be offered to staff
  • Teachers or staff needing more in-depth PD can make that request to the instructional coaches for 1:1 coaching
  • Educational Services is open to suggestions or enlisting teachers who have experience in a particular topic to support PD.



  • Our attendance will be based off interaction/participation with students
    • If students are not completing assignments and meeting the virtual meeting times/ collaborations, teachers should make attempts to contact the student
    • If a teacher is unsuccessful in contacting parents, the case should be referred to the site administrator or mental health staff (psychologists or school counselors).


Work Hours

  • Teachers are expected to work (i.e. answering emails, collaborating with peers, holding office hours, lesson planning, lesson prep, etc.) during designated contractual hours. If staff members have extenuating circumstances, they should work with their site administration on scheduling.


Access to Campus

  • To the extent possible, staff members should remain in their home to limit any exposure to facilities
  • If a staff member needs something from campus, please notify your administrator and do your best to get on and off as quickly as possible


Staff Meetings/Staff Collaboration

  • Site Administrators will hold online meetings with departments and faculty
  • Teachers should collaborate with grade level/department teams, in particular, special education teachers, to establish consistency, share ideas, and prepare.
  • Teams should establish a protocol for student support in the event that a team member becomes unable to work and communicate with families. This protocol and plan should be shared with site administration



  • Teachers in need of devices should let their administrator know
  • Tech support is available during school hours
  • If there are specific tech requests, those should be made to your administration and IT




Distance Learning Infographic