Here is what DUSD Distance Learning can look like

On Tuesday night the Dublin Unified School District met to provide more details about distance learning and discuss potential reopening plans for the 2020-2021 school year.Prior to Tuesday’s meeting the district already determined that for six weeks, starting from August 13, school would begin with distance learning with fall check-in also happening online. It remained unclear what this would look like. During the first version of distance learning, the school elected to adopt a pass/fail system for the semester. While these ideas are still under consideration, a proposal suggested that attendance should be required, letter grades should be issued and assessments should be given. Daily interactions will happen between students and the teachers , and students will use a Canvas, an online platform. Attendance will be marked based on participation in class. Kids between grades K-3 will receive number grades while students in grades 4-12 will receive letter grades. The teachers association is still working on methods to find innovative ways to assess students while maintaining academic integrity.
School will essentially be shortened. The minimum number of educational minutes a student must receive daily has been reduced from 300 to 240 for grades 4-8. Students in grades 9-12 will see a 30 percent reduction in curriculum, from 360 to 240 for grades 9-12. Daniel Moirano,the acting superintendent of the Dublin Unified School District, suggested that it is up to individual teachers if they want to surpass the minimum minutes and teach longer than that to ensure all curriculum is thorough. Teachers will also be given 10 additional days of sick leave.
These ideas are still under negotiations but This proposal was passed unanimously. The Wellness Center and the counseling department will be online and available to students who are having a difficult time of adjusting to the new condition everyone is in. Additional resources typically provided for students with an individualized education plan (IEP) are still unclear at the time, given school will be conducted in the virtual setting. According to Moriano these resources are still on the bargaining table with the Dublin Teachers Association. If the district elects to go to a hybrid model of education in the future, parents have the option of opting their student out if the child is “medically fragile or would be put at risk by in person instruction,” according to the proposal provided by the board. Teachers can also opt out with the same exemption.
Earlier in June, the board suggested the idea of using cameras in the classroom to ensure both students at home and in the classroom would have equal access to the teacher. Moirano suggested it is a “non – issue” due to potential legal ramifications and privacy concerns. When school resumes, free meals will be provided to students who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch. These meals will be distributed at all schools starting August 13. The distinct has also ordered 6,500 Chromebook laptops and WiFi hotspots to ensure every student has an equal opportunity. Request a Chromebook here. Students seeking cheaper WiFi may notify the district here.
The HUB is the academic library at Dublin High School and the main hangout spot for upperclassmen. It library provides free tutoring before, during and after school to students, free of charge. Due to the pandemic, tutors were available to those with a student’s school email address from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. via Google Hangouts videoconferencing service. It is unclear how these tutors will be utilized during the next six weeks of distance learning.Trustees discussed plans to hire a new interim superintendent. Trustee Amy Miller and Trustee Gabriella Blackman suggested keeping Moirano as an interim superintendent for the purpose of continuity, as opposed to hiring a search firm. Trustee Megan Rouse suggested interviewing one other candidate for the acting superintendent. Meanwhile, Moirano got his contract expanded from an ending date of August 22 to August 31. A majority of the meeting consisted of public commenting time with over 50 comments. Many took this opportunity to comment on the “DPIE situation.” DPIE, which stands for Dublin Partners in Education, conducts courses for credit on Dublin Unified campuses with the most common choice being STEM-oriented. This option appeals to parents as it allows their student to advance through a course in six weeks as compared to the normal school year. In previous years, students would go to physical campuses for six hours per day. At the end of three weeks and six weeks, students would take finals in the same way as the regular school year. At the end of the semester, students with As and Bs can advance to their next course, with a teacher recommendation.
Due to the pandemic, students were not able to explore campus and take a physical class. Instead, students were taught on video conferencing platform Zoom and one day were required to come to campus and take finals for both semesters. Angry parents complained that teachers only taught 15 minutes instead of the required six hours. Teachers also did not grade uniformly with different teachers applying different test weightage to the finals students took, according to complaints posed to the board. Parents also maintain time was an issue on the final. They also proclaimed the district did not focus on students’ health, giving them only a four-minute break between both finals. The most common complaint in the board meeting was about grade weighting. The finals consisted of 80 percent of the overall grade, making the finals nearly the entire course. This is a deviation from the usual. Parents requested making DPIE pass/fail in accordance with what happened throughout the normal 2019-2020 school year. Other parents suggested students be allowed to take for credit courses from other third party institutions. Additional topics discussed tonight included the environmental report for Dublin’s plan to build a second high school. Due to ample public comments, the public comments segment was closed early at the request of Board President Dan Cherrier.

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