News

Budget, grades and graduation: School board to discuss coronavirus impact on district

Parents start petition to press board to take formal action on credit/no credit grading system

The Palo Alto school board will hear updates Tuesday on major issues related to the coronavirus, including financial implications for the district; the impact on grades and high school graduation ceremonies; and flexible start dates for the 2020-21 school year.

Palo Alto Unified's schools initially shuttered in mid-March for what the district expected to be a four-week closure, including spring break. By April 1, Superintendent Don Austin announced that all campuses would remain closed for the rest of the school year, with instruction continuing remotely. The district has not yet set a reopening date, and Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested last week that schools could see staggered schedules and other restrictions when they do resume in-person classes.

Staff will report to the board about the district's distance learning efforts, including synchronous and asynchronous teaching. Staff also will cover the decision to move to a credit/no credit grading system for middle and high school students for the rest of the semester and discuss testing, support for special education students, summer school and other issues.

The board will also discuss the pandemic's impact on district finances. Austin wrote in a staff report that the state budget, "funded largely by income taxes, sales taxes and corporate taxes, is set to suffer significantly and enter into a recession triggered by the pandemic and shelter-in-place orders.

"The closures, combined with local, state, and national related fiscal impacts will dramatically change the assumptions used to build the 2020-21 school budget," he wrote.

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State officials have said that a budget revision in May will include a workload budget that funds cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) only, and will likely be less than the 2.29% COLA announced in the governor's proposed budget in January, he wrote. The state budget, set to be adopted in June, will fund "only essential programs."

Staff will report on issues that impact the budget — including property tax assessments, current and future bond construction projects and the implications of delaying a parcel tax election — and provide a general accounting of expenses and revenues during the closure.

Board members will also likely hear from a group of parents who have criticized the move to credit/no credit and want them to address the issue. The board did not vote to change the district's grading system during the closures; the decision was announced by Austin, who the board has given authority to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic without board approval as long as he immediately notifies each board member of any action he takes.

"The vast majority of schools boards throughout the state — those that have announced their grading system and those still in review — have undertaken a transparent process including soliciting input from other school district administrators and board members, high school department chairs, teachers and counselors to carefully weigh this important decision," reads a petition the parents started. "We want the same opportunity in Palo Alto."

The petition notes concern that a credit/no credit system "will have a significant and negative effect on the GPA of any student currently enrolled in Advanced Placement or honors classes because of lost weighted benefit."

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As of Monday, 521 people had signed the petition.

"Students deserve a fair assessment for their work," Frank Zeng posted to the petition.

"You can argue that students should be motivated by a desire to learn. I'm sure many are. But many are also motivated by grades. The two aren't mutually exclusive," wrote parent Danny Epstein. "As the shelter-in-place continues, we need to transition from short-term solutions to longer term ones. Switching to P/NP was fine in the short term. We need grades in the long term."

Steve Toteda, one of the parents behind the petition, said in an interview that he wants the board "to do what boards are supposed to do: take this up and vote.

"This board must go on record and make a decision so we as the people who voted for them know how they stand," he said.

The school board's virtual meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. To watch the meeting, go to https://pausd.zoom.us/j/94997346242. To call in using a phone, dial 669-900-6833, enter webinar ID 949 9734 6242 and press #. If asked for a participant ID or code, press #.

To comment on any item during the meeting, members of the public can virtually "raise their hand" using the Zoom app or by pressing "*9" on a phone.

View the full agenda here.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

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Budget, grades and graduation: School board to discuss coronavirus impact on district

Parents start petition to press board to take formal action on credit/no credit grading system

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Apr 20, 2020, 12:36 pm

The Palo Alto school board will hear updates Tuesday on major issues related to the coronavirus, including financial implications for the district; the impact on grades and high school graduation ceremonies; and flexible start dates for the 2020-21 school year.

Palo Alto Unified's schools initially shuttered in mid-March for what the district expected to be a four-week closure, including spring break. By April 1, Superintendent Don Austin announced that all campuses would remain closed for the rest of the school year, with instruction continuing remotely. The district has not yet set a reopening date, and Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested last week that schools could see staggered schedules and other restrictions when they do resume in-person classes.

Staff will report to the board about the district's distance learning efforts, including synchronous and asynchronous teaching. Staff also will cover the decision to move to a credit/no credit grading system for middle and high school students for the rest of the semester and discuss testing, support for special education students, summer school and other issues.

The board will also discuss the pandemic's impact on district finances. Austin wrote in a staff report that the state budget, "funded largely by income taxes, sales taxes and corporate taxes, is set to suffer significantly and enter into a recession triggered by the pandemic and shelter-in-place orders.

"The closures, combined with local, state, and national related fiscal impacts will dramatically change the assumptions used to build the 2020-21 school budget," he wrote.

State officials have said that a budget revision in May will include a workload budget that funds cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) only, and will likely be less than the 2.29% COLA announced in the governor's proposed budget in January, he wrote. The state budget, set to be adopted in June, will fund "only essential programs."

Staff will report on issues that impact the budget — including property tax assessments, current and future bond construction projects and the implications of delaying a parcel tax election — and provide a general accounting of expenses and revenues during the closure.

Board members will also likely hear from a group of parents who have criticized the move to credit/no credit and want them to address the issue. The board did not vote to change the district's grading system during the closures; the decision was announced by Austin, who the board has given authority to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic without board approval as long as he immediately notifies each board member of any action he takes.

"The vast majority of schools boards throughout the state — those that have announced their grading system and those still in review — have undertaken a transparent process including soliciting input from other school district administrators and board members, high school department chairs, teachers and counselors to carefully weigh this important decision," reads a petition the parents started. "We want the same opportunity in Palo Alto."

The petition notes concern that a credit/no credit system "will have a significant and negative effect on the GPA of any student currently enrolled in Advanced Placement or honors classes because of lost weighted benefit."

As of Monday, 521 people had signed the petition.

"Students deserve a fair assessment for their work," Frank Zeng posted to the petition.

"You can argue that students should be motivated by a desire to learn. I'm sure many are. But many are also motivated by grades. The two aren't mutually exclusive," wrote parent Danny Epstein. "As the shelter-in-place continues, we need to transition from short-term solutions to longer term ones. Switching to P/NP was fine in the short term. We need grades in the long term."

Steve Toteda, one of the parents behind the petition, said in an interview that he wants the board "to do what boards are supposed to do: take this up and vote.

"This board must go on record and make a decision so we as the people who voted for them know how they stand," he said.

The school board's virtual meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. To watch the meeting, go to https://pausd.zoom.us/j/94997346242. To call in using a phone, dial 669-900-6833, enter webinar ID 949 9734 6242 and press #. If asked for a participant ID or code, press #.

To comment on any item during the meeting, members of the public can virtually "raise their hand" using the Zoom app or by pressing "*9" on a phone.

View the full agenda here.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Comments

Independent
Esther Clark Park
on Apr 20, 2020 at 1:53 pm
Independent, Esther Clark Park
on Apr 20, 2020 at 1:53 pm
32 people like this

There is no synchronous teaching PAUSD is offering. None is offered to any student I know at PAUSD.


Independent
Esther Clark Park
on Apr 20, 2020 at 1:57 pm
Independent, Esther Clark Park
on Apr 20, 2020 at 1:57 pm
20 people like this

The MOU w the teachers'union provides for credit/no credit grading. Apparently that's what the teachers'union wanted as part of agreeing to a change in working conditions to their collective bargaining agreement during this pandemic. Where do the students' needs come in?


whew
Fairmeadow
on Apr 20, 2020 at 2:56 pm
whew, Fairmeadow
on Apr 20, 2020 at 2:56 pm
19 people like this

Were there grades or teaching before this? My kid's teacher told them to teach themselves and the quizzes are graded online. Nothing really different going on except tutors the rich kids still have are online now. They still have the advantage given to them by poor leadership in curriculum delivery.


ethical responsible role model
Midtown
on Apr 20, 2020 at 3:04 pm
ethical responsible role model, Midtown
on Apr 20, 2020 at 3:04 pm
7 people like this

Using a product such as Zoom that resorted to fraudulent practices, sending CEO apologizing on TV etc. after the fact, sends a bad signal to youngsters on ethical and responsible conduct. (Or are those just for handbooks and used to punish the helpless?)


Independent
Esther Clark Park
on Apr 20, 2020 at 3:48 pm
Independent, Esther Clark Park
on Apr 20, 2020 at 3:48 pm
10 people like this

Zoom isn't the only product out there. That can't be used as an excuse. Other online charter schools, for example, find a way to offer education to their students. Other districts and schools do find ways to figure out online learning for students --- by putting students first, rather than a special interest like the teacher's union.


Paly Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Apr 20, 2020 at 4:31 pm
Paly Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Apr 20, 2020 at 4:31 pm
17 people like this

>There is no synchronous teaching PAUSD is offering.

This is a false statement. I teach at Paly and have offered synchronous teaching at least ten times. I know of colleagues who have also given synchronous instruction.

>The MOU w the teachers'union provides for credit/no credit grading. Apparently that's what the teachers'union wanted as part of agreeing to a change in working conditions to their collective bargaining agreement during this pandemic.

What proof supports this statement?

>Using a product such as Zoom that resorted to fraudulent practices, sending CEO apologizing on TV etc. after the fact, sends a bad signal to youngsters on ethical and responsible conduct. (Or are those just for handbooks and used to punish the helpless?)

Really? Do you use a bank that has bilked customers out of billions? Go for something less petty or offer a better alternative.

>Zoom isn't the only product out there. That can't be used as an excuse. Other online charter schools, for example, find a way to offer education to their students. Other districts and schools do find ways to figure out online learning for students --- by putting students first, rather than a special interest like the teacher's union.

It may seem like other schools are doing a lot but you don't really know unless you have a student enrolled there. The grass isn't greener on the other side; it's greener where you water it.


Independent
Esther Clark Park
on Apr 20, 2020 at 4:42 pm
Independent, Esther Clark Park
on Apr 20, 2020 at 4:42 pm
16 people like this

@Paly Teacher -
You've offered synchronous learning 10 times -- and how many school days have there been since schools were closed? 26 possible school days have passed.

I don't know of a student who has received synchronous learning. Still accurate.


ethical responsible role model
Midtown
on Apr 20, 2020 at 5:00 pm
ethical responsible role model, Midtown
on Apr 20, 2020 at 5:00 pm
2 people like this

I wrote:
>> Using a product such as Zoom that resorted to fraudulent practices,
>> sending CEO apologizing on TV etc. after the fact, sends a bad signal to
>> youngsters on ethical and responsible conduct.
To which a @Paly Teacher countered:
> Really? Do you use a bank that has bilked customers out of billions?

So sad that our students are taught with lack of critical thinking people
if @Paly Teacher really is a teacher. All banks charge interest for a loan,
but that doesn't mean you take a loan from the bank that charges the
highest interest rate. Maybe some do in a naive way?

> Go for something less petty or offer a better alternative.
Petty? I'll ignore that as it is not constructive.

Many better alternatives: skype, webex to name a couple.
Their CEOs are not out there apologizing for frauds, lack of privacy.

Do you homework! Think! (Or, are those only for students?)


Paly Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Apr 20, 2020 at 5:36 pm
Paly Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Apr 20, 2020 at 5:36 pm
16 people like this

@Independent:

Yes, at least twice a week for five weeks. Even if I had only taught once, that negates your statement "There is no synchronous teaching PAUSD is offering."

@ethical responsible role model

Not sure why you think I was talking about interest rates. Better to ask for clarification instead of assume. I believe you're looking for a lack of critical thinking in the wrong place. What I meant was companies like Wells Fargo open fradulent accounts and have other shady practices yet we still use them and instead target a small company like Zoom. I'll look into Skype. Webex looks promising but meetings for the free account are limited to 40 minutes.

Sometimes my colleagues ask me why I bother reading these comments. I tell them I like to remind myself why my job is important.


Teacher
College Terrace
on Apr 20, 2020 at 5:42 pm
Teacher, College Terrace
on Apr 20, 2020 at 5:42 pm
24 people like this

I find it not so ironic that the same tech gods that told me to ZOOOMM ZOOOM ZOOM those first few days are the same ones that were tbrowing down the F bomb continously before the webinar came on tonight. Yeah guys, you were live!
Don't tell me to trust you with my job and liability.FAIL


Why so little synchronous teaching
Midtown
on Apr 20, 2020 at 5:55 pm
Why so little synchronous teaching, Midtown
on Apr 20, 2020 at 5:55 pm
14 people like this

We are seeing virtually no synchronous teaching at Gunn. I was thinking how frustrated and disappointed teachers must be, after creating so much momentum earlier in the year and getting kids interested and engaged and building fun classrooms to have to now teach through a straw (which is like async teaching must be like). And these few months (Feb-Apr) are so important for learning. We lost one and the remainder are async. My guess has been that the district said synchronous teaching - a lot more like what's in the classrooms - is not allowed, maybe because it would disadvantage some kids. Is that true? Or did the teachers union say no? Or was there a fear of lawsuits? Or does somehow the district think async is better for kids? Why so little synchronous teaching?


Teach
Esther Clark Park
on Apr 20, 2020 at 6:03 pm
Teach , Esther Clark Park
on Apr 20, 2020 at 6:03 pm
14 people like this

@Why so little synchronous teaching-
Without any editorial on it whatsoever- two words: EQUITY ISSUES. So the SEL gurus and all the others who PREACH, yes, I said PREACH from their self righteous soapbox about equity.....see job opportunities in the district right now and are POUNCING.


ethical responsible role model
Midtown
on Apr 20, 2020 at 6:12 pm
ethical responsible role model, Midtown
on Apr 20, 2020 at 6:12 pm
1 person likes this

@Paly Teacher
>> Not sure why you think I was talking about interest rates.
>> Better to ask for clarification instead of assume

Hmm..be a role model. Ask, don't assume! :) No idea why you assumed that *I
thought* you were talking about interest rates? It was meant to be
an analogy of how one makes tradeoffs based on self interests, resting on
principles, fair and ethical. The point was that schools, colleges, parents,
and leaders should not just have "free" as the only driving principle,
and that we should demonstrate critical thinking to children, and have
thoughtful answers to their questions when news show a CEO apologizing
on TV, in front of Congress, etc. for illegal, deceptive practices but
their schools continue as if nothing is wrong and even heap praises.

But when the students make one mistake...they don't get that CEO treatment!

>> ... I like to remind myself why my job is important.
If you are a teacher, let me assure you that your job is IMPORTANT!
And thank you for that.
But, the moment we think we know everything there is to know, above being
questioned, or doing the best with no room for improvements, it starts
going downhill from there!
With information of all forms, facts, alternate facts, fake, half truths,
etc. readily available out there, critical thinking and reasoning are
essential skills our students should be exposed to and practiced daily.


ethical responsible role model
Midtown
on Apr 20, 2020 at 6:24 pm
ethical responsible role model, Midtown
on Apr 20, 2020 at 6:24 pm
Like this comment

@Teacher
>> I find it not so ironic that the same tech gods ...

There are no tech gods, no trusted brands anymore...everyone should be
scrutized scrupulously. And we must not get locked in...


Student
Palo Alto High School
on Apr 20, 2020 at 8:15 pm
Student, Palo Alto High School
on Apr 20, 2020 at 8:15 pm
21 people like this

Can parents just stop lol like if anything students should have a say in how they want their grades reported. There’s a reason why it’s pass/fail, it’s helping more than it’s hurting. And just because grades from this semester won’t affect gpa, colleges you apply to will still see course rigor as well as first semester grades. It’s going to be ok


Soooooooo
Fairmeadow
on Apr 20, 2020 at 10:33 pm
Soooooooo, Fairmeadow
on Apr 20, 2020 at 10:33 pm
16 people like this

Since there appear to be a couple teachers on this thread and since they are anonymous I would really like to hear how hard the teachers are working right now compared to normal school days.

My 2 kids (1 in middle one in HS) have had almost zero zoom calls or synchronous learning. The assignments posted have been spotty and lots of very low effort/thought things like watch very loosely related subject videos. I feel like teachers for the most part are being paid very well to not teach. I know lots probably have issues with loss of child care or other family obligations but my frustration is knowing tax dollars are being spent on teacher salaries with what looks like almost zero benefit to students.


Paly Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Apr 21, 2020 at 12:02 am
Paly Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Apr 21, 2020 at 12:02 am
12 people like this

@Soooooooo

Thanks for a balanced comment. Let me acknowledge your feelings by saying that if my kids had teachers who weren’t providing instruction, I’d be upset, too. The best I can offer is what Dr. Austin said tonight during his seminar: send your concerns to teachers and bring in principals if necessary.

For some teachers, it’s very hard to provide quality instruction online. You mention childcare needs, but there’s also the difficulty of taking the art of teaching and moving it online. MacBooks are not equipped for writing, new questions have to be found for assessments, and keeping a student’s attention is asking them to stare at a screen which can strain their eyes. Then there’s the issue of chasing down students who aren’t participating. Imagine having to email or call 40 families to get them to engage with school.

Again, I hear and empathize with your frustrations. Thank you for taking the time to hear our perspectives.


cmarg
Palo Alto High School
on Apr 21, 2020 at 4:17 pm
cmarg, Palo Alto High School
on Apr 21, 2020 at 4:17 pm
11 people like this

Thanks for all the comments and I have to say, I really appreciate hearing from teachers. It is helpful. I know there are several Paly teachers that are doing an amazing job teaching and finding ways to engage students. There are also others that appear to be less engaged. I am hoping there is an opportunity for mentoring and collaboration among the teachers. We are all better together.

In reference to the student response about grading not impacting GPA, I have even been told by the school board members that the GPA for those students taking AP and/or Honors classes is NEGATIVELY impacted by CR/NC. It is a fact. It is best to state that fact publicly. Admit it. There is no way to dispute this fact.

I personally feel the challenge is that Seniors and Freshman are not as impacted with GPA issues right now and CR/NC is ideal. Seniors are accepted to colleges (and most colleges are offering an option to their students for grades or CR/NC). Regarding freshman, colleges generate GPAs based on Sophomore and Junior year and some 1st semester of Senior year. So, the group most impacted is Juniors and Sophomores.

The challenge is that those students who, for whatever reason, did not focus on studying in Sophomore year and then pushed themselves in Junior year and were able to get much higher grades than Sophomore year, are penalized for trying hard. It is a fact. Please don't say no one is negatively impacted.

Lastly, why was March 25th deemed an EMERGENCY day by Superintendent Austin such that he is the ONLY Superintendent to be the sole decider on grading? Schools like Palos Verdes, where Superintendent Austin came from, are voting on the 22nd regarding grading. Ironically, the teachers are pushing for grades at Palos Verdes. Other districts like Los Gatos/Saratoga, another very highly rated HS, has not decided. The districts around Palo Alto: Mountain View/Los Altos, Sequoia Union, and San Mateo are all petitioning CR/NC right now.

There are creative approaches out there that need to be evaluated. AND, most importantly, the board needs to vote on the grading decision after getting student, community and teacher input.


Steve Toteda
Palo Alto High School
on Apr 21, 2020 at 5:53 pm
Steve Toteda, Palo Alto High School
on Apr 21, 2020 at 5:53 pm
3 people like this

Please join the PAUSD Board meeting and make your views known! The Board MUST vote.

Board Meeting Access Instructions - April 21, 2020:

Via Video Conference/Internet: Web Link

Via Telephone: Dial 669-900-6833, enter Webinar ID 949 9734 6242, then press #.
If asked for a participant ID or code, press #.


Another Paly Teacher
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 23, 2020 at 10:16 am
Another Paly Teacher, Old Palo Alto
on Apr 23, 2020 at 10:16 am
Like this comment

I'm not sure who "Paly Teacher" is on here—I can only guess—but I thoroughly appreciate your perspectives.


Member
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 23, 2020 at 1:55 pm
Member, Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 23, 2020 at 1:55 pm
8 people like this

Honors credits widen the gap so any excuse to wipe it awat for any kid is done.

Transfer students with accredited honors classes get it wiped out. This is against board policy but counseling does as they please.

College Now is a program they do not publicize. It is not middle college. Paly staff refuses to give honors credit for foothill classes MV, LA and Woodside di give honors credit on their kids goa. Paly puts kids at a disadvantage .
The paly counselors do not believe in giving kids credit that they earned before this .


KateKpmn
Mountain View
on May 7, 2020 at 10:43 am
KateKpmn, Mountain View
on May 7, 2020 at 10:43 am
Like this comment


I think that this situation must grant for student pass grades. I try to do my best in online education, and I hope I'm not alone in this. It's not easy to concentrate on study, but I use some interesting resources and assignment such as writing service, e.g. writix and others. I think that this one Web Link can really make the study process more interesting and easy, especially in modern conditions. The governments should pay attention to that no one has been ready for it and make some benefits for students and teachers.


New in Town
Midtown
on May 7, 2020 at 11:28 am
New in Town, Midtown
on May 7, 2020 at 11:28 am
3 people like this

@KateKpmn
Using a writing service to do your papers is cheating. This is a difficult time for all students, but please do your own work. It's the only way to learn and develop the skills you will need in a future career.


Sally
Downtown North
on May 7, 2020 at 7:29 pm
Sally, Downtown North
on May 7, 2020 at 7:29 pm
19 people like this

For those of us who actually have kids, you cannot convince us that synchronous learning is happening. We see reality with our own eyes.

My kids have both had Zoom "class meetings" now and then online, but nothing one could reasonably call education or instruction.


Sally
Downtown North
on May 7, 2020 at 7:40 pm
Sally, Downtown North
on May 7, 2020 at 7:40 pm
26 people like this

@Paly Teacher

No one complains directly to teachers or admin because of the fear of retaliation mixed with the low probability anything will happen.

I sadly feel the fear of retaliation is well-grounded historically for those of us with experience with PAUSD. The only thing I see that could possibly help would be if the teachers that care about students were to police their own ranks, and call out the silliness of the admins above and around them. But that's a pretty big risk, too...


Aono
Barron Park
on May 8, 2020 at 2:40 pm
Aono, Barron Park
on May 8, 2020 at 2:40 pm
8 people like this

I am saddened to see what I thought was true is true there is no instruction. It is no different now. Teachers just tell the kids what to do, the rich ones hire tutors and the poor ones fail the tests or stay away from top classes. Sad.


Fact Checker
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 8, 2020 at 2:59 pm
Fact Checker, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 8, 2020 at 2:59 pm
7 people like this

All the District has taken an approach that pits parents against parents. The District pretends that ONE APPROACH is REQUIRED. It is NOT REQUIRED. The State has not mandated teaching methodologies, but it does strongly suggest that distance learning requires a variety of approaches depending on the students.

We should have different clearly articulated required approaches for 3K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

Most of 9-12 and a large group of 6-9 could follow the community college model and jump 100% into live synchronous learning on a schedule. Community colleges are killing it, BTW. Even our adult school and HeadUp preschool are doing this. For students in 9-12 and 6-9 unable to benefit from the synchronous model, they might need a later start of the school year, but probably 90% of high schools students and 70% of middle school students could have a live streamed school day. Let's give it to them.

For 3K-2 and 3-5, the challenges are much more childcare and facility based. These grades need innovative solutions, which one can only hope the state leads with. Parents need a choice aligned with their family's safety concerns. These will be unique and may not be "child" based. A parent at home could have an autoimmune condition or a grandparent could live at home.

Please advocate at the State, County, District, and principal level for an approach that beats State guidelines and provides real mandated teaching.


S_mom
Community Center
on May 9, 2020 at 1:34 pm
S_mom, Community Center
on May 9, 2020 at 1:34 pm
14 people like this

We have also had not-great experience with remote learning. I can't complain about my kindergartener because I think no kindergartener can actually be taught remotely because they aren't really capable of working independently. He does have about 3 1/2 hour zooms per week when some instruction occurs, but otherwise he only learns when I am sitting there working with him. I don't blame his teacher though -- she is providing plenty of materials and the zooms, it's just that a kindergartener can't learn much without an adult there.

My 5th grader's experience is worse though, because I think she could learn fine this way but isn't. She has one zoom per week (which is pretty much a class meeting where they do ice breaker-type activities) and otherwise essentially gets a short list of assignments each day in which the prompts change slightly but the assignments don't. Although she has to turn in about 3 assignments per week, after the first week her teacher stopped giving any feedback (and the first week she just left short comments on the assignments in schoology). Essentially no teaching is happening in her class right now, because the kids are getting no feedback at all. A short list of repetitive assignments without any feedback, plus one instruction-free zoom a week is not teaching!

Hoping they can figure this out by the fall if we have to continue it. Teachers should have to provide some feedback and academic teaching/interaction, and they should have more explicit requirements to ensure a basic level of teaching if they don't already. We are all having to balance work and families at home and I don't think offering a reasonable level of remote learning requires an 8-3pm level of daily work on the teacher's part.


Big picture
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 10, 2020 at 9:38 am
Big picture, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 10, 2020 at 9:38 am
3 people like this

As a parent of a senior, I would point out:

-UCs and CSUs calculate student GPA their own way and limit the number of honors and AP classes that can bump student GPA. So some of the students who may think they are getting a bump, wouldn’t be anyway even if they got a grade.

-Students who think their GPA will be compromised can always take a community college course or two over summer - they give a GPA bump, too, and can also be transferred as college credit later. A quarter course for community college, if transferable, is worth a year of high school credit.

-Unless someone is on the line between some low threshold for admission and not, the loss of the GPA bump is not ultimately going to mean much. Colleges look at so much more than GPA. If students who are concerned use the extra time to do something meaningful, that will help more than any extra AP grade bump this year. The class still counts as an AP class when colleges ask how many a student took, etc.

- The superintendent giving C/NC is a gift if students choose to make the best of the hand their dealt. No, it doesn’t fix what they lost, but they can pivot to make the situation into something else. The changes made to help kids in school are going to hurt a lot of homeschooling kids in ways you’ll never hear about. Life isn’t fair. I fear the depression ahead is going to nullify many concerns that loom large now.


@PAUSD teacher
another community
on May 10, 2020 at 11:09 am
@PAUSD teacher, another community
on May 10, 2020 at 11:09 am
6 people like this

Your union fought posting assignments to Schoology a few years back. Web Link
So that along with parents directly reporting what they are seeing, it can be safely said that while some teachers are going beyond, the district culture is permitting and fostering mediocrity in remote teaching.


KateKpmn
College Terrace
on May 29, 2020 at 3:25 am
KateKpmn, College Terrace
on May 29, 2020 at 3:25 am
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I think that this situation must grant for student pass grades. I try to do my best in online education, and I hope I'm not alone in this. It's not easy to concentrate on study, but I use some interesting resources and assignment such as writing service, e.g. writix and others. I think that this one Web Link can really make the study process more interesting and easy, especially in modern conditions. The governments should pay attention to that no one has been ready for it and make some benefits for students and teachers.


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