Online Learning Options Frequently Asked Questions

Online Learning Options

Definitions

Synchronous: A learning event in which students are engaging in learning with an educator at the same time, usually on the computer or telephone. 

Asynchronous: Learning that occurs when the teacher and the students interact in different places and during different times. This may be through a pre-recorded video, web-based lessons, or a series of self-paced assignments. 

What are my online learning options for 2021-2022 school year?

SFUSD is offering two online learning options for TK-8 students (read about Independence HS option for students in grades 9-12): Online Learning Program (OLP) which is designated for medically fragile students, and On Demand Learning Program (ODLP) which is available to a limited number of students who do not meet the criteria for the OLP but who are requesting a remote learning option for the fall of 2021.  

What is the Online Learning Program (OLP) - Synchronous and Asynchronous?

The Online Learning Program (OLP) is a program for the 2021-2022 school year. Students participating in the OLP will receive instruction virtually. 

  • Students participating in the program will spend some time in live/synchronous instruction with the teacher, personally check in with their teacher for individual support and will have to complete asynchronous work independently to practice and apply their learning.
  • Students in the OLP will be assigned an online teacher who will provide synchronous virtual instruction and assign asynchronous instruction for the duration of the program.
  • To be enrolled in the program, students must be medically fragile and meet the criteria below:
    • Students who are unable to receive the vaccine due to CDC-defined medical contraindications or religious reasons AND who have a CDC-recognized diagnosis that puts them at medical risk due to COVID-19.
    • Students who have a CDC-recognized diagnosis that puts them at medical risk due to COVID-19.

What is the On Demand Learning Program (ODLP) - Asynchronous?

Due to increased demand for virtual learning options, SFUSD is expanding its On Demand Learning Program (ODLP) for any student interested in engaging in learning virtually.

  • ODLP will include primarily asynchronous instruction with weekly synchronous grade level community meetings and regular check ins.
  • Students in the ODLP will maintain a teacher of record at their home school and interact with co-teachers across a virtual space for live interaction.

How do I know if online learning programs are right for my child?

While SFUSD is preparing for a full return to in person learning for the 2021-22 school year, we understand that some circumstances might require students to remain in remote learning. Here are a few things to consider when making the choice that is right for your child:

  • Students will need to be supervised by a responsible adult when participating in any online learning.  
  • Students will need to attend their online classes and participate actively every day. 
  • Students who are able to work independently tend to do better in remote learning environments than those who work better with a lot of guidance and peer interactions.
  • Students will spend some time in live/synchronous instruction with their teacher, personally check in with their teacher for individual support and will have work to complete asynchronous work independently to practice and apply their learning.

Is the Online Learning Program available for students in PreK?

SFUSD’s PreK programming is guided and funded by the California Department of Education’s Childcare & Development Division. The primary responsibility of childcare programming is so that low-income families can find safe, healthy, and age-appropriate educational environments for the care of their children so families can go to work or school.  Families who have children under the age of 5 who cannot attend PreK but wish to access PreK curriculum can reach out to the Early Education Department for further assistance at (415) 241-6085 Ext 1123.

Will my student be able to keep their seat at their home school if they participate in OLP or ODLP?

I applied between Aug. 13 and Aug. 27, 2021, and the application stated that participating in online learning might not guarantee that my student can maintain a seat in their school of record. 

Yes, your student will be able to maintain a seat at their school of record while attending the Online Learning Program or the On Demand Learning Program. We encourage you to transition back to in-person learning at your child’s school as soon as you feel safe to do so. 
 

Can my student participate in the Online Learning Program or On Demand Learning Program (ODLP) if they are not medically at risk due to COVID-19 or deemed medically fragile?

At this time, the Online Learning Program (OLP) is prioritizing medically fragile students who would be put at risk by in-person instruction from COVID-19. 

The On Demand Learning Program (ODLP)  is open to a limited number of students who do not meet the criteria of a CDC recognized diagnosis or CDC contraindication. 

What is the difference between the Online Learning Program (OLP), the On Demand Learning Program (ODLP) and Home Hospital Instruction (HHI)?

Pursuant to California Education Code § 48206.3, HHI serves students who incur a temporary disability, which makes attendance in the regular day classes or alternative education program impossible or inadvisable. The HHI is individual instruction at a student’s home or hospital. In contrast, the Online Learning Program is virtual learning.

Can my student participate in the Online Learning Program (OLP) or the On Demand Learning Program (ODLP) if they have an IEP?

Yes, as long as the IEP team makes a determination that such a placement in an online/independent study program ensures that the student receives an appropriate education in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Cal. Ed. Code § 51745(c).

What is the experience of high school students participating in Online Learning Programs?

SFUSD already has a robust and successful independent study program at Independence High School.

High school students who apply will be temporarily assigned to Independence High School. Students who are ready can return to their original school within five days. Families must complete a form requesting return to in person learning to activate the return process.

By enrolling at Independence High School, students in Grades 9-12 will get the benefit of a fully accredited high school program already approved by the UC and CSU college systems as well as learning structures, extracurricular activities, and support services already optimized for independent learning.

Learn more about Independence High School.

How to Apply

How do I apply for the Online Learning Program?

The first round of applications for the Online Learning Program closed on July 30, 2021. The second round of applications opened Friday, August 13 and closed Friday, August 27. 

How do I turn the health care provider form in?

There are two ways to submit a health care provider form:

  • Online Submission: The student’s healthcare provider is encouraged to fill out the Online Learning Program Healthcare Provider Form and email it to onlinelearningprogram@sfusd.edu. Please provide the student’s healthcare provider with the student’s:
    • Name
    • Date of birth
    • School
    • Grade
    • SFUSD student ID number

    The online form is only available via the website (link above). Forms are not available in ParentVUE. 

  • Paper Submission: The parent/guardian picks up a paper copy of the health care provider form (included in the application) at 555 Franklin Street and returns the completed form to the physical dropbox at 555 Franklin or submits via email.

Make sure that all documents include the student’s name, date of birth, school, grade, and SFUSD student ID number so we can match the document to the correct student’s application.

I applied for the Online Learning Program (OLP) but my student was enrolled in the On Demand Learning Program (ODLP). How come?

The district makes the determination on which program your child is accepted into based on stated medical reasons and documentation as well as availability of space.

If you applied by July 30 and your student meets the following criteria, you will be enrolled in the Online Learning Program (OLP):

  • Students who are unable to receive the vaccine due to CDC-defined medical contraindications or religious reasons AND who have a CDC-recognized diagnosis that puts them at medical risk due to COVID-19.
  • Students who have a CDC-recognized diagnosis that puts them at medical risk due to COVID-19

I applied for OLP, what should I do with my student until I get accepted into the program?

If you are not able to send your child to in-person learning and you have applied to the ODLP or OLP, it is important for you to inform your current principal and child’s teacher of your absence and the reason as you have applied to OLP.  Attendance is still taken daily at individual school sites and you want your record to accurately reflect your child’s reason for being absent. 

We want to assure you that we are following public health guidelines so that we can have all of our students back in school safely.  Research shows that when school districts follow public health guidelines—promoting vaccination to eligible students and staff, consistent and correct masking,  and proper ventilation—the spread of COVID-19 in schools is much lower than in the community or even in children's homes, including during surges  As you await response, we encourage you to send your child to school as the district believes this is the strongest academic experience for your student.  If you choose to keep your child home while awaiting news regarding an OLP or ODLP placement, SFUSD is providing interim resources for home learning

My child is new to SFUSD. How can I apply for online learning programs?

New students must first apply and enroll into a home school through the placement process at the Educational Placement Center. Once you receive an assignment, if you determine that your child cannot participate in in-person learning, you may apply for the Online Learning Program (OLP) or On Demand Learning Program (ODLP).

Canceling an Application or Transferring Out of an Online Learning Program

How can I cancel or withdraw an application for an online learning program?

SFUSD staff have already begun the assignment process for online learning applications. If you would like to cancel or withdraw your online learning program application, please complete the form requesting to return to in-person learning (Español | 中文 | عربي | Gagana Sāmoa | Tagalog | Tiếng Việt). 

If I want to start in an online learning program and then am ready to return to in-person school, how do I do that?

We strongly believe that in-person learning will best serve the great majority of our students. If you wish to return to in-person learning and no longer intend to send your child to the On Demand Learning Program, please notify us using this form requesting return to in-person learning (Español | 中文 | عربي | Gagana Sāmoa | Tagalog | Tiếng Việt) to activate the return process and will be offered an available seat in SFUSD within five days.

How do I return to in-person learning at my home school once I have completed the form requesting to return to in-person learning?

After you have submitted the form requesting to return to in-person learning (Español | 中文 | عربي | Gagana Sāmoa | Tagalog | Tiếng Việt), please report to your child’s school the following school day. You do not need an email confirmation to return to in-person learning, and your child does not need to wait five days before returning to school. Your child’s school has guidance to allow the student to attend in-person learning again, even if it still takes several days for the data system to reflect this change.