Distance Learning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Distance Learning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Last updated April 29, 2020

What is SFUSD's distance learning plan?

SFUSD is committed to providing a distance learning experience that is rooted in our mission to provide each and every student quality instruction. We have worked together to ensure that our distance learning strategy holds access and equity at the core, elevates aspects of our graduate profile and prioritizes relationships and collaboration as essential to authentic learning. 

SFUSD will be offering two types of distance learning - print based and digital. Both have requirements for students (families) to log on to a Zoom call or engage in a phone call regularly with their children's teacher(s) and other educators in their school.

Read SFUSD's press release published on April 13, 2020 regarding the official launch of teacher-led interactive distance learning.

As a PK-2 parent or parent without internet access or device, what can I expect?

Central Office will be creating and deploying packets to all PK-2 students and any 3-12 students who do not have a device or access to WiFi during shelter in place to lower the number of people interacting with one another. Educators serving students without devices will send videos via ParentVue and call parents regularly to coach them on the assignments. Please follow the guidance given to you in the packet and avoid completing all the “work” sent to you in one sitting as it is designed to be guided by an SFUSD educator. Please go here for more information.

What are SFUSD's norms for online learning?

With the increase of teaching and learning online in SFUSD, having norms in place will allow us to set the stage for a successful online experience. These norms for online learning can be used to help guide positive, safe, and productive interactions with our students.

What are SFUSD's guidelines for student communications during school closure?

In order to provide your child/ren with meaningful learning experiences, during distance learning, your teacher(s) may ask students to participate in an interactive online meeting (video conference) using Zoom, Google Classroom and Google Hangouts. Students will use these tools with their current SFUSD/Google ID and password. Please read SFUSD's recommendations for online participation in instruction, and please contact your teacher or principal if you have questions or concerns related to your child’s use of interactive platforms.

What if our family’s schedule doesn’t allow us to engage directly with the teacher or class at the scheduled time?

We ask that you try your best to engage at the times provided by the school/educator. If you cannot, please communicate that to the teacher/educator and engage with them during their office hours/individual outreach.

What if my child was receiving specific supports at school, like therapy or academic support?

If your child has been receiving specific supports at school, like therapy or academic support, the people who normally provide those services will be contacting you to set up phone calls or online meetings so that your child continues to receive the support they need.

Is SFUSD taking attendance during school closures?

SFUSD is not recording regular daily attendance on school closure days for apportionment purposes. As a result of Governor Newsom’s Executive Order on March 13, 2020, local educational agencies (LEAs) such as SFUSD will not be penalized for not offering regular school days as a result of closure due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We are planning on engaging every student by April 13 and are still exploring how we will monitor student participation. Tracking participation in distance learning will be done separately from regular attendance accounting.

How does grading work?

How does grading work?

Students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs): Grades will be provided in accordance with those plans. 

Students in grades TK through 5: Classroom teachers will provide feedback on progress in the “comments only” report form. 

Students in grades 6 through 12: Classroom teachers will assign “Credit / No Credit” for each course.

Why is the district not assigning letter grades to students?

Although early implementation of distance learning shows promising results, major challenges predictably have emerged and will continue to remain a challenge during school closures. Assigning letter grades to students who are experiencing unequal learning circumstances would not ensure fairness or provide an accurate assessment of students’ learning during this time.

Will SFUSD’s “credit / no credit” grading policy affect grade point averages (GPAs)?

Grades of “credit” or “no credit” will not be included in students’ GPA calculations. This means that spring course grades will neither increase nor decrease GPA. Thus, spring AP classes will not yield an extra boost to the GPA. However, as explained by UC admissions guidance, “UC-approved honors courses, including AP and IB, will be included in the honors course tallies, ensuring students are considered in comprehensive review as taking a challenging curriculum.” Likewise, they will continue to award college credits for AP exam scores of 3, 4, and 5.

What will SFUSD’s “credit / no credit” grading policy mean to colleges and universities?

Multiple public and private institutions of higher education, both individually and through collective associations, have issued statements reassuring students that if their schools adopt a pass/fail or similar grading policy, it will not be held against them. They urge students to prioritize health, safety, and wellness during this time. By having access to students’ complete high school transcripts as part of their applications, institutions of higher education will be able to calculate GPAs consistently and fairly across the entire applicant pool, taking into account different grading policies. 

What grading policies have the University of California and California State University systems recommended?

The University of California, and California State University systems have provided coordinated guidance around acceptable grading policies, emphasizing the need for accurate assessment information for the benefit of students and fairness to their peers. SFUSD’s grading policy was created in alignment with UC and CSU guidance.

Will standardized tests be canceled?

California has suspended all statewide testing for the 2019-20 school year; this includes SFUSD.