Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs about School Opening & Distance Learning

  • Elementary Hybrid Learning 

    •  What does hybrid learning mean?
      • Hybrid learning means that students learn in person (at school) part of the time, and online (at home) part of the time. As with distance learning, hybrid is a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning; the online video conference time that is part of distance learning is replaced with in-person learning in the classroom.
    •  What are the schedules being considered for elementary school hybrid learning?
      • The AM/PM schedule would have students attend school 4 days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) for about half a day. One group of students attends school in the morning; a second group attends in the afternoon, 4 days per week. Students would not eat lunch at school. There would be some additional learning time for most students that would include independent work, reading, and/or asynchronous work.
      • The 2-days per week schedule would have students attend school two days each week for a longer day, including staying on campus for lunch. For example, one group of students attends school Monday and Tuesday, while the other group attends Thursday and Friday. Asynchronous and independent learning happens on the days when students are not in the classroom.
    •  Why do some students need to stay home while the rest of the class is at school?
      • Alameda County Office of Education & Public Health guidelines require that we maintain COVID-19 physical distancing protocols when students are at school. This means that we cannot have all students in one classroom at the same time. They need to come in shifts, which are referred to as “cohorts.”
    •  What if I do not want my child to come to school?
      • We will continue to offer distance learning as an option through the end of the 2020-21 school year.  

    Child Nutrition

    • Are all students eligible for free meals during the 2020-21 school year? 
      • Yes. We have received the federal waiver that will allow us to continue to serve meals to all children in Livermore, aged 18 and under. We will provide contactless meal distribution outside at eight (8) designated school sites. 

    Technology

    • Does my child need a Chromebook for distance learning?
      • A district-issued Chromebook is not required for distance learning. Students will need a computer or Chromebook with access to the internet that has a microphone and a camera. They are welcome to use devices already at home. Tablets and iPads will not be sufficient for distance learning.
    • Will my student need to have a microphone and a camera for class meetings? Does the teacher need to be able to see them?
      • Yes, students will need a device that has a microphone and a camera so that they can fully participate in the online classroom. 
    • How can I request a Chromebook or a hotspot?
      • If you completed the Fall 2020 Student Information Questionnaire, your school will have a Chromebook ready for your student during orientation before school starts. Schools will contact parents/guardians directly about receiving a hotspot. Please contact your school for any additional needs.
    • What if we have a power outage or issues with internet connectivity or other technical glitches that interfere with a student's ability to participate online?
      • If students must miss class or part of a class because of internet issues at home, we ask that the parent or guardian notify the teacher. The absence will be excused, and a make-up opportunity will be arranged. 
    • If we have device issues with a borrowed district Chromebook, what is the process for replacing it? 
      • If students have issues with a district Chromebook, please contact your school office. They will make arrangements for a new Chromebook.

    Distance Learning

    • What does synchronous and asynchronous learning mean?
      • Synchronous learning is education that is happening in real time, such as classroom meetings during distance learning. Students and teachers are both online at the same time during instruction.
        Asynchronous learning is education that occurs through online channels without real-time interaction, such as completing assignments in Schoology and various online curriculum platforms.
    • Will students be required to be online for the full blocks of each subject, or is this time shared between online instruction and offline work time?
      • Students should plan to be engaged in learning for each class during designated times. Not all of that time will necessarily be spent in a synchronous learning format, requiring them to be actively online in webinars. The structure of each block of time will be determined by your child’s teacher.
    • What happens during student-directed learning? 
      • Especially on Wednesdays, students may use this time for additional asynchronous education such as reading or working on individual assignments or projects that will be listed in Schoology. Guidance for student-directed learning time will be provided by your child’s teacher. Students have flexibility to schedule their tasks from different courses or subjects during this time in the manner that works best for them.
    • What are support/work periods for middle and high school students?
      • Support/work periods can include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous education. This time allows flexibility for students to engage in additional learning activities such as group collaboration, and for teachers to provide additional instruction to students in a particular class. This time can also be used for small-group support. Teachers will provide direction for the structure of this time. 
    • Can students use student-directed learning time for homework, such as study hall, or for teacher office hours?
      • Student-directed learning time is guided by assignments and instructions provided by your child’s teacher. Your child’s teacher may allow for this time to be used for purposes such as homework, study hall, or office hours if required work is completed early.

    Distance Learning Schedule 

    • Where can I find details about my school’s schedule?
      • General bell schedules are included in the 2020-21 School Year Handbook; each school, including Vineyard Alternative and Del Valle will post bell schedules on their websites and communicate directly with students and families.
    • When will students be told of their teacher assignment(s)?
      • Your school will share information about how and when you will receive schedules and teacher assignments. 
    • What time does school start?
      • Elementary school begins at 8:00 a.m. each day.
      • On the first day of school, middle school begins at 8:20 a.m. Students will attend all periods on the first day of school. Note, students with Zero Period start at 7:30 a.m.) After the first day of school, middle school students sign on for support sessions starting at 8:20, depending on the direction of their teachers. Primary instruction begins at 12:20 p.m. Mondays - Fridays.
      • On the first day of school, high school begins at 8:40 a.m. Students will attend all periods on the first day of school. After the first day of school, high school students sign on for support sessions starting at 8:40, depending on the direction of their teachers. Primary instruction begins at 12:20 p.m. Mondays - Fridays.
    • Will all classes at the same level be following the same daily curriculum or will it vary by teacher?
      • While the same curriculum standards will be covered by all teachers at each grade level, the daily organization in how they teach those standards will vary by teacher, just as they would in a traditional classroom setting. 
    • Are middle and high school students required to attend the support/work times scheduled for mornings Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday?
      • Both support/work periods and online instruction periods for each class are considered instructional minutes, so students are expected to be engaged in learning during the morning sessions as well as the afternoon. Each teacher will provide direction to students about whether they need to attend online during a particular morning. If students are not engaged in an online activity, they are expected to be using that time for asynchronous learning.
    • Please explain how school will work on Wednesdays.
      • Elementary: Students will check in for their morning meetings and go over directions for the day. Specific schedules for students to follow will be provided in Schoology
      • Middle and High: Schools will identify a period that will meet on Wednesdays. After teachers take attendance, students will participate in activities that may include, among others: social emotional learning, Choose Love, PBIS, leadership activities, counselor-led activities. Schools will communicate with students about Wednesday expectations.
    • How does the completion of classwork happen with shortened class times?
      • Each teacher will instruct students as to how and when classwork should be completed and turned in.

     Curriculum: Courses, Electives, Grading, Accomodations

    • Will elementary students continue to receive instruction from science specialists, music teachers, librarians, etc.?
      • Yes. Science specialists will provide all science instruction to elementary students. Music and library time is scheduled during the week, as well. Teachers will provide specific schedule information.
    • How will tests be taken?
      • Tests will be taken on our digital platforms. A variety of assessments can be administered online including authentic assessment, portfolios, student presentations, etc..
    • Will grading be based on completion or accuracy?
      • Grading system will be traditional, including standards-based mastery, points and participation-based, etc..
    • Are music and choir classes at the middle and high school levels still an option? Will art classes continue to be offered? Will there be electives?
      • Electives are still being offered.
    • How will courses that involve labs, such as Chemistry, be taught? Will a student need to purchase lab equipment?
      • Equipment will not need to be purchased by families. Classes such as these will use video, simulation, demonstration, and observation to achieve understanding.
    • How will the distance high school schedule meet the demands of rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses?
      • Our teachers are trained by both AP and IB to provide rigorous content to our students, regardless of the format. While the amount of in-person time may be less, teachers will make use of Schoology to provide additional learning. 
    • Will courses be accepted by the UC and CSU systems?
      • Yes, our courses that are UC/CSU approved will continue to be accepted.

    Attendance

    • How and when will attendance be taken?
      • Teachers will take attendance by visually seeing each student in class online during the video conference, and will record the attendance as usual in PowerSchool. 
      • Elementary: During morning meetings each day
      • Middle and High: During each period that meets in the afternoon synchronous sessions.
      • Wednesdays: For elementary schools, students will have attendance taken during their Wednesday morning meetings. For middle and high schools, attendance will be taken during the mandatory time each school has determined as the Wednesday session.
    • How will parents be notified if their child misses a class?
      • Our absence notification procedures remain the same. Parents will be notified of unexcused absences through a daily attendance call.

    Special Education

    • Will Special Day Classes receive priority for returning to in-person learning?
      • Special day classes are a high priority to return to in-person learning when we are able to do so.
    • How will Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) be affected?
      • IEP goals will remain in place. We have spent the summer refining ways to make virtual learning more meaningful and interactive for students who have IEPs. 
    • How will speech services work during distance learning?
      • Speech and Language Pathologists will be working with students through a teletherapy format combined with specific extension activities for students to work on outside of that therapy session.
    • When will IEP meetings be scheduled to review existing IEPs?
      • IEP meetings will be held according to regular timelines. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s case manager.

    Enrollment

    • If someone prefers Independent Study for their child instead of LVJUSD's Distance Learning program this fall, what is the process for enrolling and returning?
      • Students who choose to enroll in our Independent Study program would enroll at Vineyard Alternative School. Parents would begin the enrollment process by completing the online intradistrict transfer form to initiate a transfer request to attend Vineyard. See Intradistrict Transfers on our website.
        If a student enrolls at Vineyard Alternative School for Independent Study and wants to return to their home school, they would complete the intradistrict transfer process (as described above) and be placed at their home school (provided there is space). If the home school were full, the student could transfer to another school with openings in our district.
    • If someone prefers to homeschool their child instead of LVJUSD's Distance Learning program, what is the process for enrolling and returning to LVJUSD?
      • Our district does not sponsor homeschool programs. Families can find general homeschool program information on the CDE website.
        If a student transferred out of our district to attend a home school program, the student would be welcomed back to our district by enrolling as a new student. Information for new student enrollment is in the Student Services section of our website, Enrollment & Transfers.
    • Is the original placement / school guaranteed or held for the student who exits for either Independent Study or homeschool?
      • Space availability at schools fluctuates as people move in and out of neighborhoods. We are unable to hold spots for students, nor can we guarantee that space will be available in the student's school of choice at the time the student re-enrolls. We will do our best to keep students at their resident school.

    Other

    • How many students are in each class?
      • Class sizes remain the same as our traditional classrooms. Upon the transition into hybrid learning, each class will be divided into smaller cohorts to accommodate social distancing and health and safety protocols.
    • When will counselors be available to discuss college planning?
      • Middle and high school counselors will continue to meet with students, as they have in the past, conducting those meetings online. In addition, they will set up opportunities to meet with students during student-directed learning times. Additional information will be sent from your school.