Manhattan Beach Unified School District

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Reopening MBUSD Schools in 2020 » Elementary Hybrid FAQs

Elementary Hybrid FAQs

Question 1: When will hybrid instruction start for grades 3-5?
Answer: LACDPH is projecting that getting below a case rate of 25 cases/100,000 citizens will trigger our being able to bring students in grades 3-5 back to school. At this time, L.A. County is only allowing TK-2 waivers, but we are hopeful that waivers for grades 3-5 will be allowed soon. 
Question 2: Under what circumstances would my child's school close for in-person hybrid learning?
Answer: Individual school closure may be appropriate when there are three or more cases at a school or when at least 5 percent of the total number of teacher/student/staff cases are within a 14-day period, depending on the size and physical layout of the school. For details, see page 11 of our Health & Safety Protocols document.
Question 3: Will the grade 3-5 schedule be the same as the TK-2 schedule in the October 30 e-mail?
Answer: In all probability, it will look similar to the second schedule (2 days a week for students; 4 days a week for teachers) listed in that e-mail. We will, however, be learning as we implement the schedule and a different version could emerge.

Question 4: If we pick distance learning, won’t it be difficult for the child to change teachers? Isn’t there a better option than changing teachers when they already have a connection?

Answer:  We looked at a number of options, and the only way for all students to stay with their present teacher is if teachers are simultaneously teaching students in person and at home. This model presents a number of logistical and pedagogical challenges, and, at this time, allowing teachers to focus fully on either in-person or distance learning is the most viable option.

Question 5: To minimize disruption for kids who choose 100% distance learning, will kids from the same school be placed in the same distance learning class?

Answer: We will make every effort to keep students who choose distance learning with students from their same school. It could be that students from the same class or the same school will be matched with a teacher from a different school.

Question 6: I see there is not an answer for when grades 3-5 will return. I want to wait until both of my kids (1st and 4th) can return for them to go to hybrid. We can't be the only family in this situation or with this concern. How will this be addressed?

Answer: As noted above, we do not know when 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students will have the option to return to in-person learning. However, we need to make plans so that we can re-open for whichever students are allowed to come back to in-person learning as soon as that option is available, and we do not want to disrupt those students' learning later as re-opening becomes more widespread. As a result, we need to have decisions for our TK-2 students now.

Question 7: What will the maximum class size be for 100% distance learning students?

Answer: We anticipate that class size for distance learning students will be the same maximum - around 24 students.

Question 8: Can you provide some clarity on "keep my child with the current teacher"? Does selecting 'Yes' mean that if our current teacher selects Distance Learning that our child will be in Distance Learning even though we want to enroll her in In-Person Hybrid?

Answer: That is correct. If parents are certain about their choice for distance or in-person learning, they should not select the option to stay with their current teacher. If both the child and his or her teacher select the same option, then it is almost certain they will stay together.

Question 9: Will the school times for 100% distance learning change? What will 100% distance learning look like? Will it have a steady class/co-hort?

Answer: Distance learning should look almost exactly the same as it looks now, with the same general schedule and structures and a single consistent cohort.

Question 10: Will distance learning teachers be teachers who are currently teaching for that grade level (i.e., already have an established teaching plan for the grade level)?

Answer: That is our goal, but we will not know exactly which teachers will be assigned to what grade levels until we have received all parent and teacher responses.

Question 11: What will be done to assure that children who choose 100% distance learning still feel like they are a part of their home school?

Answer: Students and families will continue to receive school newsletters, and schools will plan their programs with both in-person and distance learning students in mind, so that both groups can participate.

Question 12: Will elementary students in distance learning be “virtually” attending class with the students who are physically present at the schools, or will the classroom and teacher time be separate for the distance and hybrid students?

Answer: In-person and distance learning classes will be separate.

Question 13: Will the change to new teachers take place at the point in which the school reopens or prior to that?

Answer: We will make this change at the point when in-person learning starts.

Question 14: Will the teachers for the first part of the year be required to provide progress updates both to parents and to the new teachers?

Answer: Yes, teachers and staff will receive information on all students to support continuity of learning.

Question 15: While the “A” group is learning at school, what will the “B” group be doing, and vice versa?

Answer: While one group is learning at school in the in-person model, the other group will be doing some synchronous activities, such as meeting with science teachers or PE or music teachers, and some asynchronous activities, including reading and classwork.

Question 16: A three-week timeline for each phase seems rather lengthy. Is it set in stone or can it be shortened?

Answer: We think the three-week timeline gives us time to evaluate and plan to implement the expansion of the program. While nothing is set in stone, that is our current plan.

Question 17: Will Covid-19 testing be required weekly, monthly? At all?

Answer: We will be requiring our employees who are working with students to be tested every two or three months, but there is no plan to test our students. We encourage all students and family members to be tested if they are experiencing COVID-like symptoms or if they believe that they might have been exposed to the virus.

Question 18: If we choose distance learning, will the teacher remain the same? Will we be moved to a different class with different students?

Answer: Just like there are some students who have to choose distance learning, there are some teachers who will not be able to be present for in-person learning. Students and teachers will stay together if both are distance learning, or if both are doing in-person learning. Otherwise, there will be a teacher change.

Question 19: Is there a maximum number of cohorts that an adult can be part of? (E.g., a speech specialist or personal aide who is in multiple cohorts to work with multiple children.)

Answer: This depends upon the services being provided by the adult. In some circumstances, an adult may support two cohorts, and if an adult is providing 1:1 pull out services, they are not considered to be part of a cohort.

Question 20: What happens to kids who are in EDP? Do they go to school for a couple hours and then go into EDP directly from class? Are they in two cohorts: their class cohort and their EDP cohort?

Answer: Update! We have heard from the County that a child can be a part of both an academic cohort and an EDP cohort. So the answer to the question above is yes - they would move from their academic class to their EDP class. We will still have to deal with the fact that EDP is not yet on all of our campuses, and we will address that separately. (Updated 11/06/20) 

Question 21:  Will there be teacher interaction through Zoom on the non-in-person day? There are too many videos/asynchronous already.

Answer: Assembly Bill 77 requires daily live interaction, so there will be at least some teacher interaction every day. However, instruction on days when students are not in-person will include asynchronous instruction as well as synchronous instruction.

Question 22: If an effective therapeutic treatment is identified, will there be another survey?

Answer: If a vaccine or some other game-changing treatment is discovered, making COVID-19 far less concerning to health officials, then yes, we could make a move back to relatively normal teaching and learning. I think that's a move all of us would love.

Question 23: How will Hybrid groups A and B be determined? Will siblings be able to be on the same schedule to make it easier fo families with multiple children.

Answer: Our plan is to assign hybrid groups based on student last name, in order to allow siblings to attend on the same days. However, it should be noted that start and end times will be staggered by grade level, so families will need to make plans for this.

Question 24: Will students have more instructional hours for distance learning than hybrid? (for stage 3, all students miss 4 half-days of instruction)

Answer: Distance learning students will have more direct instruction time than students in hybrid learning. Students in distance learning will receive more academic instructional time, but students who attend in-person may benefit from in-person contact with the teacher on a social-emotional level.

Question 25: Will there be distance-only teachers and hybrid-only teachers? Meaning that if we opt for distance learning, our child will be with a distance-only teacher?

Answer: Students participating in the full distance learning model will have one distance learning teacher for core subjects and will also receive instruction from the current specialists who teach PE, music, and science lab.

Question 26: If part of a class needs to quarantine, who will provide distance instruction if the teacher is continuing to provide in-person instruction?

Answer: We cannot imagine a situation where only part of a cohort will not be quarantined. The entire cohort would quarantine and their regular teacher and students will move to distance learning.

Question 27: Will the pm hybrid home learning end by the end of the regular school day? I.e., 2:15pm for first and second grade. Or will it be extended because of the longer lunch break?

Answer: Afternoon hybrid learning will end by 3:00. The amount of time for the afternoon session will probably be less than the in-person learning time.

Question 28: Will there be any eating (snack break) during the hybrid day? Or any time that kids would need to remove their masks?

Answer: Students may be given breaks to go outside of the classroom to drink water, and they may remove their masks for this purpose while they are outdoors and at least 6' away from all other individuals. There will not be a formal snack or recess break schedule.

Question 29: What is the school policy for a child on campus that won’t comply with the mask rule? Will they be sent home or allowed to stay in the classroom?

Answer: All students and employees must abide by the rules set forth in our health and safety protocols, including wearing masks.

Question 30: During distance learning days, will there be live zoom sessions or only video recordings?

Answer: Yes, AB 77 requires daily, live interaction with teachers and peers.

Question 31: Will siblings in different grades be put on the same hybrid schedule?

Answer: Yes they will, unless parents request otherwise.

Question 32: Why are students doing 2 days am and 2 days pm? Won’t that be very difficult to get kids on a schedule?

Answer: Providing in person instruction in the mornings allows for a more consistent and thorough daily cleaning and disinfecting schedule. While this means that students' daily schedules will vary, we have found that students are able to adapt to such variations, especially when other routines (e.g., consistent bedtime, wake up, and meal times) are consistent. We appreciate families' support in allowing us to ensure that our disinfecting and cleaning procedures meet all guidelines, with the hope that we can refine our practices to get to a four-day AM/PM schedule as soon as possible.

Question 33: For hybrid students in the AM class (for example), when they are not learning in person, will they be on zoom watching the PM session or asynchronous during the PM session?

Answer: Students who attend in-person in the morning will be assigned asynchronous work to do in the afternoon and the following morning, in order to ensure that they receive the required amount of daily instruction. They may also be expected to attend whole-class synchronous session(s) in the afternoon, at the discretion of the teacher.

Question 34: Have you considered outdoor instruction instead of instruction in closed classrooms?

Answer: We will be encouraging teachers to include as much outdoor learning time as possible. Most of our elementary classrooms have outstanding spaces for outdoor learning just outside of the classroom.

Question 35: Are you able to tell us which teachers are going to remain distance learning by school?

Answer: We cannot, though parents can make that request to stay with their teacher no matter what format the teacher is assigned to utilize for teaching.

Question 36: Will grade levels be mixed for distance learning classes?

Answer: We are planning to have single grade level distance learning classes.

Question 37: As you know the COVID situation is ever-changing and the safety of in person school is largely dependent on the community virus levels. If I commit to hybrid now, but when the school actually gets the waiver the COVD situation is worse and I am no longer comfortable sending my child to in person school, what happens then? Do I have to leave the district?

Answer: If the COVID situation dramatically worsens, the State or the County could close all schools like they did before. If a family's situation changes, and they are no longer willing to send their child to in-person schooling, the answer will not be that they have to leave the District! We will find a way. It may not be easy, but like everything else during this difficult time, we will find a way.

Question 38: It is imperative that no matter which decision families choose for their students, that the students will receive a comparable education. What steps are you making to ensure that this happens?

Answer: Elementary teachers are required to teach the California Standards for each subject and grade level. Teachers will continue to collaborate regardless of the mode of instruction.

Question 39: How can this decision be for the whole year? What if things aren’t working out for the best for my child?

Answer: If a student is unable to access instruction or otherwise struggling, this should be communicated to the teacher and, if necessary, the principal so that the school team can work with the family to determine the best course of action for the student.

Question 40: Are we committed to the choice we make now, even if the cases of COVID-19 surge in the coming weeks, as many recent news reports are suggesting they will?

Answer: We are asking families to commit to a choice, recognizing that the District will continue to follow the guidance of the Department of Public Health. If the DPH determines that in-person opening plans need to change, we will follow suit.

Question 41: When will the TK-2 Hybrid begin?

Answer: We anticipate beginning our TK-2 Hybrid on Tuesday, December 1, 2020.