DOUGLAS — Douglas Unified School District Superintendent Ana Samaniego hosted a virtual town hall July 31, one in English and one in Spanish, where she explained what we can expect when online distance learning classes begin Aug. 17 for DUSD students.
“It is mandatory students be in attendance five days a week at every school site regardless of if your child is on a ‘A’ or ‘B’ day schedule,” the superintendent said. “Attendance will be counted every single day. Masks will be required at all times for all staff and students.”
One of the new requirements this year will be a form all parents will be asked to fill out stating they will not hold DUSD accountable in the event their child contracts COVID-19.
“That acknowledgement form states that you are acknowledging a lot of things,” Samaniego said. “There are 11 or 12 items where you are basically committing yourself to checking your child every morning for every symptom and will communicate with the school in the event my child is having symptoms, or if anybody in my household is having symptoms or is a COVID positive case or if we were at a party where people came out positive for COVID.”
“And that you are committing your child to wearing a mask. We as parents are sending our children to the schools at our own risk. There may be some who refuse to sign it and that’s OK but we will document it on our end. Every child and every parent will have a file with that acknowledgement form and waiver,” she added.
The DUSD IT Department is in the process of lining up its students with instructional devices that will allow them to do their work. Forms are available through the DUSD website until 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7.
All classes will be taught on Google Classroom. Each school will have a minimum of two classrooms that will be designated “safe learning spaces” where desks will be spaced proportionally for those students who are unable to do their distance learning from home and need a place to do their school work, will be able to do so.
Those students attending school will be required to follow the DUSD dress code and follow school rules. Should a child violate the rules they will be removed and not be allowed to attend.
Attendance will be taken at all schools, and if done by periods, as is the case at DHS or the two junior highs, students will be able to click on an icon on the computer that will indicate if they are absent, tardy or present.
Lunch will be provided each day at each of the school cafeterias to DUSD students only with curbside pickup. Breakfast will be served at 8 a.m. for those students in the learning spaces at each of the schools; lunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A student ID must be shown in order to receive the meal. If a student is taking online classes during the time the meals are distributed a family member will be allowed to pick up the meal for them, providing they have the student’s ID.
Douglas High School has outlined its class schedule on its website. “All students will attend and participate in school five-days a week through the online platform. Students designated as the ‘in class’ will have to log in at the designated time for their synchronized teacher-led instruction through Google Classroom.
All other students designated as ‘online’ will log in and complete their mandatory assignments that will be found in their Google Classroom for each scheduled period. This time will not necessarily be the synchronized teacher-led instructional time. For Wednesdays, all teachers will be available online during their office hours.
“More information will be provided by the teacher through Google Classroom. From August 17 through October 23, there will be no in-person teacher-led instruction.”
Ray Borane and Paul Huber Middle School will have 30-minute virtual classes starting at 8 a.m. each day. During the afternoon the teachers will be available for any questions the students may have should they have missed a morning class.
Elementary schools will also have ‘A’ and ‘B’ sessions that will run from 8 a.m. to noon and either be done through teacher direct instruction via online or pushed out through Google Classroom. Students will log in remotely at 8 a.m. each day to receive their instruction.
If a parent is at work and is unable to help their child login or logout during the day, they will have until 7 p.m. that evening to complete that task and follow the lesson handed out.
Special education as well as preschool students will also have distance online learning and will also have morning and afternoon sessions.
Preschool sites have changed this year to Stevenson, Joe Carlson, Sarah Marley, and Clawson.
There is no more preschool at Faras in Pirtleville. There will no longer be full day sessions and each class size will be 10-12 students.
If a preschool aged child needs to attend one of the safe learning sites at each of the schools, they will be required to be in attendance during their scheduled time.
Lastly, Samaniego encouraged families to make sure their contact information is updated at each of the schools.
“We need your commitment and partnership to make this very difficult and challenging school year a more positive one,” she said.