TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF ON-SITE INSTRUCTION
Q. California Governor Newson stated that all California schools will remain closed through the end of the 19-20 school year. Why has Clovis Unified only extended the suspension of on-site instruction through May 22? Why not decide now to finish the school year through distance learning?
A. Superintendent O’Farrell has reassured the community that, while we will not open our schools prematurely, the district and governing board feel it is too early to make a decision that so greatly impacts our students and families by suspending on-site instruction all the way through the final days of the school year. For that reason, distance learning will continue through at least May 22, 2020. The Board reserves the option, if possible, to resume some form of on-site student and teacher interaction during the final two weeks of the school year. While considering the possibility that the status of the COVID-19 outbreak would still prohibit the return of students to classes, the Board retains the option to consider the issue at their meetings on May 6 and May 20, 2020, to reassess the status of widespread population testing and federal, state and local social distancing guidance.
Q. How long will the temporary suspension of on-site learning be?
A. During their April 22, 2020, meeting the Clovis Unified Governing Board authorized the extension of Clovis Unified’s distance learning and suspension of on-site classes from May 1 to at least May 22, 2020. The Board accepted the recommendation by Superintendent O’Farrell, which was made recognizing that the current public health situation is changing rapidly and that it may be necessary in the future to consider a further extension. The Board reserves the option, if possible, to resume some form of on-site student and teacher interaction during the final two weeks of the school year. While considering the possibility that the status of the COVID-19 outbreak would still prohibit the return of students to classes, the Board retains the option to consider the issue at their meetings on May 6 and May 20, 2020, to reassess the status of widespread population testing and federal, state and local social distancing guidance.
Distance Learning Options, Technology, Parent Resources
Q. What is the plan for distance learning?
A. Teachers have developed lesson plans for their respective classes, and are communicating those with students through their @cusdstudent emails, and with parents/guardians through the email address(es) on file. In addition to distance learning email updates or phone calls from teachers and principals, we encourage parents and students to also keep an eye out for district announcements and updates on cusd.com, the CUSD app, and official CUSD social media channels. If you have not already downloaded our app from the Apple or Android store, please do so and opt into push notifications. If you are not receiving updates, please contact your school to confirm we have the right contact information for you on file.
Q. Can I communicate with my child’s teachers or principal during this time?
A. Yes. You can continue to utilize communication tools that have been indicated by your student’s teachers or school site during this time. Teachers are available to answer questions about instruction or provide instructional coaching to students. Please contact your child’s teacher to set up a time to talk. Our school phone lines are open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and calls are returned shortly.
Q. What about students who don’t have laptops, webcams, or internet access?
A. Schools continue to work with students to ensure that needed technology is in the hands of students who don’t have access at home. In addition to surveys conducted by your child’s school, if your family needs assistance accessing the internet through a hot spot, or a laptop for learning, please contact your child’s school to arrange the temporary use of devices during our distance learning window. Other possible ways of receiving instruction may be via phone calls, Facetime or similar on mobile devices, making packets available for pick-up at the school offices, or delivering packets to students and families unable to pick them up. Distance learning is available in a variety of formats to meet the needs of each student. If you need to make other arrangements, please contact your school office.
Q. Are packets available for students who have laptops, but prefer to do work with pencil and paper?
A. Yes. Packets are available for any students who would like to use them. Please work with your school/teacher, and they can let you know when packet pick-ups are scheduled.
Q. Why are teachers across different subjects and schools using different distance learning platforms? Can they all do it the same way?
A. Just as individual classroom teachers use a wide variety of instructional strategies, teachers have also adopted a variety of platforms to support their move to distance learning. We recognize this may be challenging to families with more than one child and/or teacher, and are constantly evaluating those platforms and may make adjustments in the future. In the immediate short-term, however, individual teachers are being encouraged to use the platform he/she is most comfortable with to connect with their students and families.
Q. Packets and distance learning are a good effort, but sub-par to regular education. Is distance learning mandatory?
A. The intent of the Governor’s executive order – even during the Stay At Home order – is to continue to educate our students, and we are committed to doing so through distance learning. We understand learning will look different during this time, and acknowledge it won’t be executed perfectly, even with the utmost effort and best of intentions. However, students are expected to participate in distance learning just as they would in on-site learning, and we encourage all students to engage with and participate in distance learning lessons and assignments. Work completed during distance learning will count toward students’ final semester grade. If you have specific questions or concerns about your child(ren)’s classes, we encourage you to contact their teacher and/or school.
Q: Are resources available to parents who are not teachers, but are now home helping facilitate distance learning for their children?
A. Parents can rest assured knowing that teachers are still responsible for teaching lessons and curriculum. We recognize parents are going above and beyond to help facilitate distance learning for their children. To help with those efforts, a Parent Bulletin was designed to put resources into the hands of our families to support distance learning such as learning interventions and family wellness resources to help your child(ren) be successful. A link to this Parent Bulletin be found at the bottom of this article: https://www.cusd.com/protected/ArticleView.aspx?iid=4APU0&dasi=1B
. A special bilingual edition of CUSD Today
was also mailed to district families at the end of March, including various helpful resources for families and students as we adapt to distance learning. A digital version of the “Special Edition: March-April 2020” issue can be found under “2019-20 Issues” here: https://www.cusd.com/CUSDToday.aspx
Q. What is the district doing for students who have parents that are non-English speakers?
A. Our team is reaching out to families using their home language, and we are providing resources in multiple languages. Videos and online content is available in multiple languages using Closed Captioning or translation features. (Please see the “Communications” section of the FAQs for details and instructions on viewing Closed Captioning.) Our bilingual instructional assistants are also still on the job and working with second language students and families. A special bilingual edition of CUSD Today
was also mailed to district families at the end of March, including various helpful resources for families and students as we adapt to distance learning. A digital version of this “Special Edition: March-April 2020” issue can be found under “2019-20 Issues” here: https://www.cusd.com/CUSDToday.aspx
Q. How is Special Education being handled? What about students utilizing services such as IEPs, 504s, RSPs, speech therapy, counseling services, or school psychologists?
A. Families with students in Special Education or utilizing other services are being contacted directly by their instructors to ensure education and services continue. Specialized equipment and technology is also being deployed to support families of Special Education students. Please contact your school site if you have not heard from the instructors for these services, and the school site can ensure you are contacted.
Q. How are hands-on classes like PE, Ceramics, Art, Ag, etc. being handled?
A. Teachers are in contact with their students and families with details on how distance learning is occurring for these classes. Please contact your school site if you have not heard from the teachers for these classes, and the school site can ensure you are contacted.
Q. If I do not feel comfortable sending my student back to school when it reopens, what are my options? Can we continue distance learning, or enroll in online school?
A. A return date has not yet been finalized for Clovis Unified schools. When a date is finalized, options available for families wishing to consider alternatives to onsite instruction will also be available.
Q. Are the September orientation dates for the CNA program at Clovis Adult School still the same?
A. Yes. Please call the Nursing Department at 327-2860 to confirm your application and testing dates. Q. For Clovis Adult School, when will the next Vocational Nurse pre-requisite classes start?
A. Our pre-requisite classes are offered three times per year in January, May, and September. Please see details here: https://clovisadult.cusd.com/VocationalNursePre-RequisiteClasses.aspx Q. How is GED testing being handled for Clovis Adult School?
A. Until further notice, GED testing will resume when on-site instruction resumes. Please call 327-2856 for details.
Grades, Finals, SAT/State/AP Testing
Q. How are grades being decided?
A. We recognize this is a huge question for families. In her April 16, 2020 statement, Dr. O’Farrell shared details about Clovis Unified’s guidance on grading during distance learning. Individual grades will continue to be assigned by your child’s teacher(s) for all classes, including AP and Honors classes, and done so within the framework of the district-level guidance. If you have questions regarding a specific class, please contact your teacher or school.
Key points of the grading guidance include:
• For the fourth quarter, elementary teachers will use grades of Satisfactory, Needs Improvement or Outstanding. Secondary teachers will continue to use letter grades for distance learning. Teachers will work within these guidelines in evaluating work that students complete and turn in during distance learning.
• New instruction continues through the end of the school year, in order that our students are prepared to advance to the next grade or on to graduation on time.
• Grades earned by students during junior high and high school lay important groundwork for college, career or military service after high school. Grading structures needed to reflect guidance from the California State Department of Education, University of California and California State University systems, the College Board, and other entities that play a part in college admissions.
• Multiple systems of support are in place for every child to ensure access to distance learning that meets their individual home situation. This includes the lending of technology tools like laptops or hot spots, bilingual assistance, one-on-one connection by staff, academic counseling and intervention, and other customized supports. Every child in the district has been provided means to connect with our educational team that allows them to engage in distance learning.
Families will also receive communication specific to your child’s school from our Elementary and Secondary principals on Friday, April 17th, which will include details on how 4th quarter grades will be determined, requirements for students to earn those grades, a timeline for when and where grading reports will be available, and where additional questions can be directed.
Q. Why isn’t Clovis Unified using pass/fail grading?
A. As mentioned in the grading guidelines above, grades earned by students during junior high and high school lay important groundwork for college, career or military services after high school. Grading structures need to reflect guidance from the California State Department of Education, University of California and California State University systems, the College Board, and other entities that play a part in college admissions. new instruction through the end of the school year. In addition, grades allow students to know how they are progressing toward mastering critical knowledge, and prepare to advance to the next grade or on to graduation on time.
Q. When will grades be available? And how will you be communicating those grades?
A: Parents can find their students’ grading report summary in Parent Connect, or by contacting your child’s school to receive the grading report.
Q. Can I still bring up my grades for this semester?
A. Yes. You will still have the opportunity to improve your grades if you continue to work hard and participate through distance learning. Keep up the hard work and work with your teacher to find out how you might be able to do so.
Q. What tutoring options are available for my elementary, middle school or high schooler?
A. You may consider contacting your school directly for tutoring recommendations they may have. In addition, a group of Clovis North students have taken their free tutoring service online to help students keep up with their studies at home. Any student that needs assistance in a certain subject or is interested in tutoring other students can visit TutorNirvana.com
to sign up.
Q. Will students have to repeat their current grade?
A. Our intention is that this school year will continue as usual through participation in distance learning, and that grades will not need to be repeated.
Q. What are my options if I feel my child should repeat his/her current grade during the ’20-21 school year?
A. For questions or concerns like these, please contact your student’s teacher and/or school principal to discuss.
Q. How will attendance be handled?
A. While it is unclear how the state will address attendance, teachers will be keeping track of participation in distance learning for attendance credit as it relates to their classes.
Q. How are absences cleared from prior to March 13?
A. Please work directly with your school site to clear absences prior to March 13. Please call your school site between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. for schools, and you will quickly receive a return phone call to help answer your question.
Q. Will there be modifications to finals?
A. Yes. Distance learning will result in modifications to finals and any examinations that were normally given during in-class sessions. Plans for finals will be communicated by your student’s teachers. If you have additional questions, please contact the teacher(s) of the class(es) in question directly. You can also reach out to your school site administration with additional questions about grading.
Q. Are SAT tests still scheduled? Will I get refunded?
A. According to the College Board, the May 2, 2020 SAT administration is canceled. Makeup exams for the March 14 administration (scheduled for March 28) are also canceled. Registered students will receive refunds. More information here: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/test-center-closingsQ. Is State Testing (SBAC) still happening?
A. Students or parents worried about the state’s standardized tests that were to begin this month will be glad to hear that on Friday, March 20, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVoss announced that waivers to testing (which California has requested) will be granted.Q. How will AP testing be handled?
A. AP teachers will continue to teach classes through distance learning. In an effort to support AP students affected by school closures, the College Board announced it is providing optional, free online AP classes and a new at-home testing option so students have the opportunity to earn college credit and placement. Please contact your child’s AP teacher with additional questions, and learn more about The College Board’s announcement here: https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/students
Q. Will we still be able to do Summer School?
A. We are still planning on hosting summer school. We will be able to provide more information about who will be eligible and in what format it will occur later in the semester.
GRADUATION & SENIORS
Q. Will there still be Graduation? When will detailed plans be shared?
A. After processing feedback from the April 24 Facebook Live event for the Class of 2020, we have finalized plans for our students' graduation experience.
• Delayed ceremonies will occur on July 27 and 28 at the Savemart Center, so long as mass gatherings are allowed by the state. Each of our high schools would celebrate an individual graduation ceremony over the course of these two days in July, with specific times being finalized and communicated by school sites to families by mid-May. Because of the potential that California’s ban on mass gatherings will still be in place by late July, and to allow families enough time to plan for attendance, a decision will be made no later than July 1 if it is necessary to cancel these events.
• Families of seniors will also receive more information from your school about your child’s on-time graduation experience. This experience will include:
- Distribution of caps, gowns, tassels and the diploma cover.
- A walk across the graduation stage by the graduate to receive his/her diploma and any awards/honors that would have been distributed in the traditional graduation ceremony. This experience may be attended by up to four members of the graduate’s household but will not have an audience or an assembly of the entire graduating class.
- Access on the day of graduation to pre-recorded speeches and other performances included in the Class of 2020 graduation program. This content will be available to coincide with each school’s original date of graduation.
- Because of the number of graduates in each class, and the need to accommodate a schedule that follows social distancing protocols, it will require multiple days per school site. These experiences will be scheduled at Lamonica Stadium for Clovis High the week of May 26 and Clovis East High the week of June 1; and at Veterans Memorial Stadium for Clovis West the week of May 26, Buchanan the week of June 1, and Clovis North the week of June 8. Clovis Online School, Gateway and Community Day School will occur after May 26.
- More information about these voluntary experiences will be provided by individual schools to the members of the Class of 2020.
Q. What about events like senior prom, grad night, class picture, etc.?
A. Individual schools are communicating directly with students and families about specific events.
Q. What happens with all the money spent on senior activities, graduation announcements, senior trips, cap & gown, etc?
A. We are working with Graduate Services to make graduation announcements available, along with other graduation items that have already been purchased. For events that are unable to be held, individual schools will work with parents/students to provide information about refunds. As discussed in the April 24 Facebook Live event about Graduation, gowns are being purchased by Clovis Unified this year for students to keep.
Social Emotional Wellness
Q. I am concerned about my child's mental and emotional health while being away from school and friends. What resources are available for us?
A. We know how challenging this time continues to be for students and parents adjusting to distance learning and social distancing. Our students' mental and emotional wellness is of utmost importance, which is why we've created the "Together, We've Got This" page under COVID-19 Resources on our website: https://www.cusd.com/TogetherWeveGotThis.aspx. Our team of school psychologists are actively working to populate this section of our website with additional resources and new videos to support your family. You also may call your local school site and ask to be contacted by one of our wellness team staff. They are standing by to help.
PROGRAMS & FACILITIES
School Hours & Contact Info, Meals, Facilities
Q. Is anyone available at the school for questions?
A. Our school offices are not staffed on-site, but you can still call your school, or email or call your teacher or other educational support providers using our regular telephone numbers. Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. for schools, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for business offices, you will quickly receive a return phone call or directly reach our staff.
Q. What about students who have medication or other belongings that need to be picked up from school?
A. Students who have prescription medication held on a Clovis Unified campus, or who left laptops or other belongings at school, can make arrangements to pick them up. Please follow the instructions in the answer above to contact your school and make arrangements.
Q. Will a time be scheduled for students to pick up other items left in their lockers (eg. PE clothes, personal items, etc.)?
A. Yes. Schools will be communicating directly with their communities when schedules are finalized for textbook drop off, uniform/instrument returns, locker clean-out, etc.
Q. When & where will meals be available for my students?
A. Meal times and locations are listed in the "Lunch Schedule" section above this "Frequently Asked Questions" section.
Q. Does the closure include all co-curricular events, practices and other activities?
A. All on-site activities have been canceled or postponed through May 22, including all co-curricular events, practices, and any other activities that take place at our school facilities. As California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Stay at Home order continues and our campuses are closed for on-site programs we ask that our community respect social distancing guidelines should they be on school grounds.
Q. Will the Budget Book Art Contest winners be announced?
A. Winners were contacted by phone call.
EVENTS & SCHOOL CALENDAR
Holidays, Field Trips, Special Events, Registration, Transfers, Refunds
Q. Will school be extended or rescheduled into Summer Break?
A. No. Our intention is to finish the regularly scheduled school year through distance learning, observing the original school year calendar. The intent of the Governor's executive order is to continue to educate our students, and we are committed to doing so through distance learning.
Q. How is the district preparing for the 20-21 school year? Will school start as scheduled in August, or will it be delayed? How will the district handle this and ensure safety of students?
A. The state’s guidance and local direction on COVID mitigation is changing rapidly, and the district is staying attuned to this guidance and its implications for the coming school year. As of now, our start of school is set and remains August 17. However, recognizing that the situation is evolving, the district is also developing multi-tiered approaches that will be finalized based on the status of COVID mitigation in early summer. We will not open campuses prematurely, and when we do open campuses, it will be in a manner that reflects best practice guidance for protecting the health of our community.
Q. Will there be sports/marching band/etc. practice during the summer for the 20-21 school year?
A. We are in the process of evaluating summer programs that start in late July and August, and will adjust as necessary based on COVID mitigation in early summer.
Q. What about Kindergarten graduation?
A. Clovis Unified has traditionally held academic awards at the end of the Kindergarten school to honor and recognize the milestone of moving into 1st grade. As with other end-of-year recognitions, this year teachers and schools will be determining ways to recognize students virtually, and will communicate those plans with their families as they are finalized.
Q. Is registration for Kindergarten, junior high & high school still happening?
A. Yes. Kindergarten registration for 2020-21 will continue via phone or email by appointment. Please contact your child’s school to arrange time for an over-the-phone appointment to complete registration. Intermediate and high school registration will continue by phone. If your child’s counselor has not already contacted you to arrange time for an over-the-phone appointment to complete registration, please contact them directly.
Q. How do I turn in annual district transfer and re-enrollment forms and supporting documents?
A. Please submit transfer paperwork in the mail slot located to the right of the front door of the Student Services and School Attendance (SSSA) office (1465 David E. Cook Way, Clovis, CA 93611). Staff will be checking for mail regularly. If you need to enroll your student, please contact your school site for directions. For any other questions, please call the SSSA department at 327-9200 to leave a message, and your call will be returned.
Q. Will we receive items already paid for such as Spring pictures, Winter Formal pictures, Yearbooks, etc.?
A. Yes. Each school is working directly with companies that provided services/products that have already been completed (like Winter Formal pictures) to ensure they will be provided to students. School sites are also working with yearbook companies and plan to still have yearbooks printed and delivered toward the end of the school year. Delivery methods for yearbooks will be finalized based on the status of the Governor’s Stay at Home order nearer to June.
Q. Will I be refunded for events or programs I’ve already purchased (eg. school play tickets, field trips, marquee sign announcements, etc.) that have been cancelled?
A. Yes, you will be refunded. Please contact your school site or program in which you are enrolled for details on how/when reimbursement will occur.
Q. Is Clovis Unified issuing work permits during the COVID-19 closure?
A. Yes. Please call the Student Services and School Attendance (SSSA) department at 327-9200 to leave a message, and your call will be returned.
CAMPUS CLUB & CHILD CARE
Q. Is Campus Club closed? If not, can I enroll my other children?
A. Campus Club is closed at this time.
Q. Will we be reimbursed or credited for Campus Club that has already been paid for?
A. Yes. Any Campus Club days that were paid for after the site closures will be reimbursed.
Q. I have not been receiving email and/or phone call updates from Clovis Unified. What do I need to do?
A. If you have not received emails and/or phone calls from us, please make sure to contact your school to confirm we have the right contact information for you on file. Also, if you have not already downloaded our app from the Apple or Android store please do so and opt into push notifications.
Q. How will you communicate future updates?
A. Updates will be communicated through Automated Phone Calls, Email, Texts, Social Media and Web Sites. All official communications will be included on CUSD.com to confirm authenticity of messages.
Q. Why haven’t I received a response to the question I submitted on the Questions and Concerns form?
A. The form is aimed to gather information and concerns from our community as we continue to move forward. Comments submitted there will not receive individual responses, but will help inform our future communication to our entire community. Answers to many questions will also be posted to these FAQs. If you would like a specific contact from the district, please include your name and contact info on your submission, or contact your child’s school directly or call the district office at 559-327-9000.
Q. Are the video messages available in other languages for non-English speaking families?
A. Yes. All videos and online content is available in multiple languages using Closed Captioning or translation features. We are closed captioning and translating our videos to the five (5) most common languages in our district (Spanish, Hmong, Punjabi, Arabic and Vietnamese). This process can take up to 24 hours once a video is posted. In order to view captions or alternative language transcriptions, press the Closed Captioning (CC) button on the bottom right of the player. There you can choose your desired language. For Hmong please select “English (United Kingdom)” as we are having to work around the system’s lack of a “Hmong” designation for language preference.