• QUESTIONS?  Please contact the site administrator with questions about school re-opening.


    Ben Scinto, St. Helena High School Principal:  bscinto@sthelenaunified.org                                                         
    Karin Cox, Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School Principal:  kcox@sthelenaunified.org

    Tanya Pearson, St. Helena Elementary School Principal:  tpearson@sthelenaunified.org                                   
    Tamara Sanguinetti, St. Helena Primary School Principal:  tsanguinetti@sthelenaunified.org


    School Reopening Message Board Questions
    Unedited Public Submitted Questions, Comments, or Concerns

    Questions submitted on August 3, 2020

    Our child attended TK last year at SHPS (district of choice). We are both working and need help so we are considering doing kindergarten in a local preschool. Would our child lose the right to get back in SHPS for first grade and have to do the lottery again in 21/22 ? Or based on the extraordinary circumstances, the right would be maintained?

    Yes, if you disenroll you would need to reapply for District of Choice for the 2021-22 school year. The process for application will open September 1, 2020 and be open until November 30, 2020.

    How can families, new to the district or that have incoming kinders, enroll their students? This is not an option I have been able to find on the district website.

    Registration is managed by each school site. 
    Please visit the SHPS website at: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=137&ModuleInstanceID=734&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=3162&PageID=471

    to locate the registration materials and schedule a registration appointment.

    I have a son that will be starting Kindergarten.  What does iPad usage look like at this level?  He has no experience on a tablet of any sort and doesn't do well with a lot of screen time.  I read in responses to other questions that they will also receive hardcopies of work.  But what will be done on the iPad?  Just zoom meetings with the teacher?  Or will they have to use apps or what?  

    The schedule for Tk - 5 can be found at https://www.sthelenaunified.org/cms/lib/CA50000465/Centricity/Domain/332/Grades%20TK%205%20Fall%202020%20Schedules%20%20Remote%20Learning%20Plan%20C.pdf

    Kindergarten will meet with their teacher via the IPad and may have apps also for supplemental learning in reading and math.

    Is it possible to change models if necessary during the school year ? An example, if I pick the transitional model but if I'm so point we do not feel as my daughter is ready to return to phase 2 even if approve by the district. (Especially having a newborn at home) would it be possible to switch or would ve any penalization for it?

    We will be reviewing each request to make a change on a case by case basis at a natural grading period.


    Questions submitted on July 31, - August 2, 2020

    PLEASE answer the specific questions re Fuel, such if/how there are teacher-led instructions on a schedule? The links provided really does not give direct answers to the questions. Here is a sample of where you are pointed for "a daily schedule" - https://dil.k12.com/ it really does not answer any of the many specific questions parents have submitted. As the board evaluated and selected this Fuel program, your specific answers to how the program works is much appreciated. Especially with the very short run way to a decision by 8/4.

    There will be live online teaching for the 6-12 grades for all courses offered.  For the K-5 grades, there will be some live online instruction with a teacher and at other times exploratory activities (hands on) to be completed in the home with materials sent to the home.  For younger students, parents will assist with the help of the online teacher for students learning.

    “Fuel Education employs certified teachers with extensive training in online teaching strategies, technology platforms, and the FuelEd curriculum portfolio. All of our online teachers hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university or college, and they have demonstrated expertise in the content area they teach. What's more, the FuelEd Instructional Services Team is accredited by AdvancED®. “

    I posted the below question on Tuesday. With all due respect, copying and pasting the link you provided does not answer the question. I have watched the Fuel video  and have been digging on the district and Fuel's website and these answers are not clear. In order to make this decision, it is imperative that we parents know what to expect about the arrangement from Fuel ESPECIALLY if you are asking for us to commit to one year (instead of a 6-month period). Thank you for your personal attention to this question. 

    My questions are regarding the Fuel Education model. 

    * Will daily attendance be taken for students who opt for the Fuel Education model?

    * Will a strict schedule, designed by Fuel, be required?

    * How will grading/assessments be handled for first graders enrolled in this model?

    * Will my child have the same Fuel-assigned teacher for the duration of the school year? 

    * How much daily/weekly 1-on-1 interaction can I expect my child to have with this teacher? 

    * Will my child engage with other 1st grade students? If so, who? 

     

    Your Answer:

     Information can be found on the District website: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732

     

    #1:  The details for attendance will be confirmed by Fuel Education.  Students will be expected to be in live classes daily, which are required.   

    #2:  There is a daily schedule set by FuelEd for learning

    #3:  Students are expected to show mastery of grade-level standards 

    #4:  Uncertain, and like with other online programs, they usually stay with set teachers for the whole learning course

    #5:  Students in lower grades will have daily interaction with their online teacher. 

    They will provide your students with high-quality instruction and support through online classroom settings; one-to-one feedback; and individualized assistance by phone, chat, and email.

    Hello, I'm wondering how PE will be this year considering the students will have to wear masks and practice social distancing, will they be swimming at all this year, running, what will it be like. Also if a student doesn’t feel safe doing something will they have the right to not do it? Also considering how the cases are skyrocketing right now in the summer, what would you guys do in a situation where the cases keep going up in the winter?

    We follow all public health orders and should Napa County consistency go up in positive cases, it is likely we would be placed on the watch list again and have to go back into distance learning.  This is all assuming we get to have some in-person school time. We are trying to get our class sizes down as much as possible for this coming school year.  We will not be using the locker rooms or dressing out and are still finalizing the details for PE.   Parents will be instructed on how all classes will work prior to in person instruction.

    Yes, I have both a high schooler and a 2nd grader. My question is about my 2nd grader. I understand that when he left school on that Friday to not ever going back last spring it was a complete shock for the teachers but it was also a complete shock for the parents! And to spend the last 2 1/2 months of 1st grade with almost 20 minutes a day was ridiculous! We will NOT ever try to climb Mount Everest again! And to hear people in administration at the Primary School say we are aware of screen time is a flat out lie! My son is now starting to cry at the thought of having to go back to online school. So virtual school is definitely out. I am upset as you can see, but I would like honest answers, not smooth talk or word smithing. Will there be ONLY 1 1/2- 2 hours a week screen time? That’s what is being said and recorded during your presentations. But that isn’t what happened at the end of last year. Will the    instruction come from their teacher? Because from April on last year a majority of it came from unknowns via YouTube. And will the teacher make their own videos this year or just search YouTube again? You know that you can go onto the internet and you can see each teachers wages. Would the teachers at the Primary School earn their wages this year? Because last year the 1st grade teachers should have given their wages from April to the end of the school year to the different YouTube channels. And lastly, can the principal please answer the questions we ask her honestly? We asked about the screen time only to hear her tell my wife and I, No, we are not expecting your child to do more than 2 hours a week. We shared our sons schedule and list which was clearly and easily 2 hours of screen time a day with her, only to hear her reply, the 1st grade team is a strong team doing the best they can under the circumstances.Pure and utter hogwash for lack of another word i’d really like to use. It is hard to feel secure in your child’s education if the leader of his education is dishonest and doesn’t care about your child. I look forward to reading your replies.

     

    For 2nd graders there will be designated screen time daily for live teacher interaction and some supplemental skill building programs.  There will also be hands on hard packets sent home for our little students.  Please connect with the site principal to address your concerns about screen time.   Instruction will come from their teacher and there will be other online support that will be provided that will not be held live with the teacher such as recorded modules from the teacher, reading support and math support programs.  

     

    Thank you for your feedback on the rest.

    I know I asked this question during the elementary school Zoom and the R.L.S. Zoom meetings, but i’d like to ask a follow-up question regarding Google chrome tech support. I’ve talked to numerous parents regarding my lack of technology support with my kids and Google chrome. All I hear from everyone is that’s too bad, maybe you should contact the primary school librarian, she is also great tech support. Would it be possible for me to contact Leslie Montely at the Primary School? My kids did not go to the Primary School because they were in private school, but from what all my friends say she is the best. I did not receive immediate assistance with my tech problems, sometimes It was a day or 2 later. Sometimes the gal didn’t  even want to help. And she never followed up or checked back in with us. It was very frustrating at the least! What I hear about Leslie is she immediately helps you, if she doesn’t  know the answer, she has someone help her and gets back to you, then she actually checks back in with the family to make sure everything is ok. And if they need help with anything else. So is it possible to contact the other schools for tech help, in particular Leslie  Montely at the Primary School? And if so, will her contact information be shared with everyone right from the start? 

    There will be a direct school level support person at each site, separate from our technology department that will be able to help you with site specific instructional program questions.  Teachers will also be providing recorded modules this year on how to use the various programs to help support families.

    Will we have the choice to switch to FuelEd at any time if we choose Option 1 to start with?

    We will be reviewing each request on a case by case basis at the grading period.

    At what time will the school day end when choosing option 1, and what time will the school day end when choosing option 2?

    Option 1 ends daily at 1:23, Option 2 depends on each grade level schedule.


    Questions submitted on July 30, 2020

    What happens if I elect not to enroll my children in SHUSD for 2020-2021?

    All students living within the attendance area have access to SHUSD at any time.


    In 6-12, why are option 1 students being offered electives and not option 2 students?  This creates an inequality and disincentivizes the virtual only option.  Will the district help create/support cohorts for social-emotional interaction among option 2 students?  Will therapy and other services provided through the district still be available to them?

    Students in the secondary level are enrolled in classes that are required to move from one grade level to the next. Unfortunately, it does not take the place of all the additional classes we offer as a district to students on and above the required courses.  

    Should a student need mental health services as we offer to all students, those can be set up through the site counselor and students do have access to them.  We will not be creating small cohorts for social emotional learning if a family is selecting the virtual program for the school year.


    Can I choose different options for my different children?  Do I submit a separate form for each of them?

    Yes, you may select different options for your children. Please submit a response for each child.


    Thank you for providing professional interpretation for the Zoom information sessions.  When will the recordings of those be posted to the YouTube channel and available to share with Spanish-speaking parents?  Could you post the Fuel Ed parent portals in Spanish as well?  NB: when providing instruction on how to access interpretation (in the Zoom) best to do this in the target language (Spanish).

    Thank you for the feedback on providing the instruction on accessing the interpretation in Spanish as well.  All board presentions and information meeting presentations have been translated and are posted to the website.
    Here is link for English Language Learner services at Fuel Ed:  https://resources.fueleducation.com/mil-ell


    When/where will more detailed information on the FuelEd option be shared?  Will we have the choice to switch to FuelEd at any time?

    Information can be found on the District website:  https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732

    For planning purposes, we are asking you to make a choice between the options by August 4, 2020.

    My family will be required to participate in the Distance Learning Academy due to a health condition that put my child at high risk. Though I know the decision to go with this type of platform was a well thought out and difficult one, the disappointment my family feels centers around inclusion. We had hope that 100% distance learning families would have the opportunity to minimally be able to view school event virtually in order to prevent a feeling of alienation. I was wondering if the district would consider creating some virtual inclusion for these families? I would also like to know, if in the event that a vaccine makes conditions safe for high risk families, if efforts will be made to include the kids in any in person school events such as the color run or end of school celebrations? I would like to confirm that the SHUSD chrome book computers will be provided for them to execute the online platform? If so will they will still have access to previous school provided platforms such as Scootpad and typing agent? My child is also concerned she will not be able to accumulate reading counts points? Thank you for your consideration on these matters. 
    If we have virtual school events that appear to fit all students within our district we will definitely try to include our families who have selected the virtual program.  As we are able, per public health guidelines, to hold live large gatherings all families with students in our district will be fully included.  
    Yes, the district is giving out the technology to all families whether you select Option #1 or #2. Those dates will be determined soon and sent out to all families for pick up of devices. 
    Until we drill down on what the integration requirements are going to be for the virtual program, we cannot answer that question.   I know reading counts points are important to all students (and we want them reading) so we will see how this can be worked one way or another.


    Is attendance taken  for the at home study period?

    Attendance will not be taken for the at home study period and it is expected of all students as if they were in an actual school study hall or access period. At times, there might also be teachers asking students to connect with them during this time.


    On Fuel Education: I've seen it written somewhere that families would be provided with the extra (non-online) materials required for the Fuel Education program free of charge, but I also saw on the FuelEd online information that was recently shared that families would actually have to pay for the supplemental materials. I'm wondering which it is. Thank you.

    Families will not have to pay for the materials provided.


    The second part of my question was never answered but lumped together with someone else's question about cleaning. Can you please prioritize this answer so I don't have to wait two more days for an answer. My original question was submitted on July 28. Thanks. 

     

    The issue of IEPs and Fuel is one that concerns me greatly. If we choose to go with Fuel from the get-go will my child have any access to the IEP instructors/Speech therapist that they have been working with through the SH district? If not, will their IEP be transferred to Fuel? Will their special education instructors be contacting us to have an IEP meeting? Do they even have speech therapists? I saw nothing about this on their website. Are their instructors qualified to handle learning disabilities, what are their qualifications and where does it say any of this? This is a HUGE concern and one that the district has not addressed at all. These are the children who need the most help and there has been zero information about this.

    Our Facilities Department staff are currently developing cleaning routines to align with the instructional schedules that will be in place when students are able to return for in-person learning.  Cleaning procedures, products, and equipment are in alignment with public health guidelines and requirements; for example, we will be sanitizing restrooms more frequently and only using chemicals that are approved by the Environmental Protection Act (EPA).  We have purchased recommended equipment such as electrostatic sprayers that can disinfect a large area rapidly, and special air filters/scrubbers that are designed to reduce the presence of virus in the air.  We will be placing students 4 to 6 feet apart, and we have purchased barriers for student and staff desks.  We have also purchased wall signs and floor stickers to remind students about physical distancing and health protocols.  Students in grades 3-12 are required to wear face coverings at all times; we already have thousands of disposable and cloth masks in stock.  Additionally, we have distributed handwashing and hand sanitizing stations to each school.  


    For students with IEP’s, their Specialized Academic Instruction would be provided through Fuel Education with all the designated accommodations and supports.  Fuel Education does have credentialed special education teachers.  Lastly, a student’s education would be through Fuel Ed and speech/language services would be provided through SHUSD.

    After reviewing the webpages provided, it appears that K12/Fuel Education has different ways of delivering content, depending on the course. In which of the classes that SHUSD is purchasing for SHES and RLS will there be daily "Class Connects" with direct live instruction and group discussions? This is not apparent in their website, so please do not refer me to the pages you have already posted, thank you.

    We will be purchasing the full online version which incorporates live instruction with the class connect feature.


    The school year will start with online classes, and when you are given the right to re-open it will be what the students chose to do? 

    Per State orders, we are starting the year in Distance Learning. When that changes, we will use the phases approved by the Governing Board at the July 20, 2020  meeting. The presentation can be found on the website here: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/711 

     

    How can us parents and our SHHS senior get help to determine if Fuel will work for them by 8/4? I understand the SHHS Counselors will not be back to school to answer questions associated with the virtual classes until the week of August 10. 

    The principal is available to assist you with your questions.  He can be reached at:  bscinto@sthelenaunified.org 

    In addition, the course catalog has been shared in previous answers offered by Fuel Education.


    The links provided for Fuel takes you to K12 with a lot and confusing information. Please have the team that selected Fuel answer the specific questions posed on the Q&A board - I cannot seem to find any answer on the link you provided. Thank you!

     
    PLEASE answer the specific questions re Fuel, such if/how there are teacher led instructions on a schedule? The links provided really does not give direct answers to the questions. Here is a sample of where you are pointed for "a daily schedule" - https://dil.k12.com/ it really does not answer any of the many specific questions parents have submitted. As the board evaluated and selected this Fuel program, your specific answers to how the program works is much appreciated. Especially with the very short run way to a decision by 8/4

    Fuel Ed provides instruction by online teachers who are highly-trained, accredited, and certified.

    If we choose option 1 and then do not feel comfortable sending our child back at the time the district decides to reopen the school for in person classes, will we then join FuelEd or what will our options be? Thank you!.

     We are taking these situations on a case by case basis


    Questions submitted on July 28 & 29 2020

    When/where will more detailed information on the FuelEd option be shared?  Will we have the choice to switch to FuelEd at any time?

    Information can be found on the District website:  https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732

    Will option 1 phase 1 (distance learning with intent to return to in-person) or option 2 (FuelEd) require more hands on time for parents.

    At this time we are not able to determine which program requires more of the parents time and it depends on the age of your child. Fuel Ed for lower grades is more exploratory, which requires hands on and upper grades is more screen time.


    Will the special needs of advanced learners be best met by option 1 or option 2?  With no electives being offered in option 2, how will the enrichment and social-emotional support option 1 students receive be offered to these students?

    Please review the link to see the day in the life of a child to get a better understanding of how the classes work. Students in the secondary level are enrolled in classes required to move from one grade level to the next. Unfortunately, it does not take the place of all the additional classes we offer as a district to students on and above the required courses.


    Thank you for providing professional interpretation for the Zoom information sessions.  When will the recordings of those be posted to the YouTube channel and available to share with Spanish-speaking parents?  Could you post the Fuel Ed parent portals in Spanish as well?  NB: when providing instruction on how to access interpretation (in the Zoom) best to do this in the target language (Spanish).

    Thank you for the feedback on providing the instruction on accessing the interpretation in Spanish as well.
    Here is link for English Language Learner services at Fuel Ed:  https://resources.fueleducation.com/mil-ell


    Can I choose different options for my different children?  Do I submit a separate form for each of them?

    Yes, you absolutely can select different options for your children as you know them best and what learning platform will be more beneficial for their learning.


    In 6-12, why are option 1 students being offered electives and not option 2 students?  This creates an inequality and disincentivizes the virtual only option.  Will the district help create/support cohorts for social-emotional interaction among option 2 students?  Will therapy and other services provided through the district still be available to them?

    Please review the link to see the day in the life of a child to get a better understanding of how the classes work.  Students at the secondary level are enrolled in classes that are required to move from one grade level to the next. Unfortunately, it does not take the place of all the additional classes we offer as a district to students on and above the required courses.  

    Should a student need mental health services as we offer to all general ed students, those can be set up through the site counselor and students do have access to them.  We will not be creating small cohorts for social emotional learning if a family is selecting the virtual program for the school year. 


    What happens if I elect not to enroll my children in SHUSD for 2020-2021?

    All students living within the attendance area have access to SHUSD at any time.


    We live in an area that will likely see more than one PG&E planned power shut off, as well as slow, sometimes unreliable, internet.  Previous meetings have mentioned hot spots will be available. Is this something we need to request? If so, when and how? In the event there are times where power/internet might still be an issue, will there be some flexibility through the school during remote learning or distance learning through Fuel Ed.?

    Hotspots will be available for families with no or unreliable service upon request when students pick up their devices and other items at school sites at the start of the school year. We are ordering enough to ensure that every student without internet access or poor service will have one with priority given to students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals.  Flexibility with regard to turning in assignments etc. will be granted in the event of a power outage.  The California State Department of Education (CDE) has additional information for families about free and low-cost internet plans at the following website:  


    https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/availableinternetplans.asp


    Dr Marylou - why would on the 7/28 call you say that the "not-in-school was a surprise" and use that an excuse for not having more details on the Fuel program? I must not have understood that comment - we have since March know there is a good chance for remote teaching this fall and in the future. Either way, please let me know much time the the Board has worked [full time (40 hour weeks) vs X occasional meetings since March]?

    Prior to the Governor’s announcement on July 17, 2020, we were moving forward with “in-person” instruction with many safety precautions. Information on the Fuel program can be found on the District website at:  https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732  The Transition Team has committed many hours to analyzing the Executive Orders, planning implementation of the Public Health orders and developing plans for implementation.


    Can you offer 6 months Fuel (vs 12 months) as an option? And, are you re-sending the Option 1 and 2 info with some addl info in email for parents who have not had time to listen in to the July 20 and 28 calls? (I am astonished how many parents I spoke to did not know of these 2 meetings)

    We will review on a case by case basis requests to come back after the first semester.


    I want to second Nigel's request from the 4 pm 7/28 call - myself an more or less every other parent I spoken to would prefer the option #2 Virtual Class room with Fuel ONLY until In-Classroom is available, or for 6 (vs 12 months). For scheduling, would 6 months work? Why not do another short quick parent survey (use Survery Monkey to get this done with essentially no effort) to clarify? 

    We will review on a case by case basis requests to come back after the first semester.


    Will YouTube be used as a platform and if so has anyone addressed the issue if the children clicking and viewing all the videos that are linked below the video that was intended for the child to watch. They were no educational links and should not be allowed access to them at all. 

    All videos that are offered to the students have been approved by teachers for access. If a student is on their district-issued Gmail account and our devices they will not have access to inappropriate YouTube materials. We do use security filters, Securly at home for parents to monitor what students are viewing and Hapara monitoring by teachers on all of our district-issued devices.


    We have one student at RLS and another at the high school. My understanding is that if we were to choose 100% distant learning through Fuel Education this year, middle school students would take five required standard online courses without electives, correct? We are wondering what the required courses would be for high school students. My understanding is that course selection would be decided with a counselor, but we are unclear as to whether or not they will still have the opportunity to take the AP courses they chose this past spring, as well as their electives? I see that the AP courses offered at the high school are also available through Fuel Ed. With the exception of leadership, there are other electives also available. When and how will high school students be able to discuss these options with their counselor?

    All HS students will work with their counselor to determine which classes they should take for A-G requirements.  AP courses are offered by Fuel Ed if that is what they should be taking.  Counselors will be back to school to answer questions associated with the virtual classes the week of August 10, however, you may email them earlier if you are considering this option.

    Very disappointed that it is taking TWO Days to post the video mentioned in the Meeting on Tuesday. Why is the video on All Year Distance Learning not on the main page so Parents can make an informed choice. If posted tomorrow parents will have SIX days to make a choice. And that's only if they know where to look. Massive failure here!

    Information can be found on the District website: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732


    I am hoping for more information about what a school day would look like for those students who enroll in option 2, the Fuel Education route. Thanks!
    What does a day in Fuel Education loom like for 2nd grade? 

    Information can be found on the District website: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732


    What time is dismissal for both hybrid and full person options? 

    Dismissal for Hybrid and Full will be 1:00 for Hybrid and 1:23 for Full at the TK-5 level, and 1:23 for both schedules at the RLS/SHHS level.


    I was unable to attend yesterday's Zoom meeting.  How can I find out more about the distance learning option?  Thank you.

    Information can be found on the District website: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732
    A question about Fuel Education.  I believe this is an app that you learn from without a teacher.  When the child has a question, is there a live teacher they can call or chat with to get help?  If not, what support is there for our kids who don't understand what's in the tool or need it explained a different way?

    Information can be found on the District website: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732


    If I choose the online option only will my child be using the schools chromebook.  Also will someone from fuel education program contact us to give us instructions as to how this program works?

    Yes to both of your questions. We will be issuing devices to all students to use while on distance learning.


    This is less a question and more a request/concern: On the call for parents of students grades 6-12 on 7/28/2020, Mr Heller answered a parent question and referenced that the teachers and students will be engaged during their period and that the student is dedicated to that period the entire time. He did elude to the fact that instruction could be partial of that time allotted and said the teach could then release the child to work on a task for the remainder of that period. When the students are distance learning I would request that the teachers determine a method to keep the student engaged for the entire period. I am not asking for a teach to speak, teach, etc. the entire time but something along the lines of leaving the on-line session open and mute students to prevent distraction during quite work time. This could help the students truly understand that the session is still active - you are still in this class. No different then if they were sitting in the classroom. For children who are easily distracted or for children that will have to be home alone since both parents work full time, it will be a subtle method to help them stay engaged in a classroom mindset; similar to sitting at a desk with the teacher at their desk. This would also support that when a student has a question they can "raise their hand" to get the teacher's help versus trying to remember to get in touch with them or try to track them down since the session is already disconnected. Thank you. 

    Thank you for your feedback.


    Can you please compliment the July 28th meeting with a follow up meeting ASAP that provides actual information about the Virtual option? Have you looked into shorter time frame to offer the Virtual option, ideally 6 month, vs full year?

    Information can be found on the District website: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732


    One of your answers refers to "This early dismissal allows us to provide a grab n’ go lunch at the end of the day and teacher contractual collaboration and preparation time." What teacher contracts prevents them from teaching the 'full amount' of time normally allocated for each class/subject? What can be done to not shorten teaching time? At least for older kids, can there be additional Online teaching in the afternoons vs having 1/2 day at-school days?

    All schedules were developed around public health guidelines pertaining to social distancing, masks, hand washing, limiting transitions and large gathering of students.  Historically, teachers in SHUSD have a prep period and collaboration time built into their school day.  Our schedule this year allows for teachers to continue this practice in agreement with their contract. That is no different than any other year.  What is different is when it is placed into the master schedules.  

    As kids are kids, they will gather, mingle and possibly touch each other like they could in normal times, but we need to limit that from happening so the proposed schedules take that lunch time gathering element away and also the lunch period to the provided at the latest possible time that we are allow by the State to serve students.


    For the hybrid model, instead of only 2 days / week of at-school instructions, what are the thoughts on having the kids 'at school' be joined by the other 'at home' group remotely? That way the teacher would teach both groups at the same time, alternatively with one group attending remotely. With shortened school time I think this would greatly help. It would also provide the at-home student a better structure when at home.

    We are still currently working out all of the details and logistics to our hybrid models.


    With days shortened on the school schedules, how will teachers cover material in less time? Especially for Math, Science and other areas that can be difficult to learn on your own. 

    Teachers will be focusing on the essential standards that students will need to demonstrate mastery on before they move onto the next grade level. In any given year the master schedule for schools, builds in days for study trips, and scheduled events. Since we will not be doing study trips and scheduled school events when we are back to school in person instruction, teachers will have additional time to teach all of the subject matter that is essential to know for that class.


    If we choose the Virtual program, will my High Schooler still have SHHS as graduating school, and how will University applications work for a Senior who is on the Virtual program?

    Yes, your high schooler would be graduating from SHHS as they are still our student if they attend the virtual program for this year. Students may continue to work with the HS counselors for college applications and admission requirements. Students will be working with their HS counselors on what virtual courses are needed for them to graduate should you select this option. Their diploma will state SHHS and they will be a part of our graduating class.


    Would you please offer a 6 Months Virtual option? I'd like my kids to take advantage of a program that is purpose-built for and have experience with remote learning/teaching and is there any reason for not allowing this the first 6 months to allow the option for going back to school in about 6 months when hopefully things are more conducive to in-person options?

    Please see the answer above where this has been addressed.


    I'd like a LOT more info about the Virtual option please, like what does a day look like? 

    Information can be found on the District website: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732


    Can you please post the link for a day-in-the-life of a fueleducation.com learner? Thank you.

    Information can be found on the District website: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732


    My student has been accepted to the AVID program.  Will that still happen with the remote learning model?

    Yes, AVID class will still be happening at RLS and SHHS


    Regarding Option 2 (remote learning full year) - When will the parent portal links be available? Our decision time is short and I appreciate that you know that. I have called FuelED and gotten no response other than a weekend teacher resource who was very nice but can't answer my questions. I requested a demo via their link as well. No acknowledgment of any kind. The public website looks like the programs are geared to struggling students and districts but we are hearing from our district that it is tailored to readiness, one-to-one, real live teachers via Zoom. The website shows only typed chat from what I could find, and the weekend teacher person said individual students don't have (THEIR teacher, someone they get to know) but have access to accredited teachers. Finally, the options email made no mention of grades or any district connectivity/oversight. Today's Zoom call seemed to indicate there would be grades (how?) and some sort of district connectivity/oversight - it seems this would be very important given that no one has direct experience with the quality of the program. But the options email did not make mention of this and their website doesn't either. The website lists awards but nothing more recent than 2016. I realize the district had to scramble to come up with a fully remote learning option VERY unexpectedly. Thanks for your prompt response.

    Please see the answer above with links to the virtual program embedded.  Please review a day in the like of a student video above.


    This program was vetted and has been around since 2009 with a wonderful track record. Please rest assured this was not just a quick pick and we truly wanted a program that would aligns with our district.   The courses offered by Fuel Education reach all types of learners and, as stated, in the Zoom call “Fuel Education” is a personalized learning program.


    I am a parent of a kindergartner and will be helping other students in addition my own ( in the same grade level) with their distance learning assignments, etc. Is there a way to get our group (up to 3 total) of children in the same small group ( Group A or Group B) so they can be on the same schedule? Who would we need to make this request with?  Thank you.

    Once principals are back to work officially on August 3, please work with them on what your needs are. Our job is to try not to add additional burden on parents and families as these days are difficult enough with this COVID 19 pandemic.


    If Covid persists, and we have little or no in-person class time this school year, which on-line school is a better education for my high school senior? SHHS or Fuel? How do the on-line programs measure up? Can you compare them? Rank them? Pros & Cons of each? Where would you send your child and why?

    This is a very difficult decision that families are having to make.  We are offering the virtual option only because some of our families had stated that they were worried about sending their son/daughter back to school during the pandemic.  We are not offering and financially contracting with another outside learning program because individuals were unhappy with our distance learning instruction last spring. All of us in the district want to do better for our students and offer the best education possible to everyone.  We will always defer to our teaching staff as some of the best teachers in California.  We truly feel that our distance learning will not be as it was last year, we are better prepared and trained.  We would select SHUSD as placement for any child.


    If my senior chooses fuel education for his senior year because he feels it will be a more stable learning environment, will he have access to his school college counselor for college application help and other guidance questions?  

    Will he be eligible for SHHS scholarships? Does he receive a SHHS Diploma?  I think there is a high likelihood that school will be online this year. My student learns best in an in person setting, so is St. Helena  prepared to bounce back and forth?

    Per the zoom meeting and surveys 40% of students might enroll in online school. Will classes be available for students looking to take electives, like AP Stats or AP Psychology?

    Yes to all of these questions. A copy of the course catalog is above in another answer. Again, students will need to work with their HS counselor to see what they need to take online to meet A-G requirements and fit our program offerings. 

    We had a terrible experience in the Spring and I am worried that our teachers here will not be ready to teach online. Fuel seems to have a whole online curriculum that is tried and tested.

    Thank you for your feedback.


    Hello, first thanks for all your hard work on this. I was wondering if you could provide detail about the cleaning regimen and social distancing and face mask rules that will occur at the high school. Thanks.
    Thank you for the zoom call earlier. I have a few more questions:

    1. Can you please list the links or send out an email that gives us more information on Fuel Education? I feel like most of the call was about the school reopening but more information is needed about Fuel. They do not have a lot of information on their website. It is only fair that parents be given equal information about both options and not be forced to forage through the internet in search of it.

    2. The issue of IEPs and Fuel is one that concerns me greatly. If we choose to go with Fuel from the get-go will my child have any access to the IEP instructors/Speech therapist that they have been working with through the SH district? If not, will their IEP be transferred to Fuel? Will their special education instructors be contacting us to have an IEP meeting? Do they even have speech therapists? I saw nothing about this on their website. Are their instructors qualified to handle learning disabilities, what are their qualifications and where does it say any of this? This is a HUGE concern and one that the district has not addressed at all. These are the children who need the most help and there has been zero information about this.

    Our Facilities Department staff are currently developing cleaning routines to align with the instructional schedules that will be in place when students are able to return for in-person learning. Cleaning procedures, products and equipment are in alignment with public health guidelines and requirements; for example, we will be sanitizing restrooms more frequently and only using chemicals that are approved by the Environmental Protection Act (EPA). We have purchased recommended equipment such as electrostatic sprayers that can disinfect a large area rapidly, and special air filters/scrubbers that are designed to reduce the presence of virus in the air. We will be placing students 4 to 6 feet apart, and we have purchased barriers for student and staff desks. We have also purchased wall signs and floor stickers to remind students about physical distancing and health protocols. Students in grades 3-12 are required to wear face coverings at all times; we already have thousands of disposable and cloth masks in stock. Additionally, we have distributed handwashing and hand sanitizing stations to each school.


    Can you confirm that a coach assigned in the Virtual academy is a constant person per subject for the entire year---or is the coach who happens to be available when a student asks a question. What I could see is a text contact box that the student types questions into and the Teacher/coach responds via text or white board. Is there real face to face online instruction or coaching and again is this a constant person assigned to the child (per subject) or is it a random person each time. In the time of COVID19 Social opportunities are as important as ever and it seems that students selecting this option might be online 4 hours+ per day with very little social interaction whatsoever. The links mentioned in the on-line information sessions need to be sent to ALL parents not just posted on website. Thank you.
    Please share your vetting information regarding the FuelEd program.

    Please show the "awards" you mention that they have received.

    Which other school districts have used them?

    Where is their parent portal? I cannot see that by searching their webpage?

    Information can be found on the District website: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732

    It seems that every school district is offering a virtual academy (Napa, Santa Rosa, Chico) how do we know these virtual programs aren't going to be completely over-stretched? What guarantees do we have with respect to quality of service?

    How many students does each teacher work with?  What does an average day look like for my 8th grader?  More details please, this is a big decision.

    Several districts have the capability of offering their own virtual academy, we do not based on our staffing as a small district. Their own teachers are providing the virtual academy for those large districts


    If my child selects the Fuel Education option, is that totally self paced?  Or is there a forced daily schedule like the SHUSD option has?  Specifically, is there daily/class attendance for the Fuel Option, or is it more like monitoring that weekly progress is made even if a student completes all of their work for the classes in 3 days rather than spread out between 8-2pm Monday through Friday?

    Please review the material presented above in another answer with links to the program to help answer your questions.


    Will teachers be present on campus while streaming their classes on zoom during the current remote learning phase?

    The district is still working out those details.


    If my child selects the 100% remote Fuel Education, are they still able to participate in school sports if they happen this school year?

    Yes, provided they meet the eligibility requirements.


    At the middle school level, how will teachers be accountable for real-time instruction

    There are guidelines this year put out by the State of California on what distance learning must include for all districts. We will be running school as if we were in session but only doing it virtually with attendance being taken daily, grading, etc..It will be a different experience this year compared to last spring.


    For each 50 minute period at RLS, will teachers be held accountable for a minimum amount of live instruction time during that period?

    Teaching this year will include live teacher contact and all accountability for school sites fall within the site principal. Guidelines have been established by the State that we need to follow for distance learning instruction this year.


    For families choosing option 1 (hybrid/return to school when possible), will there be a "Back to School" orientation Zoom night before August 18th?  Especially for our daughter who will be starting in 3rd grade at SHES, she would like to "meet' her new principal and teachers.  When will SHES students find out who their teacher is?  And which Group (A or B) they are in?  Will families be able to choose with group, in order to help with work and babysitting schedules? Thank you.

    Principals officially come back next Monday and at that time they will be setting up when student schedules will be released and will get that information out as soon as possible.  Please work with the site principal for concerns and needs related to the hybrid model grouping when they get in next Monday.  Yes, we are definitely working on setting up parent training and back to school information.  More to come soon.

     
    How will electives be taught at RLS, such as PE, Band, Art etc..  ? 

    There are a lot of content standards per all of those subjects that are not performance based or hands on that still need to be taught. At this time due to public health safety guidelines, we will not be having gatherings or performances. Students are also not able to share equipment or perform as a group. These details are still being worked out.


    On your remote learning plan slide it indicates two time slots for live instruction;  40 minutes for Math/ELA and 40 minutes in a small group - a total of 80 minutes of live instruction.  Then, on your slide titled "Difference Between Options" it indicates 2.5-3 hours of live instruction for grades 3-5.  My question:  How much live instruction will my 5th grader receive from her SHUSD teacher?

    The schedule of distance learning TK-5 was developed to provide the teacher flexibility to have large group instruction as well as small group instruction as needed. Although it says small group instruction, flexibility was developed for a teacher to determine if they need to insert a large group session into those time slots if needed. We are allowing individual teachers to determine the required time to address the core subjects as they deem appropriate. While a teacher may be working with a small group, Group A as an example, Group B and C students would be working offline on assignments or projects as designated by the teacher.


    In Option #1, will our teachers be teaching from their school classrooms?  If not, why?

    This is still being worked out with all parties involved.


    How will P.E be handled?

    This is still being worked out and please read the answer above on electives.


    How will  zero period be handled? If someone chose to have zero period and a second elective and zero period

    Zero period will be offered on a very limited basis this year. Final schedules will be developed and released in the next two weeks.


    My questions are regarding the Fuel Education model. 

    * Will daily attendance be taken for students who opt for the Fuel Education model?

    * Will a strict schedule be required? 

    * How will grading/assessments be handled for first graders enrolled in this model?

    * Will my child have the same Fuel-assigned teacher for the duration of the school year? 

    * How much daily/weekly 1-on-1 interaction can I expect my child to have with this teacher? 

    * Will my child engage with other 1st grade students? If so, who? 

    * As discussed during the Zoom call, please also include a link on this page to the Fuel video "A Day in the Life of a Student", so that we can better understand what to expect from Fuel. 

     Information can be found on the District website: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732


    As a parent of an incoming kindergartner with no experience in distance learning is there anything you recommend we buy right now to prepare - besides having a work space ready. I heard a parent mention special glasses today on the zoom call. Is that just for older students with longer days online? Also what equipment will the kindergartners be working on so I can start to familiarize myself with it?  Lastly, is the expectation that if we help our child get on to the online classroom for the teacher session, and are available somewhere in the house to help out with issues - that we would be able to watch other younger children etc in the home and not be present for school the whole time? Sorry if that’s a weird question, but we’ve never done distance learning! Thanks a million for all your hard work! 

    Kindergartners will receive iPads to use at home, and they will also receive hard copies of activities. In addition to a quiet workspace, you will need reliable Internet access. You can call our Technology Hotline at 707-967-5100 if you do not have reliable internet access and need assistance.

    Will there be an opportunity during virtual learning to turn in the work our children complete to their teacher so their teacher can review what they are doing? Last year, we finished so many work sheets, but our teacher never was able to look at them to determine if progress was being made, etc.

    This is a requirement from the State this year to provide feedback on assignments given. Standards-based grading will be provided TK-5 with each student demonstrating mastery of content.


    Can we please get links to show what a "day" would look like from Fuel Education?

    Information can be found on the District website: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732


    Thank you very much for your leadership during this incredibly challenging and complex year.  In my household, we have two winemakers facing down harvest with a grade 3 child and a grade 5 child.  We are having to look at all options for childcare/education for September and October, which may include sending the kids to another family members' home several hours away.  My question is about material distribution and timing of notice when/if we are able to return to in person school.  How frequently will materials be distributed?  Weekly or monthly?  Also, how much notice will be given before we return to in-person school?  For example, notice on Friday, and return on Monday? 

    When we switch from program to program we are looking at a two week turnaround. We don’t have the answer to materials yet but I would definitely get with the principal when she officially returns next monday to voice your needs and desires.


    Will students in Fuel distance education receive any regular/ St. Helena  school communication or be invited to school events?

    When we have events they are still considered part of our student body so families will receive communication.


    We're out of town until next week.  Should I return my child's device to the district office or the Primary School?

    We are adding days for device drop-off. You can return your student’s device on Monday, August 3, 2020 through Friday, August 7, 2020 at the District Office (Vintage Hall) located at 465 Main Street, anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. If these days/times do not work for you, please call 707-967-5100 to arrange for a different drop-off time. These additional drop-off dates/times will be posted to the District Website soon.


    Is there any additional support for children  that have  two parents still working full time. Who might not get the same support from the parents. Will evening classes be available? 

    The Boys and Girls Club does provide child care and we are working out other details with them. More to come on this topic. Parent support classes will be provided at various times so that parents can attend either during the day or early evening.


    Where might I find more information about the Fuel Education program? I would like to access more information about how the program functions on a day-to-day basis.

    Information can be found on the District website: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/732


    In regards to teacher access to their classroom: Dr. Wilson stated, "Can be if needed, or want to." Mr. Heller stated, "When practical." Will teachers be encouraged to teach from campus during distance learning? Has our staff been surveyed to see who can work at school? Has the district offered childcare for teachers? Our students would benefit by this approach as they will be more apted to view this instruction as normal and be more eager to participate within a perceived classroom setting. This is what they know and expect when school reopens. It would also be a positive opportunity for teachers to collaborate, support one another, and would lead to further  improvement of distance learning for their students. They would have easy and spontaneous access to all their instructional materials. Principals would be able to support all staff members, including special education teachers, interventionists, and teacher aides.

    Details are still being worked out to your questions.


    The minimum number of instructional minutes required by the State  per day varies by grade: 200 for kindergarten, 280 for grades 1 to 3; 300 for grades 4 to 8 and 360 for high school. For the 2020-21  school year, the daily requirements will drop to 180 minutes for kindergarten, 230 for grades 1 to 3 and 240 for grades 4 to 12 (EdSource.org).  The SH distance learning schedules for students TK-12 only provides 160 daily instructional minutes if you subtract the at-home study time (TK-5)  and individual student contact time (TK-5) and individual access (6-12th). Mr. Heller referred to contact time and individual access as "dedicated time to complete homework".  How does the newly approved SH distance learning schedule meet new State requirements for instructional minutes?In a regular school year SH high school students receive 374 instructional minutes on a regular scheduled school day.  How will teachers address Common Core State Standards for core subjects with limited instructional minutes?

     Teachers will be focusing on the essential standards that students will need to demonstrate mastery on before they move onto the next grade level.  In any given year the master schedule for schools, builds in days for study trips, and scheduled events.  Since we will not be doing study trips and scheduled school events when we are back to school in person instruction, teachers will have additional time to teach all of the subject matter that is essential to know for that class.

    Study Hall is considered part of the distance learning time and will also be a time to connect with teachers during access to get addt. support.

     


    Questions submitted on July 27, 2020

    Right now we are getting breakfast and lunch on Mondays for the whole week. Will we keep getting those all year or are we going to half to feel out the free meal papers again? And if we have to feel these papers out will they get mailed to me?

    We will continue to provide breakfast and lunch meal kits for pick-up during distance learning.  The day/time for pick-up may change when school starts.  We will notify parents on the District Website before making any changes to the pick-up schedule.  Parents will be required to complete a new application to receive free meals during the 2020-21 school year.  The application will be released to parents and available on the District Website closer to the start of the school year.  Meals will continue to be provided for free during the application review and approval process.

    We are a working family and can not afford child care. Our oldest child will be home watching the other 2 all day. What happens if 1, 2, or all 3 of my kids miss their teacher computer class times?

    This is such a difficult time for all families, we completely understand.  However, this school year we are required by the California Department of Education through SB 98 to take daily attendance. Students are expected to participate in those online classes.  If a student will miss an online class due to illness, parents will need to call the school office that morning to report the absence.  School is in session starting August 18th and all rules apply whether we are scheduled for in-person classes or distance learning classes.

    Our child does not like the iPad and 80% of the instruction in 1st grade was on the iPad. Very frustrating and not age-appropriate either. This said it did not go well with the technology piece this past spring. I’ve read the responses in defense of the teachers. What I’d like to know is, can the children stay below 30 minutes a day? We do like Lexia and the personalized note mailed home with our children’s certificate from Ms. Montelli, it kept the school connection alive. And it was a huge help in getting our child to be productive on the iPad. But for all of the other subjects; math, science, and social studies can the Primary School look into IXL? It offers grade-level appropriate and self-guided/directed curriculum. This is a website our nephew uses and enjoys. Thank you for considering this request.

    Classes will look and feel different this year for distance learning compared to last spring.  Schedules were presented at the July 20 board meeting, to review the class offerings, here is the link of the recorded meeting. https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/725 .  

    What is also new this year is that there is a Senate Bill 98 that passed 6/23/2020 which requires local educational agencies to meet the minimum amount of instructional minutes per day for distance learning, they are as follows:

    180 minutes for Kinder

    230 minutes for 1-3

    240 minutes for 4-12

    In addition, we know that instruction at the primary school will include both packets, small group instruction, and live online contact with teachers. 

    Currently, we are not adding IXL to our online programs but thank you for sharing your recommendation with us.


    Questions submitted on July 24 - 26, 2020

    I would like my children to attend school, but am not going to send them to school having to wear masks.  Should I plan to keep them home all year?

     At this time, students in grades 3 and higher are required to wear masks in Napa County. This directive may change in time and for now when we are able to meet in person, we will follow the Napa County Public Health directives.

    What about an outdoor teaching option?

    We have discussed the need to provide outside education as much as possible when we are in-person. We have large shade tents ready to use at the Primary and Elementary School, and we are also purchasing smaller shade tents for use at our school sites.

    Has the district looked at holding classes outside on campus?

    We have discussed the need to provide outside education as much as possible when we are in-person. We have large shade tents ready to use at the Primary and Elementary School. and we are also purchasing smaller shade tents for use at our school sites. 

    At the July 20 meeting presentation, why are the the days shortened on the school schedules? How will teachers cover material in less time?

    Our schedules depend on whether we are in distance learning or in-person instruction.  Shortened days for the distance learning schedules are due to the recommended amount of instructional minutes released by the California Department of Education for distance learning, parent feedback on the amount of desired daily screen time, increased delivery of small group instruction and recommended safety protocols.  

    For our in-person instruction, students will be dismissed earlier so that we have no large gathering, which includes lunch.  This early dismissal allows us to provide a grab n’ go lunch at the end of the day and teacher contractual collaboration and preparation time.

    When and how will we learn more about the Full Year Virtual Program Option #2  (and Fuel Education if that is the option)?

    Tuesday, July 28, 2020 we will hold two information sessions on the two options. TK - 5 at 3:00 PM and 6 - 12 at 4:00 PM. The meetings will be held via Zoom and also viewed through YouTube. You may find the links for the meetings on the District Website here: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=2&DomainID=4#calendar1/20200728/event/1828

    Looks like we need to make a decision that impacts our kids for the full 20/21 by 8/4?

    Yes, in order to ensure for proper staffing and class size we are asking parents to select an option by 8/4/2020.
    We'd appreciate more details on this alternative #2 option ASAP and an opportunity for parents to provide input.

    Tuesday, July 28, 2020 we will hold two information sessions on the two options. TK - 5 at 3:00 PM and 6 - 12 at 4:00 PM. The meetings will be held via Zoom and also viewed through YouTube. You may find the links for the meetings on the District Website here: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=2&DomainID=4#calendar1/20200728/event/1828

    Hello, I see that there aren’t any questions answered or comments made today. I hope I am not too late in getting my question in. I understand that in March we all had the rug pulled out from under us. And that teachers, the other staff, parents and kids did the best anyone could in the situation. My question is not just from myself but from a few of us parents who where all in the same struggle at some point each week. Will the parents of the Primary kids still have the same kind of walk me through this tech issue or “why isn’t the iPad turning on” or “I’m not sure what the teacher is directing us to support that we received this year? It did not matter whether it was morning, noon, or night or what day of the week, even if it was Sunday, if we had a tech issue we could reach out to Ms. Montely and she would immediately or within 10 minutes be helping us. She knows our kids, understands what they are saying, is kind and patient with both our kids and us. Yes, we weren’t Always on our best behavior with her but she ALWAYS was with us.  Will we have Ms. Montely again? Please! Again thank you for your time and I hope I am not too late

    At this time, there is no change in staffing.

    Per the public health announcement, primary school students are encouraged to wear face masks but not required.  It is my understanding that the primary school will follow this protocol and most students will not be wearing masks during class instruction to allow teachers to work with them on sounds and reading.  Is that correct?  

    Additionally, could you please describe what primary school classrooms for in person will look like by addressing each question below:

    1. Will each student be provided their own stand alone desk separated by plexiglass barriers?  
    2. Have the shared tables been taken out?  
    3. Will there be no more carpet learning time?  
    4. Will instruction be held outside weather permitting for more ventilation? 

    I feel it would help parents to understand what environment their children will be in each day so they can make an informed decision.  Thank you for all you are doing to keep the staff and children safe in this difficult time.

    At this time, students in grades 3 and higher are required to wear masks in Napa County. This directive may change in time and for now when we are able to meet in person, we will follow the Napa County Public Health directives.

    To address questions 1-4:
    We will ensure that we have enough classroom furniture to minimize face-to-face contact based on public health guidelines by placing student desks 4-6 feet apart, and utilizing individual student partitions.  Principals will finalize decisions soon about in-class instruction, including carpet learning time, to ensure that safety guidelines are followed. 

    We have discussed the need to provide outside education as much as possible when we are in-person. We have large shade tents ready to use at the Primary and Elementary School. and we are also purchasing smaller shade tents for use at our school sites.

    Please describe or help us to understand exactly why there is NOT more flexibility in the learning options offered for this school year by answering the questions here:

    - Why does a parent have to make a commitment to either virtual learning all year or the phased in-person model lead by health orders?  

    - If a parent is forced by work to choose the phased in-person model, but cases start to spike in the fall/winter and they grow concerned, why would they not be allowed to place their child in virtual learning at that point?  

    - Conversely, for parents that choose 100% virtual learning, if a vaccine is available and/or cases start to drop or cease completely, why would they not be allowed to enroll their child into in-person instruction to support their social and emotional health? 

    - Why can’t a more flexible option be offered to change learning styles at each trimester?

    The Governor’s orders to hold distance learning only cannot be challenged. We must abide by these orders and the directives from Napa County Public Health. Knowing who plans to return to in-person instruction allows us to staff based on the guidance with small class size as much as possible. 

    It may be challenging to move to the Virtual Program mid-year, and, if cases spike, we may all be in Distance Learning.

    If a vaccine is available and all safety precautions: face masks, physical distancing, small class size, stable cohorts, etc. are lifted we may be able to transition all students back to in-person learning. 

    This is a difficult year for all of us. We are trying to develop a sustainable program that serves students as best as possible. I encourage you to join the information meetings tomorrow to learn more.

    https://www.sthelenaunified.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=2&DomainID=4#calendar1/20200728/event/1828

    What training has to day and will in the future be provided to the teachers to help them more effectively teach remotely?

    Teachers participated in professional development at the end of the 19-20 school year and will continue to develop their on-line instruction during the upcoming school year.

    For online -only academy, will there be an option for the students to socially interact with their fellow St Helena school Community on a regular basis?  It would be important to have some ways for them to continue communicating with their home school, for social and behavioral health during these traumatic times.  They could feel isolated if at home for the whole year, and we don’t  want them to feel like a new student when they return to school the following year.

    Tuesday, July 28, 2020 we will hold two information sessions on the two options. TK - 5 at 3:00 PM and 6 - 12 at 4:00 PM. The meetings will be held via Zoom and also viewed through YouTube. You may find the links for the meetings on the District Website here: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=2&DomainID=4#calendar1/20200728/event/1828

    My question is about the material that the children should use throughout the school year if I decide to put it into virtual learning who will provide me with the support material and not only the tablet but also the activity calendar for my son to have Lexia and the program of Math that the District manages and finally the learning will be the same that will be managed in the District?

    If you select Option #2 Virtual Program, SHUSD will ensure your child has the required technology to access the program. Materials to support the classes will be provided by the company (Fuel-Education).

    I don’t feel comfortable sending my daughter to school in the middle of the pandemic.

    We understand the concerns of many parents. This is why we are offering two options. Tuesday, July 28, 2020 we will hold two information sessions to further discuss the options.. TK - 5 at 3:00 PM and 6 - 12 at 4:00 PM. The meetings will be held via Zoom and also viewed through YouTube. You may find the links for the meetings on the District Website here: https://www.sthelenaunified.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=2&DomainID=4#calendar1/20200728/event/1828

    What will Transportation from Pope Valley look like?

    Our bus stops will be the same as they were last year, although pick up and drop off times will change in alignment with the instructional schedules.  You can review last year’s bus stops on the District Website here:  https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/240

    How will the school, once it moves into in person, handle the home to school transportation? What will buses look like for the kids? How often will they be sanitized? Are buses going to pick up all students from home or pre-existing bus routes? How will students that live in Pope Valley be impacted by all this?

    Our bus stops will be the same as they were last year, although pick up and drop off times will change in alignment with the instructional schedules.  You can review last year’s bus stops on the District Website here:  https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/240

    Buses will be sanitized daily by the drivers using special equipment.  A company will also wash the exteriors of the buses and apply a long-lasting disinfectant shield to the interiors once a month.

    Will my daughter still have Speech Therapy?

    Yes, special education services will continue.


    Questions submitted on July 23, 2020

    Would the board please consider and share your thoughts on outdoor teaching? For example, if you go down Money Way in St Helena you'll see how businesses have adjusted to this situation with outdoor service with safety precautions.  I feel there need to be a much stronger effort on creative ideas to provide better teaching capabilities than we seen since March.

    We have discussed the need to get the students in the TK-5 grade level cohorts outside as much as possible when we are back to in-school instruction. We have reviewed the research around being outdoors and will build this into our plans to the extent feasible.  We already have some shade tents and our business department has ordered more.

    Please share in summary format the thoughts and suggestions the Board has received from parents and parent groups since March.  Please do the same re ideas from teachers and teacher groups. I am sure they too have creative ideas to help better serve our kids come this fall.

    The District created a School Re-opening page on the district website:  https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/718

    On the left side, you can access both parent surveys and board presentations.  The presentation shared on June 18, 2020, contains information from a survey completed by  SHUSD teachers and staff.
    The website also contains a full recording of the information session and the board meeting on July 20, 2020, that includes parent/community questions and staff responses.

    In reading some of the previous questions/comments I would have to agree with the amount of screen time required for my little one was too much! And to have him watch math videos on YouTube delivered by someone not related to our school District was absurd. Not one of the five 1st grade teachers had 5 minutes to make a video themselves? Can you please tell me if my child will again be receiving instruction from a stranger?

    Teaching remotely was unexpected, and new for our teachers last year. Distance learning will be more robust this year to include live teacher time with students, fixed schedules, grading, accountability, and support for students’ social-emotional needs.

    Our daughter has completely forgotten how to hold a pencil or how write her name. She is going into first grade and only desires devices now. We are only using our devices when absolutely necessary as we want her to be able to hold a pencil and write her name again. We are trying to lead by example as they say. When we try to show her how to hold a pencil and write her name as we have highlighted for her to trace she breaks the pencil lead, cries and says no. I want my iPad. We have heard from numerous (23 to be exact) 1st grade parents that 80% or more of the instruction last year was delivered via the iPad. Our daughters mental well being is our main concern. As a parent I am asking if the district can please assure me that for our daughters mental health she will have more work delivered in the form of paper packets rather than delivered on a device?

    We know that this has been a difficult time for both students and their families.  We plan to support the emotional well-being of students and set a positive, caring tone right at the start of the school year.  All teachers will focus on creating positive relationships and providing weekly socio-emotional lessons to their students that will help them learn to manage their feelings and build resiliency.  At the lower grades we will provide a combination of hard copy packets for the home and online resources to provide age-appropriate support for student learning.

    CDC just released new guidelines regarding School openings, urges in person learning with social distancing and other safety measures.  There is a waiver process to allow for local decisions rather than blindly following Gavin Newsom blanket statement to keep schools closed. Given the majority of parents requested in person education in your survey, and with Napa consistently at the bottom listed risk zones, what is the board doing to get a waiver so we can open schools with in-person learning? What are the initiatives to look into using creative solutions like outside teaching to start with?

    The SHUSD Board of Trustees and staff also want students in school as soon as possible and when it is safe to do so. The Superintendent’s Office continuously monitors local public health conditions.  Currently, the number of cases in Napa County is increasing; we remain on the “watch list” which means that we must start the school year with 100% distance learning.  We are currently reviewing and discussing the waiver for lower grades.  We know that these circumstances are extremely difficult for families. We truly understand and have placed our efforts and energies into getting students back in school as soon as possible.  We have addressed the outdoor question in another response above.

    Please describe or help us to understand exactly why there is NOT more flexibility in the learning options offered for this school year by answering the questions here:

    - Why does a parent have to make a commitment to either virtual learning all year or the phased in-person model lead by health orders?  

    - If a parent is forced by work to choose the phased in-person model, but cases start to spike in the fall/winter and they grow concerned, why would they not be allowed to place their child in virtual learning at that point?   

    - Conversely, for parents that choose 100% virtual learning, if a vaccine is available and/or cases start to drop or cease completely, why would they not be allowed to enroll their child into in-person instruction to support their social and emotional health? 

    - Why can’t a more flexible option be offered to change learning styles at each trimester?

    Question 1:  We are trying to be responsive to families that are not comfortable having their students back on campus during the pandemic by providing a different option for them. Additionally, we need to know who will be coming back for in-person instruction when it is allowed based on public health conditions so that we can create the small class sizes based on social distancing recommendations and assign staff as needed.

    Question 2: We will look at all situations on a case by case basis.  However, as a contracted virtual learning program paid for and offered by the district we are building our district budget around all of the funding needs of the district for the start of the school year.  This is a cost that will need to be approved by the SHUSD Board of Trustees.  Also, it is likely that if cases start to increase again after a return to in-person learning, public health conditions will require us to go back to 100% distance learning.  

    Question 3:  We would absolutely look at bringing back students at that time if it is safe to do so.

    Question 4:  We will build our small class sizes and coordinate staffing based on social distancing guidelines and health safety protocols for in-person learning;  it wouldn’t be feasible to change these logistics that rapidly (e.g. every 12 weeks for a trimester) due to multiple factors.

    From what I am reading, the districts position is if we choose the virtual learning platform it is for an entire school year. Not a trimester or semester but for the entire 2020-2021 school year. What if the virtual school is not a fit for 1 or both of our children? Are you implying/stating that we cannot come back into the St. Helena Public Schools?  Am asking for clarification please.

    We will be taking these situations on a case by case.  You are a member of our school community and we want the best for your children as well.

     


    Questions submitted on July 22, 2020

    If we leave the district completely are we allowed to return at any time?  The virtual option say you are opting in for a full year but does the district still have to take in a new/returning student?

    The options for families to choose at the beginning of the school year allows us to staff our classes based on public health guidelines.  Having students come back to in-school instruction within the school year, if they have not selected that option, could impact school schedules and staffing that have been established based on enrollment numbers. We are required to reduce the class size and may need to re-position staff and teachers.  Should a new student move into the district within the school year, we will review on a case by case basis.

    Another concern is from a parent of a 1st grader who is going into 2nd grade in August. She does not want her child to have a "to do" list that is twice as much as her elementary son. She felt that the "screen time" was way more than 15-20 minutes a day. She said "we can't do that again"

    There will be a fixed daily schedule for all students to follow this year with grading expectations and attendance requirements.  We will review the options again on July 28, 2020, at 3:00 pm in a zoom call so that you can see what the fixed schedule is for all grade levels.  Instruction for the lower grades will be delivered with packets and online live teaching.

    One mom said she felt when they were answering the survey it was for a week of 1-2 hour screen time. She said they can not do an hour a day. It's mentally detrimental to her daughter.

    Instruction for the lower grades will be delivered with packets and online live teaching. Some screen time will be expected per day and it will vary.  There will be more teacher live teaching time this year which could include storytelling, teaching social-emotional techniques and math instruction.

    I believe I read that the 100% virtual learning will be assisted by a professional organization. Would you explain to me about this?

    SHUSD will be contracting with a company called “Fuel Education”.  We will be limiting what will be offered to teaching the core subject of math, English, science and social studies at each grade level that are imperative to master common core standards in order to be able to advance to the grade level the following year. We will have a Zoom session on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 for families to hear more information.  More details can be found on the district website: www.shusd.org

    I would like to know more information regarding the virtual option. Is there a website I can look at? I’m trying to weigh the benefits of it vs. just picking distant learning thru the school for my 1st grader.

    SHUSD will be contracting with a company called “Fuel Education”.

    A daughter still cries to this day according to her mom about the demands put on her by her 1st grade teachers at SHPS

    We are sorry to hear this, we will have more parent and student support this year to make sure students are completely supported to keep up with grade-level expectations.

    How do you plan on supporting the students that do not have reliable WiFi access, due to where they live, to be able to participate in zoom classes?

    If we know of a family having trouble with wifi our technology department will work on correcting connectivity issues. In addition, we will continue to provide “hot spots” for families with no internet. There will be dedicated office hours and a technology phone line for families to tell us their issues.

    How will the school support children when both parents are essential workers required to work the entire week? Can in-class instruction be provided for the smaller group, esp children of health care providers and first responders?

    We are currently working with our community partners to assist in setting up some child care.  Currently, the SH Boys and Girls Club is open for child care and I would check to see about availability for your children.

    Is anyone else experiencing trouble reaching live individuals on the district phone system? I have tried for three days to connect to district office staff and no one ever answers. The other issue is that the dial by name does not appear to work properly.

    We are sorry to hear this, currently, we are on a limited in-person district office employee schedules.  All district staff can be reached through email 5 days a week.  In addition, all school office staff will be available by email or scheduled in-person time starting August 3rd.

     


    Questions submitted on July 21, 2020

    What is the plan for classes such as advanced Ag mechanics, floral design, drama, bio diesel… Classes that require more hands-on learning? Is there any possibility for some small group or individualized instruction if face masks and distance are observed?

    Responses related to questions regarding electives will be developed in more detail when principals return in August and staffing models are developed.

    If the watch list for St Helena is lifted will the primary open?

    All district schools are planning to open with students in person once the State and Local orders allow.  At this time, we have not decided if we stagger the opening at the various sites.

    With the announcement this morning, it seemed to say that distance learning would be for the entire school year. If the COVID situation changes for the better, maybe even a vaccine, is the plan to return to in-person classes?

    We have two options for parents this year. You may choose either Distance Learning with the intent to move to in-person at school learning OR the Virtual Program which is a full year commitment where your child will learn from home the entire school year. Check the website for more information.

    In the video message today you mentioned distance learning and a virtual program for the entire school year. Please describe what that means for our Kindergarten students.

    Per State orders, we are required to open the school year in the Distance Learning format. This means all students will be learning from home and connecting with their teacher daily. As soon as possible, we will transition to an in-person model where students will attend school at least 2 days a week with the goal of all 5 days when possible. The Virtual Program is a year-long commitment where your child will participate in an online program for the full school year.

    If there is a particular class that is difficult to do online at SHHS, can we look for a college class online to substitute? ie: to fill art credit?

    Any changes to schedule requests would be made in consultation with a counselor.  Please send them an email and they will respond upon return in a few weeks.

    Can we, as parents, start to get an idea of what "robust distance learning" looks like? As we prepare to start the year, we need to know what time to allocate, etc. Thank you.

    The district website contains schedules that parents can use as a reference by school sites.  Projected times are listed by are subject to change based on site and transportation needs.

    When will students be able to view schedules?

    Schedules will be released as soon as we determine how many students will opt for year-long distance learning, finalize staffing, and adjust class capacity with safety precautions.  As soon as those processes occur, schedules will be announced for students.

    If you sign up for full-year online is instruction individual or group and will you be grouped with other SHUSD students. If it is individual instruction...how much online contact is there each day or per week? Will textbooks etc be available for pickup at school?

    More information regarding the Virtual Program will be available on the website and during an information session next Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at 3:00 PM.

    I am wondering about how labs in the lab sciences will be conducted if at all. And if some classes will be canceled due to the kids not being present at school.

    Decisions about labs and hands-on activities will be made by teachers in consultation with their department and administrative guidelines.  At this time, no classes or sections have been canceled due to enrollment.


    Questions submitted on July 20, 2020

    I am concerned not to see any physical activity or movement in our kid’s schedules. Couldn’t the PE teachers work on a virtual PE class or send a program for the kids to follow? With distance learning and the hours that the students will spend on electronic devices, I think that it should be mandatory that the kids have some form of physical activity! It would really beneficial for their physical and mental wellbeing.

    Yes, physical activity is important for all children. We are focused on providing core curriculum and supporting mental health and wellness. As we are able, we will provide additional opportunities for students to engage in remote physical activity. We encourage families to walk and exercise together when possible.

    How and when will the Board address and answer the non-board-member questions raised at the call today, please? Sorry if that was covered and I miss that?

    Following Public Comment, questions were answered by staff. If you are interested in the responses, you can view the Board meeting here:  https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/725

    Similar to one of the non-board member questions asked -- I want to hear more about HOW the Distant Leaning will be improved over the IMHO unsuccessful "home-work and a few Q&A sessions" approach this spring? 

    The schedules described in the Board meeting include daily Zoom instructional classes for all students. In addition, daily attendance will be taken, assignments collected and graded, and report card grades will be assigned. Teachers have participated in a number of professional development opportunities to assist them in providing improved instruction virtually.

    If there isn't a real answer to this at this point I like to know what actions the Board is planning to take to address this, the timeline, and how we as patents can continue to engage and contribute?

    Per Governor Newsom’s directive school will open in a Distance Learning format. The Board approved the Learning Plans at the July 20, 2020 Special Meeting. The Board will meet again August 13, 2020. The link to the meeting can be found here:

    https://www.sthelenaunified.org/Page/725

    In the meantime, The Transition Team is meeting regularly to finalize all plans for school reopening. Check the District Website regularly for updates, timelines, and opportunities to engage.