- Santa Clara Unified School District
- Reopening FAQs
Family Town Hall
If you do not find the answers you need on this page, please complete our Reopening FAQs Form. If your question is not answered by a current FAQ, the question and answer will be added to the FAQ section below. FAQs will be updated regularly.
Last Updated 01/07/2021
Who is your health expert that is advising?
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department sets the orders and guidelines which serve as our baseline for planning, including our Health and Safety Plan and our Phase Two Reopening Plan.
The waiver is not currently part of the district planning. Will it be considered as part of additional negotiations?
The Board of Trustees gave direction to not seek a waiver when the county is in the Purple Tier (widespread risk level).
When will Phase 2A and Phase 2B of the reopening plan begin?
We are currently in Phase 2A. When the county moves to the Orange Tier we will be in Phase 2B of our plan and our students will begin to follow the phase two schedules the following Monday.
Upon opening, will public water fountains be open for all or shuttered?
We have touchless reusable bottle filling stations at each campus which will be open.
What is the classroom capacity once students return to school?
- Class Size — In-person class sizes will be generally half of the students of the regular class size
- Class Capacity — The in-person class sizes will be adjusted downward to meet the capacity limits of the rooms.
- Class capacities have variance due to class configurations, desks, bathrooms in class, etc).
- Our typical classrooms are 960 sq ft. with a capacity of 10-15
Do families have the option to request a new teacher?
Please contact your school principal if you have concerns about your child’s teacher.
What date will you make the call to remain in distance learning for the remainder of the school year?
There is no date in the plan to call for students to remain in distance learning for the remainder of the school year. The union did not request a date, but many members of our community have asked about one since other districts have announced dates. Our Board of Trustees is interested in students returning when we move to the Orange Tier, whenever that date may be.
Do the students have to take their Chromebooks to school and back home every day?
Yes, students will be required to take their Chromebooks to school and back home every day. We will have some Chromebooks available for periodic use, but If you have specific concerns about taking a Chromebook home every day, we encourage you to contact your child's teacher/site administrator to discuss the matter in more detail.
What time will students start and end in-person school?
Please look at the schedules in the Reopening Plan on the district’s website.
What will be the effect of moving to hybrid learning on the current distance learning centers?
Learning centers will potentially be moved to other classrooms. Parents who are SCUSD staff will receive priority for remaining in Learning Centers. They will also be given the choice to go to 100% distance learning or return to campus for in-person learning on the family preference survey, like all families. Return to campus will be contingent upon a prioritization system for students with the greatest needs (see below).
Can we apply for the Learning Center program if the student’s parents are not essential workers?
Our Learning Centers are currently at capacity, but you have the option of joining the waiting list for learning centers. We encourage you to consider selecting return to campus on the family preference survey in early January.
Is there a Hybrid option for students or is it only 5 days per week?
There is no hybrid option. Elementary students who return to campus will be on campus five days per week. Secondary students will be on campus four days per week. Mondays will be all virtual.
Distance and In-Person Learning
Distance and In-Person Learning
If we choose to continue with distance learning, will we get a new teacher or keep the same teacher?
You will keep the same teacher.
How many days a week will elementary school students attend in-person learning?
Elementary students will attend five days per week, returning home at lunchtime.
If we choose to continue distance learning, will we ever have an option to move to in-person instruction if we change our mind or feel more comfortable to do so?
We can not guarantee that at this time for the remainder of this school year.
If I choose to keep my child in distance learning for the remainder of the school year, will their schedule and teachers stay the same?
Keeping the same schedules and teachers is one of the main priorities. That was a clear priority for students, families, staff, and our Board of Trustees.
For elementary school, if we chose in-person learning, will the kids still be using Chromebooks for most of the teaching day?
Yes, they will still be on their Chromebooks for most of the teaching day. Students will return home at lunchtime.
Will students be allowed to use the playgrounds during recess?
We are clarifying the management of permissible outdoor activities on school campuses and will have more information in January. Students will remain in cohorts and, weather permitting, will be outside for recess. Classes will have designated areas for recess and the number of classes outside at one time will be limited to ensure social distancing.
How will physical education (PE) classes take place for in-person students?
PE will continue to be virtual for elementary school students.
Upon return to school, are teachers teaching remotely or in-person?
Teachers will be physically in person but delivering instruction to in-person students and students who selected distance learning. There will be layers of safety for students who are on campus, like 6-foot distance, desk shields, masks. Students will have headsets and teachers will have a wireless microphone and headset.
How will the teachers ensure equal support and attention for both students in-person and those in distance learning?
Just as teachers are working now with all of their students, they will balance supporting the students who are in person with those who remain in distance learning. This model allows everyone to use the same learning platform. During the small group or individual time, teachers will be able to support the students who are in person as well as any student in distance.
Was it considered to bring back seniors and 8th graders first who are in their last opportunities at their respective schools before bringing back 6th and 9th graders?
The time difference between 6th and 9th grade students returning and students in other grade levels returning is relatively short, 1-2 weeks maximum.
Do we have the option to keep our child in distance learning for the remainder of the school year?
Yes. Parents will have the option to keep their child in distance learning for the remainder of the school year.
Will distance learning be available for the 2021-2022 school year?
We have not determined this at this point.
Will STEM Leadership Institute students be allowed to return to STEM classes, labs, and extended hours?
Please check in with Mr. Shelby and Mr. Flores with regard to the SLI program. The program will abide by the same health and safety requirements as all classes.
Can you elaborate on what supporting student re-socialization will mean?
We anticipate that students will need social and emotional support as they transition to in-person learning. This would include proactively teaching and re-teaching social skills and behaviors that promote health and safety, such as wearing face coverings.
Why is the phase two plan for special education preschoolers to attend in cohorts of five, part-time, rather than ten students five days per week?
The class size and schedule were determined while thinking about the needs of our community, the safety protocols, and the capacity of our rooms for both students and adults that support those students.
What do you offer for kindergarten children with special needs that don't do distance learning well? How are they supposed to access their education?
Children with special needs who are struggling in distance learning would receive priority for return to campus if their families select that option on the family preference survey that will go out in early January.
What happens if a student has a 1:1 aide?
If a student has a 1:1 aide, it reduces the number of people who can be in a classroom based on the square footage of the classroom.
Is Phase Three an option for this school year so that non-prioritized students can return to campus?
As public health conditions improve, it is our goal to bring back all students who wish to return in Phase Three. We don’t know when or if we will be able to move to Phase Three during the 2020-2021 school year. Each phase transition requires updated, negotiated contracts with our labor associations and approval from the Board of Trustees.
Will siblings be kept in the same category regardless of where they fall priority wise — either all in class or all in distance learning?
Your principal will be able to discuss options with families who have unique situations such as those who may have one student prioritized for return and another who is not. All families can elect to keep all of their children in distance learning to keep their children in the same return category.
If all kids in a classroom want to return, is it possible if you have too low of a priority that you would be denied the chance to return to in person?
Yes, that is possible.
Will busing be provided for elementary students attending in-person learning?
Yes, if the elementary school has normal bus routes. Your student’s school will have more information on normal bus routes. Elementary students are given priority on transportation.
Will there be summer school for students that are not doing well in school?
We are in the process of developing a Learning Acceleration Plan that will include a robust summer school component. We will continue to follow all state and county public health guidelines regarding in-person schooling.