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Return-to-School Family Preference Survey

En Español

NOTE 2/1/2021: It has come to our attention that some of the labels on the student dashboard in our student registration system (SchoolMint) were inaccurate. The labels were corrected this morning. This does not impact the Family Preference Survey. If you have already completed the survey, you do not need to complete it again. We apologize for any confusion or frustration the mislabeling may have caused. If you have questions about the survey, please email familypreferencesurvey@scusd.net or call (408) 423-2004. 


 

January 29, 2021

Dear Santa Clara Unified Families,

Over the last several weeks, we shared information about our planning and preparation for the next phase of the 2020-2021 school year. Following our board-approved Phase Two Reopening Plan, we will offer in-person instruction and support for some students beginning on the first Monday after Santa Clara County moves back to the Orange Tier on California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

Today, we are beginning the family choice process through a survey so we can continue preparing for the return of students to school campuses. We understand that some families may want their students to continue with distance learning at home, while others may want their students to participate in distance learning on their school campus. We may not be able to accommodate all students whose families wish for them to return. 

School sites will use the responses to this survey to issue invitations to students based on their priority status (see page 14 of our Phase Two Reopening Plan). We know this is a difficult decision during a challenging time. Santa Clara Unified and our schools will continue to support your students and family through the transition as we welcome students back to school campuses.

Below is a link to complete the choice process for each of your students. Your family will also receive a message today directly from our student enrollment system (SchoolMint) with the same link. Use either message to access the Parent Preference Survey link to complete the survey one time for each of your students.

Complete the survey for each of your students by the end of the day on Monday, February 8.

  1. Click here to access the Family Preference Survey
  2. Log in to our online enrollment system (School Mint)
  3. Select the student you are completing the survey for
  4. Complete the survey to mark your choice of “Distance Learning at Home” or “Distance Learning at School”
  5. Click “Submit Form”

We know you have many questions about what the next phase of the school year will be like. Below, you will find additional details that will address many of the questions we have received from families. Additional details, including our COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan, accompanying video, and additional frequently asked questions can be found on our Reopening webpage. We will continue to keep you updated as we prepare for the return of some students to in-person learning.

If you have additional questions, please email familypreferencesurvey@scusd.net or call (408) 423-2004. We greatly appreciate your support and patience as we continue to navigate through this pandemic.

Sincerely,

Stella Kemp Signature

Stella M. Kemp, Ed.D.
Superintendent


ADDITIONAL DETAILS

Enrollment system login: Use the same username and password that you used to complete the annual student information update. 

Safety protocols: Santa Clara Unified has a Board of Trustees-approved  COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan (español) for the return of students to school campuses. The safety protocols include mandatory face coverings, six feet of physical distancing and desk shields, increased hand hygiene, and other measures while on school campuses. Watch our safety plan video to see our protocols in action. 

Distance learning at school model: We are continuing with the distance learning instructional model, with some students participating from home and some students participating from school. This model allows all students to equitably participate in instruction and remain with their current teacher. The teacher will offer daily instruction to both groups. In-person students will return home at lunch time.

In-person experience: In-person means that the teacher and student are in the same room. Due to the safety protocols and the distance learning at school model, in-person students will have a different classroom experience than normal. Both students and teachers must remain in designated spaces during class and wear masks. In order to minimize contact, maintain physical distancing, and allow at home peers to participate, in-person students will observe the lesson through their distance learning platform. 

Class size and room capacity: To ensure the necessary space for physical distancing in classrooms, in-person class sizes will be adjusted down to approximately 50%, or less, to meet room capacity restrictions. Our typical classroom is 960 square feet with a capacity of 10-15 students. Room capacity limits vary due to class configurations, desks, bathrooms in class, etc. Some classes may not reach the maximum capacity of in-person students but will not be able to accept additional in-person students due to the number of distance learners in the class.

Teacher/class assignments: Students will maintain their existing teachers and classes. We will attempt to place in-person students in their current classes when space allows. If we cannot accommodate an in-person preference with the current teachers, families may receive the option of a different teacher or a different school if space is available. Families that do not want their students to change teachers or schools can remain in distance learning.

Placement priority: Our intention is to keep students with their current teachers. Students will be prioritized for return to campus based upon available seats, according to county health guidelines, and by the categories outlined on page 14 of our Phase Two Reopening Plan (español). 

Priority categories include:

  • Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan
  • Struggled with attendance during distance learning
  • Struggled academically with multiple failing grades or a need for additional intervention supports
  • English language learners, low socio-economic status, homeless or foster youth
  • At least one guardian is an essential worker

Length of commitment: The remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

Schedules: See page 17 of our Phase Two Reopening Plan (español) for sample schedules, which will begin the first Monday after Santa Clara County moves to the Orange Tier. These schedules are templates for school sites to follow. Each school will provide their community with their final school schedule as we are closer to reopening. Most phase two schedules mirror distance learning schedules.

Differences:

  • Longer lunch so that in-person students can return home for afternoon learning
  • Longer passing periods so that in-person secondary students have time to move between classes

Attendance: In-person students will be expected to attend school in person each day, unless they have a COVID-19 symptom (espanol) or are quarantining at home due to possible exposure to COVID-19. In these cases, students should participate in their classes from home and will not be considered absent. 

Health Protocols: For the health and safety of all of our students, families, and staff, we require families to keep students home every time they display a COVID-19 symptom (espanol), follow county guidelines for COVID-19 testing and quarantining, and report positive cases in your household to your school administrator. Additional protocols can be found in the district’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan (español).

Transportation: If you require busing, please contact the Transportation Department via the Transportation webpage to see if your child qualifies for transportation services. 

Lunch and meal service: There will be pick up meals for in-person and at-home students. See our Meal Service webpage for details as we move closer to reopening.

Child Care and Extended Day Programs: If your child is invited to participate in Distance Learning at School, you will be asked if you require no cost childcare after in-person dismissal (11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.). These limited childcare offerings will be available to TK-8th grade only. While we will work to provide childcare to families who require it, we anticipate greater need than we can accommodate. Therefore, indicating interest does not guarantee a spot as there is limited availability. 

Essential workers: Under the current state guidelines, essential workers (espanol) include people who work with the public in the following sectors: healthcare, retail or manufacturing, emergency services, food services, agricultural or food manufacturing, public transportation, correctional facilities, education, and provision of care to an elderly person or person with disabilities.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is there a cap to the number of students that can be in person?

To ensure the necessary space for physical distancing in classrooms, in-person class sizes will be adjusted down to approximately 50%, or less, to meet room capacity restrictions. Our typical classroom is 960 square feet with a capacity of 10-15 students. Room capacity limits vary due to class configurations, desks, bathrooms in class, etc. Some classes may not reach the maximum capacity of in-person students but will not be able to accept additional in-person students due to the number of distance learners in the class.

How will you determine which students get the in-person seats if more students request them than space allows?

Our intention is to keep students with their current teachers. Students will be prioritized for return to campus based upon available seats, according to county health guidelines, and by the categories outlined on page 14 of our Phase Two Reopening Plan (español). 

Priority categories include:

  • Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan
  • Struggled with attendance during distance learning
  • Struggled academically with multiple failing grades or a need for additional intervention supports
  • English language learners, low socio-economic status, homeless or foster youth
  • At least one guardian is an essential worker

What will happen if my student doesn't get an in-person seat with their current teacher(s)?

If we cannot accommodate an in-person preference with the current teachers, families may receive the option of a different teacher or a different school if space is available. Families that do not want their students to change teachers or schools can remain in distance learning.

Will some classes be only for distance learners and others only for in-person students?

No. We are continuing with the distance learning instructional model, with some students participating from home and some students participating from school. This model allows all students to equitably participate in instruction and remain with their current teacher. The teacher will offer daily instruction to both groups. In-person students will return home at lunch time.

What if I choose distance learning and then change my mind? Can I do that?

No, the choice is made for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

My student takes the bus to school. Will they still have this option?

If you require busing, please contact the Transportation Department via the Transportation webpage to see if your child qualifies for transportation services. 

What are the student schedules once students return to campus?

See page 17 of our Phase Two Reopening Plan (español) for sample schedules, which will begin the first Monday after Santa Clara County moves to the Orange Tier. These schedules are templates for school sites to follow. Each school will provide their community with their final school schedule as we are closer to reopening. Most phase two schedules mirror distance learning schedules. 

Differences:

  • Longer lunch so that in-person students can return home for afternoon learning
  • Longer passing periods so that in-person secondary students have time to move between classes

How does lunch time work and will students be able to get meal service?

There will be pick up meals for in-person and at-home students. See our Meal Service webpage for details as we move closer to reopening.

If I choose in-person, can my student attend from home sometimes?

In-person students will be expected to attend school in person each day, unless they have a COVID-19 symptom (espanol) or are quarantining at home due to possible exposure to COVID-19. In these cases, students should participate in their classes from home and will not be considered absent. 

What are the health protocols?

For the health and safety of all of our students, families, and staff, we require families to keep students home every time they display a COVID-19 symptom (espanol), follow county guidelines for COVID-19 testing and quarantining, and to report positive cases in your household to your school administrator. Additional protocols can be found in the district’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan (español).

Will before and after school care be available?

If your child is invited to participate in Distance Learning at School, you will be asked if you require no cost childcare after in-person dismissal (11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.). These limited childcare offerings will be available to TK-8th grade only. While we will work to provide childcare to families who require it, we anticipate greater need than we can accommodate. Therefore, indicating interest does not guarantee a spot as there is limited availability.