TVUSD to introduce distance learning, won’t dock students’ grades for new assignments

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Temecula Valley Unified School District officials on Friday announced their plans for moving forward with distance learning while campuses are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“While we are under official orders to physically close our school campuses through June 19, 2020, this does not mean that the school year is over,” the school district said in a communication to parents April 3. Instead, it highlights the importance of our continued focus on distance learning opportunities.

Grades will effectively be frozen as of March 13 — students participating in distance learning, which will begin Monday, April 6, can raise their grade, but no assignments after that can negatively impact a student.

“Any assignment placed in the (Infinite Campus) Gradebook from April 6 through the end of the school year can only serve to maintain or improve a student’s overall grade in the course,” the district said.

Officials said distance learning won’t look the same for every school and every teacher but distance learning program opportunities will be available to every student across the district. For special education families, information will be shared directly from the district’s special education team.

TVUSD was planning to provide electronic devices to families who need them, but noted that families with devices including desktop computers, laptops, Chromebooks, iPads or other tablets likely do not need a district-provided device. For those who do need one, the district was limiting devices to one per family, but said distance learning session plans and times are flexible and should be able to accommodate households with multiple children.

For those who have already contacted the district about getting a device, pickup is scheduled for Monday, April 6 through Wednesday, April 8, depending on the school site. Schools will reach out to parents about pickup times, the district said. Officials asked parents to give schools until the end of the day on April 6 before contacting them to inquire about pickup schedules if they have not yet been contacted.

Those who have not yet requested devices can access forms for elementary school, middle school and high school, available here. The forms will be available for submission on April 6 after 8 a.m.

District officials said parents of children served by an individual education plan, or IEP, and who already have an assistive technology device per their IEP should complete an online device request form so that the device can be retrieved.

The district asked that parents do not go to their children’s school sites without receiving contact and a scheduled appointment. Schools are adhering to a safe distribution plan that will limit the number of people on-site at one time, officials said, and device pickups will operate via a drive-thru process.

Students in grades 6-12 will need their student IDs for device pickup, and elementary students will need a parent or guardian present.

“We understand that families have many questions and concerns about resolving future impacts, graduations, promotions, end of year activities, refunds, retrieving items left at school, and more,” TVUSD said. “We want to assure you that we will address these important issues in future communication. Our focus of this communication is to share about TVUSD’s distance learning plans and everything associated with ensuring students and families have the supports they need for success. Next week is our transition week. Our main priority is to get our students and teachers connected and engaged in distance learning. This is an important step towards reconnecting and providing our students with a sense of normalcy. This is vital not only to their education but also to their social-emotional well-being.”

Will Fritz can be reached by email at wfritz@reedermedia.com.