La Cañada Unified School District

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LCUSD Update on Distance Learning Expectations and Grading for LCHS 7-12

Dear Spartan Students and Families,
 
Thank you for your continued engagement, support, and flexibility as we move forward in implementing emergency distance learning. By now, students and families should be aware of those assignments from our initial three weeks of distance learning that are now required and will be graded on and after April 14 (these assignments would have been communicated to students directly from their teachers). It is important for students and families to know that on April 14 and for the duration of school closure, we return to compulsory education and daily student attendance. Since school sites remain closed, attendance during distance learning will be measured by student assignment completion and checking in with teachers like students regularly would if school was still open.
 
In our attempt to promote a continuity of learning, position students to learn essential concepts and further develop the skills necessary for them to make academic progress, and promote social-emotional wellness by continuing with the routines of school, LCUSD administration puts forward the following guides and expectations for the remainder of distance learning. Please know that further refinement of school policies and procedures will be developed and communicated in response to changes brought forth by LCUSD’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The expectations and guidelines for the remainder of distance learning are:
 
1. Students should log into Google classroom daily, check teacher websites, and check their LCUSD email account to inform themselves of the assignments for the day. Students should complete these assignments and assessments to the best of their abilities, submitting them by following teacher direction and asking teachers for support when questions arise.
 
2. Teachers will authentically assess and evaluate student work and grades will be input into Aeries. These grades will build upon quarter 3 grades and will be viewable in the Aeries student and parent portals.
 
3. Student attendance in each class will be measured by student assignment and assessment completion.

4. Teachers will submit lists of students to LCHS administration who are chronically absent. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, a student is chronically absent when they miss more than 30% of school, as specified in item #3 above.

5. LCUSD administration and their designees, including support staff, counselors, and Wellness Center staff, will contact chronically absent students in order to conduct wellness checks. If the wellness check reveals home life circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic that prevent school participation, a support plan will be put in place that is appropriate to the nature of the student's situation.

6. LCUSD staff recognizes that students and families are facing unique circumstances brought about by the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, safer at home directives, and school facility closures, and these home-life circumstances may make school performance and achievement at previous levels difficult.

a. To this end, LCUSD will adopt a hold harmless policy for students with respect to academic year 2019-2020 semester 2 grade reporting.

b. The hold harmless policy is defined as one where a student’s final semester 2 grade will not fall lower than the closing grade of March 12, 2020, the date of school facility closure, if the student is regularly and routinely completing school assignments and assessments and is not chronically absent.

c. The hold harmless policy further provides all students opportunities to improve quarter 3 grades.

d. For students who at the end of quarter 3 were earning a failing grade, consistent and effective participation in distance learning will result in a passing grade in the course. This grade will be reported as a D or higher, based upon student work and teacher evaluation. Students who at the end of quarter 3 were earning a failing grade and who are chronically absent and do not participate in distance learning at the required level, may receive a failing grade at the end of the term.

e. For the period of school closure, which in LCUSD is currently through May 5, 2020, per the March 31 vote by the Governing Board, LCUSD continues to plan to issue letter grades for the end of the term grade reporting. If school facilities remain closed, the final grading format for end of the term grade reporting may change. Any changes will be clearly communicated.

7. Students’ work and continued engagement in learning and completion of assignments and assessments play a critical role in determining next course placement, and recommendations for participation in honors, advanced, and Advanced Placement coursework. Sustained effort in distance learning will also positively contribute to the end of the semester citizenship marks, which play an important role in students retaining eligibility status for Spartan athletics and other co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
 
Distance learning done away from LCHS is a new reality for students, staff, and parents. Now more than ever it is critical that all members of the LCUSD family band together to ensure student success. Where students and families experience challenges with distance learning, we ask for communication and partnership so that we may resolve the myriad of challenges that students, staff, and parents face in these unprecedented times. If you have a family situation which requires special considerations, please reach out to your student’s teachers and the school principal to share information, ask questions, or to request additional support. Where technology challenges arise, please reach out to help@lcusd.net.
 
The health and safety of our students, staff, and families remains our highest priority and we continue to vouchsafe that as our ultimate goal while our distance learning model ensures our students’ successful completion of their courses of study.
 
Sincerely and with gratitude,
 
Wendy Sinnette           James Cartnal           Jarrett Gold, Ed. D.
Superintendent        LCHS 9-12 Principal      LCHS 7/8 Principal