• Welcome SSD Families!

    (Updated September 21, 2020)

     

    Dear SSD Families,

     

    We hope you continue to be well. We write to you to share updated information regarding our plans for the gradual, phased reopening of school campuses. Like Fremont Union High School District, we determined that opening campuses to all students is not feasible prior to January 1.

     

    While this is frustrating for parents and staff and certainly students, we believe a phased, gradual approach is important to maintain the health and safety of our community while continuing to provide the best possible instructional program under the circumstances. All of us in Sunnyvale School District are eager to return to full in-person instruction as soon as it is reasonably safe to do so.

     

    An outline of our phases follows. Please note that flexibility will continue to be one of our guiding principles, so plans, timelines and supports will certainly need to be adjusted as we move forward.

     

    Safety -- Equity -- Flexibility -- High-Quality Teaching and Learning

     

    Phase One: Staff on Campus

    Our Reopening Plan actually began with the first phase at the beginning of August as teachers returned to schools for professional development and other staff returned to schools to be trained on the new campus safety guidelines. Several teachers also returned to teach from their own classrooms.

    Phase Two: Support Pods

    The second phase includes the development of Support Pods. This phase began August 24 with a partnership between the City and the District to provide a Support Pod for the children of City and District employees at the Community Center. As a result of this project, we plan to introduce students residing at the Sunnyvale Homeless Shelter to their own Support Pod this week. We are currently planning the development of Support Pods, first at each of our four Title 1 elementary schools, and later to the remainder of our schools. Each Pod will accommodate up to 14 students while they access their current Virtual School instruction on campus with assistance from a paraeducator.

    Phase Three: Targeted Student Supports

    The third phase of our Reopening Plan will begin in the next several weeks. The supports will likely be focused on students with individual education plans, students accessing social worker services, and other students identified for targeted instructional support. A focus during the third phase may also be our youngest learners in transitional kindergarten and kindergarten.

    Phase Four: Targeted Group Instruction

    The successes and lessons learned from these first three phases, along with the current conditions in our community, will contribute to our planning as we move forward with a fourth phase. This phase would involve targeted groups of students receiving instruction (as opposed to support) on campus for a portion of the school day. The most optimistic target date for implementation of this phase is late November or early December.

    Phase Five: Tiered Reopening

    Classroom cohorts will return to full-day instruction on school campuses one grade level at a time, beginning with the lowest grade levels, no earlier than January 2021. Planning for middle school reopening has unique challenges, and this process will have to be considered separately.

     

    We will continue to closely follow the health metrics and guidance provided by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and the Santa Clara County Office of Education, particularly as we enter the beginning of the cold and flu season. Thank you for your continued dedication and resilience as we lay the foundation for a safe return.

     

    Best regards, Michael Gallagher, Ed.D. Superintendent

     

    Questions? 

    Find answers quickly here in our FAQs below. If you still need help, please don’t hesitate to email us at covid19concerns@sesd.org.

     

    Thank you for your flexibility and support! We look forward to serving your children.

     

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

  • When does school start?

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    Virtual School and the Independent Study Program are scheduled to begin on August 19.

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  • What are my choices for sending my transitional kindergarten-8th grade child back to school?

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    For the first six weeks of the year families will have two options: 

     

    • Virtual School: Students attend virtual school, assigned to one teacher, learning alongside their classmates. It’s like a typical school day, held in a virtual setting. Details can be found here, or
    • Independent Study: Students are held to the same curricular requirements, but parents act as the primary teachers. Details can be found here.

     

    We will be re-evaluating every two weeks whether we can reopen schools for in-person learning. We will keep our families informed.

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  • What are the differences between Virtual School and Independent Study?

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    • Virtual School mimics a typical school day. Teachers lead instruction either through live virtual sessions or taped lessons. Students work together in small groups or independently and regular, timely attendance is required.
    • Independent Study students follow a less-restrictive schedule but are held to the same academic standards as those in virtual learning. The key difference is that instruction is parent-led rather than teacher-led. Parents and students meet with teachers weekly for updates and support.

     

     

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  • When will I have to make a decision?

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    Families must select an at-home learning option for the first six weeks of the year no later than August 3. If we do not hear from you by that date, we will place your child in the virtual school option.

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  • Will Virtual School be different than what we did in the spring? How has it improved?

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    Distance learning last spring gave us an opportunity to identify the things we’d like to do differently to better serve students and families. As a result, Virtual School will have daily live interactions with teachers, required regular attendance, and instruction is in whole and small groups with independent activities also provided. We will also track student attendance and have scheduled opportunities to provide meaningful feedback to students and parents.

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  • How often will you re-evaluate whether you can reopen the schools to in-person learning?

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    We will be re-evaluating every two weeks whether we can reopen schools for in-person learning. We will keep our families informed.

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  • Can I change my decision at any point?

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    Please choose your learning option carefully; safety guidelines necessitate that families must stay within their chosen programs until the end of the first trimester, November 13.

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  • What about my preschoolers? Will you offer distance learning for them?

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    No. Per our State licensing agreement, we will not be offering Virtual School for preschoolers.

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  • Will support be provided for students with an IEP/504 as well as English Language Learners?

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    Yes, we remain committed to providing equitable learning opportunities for every child we serve and we will certainly provide guidance and services to families whose children have special learning or health needs.


    Help will be available virtually, and we may be providing some in-person support for our most vulnerable learners during the learn-from-home period. Please contact Student Services here.

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  • Will my child be able to participate in extracurricular activities?

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    For the first six weeks of instruction when campuses are closed, we will not host any after-school or extracurricular activities, virtually or in person. If that plan changes or if our community partners offer virtual options for children, we will be sure to notify families as early as we can.

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  • What is the district doing to ensure children and families stay mentally healthy?

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    We understand this is a stressful time for families and children, and invite you to visit the social-emotional learning section of our website for communication tips and exercises that can help children recognize, understand, and express their emotions during stressful times. 

     

    For concerns about mental health, we recommend you contact one of the following. (None is directly affiliated with the SSD):

     

    • Your medical professional (for a referral for mental health services)
    • NAMI’s Warmline/Help Desk —  408-453-0400 (option/extension #1). It is a free and confidential resource for anyone seeking mental health-related information and support.
    • For a mental health crisis or emergency, please call NAMI’s crisis line at 1-800-704-0900 (option/extension #2) or dial 911.

     

     

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  • What about access to food? How can I still access meals my student was getting?

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    If your child was already enrolled in our school breakfast and lunch program, to-go meals will continue to be available for pick-up at the school site. 


    If you are new to our district or are facing new financial hardship, please contact Armando Robles at armando.robles@sodexo.com  to see if we may enroll you in our free meal program.

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SSD Reopening Updates