COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Frequently Asked Questions
How long are schools closed?
School facilities in Tuolumne County will remain closed for the remainder of the 19/20 school year. Distance Learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 School Year will be in effect. It is important to understand we are not ending the school year and we are continuing the essential work of teaching and learning for all Tuolumne County public school students.
Are there any precautions families and staff should take while schools are closed?
Schools are closed to keep students away from each other so they don’t spread germs to each other and to the community. These school closures should not be treated as spring or summer break. Parents and families should do their best to keep students away from each other and others. This means no large playdates, sleepovers, or parties. Parents should aim to keep their children active during the closure – taking them for walks, to the park, bike rides, and other outdoor or indoor fitness activities – but should strive to keep children out of large groups for the time being.
Will students have to make up this time in the summer?
Given the gravity and scale of this emergency throughout California, we expect and await direction from the state for specific instructions, including processes to apply for a waiver which would not require makeup days.
How will the ordered school closure affect testing?
The most important consideration at this time should be the health and safety of students and of the community. State testing has been suspended.
Many, but not all, juniors have completed the state-sponsored SAT or ACT. The Department of Education is committed to working with vendors to identify additional testing opportunities. Additional information regarding assessment timelines and the return of results will be shared when available. AP tests are moving to an online format.
The California High School Proficiency Test has been canceled for Spring administration but is on track for June.
Specific Information is below…
College Board Updates: On March 20, the College Board released the following updates regarding SAT and the Advanced Placement Programs:
- Exams, including makeups, are canceled through May 2
- Free online instructional resources are available for students.
- Exams will be online (no face-to-face option this year); 45-minute, free-response exams designed for students to take from home.
- Amount of required content has been reduced for many courses.
- Two different exam dates will be made available to accommodate students who want to take the test earlier while information learned in school is still fresh.
- Anyone who has already paid for an exam may cancel for a full refund.
- Course-specific information here.
- Next update: April 3
Statewide Testing: Updates and clarifications provided by the CDE on March 20:
- All CAASPP testing and the Summative ELPAC are suspended for this year.
- The Physical Fitness Test is on hold until students return to school.
- The California High School Proficiency Examination test administration for March 21 was canceled. All March test takers have been reregistered for June or provided information on how to request a refund.
- The timeline of the initial ELPAC exam has been extended for 45 days for newly enrolled English Learners.
When can I pick up my student’s materials/medications/etc. that were left behind before my school’s closure?
We are sorry for this disruption and inconvenience for our students and families, and appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility at this time. We will make sure to communicate specific details and instructions to our families once they are available; until then, it is crucial that we limit activity on our school sites per Public Health guidelines.
Will meals be served to students who rely on school nutrition?
Tuolumne County School Districts are working with our Community Partners to help deliver meals to families of school-age students (0-18) during this difficult time. Please visit our website at https://www.tcsos.us/newsroom/2019-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-meal-distribution/ for information on how each district is distributing food to families.
What options are available to provide remote learning—especially if internet or devices are not available?
Options will vary depending on circumstances, and in some cases, there may be no viable options for online instruction. Cell phone service or internet service are the usual requirements for e-learning. We have confidence in the creativity and flexibility of our educators at each district to work together and with community partners to provide what makes the most sense in these situations. At the very least, identifying local resources, encouraging reading and writing practices during this closure period, and other enrichment activities can be conveyed to students if no other options are available. Schools may establish “pick up and drop off” points as may be appropriate for access to instructional materials, being careful not to create conditions that result in students congregating together at one time. We are collaborating with districts to create an Extended Learning Opportunity (ELO) platform that was launched the week of March 30th. We are working to seek solutions regarding remote learning as it relates to English Learners and students with disabilities.
What about graduation?
Ensuring that the Class of 2020 is on track to graduate is an important priority. Schools should take this opportunity to review the status of each senior to determine the extent to which the student has met local and/or state graduation requirements. We expect there to be significant flexibility in the graduation requirements for the Class of 2020. It is important that schools understand the needs of each of their students and have, to the extent possible, a plan to help each student complete these requirements during the remainder of the school year, both during the closure period (as practicable) and at such time as school may resume. We expect the CDE will provide additional information soon. Our commitment is to provide reasonable flexibility in the interest of doing what is right for students.
How will Special Education students be served?
The Governor’s March 13th Executive Order directs the state to issue guidelines by Tuesday, March 17th. More details will be forthcoming after we receive state guidance.
What does the ordered school closure mean for report cards?
Many have suggested that an interruption to the school year of this magnitude could result in an unfair portrayal of a school’s performance on the state report card. We are sensitive to this reality. The intention is not for schools or students to be punished or penalized for conditions beyond their control. It is too early to make any final decisions, but our focus will be to ensure that the report card system appropriately accommodates these circumstances. Additionally, we are committed to working with the U.S. Department of Education to seek relief from requirements for state accountability systems. The CDE will also be providing additional guidance to districts soon.
What happens after the closure period ends?
No specific decisions have been made at this time. The closure time period was selected to allow for the state to gauge and monitor the status of the coronavirus outbreak. Decisions about future educational activity will be made prior to the end of the closure period. Prior to reopening and during the closure schools will be able to do the following:
- Conduct deep cleaning and restock cleaning supplies
- Ensure all classrooms have essential supplies
- Continue to ensure adequate handwashing supplies are available
- Establish protocols regarding school events, field trips, and other gatherings
- Conduct discussions with staff to keep them safe
- Provide staff training on prevention and mitigation measures (i.e. handwashing, sick protocols)