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Ruby Bridges Elementary- Where the STARS come to shine!

Distance Learning Starts April 6- Monday

Dear AUSD Families,

We appreciate your flexibility and patience during this very challenging time. Below is our plan for the Distance Learning Opportunities (“DLOs”) that students will use while in-class instruction is suspended.


A Few Important Points:

  • AUSD has relied on guidance from the California Department of Education (CDE) to help us develop this plan.

  • No one has ever had to make a plan like this before. As such, once we start using it, we may find we need to make some changes. We appreciate your continued flexibility as you work closely with us and your teachers.

  • If you do not have access to the internet or a working digital device for your student to use, please let your principal know.

  • We recognize that families are all experiencing this crisis in different ways with different resources. There is no wrong way to respond to distance learning and students will not be penalized during this time. We are here for you and deeply appreciate you.

Guidance Plan Goals:

Our staff put considerable thought into developing this plan. Our guiding principles and ultimate goals are:

  • Teachers and principals will work with students and families to provide meaningful, standards-aligned Distance Learning Opportunities.

  • All students have access to these Distance Learning Opportunities. “Access” is defined as students having the technology, time, and support they need to complete Distance Learning Opportunities. At a minimum, this includes a working device and internet, support from a trusted adult, a physically and psychologically safe environment, and minimal other family responsibilities (ie.caring for siblings or other family). Please let us know if your child needs support with any of these areas and we will work with you to help.

  • During this time, we want to empower teachers, families, and students in having time and space to manage this new reality. This may mean slowing down and focusing on a few priorities at a time. For example, teachers will use the first week after spring break to teach new distance learning routines and to check-in on students’ emotional status.


We know it may take time to transition to this new way of delivering and receiving instruction. As we launch these Distance Learning Opportunities, we will be listening to feedback and adjusting our platform to make it as effective as possible for students, educators, and families. We appreciate your patience, flexibility, and willingness to explore new ways to learn as we all do our best to respond to the current situation.


With respect and gratitude,

Sara Stone

Chief Academic Officer

Phase 3- Distance Learning

April 6 -May 1- Teachers

The “first week of school” focus is on routines, procedures, and norms.

Use Google Classroom and Zoom only. Students may not have access to their books. If they cannot print PDFs, they will need to use paper and pencil the old school way.

Help students/parents access Distance Learning Opportunities. Provide families with Office Hours and contact information

Note: We will not be letter grading student work during this time. Elementary- no grade, Secondary- Pass/Fail. Please refer to grading guidance for additional information.


April 6 -May 1- Families

Learn how to support your child’s online Distance Learning Opportunities.

Review and use as needed the Elementary and Secondary Sample Schedules.

Have questions answered and receive support from the teacher during teacher office hours.


If you have technology needs, please email me at dpharr@alamedaunified.org.

AUSD Distance Learning Opportunities -FAQs

When will distance learning begin?

AUSD will be on Spring Break from March 30 to April 3 as previously scheduled. Our educators will formally begin providing Distance Learning Opportunities on April 6.

How long will our in-class instruction be suspended?

AUSD schools are closed through May 1, 2020. We will keep you informed about the closure status as we receive more updates, based on local conditions and county and state guidance.

Are school sites open?

Our campuses and our playgrounds are closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Why didn’t formal remote learning start earlier?

The Teaching & Learning team needed time following school closure to develop a distance learning platform for several reasons:

  • To provide teachers – across the district – with training and support they needed to provide Distance Learning Opportunities.

  • We worked to provide students – across the district – in acquiring the technology and internet access they need to participate in Distance Learning Opportunities.

  • We strategized how we could support our students who receive special education services in accessing Distance Learning Opportunities.

  • We worked on developing a high-quality platform that allows for the delivery of meaningful, standards-aligned instruction within a completely new educational environment.

To help keep students engaged over the last two weeks, many teachers have communicated with their students. AUSD also provided optional digital and non-digital learning activities for all grades via its AUSD Online Learning Opportunities Portal. Those activities are still posted and available for any student. If your students have not yet explored these activities, we recommend that they look at them over the next week or so.

Our “Addendum: Phases of Distance Learning Opportunities” which is at the end of this document, details the work that was done during the first two weeks of suspended in-class instruction.

How long will my student be “in virtual school” during the day?

Teachers will conduct periodic short “check-ins” with their students via ZOOM (a video conferencing tool). During this time, students will be able to see and talk to their teacher and classmates and review the Distance Learning Opportunities. The check-ins will follow this general schedule:

Elementary school students will check in with their teacher once a day 8:20-10:20 am.

Please Note:

These are the timeframes within which teachers will conduct ZOOM conference check-ins with their students. Depending on your child’s grade level, the video calls may not take up the entire time slot. This will not be the only time that students spend on distance learning activities. You will receive more details on schedules and ways to help your student structure their school day from your principal or teacher.


What will my student do the rest of the day?

Students will be assigned work to do independently or in small groups. We have sample schedules for all grade levels that include time for creative projects, physical activity, reading, and social-emotional exploration and expression. Below are some sample schedules to help you and your student organize a meaningful and engaging school day:

What if my student needs to talk to the teacher?

Teachers will share their virtual “office hours” schedule with students and families. During those office hours, students can ask questions about their Distance Learning Opportunities, and additional support will be provided to families of students who have IEPS or are English Language Learners. Teachers will send their students directions on how to attend the office hours. (Note: these office hours are not for Parent Teacher Conferences.)

Will my student be graded?

Elementary students will not receive letter grades. However, they will receive feedback from their teacher on their distance learning work.

In line with what many colleges and universities are practicing at this time, middle and high school students will receive a “Pass” or “Fail” based on completion of their Distance Learning Opportunities. Students will also receive feedback on their work.

Teachers will reach out to students and families if it appears that lack of access to technology, time, and/or parent support is preventing students from completing their learning opportunities. We want students to take advantage of Learning Opportunities but students will not be penalized if they don’t turn them in. Please contact your teacher if you need support helping your child access the Distance Learning Opportunities.

We don’t have a computer and/or internet access at our home. What can we do?

AUSD is working with principals to get Chromebooks, WiFi hotspots, and other learning materials out to families who need them. Please contact your principal or student’s case manager if you need access to these materials.

I don’t know how to use Zoom and Google Classroom myself – how can I support my student?

We have tutorials and training on our Parent/Guardian Support page. We are looking into providing additional training and will update our families about these opportunities as they become available.

How can I support my student’s use of Distance Learning Opportunities?

  • Help them set up a routine (see our sample daily schedules above).

  • Encourage them to take breaks to stretch, eat a healthy snack, or go outside for some fresh air, if possible.

  • Be aware that this is a new learning environment for students. Check in often to see how they are doing both academically and emotionally. Encourage them to reach out to their teachers and/or counselors if they are struggling.

  • Remind them to connect with friends and classmates. If they seem to be struggling with that, help them find ways to reach out and join in.

  • Monitor their online/computer time and encourage outdoor walks or alternative activities.

What is happening with students who receive special education services?

AUSD staff and teachers are paying close attention to the needs of students who receive special education services. AUSD’s Department of Special Education sent a letter to families detailing this approach earlier this week and will continue to communicate as the State and CDE provide direction.

Special Education Letter Summary:

  • Learning opportunities for students with disabilities will be communicated directly to families through respective Case Managers and Related Services providers. Case managers will schedule Distance Learning Opportunities for students, while Related Services providers will provide consultation, and, as appropriate, direct online support to students.

  • For now, IEPs must be postponed as AUSD develops plans to do them remotely. We want to take the time to be thoughtful and intentional about these plans.

  • Evaluation/assessment timelines have been paused by the California Department of Education at this time. Requests for records, with the accompanying timeline of 5 business days to produce the records, will also need to be paused, as staff is not available on site to retrieve records.

The full letter sent to families of students who receive special education services is available here. Frequent updates can be found on this website.


Please Note:

Our departments of Special Education and Teaching & Learning are continuing to work closely to provide all students access to our Distance Learning Opportunities within the constraints under which we are currently working. We will be frequently updating the families of students who receive special education services through District Communication.

How will Special Day Classes operate?

Special Day Class teachers will set up Distance Learning Opportunities to keep students engaged in learning activities and help them maintain skills. Teachers and related service providers will work to support students, via modification and accommodation, to access Distance Learning Opportunities. SDC classes will follow the same ZOOM check-in schedule assigned to each grade span.

What about students who attend Non-Public Schools?

AUSD students who are attending Non-Public Schools (NPS) are provided Distance Learning Opportunities through their respective school. Online access to AUSD Online Learning Opportunities Portal is available to provide resources as supplemental support. Additional special education specific resources can be found here.

Will our school year be extended to make up for lost days?

Currently we do not know what the mandates or options are for extending the school year. We are waiting for state and county guidance.


April 6-10: Consider this week as a “first week of school” - students, your teachers will help you get up and running with routines, procedures and norms both on and offline, as well as help you to understand how to access the Distance Learning Opportunities your teachers are providing.

All Distance Learning Opportunities will be a balance of digital and non-digital activities and expect that learning does not need to be completed in one sitting.

  • Digital learning opportunities will take place within developmental time frame and adhere to World Health Organization Guidelines on Screen Time:

    • PK-1→ 1 hour total

    • Grades 2-3→ 1.5-2 hours total

    • Grades 4-5→ 2-3 hours total over the course of a day

    • Grades 6-12→ 100 minutes a week per class

Students complete an online Engagement Survey on Wednesdays

Weekly Student Survey