School District Outlines Flexible-Learning Plans for Alameda Public School Students

The Board of Education for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) voted on new schedules and guidelines for the coming school year at its board meeting June 24. 

The approved plan for all students include both a remote program that will be held entirely online and a “Flexible Learning Program” (FLP) that will bring small groups of students to campus for half-day, in-person instruction four days a week. The FLP will help the district comply with health officials’ orders and guidelines about social distancing and facility-cleaning. 

“Our deepest preference would be to have all of our students back on campus for a full day,”

Superintendent Pasquale Scuderi said. “We want that as much as our families do. At the current time, however, we need to follow health officials’ orders and guidelines and do our best to provide the best instruction while keeping the safety of our students, staff, families and community at the forefront of our thinking.” 

The flexible program includes half-day instruction four days a week. Under the approved flexible parameters, small groups of elementary students will be assigned to attend school in either morning or afternoon on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Students will do “asynchronous” (independent) work Wednesdays from home, while teachers prepare lessons and custodians clean the campuses. 

Middle and high school students also will be assigned to attend school in either the morning or afternoon on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Like elementary students, middle and high students will work remotely Wednesdays. Students will take three classes per 18-week semester, so that by the end of the school year they will have completed six courses. 

Tuesday night, the board also approved staff’s preliminary plan for a remote learning program for students who may not be able to return to in-class instruction in the fall. The coursework will be primarily independent and done at the student’s own pace. Teachers will work like case managers of students’ instruction, according to a AUSD press release, and will work with students one-to-one or in small groups; parents and guardians will work collaboratively with the teachers.

The program is designed for students who have underlying health conditions or who live with or are cared for people by people with medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. These students will receive priority enrollment. AUSD will make efforts to accommodate other families who prefer the remote program. 

Enrollment for the remote program begins June 29. All families will be contacted with the enrollment and program details soon. AUSD will provide information on the flexible and remote programs in the next several days. 

These will be distributed to all families, posted to the district’s “Planning for 2020-21” webpage, and promoted through the community. 

AUSD and its labor partners will discuss COVID-related school year logistics over the next several weeks. 

At Tuesday’s meeting, the board also voted to approve the 2020-21 budget and to accept the District Advisory Committee’s recommendation to declare two AUSD properties “surplus.” 

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