SVUSD's Distance Learning Plan Does Not Put Students First

SVUSD's Distance Learning Plan Does Not Put Students First

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Sonoma Action for Great Education (SAGE) started this petition to SVUSD Board of Trustees

We, parents, students and community members of Sonoma Valley Unified School District, do not support the 2020 Distance Learning Plan proposed for the remainder of the school year.  We urge the Board of Trustees to take action on the following.

1. Restore instruction at the high school comparable with the quantity and quality of instruction for core classes before the COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandate.

2. Expand online learning opportunities in the summer as part of an emergency measure that amends the board’s current policy for “Alternative Graduation Credits” (BP6411).

3. Allow students to decide whether to request a letter grade or Credit/No Credit.

Background

- The board will vote on May 5 (tomorrow) to approve an updated 2020 Distance Learning Plan.

-  The current plan is woefully inadequate in terms of frequency of teacher contact and rigor of lessons and assignments and pales in comparison to other Bay Area districts that have managed to restore their original schedules pre-COVID 19 including Napa Unified, Windsor, Berkeley Unified and Hayward to name a few.

-  High school students meet 30 minutes per class per week with instructors (a total of 3 hours per week).  Remote class meetings are optional. The rest of the week is reserved for optional office hours.  Students are given 1 assignment per class per week.

-  Middle  school students have a similar schedule in terms of frequency and quantity of weekly instruction. The main difference is that they are assigned up to 2.5 hours of work per core class.

-  Elementary school students meet with teachers 3 times per week via Google Hangouts or Zoom. The timing and duration of meetings are determined by individual teachers and change daily. Students are assigned 1.5 to 2.5 hours of work daily depending on the grade level.  

- The proposed high school grading policy (Credit/No Credit) serves to further disadvantage students academically. For example, there is no incentive for students earning Ds to improve their grade as they will receive credit on their transcript regardless of effort or attendance. Student’s with “F” marks have minimal opportunity and motivation to make up lost ground and master content to raise their grades. The remaining students, who have been working diligently from January through March, will not be recognized for their hard work because second semester letter grades will be replaced with “credit” only.

- Sonoma students significantly underperform in State standardized tests (SBAC), particularly in mathematics.  More importantly, Sonoma students show dramatic decline in grade-level proficiency across time across all grade levels and demographic groups.

- The proposed distance learning plan will only exacerbate the negative performance of our students and harm those  who are struggling the most academically and socially.

 

 

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