COVID FAQ

  1. Mask Policy, Testing and Vaccinations
  2. Distance Learning
  3. Special Education
  4. Sex Ed
  5. Grading
  6. Sports
  7. Computer and Technology
  8. Family Resources
  9. Enrollment
  10. Transportation

 

Current COVID-19 Guidance and Reopening Plans


How was the reopening date of April 12 chosen? 


Returning to in-person instruction the week of April 12 is based on reopening standards proposed by the State Legislature and a new report from a panel of UC San Diego (UCSD) medical experts. It is also based on teacher access to COVID-19 vaccines.


Has San Diego Unified consulted with medical experts regarding reopening? 


Yes. The district has been consulting with a panel of researchers and medical experts from UCSD. Here is the latest  UCSD health report   released Feb. 19. Collaboration with UCSD experts have allowed the district to keep its commitment to follow the science in planning for a safe, responsible classroom reopening.


How do I prepare my student to return to the classroom successfully? 


Here are 10 things you can do to prepare:


1. Have an age-appropriate conversation with your student about why your family chose the hybrid model or the online option. Students may have friends who made a different decision, and it is important for students to understand every choice deserves to be respected.


2. Practice proper hygiene. Remind students to thoroughly wash their hands for enough time to kill all germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. 


3. Practice wearing a mask. Masks will be required when students return to campus, and they are still recommended every time you leave the house. Students should practice covering both their nose and mouth with a snug but comfortable mask.


4. Review the rules on social distancing. As much as friends may wish to greet each other warmly on campus next week, everyone must keep a respectful distance between themselves and other students. Remind your students about these rules for everyone’s safety.


5. Help your student prepare for the new school lunch program. Meals will be provided, as always, but students will not be able to sit together to eat unless they are able to maintain six feet of distance. Explain this to your students and practice a few times to make them feel comfortable.


6. Confirm your transportation plans with school staff. Buses will be running modified schedules and routes, so review your plans to get to school on time.


7. Take time to learn the new entry points for school and the rules on lining up by the gate. These rules are in place to minimize the chance of COVID-19 coming onto campus from the surrounding community.


8. Check in with your student to measure their emotional health. Returning to the classroom after a year can be as emotionally difficult as starting school all over again for the first time. Counselors will be available to help, but you can make things easier by talking with your student about their feelings.


9. Remember to share your plans with school staff. Additional after school programs will be available and we will have an on campus learning lab for students who wish to come to school on Fridays when the campus is otherwise closed. After school programs will run through 4 p.m. from Monday through Thursday. Learning labs will be open from 8 a.m. to 4p.m. on Friday. If you would like your student to participate in either the after school program or the learning lab, please let our staff know.


10. Talk to your teacher. Remember to share with your teacher how your student has been coping during the past year. Share your goals for your student for the remainder of the school year. 


What should my student expect for the rest of the school year? 

The majority of our schools will be offering in-person instruction four days a week. The remaining 25% will offer either two days a week or more. For Monday through Thursday of each week, your student will follow this schedule. Our Back to School Guide has more information and resources for families. 

Will San Diego Unified high schools hold in-person commencement ceremonies for the class of 2021?

Yes, San Diego Unified has partnered with Petco Park this year to make graduation special for the class of 2021. Every high school will hold a commencement ceremony on the baseball field at Petco Park between June 10 and June 14. Each graduate will be alloted four tickets to the ceremony. Schools will announce their dates and other details with families.       


Will teachers have to be vaccinated before they return to the classroom? 


Teachers who wish to be vaccinated have had an opportunity to do so.

What is Senate Bill 86?


SB 86 is the Legislature’s “Safe and Open Schools Plan,” intended to facilitate a safe and phased approach to reopening all public schools TK through sixth- grade for in-person instruction this year and includes the following: 1) Public Health & School Status Data & Vaccines; 2) School Reopening Incentive Grants, and 3) Student Learning Recovery Grants. The bill appropriates a total of $6,557,443,000 in Proposition 98 General funds for these purposes.


SB86 outlines clear reopening guidance, which was released Thursday, Feb. 18.  To read SB 86, click here. 

Are families able to come on campus?


In order to comply with health and safety agreements, only “essential” visitors will be on campus. Please contact your school site to learn who qualifies as an essential visitor.   

Will school sites follow COVID-19 guidelines? 

Yes. School days will be modified to accommodate social-distancing and safety protocols and students will continue with some online learning. 

What is the expectation for sanitation in between class periods for high schools with three classes offered per day?

 Cleansing wipes (otherwise known as baby wipes) will be provided to schools to clean desks and chairs. Students may be asked to wipe down chairs and desks after use. 


Is there a certain protocol for students using the restroom?


Signs will be posted at the entrance to the restroom indicating how many students should be in a restroom at one time. Some restroom fixtures should be removed from service or taped off to comply with distancing requirements.


I am not comfortable with my child returning to in-person learning. What are my options? 

For families not comfortable sending their children back to campuses, a fully online option will continue to be available. 


Will families be able to decide how long their child will be onsite? 


Yes, students can come onsite for the afternoon session only if families select this option.


Can students leave campus after the five instructional hours? 

Yes. This is an option for families. 

What if a parent/guardian changes their mind and wants virtual or in-person instruction?


Family requests to change their instructional model will be honored based on space and health and safety guidelines. 


Where do those students who are on-site in the morning go after lunch? Do they go home? What happens if they cannot be picked up?

Secondary students may return home after their class period instruction. The Transportation Department plans to pick up students who need bussing during lunch time. Students who need to remain onsite after lunch could participate in extended learning opportunities such as tutoring, appointment-based services, extracurriculars, or PrimeTime programming.

What ventilation protocols is the district implementing to keep my student safe?

Ventilation is a key component to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools. As the district moves to having more people on campus and students in classrooms, ensuring adequate room ventilation is key to reducing the airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors. 

Adequate ventilation is achieved by bringing in more outdoor air through open windows and doors, and by providing recirculated air that is highly filtered. These are best practices for diluting or displacing airborne COVID-19 particles, if the particles happen to be present in a room. 


San Diego Unified is finalizing a program to provide air conditioning in every classroom in every school.    

   

The district has planned for maximum ventilation, with our goal to maintain five air exchanges per hour in the classroom. This is based on guidance from Harvard and the University of Colorado Boulder and in collaboration with our UCSD expert panel.  In order to achieve this, the district has implemented the following: 

  • All existing HVAC systems have been serviced and filters have been replaced.  Higher levels of filtration (i.e. Merv-13) are being installed in all systems that can accommodate them.  Systems have been adjusted to bring in more outside air.

  • Using natural ventilation (opening doors and windows, even when the HVAC is running).

  • Using air purifiers with HEPA filters (provides a higher level of filtration).  Air purifiers have been allocated to each site, and the numbers of purifiers in a classroom will vary based on the size, number of windows, type of HVAC system, etc. Air purifiers will be placed in strategic locations for maximum effectiveness. 

 

The district is monitoring ventilation effectiveness in our school sites to ensure that the air exchanges are occurring and that the air is healthy for students and staff.  This is done by monitoring remote sensors spread across the district.  Indoor particulate sensors, which can measure microscopic size particles that could transport COVID-19 virus, are deployed and will be rotated to various rooms to gather information and inform decisions.  Also, carbon dioxide (CO2) detectors are in place in various classrooms to test the air. This has a different function than the particulate sensor and will help to determine the amount of fresh air entering the room.  Neither monitor detects COVID-19 but does help us to determine if we are providing quality room ventilation.  If either sensor records concerning numbers, district staff will determine what measures can be taken to correct the issue.  

What will school look like in the future?

No one knows for sure. To ensure the continuity of learning, San Diego Unified is prepared to continue offering online and on-site learning (when it is safe to do so based on health and safety guidelines). On-site learning will include in-person instruction, engagement with teachers and peers, access to supports and enrichment opportunities, and innovative technology. 

The district consults with experts, including district physician, Dr. Howard Taras, who are helping us prepare to safely reopen. To read the district’s Report of Recommended Standards that the district is adopting, and the input from Dr. Taras and a panel of UCSD Experts, click here.


Mask policy, Testing and Vaccinations

What is the district’s policy on the use of masks? 


The district follows the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health.  The CDC recommends that people two years and older should wear a mask in addition to staying at least six feet apart, especially when indoors around people who do not live in your household. Please visit the link to the CDC’s study of the effectiveness of masks: Scientific Brief: Community Use of Cloth Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 | CDC


Can wearing a mask cause harm to my students, such as lowering their oxygen levels, forcing them to re-breathe their own air or contaminate their eyes?


During COVID-19 we routinely consult with district pediatrician, Dr. Howard Taras, who specializes in the fields of School Health, community engagement and clinical research and is also a professor of pediatrics at UCSD School of Medicine. 


Dr. Taras advised it is a misconception that rebreathing your own exhaled carbon dioxide by continually wearing a mask will cause health problems.  Carbon dioxide will not build up behind a regular cloth or surgical mask. Cloth or surgical masks allow gases to pass through easily in both directions trapping particles (droplets) out. Dr. Taras further advised that months of experience with children and adults worldwide wearing masks prove the safety and benefits of wearing a mask. 


Is testing available to all students and staff on campus?

Testing is available to all students and staff participating in on-site learning. Online learners can go to the County website for test availability. San Diego County has convenient testing facilities located near your home or school. For a list of those sites and their hours of operation, see this County map, or call 211 for information.

If a staff member or student is COVID-19 positive, what are the protocols? 


Students and staff who test positive are required to stay home for a prescribed period of time as determined by a county public health decision tree. Please contact your site nurse for more specific information. Our Back to School Guide has more information related to protocols.

 

Where can I find the latest COVID-19 testing data?


COVID-19 test results will be updated as they are received and promptly published to the district website: sandiegounified.org/covidtesting


Distance Learning

Will Distance Learning change when some students return to the classroom?

The district collaborated with educators and district staff to improve online learning for the 2020-2021 school year. The online learning model provides a rigorous and challenging curriculum that includes daily, real-time communication between every student and his or her teacher. We want students to continue to grow academically while staying connected to their school communities and preparing for a smooth return to the classroom.    

What will students be expected to do?

All students who are able to access online learning are expected to participate. Students should begin the day prepared to learn. Online learning will consist of a combination of daily live teacher interactions, small group instruction, and self-paced lessons. 

What type of work will my student have?


Expected workload and type of work varies by grade level. Students should expect a blend of screen time and off-screen-time learning. Below is an overview of the district’s new online learning model:  

  • A six-hour school day with customized learning experiences for each K-12 student

  • All students will have daily, live interaction with their teachers via video conferencing

  • Custom learning experiences will be based on student needs and will include daily live, online instruction (up to three hours), independent learning (at least two hours), working with other students in small groups or participating in educator office hours (at least one hour)

  • All elementary students will receive instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, and the arts

  • Students will receive grades to measure their progress 

How many hours are reasonable for students to be engaging in online Zoom meetings?

Each student is different. Students will be working in unique situations and therefore, the amount of time online is going to vary. Families should speak with their teachers if they feel their student is getting too much -- or not enough -- online Zoom meeting time.

How will students access lessons? 

Students will receive login information from their teacher.  Access to lessons varies by grade level:

Grades TK-5 will access lessons in Seesaw or Google classroom

Grades 6-12 will access lessons in Google classroom or Canvas 

Special Education

How will related service providers provide IEP services? 

Related service providers will schedule services similar to pre-COVID time to be within the day, in collaboration with teachers and administration.

Families with children receiving special education services will have equal access to opportunities and receive the same educational benefit available to every student at this time.                 

Students will receive live instruction from their general education classroom teacher, their education specialist and their related service providers in both whole-group and small-group settings. Educators will also offer office hours to connect with students and families for additional support. Accommodations and assistive technology will be provided online as outlined in a student’s individualized education plan (IEP).  Families can request a meeting with the IEP team to determine how IEP services will be delivered in online learning. For more information regarding special education services, please call (619) 725-7700 or visit https://www.sandiegounified.org/special-education

How is the district supporting English Learners?


The Office of Language Acquisition (OLA), in collaboration with integrated teams, is involved in designing professional learning opportunities for educators and administrators. A high leverage session will be made available to support English Learners (EL), Dual Identified Students, as well as every child needing extra support. We will support educators to maximize student participation, differentiate the process, product, and learning environment through small- group instruction. 


Our OLA team will be supporting school sites and educators through an integrated model: Helping teachers understand their EL students, analyzing student data, co-planning lessons, co-teaching, and Model Quality Learning Interactions and Quality Teaching Practices, as well as integrating Universal Design for Learning Guidelines. The team will also provide support by implementing strategies for the EL Toolkit of Strategies.


We will implement professional development and classroom support through a job-embedded coaching model. 

  • The OLA team will host office hours for instruction and compliance

  • OLA will host online ELAC/DELAC meetings to engage our families and seek input

  • Ongoing district and site training will support integrated and designated English Language Development 

For Updated Information please visit:

Sex Ed

Will students be taught sex education and health education this year, whether online or in-person? 

Any student currently in grade 10 or lower will receive sex education as the curriculum has been adapted for online. Teachers at grade levels 6, 8 and 10 are teaching the curriculum this year online. Teachers are also prepared to offer the curriculum in person should school sites be allowed to open. 

What is teacher availability outside lesson time? 

Educators may offer online office hours and/or digital feedback for students and families who may have questions regarding assignments, assessments and progress. Students who feel they need one-on-one dialogue with their teacher may request a phone call, email, virtual online or video conference with their teacher. 

Is my school counselor available? 

Yes, school counselors will be offering direct student and family services. Counselors will be checking in with students and providing support to students in their academic progress and social-emotional health. Students and families may be offered individual, group interventions or a combination of both. 

How will attendance be taken? 


School sites will use the same attendance-taking procedures. Student attendance will be taken daily in PowerSchool and will be based on both synchronous and asynchronous participation. If your student is absent, please communicate with your student’s teacher. Our Back to School Guide has more information on attendance.

  • Students who DO NOT participate in live or synchronous learning should be marked absent. 

  • Students who DO NOT turn in assignments for that day should be marked absent. 

  • Families should follow the same attendance procedures as in previous years and must notify the attendance office when their child is not able to participate in onsite or online learning for any given school day. 

For onsite learners: 

  • If a student is assigned to on-site learning and does NOT attend on their assigned day, they should be marked absent for that day before 12 p.m. Auto-calls are sent out each afternoon to alert families that their child was marked absent for that day. 

  • If an on-site student must transition back to online learning due to being quarantined, the teacher will be notified and the student should NOT be marked absent on those days if they participate in Zoom sessions or asynchronous assignments.

How will students be tested and assessed?

Students will be tested and assessed through formative assessments which may include project-based learning and other student-produced work with feedback from the teacher. 

Grading 

Can you explain how the standards-based grading policy works?  

Our standards remain rigorous, relevant, and aligned to state standards. Providing opportunities for revision and reassessment will allow students to relearn content or material that they may not have fully understood the first time it was taught. Students will be able to learn from their mistakes and demonstrate mastery of knowledge at more than just one point in time.

What is the timeline and goals for implementing standards-based grading?

Since the 2020-21 school year has already begun, the new grading definitions and citizenship marks will NOT be utilized until the following school year in order to allow for time to make the necessary changes in our PowerSchool system and report card structures. Our educators and administrators will focus on implementing two of the essential components of the grading policy for this current school year: 1) Removing nonacademic factors from the academic grade 2) Providing opportunities for revision and reassessment.

When will the revised grading policy be fully implemented for grades 6-12?

Staff will use the 2020-21- school year to collaborate and align grading practices to the revised policy. New academic definitions, citizenship marks, and grading comments will be available for use within PowerSchool for the 2021-22 school year. 

Why is the district making this shift?

Our focus as a district continues to be on educating the whole child and providing quality, standards-based instruction for each child in every neighborhood. At the elementary level, educators have been using standards-based grading and reporting practices for nearly a decade. The shift in our grading policy is to provide clarity and transparency in communicating progress toward mastery of standards for our entire San Diego Unified community, TK-12. By removing non-academic factors from the academic grade and ensuring students have multiple means and opportunities to demonstrate mastery, our academic grades will more accurately reflect student knowledge and skill.

What are the “nonacademic factors” that will move to the citizenship grade?

Nonacademic factors include general behavior, punctuality, effort, and work habits. Students are still expected to turn assignments in on time and behave appropriately, however these factors will now directly affect the citizenship grade rather than the academic grade. Educators will still have due dates for assignments and will establish a timeframe for when late work will be accepted. 

When can I expect to receive details about how these two components will be implemented for my student's classes?  

Elementary educators are already using a standards-based grading system. For grades 6-12, educators started to implement the new grading policy during Quarter 2 of the 2020-21 school year.

Why is the updated grading policy NOT retroactive?

Board policies go into effect after the board has approved the policy during a public board meeting. Educators will need time to collaborate with their site administrators, department, and grade level teams to identify changes that will need to be made for the remainder of this school year.

Will ALL assignments be revised or reassessed? 

Educators will provide “opportunities” for revision and reassessment. Educators will determine the type and frequency of revisions and reassessments based on their content area. Due dates for class assignments, late submissions, revisions and reassessments will also be established in order to give educators enough time to enter scores into the final grade. Over the next few weeks, educators, grade-level teams, departments and school sites will determine which assignments can be revised or reassessed and will communicate directly with families the type, frequency, and timeframe.  

How will high school schedules work this year?

Per Senate Bill 98, the required amount of daily instruction minutes is 240 and can be a combination of both synchronous and asynchronous instruction - this is a reduction in minutes due to the pandemic and online learning (normally it is 360 daily). 

Our secondary schedules include 360 minutes of daily instruction: 180 minutes of live synchronous instruction, 60 minutes of small-group/office hours/conferring, and 120 minutes of asynchronous instruction. We are providing more instructional minutes than required by the state during this time.

For secondary schedules, we heard from students and parents that managing six courses at once online was very challenging in the Spring. With this in mind, we decided to move to a quarter system that has fewer classes per quarter but still includes a similar amount of instructional minutes if you factor in both synchronous and asynchronous learning. 

In regard to other high school districts in the county, most are also on a quarter system with a reduced amount of courses per quarter.

My student’s teachers frequently let students go out early from their Zoom class. Is that legal?

The required minimum number of "live" minutes per day is 180. The “live” minutes can be a combination of whole-group and small-group instruction. There is no minimum amount for each category and teachers can decide how many minutes are assigned to whole-group versus small-group instruction. A teacher may end Zoom class early to work with a small group for the remainder of that time. 

Why are high school schedules not able to have all six classes meet each day? 

During online learning in the spring, students and parents expressed that having six online courses at the same time was difficult to manage. A three-class per grading term model more closely mirrors a college course load and allows students to focus more intensely on fewer courses. 

Elementary class schedules remain the same. For questions related to changes to class schedules, please contact your school of enrollment

Will students be able to earn the same amount of credits? 

Yes. There will be no reduction in the number of courses offered. Students will focus on a smaller number of courses per grading term based on a quarter system that will issue credits for each course at the end of that quarter. 

For middle school students, credits for year-long courses will be issued at the end of the second quarter of course completion. 

What is the district doing to build anti-racist and restorative school communities? 

The Board of Education recently approved the revision of our suspension/expulsion procedures as well as the implementation of our Restorative Discipline Policy. 

How do the actions taken by the Board of Education help eliminate inequities?

The revision of our suspension/expulsion procedures and our Restorative Discipline Policy will eliminate the barriers that prevent our students of color from receiving equitable access, experiences, and outcomes. 

What other actions have the district implemented to eliminate inequities?

The district formed the Transforming School Police Working Group to improve student experiences with school police and eliminate the barriers that prevent students of color from receiving equitable access, experiences, and outcomes.

What was the outcome of the Transforming School Police Working Group?

The Board of Trustees approved the working group’s recommendations to help guide the district’s path forward as it works to transform the way we provide support to students through school police. Among the recommendations: 

  • Assess the impact of school police interactions with youth and community

  • Train School Police on how to engage with youth and community members    

  • Train our site leaders around school police involvement  

  • Shift to a cluster-wide school police support model to ensuring school police resources are strategically deployed

  • Change School Police uniforms to allow for more approachability while still maintaining identification that preserves the safety of the officer and those they serve 

When will my student take school photos?

School photos will be postponed until it is safe to return to onsite instruction. 

Senior portrait appointments may still take place if the photo company has a current contract with the district and is adhering to current health and safety guidelines.

Are my college courses still available online?

Most community college courses moved to an online format in August, 2020. Students need to access the SDCCD Canvas Login Page and will need to use their 10-digit College Student Identification (CSID) number, and password, to access their coursework. Courses will remain online for the rest of the school year. 

Will students have access to elective programs, VAPA, CCTE, AP, IB, and dual enrollment community college courses? 

Elective and dual enrollment college courses will still be included as part of the regular course offerings. 

Advanced studies, VAPA, and CCTE resource teachers have been working over the summer to ensure there are resources and enrichment opportunities for all specialized programs that both site teachers and students can access throughout the school year.   

How will students prepare for AP exams with the quarter system?  What is the plan to support these students who rely on these courses for college applications?

High school AP staff members have planned to offer AP coursework and enrichment throughout the school year that will enable students to be prepared for the AP exams in May.

When can my student register for the GATE/Seminar assessment? 

At this time, there are no dates on the calendar for GATE assessments. Please refer to the GATE website which will continue to be updated as more information is available. 

Will we still have state testing? 

The California Department of Education is still in discussion on this item. We will provide updates when they become available.

What do you have for the Arts? 

San Diego Unified believes a foundation in the arts is essential for every student. Please review this online curriculum created by our Visual and Performing Arts professionals.

Sports

Which sports are now taking place in San Diego Unified?


All sports are currently underway - either holding practices or already in-season and competing - except for water polo (both boys and girls programs), which can begin practicing April 17 which began practicing April 17.

   

San Diego Unified is following the CIF Master Schedule for all sports, now that indoor sports have been cleared to play. See the CIF schedule here.


Do students playing sports have to be tested? 


COVID testing continues to be mandated for indoor sports, and student athletes playing these sports will be tested for the duration of the season.


Testing is no longer required for any outdoor sports, now that the COVID-19 case rate in San Diego County has droMAd below 7.0 If the case rate goes back to 7.0 or above, mandated testing will resume for those two sports. 


The district is still offering testing to students in any sport who wish to do so, regardless of case rate or CIF mandate.


Now that all sports are open, can I watch my student play and practice?

 

Family members can attend outdoor games to watch their student athletes in action, subject to conditions based on California Department of Public Health guidance:

  • Each player gets four observers or less from the immediate household. Each school site will identify a process for the four observers per player.

  • Observers must wear a mask at all times while in attendance.

  • Household groups must maintain social distancing of six feet from other non-household observers.

Stands will need to be cleared after each contest. No concessions allowed, no food trucks permitted, etc. during contests to prevent gathering.


No attendance is currently permitted for indoor sporting events.


What if I can’t attend my student’s game or don’t feel comfortable going in-person?


All fans are invited to watch their students play by streaming the game online via the district's new agreement with NFHS. Streaming will be free of charge for all regular home season SDUSD games. Fans are encouraged to sign up for a free account and watch their school’s games throughout the season.


My students are a member of their high school band. Can they perform at the home football games?

At this time, school bands are not allowed to perform at football games.  

What is the protocol for PE classes? Will students have access to locker rooms?

Students will not have access to locker rooms. Outdoor activities are recommended when possible.

Computer and Technology

Will students be required to transport their devices each day?

Yes, students should be expected to transport their devices each day from home to school and back.

If students are using their own personal computer at home, will they be able to bring it to school?

Yes, students may use their personal computer at school. Schools will manage these devices just as other personal property brought on to campus. 

What if I don’t have a computer?

We will continue to provide personal laptops and Wi-Fi service to families that need them. Your school of enrollment will be able to distribute devices once they have returned from summer break and will provide instructions so you may plan for a pick-up.

What do I have to bring to get a computer?

Please bring your photo ID and show proof of identity for your child by providing your: 1) Child’s school ID card OR 2) student ID number OR 3) child’s date of birth and address. Write your child’s name, ID number, or date of birth and address in large print on a sheet of paper that can be easily ready by staff members from a distance of at least six feet. Carry this with you or place on the dash of your car and be prepared to show it to staff. Students in middle or high school may pick up their laptop device without a parent or guardian present. 

What if I am having issues with the computer I was given or need tech support?

If you already picked up a Chromebook and need technical support, please call the Online Learning Technical Support line at (619) 732-1400.  Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1p.m.  Our Back to School Guide has more information on support and technology.

Have you explored dictation software for young learners who don’t know how to type or use a keyboard?

We use an extension bar within Google Read and Write. The extension bar has speech to text.  This dictation feature allows the user to dictate words to assist them with writing.  Once the extension bar is set up on the computer it is easy to click on speech to text.  There is not a need for a keyboard. 

What if I don’t have access to the internet?

The district has partnered with internet service providers who are supplying free or discounted full-service internet offers to qualifying families. The Cox Connect2Compete program is one option. Additionally, mobile hotspots have been made available. For more information, or if you need assistance, please call the SDUSD Family Support Line at 619-260-2460. Dedicated agents are standing by ready to assist. Bilingual-Spanish assistance is available. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Will my student be safe online using Zoom?

Zoom is one tool being used to facilitate collaboration and online learning between our educators and students. We have outlined appropriate uses for Zoom on our district website, and provided educators with significant amounts of professional development on best practices for Zoom use in education. Zoom provides clear guidance for educators to maintain control over their students’ online experience. San Diego Unified has shared those and other useful Zoom sites with educators. We have provided additional guidance to teachers on best practices for Zoom use, including locking meetings, preventing screen sharing, disabling private chat, disabling video and muting participants. San Diego Unified’s Zoom page includes links to our Zoom best practices. Zoom uses industry-standard security technologies, procedures, and organizational measures designed to help protect personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Zoom’s K-12 Schools & Districts Privacy Policy is designed to reflect our compliance with the requirements of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”), the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), and other applicable law. Zoom does not share student personal information with third parties or as required by law, except at the direction and on behalf of school districts. Families are encouraged to read the Zoom privacy policy. If parents do not want their students participating in Zoom conferences, they have a right to opt out of participation and their educators will find other ways to communicate with them.

Will my student be safe online?

San Diego Unified has implemented a new cloud based-web filtering software for students called iboss. It allows the district to comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and extends web filtering for student devices regardless of the location they are learning in. With the iboss cloud, security follows the student, and ensures that the same level of protection and compliance is applied to a student regardless of whether they are on campus or at home. All district distributed Chromebooks will have the web filtering extension installed on it, no action will be required from the students or school staff.

Family Resources

I need help finding food


Whether your student is returning to campus for hybrid learning or continuing online, school meals will remain available at no cost for all students and children 18 years and younger. Our Back to School Guide has more information on food and nutrition.


For students participating in in-person learning beginning April 12, meals will be available at their school campus on the days they are on site. Menus and lists of meals available for students to eat at school and to take home are available at www.sandiegounified.org.

For students participating in online learning, meals can be picked up at any of the district’s 19 curbside meal pick-up locations. Meal distribution sites are open Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. for drive-thru or walk-up service. Children do not need to be present for curbside meal pick-up. 

Regardless if meals are being picked-up at curbside sites, eaten at school or brought home at the end of the school day, all students will still have access to 21 meals each week. Additionally, extra grocery item boxes and bags will be available at the curbside locations on a rotating basis. Check the Food & Nutrition Services page of the district website for updates.  

We have now served more than 14 million meals since March 16, 2020, and we know that so many students and their families are in need.  

In addition to our own food services, we are actively working with Feeding San Diego and the San Diego Food Bank for assistance with food distribution. Both organizations have excellent options available in most neighborhoods.

What is P-EBT?

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is a disaster response program intended to support children who lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pandemic related school closures. Eligible students receive a debit-like EBT card that may be used to buy additional groceries.

Is My Household Eligible for P-EBT?

Your student(s) is(are) eligible if they are eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals if schools were operating normally through Direct Certification, Free and Reduced meal application or a LCFF Alternate Income form. This also includes any student enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 2. 

Are P-EBT cards still being distributed to families? 

It is anticipated that a third round of P-EBT cards will be distributed to qualified students via mail. We are encouraging families to update their address and income changes with each student’s school site. If your student(s) attends a school site that is Not a Community Eligibility or Provision 2 school and you need to update your family income information please do so via an LCFF Alternate Income Form from your student’s school or through the Powerschool Parent Portal. This information will help to ensure that if you qualify for the Pandemic EBT card, it will arrive at your mailing address.

If you did not receive a P-EBT card in the previous rounds and you believe your family qualifies  for Free & Reduced meals you can contact San Diego Unified, Food and Nutrition Department 858-627-7328 to check your student’s eligibility for free or reduced meals If you are experiencing housing instability and currently do not have an address, please reach out to the Office of Children and Youth in Transition at 619-725-7326 or cyt@sandi.net.

If students Zoom from home in the morning, then do they eat lunch at home before they come to their two-hour “in person” learning?

Ready to eat lunch will be available for any student.

How will breakfast be served? 


Grab & Go Breakfast will be available to students departing for the day. Grab & Stay breakfast can also be offered from a central area for pickup or upon students’ arrival. Families and students are encouraged to consume breakfast at home before coming to the school site.  


Will sites continue Grab and Go on campus or will students be eating lunch on campus?


Both Grab & Go and Grab & Stay lunches will be available at all schools.  Students eating on campus need to do so outdoors, spaced six feet apart. 


Will students have to punch in their numbers during in-person learning? 


No, students do not need to input their numbers. Food Services staff will record the number of meals distributed. All meals continue to be no charge to students this year.



Can stable groups share playground structures and equipment? 


Playground structures can be shared, however physical distancing and keeping stable groups separated should still be followed. There is no cleaning required of playground equipment. Students should wash hands before recess/break and after playground structure use.

How about my pets?

The San Diego Humane Society is supporting families and their pets who need extra help during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please visit the Human Society website at https://www.sdhumane.org/programs/support-services/pantry-service.html


How can parents help their students thrive during this time?


The following are tips and strategies you can continue to cultivate at home while continuing school via online learning:

a) Stay healthy: Continue to follow all public health guidelines to protect you and others from the COVID-19 pandemic.

b) Monitor district communication for up-to-date information.

c) Communicate with school staff regarding technology needs. The district has set up a technology helpline to assist students and families. The helpline is available by calling 619-732 -1400 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

d) Continue to enhance your wellness and the well-being of your family. For more information please visit, LiveWell@Home San Diego.

e) Stay involved in your child’s learning. Check out these online tips for parents.

f) Give yourself permission to have students work independently when you need time for your own priorities.

g) Try to make time to play together, read stories together and document your family’s experience of this time together in a journal.

h) Be gentle with yourself and your family. This can be an unsettling time for everyone. San Diego Unified has mental health and wellness information online.


Stay connected by visiting our Family Online Learning Menu with important information on Technology, Health & Safety, Social Emotional Lessons & Wellness. We have also created this presentation including helpful resources to enhance your family’s Wellness, Mindfulness, Physical & Mental Health.


Remember: We are in this together and we are here to support you. 

How else can we stay healthy?

Stay active! Our physical education teachers have set up a site for continued learning. The district athletics department has also shared information.

I need help (mental health) 

Mental health and wellness is critical for parents and students during this challenging time. The district has created a web site with available resources. There’s also a self-care tool for youth Gritx.org and a mindfulness platform specifically designed for mental health, Inner Explorer, that includes short, 5-10 minute activities for our students and families. Below are additional resources available to our students and families. 


Child Abuse Hotline 1-858-560-2191

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233

Mental Health and Substance Use Services 1-888-724-7240

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

Mental Health Resource Center

Our Mental Health Resource Center offers a variety of mental health services to our students, including services for students with IEPs. Please see services provided to students here.

School Link Mental Health

Teen Recovery Centers

Is the district offering Primetime, Childcare and learning lab options? 

To learn more about Extended Learning Opportunities offered at your school, you may contact your child’s school directly. 

How is the district supporting working families with childcare options on campus? 

Families may contact the YMCA Childcare Resource Services at 1-800-481-2151.


Will the district be partnering with tutoring services to help parents? 

The Family Engagement Department has resources available to help parents:

  • Families can use High Impact Home Strategies to support their child’s learning at home.

  • Online training modules for students and families. These pre-recorded modules will be available for families to access at their convenience during the “Welcome Week” of school.

  • The Family Engagement Department, will continue to offer (weekly family workshops, designed for parents and students participation, to enhance student learning and family engagement.

To learn more, contact the Family Engagement Department at 619.293.4431.

Enrollment

How do I enroll my student in San Diego Unified? 

All students are guaranteed enrollment in their neighborhood school. For details on the enrollment process, please visit our Office of Neighborhood Schools and Enrollment Options online. There, you will find remote enrollment procedures for new-to-district families for the current year, along with other useful information.

Can I apply to attend a school outside of my neighborhood?

Yes, parents are still welcome to apply for the Choice program for 2020-2021. If space is still available, your student may be offered enrollment. For more, please visit our Office of Neighborhood Schools and Enrollment Options online. 

When does Preschool enrollment begin? 


Applications for part day preschool started for select sites on June 1, 2020 for priority enrollment.  The open application period started on June 24, 2020 and will continue throughout the school year until March 31, 2021, as space allows.  

Families can visit our website at Early Learning Programs for additional details. Families can contact an enrollment specialist at (619) 260-2450 or via email at earlychildhood@sandi.net.

Can I re-enroll my student at our neighborhood school?

Any parent/guardian wishing to re enroll a student at this time into the school of residence will be accommodated.  San Diego Unified guarantees resident enrollment with the exception of a small number of students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) whose services cannot be provided at the school of residence.  Families that re-enroll their students will be offered the opportunity to choose between in person and online, or online only.

Can I re-enroll my student in Choice? 

Yes. If a school currently has space and adequate staffing levels they may accept students back at this time via Choice for 2020-21, and should work directly with Alma Diaz at adiaz1@sandi.net to re-enroll. Families that re-enroll their students in Choice will be offered the opportunity to choose between in-person and online instruction, or online only. 

Do you offer support for incoming military families? 

Yes, our Neighborhood Schools and Enrollment Options office is currently serving military families remotely for all enrollment needs. Please visit their home page for more information.

Transportation

What is the district doing to keep students safe while riding a school bus?


Students will be wearing masks, they will be seated strategically, windows will be open and a vent will be used for circulation. Our Back to School Guide has more information on safety precautions. 

Which students will have access to transportation?

Transportation routes for the return to school include the legally mandated routes: Students with Disabilities and In Transition. Transportation will also be provided to eligible Magnet and VEEP riders.  Previously offered neighborhood bus routes will not be available at this time. The Transportation team is planning for intensive support for the first weeks of student transportation to ensure all students are picked up even if they initially miss the bus.