Remote Learning Update, 4/12/2020
April 12, 2020
Dear DMUSD Families,
As distance learning continues this week and into the future, learning will include live and/or recorded video lessons from your child’s teacher. Teachers will begin providing a few lessons during the first week. These lessons will be brief and are intended to support students’ independent learning. The following week, students can expect to up to one hour of live and/or recorded video lessons. This is not intended to be one hour of constant instruction, but rather instruction which provides the introduction of new content. Students will also have “real-time” check-ins from their teacher using a virtual conferencing platform. In preparation, please read the following information. While nothing can replace the daily classroom experience with your child’s teacher, we want to take important steps to ensure students and families are prepared for the best possible distance learning experience. Thank you for understanding that our teachers are utilizing these new ways of instructing, and things might not work perfectly right away. We are all learning!
Distance Learning Guidelines and Expectations
In order to support students’ emotional and academic well-being, teachers will be using platforms which allow for real-time, virtual connections. Below is important information related to virtual learning for parents and students who are utilizing virtual learning platforms.
- Virtual lessons and instruction are provided exclusively for educational purposes for district students. Parents and students are not authorized to post information provided by district educators on other platforms (e.g. social media).
- The district will continue to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) during the period of virtual learning.
- Students should be the only ones participating in virtual learning. Students should not share their login information, meeting links, or passwords with others.
- To the extent a student requires adult support to participate in virtual learning, a parent or guardian can provide such support. However, to the extent possible, non-students should not view or participate in virtual learning.
- Parents and students shall not audio or video record or stream any virtual lessons. This includes lessons or instruction provided via telephone or a video conferencing platform.
- School and classroom rules apply to the virtual learning environment.
- While non-student observers are discouraged from observing virtual instruction, please be aware that it is possible that non-students may be able to see virtual instruction. If you do not want your child to participate in video conference platforms, you may disable the camera on the computer or tablet, or turn off the video feature on the video conference platforms.
- District educators may record virtual learning activities or instruction solely for educational purposes.
Parent Support During Distance Learning
Parents play an important role in supporting our students with responsibly engaging in virtual interactions. Parents can assist their student by:
- Finding a place in your home to engage in virtual meetings that is free from distractions like pets, siblings, and the television while attending our meetings.
- Encouraging your student to wear headphones/earbuds to limit background noise and ensure they are easily heard when speaking.
- Discussing how to use the tools available within a digital platform to mute their microphone until it is time to speak.
- Reviewing how to share the air time by keeping comments and questions, brief, and how to respect the thoughts and opinions of others.
- Dressing in school appropriate attire and refraining from eating during meetings.
The Zoom video conferencing tool has been utilized by districts across the nation and DMUSD has taken steps to ensure the online safety of staff and students.
Teachers have received guidance for configuring settings within Zoom. This provides for a student experience that is much more controlled than what a private user might configure for a Zoom meeting with friends. In addition, as teachers sign in with their DMUSD accounts they will inherit safety settings that have been configured by the district.
In order for student to access their teacher’s Zoom meeting, they need to use the Zoom meeting link created by the teacher. Teachers share that specific Zoom meeting link through our secured, username and password protected sites: PowerSchool Learning, Google Classroom, or SeeSaw. All students using the link are dropped into a secure waiting room in Zoom, by themselves, until the teacher permits them to join the meeting. Students do not need a Zoom account to participate in any meetings. They do need the Zoom application, which has been pushed out to all district Chromebooks. If students are using a home device, the Zoom application will need to be downloaded. Students will only need to use the application to join their teacher’s meeting. At the conclusion of the meeting, the teacher will quit the meeting and this closes the meeting for all participants.
Technical Reminder and Support
To support your child, please help your child log into the Chrome Browser of your home device with their @delmarschools.org account (this will happen automatically after logging into a District Chromebook). The district’s web filters are in effect when logged into the Chrome Browser, providing a level of safety and support. Please be advised, if students are working on a personal computer, it is possible to bypass our filters by logging out of chrome or using another browser.
When working virtually, students will still benefit from parent oversight. Having your child/children work in a community area in your house helps them to stay on task and knowing someone may be looking helps to keep children from navigating to sites that are not part of their remote learning.
Our online virtual classrooms are an extension of our real-time classrooms. The rules that apply in the regular classroom also apply in our virtual classroom. In addition, the virtual online classrooms present a unique environment that requires extra care. In the Del Mar Union School District, students receive instruction on the responsible technology use. We use the Common Sense Media curriculum at all grade levels. Common Sense Media have created a curated list of resources that provides parents with tips and strategies to support students while learning remotely. Those resources can be found at:
Please know that as soon as it is possible, we will resume school and we are eager to see one another again! Until then, thank you for all you are doing to support your children. Your child’s teacher, principal, and our entire team are here for your child.
Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Services