Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Closure

A: Per the California Department of Education, “Any decisions to close schools as a result of the coronavirus would be made by individual LEAs (school districts) and their respective county health agencies.” 

In regards to PYLUSD, the Board of Education has taken action to temporarily close all schools and offices. Schools and offices will be closed through June 11, 2020. During this time, the District will monitor circumstances around coronavirus (COVID-19) and determine if additional days or weeks may be needed beyond the initial closure.
 
A: No. All PYLUSD schools and offices are scheduled to remain closed through June 11, 2020.
 
A: District staff members have identified strategies appropriate for students and/or employees to remain home during the temporary school and office closure. Individual students have received supplemental learning materials from their specific school sites and teachers. In addition, specific group educational delivery strategies, including online distance learning, have been deployed. Visit pylusd.online to learn more.
 


Grading

A: Despite our best efforts to provide equitable experiences for our more than 24,000 students, we know that some students may struggle to process new material or demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of course content under these extraordinary circumstances. Our lower income students and students with special needs may experience even greater challenges. Additionally, many of our families have been affected personally or economically as a result of this crisis. In recognition of the anxiety, stress, and inherent educational inequities that exist across our nation, institutions of higher education are promoting a Credit/Incomplete model as the most equitable approach to codifying student learning. And though our continuous communication with universities across the nation and internationally still verifies that the option of Credit/Incomplete marks would not penalize our students, we also learned new information, causing concern as it relates to students’ ability to qualify for scholarships.  We have stepped back to analyze the potential risk to students qualifying or not being considered equitably without letter grades. 

As a result, we will be moving forward with a choice model of Credit/Incomplete or “A-D”/Incomplete for high school students.  Students’ grades from the third-quarter reporting period will be the benchmark for letter grades for the second semester.  A student’s final letter grade may only be improved during the fourth quarter.  All letter grades of  “A, B, C, and D” will automatically be converted to Credit and “F” grades to Incomplete at the end of the semester.  However, parents/students who wish to receive a letter grade in place of a Credit mark for any of their second-semester courses must complete an electronic PYLUSD Letter Grade Request Form no later than June 19, 2020.

A: This may be a difficult decision for students and parents. We offer families this advice courtesy of collegewise.com to students planning to apply to four-year universities/colleges—you should opt for the letter grade unless you have:

  • connectivity issues and unreliable access to the internet
  • technology impediment
  • a mental health concern 
  • any significant situation that’s impacting your ability to do schoolwork 


If you have any of the above you should absolutely feel good about opting for Credit/Incomplete. You will be able to convey that broader context in your eventual applications (there’s typically space in most apps for exactly these details).

A: Yes. PYLUSD will move forward with a choice model of Credit/Incomplete or “A-D”/Incomplete for high school students.  Students’ grades from the third-quarter reporting period will be the benchmark for letter grades for the second semester.  A student’s letter grade may only be improved during the fourth quarter.  All letter grades of  “A, B, C, and D” will automatically be converted to Credit and “F” grades to Incomplete at the end of the semester.  However, parents/students who wish to receive a letter grade in place of a Credit mark for any of their second-semester courses must complete an electronic PYLUSD Letter Grade Request Form no later than June 19, 2020. 

A: Students will receive a mark  of “CR” (Credit) if they have met at least the minimum proficiency levels for standards within a course. Students who receive a mark of CR will earn full credit for the course.  The CR won’t be calculated into the GPA. The University of California and California State University systems as well as many private universities have stated that they will not calculate this semester’s grades in student GPAs.

Students will receive a mark of “INC” (Incomplete) if they have not met the minimum proficiency levels for standards within a course. Counseling staff will work with students to determine the best option to remediate the “Incomplete” mark  to “Credit."

Students who took Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Honors courses will have their GPA weighted for the first semester of the year if they earned a “C” or better.  A mark  of “CR” in the second semester won’t raise or lower their GPA. We realize we have students who were working very hard to improve their GPAs with weighted course work this semester.  IB students have already been afforded the chance to demonstrate mastery through the IBO internal assessments (IA). AP students will have another opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the course through the  online AP exams  being offered by the College Board for the Spring of 2020.

A: COVID-19 is an international public health crisis. There isn’t a state or a nation that hasn’t been impacted. The fact is that many students in the United States are no longer attending school. Some districts have made the shift to distance learning and others are still struggling.  To that end, we have been assured by the institutions of higher education in California and across the nation that moving to Credit/Incomplete marks this semester will not impact college eligibility. 

In a distance learning environment, a Credit/Incomplete mark is the most equitable approach to report  student learning and enables educators to focus less on tracking “points” and more on preparing students for the next level. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we need to ensure that we honor learning without putting undue pressure on our students and families.  

The State Board of Education (SBE), California Department of Education (CDE), California State University (CSU), University of California (UC), California Community Colleges, and independent nonprofit colleges and universities have stated that they will accept Credit/Incomplete marks or letter grades for A-G high school courses completed in Winter/Spring/Summer 2020.

A: The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) tasked local school districts with responsibility for determining eligibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our high school principals, who serve as our liaisons to CIF,  determined that the eligibility criteria for athletics and performance groups for next fall will be earning a “CR” (Credit) in at least 4 courses. The use of GPA for eligibility purposes will be eliminated for the 2020 spring semester.
A: Many of the course and program placement decisions for our students were already underway, prior to the transition to distance learning. However, teachers will continue to gather evidence of learning to inform placement. In this environment, communication between students and teachers will be critical. If it does not appear that a student is prepared for the next level, summer school options may be available to increase readiness. Pre-assessment in the fall of next year will also help to identify areas where students need additional support.

A: In response to questions regarding schools that have moved to distance or e-learning environments, the NCAA Eligibility Center released a statement stipulating that the NCAA will not require a separate review of distance or e-learning programs utilized by schools with NCAA-approved core courses that have moved to distance or e-learning environments for Spring/Summer 2020 terms.

Students are encouraged to complete their NCAA-approved core courses through the channels of instruction provided or recommended by their school, district or state department of education.

For information from the NCAA regarding COVID-19, please visit ncaa.org/COVID-19 and continue to monitor for more information from the Eligibility Center at on.ncaa.com/EC_COVID.

A: Students completing work to clear INC marks with PYLUSD teachers this summer will receive a choice of Credit/No Credit or a letter grade. Students taking summer courses due to impacted schedules will be served through Pacific Coast High School (PCHS). Students taking summer courses for credit recovery will be served through the Access program. Both Pacific Coast high School and the Access program anticipate issuing letter grades for courses this summer.   

A:  No. Our elementary students will automatically receive Credit/Review Needed (Pk-6) marks for achievement. There will be a disclaimer on elementary report cards and middle school transcripts that state, “Due to school closure and the resulting unique circumstances and challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, all elementary students received a mark of “Credit” or “Review Needed” for Trimester 3 of the 2019-20 school year and “Credit” or Incomplete for middle school fourth quarter.

 

Middle school students (6-8) will receive Credit/Incomplete marks.

A: Teachers, staff and administrators will remain focused on keeping our students highly engaged, connected, and invested in their learning. Teachers will continue to have daily contact, assign work, provide feedback on the work, host online discussion forums when age appropriate, and provide resources to ensure that our students have a variety of opportunities to strengthen their understanding of essential learning targets. 

Our focus will remain squarely on learning and preparing students to be successful at the next level. Should you have additional questions related to your student’s progress, we encourage you to contact his or her teacher.  Our teachers will continue to be the best resource for understanding your student’s progress in class.

As acknowledged by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, distance learning may not mirror classroom instruction. However, PYLUSD remains committed to providing the highest quality educational experience we can envision.  Our entire staff from leadership, to teachers, to classified employees, to school counselors, and more are here to serve students. Please do not hesitate to regularly connect with your teachers, principals, and other school staff. Also, continue to visit www.pylusd.org/coronavirus for resources and updates.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Recommendations

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Practice social distancing with a minimum distance of six feet.
  •  
 
A: Social distancing is a practice recommended by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of contagious diseases. It requires the creation of physical space between individuals who may spread certain infectious diseases. The key is to minimize the number of gatherings as much as possible and to achieve space between individuals when events or activities cannot be modified, postponed, or cancelled. Achieving space between individuals of approximately six feet is advisable. Additionally, there is a particular focus on creating space between individuals who have come together on a one-time or rare basis and who have very different travel patterns such as those coming from multiple countries, states or counties.
 
A: Recent guidance posted by the California Department of Public Health states Californians who must leave their homes to conduct essential activities should wear face coverings, if they feel comfortable doing so, and practice strict hand washing before and after touching and adjusting the covering. Utilizing face coverings can help reduce infectious particles from those who could be infected, but are asymptomatic. It is not recommended for residents to use N-95 or surgical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.
 

A: District staff members are monitoring the situation daily with assistance of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA), Orange County Department of Education (OCDE), and others. CDPH is actively working with the CDC, with local governments, and health care providers across the state to protect your health. Local conditions will influence the decisions that public health officials make regarding community-level strategies and communications.

PYLUSD has implemented targeted cleaning at all school sites and on buses as an added precaution. Custodial staff members have been designated to provide extra cleaning time to disinfect frequently touched surfaces, wiping down door handles and desks, deep cleaning bathrooms, and more. Additional cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer options have also been provided to each school site.

As is typical with any cold and flu season, OCHCA requires PYLUSD, and all school districts in the County, to report classrooms with more than 20% of students ill with similar symptoms. If this occurs, PYLUSD assigns a custodial team to thoroughly clean the affected classroom(s).


District Communications

A: Make sure PYLUSD and your school have your most recent contact information up-to-date in the Aeries Student Information System. Additionally, visit www.pylusd.org/coronavirus for the most recent news and information. If you need assistance updating your contact information, please call the PYLUSD Technology Helpdesk at (714) 985-8733 or email helpdesk@pylusd.org.