As thousands of students work from home, each district is tackling the challenge differently, with Fresno Unified allowing students to take their third quarter grades and work up from there.
"The decision we made was no harm done to students, so third quarter grades are the grades being issued unless students and teachers work to improve those grades," said FUSD Chief of Equity and Access Lindsay Sanders.
No input into the gradebook means it's challenging to keep track of who is doing work.
"We did not have a hard mechanism to measure student activities or teacher interaction with student," said Sanders.
It's especially challenging with elementary students.
"A lot of learning in elementary is in interaction," added Sanders. "When we flipped over to online learning, kids and adults, parents, teachers weren't ready for how do we transition to that type of learning."
Fresno Unified says some principals do have their own ways to keep track of students engagement for their school. They also just issued an assignment to teachers that will give them an estimate of the amount of teacher and student interaction that's occurred in the past weeks.
Central Unified is also seeing the difficulty with educating from a distance, seeing some classes with student participation as low as 40% and others with 90% of students actively engaged. They said in part:
"We are able to monitor engagement in a variety of ways. We collect information to know how students are accessing learning, whether it be through tracking who is picking up and turning in printed work, who is requesting a device, or who is engaging in some capacity with their classroom. We monitor our Central On-Call tutoring service traffic which is in addition to all of the calls and emails teachers and site administrators are responding to throughout each day and during their Office Hours. Our Ed Tech team monitors the frequency students are logging in and through which systems..."
Clovis Unified says that approximately 98% of students and families have connected with their teachers saying in part:
"Each school has been tasked with taking steps to be in contact with every student registered at that school.
- We started first with reports from teachers as to students who have not responded to their calls, emails, texts, virtual meetings. The list of non-participants we got from the teacher were then followed up on by our support team of counselors, transition liaisons, school psychs, bilingual assistants, etc.
- Families who didn't respond to the principals' communication also received a packet dropped off at the address on file for the family with information about distant learning.
- Since we started this effort, we have also asked teachers to continue to monitor that students are turning in work (whether digitally or packets), responding to communication from the school, etc. so we can check in periodically on these numbers."
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