CUSD Holds Online Town Hall Meeting to Address Online Learning

CUSD held a town hall to discuss the upcoming school year via Zoom. (Courtesy of CUSD/Zoom)

Clovis Unified School District leadership conducted an online town hall meeting Wednesday evening to discuss what the upcoming school year will look like.

The district announced last week that it will start with online learning as the state mandated that counties that have been on the coronavirus watchlist for 14 days at the beginning of the school year must do.

A panel of school officials answered questions submitted by members of the Clovis community regarding curriculum, scheduling and others.

Online learning will include live daily interaction and instruction between students and teachers through Zoom.

Daily attendance and weekly records will be kept to ensure that students are completing all real-time and independent instruction and assignments.

Connectivity to the online learning platforms will be ensured, including providing wireless hotspots and devices.

Students will connect to their learning through Clever, an online platform used by teachers to create digital classrooms.

CUSD will form support teams to meet social-emotional, academic and service needs for students, and will provide programs to help with special needs students.

English language learners will be provided services to assist with learning as well.

One submitted question was about how CUSD will handle classes that include labs, as well as P.E.

“Our teachers are already thinking through these things. There is a lot that they can do with demonstrations themselves with that live, real-time instruction that they will be delivering,” said Corrin Folmer, Associate Superintendent of School Leadership.

“With technology today, there are a lot of virtual Labs that students can complete through Google Classroom and the online material that comes with adoptions and things and other resources that will help them – without actually doing them in person in a classroom – still get some of that learning and experiment to see how that evolves and what happens.”

Physical education will be kept track of through logs, which Folmer said will require some trust between parents and the schools as instructors will not be able to physically monitor students to ensure they are completing their running and other exercises. She added that teachers will focus on overall wellness.

“I also envision that our teachers speak a lot and care a lot about the whole student,” she said. “While I’m sure they will be addressing the physical and fitness components, they do spend a lot of time in their PE classes talking about overall health. Social-emotional wellness, they talk about foods that students eat and just addressing overall health through our P.E. curriculum.”

Another question submitted asked whether the online learning curriculum will be aligned with current learning standards and college preparatory requirements.

“The teachers in our district using the online model will All be using our district adopted curriculum and textbooks, which are all aligned with the state standard. This includes our college preparatory and AP classes as well,” said Robyn Castillo, Associate Superintendent for Instructional Services.

Many of the required textbooks are already available online, Castillo said, but there are also textbooks that will need to be checked out at the school site.

“As teachers are delivering instruction, students have the books to read, the problems to reference as well as the things they will be receiving through online platforms.”

The panel also provided examples of what a school day would possibly look like online with live instruction.

Teachers would instruct live in several blocks of time throughout the day. For example, grades 1-6 could have a block of learning from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. and then a 15 minute break. Another block from 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. would be followed by a 45 minute lunch and a third learning block from 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

The length of classes may vary, and the minutes will be determined by the grade level of the students.

Michael graduated from Fresno State in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in print journalism. During his time at the university, he served as sports and managing editor for The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper. In addition to the Clovis Roundup, Michael has written for The Fresno Bee, the Kingsburg Recorder and Selma Enterprise. He has a passion for sports and can be found on the sidelines at local games, bringing the citizens of Clovis the athletics news they deserve.