Welcome to our Return to School communications page. Westlake Charter School will use this page to continually update our communications in response to the latest information pertaining to the Fall of 2020/2021. Please continue to review the Handbook and FAQ’s, as they will be updated with information as it becomes available.
|All grades, K-8||Level 1: Distance Learning||August 12th, 2020|
Watch this video of Mr. Eick describing Level 1: Distance Learning, and Childcare options led by our WAVE and BASE Teams.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The following questions were curated from parent surveys and during the Parent Town Hall Meeting. We will continue to update this section of the website as more questions arise and more information becomes available. If you have any questions that you would like included, please email them to email@example.com.
We will not be using the cafeteria for lunch. We have to keep our students in their cohorts, utilize the classroom or safe, socially-distanced outdoor spaces for students to eat.
2. Is there really a big outcry for health and safety issues?
Yes. Health and safety is our primary focus. This includes not only the physical, social emotional, and mental health of our students, but of our staff and families as well. We believe that when we focus on health and safety, we will arrive at the right answer more often. Westlake Charter School takes this charge incredibly seriously. It is almost impossible to imagine the trauma that would occur if one of our community members suffered a grave illness due to a lack of commitment on the part of our school. We are committed to think of each stakeholder, each community member, and each individual as we draft our policies, practices and procedures in collaboration with local health officials.
3. Why is Westlake not considering 5 day a week with 50% capacity for social distancing? My concern is the exposure For my son from a second cohort with the hybrid option.
We understand your concern. During Level 2 & 3, when we are utilizing cohorts who take turns using the classroom, there will be deep cleaning between the time Cohort A uses the classroom on Monday and Tuesday and when Cohort B uses the classroom on Thursday and Friday. The reasoning for 50% capacity is to allow for 6 feet of social distancing. Level: 4 of our plan allows our students to attend school daily in a room that accommodates 6 feet of social distancing.
4. Kids need to take breaks from wearing masks/not wear mask for extended time frames.
As we approach Levels 2 – 5 and the eventuality of returning to school, requirements regarding face coverings will continue to update. As of the writing of this response, the requirements in California include the wearing of face masks however, we feel that it is essential that students are offered opportunities to take breaks throughout the day.
5. I don’t want students to wear masks
Thank you, we completely understand, we are also nervous about this, however we appreciate any support that is offered from home for our school to meet this guidance.
6. I am concerned about safety of students/teachers/admin if we return to campus, but know importance of being in the classroom.
We agree, this is a balance. This is why we believe it is important to have a multi-leveled plan. While we wish we could race to Level:4 and get everyone back to school, we do not feel that is a safe way to start. We appreciate your support for starting cautiously and building our capacity so that we can eventually arrive at each next level safely.
7. Will Westlake add plastic partitions on the tables between each student, such as what they’re doing for cashiers at supermarket check outs, in their classroom?
Great question, these types of partitions are recommended where social distancing guidelines can not be met. Our current plans are based on meeting social distancing guidelines of keeping students at least 6 feet apart at all times. If there were a situation where this standard could not be met, we would consider the use of these plexiglass partitions.
8. Will there be different teachers for the 2 different cohorts? My concern is if someone from cohort B passes the virus to the teacher who may then possibly pass it on to cohort A or vice versa.
We understand your concern, and have considered the same thought. The purpose of the cohorts is to create six feet of social distance between everyone in the classroom, including the teacher. If we could double the size of our campus, classrooms and teaching staff, we would however, under the circumstances, we have crafted our protocols to strictly follow the Health and Safety Guidelines from local health authorities.
9. I have safety concerns with students sharing toys with one another.
This is an excellent point. We have eliminated all shared supplies for the year. Therefore, students will be issued individual supplies. This comes at an increased expense, however we could not risk students sharing supplies for the reasons you mentioned.
10. What preventative measures are being taken at the school to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Everything from altering the schedule to physically altering the campus have been the work of our entire staff during this time. You will see hundreds of decisions that have been made and documented by reading through these FAQs and the Return to School Family Handbook.
11. What will happen if one student tests positive for COVID-19?
This is an excellent question, you will find our protocol documented in the Return to School Family Handbook. In short, a positive case launches several steps including consultation from Sacramento County Public Health which leads to contact tracing and could shift a classroom, grade level, or the entire school back to Level 1: Distance Learning.
12. How will staff monitor and ensure proper use of masks and hand washing?
Staff, students and families will all be engaged in training on this subject at during the orientation process. Regular time will be allocated to each daily and regular monitoring will occur.
13. Will the school provide medical services if a child needs them?
Westlake Charter School has a Health Aide who has protocols for a range of health scenarios, including the display of symptoms of COVID-19.
14. What are the health screening procedures for staff, ie daily temperature screening, symptom screening, etc.? Can that please also be shared with us and posted on the return to school webpage?
All staff, students and essential visitors to campus will be asked to self-screen before leaving for campus, than will undergo a verbal screening and a temperature screening upon arrival.
15. When a child is screened at the entrance and is “negative” for all the symptoms, yet a teacher is noticing symptoms while in class (example: fever or frequent coughing – not due to a known or chronic condition), I understand the child will go to a separate area to wait to be picked up at the office? Will the staff taking care of that child have proper PPE on for a potential covid positive student? Is there a school nurse or doctor available to handle these scenarios or called upon as a resource?
Excellent question, we too are concerned for the health and safety of not only our students, but staff and community as well. PPE will be a part of our protocols within the classroom and our Health Aide has a specific set of protocols for handling any person who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
16. If a child has symptoms while in school and goes home, will that child be required to stay home for a certain amount of time (what is that amount of time?) and/or test for COVID? If at any point the child gets tested, what would happen to the cohort in the meantime, including the teacher? Would we all then go back to level 1 as a precautionary measure? Do we wait for the results to come back, and will those results be reported to the school/district? What will be the process of returning back to school? Will there be a protocol in place for that?
Yes, this is on all of our minds as well. Our current protocols are taken directly from Sacramento County Public Health recommendations and they include multiple potential responses made in consultation with local health officials. It is possible that students sent home with symptoms could be required to quarantine for as short as 72 hours after symptoms subside and as long as 2 weeks with or without negative test results depending on the severity of the symptoms and the consultation of the local health authorities.
17. Do the doors remain shut during in-class instruction? If they are left open to increase circulation, will that then pose other safety risks?
Great question, we are investigating how we might reprogram our HVAC systems to pull in and blow only fresh, not recycled air, while potentially leaving the doors open to increase ventilation.
18. How do teachers handle students who are not following social distancing guidelines or masking policies?
As with all behavior, we are focused on teaching the correct behavior and collaborating with families regarding the redirection of behavior that is not considered appropriate.
19. Can child care, like the BASE Distance Learning Camp, be offered on the school campus?
This is a great question and one that was recently reiterated by the Sacramento County Public Health Department. According to the County, ‘Child care may be offered at school sites in compliance with SCPH Day Care Guidance, which limits cohort size to a maximum of 12 children. Schools may not conduct instruction or otherwise operate their school under the guise of “day care,” “child care,” “camp,” or any other allowable activity.’
Yes. We are working with our specialties teachers to embed PE, Art and Spanish as a part of our school week as well as utilizing time during Distance Learning to help students develop in these areas. Recess will be structured to assist with social distancing, but we believe that recess must be a part of every school day!
2. Will the teacher be more available during online class? If that will be the route we choose?
Whether Distance Learning is full time or used as a part time solution to allow students to take turns coming into the classroom, it will include daily live interaction with staff and peers. Our Distance Learning is being reimagined and redesigned so that students have more access and a wider variety of learning mediums.
3. So will the teachers be teaching the kids during distance learning at the same time they are teaching the class or just providing busy work?
Great question. In class and Distance Learning activities are being developed so that all students, whether they are Distance Learning or in the classroom are moving together at the same pace. Students engaged in Distance Learning will have daily attendance, daily live connections with staff and peers, and daily expectations that are equal to the students who are in class on that day.
4. How are we going to make specialties possible?
The specialties team is working on a multitude of solutions that range from in-class, online and embedded into school activities learning opportunities. The team is working hard to ensure that our students continue to have access to high quality Art, Spanish and PE curriculum and instruction.
5. How many hours will the children go to school for?
The state of California has updated the daily instructional minutes requirements to the following number of minutes: Kindergarten: 180, 1st-3rd: 230, 4th-8th: 240. In addition to these minutes there is time each day for recess and lunch. The start and end times have been updated on page 19 of the Return to School Family Handbook.
6. I’d like an option of distance learning until school is back to normal.
All families can request long term Distance Learning at any time during the 2020-2021 school year. Based on our Summer Survey, hundreds of families have already selected this option.
7. Is it possible to switch between distance learning and in person learning and vice versa? How do we do indicate we want to switch? When can we switch? Can we change our mind?
Yes, this is a very important question. We are developing a method to allow for families to change their mind. This is a key part of our plan. Because your student is assigned to a classroom, they will always have a seat to return to.
8. When the kids return to school will they be able to get out all of their pent up energy and their need to connect with friends before class instruction starts? If not, there will be a lot of talking in class.
School will include recess daily and lots of talking in class! We start every day in morning meeting which encourages student interaction.
9. Will there be a teachers aid provided to kinder teaches given the circumstances?
We have teacher’s aides at every grade level. To ensure small class sizes Kindergarten has expanded by one classroom making class sizes even smaller than in previous years.
10. Can parents get a detailed roadmap of the curriculum for the year, or at least one trimester at a time? This would also help with knowing what we will be responsible for teaching at home and allow us to best prepare.
Great suggestion. We will work with our teachers on this topic.
11. Will the teachers be able to provide all the work required on the distance learning days at the beginning of the week? For example, our kids are in cohort B, so could we have all the work they need to do by the Friday before or the Monday of each week? It will be easier to do school work some days than it will on others. In addition, having the weekend would be good as well to give more time, since we work full time.
We have been working with teachers and are discussing weekly learning kits as you are describing, however we are also requiring daily attendance and live interaction this year during distance learning. In support of students who can not make the live interactive portion due to family circumstances, we will certainly continue to support learning in other ways.
12. Provide some guidance on how to instruct at home. I’ve heard of home schooling but I’m not familiar with the practice. Teachers were educated for years on how to teach. Can you please provide a parent teaching handbook or training session for us?
This is a great suggestion. This is being discussed with staff to determine the best way to help prepare parents for the road ahead.
13. Is it possible that during distance learning period the teachers give the same assignments to the students in different classes but in the same grade? It would help a lot with distance learning for those parents who want to form a free parent co-op for distance learning?
Our grade level teams will be collaborating to plan instruction during our first five professional development. See the Fall Opening 2020 manual in the Academic and SEL section regarding what a day in the life of a student will look like.
14. I was wondering if the school is going to provide us the Textbooks/workbooks, specifically for Math (McGraw Hill) for th e concepts that the class is going to cover for this school year?
Yes, textbooks and workbooks will be provided to students based on each grade level’s instructional plans.
15. Is the expectation that young children will sit in front of a computer for 4-5 hours straight with just a lunch break? What does this expectation really look like for young kids?
Great question. Please see the Fall Opening 2020 manual in the Academic and SEL section regarding waht a day in the life of a student will look like.
16. The description of the school day sounds like a lot of switching from different google meets and class pages. Will this year’s google classroom be significantly easier to navigate? Programs like Lexia and Freckle are greatly preferred because the kids can do them by themselves.
Teachers have worked hard to make sure that all students can easily access what they need during the school day. At times, students will work in small groups with a teacher or instructional aide, students will be given guidance and explicit instruction on how to access those groups and all meetings. Additional support is available per the teacher if help is needed.
17. As mentioned in the FAQs, learning pods sound like an intriguing idea, but I’m going to need a definition. Are these virtual (preferred)? Live, like coop childcare, but focused on DL assignments? It’s unclear.
The idea behind learning pods is for families to support each other with Distance Learning while following health and safety guidelines. Our WAVE team is helping to coordinate families with learning pods. You can reach out the WAVE parent group by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
18. I’m concerned about how attendance will be taken for students. Do they have to be on LIVE with the teacher to be counted as present? When I think about accommodating parents’ schedules this thought has been weighing on me. Please share any information pertaining to this as you can at this time.
In 2020-21 our goal is to engage 100% of students in distance learning 5 days a week! We look forward to your partnership in helping us achieve this goal. Attendance will be taken at the start of each day during morning meeting. Attendance will be taken for our students in 6-8th grade at the start of each block. You can find the specific times in our Return to School Family Handbook Logistics and Operations section, on the Level 1 – Distance Learning Bell Schedule page. Students who are not present during these synchronous (LIVE) attendance periods will be marked absent. If a student joins their synchronous (LIVE) class later in the day, the student’s absence will be changed from an absence to a tardy.
19. I didn’t see Spanish on my students’ schedule. Can you let me know the situation with Spanish class?
While Spanish is not on the printed schedule, it is still very much a part of the program at Westlake Charter School. Our amazing specialty team will be sending out assignments for Spanish, Art, and PE. K-5 students will be assigned this work in their Google Classroom, 6-8 grade students will have a separate Google Classrooms for Spanish, Art, and PE. The specialty schedule will be a part of each teachers daily schedule.
20. How will the attendance factor in if my children are unable to be online at 8:45am? Sometimes just an hour later, other times much later in the afternoon or evening.
We are excited about engaging with our students through live instruction this year! Please refer to page 19 of the Return to School Family Handbook for specific details regarding attendance procedures.
21. I have some questions about attendance. What happens if my children are unable to be on the online meetings but still complete the work for the day? If I can’t have them online on time a day or two, will there be a grace period before tardies and absent markings are handed out? How do we report sick days to avoid being marked absent when a child is sick?
In 20-21 Distance Learning we are excited to provide our students with daily live synchronous instruction! We aim to engage 100% of our students in these live sessions in order to make distance learning more meaningful and to provide that connection and interaction between students and teachers. Our teachers will publish their live synchronous meeting schedules to allow families to plan ahead to ensure students attend. We understand that just like during in-person school, their are times that students may be absent or late. During distance learning when a student is absent from a live synchronous session their attendance will be marked accordingly. Students who are absent during the first live synchronous session but engage in a live synchronous session later in the day will be marked tardy, indicating that the student attended but missed a portion of the synchronous session. If your student is sick, please follow the same procedures as you would during in person learning to report their absence. Live synchronous sessions are new for distance learning in 20-21 and as always, we will work together with our teachers families and staff to ensure the best outcomes for our students as we get accustomed to this exciting addition to distance learning.
22. Being the students are at home is it possible to have the break and lunch schedule uniform across grade levels?
Great question! It is our aim to have students on the same lunch schedule during Level 1-Distance Learning as they will experience when they return to campus in Levels 3-5.
23. Will there be any GATE classes along with regular classes?
The goal of the Westlake Charter School’s GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) Program is to provide differentiated learning opportunities during the regular school day for our students. Differentiation is an effective approach to teaching and learning. It provides flexibility in the core curriculum so that students may learn at their own ability levels and at their own pace. Promoting academic excellence, perseverance, student responsibility and joyful learning are key components of our program. After School Live Enrichment classes are not currently being offered during Level 1: Distance Learning.
24. We also did not have an NWEA assessment in the month of March. Will there be an NWEA assessment this Summer?
NWEA is a great tool that was used by the school for several years prior to COVID-19 and the advent of Distance Learning. Heading into the 2020/21 school year, our team wanted to focus more time on providing instruction and support to students. The use of NWEA will be evaluated this Spring, and it may return as a regular practice in the Fall of 2021.
25. Are the zoom meets private? I heard from one of my friends that couple people hacked a school’s zoom meet in the Bay Area and started showing pornographic images to the kids before teacher could end the meeting. I just want to make sure our zoom meets are secured.
We have heard similar stories and have worked hard to keep Google Meet’s secure.
26. My daughter was in fifth grade last year and, due to the transition to distance learning, wasn’t offered the sexual education course as was typical for that grade. Would it be possible to offer that unit for the sixth graders this year instead? I’d much prefer that rather than have students wait until the eight grade unit.
The admin team is looking into how to cover this content in 6th grade this year.
27. Will there be Specialty grades since there is no synchronous instruction happening in Distance Learning?
There will be no specialty grades for the 2020-21 school year. Students will be getting feedback from teachers on their work throughout the year.
This is an excellent question and one that our team discussed. Our primary objective in building classes for the fall was the Social and Emotional health of our students. Teachers helped to build class rosters by identifying friends for each student. Next the rosters needed to be split into two cohorts to allow for alternating schedules, while making efforts to preserve these crucial friendships. Finally, we had to build these rosters for over 1,000 students and ensure that siblings each landed in the same cohort, while also being aware of secondary factors such as keeping advisory classes in the middle school feasible and ensuring students had access to critical staff for tiered interventions. We are proud of the work we did throughout this highly complex process, however we recognize that it would have been improved had parents had an opportunity to choose their schedule.
2. Will teachers get more permanent aids to help with the constant supervision of kids within their classroom?
Schedules are built to ensure that supervision is not only a part of the classroom, but recess, transition times, etc. During the worst budget crisis in recent history, we may actually need more staff than in previous years.
Great question. We have just received the instructional minutes regulations prepared for the Governor as a part of the budgeting process at the state level and will be working to release a draft of staggered start times in our July 12 communication. Our current best thinking is that we will have staggered start times, but a singular uniform dismissal time for 1st-8th, allowing kinder their own dismissal time. We are developing protocols to assist with siblings who arrive together.
2. What will middle school look like with cohorts and multiple teachers?
We have worked through the health and safety guidelines to ensure that social distancing protocols are in place. Our teams are now determining the viability of cleaning classrooms appropriately during the day to allow students to rotate between rooms, versus having students stay in a single room but allowing for the teachers to rotate.
3. When will my children receive their school schedules?
While we typically do not issue school schedules and teacher assignments until the beginning of the school year, we are working on releasing our schedules in July to help families plan for the fall.
4. If school is going back as a reduced schedule, will you be cutting costs by eliminating staff that isn’t needed/used? PE, art, etc?
Westlake Charter School has made no layoffs nor reductions in staff due to budgetary restrictions. All our Art, Spanish and PE teachers will be on campus serving our students in the fall.
5. If you need to coordinate schedules with siblings at another school, how will that work?
As was described above, we spent a lot of effort ensuring that we aligned our schedules with our siblings on campus. Next, we are in collaboration with the leaders of NUSD, Np3 and NCS to attempt to align our practices and schedules to the best of our ability. To be honest, the logistics of thousands of students attending nearly 20 campuses across Natomas, each on a modified schedule of some kind will undoubtedly lead to some inconvenience, however, with that said, we are working hard to reduce the discomfort every way we can.
6. Can WCS families coordinate schedules in order to help one another out or for childcare purposes?
Yes! WCS and our WAVE Parent Team have been discussing the potential launch of a Child Care Cooperative, where parents who have students in the same cohort can help one another out during Distance Learning days. We hope to release this information on July 12.
7. If we need our kid in BASE and can’t afford it, will there be financial support?
This is at the center of our conversations. 1) How can we quickly get to increased capacity so that every student can be on campus every day, 2) How can we collaborate with our parent community to help one another with childcare so that there are “no-cost” solutions childcare, 3) How can we ensure BASE is safe and affordable to the families that need this service during the day, while ensuring that each staff member is able to be paid for providing this essential service? While we do not have all the answers yet, we promise, we are working in the background on this exact issue every single day. If we can solve this issue, it will increase our ability for everyone to feel safe returning to school in smaller cohorts.
8. I want kids back to school 5 days a week as soon as possible.
Yes, we want that too! Our plans include kids coming back to school daily. To make this happen in Level 4, we have 1) hired more staff, and 2) opened extra classrooms. In collaboration with local public health we will determine when it is safe to move to Level 4 of our plans.
9. I don’t understand the cohorts.
In Level 3: Baseline schedule, Cohort A will attend school on Monday and Tuesday, while Cohort B will attend school on Thursday and Friday. All students will learn through distance learning when not at school.
10. When will the child’s class schedule (new teacher information be available? How will I get it?
Each year Westlake Charter School releases this information on the day before school. This year, as we are trying to help parents organize childcare, we wanted to at least release cohort information early. Next, as we move through summer and balance our our class lists, we may be able to let parents know what classroom they have been assigned to so that parents might collaborate on childcare if they know which classroom their student belongs to. This information may come out before the end of July.
11. I would prefer both children who are in cohort A to come at same time am or pm.
Thank you, yes, all siblings should be in the same cohort and the same AM or PM orientation schedule. As this information is released, please inform our team by emailing email@example.com if your siblings were not assigned in to the same cohort and orientation groups.
12. Is full time regular school a possibility?
Yes, our plan includes five levels of returning to school. Level 4 plans include students possibly returning to school daily. We have opened six new classrooms to reduce class sizes so that we can socially distance and return to school daily. We can not open in this model, it will take time to get there, but we will work toward this goal.
13. How many days will my child be in school in person?
We will determine which level of reopening is appropriate based on local health information. In Level 1: Distance Learning, all students will be learning from home five days a week. In Level’s 2 & 3: Orientation and Baseline, students will be on campus 2 days a week and learning through distance learning 3 days a week. In Level’s 4 & 5: Increased Capacity and Full Capacity, students may return to school daily.
14. Have you considered year round staggered schedules?
This is an excellent suggestion, thank you. The problem with this solution is that it requires a second set of staff to facilitate those classrooms in the staggered portion of the year.
15. Will middle school students change classes?
This is a great question that is being considered and developed. We are timing the cleaning protocols to determine if cleaning could happen during transition times to allow each group to walk into a cleaned classroom. If cleaning can not be facilitated during the allotted time another option is to have the teachers rotate.
16. Can we arrange children that go to offsite childcare to be on same cohort?
This is an excellent question. We recognize how complicated child care and child care sharing is going to be throughout this process. Unfortunately, creating the cohorts was equally challenging. We have hundreds of siblings across nine grade levels. Once we prioritize siblings being in the same cohort it reduced the flexibility we have to make changes.
17. Will school still begin on Aug 12th in distance learning?
Yes. School begins August 12th in Level 1: Distance Learning.
18. Is the school calendar for 20/21 valid or will it change?
The school calendar will not change. We will start school August 12 and recognize each holiday and break throughout the year regardless of which level we are in i.e. Level 1: Distance Learning, Level 2: Orientation, etc.
19. We have two students at PFAA and two at WCS. Will all four kids be on the same schedule?
We are certain that this is going to cause challenges for so many of our families and for that we are truly sorry. WCS, NCS, Np3 and NUSD are all individual organizations and are trying hard to work together, however the challenges of reopening schools under these incredibly unique conditions have reduced the amount of capacity each organization has to be as accommodating as we would like to be. Each school has had to make literally hundreds of decisions in a very short amount of time with limited guidance and this has led to the reality that there will be misalignment and some discomfort. Again, we wish it were not the case, but the truth is, we cannot guarantee that students from different schools will be placed on the same schedule.
20. Do you offer a homeschooling option?
Yes, any family who would like to select long-term distance learning may do so.
21. I am an single parent. I work full time Monday through Friday. We really cannot do distance learning with no adult supervision for 10 to 11 hours out of the day when I’m gone. I don’t have family to help either. This will be more than just challenging. The high school is allowing 50% capacity and gave priority for kids to return 5 days a week if their parents worked. The others can opt to do hybrid or independent study. Why can’t Westlake charter offer the same? I am not in the same position as families that have a stay at home parent. This is not serving all children equally. I work in healthcare under a lot of stress. I have had to go to work through all of this. Not stay home sheltered. I cannot do home teaching/distance learning for 3 children. They have had to stay home alone through all this since I have to work. It really is not fair to them. If I could opt to keep them out of school entirely I would. This set up in my mind is not designed for success with a family like mine and I don’t know if I can handle the stress. I appreciate all the hard work of everyone at Westlake and the amazing teachers. I just don’t know if I can do this and keep everything else together. I feel you are truly putting disadvantaged families in a worse position for the wellbeing of their children.
Thank you for reaching out. We are including this question in the FAQ because you are sharing the story that many of our families are facing. Westlake has a multi-leveled plan that is designed to focus on the health and safety of students, staff and families. Now, at each level of this plan, we need to work together to ensure that every family has the supports they need. We must work together. For you situation specifically, we are exploring 1) are there families willing to help one another with childcare during the day so that essential workers such as yourself can continue to work and know that your children are cared for, and 2) we are developing methods to prioritize the use of our BASE program to not only provide childcare, but ensure that your students stay engaged in distance learning while you are at work so that when you come home you can focus on family, not school work. You will see in each of the next four Westlake Weekly communications information regarding each of these options.
22. Is WCS following suit with NUSD’s decision to postpone opening for another 2 weeks? Our family will be happy to start off doing 100% DL if that is the decision made.
Westlake is prepared to open on August 12th, in Level 1: Distance Learning. There is a lot of work to be done to prepare for this, however, our team has been working all summer and we are confident that we will be ready to open on time.
23. Can you confirm out student’s cohort group will not change if we choose distance learning until we feel comfortable to return to campus?
Yes, that is the case, good question, your student will continue to remain in their assigned cohort even if they elect distance learning.
24. Do we have to give advance notice to return to the classroom if our student starts on distance learning?
Yes, we are working on the method to give advanced warning to inform the teacher that you are returning from distance learning.
25. Are uniforms still required?
Uniforms are required as usual anytime students are on campus. Students are not required to be in uniform when they are at home for distance learning.
26. Are families responsible for any school supplies? If so, will be be getting a list soon?
We ask families to donate $25 for supplies. All student supplies will be provided by WCS for distance and in-person learning. To make a donation, please visit our donation webpage.
27. I am looking into creating a learning pod, ideally with some of the same classmates in the same cohort. Do you know when we will be receiving the assigned teachers and classmates.
Class placements for 2020-2021 school year are linked in the 7/26 Parent Weekly. We love the learning pod idea! Please let our admin team know how we can be of support.
28. Is it possible to alter the childcare doc with the option of Learning Pods for those who do not need childcare?
Great idea! Learning Pods have been added.
29. How will packets be delivered each week? Is it possible that families can choose to use more worksheets and curriculum sent home rather than spending all day on google classroom? If more work comes home in packet form it would be much easier for us. Will the packets have “homework” we can do with the kids or just supplies for when they interact with the teacher?
There will be a routine delivery cycle to pick up Distance Learning Kits and supplies. Schoolwide materials will be a mix of digital. There will be some independent work required of students.
30. In order to do distance learning with an interactive live instructional model parents will need very detailed information on the times for each activity and break in the schedule. Can each teacher send out a timed schedule with standing meeting times in advance of the start of school, preferably as soon as possible?
Before distance learning begins, parents can expect to receive a schedule with all important information and details that includes start and end times, activity times, breaks, and lunch.
31. Has there been any consideration given to starting the return to in-person learning by utilizing the outdoor space on the Westlake campus for instruction? In an effort to try and get our children back on campus as soon as safely possible, an outdoor learning environment would be conducive to that earlier than an indoor environment. As we head into Fall, we would also have weather that was much more tolerable for that as well.
Yes, our team has been exploring many options including the use of outdoor space. We have considered purchasing shade structures and umbrellas, and have even mapped out when the building itself would provide shade to students at different times during the day. As mentioned, when Fall returns, the cooler weather and rain will return as well; we’re considering how that might affect outdoor learning.
Westlake Charter School will use this page to continually update our communications in response to the latest information pertaining to school reopening in the fall. At a minimum, we plan to update this page on July 12th, 19th, 26th, August 2nd, and 9th., leading up to the opening of school on August 12, 2020.
2. What steps will WCS take to address implicit bias to uphold an anti-racist school culture?
Thank you for this question. From the boardroom to the classroom, our team is committed to the reflection and hard work necessary to move forward on this issue as indicated in this letter that was sent to our community in the June 14th Westlake Weekly Newsletter.
3. Will BASE be open when students are back on campus?
We are releasing information regarding BASE options over these next several weeks. Based on our Parent Survey we recognize that there are nearly 200 families who need help with childcare and we are following up with these families to get a better understanding of how we can help to accommodate their needs.
4. Will BASE definitely be available for everyone who needs it?
This depends on capacity. We have 10 BASE Aides, all of whom work part-time. The new California regulations for childcare facilities require no greater than a 12:1 ratio for staffing, which means at any given time our maximum capacity is less than 120. We are working to determine how we can increase capacity and offer BASE to our community.
5. Can BASE help with school work and distance learning?
Yes, it is our plan that if BASE is open during Distance Learning, that students should be engaged in learning while at BASE.
If you have any questions, please continue to visit this FAQ page or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to answer as quickly as possible.