South Pasadena Middle School FAQ

The SPUSD instructional model is designed to meet three overarching principles – 1) Health and Safety;
2) Academic Quality and Equity; and 3) Social and Emotional Supports. We will continue to inform parents as information changes.

What if my child does not log in daily?
Teachers are required to take attendance daily in every period and all students are required to attend live sessions. If your child misses a class please follow the normal absence
policies and email our attendance clerk Eva Puccio at epuccio@spusd.net to document absences. Also, reach out to your teachers and give them notice if possible. Note, there are no consequences for absences in SPUSD. We encourage all students to participate as much as they possibly can.

Positive test for Covid protocol:
What is the protocol if a student tests positive for Covid while on campus?
If schools physically reopen, protocols for healthy and ill students and employees will be strictly followed and based on the county
directives. LA County has defined guidelines, we will follow these guidelines and communicate with the South Pasadena community per their direction. We have put together plans but we are also aware the guidance from the county is likely to change in the future. You can review the current guidance from the county public health office here.

What is the protocol if a teacher or student tests positive for COVID-19? Students and employees with symptoms will be required to quarantine and close contacts of those students and employees will be traced and will also be sent home for quarantine. As shared by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, we should anticipate that all schools will experience positive cases regardless of mitigation efforts. Schools
will not be Covid-19 testing centers and will not be provided equipment for testing. Testing must occur at a certified facility or center.We will follow the detailed county guidelines for reporting and tracing positive tests.

Why do we need to get a Chrome computer?
Students may use their own computer, picking up a chromebook from the district is optional. By using a SPUSD Chromebook it will enable us to promote a safer, more productive environment for students. SPUSD also will oversee appropriate applications, updates, and internet filters for all students. Additionally, students will be expected to bring their chromebooks to class in the Hybrid

Can multiple Chromebooks be picked up for siblings? Yes.

Can we continue using the chrome book we checked out for summer instead of returning it to check out a
new one?
No, please return any chromebooks from the spring and check out a new one.

Do you know if the chrome books have an Ethernet port to get off the WiFi? No

Does the firewall allow the kids to print on their own home networks? Yes, you should have no problem printing at home with a SPUSD chromebook.

Do the students have to be visible on a webcam at all times? No, the webcam will be focused on the teacher.

What opportunities for teacher student interaction will there be during the distance learning or at home livestreaming sessions?
Teachers will have access to bluetooth headphones, an I-pad with a wide-angle lens,
microphone and tripod, and a computer to operate livestreaming via Zoom or Google Meets. We will be collaborating with our teachers to determine instructional best practices in the engagement of all students
(those learning from home and those learning in the classroom) in the hybrid model.

What platform will be used at SPMS?
Will all teachers be required to use it, or will they have the option of using whatever they want? All teachers will deliver instruction via Google Meets or Zoom along with Google Classroom. Teachers will be responsible for setting up breakout room guidelines and monitoring the students during small group instruction.

Should we delete the classes from last spring from our student’s Google classroom before we add the ones for this school year? We are recommending that teachers “Archive” their classes from the last school year, which will remove them from the students’ dashboards.

Honors and Accelerated classes:
How is access to GATE or accelerated classes impacted by the choice of hybrid vs online?
GATE/accelerated available in both models? SPMS does not have any GATE classes. We offer honors and accelerated classes in english and math. Students who meet the criteria to be in these classes can do so in both the Hybrid and the Distance Learning model.

What is a “Zero Period?”
Zero Period is a class before the regular start of school. This class is open to some students that do not have an elective so they can receive extra support. We offer zero period PE so that they can have an elective.

Band Class:
If my child is participating in 100% distance learning, will he still be able to participate in band?
Yes, all Team C students will be able to livestream in the current model during the same time/period as the other students in the band class.

Is advanced choir considered a club?
No. All levels of choir are a class and will be offered during the academic day. Choir class will be livestreamed.

How will PE be conducted? We will follow county safety guidelines. There will certainly be significant changes if/when we do come back due to the larger class size for PE.

Do the students need to wear masks all the time, during school time? Yes, all students and staff are required to wear masks.

Will eBooks available in addition to the physical textbooks? Yes, teachers will send home information regarding eBooks.

School Hours:
Is the school start time now 8:30 am?
Yes, the first class each day will begin at 8:30 am.

During a regular school day does each student get 6 period classes / day, but with distance learning the class
periods are broken into 2 days?
At the middle school we have a block schedule periods every day ex. 1,3,5 on Monday and periods 2,4,6 on Tuesday.

Parent Support:
What assistance, communication, and support do you plan to offer parents in our increased role as support educators?
The district technology integration coach along with teachers will be posting information and webinars to support parents. We will also utilize some of our PTA parent education time to discuss topics of interest/need.

Can I visit my counselor face-to-face?
All meetings will be held virtually during the 100% distance learning time. Once we return to campus information will be sent out regarding meetings.

What safety measures will be in place and how will classrooms be cleaned?
SPUSD has purchased extensive amounts of PPE equipment for every learning space on every campus, including but not limited to: face
coverings and shields; hand sanitizer; disinfectant; upgraded HVAC filters; and much more. Equipment will provide a standard level of care consistent with the health guidelines provided by the County Health Department. Our trained custodial team will be cleaning classrooms daily.

Will students be assigned lockers and are backpacks still not allowed in class?
Initially, students will not be
assigned a locker. Students will be able to bring their backpacks with them to class. More information will be sent out once safety guidelines are updated when it is safe to physically return to school.

During the nutrition break what protocols are in place to keep the students physically distanced when they are eating and will need to remove the face covering? Campus supervision will be assigned to staff to
monitor students and enforce the rules to the extent possible.

Can kids bring their own snack since there’s only a break of 20 minutes? Yes, students should bring their own snacks for the brunch break. More information will come from our food services department as to whether snacks will be available at school during the brunch break. Students can buy the “grab and go” lunch at the end of the school day.

Will grades be issued? Or is it pass/fail again?
Grades will be issued during 100% distance learning, the hybrid model, and the distance learning academy. Teachers will share grading information with students when
school begins and with parents at Back to School Night. Our teachers are experts in designing and delivering instruction. This includes assessing students’ knowledge via activities and projects. Teachers will assign
marks for completed work using an SPUSD report card.

Social Emotional Support:
What support will be in place for students struggling with mental health issues?
We are working on developing avenues for social-emotional learning and support systems for our students. The social emotional
needs of your students are an important part of our program. Counselors are establishing avenues for connecting with their students and are developing plans to provide ongoing support. Additionally, we will be
looking into ways to build SEL components into classrooms.

Data Confirmation
By Friday, July 31 at 12:00 p.m., you must review and verify the annual parent notifications and your child’s information through the AERIES parent portal. Go to my.spusd.net (click on Current Students-Parent Portal).
All returning and new families must complete the Student Data Confirmation Process, including your acknowledgement of viewing SPUSD’s required annual parent notifications, in order for your student to be
assigned classes. Parents must also choose, before July 31, between continuing in distance learning when schools physically reopen or continuing with in-person instruction (the hybrid model).

Can I change my mind regarding Distance Learning Academy and the Hybrid Model once I have submitted my
data confirmation?
Yes, please send an email to Ms. Busick at cbusick@spusd.net.

Changing Models
Can students request a change of models during the year?
Yes, however, we cannot guarantee that the students current schedule will transfer perfectly. There may be a change in teachers and academic periods
(schedules) to accommodate the switch. We will review the options with families before a switch is made. Please be patient, the process might take some time, we want everyone to be informed!

Is the selection for 1 year or only for fall? The selection is for the 2020-2021 school year.

Is it possible to request kids be in cohorts together? No, sorry we can not accommodate requests.

If a student in Cohort A/B becomes ill can they livestream so that they don’t miss classes? Yes.

100% Distance Learning:
While we are all 100% distance learning, are these two models essentially the same?
Is the only difference that, once we are back in person, the hybrid kids will be in person some of the time? Yes, the hybrid model will occur when we meet the correct metrics and we will be informed by the public health office that it is safe to physically return to school.

Hybrid Model-Cohort A & B:
Will the kids be moving around to different classrooms?
Yes, the students will move through their regular schedule of classes each day with safety guidelines put in place (per LA County) and monitored by staff.

If I choose the hybrid model, is there a head count ‘guesstimate’ per class? Classes will be at 50% capacity – 16 students.

For hybrid students, at school, how are they going to use the bathroom? Safety protocols are being developed and will be taught to the students so as to ensure social distance at all times during the school day.

Distance Learning Academy – Cohort C:
Can students in Cohort C participate in on campus activities such as sports teams?
When on-campus activities resume, students enrolled in the distance learning academy will not be able to participate in-person
for safety reasons, including sports. The safety concern and goal would be to limit interaction between the groups to stop the spread of COVID.