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SCHOLAR DEVICES AND INTERNET ACCESS

How is Aspire determining if a scholar is eligible for a school-issued device?

Each school site collected data from every family at their school. Families that indicated that they did not have a computer or laptop at home and scholars with IEPs and 504s were prioritized.

When will I receive information about picking up a device for my child(ren), if they need them?

Principals will communicate with their families the weeks of March 30 and April 6. Please continue to check messages on Parent Square for updates.

What is the process for picking up devices for my child(ren)? Do I need to sign a liability waiver, and if so, where and when?

You will hear from your principal no later than the week of April 6 about the process. Checking out a device will require a signature on a liability waiver stating that you will use the device only for educational purposes. The process for returning the device will be communicated by your principal before the end of the school year.

What if my child’s personal device stops working? Will I be able to pick up a school-issued device at a later point for my child?

Each campus will identify a campus contact for device support. Your principal will communicate that contact information prior to the commencement of this next phase of distance learning. In addition, there will be a link (coming soon) on this website where you can direct any general technology questions.

If a school-issued device isn’t working, how can my child get support?

Each campus will identify a campus contact for device support. Your principal will communicate that contact information prior to the commencement of this next phase of distance learning. In addition, there will be a link on this website (coming soon) where you can direct any general technology questions.

Is Aspire providing support for personal devices?

Aspire is unable to provide support for personal devices.

How can I set up WiFi in my home if I don’t yet have it?

For families without existing internet connectivity in their homes, Comcast is offering two free months of service through their Internet Essentials program. Contracts are $9.95 per month after the free trial period. Please visit www.internetessentials.com to learn more and sign up. 

Comcast/Xfinity is also providing free wifi access through hotspots. You can see those hotspot locations at www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser. For more internet options, visit our Internet Resources page.

How will Aspire ensure that my child’s data is kept private and secure?

Aspire Public Schools places the highest priority on keeping student information private and Safe.

Please click this link for detailed information on student data privacy at Aspire Public Schools. 

SCHOLAR RESPONSIBILITIES AND EXPECTATIONS

How will my child(ren) access materials every day? Where can they go online to access resources?

This will vary by teacher and site. In many cases we will be using Google Classroom. We will begin distance learning by giving students and families an overview of these tools and expectations.

What platforms (e.g. Zoom, Google Hangouts/Classrooms) will my child use to engage with teachers and peers?

This will vary by teacher and site. In many cases we will be using Google Classroom. We will begin distance learning by giving students and families an overview of these tools and expectations.

Will scholar materials be available on a daily or weekly basis? Will materials be available if my child(ren) wants to work ahead, or catch up if they fall behind?

At a minimum, materials will be available daily. Some schools may choose to share more content at once. Teachers will be checking in with students frequently to help keep students on track.

How much work is my high school scholar expected to complete each day, and in what subjects?

We are recommending that in high school, work ranges from 3.5 to 4.5 hours a day. All A-G courses have moved from letter grades (ABCDF) to pass/fail grades, which we will show on our transcripts as “PC” for credit (for a passing grade) and “NC” for no credit (for a failing grade).  Each A-G teacher will provide 45 minutes of instructional engagement.

How much work is my TK-8 scholar expected to complete each day, and in what subjects?

TK-5 will provide approximately three hours of required work, and grades 6-8 will provide approximately 3.5 hours of required work. Schools may also provide optional activities for students to continue engaging in elective content, such as music, art and physical education.

How will scholars turn in assignments?

This will vary by teacher and school site. You will receive more information from your school’s principal and your scholar’s teacher.

How will my child’s work be graded? Will they receive a report card at the end of the year?

Teachers will be monitoring students’ progress, but we are awaiting guidance from the State about how to handle grades at the end of the year. The Aspire perspective for “Grading” practices during Distance Learning will shift to “Progress Monitoring.”

I recognize the importance of my child’s continued learning, but I will be working all day and there is no one available to help guide them through their work. What do I do?

We honor that every family has multiple challenges that they are navigating during this time.  We have asked teachers to create materials that are accessible to scholars and support independent learning on a schedule that works for each scholar and their family. Teachers will also host office hours or schedule check ins to support scholars with this work.

Because I am working, my older child is responsible for the care of his/her younger siblings all day. He/she won’t be able to complete schoolwork. How will that impact his/her future?

We are mindful of this reality and expect that this is true in many families. As the length and time away from traditional school will have a national impact, we expect to receive further guidance from the state of California. We are committed to serving scholars and families in new ways as we all emerge from this pandemic.

TEACHER ACCESSIBILITY

How will my child(ren) interact with his or her teacher? Will they have access to other teachers?

Scholars will receive activities from teachers and families can create the schedule that works best for them, given their individual circumstances. Teachers will host office hours or set times where they are available to scholars. They will also have check-ins weekly.

My child is not available to interact with his/her teacher during office hours, but we need support. What do we do?

Your scholar should email your teacher.

HIGH SCHOOL-SPECIFIC INFORMATION

My child takes a community college course at an Aspire campus from an Aspire teacher How will these be handled?

Community college courses taught on your high school campus by an Aspire teacher will continue. Teachers will reach out to scholars about next steps for these courses.

My child takes a community college course from a community college professor, either on their high school campus or at the community college. How will these be handled? Will they still receive credit?

Community college courses taught by a community college professor, either at the community college or at your Aspire high school, will follow the rules of the community college, not Aspire. Scholars are expected to follow the community college rules and processes for these courses. Scholars should have already heard from your community college professors about next steps for these courses. If scholars have not heard from your community college professor, please let your academic/college counselor know.

Will my child take the ACT? If so, how should we sign up?

Per the ACT organization, the Aspire spring administration of the ACT has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled this spring; this is the case nationwide, and we do not have control over this decision. Juniors interested in registering for the June 13 ACT in your local area can register at this link: 

http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/registration.html

If you were already registered for the April 4 ACT exam in your local area, you should have already received an email from ACT with instructions to move your registration to June 13 at no charge. While the deadline to register is Friday, May 8, these June 13 ACT administrations will likely fill up very quickly due to the cancellation of the April 4 ACT. If your scholar is eligible for free- or reduced-lunch, you can reach out to your academic/college counselor for an ACT fee waiver.

While the UC system has announced that their admissions process for next year’s seniors will be “test optional” (that means you can submit ACT or SAT scores if you want to, but you don’t have to), the CSU system has not made a decision on this matter yet, and may not make that decision for some time. Therefore, we will continue with our ACT testing program as soon as we have the go-ahead from the national ACT organization. 

How will AP tests be administered?

The Advanced Placement (AP) exams will now be at-home, online exams of 45 minutes. The AP organization will release more information about these exams on Friday, April 3. If you signed up for an AP exam, the AP Coordinator at your site will reach out to you after Friday, April 3, to share the new information with you and to hear from you whether you want to continue with your exam(s) or not.

As of this moment, without specific dates, the AP organization has said that there will be an early test date for those students who are ready, and a later test date for students needing more time to prepare due to school closures. In the meantime, students are welcome read the full AP update and access AP resources (both at student discretion, optional) at the links below: 

How do I get a copy of a transcript to send out for a scholarship, summer program application, internship, or other purpose but NOT the final college transcript for a senior? (That is in the next section.)

The Aspire registrar can send these transcripts for you; you do not need to go through your academic/college counselor. To reach the registrar, please email askus@aspirepublicschools.org and provide the following information: 

  • scholar name
  • scholar current grade level 
  • scholar high school name (example: Ben Holt Academy) 
  • scholar date of birth
  • Number of transcripts needed
  • Institution to which the transcript(s) must be sent, including address, zip code, and phone number. 

Our registrar will email you back to confirm when the transcript(s) have been sent. Please do not use this email address for any other purposes. 

How do I apply for a work permit? 

Please reach out to your academic/college counselor for next steps. 

12TH-GRADE INFORMATION

Have the graduation requirements changed, and if so, how?

The University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU) minimum course requirements (the A-Gs) remain the same, so we will continue with those courses.However, the UCs and CSUs have shifted grading requirements from letter grades (ABCDF) to pass/fail. We will therefore give grades of “PC” for credit for a passing grade, and “NC” for no credit for a failing grade. These are the courses in your schedule that cover math, English, science, world language, history, visual and performing arts, and some electives. Your teachers will reach out to you about next steps for these courses.

The State of California high school graduation requirements also remain the same. These are covered by your UC/CSU minimum course requirements, plus US Government and Economics, which are not required by the UC and CSU systems. Therefore, US Government and Economics will continue; similar to above, we will shift from letter grades (ABCDF) to pass/fail grades of “PC” and “NC.” Your teachers will reach out to you about next steps for these courses.

Alliant courses, which sometimes overlap with the UC/CSU core course requirements, will also continue with letter grades (ABCDF) until further notice. If Alliant also switches to pass/fail grading, we will shift to “PC” and “NC” as above. While the Alliant semester was scheduled to end on Friday, May 1, this will likely get extended by 1-2 weeks to make up for lost instructional time. Your Alliant teachers will reach out to you about next steps for these courses.

Will we still have a graduation? Prom? Other end-of-year events?

We hope to offer a graduation in every ASPIRE high school in the month of July, pending clearance on social distancing. As of now due to school closures, we are canceling prom during the academic school year.

Will we still hold Exhibitions?

Across all grades 9-12, Exhibitions will not be a graduation requirement for scholars in the year 19-20 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and our transition to a Distance Learning model. If your Aspire school site has already completed Exhibitions for this year or wishes to continue, scholars will get a grade of “Pass” if passed and “Waived” if not passed. If your school site chooses to not hold Exhibitions, scholars will get a grade of “Waived.” This also applies to PSSPs, Post-Secondary Success Plans, currently required for seniors, which in most cases are your senior Exhibitions.

What about transcripts for seniors?

These are handled in two different ways, depending on the purpose. If it is your final high school transcript to send to a  post-secondary institution (2-year college, 4-year college, trade/training program, the military, etc.), please be patient. These get sent after the school year is over, and your academic/college counselor will help you with that process. 

If this is a transcript that you need now for another purpose, like a scholarship or internship application, the Aspire registrar can send these transcripts for you; you do not need to go through your academic/college counselor. To reach the registrar, please email askus@aspirepublicschools.org and provide the following information: 

  • scholar name
  • scholar current grade level 
  • scholar high school name (example: Ben Holt Academy) 
  • scholar date of birth
  • Number of transcripts needed
  • Institution to which the transcript(s) must be sent, including address, zip code, and phone number. 

Our registrar will email you back to confirm when the transcript(s) have been sent. Please do not use this email address for any other purposes.

SCHOLARS WITH 504s

My child has a 504 plan. How will we take these plans into account in a distance learning model?

School site 504 coordinators will evaluate each scholar’s 504 plan to determine which accommodations are reasonable and relevant given the change in delivery model for learning.  Once this evaluation has taken place, the 504 coordinator will communicate the new temporary plan with parents/guardians and will share this information with your scholar’s teacher so they can support your scholar as well. You should expect this evaluation and communication within the first week of resuming instruction.

SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES

My child has an IEP. How will we take these plans into account in a distance learning model?

Case managers are in the process of contacting parents and guardians to complete IEP addendums to set up distance learning. To the extent possible, IEP services will continue with some modifications. Please contact the case manager for specific IEP information as it pertains to your scholar.

How will classroom teachers account for the needs of my child with IEP?

General Education teachers will continue to provide differentiated instruction and accommodations in accordance with IEPs. Additionally, Education Specialists will continue to co-plan and, in some instances, co-teach alongside the General Education teachers. GE teachers will continue to participate in annual IEP meetings, where accommodation/modification needs will be determined.

My child has a severe disability and needs in-person, at-home support. Is this possible?

Due to the Governor’s orders for a shelter in place for the state of California, Aspire will not be providing any in-person services to scholars. The safety of our staff, scholars and families is of utmost importance to Aspire. Compensatory services will be provided to scholars that require in-person support. Following school closures, we ask that parents and guardians work in collaboration with IEP teams to determine which IEP services may need compensatory services.