5-1-20 RUSD Family Letter - Update Regarding Grades


(Letters Attached in Spanish/Chinese/Korean)

May 1, 2020

Dear Rowland Families,
I hope this letter finds you and your family doing well and staying healthy. First, I want to commend you for all that you are doing during this challenging time. We know that many of you are balancing demands of work, taking care of family, and supporting the learning of your child or children. As a school district, we appreciate all that you are doing and want to reassure you that we are here to help and support you in any way we can. I wanted to share with you a few updates and continue to keep the lines of communication open.

General Information
As news outlets continue to share facts, figures, and a lot of speculation, you may have heard Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom made comments about the possibility of opening the 2020-2021 school year in July. This comment came as a surprise to everyone in California and has later been acknowledged as an idea and not a plan. At this time, our anticipated start date for the 2020-2021 school year has not changed and remains August 10, 2020. We are committed to keeping our staff and community updated about any changes or modifications to the upcoming
school year and will do so in a timely manner as information is available.

Through collaborating with teachers, administrators and parents, we have had numerous conversations to weigh and consider all options for reporting academic progress and report cards for the spring semester/trimester. As such we have taken this decision very seriously and taken multiple factors into careful consideration when determining next steps.

Elementary Third Trimester Report Card
Students received a letter grade reflecting academic progress on their progress report
issued on or near March 13. The 3rd Trimester Grade Report in June will have teacher comments that support and inform parents on progress of learning and will not have letter grades for the 3rd trimester.

Middle and High School Spring Report Card
For all of our students in grades 7-12, teachers and schools will implement a modified
letter grading policy which holds all students harmless. Being held harmless means that grades can improve, but not decline, from the time of dismissal on March 13, 2020. Therefore, the grade that was in place on March 13, the last school day prior to the student dismissal, cannot be lowered, but can be raised based on student participation and performance through June 4, 2020. Students are expected to continue to engage in learning, including meeting virtually with teachers and completing assignments. If you or your family has an extenuating circumstance that has created a challenge to complete coursework and meet with your teacher, creating a barrier to improving the final grade, it is imperative that you reach out to your school principal promptly. We are here to help and support all students and families and want to be able work through challenges you may be having at this time.

Graduation and Senior Activities
We are currently seeking input from our high school seniors regarding ideas and alternatives in the event that planned graduation and other events are unable to take place. Once we have heard from our students, we will update the Class of 2020 on plans, as we best know them at the time. Thank you for understanding graduation plans are fluid and contingent upon many unknown factors. We will continue to keep you apprised of any updates regarding graduation ceremonies, with our focus on wanting to honor and celebrate our graduating seniors.

Lastly, please make sure that you are giving yourself the care that you need and know that we are here to help you in any way we can. When you are stressed and trying to figure out how to balance it all within your role as home educator, keep in mind:
 Care, Compassion and Connection before Content
 Health before Homework
 Family before Frustration
We know that school and learning are important - innovative learning is our passion. We also know that compassion, health and family are undeniably important and in times of challenge, they will carry you through.

With Gratitude,
Julie Mitchell, Ed.D.