Hillcrest Community
Sat, Apr 11 8:18am

Dear Hillcrest Community,


I want to thank each of you for your amazing partnership as we transition to learning and teaching from home. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present our local community with endless challenges. Our loss of social contact while navigating economic and health uncertainties is unprecedented and unsettling. I recognize that this takes a toll on our collective well being, and I hope that we continue to hold our community with compassion and empathy.  A quote that was shared with me by a colleague sums up some of what I am feeling “You are not working from home. You are at home during a crisis, trying to work.”   Many of us are distracted by all that is happening and yet we have to move forward with our daily lives while managing these new constraints. It is with this in mind that I share some specific plans for distance learning.


I recognize and appreciate the teachers and specialists at Hillcrest who have been working since the very beginning to maintain connections with their students and to provide them opportunities to see their peers via Zoom, FlipGrid, google classroom and other technology platforms. Teachers continue to refine their teaching via technology, and are seeing its benefits while working through the challenges that have cropped up.  Although the staff has committed to providing consistency for our students please expect and know that our daily/weekly schedules might look different from teacher to teacher and grade to grade.  Our staff had varying degrees of experience with the technology we now are utilizing, and we thank you for your continued patience as we improve and implement online instruction.


This week we received concrete guidance from OUSD regarding distance learning.  The tables below should help you to understand the overall vision in our unified district which serves students with diverse needs and access. Included below you will find:

  • Goals for Students & Families
  • Phases of the OUSD Distance Learning Plan
  • Instructional Time Per Grade Level (on average, understanding that kids work at different paces) per the Tentative Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Oakland Educators’ Association (OEA). 


Teachers and Specialists will continue to share schedules through Konstella and google classroom. Teachers will guide you by suggesting a daily schedule of activities and assignments for your child(ren). Please remember that you know your child best. You know what you and they can handle in terms of working and learning at home. Please remember that your child’s physical and emotional health is most important. To that end,  do what is right for your family.  



  1. Setting the Context
  • Goals for Students and Families




A sense of belonging and connectedness by communicating with their teachers and peers

Support in making sense of local and global changes

Access to standards-based instruction through flexible opportunities to learn academic skills and content

Connection with school-based resources for learning, technology, nutrition, and wellness

Flexible activities to engage students in learning while at home--including opportunities for family members to engage in learning together

Learning options for families with different amounts of time and access to technology


  1. Phases of our Distance Learning Plan



Phase 1: Focus on Wellness

“Connect with Students, Families and Colleagues”

March 16 - March 26

Phase 2: Exploration

“Get Ready”

April 6 - April 10

Phase 3: Initial Implementation

“Try it out”

April 13 - April 24

Phase 4: Implementation

“Refine and Improve” 

April 27 - May 22

Phase 5: Reflection

“Reflect on learning and Implications” 

May 26 - May 29


Instructional Hours by Grade Level Per MOU - Effective April 13


This should be a combination of instruction (recorded teacher videos, live meetings with students, purposeful assigned time on an educational app) and independent or group work time



Hours of Academics

Required Per Day

Amount of Screen Time

Allowed Per Day (Combination of Zoom, Educational Apps, Online Videos)

Physical Activity

Required Per Day


2 hours

Up to 1 ½ hours

20 minutes


2 ½  hours 

Up to 2 hours 15 minutes

20 minutes


2 ½  hours 

Up to 2 hours 15 minutes

20 minutes


2 ½  hours 

Up to 2 hours 15 minutes

20 minutes


3 hours 15 minutes

Up to 2½ hours

20 minutes


3 hours 15 minutes

Up to 2½ hours

20 minutes


4 hours 

Up to 3½  hours

20 minutes

In closing, I hold on to this quote from Barbara Harrell Carson “Students learn what they care about, from people they care about and who, they know, care about them”.  As a community let us continue to care about our children, and in turn care about each other. 


In health,

Maria McCormick