Frequently Asked Questions

Updated August 16, 2020

Students will participate in full online distance learning for the first half of the 2020-21 school year, beginning on Wednesday, August 19, 2020.

With full online distance learning, curriculum and instruction will be delivered in a 100% distance education format, which will utilize online instruction, online class meetings, online exams, and online submission of projects and assignments.

Below are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions we have received from our community. Additional information is available on our district Schools Reopening webpages.

When is the first day of school?
The 2020-21 school year begins Wednesday, August 19, 2020.

What hours will students attend school during distance learning?

TK & K: 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Grades 1-3: 8:30 a.m. - 2:10 p.m.
Grades 4-6: 8:30 a.m. - 2:20 p.m.

What are the required number of live instructional minutes?
Under SB 98, there must be daily live interaction with teachers and peers for purposes of instruction, progress monitoring, and maintaining school connectedness. The number of live minutes may vary per grade level.

SB 98 defines the daily required instructional minutes at each grade level:

  • 3 hours per day for Kindergarten
  • 3 hours, 50 minutes for grades 1-3
  • 4 hours for grades 4-12

Daily school schedules reflect the required instructional minutes.

For the duration of the content blocks, teachers will remain online and conduct instruction virtually including: whole group, small group, classwork, independent work, assignments, projects, assessments, and live interaction. Students may be asked to turn off video and/or audio capabilities during the learning block for short intervals, but teachers will remain online as they support small group instruction and to answer questions as needed" or something to that effect.

What if my child misses school due to illness or connectivity issues?
Teachers will provide lesson content to students who are unable to attend live instruction due to connectivity issues or excused absences.

What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning?
  • Synchronous Distance Learning: Live, real-time interaction, instruction, and check-ins between teachers and students through the use of a computer or communications technology.
  • Asynchronous Distance Learning: Recorded video or audio instruction in which the primary mode of communication between the student and certificated employee is online interaction, instructional television, video, telecourses, or other instruction that relies on a computer or communications technology and learning may be accessed by students at different times and a remote location.

Will students be on screen, all day?
Students will not be sitting in front of a screen during all instructional minutes.
A priority in designing the school schedules was to adhere to Senate Bill 98 while minimizing screen time as much as possible. Synchronous instruction will be live and interactive. Teachers will provide instruction, and students will collaborate. There will be time given for students to work independently and time for them to ask questions, and incorporate creativity and spontaneity into the day much as typically done during in-person instruction.

A priority in designing the school schedules was to minimize screen time as much as possible. For instance, during the school day, students may be writing, reading from textbooks, or working on a project with hands-on manipulatives.

How will elementary teachers divide their time?

The schedules displayed are examples of how the content blocks of time may be arranged by a teacher for each grade; however, the teacher has the flexibility to organize the content blocks and time for each content area covered. Therefore, more information will be provided by your child’s teacher regarding their classroom’s daily schedule.

When are observed school holidays and inservice days?
During distance learning we will observe regularly scheduled holidays and inservice days. The weekly school calendar is available on the front page of the school’s website at The district approved calendar for the year listing holidays and inservice days is available on our school website calendar page. School calendars can be automatically added to your personal calendar by selecting the iCal feed at the top of the monthly calendar on the calendar page.

Will there be Thursday minimum days?
There will not be minimum days during distance learning. However, on Wednesdays students will have a mix of morning class meetings, independent work and small group instruction.

Why are Wednesdays mostly independent learning days?
On Wednesdays, all district teachers will engage in ongoing professional development in order to continuously improve their delivery of online instruction through distance learning. Teachers will take attendance during the check in at the beginning of the day, and then will hold small group instruction for a brief period after that time. Then students will be assigned work to complete independently during the course of the day.

When will art and other enrichment activities be scheduled?
Enrichment and art classes will be incorporated into schools’ weekly schedules beginning after Labor Day.

Is the school’s front office open? What hours is the front office open?
Staff will be available in school offices beginning August 10. From August 10-18 office hours are 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Beginning August 19, office hours are 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.


What supplies does my child need at home the first day of school and throughout distance learning?
A: Teachers will be providing school supply lists and any other supplies needed.

When can students pick up school materials, supplies and technology devices?
Each school site will have their own distribution dates for school materials and technology devices. Please check your school’s website for more information.

What technology (devices and software) does my child need to be prepared for the first day of school?
Schools are required by Senate Bill (SB) 98 to ensure students and families have the devices and connectivity necessary to participate in distance learning. All students will be provided a Chromebook or iPad if they need one.

Silver Oak is loaning Chromebooks to students that do not have access to their own device at home. If you need a device for your child and you don't still have a loaned device from last year, please complete this form. Information on Chromebook pickup will be shared when details are finalized.

Evergreen School District will provide internet hot spots for students and families that do not have internet service. Email Principal Greenfield, if you need one.

What technology will teachers use with students during distance learning?
The district’s learning platform for all school sites will be Google Classroom for grades 4-8, Seesaw for TK-3, and Elevation for English Language Learners. Zoom will be the video conferencing platform for our schools.

What kinds of learning and technology help resources will be available to students and their families that I can direct them to?

  • Student ZoomDesk: Students will have the opportunity to call a homework help desk for support with school work.
  • Technology Support Desk: Students and families will have access to tech support. Evergreen School District will make efforts to offer tech support in Spanish and Vietnamese.

More information, including website and telephone number information will be available after Labor Day.

Will there be additional homework?
There will not be an increase in homework time. In fact, homework is expected to be less during Distance Learning, as much of the time students will be spending between synchronous and asynchronous learning, and independent work will meet the required amount of time for instruction.

Will students take tests?
Students will take exams and assessments to measure their learning. The approach to how these exams will be administered will be determined by the student’s teacher(s). Academic integrity policies will be followed.

What will the grading structure be for this school year?
The district is returning to a traditional grading model for grades 4-8, and primary grades will receive O,S,U, or N.

Will there be parent training on Google Classroom and Zoom?

Teachers will be orienting students and parents on using the classroom learning and communication platforms while going over other information at the beginning of the school year.

Will textbooks be provided for distance learning?
Both printed and online textbooks will be used. Check our website for how and when these materials will be distributed.

Will there be Back to School night?
Each principal is planning their school’s Back To School night approach in a virtual format, and more information will be sent via email and posted on the school’s website.


How can I keep up-to-date on distance learning and other important school information?
It is important to be registered on the PowerSchool Parent Portal. PowerSchool is the student information and communication system used by Evergreen School District. In elementary school, PowerSchool lets parents see their child's class schedule, see their child's report card, follow their attendance, and communicate with teachers. Parents can view PowerSchool information through a web browser at our ESD login page. Student information can also be accessed through a mobile phone app. Learn more about PowerSchool, how to login, register, and the PowerSchool mobile app.

How does the school communicate with parents?
For the most current information, Silver Oak’s website,, is updated frequently with news and events from our school, PTO, Evergreen School District, and community. A weekly parent eNewsletter is mailed to all parents from our principal on Fridays before noon. Throughout the week you may also receive emails with information that needs to be communicated before the Friday newsletter. After you enroll your child in Evergreen School District, you are automatically registered to receive district approved community programs and events PeachJar eflyers. Also follow our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.

How will my teacher communicate with parents?
Teachers will receive email addresses and phone numbers from the school when they receive their class lists. If you prefer that your child’s teacher(s) use a different phone number or email address to communicate with you, please provide this information to their teacher(s).

Who is Johanna Villareal and why do I receive emails from her?
All Evergreen School District communications come from Johanna Villareal, director of board and administrative services. In addition to email and a weekly newsletter, the district uses Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to communicate with Evergreen School District parents and our community. The district’s website is a good parent resource and has a special section dedicated to schools reopening.


If my child is sick or absent what do I do?

If your child is sick from school please email your teacher and Cassie Giannotta in the front office by 9 a.m. at or call the Silver Oak office at 408.223.4515 to report this absence. All illnesses are considered excused. Teachers will provide lesson content to students who are unable to attend live instruction due to connectivity issues or excused absences.

If you are planning to take your child out of school for a vacation please call the Silver Oak office at 408.223.4515 or email Cassie Giannotta at Please note that these types of absences are considered unexcused.

In accordance with SB 98 there are specific requirements for reporting attendance during distance learning. Student attendance is not optional. Schools must take students' attendance and participation under distance learning, or risk losing state funding. The district will work with students who miss more than 60% of their weekly participation rate on a re-engagement plan, including making home visits, if necessary.

Will there be a requirement that students be seen on Zoom at all times during the instructional minutes to assure they are not only there when attendance is taken, but for the duration of the class?
Yes, students should be online during designated teaching times.

Will lunch/meals be provided?

Lunch service is available, beginning, Wednesday August 19, 2020, at all school sites Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Read more about the Grab 'n Go program. To sign up for the school meal program, and to apply for the free and reduced school meal program, please visit the Child Nutritional Services webpage.

Will there be before and/or after school child care programs?
Evergreen School District is responsive to the need of providing childcare options for families as we prepare to begin the school year in distance learning. ESD is partnering with Champions and the YMCA to offer full day childcare programs.

  • Champions will be located at Cedar Grove Elementary School. Hours of operation are from 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Children ages 4 years 9 months to 12 years old are eligible to attend. Priority registration will be given to returning families. The weekly tuition cost is $250.
  • YMCA will be located at OB Whaley, Montgomery, and Katherine Smith. The need for transportation to these locations is being reviewed and details will be shared when/if finalized. Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. TK through 8th grade students are eligible to attend. The weekly tuition cost is $270. The current start date is August 19, the first day of school. An earlier start date of Monday, August 17 is being considered and will be announced if it takes effect.

Champions and YMCA staff have agreed to assist students with distance learning during the school day. If you are interested in registering your child in either of these programs, please send an email to

Silver Oak Elementary School

  • 5000 Farnsworth Drive
  • |
  • San Jose, CA 95138
  • |
  • Phone: 408-223-4515
  • |
  • Fax: 408-223-4540
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