FAQs (2022)

Q: Where can I find the out when and where to bring my child at the start of the school day and pick them up at the end?
A: Visit the Bell Schedule document, it has the times listed as well as a map showing drop-off and pick-up locations.

Questions from Start of School Information Session with the Principal: 8.10.2022

  1. Is there a place on campus to hang out between Kinder and older kid pick-up times?
    Unfortunately no. There is no place to put folks in addition to our continuing with having a closed campus. There is a park around the corner for good weather days.
  2. Has the slack been announced for new parents?
    Link on the website and will be in the weekly eNews…And here
  3. When do we find out/know our student’s classroom assignment?
    1st-6th: 4pm Monday, the day before school starts
    TK/K: 11:15am Monday, shortly before the teacher meet and greet.
  4. Is it standard for there to be only 2 teachers for 4th grade?
    No, the standard is 1 teacher. Harding has a middle school stepping stone model: 1 teacher for ELA/History and 1 for Math/Science. Students switch classrooms midday.
    What is the class size? 30 for 4th-6th and 22 for TK-3rd.
  5. How can parents get involved in the classroom?
    Classroom volunteers are by teacher invitation. Be sure to always read the teacher communications for further information.
  6. If we have a volunteer badge from last year does it work this year? Or do we have to be screened again?
    Yes, it will work for the full time you are at Harding (and possibly for your full time with WCCUSD though I am not 100% sure of that part–just what I have heard). Checking the WCCUSD website and not seeing that info there. https://www.wccusd.net/domain/93 Volunteer Services Community Engagement Office Phone: (510) 307-4526 –Amy-lynn. I think they are good for your entire WCCUSD run -Liana Thanks!!-JN. More info on volunteering and the badging process at hardingpta.org. You are all correct, badge works through 12th grade.
  7. For Play Works, will they use Jr. coaches from older classrooms?
    Yes, probably just 5th and 6th.
  8. Last year we saw an increase of kids being overly physical with each other and hurting each other. Are there any new protocols in place to try and help this year? (I know a product of the pandemic)
    This is one of the reasons we are implementing PLAYWORKS. Unstructured time at recess is the most difficult and the kids need lots more practice.
  9. Will there be free school lunches again this year? +3 And is there any way to make sure the district posts the schedule before the beginning of the month?
    – Confirmed yes, and still fill out the forms, even if you meet or don’t meet income guidelines
    – Lunch times are listed on the bell schedule at the top of this page
  10. Where do kinder kids eat lunch? In the classroom or lunch room?
    Outside at the lunch tables outside the MPR (Multi Purpose Room). –Amy-lynn What about when it rains or smoke? Inside, probably multipurpose room.
  11. Does parent square replace remind?
    Yes –Amy-lynn
    The city of El Cerrito (aftercare) is sticking with Remind for now – Kathleen M.
  12. Can you talk about bathroom policy? Are kindergarten kids supervised? Is the bathroom in the classroom?
    TK (Transitional Kindergarders) and Kindergarders without a bathroom in the classroom are supervised. They go as a class to start, the TK assists with this, when they are comfortable and responsible, they use the buddy system.
  13. Who is the contact for sending things out through Peach Jar? E.g., flyers from clubs and such so we can send them out
    Send to Nancy Razo, must be a PDF, she’s trained to send it out.
  14. What is Powerschool?
    PowerSchool is a system set up by the District where you can sign in as a parent to your kid’s information. It has all your contact and emergency contact info, immunization records etc. You will get log in info based on your child’s School ID # the first week of school to set up your info there. -Amy-lynn
  15. Last year my child had many dates marked incorrectly in Powerschool. Absences marked incorrectly. If this happens, how should we correct it?
    Can only be corrected within a 5 day period from the absence, so needs communication ASAP—5 days truant, letters will go out, spots may be filled by children waiting for spots in the district.
    Plan vacations around school calendar
    Affects social-emotional development and community building
  1. Our kids say that they don’t have enough time to eat lunch. How long is the lunch period and do they have enough time for play and eating?
    State law mandates a minimum of 20 minutes to eat. This is generally plenty of time if the child is not playing or socializing too much although we want lunch to be a social time. Parent helpers can help with this, especially for the younger kids—I encourage regular recess/lunch volunteers out on the yard. Enrollment, almost 500, and staffing necessitate back to back recess and lunch periods for two grade levels at a time so there is no time in the day to make the lunch period longer.
  2. If there are free lunches, how do we get information about food allergies pertaining to food served on campus?
    Menus on the site here, info on allergies: https://www.schoolnutritionandfitness.com/index.php?sid=1481576684998 Need more info than just what is being served. Is there a person or number to call for food served at Harding?
    Contact the district nutrition center for more information if what is identified on the menu is not enough.
  3. So if kids show up first day without a packed lunch, they will be fed at Harding?
    Do they need to bring snack? Or does Harding provide?
    We do not provide snack but “Second Chance Breakfast” is available at morning recess for all students.
  4. Will the upper grades be assessed with grades this year? Or narrative evaluations?
    It will be a new report card that keeps the narratives but adds a numerical mark, 1-4, I believe but I have not seen it yet.
  5. Kinder kids eat outside as stated above but where do they eat if it’s raining or smoke?
    See #10
  6. What is the protocol for heavy smoke days?
    The District has a few smoke days set aside. If we need them, the school will use them. If not, those will be days off. It’s noted on the District’s calendar, I saw October 10, March 31 and May 26 as “Reserved Days” for smoke or whatever else comes about. . Link here, click on 2022-23 school year and it will be a PDF. https://www.wccusd.net/Page/2#calendar16286/20220810/month/calendar1459/20220810/month –Amy-lynn
  7. What is peach jar?
    It’s an email based flyer system–you’ll get flyers sent to you that used to go out via a weekly folder sent home with all kids. Those now go out by email, no more paper flyers. –Amy-lynn
  8. Is the city aftercare also using ParentSquare too? Or will the city still use Remind?
    Eden O’brien has told Ellen B that the CIty is sticking with Remind.
  9. Did I understand correctly that Covid tests will happen at schools for the first two weeks of school and then are by appointment at 2 district locations?
    This is what I have so far in terms of info: COVID Protocols
  10. Absences: are you saying if kids miss the first weeks of school they are dropped from the school? Or in general missing 2 weeks in a row over the school year? Or total 2 weeks throughout the year of missed school? Appreciate the clarity on this statement.
    It seems impractical to expect kids won’t need to occasionally miss school for various family obligations (comment not question!)
    If an absence goes beyond 2 weeks it is likely that the student may be dropped. Students are required to attend school by law by 1st grade. Lengthy absences are disruptive for the student and the class and add extra work to the teachers workload. We also now regularly have students on waitlists for open spots and the district loses money for everyday students are not at school. Absent students have a big impact on district budgets.
  11. Are COVID absences excused from the attendance count?
    Haven’t heard about if they’re excused yet.
  12. Say more about the academic challenge last year mentioned.
    Students struggled greatly with social skill deficits, we managed a wider variety and number of behaviors than ever, attendance dropped significantly due to illness, quarantine, reticence to sending kids to school when COVID rates were spiking, and families scheduling vacations and taking long weekends on school days to make up for missed travel during the shelter in place. When kids are not in school they are missing instruction. It was also very hard to focus on instruction for all of us in a pandemic.
  13. I’m not following when you would test through district versus when you’re supposed to use rapid tests. When do we need to rapid test kids after the first day?
    When your child shows ANY symptoms of illness, has had an exposure, participated in a risky (lots of people event)…basically all the recommended pandemic practices need to be maintained. Last year after spring break when masking became voluntary and lots of folks relaxed is when our cases exploded and remained high through the end of the year. Schools have lots of people together for most of the day – we need to be vigilant in monitoring our health and potential for spreading viruses and do all we can to keep ourselves and others healthy. Masking, social distancing, and hand washing are helpful practices in addition to getting vaccinated and boosted, and isolating when testing positive.
  14. Do the teachers need new filters for those purifiers for the year?
    Teachers will be surveyed!
  15. How are food allergies handled in general (I know each child have different levels and are handled as such)
    Report all medical issues asap with Nancy or Linda in the office. Depending on what the need is, this starts the process for making sure students are getting what they need. For example, there are specific nut free tables in the lunch table areas. Is also listed on the district menu. –Amy-lynn
  16. Do you call for the medical form?
    Come in or call the office and ask how they hold the forms…usually hard copy that needs a pick up.. Ask Nancy Razo. Nancy.razo@wccusd.net (Btw, she’s been great with our kids for medications.) or Linda Hom, linda.hom@wccusd.net
  17. If our child is sick, who do we notify?
    Call the office and notify them, or send a quick email. (Notifying the teacher is great but to assure correct attendance records, always notify the office…they will notify the teacher.) Office Staff: linda.hom@wccusd.net, clerk and nancy.razo@wccusd.net, secretary.
  18. If we are new families, how do we register with LSA (?) for the on site Covid testing?
    Register for testing at Harding