Distance Learning Classes
We understand that this has been a very challenging time for you, your family and our entire community. Things are constantly changing and with new guidance from the state we are preparing for another shift.
- Prepare for the possibility schools will close for the rest of the year
- Teachers and advisors are contacting each student to assess tech needs and for wellness checks
- Distance learning classes for all students starts Monday, April 13
- A final set of optional learning packets will be available next week (April 6-10)
- Free meals for all students will continue
When the closure began, we were advised to focus our learning resources on optional review and supplementation. Unfortunately, we’re now being told to prepare for the possibility that on-site schooling might not resume until next fall.
If we assume schools are not able to reopen until September, our students will need more robust learning opportunities. Our high school students, in particular, need to continue earning credits toward graduation requirements. As a result, I am very pleased to share with you that we are transitioning from optional supplemental learning to true distance learning classes for all students starting Monday, April 13. A new set of our optional learning materials will still be offered next week.
In the coming days, teachers and advisors will be reaching out to you to assess your needs for technology and/or paper resources to make sure your child can engage in learning. If you see a call from a “blocked number”, it is most likely your child’s teacher or advisor calling from home. If you have multiple children in school, you will receive multiple calls as we want to ensure each child has access to this new learning model. We have more Chromebooks available and have a list of possible ways to get internet access if you don’t have it already.
Next week, you’ll receive more information about this transition and how you and your child will be able to access our education virtually through Google Classroom and Google Meet. During the first two weeks of our transition to distance learning (April 13th to April 24th), we will focus mainly on helping you and your child get connected and access and use our online learning tools. In the subsequent weeks, we will introduce more academic content as we become more accustomed to the new learning environment.
Based on attempts by other districts, we know that our distance learning program must be manageable and doable for students and staff. We are limiting the amount and variety of content with a strong emphasis on building relationships and supporting our students’ emotional well-being. In grades K-6, we will focus on reading, writing, and math and integrate science and social studies concepts. In grades 7-12, we will reduce the number of courses by combining similar or equivalent courses while making sure students still get the credits they need.
The curriculum across grades and content areas will be aligned and follow a common calendar. We have a common grading scale for distance learning during this closure. High school students will be held to a Proficient/No Credit basis for high school credit-bearing courses. This will not affect their GPA. Grade K-8 will use a “Progress” or “No Progress” standard.
For those with online access, students and teachers will sometimes interact in a virtual classroom with face-to-face meetings in small groups and whole class sessions through Google Meet. Parents and guardians are welcome to attend as guests and will need to assist younger students. Special education and remedial services, as well as virtual meetings with families, will also be offered through these means to the extent possible. For those without online access, learning materials for these courses will be provided in packet form and supplemented with phone support. These will continue to be available at our pick-up and mobile sites.
We understand you will have questions and we’ll be sharing more information as we approach April 13 and after we’re up and running. We’ll be launching a new distance learning web page as well. This is a whole new world for our students and staff. We appreciate your patience as we all learn together. I’m confident that what’s ahead will help us better serve your child during this crisis and continue to support them afterward.