Middle School Instructional Models

  • North Whidbey Middle School will begin this year in Phase 2, Distance Plus, with various options.  No earlier than the start of the second quarter in November and based on community conditions, we may move to Phase 3 and the Hybrid Rotation Model. We know the Distance or Hybrid models may not work for every family, so we are communicating the different educational opportunities for your child.

    TECHNOLOGY ACCESS 

    Students in all models will receive a district-issued Chromebook to use at home. Students will receive training on how to use them and access school resources. Upon request, we may assist families needing internet access through our local providers or wireless hotspots. 

    DISTANCE PLUS

    This is a vastly improved distance education model taught by our staff with our curriculum. This instructional model requires daily attendance, a set schedule, synchronous learning (online with the teacher, like Google Meet), and asynchronous learning (online at different times than the teacher). Students will be taught how to use Google Classroom for access to resources and to turn in assignments. Lessons, assignments, and activities will be posted there for students.  

    The “plus” means that some on-site services will be provided in very small groups for certain students receiving special education, English language learners, homeless students, students needing intervention services and other in-person instruction as necessary. The health requirements and safety precautions listed below in the Hybrid Rotation model apply to all on-site services through Distance Plus. 

    Using district curriculum and tools such as Google Classroom and Google Meet, we can smoothly transition to (and if necessary from) the Hybrid Rotation model as dictated by community health conditions. This option is an especially good fit for families that are not sure they want to stay with virtual learning for the entire year. 

    To more effectively engage with students and families, we will do the following: 

    • Increase consistency (class schedule, meetings, and feedback)
    • Require daily attendance
    • Have a more robust remote (online) learning model 
    • Increase school-to-home connections (counselors and staff will provide social-emotional support to students and their families)
    • Provide some in-person instruction to students with unique, critical-learning requirements such as our youngest students, students with disabilities, and English language learners. 

    HYBRID ROTATION (not yet available)

    Hybrid Graphic

    We hope to offer this option to middle school students by the second quarter, but that all depends on having low disease rates in our community. For those in Distance Plus, we will be asking families to let us know on the survey if they will want to transition to this model when it becomes available or remain in Distance Plus. Here are some details on this model so you can know what to expect. 

    With half the number of students at school, the Hybrid Rotation model creates much smaller class sizes (between 11 and 15 students). Students in a class will split into two groups, A and B. Group A would do in-person learning on Monday and Tuesday while Group B is participating in Distance Plus. On Thursday and Friday, Group A would be Distance Plus, while Group B would participate in on-site and in-person learning. All Hybrid students will do Distance Plus on Wednesdays. Student attendance (participation) on each Distance Plus day is required.

    On Wednesdays, additional on-site intervention groups, special education, and other in-person services for some students, especially those with an IEP, may occur. Wednesday will also allow teachers one day to keep their online resources updated, communicate with parents and students, provide individual or small group support as needed, and complete ongoing training in distance learning and technology integration. While classrooms and high touch will be sanitized on at least a daily basis, custodial staff will use Wednesday’s time to complete the deep cleaning of the building in all areas. 

    Students will be taught how to use Google Classroom for access to resources and to turn in assignments. Lessons, assignments, and activities will be posted there for absent students.  Each teacher’s Google Classroom website will remain up-to-date in the event the school is required, due to increased county infection rates or outbreaks, to move to the Distance Plus model.  

    Health & Safety in the HYBRID ROTATION

    OSPI and the Department of Health require extra precautions around safety and cleaning for in-person learning. Student desks will be six feet apart and staff and students will be required to wear face coverings throughout the school day. Daily health screenings and regular sanitizing will be done. Additional safety precautions around bussing and student pick-up and drop-off will be shared as we receive more guidance from the state and work with our local health officials. 

    For students’ safety, families who choose the hybrid model must support, implement, and follow all of the required safety measures. Families uncomfortable with the state’s safety requirements or uncomfortable with the chance there could be a positive case in their child’s classroom/school will want to choose one of our many alternatives listed below. 

    VIRTUAL ACADEMY

    The new Oak Harbor Virtual Academy (OHVA) serves students in grades K-12.  OHVA is a full-featured replacement for in-person instruction using a well-established and successful online learning environment. It does not align with our district curriculum but does meet all state and federal standards. OHVA is for families who do not intend to transition back to a hybrid or in-person model and prefer to stick with the Academy for at least a full semester (K-8). A permanent program in Oak Harbor Public Schools, families who select OHVA may continue in this program in subsequent school years as they wish. 

    This is a flexible online-only model with all asynchronous learning (online at different times than the teacher), a schedule you set as a family, and requiring additional parent support to be effective. Daily attendance is not taken, but student progress is monitored monthly, and weekly contact with a teacher via email, phone, or video is required. Parent support and involvement is key to student success in this program, especially for younger students.

    The OHVA program aligns with Washington State Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) rules. These ALE rules govern how students must perform in online courses. Students are required to show progress to remain in good standing. If a student fails to demonstrate progress or communicate for 20 days, a drop from the class or course will occur.

    More information and an FAQ about the Oak Harbor Virtual Academy are available.

    HOMECONNECTION

    HomeConnection provides families an opportunity to homeschool while receiving district support through our curriculum, enrichment classes, core classes (in grades 6-12), activities, advisors, and other resources to complement their home learning. Essentially, HomeConnection is a parent-partnership program that links families with Oak Harbor Public Schools’ services designed just for them. 

    To be eligible for HomeConnection, parents must ensure the following:

    •  Have a child enrolled in the school district
    • Demonstrate successful homeschooling (the last three months of the prior school year may count for families who treated that as homeschooling)
    • Work with a certificated teacher to develop a student learning plan for home instruction

    Oak Harbor Virtual Academy courses are also available through HomeConnection. 

    This solution allows for the flexibility of homeschooling while enjoying many school district resources, networking with other families, and giving their children opportunities to connect part-time with other children in an engaging family-friendly environment. Parent commitment and involvement are vital to student success in HomeConnection.

    SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES

    In each model, IEP case managers will work with families to design a program that meets the needs of students receiving special education services. A blend of in-person and distance learning programs can be used. On-site services can be provided for students on distance learning days, if necessary. Please contact your child’s school if you have questions about which model might best suit your child. After learning model selections are made, case managers will work with families to build their educational plans.