I hope that all of you and your family members are doing well, staying healthy and trying to stay positive during these difficult times. We are about ready to embark on a distance learning journey of which few of us are familiar with. Our teachers and staff will be involved in Professional Development this week in order to be prepared to begin instruction for our students. Our model will offer a balanced approach to provide flexible learning options to respect the varied realities many families find themselves in. Please know, each level (District/school/classroom) is united in a common purpose of providing stability and hope for our students and families. For this week, March 30th - April 3rd, students are encouraged to continue to engage in supplemental activities of their choice from the district Distance Learning site: www.d11.org/distancelearning.
To fulfill our commitment to prioritize learning, we will begin our distance learning instruction beginning on April 7th and will continue through April 17th, however, D11 is making plans to the end of the school year just in case we need to continue distance learning beyond April 17th. As we prepare to launch our distance learning instruction, I want to pass along several pieces of information and answer some frequently asked questions about what lies ahead:
- Communication: Your individual classroom teachers will be in contact with you this week to touch base and confirm the best way of contact for you and your child and learning option.
- All Mondays: Mondays will be used for staff planning and refining practices to meet specific learning needs and their students/family’s requests. Students can use Mondays for finalizing any work from the previous week or taking time for themselves to prepare for the rest of the week.
- Tuesday-Friday: Mornings will be dedicated to learning blocks of time when learning sessions will be offered. Instructional time will be from 9:00 am - 11:30 am. This does not mean that students must be present or can only work within these learning sessions. All learning opportunities will be offered in a manner that can be accessed at any time (recordings/online posts etc.) as well as hard copy packets available, as necessary, for students and families. Afternoons will be dedicated time blocks for open “office hours” and or other ways for our teachers to connect with students. Office Hours will be from 12:30 - 3:00 pm.
- Our Instructional Design will focus on:
-- Equity: The District is committed to creating an equal learning experience for students without internet connectivity and special needs within our capacity.
-- Variety: All grades and subjects will offer learning opportunities to choose from. Teachers will focus on short, compact and intentional learning segments of self-directed learning through engaging materials and clear instructions.
-- Feedback: Teachers will provide students feedback on their work at strategic points throughout distance learning. All school sites will communicate staff “office hours” of availability by phone, email, and virtual classroom links.
-- Learning Time: There is no expectation that students work from 8:00 - 2:30 each day and there is no “right way”, simply the way that works best for each family.
-- Individualized Student Planning: Teachers and interventionists will collaborate on students learning, and will participate in relevant student meetings, to include IEP meetings.
--Grading: Knowing that not all students will have equal access to all learning opportunities, all evaluation will be given through timely feedback, reflection and suggestions for improvement based on what students are able to complete. All grades will be used to improve their current grade and will not be used to lower their current grades. This is to ensure students are not penalized for this unique situation which is out of their control. Teachers will share the specific grading practices with their students.
- For the first week or two, we will be rolling things out slowly, giving students, parents, and teachers time to get comfortable in the remote learning world. We will also offer virtual session for our parent/guardians to become familiar with our online platforms (Google Classroom and Schoology) with information coming soon.
- Students who are on IEPs or other learning plans will have those plans serviced by their case manager, special service provider, and their classroom teacher. Special service providers and case managers will plan alongside classroom teachers each Monday to design these services. Parents who have questions should email their child's case manager.
We are looking forward to working together to ensure success for your child. Please reach out to myself or David Morris, Assistant Principal, if you have questions, concerns, or feedback.
- Toni Schone, Principal: firstname.lastname@example.org
- David Morris, Assistant Principal: email@example.com