What will the blended-learning model look like?
This week the district leadership team met all day Tuesday and half of Thursday to incorporate the questions and feedback into the next iteration of our reopening plan. We also studied the new CDE and CDC guidelines and began to shape what the blended/hybrid learning model would look like. Here are the details of our blended/hybrid model of instruction:
*While we were making decisions on the model, a friend and colleague who serves as the Superintendent in a school district in Washington shared the model she and her team developed with a group of us who call ourselves “Sister Supts.” It just so happens that their model looked quite a bit like what we had come up with, with one very helpful exception…… They developed a webpage that outlined for families what an in-person day would look like for a student at the elementary level and what it would look like for a student at the secondary level. Then they also outlined what a digital day would look like for each group as well. It is clear, concise, and well organized. Our team liked it so much, we decided to model our webpage after theirs. So as each school team develops their plan, we will build out our bullets under the headings. Here is their page to give you an idea of what our site will look like as soon as we get school team’s info: https://www.highlineschools.org/coronavirus/fall-2020/hybrid-learning
If a family chooses the platform of the 100% online learning model provided through the District, ‘CDLS’, is this a full year commitment or can students return to In-person learning at any time?
If a student chooses the online learning platform provided by ASD, due to the design of the class schedule and curriculum that is built in semesters, that student would commit to a full semester of On-line learning. If a student chooses to return to In-person learning with ASD full time, they may choose to do so at the end of the semester.
Registration for the Colorado Developed Learning Systems (CDLS) platform starts Aug. 10. These classes typically start a week before the District’s start date, therefore ASD’s Online students will need to get registered and be prepared to start their coursework a week ahead of our districts schedule. We have sent out a survey to families on 7/31/2020 to determine family choices of full-time online or in-person with the district in either blended/hybrid learning or full time in-person learning, whichever the district determines is appropriate at the time. The link to our survey can be found on our website at www.mypagosaschools.com
How will students whose families choose the online learning platform be served.
For students who choose the 100% online program they will still be registered as ASD students. ASD will continue to provide technology, but the curriculum will come through Colorado Digital Learning Solutions (CDLS).
Last year my student had different platforms. One used one platform for learning and one used another. Will there be a consistent platform used for all schools?
The district recognizes a need to provide a full-service learning platform for teachers, students and families. We have engaged a focus group of teachers to discuss the potential systems and tools that are needed if/when we need to serve our students through online and/or blended/hybrid learning. In the spring, we did not have the kind of Learning Management System that provides a full, robust learning experience, regardless of whether students are in person or learning digitally. Along with many other districts throughout the nation, we had to change our delivery model of instruction with very little opportunity to build the kind of digital experience that they will get as a result of us working with the LMS called Schoology. Schoology is being used by approximately 70% of teachers and students in Colorado, not to mention thousands of teachers and students nationally. While it is a new system that our teachers will be learning, it will provide our families with a consistent system and “place” to go to see your child’s learning, assignments, progress and grades.
How will we let the District know that we want to choose online schooling for my child.
If a family wishes to register for the online program, families will need to contact the District to let them know and to help facilitate the registration process.
Can parents select to have their child in a hybrid-learning schedule ?
No. The District will determine when appropriate to go between a blended/hybrid model of in person and digital-learning or the full-time in-person learning model.
The District will continue to look through the lens of safety to make decisions based on the ability to clean appropriately, and how to structure our classes with the right amount of space in-between students. The District will follow the mandates and guidelines from our local health officials and from CDE as we make decisions to move between the blended learning models or the In-person model.
If we do a hybrid model how will you accommodate for families that have multiple kids in school?
We will work to ensure that children in the same family will come to school in-person on the same days.
Will grading be handled as it was the fourth quarter of last school year
Last spring we were forced into a situation where we had to be reactive in order to protect the health and safety of our students and our staff. All schools were unprepared to serve families differently, but our teachers worked incredibly hard; their learning curve was steep and they did a good job adjusting and checking in on kids and families as well as providing learning opportunities for children.
We realize that when schooling has to be full-time remote or part time remote, teachers will need adequate time to develop grading systems that are fair and equitable to kids.
Going into this 2020-21 school year, we have the time and the experience to be proactive to develop systems that will serve our kids and families well. This includes grades.
Does the school close when there is a confirmed case?
Over the last two weeks, school districts in Colorado have received clear detailed guidance from CDE regarding grouping students in cohorts and limiting the number of interactions students have in a school day: including passing time in halls, where students eat lunch, recess, etc.
If we can limit the number of people a student interacts with in a day it lessens the likelihood of having to shut down the entire school when there is a confirmed case. Our local health authority will work with the school district to use contact tracing and examine the cohorts that a student or staff member comes into contact with, so that only those who had prolonged exposure to that individual will likely have to be out of school for the 10-14 days as recommended by CDE guidance.
In the case of a student or staff member with a confirmed case of COVID-19, the district will work with the San Juan Basin Public Health Department to determine appropriate action. Current guidance from SJBH and the Colorado Department of Education is to isolate the student until they can be picked up by a parent, then the parent will be provided information from San Juan Basin Health. Additional action could include:
In the case of a prolonged closure, the classroom, grade level or entire school may switch to remote learning. There may be times during the school year that conditions require all In-person learning to switch to full remote learning.
Can students who homeschool still participate in Shared Schooling classes at ASD?
Yes. As long as students are not enrolled in another school where they interact with another cohort group, they can elect to take shared school classes in addition to their homeschool education.
According to the Center for Disease Control and the American academy of Pediatrics, wearing a non-medical face mask helps minimize the spread of the virus. As of July 17th, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) on Thursday issued an executive order requiring residents to wear face masks in public indoor settings as the state experiences a sustained increase in coronavirus cases. The order requires people age 10 or older to wear a face covering in public indoor spaces when they're not able to practice social distancing. ASD will adhere to the mandates of the Governor's office.
Children under age 10 will not be required to wear face masks, but we will strongly recommend face coverings to be worn by staff and students when social distancing of 3-6 feet is not possible.
We will work with individual students to address any difficulties or medical issues with adhering to these expectations.
If a blended-learning plan is activated, the instruction will be a mixture of synchronous (students learning online together at the same time) and asynchronous.
The blended-learning plan will allow the classroom teacher to directly, and indirectly, engage with every student throughout the week and the expectations for student participation and engagement will be clearly defined. Unlike last Spring, attendance will be taken and student work will be graded when the district switches to the blended-learning model. We also recognize a need to build a stronger, more robust online learning environment if students are to use it for a significant amount of time. We will collaborate with staff K-12 to ensure we are prepared in the fall.
District leaders are working with schools to research platforms and Learning Management Systems to use in addition to our current use of Google Suite tools. Families will receive more information about online learning platforms in the weeks to come.
Yes. The district will be sending out an additional survey by the end of July. The survey will also be placed on our District website homepage as well as on our Archuleta School District Facebook page.
The district values input and feedback from our staff, students and families. We will continue to conduct surveys and provide updated information as we Safely Open Archuleta Schools Together.
Who will teach online lessons in the various ASD learning models (100% Online learning model vs. In-person learning model)?
For students who select the district's 100% online learning model, lessons will be delivered through the Colorado Digital Learning Solutions Program (CDLS), which will be facilitated and managed through Archuleta School District.
For students who select the In-person model, students will receive instruction in school. If a classroom, grade level, or the entire school closes for a prolonged period of time due to COVID-19, teachers will switch to remote learning and students will receive online instruction from their ASD teachers.
For families that choose the On-line model and elect to keep their students out of school/opt out of In-person instruction, are those students still part of ASD?
Yes. If they choose the online option through the district, they will still be considered ASD students and ASD will provide support.
How and when will the schools health screen students?
CDE has new guidance that the schools partner with families to facilitate the health screenings of students before arriving at school. ASD is currently working to provide tools and structures where students can be screened at home before leaving for school.
The district is researching an App to allow parents to input daily health screening results of students before they come to school. The district is working to make this process as least burdensome as possible for families; while still ensuring the health and wellness of our students and staff.
What are the plans for providing PPE to students and staff?
The district will be providing ASD face masks for all staff and students. The district will also be providing additional hand sanitizer and hand washing stations. Students will be encouraged to, and given adequate time to, wash their hands with soap and water (and/or use hand sanitizer) frequently throughout the day.
We also recognize, and have had conversations around, the need for some staff to have transparent face shields during specific instruction times that would enable students to be able to see their mouths.
Staff will be provided with PPE appropriate to their roles.
What is the current status of Athletics?
The district athletic director has met with the superintendent and coaches to share the current CHSAA guidelines and to discuss how the current health orders apply to athletic practices, etc. All of our coaches have been operating within current health orders as well as following all of the current CHSAA guidelines.
Why are masks required on buses but not in buildings?
As part of the on-going discussion around transportation, we realized that If students were to not wear masks on the buses, the district would then only be able to transport 10 students max per bus (per health and state guidelines), which would not be logistically or economically feasible.
Therefore, masks will be required on buses.
Currently, the most recent state mandate from our Governor requires that all persons over the age of 10 must wear a face covering while inside buildings. ASD will continue to follow the guidance and mandates from the State and from our local health authorities.
What if a District staff member has a health condition, or has a family member with health conditions, that would impact their ability to be exposed to others or would make them considered at high risk of contracting COVID-19. Are there alternative roles and responsibilities that are being considered for these staff members?
This safety of well being of all of our staff, students and the community, is an on-going conversation in our district and the leadership recognizes that we will have a population of our staff that have health concerns and/or may be considered high risk. The goal of the district is to protect the safety and well being of all of our staff, students, and our community. As we come up with creative solutions to help our staff who can not be exposed to others, we will continue to explore these solutions and will continue to communicate the solutions as we learn more. Staff are encouraged to talk to their supervisor if they feel they are in the high risk category and can not be exposed to others in the era of COVID.