Remote Learning Plan
To help inform our Emergency Remote Instruction Plan, the district will complete an annual Student Digital Resources data collection report to better understand the level of access students have to devices (e.g., laptop, Chromebook, cell phone) and the Internet. A Digital Access Survey will be placed online each year, and available in the SchoolTool Grade Portal. This data is then used to inform digital availability. The purpose of this survey is to ensure that, to the extent possible, students can access the Internet and receive remote instruction, if necessary, under emergency conditions. This survey will be conducted on an annual basis. Students and families may update their access information at any time by contacting the student’s school. It is our goal that this plan is aligned with the information provided by families in the Student Digital Resources data collection.
The district has also developed a plan for communicating all necessary information should a school or schools need to close. The district will use existing internal and external communications channels to notify staff, students, and families/caregivers about remote learning schedules with as much advance notice as possible. This communication will include information about how computing devices (e.g., computers, hot spots, etc.) are being disseminated to students and families who need them. The District will disseminate remote learning schedules via our website, social media outlets, and our SchoolMessenger service, which can be tailored to reach specific buildings/grade-levels.
The district will provide students and their families with multiple ways to contact schools and teachers during remote learning, including. Families will be communicated with via our School Messenger system, direct email, and will use print media/letters home via regular mail of digital access is unattainable. Communication via telephone will also be used.
A. Device, Internet and Platform Access
To support remote learning, the district will make computer devices available to all students and families who need them. As Schoharie is a 1:1 District, each student is given a Chromebook or IPad at the start of the school year to take to and from school. If the Chromebook/IPad was left in school, the District would use our Transportation Department to deliver these individual devices to each home. Any lost devices (if the tracking software was not successful) would be replaced.
To the extent possible, the district will also support students and families with accessing the Internet at home. Where that is not possible, the district will work with community partners to secure Wi-Fi access points for students and families so that they may participate in remote learning. The District will distribute MiFi devices for those homes without a reliable internet connection. The District also has the capability to set up free remote wireless access via our parking lots and satellite fields, should families need access and not have the ability to access at home or via another public WiFi entity (i.e.- the public library).
There will be those students in our community for whom remote learning through digital technology is not appropriate or possible. For these students, the district will assess each student’s individual needs and whether in-person learning is an option. Other methods that will be considered include instruction by phone and/or the delivery of hard-copy materials to the student’s home. While the District will utilize some common main software features (GoogleMeet, Schoology, GoogleClassroom, etc.), if individual phone conversations are required to enhance/reach instructional targets, such tools will be used at the discretion of the teacher.
The district will also take steps to ensure that school staff members have the necessary tools, i.e., computing devices and Internet access, to deliver emergency remote instruction from their place of residence. All teaching faculty are provided with a laptop to take to and from school. MiFi devices are also available for those faculty without appropriate internet access. To ensure high-quality remote learning experiences, the district has standardized the use of a single online learning platform (Schoology) to the extent possible, and developed a common, coordinated set of guidelines for teachers to follow when using the platform with students. A full-time Instructional Technology Director, as well as an IT Department of three will be available to assist students with technical support (both hard and software).
B. Teaching and Learning
Our district has developed an emergency remote instruction plan that would support all students. When a remote learning model is necessary, certain groups of students will be prioritized for in-person learning to the greatest extent possible, depending on the nature of the emergency. This includes, but is not limited to, special education students, English language learners, and students with technology or connectivity needs.
Acknowledging that the typical content in each grade level or course may need to be adjusted, content will be prioritized to ensure that students receive instruction for the prioritized learning standards, key understandings, and skills necessary for students’ success in future study.
Instruction will focus on “core” subject areas; however, elective courses will continue to be offered in a remote learning environment. All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.
Virtual learning schedules have been developed by grade level. If an emergency requires the district to move to virtual learning, these schedules will be shared with students and families in accordance with the communication strategies outlined earlier in this plan. Students will be given opportunities to engage with teachers and classmates through live instruction, question and answer periods with teachers and group work (i.e., synchronous learning). Teachers will ensure that their students are directly engaged with them and their class peers in experiential learning on a regular basis. Supplementing this time will be self-guided projects, readings and other age-appropriate assignments that can be completed by the students remotely (i.e., asynchronous learning).
In terms of the learning model that we have established, teachers will spend three hours of live time online with students at the elementary level, and five hours at the secondary level (grades 7-12). Special education and ENL services will be provided online in the same service increments as if the student were in school. In between live instruction, asynchronous assignments will be completed in between online sessions for both assessment and reinforcement purposes.
The district recognizes that there will be students for whom remote instruction via digital technology is not appropriate. In an emergency, as the district is assessing which students need devices or access to the Internet, the district will also assess which students may require additional support. Depending on the nature of the emergency, this may involve some level of in-person instruction for these students either at a school building within the district or at a community location, as appropriate. These decisions will be made in partnership with local health officials and emergency personnel, as applicable. Other instructional methods that will be considered include instruction by phone and/or the delivery of hard-copy materials to the student’s home.
All students will be expected to attend online instructional sessions, unless specifically tailored instruction is developed by the provider (i.e.- special education faculty). All faculty have been trained in the intricacies of using Schoology and Google Classroom, (the main online interfaces).
C. Support Services
Based on the learning model we have developed, students with disabilities and/or an Individualized Education Plans will continue to receive support services in accordance with their individualized education plans (IEP) should remote learning become necessary. It is the expectation that all service providers (e.g., teachers, paraprofessionals, related service providers) will sign-on to the remote learning platform to support students as needed. This will include large classroom settings in the remote learning environment, as well as the use of breakout rooms or one-on-one virtual meetings as necessary.
All special education and related services will be provided online, synchronously in the same frequencies as provided during in-person instruction.
The district will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with parents regarding the provision of special education services for their child. All instruction will be delivered in the child’s primary spoken language. If the services of a translator are needed, such will be provided at the District’s expense. The District is responsible for providing all technological resources and support for students. If students require assistive technology as per their IEP, such will be provided at the District’s expense.
D. Funding Requirements
The District would seek six hours of instruction per day for the purposes of State Aid Funding.