The health and safety of our students, staff, and families has been and continues to be our number one priority. Following lengthy discussions and consultation with the St. Louis County Health Department, local pediatricians and epidemiologists, and the members of the Hancock Place School District Board of Education, a decision was made to begin the 2020-21 school year with 100% fully virtual (online) learning.
The district calendar has been changed to allow for an additional week of professional teacher training with students now arriving for their first day of school on August 31, 2020.
WHY VIRTUAL LEARNING?
By making the decision to begin the school year with fully virtual learning, we are prioritizing the health and safety of our students, staff, and families first and foremost. While school will look very different this fall, our mission remains the same: preparing and encouraging exceptional academic performance, lifelong learning, and responsible citizenship.
HOW LONG WILL VIRTUAL LEARNING LAST?
The district has not provided a specific end date for fully virtual learning. However, the Superintendent and other leaders will be consulting often with local health experts to determine if a return to face to face learning is feasible and advisable.
WHAT HAPPENS FROM HERE?
Please read this entire plan. In addition, each Principal has developed a detailed schedule for his or her school along with answers to many of the frequently asked questions. We will provide every opportunity to ask questions and get clarifications through published materials on our websites as well as live town hall meetings in the evenings ahead. Your child will receive a schedule with the specific times, daily expectations, grading parameters, and much more.
IS VIRTUAL LEARNING THE SAME AS HOME SCHOOLING?
Our fully online programming is NOT homeschooling. Homeschooling requires the the parent to provide the entire curriculum as well as all instruction. Our fully online program uses the Hancock Place School District, Board of Education approved curriculum, that is fully aligned to the Missouri Learning Standards and national standards where applicable. Your child’s teacher will provide instruction and support, and your child will remain enrolled in the Hancock Place School District.
Components of the Virtual School Day
While students will be learning from home, they will be required to check-in often with their teachers.
LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
The district will be using a new learning management system known as “Canvas.” Canvas is similar to Google Classroom but offers several new features that will enhance the virtual learning experience for both students and parents/guardians. Specific training modules will be provided for students and parents prior to the start of school and available as needed for review.
While the methods by which assignments are collected and tests are administered will look different, all forms of grading will return to normal for the 2020-21 school year. Your teacher will explain in detail the expectations for daily work, assignments, projects, homework, and tests. The Canvas Learning Management System will be used to communicate and share this information.
Recognizing that all families may not have internet access in their homes, and a fully online learning program requires internet connectivity, the Hancock Place School District has purchased and will be providing free mobile hotspots to any family with this need. Please contact Director of Technology, Mrs. Michelle Dirksen if you are in need of a mobile hotspot at (314) 544-1300, ext. 410.