NSBORO-CONNECT 2.0

The Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough
Ten Schools, Three Districts, One Community of Learners.

Welcome to NSBORO-CONNECT 2.0. Given that the closure of schools has been extended through May 4, 2020, the District has developed guidelines for NSBORO-CONNECT 2.0, which will provide students with new content and required assignments. NSBORO-CONNECT 2.0 will begin on Monday, April 6th. Please review the following District Overview information, as it is applicable to all grades, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. High school, middle school, and elementary school specific information can be located by clicking on the links in the upper right of the webpage.

Questions included below:

What are the guiding principles of NSBORO-CONNECT 2.0?
What are the goals of NSBORO-CONNECT 2.0?
What is the District’s definition of remote learning?
What is the availability of The Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough faculty and staff (PreK-12)?
W
hy is there a Master Schedule?
What does the Master Schedule look like?
What are real-time connections?
What are office hours?
What does English Language Education look like for English Learners?
What do Individualized Educational Program (IEP)/504 supports (PreK-12) look like and how will my child receive the support that they require?
Will IEP/504 Team meetings be held?
Will my child participate in Standardized Testing (PreK-12)?
Will attendance (PreK-12) be taken daily?
Will there be a change to the 2019-2020 School Calendar?

What are the guiding principles of NSBORO-CONNECT 2.0?

  • We recognize that our families, students, and faculty are functioning under unprecedented circumstances. The priorities of each family may be different based on their current situation. As such, we want to provide a flexible learning environment that can accommodate each family's needs. We will work closely with families who need modifications to NSBORO-CONNECT 2.0.

  • During this school closure, the safety and well-being of our students, their families, and our staff is our highest priority. We are focused not only on physical health, safety, and nutrition but also on social-emotional and mental health needs, which could intensify during this time. Providing academic routines to this work is a part of the equation, but not the entire equation.

  • Maintaining connections between faculty, staff, students, and families is paramount. These connections will provide natural conduits to guide districts and schools in addressing students’ specific needs.

  • As we navigate these uncharted waters, we recognize that a level of sensitivity and patience is needed. Our greatest strength is our strong community and the way in which we connect and support one another. Educators and families will continue to work together on behalf of our students.

What are the goals of NSBORO-CONNECT 2.0?

  • Engage students in meaningful learning activities that prioritize the development of key concepts and skills.

  • Provide connections between students, families, and staff members that will support social-emotional health and well-being.

What is the District’s definition of remote learning?

Remote learning can take place in a multitude of ways, including helping students engage with resources in their everyday lives and in the natural world around them. Remote learning also provides unique opportunities to further engage students in the arts, physical activity, and or interdisciplinary work. Finally, the District is conscious of the effects of increased screen time and seeks balance between learning through technology and remote learning that happens offline to support students’ curiosity and understanding. Remote learning is not synonymous with online learning.

What is the availability of The Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough faculty and staff (PreK-12)?

To the extent possible, all professionals are available to support students, staff, and families. This includes, but is not limited to, teachers, school counselors, nurses, social workers, librarians, and mental health professionals. There remains a structured school day in place for staff that includes opportunities for real-time communication with students. Email communication expectations remain consistent.

We have developed schedules for NSBORO-CONNECT 2.0 in order to:

  • Provide defined opportunities to connect with educators multiple times per week.

  • Give students access to daily academic content directed by educators.

  • Include additional daily time for enrichment activities such as the arts (dance, media arts, music, theater, visual arts and physical education).

  • Minimize the potential for conflict of family resources and time (e.g. wifi, devices, parental support).

Why is there a Master Schedule?

The Master Schedule acknowledges that many families have children who attend multiple schools and that real-time connections may overlap if there is not a coherent approach across the District. The shaded blocks of time indicate when teachers can connect with their students in real-time without conflicting with similar activities at other levels throughout the District. Faculty and staff will continue to be available to students throughout the day, as identified in each of the grade span schedules: elementary, middle, and high school.

What does the Master Schedule look like?

What are real-time connections?

Real-time connections can be accomplished in many formats including video conference, shared Google document, chat, telephone conference call, pre-recorded video, or discussion board. Educators will use their professional judgment to determine the format that works best for a session’s purpose.

What are office hours?

Office hours provide additional time for students to ask questions of their teachers and/or check-in. Office hours can be accomplished through a variety of formats including video conference, telephone call, email, digital chat.

What does English Language Education look like for English Learners?

At the PreK-5 level, the English Language Development (ELD) teachers will collaborate with the classroom teachers with a focus on students at the foundational levels. For grades 6-12, the ELD teachers will continue to provide instruction and assignments through CANVAS. Additionally, ELD teachers of all grade levels may be consulted regarding curricula accessibility in content-area classes.

The District remains committed to providing a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and those individuals providing education, specialized instruction, and related services to these students. Students with IEPs and 504s will continue to receive the supports and services outlined in their plans through a model of remote service delivery. This model is a combination of 1. Supports and Resources, and 2. Instruction and Services (whole group, small group, individualized). Parents will be notified by a member of their child's team of the special education services and/or accommodations that will be provided. However, it is not reasonable to expect that the District will be able to replicate an individual student’s special education program or provide all of the individual services set forth in a student’s IEP during this school closure. More information will be forthcoming from Student Support Services Administration in the way of frequently asked questions to help clarify this model of remote service delivery.

Will IEP/504 Team meetings be held?

IEP/504 meetings may be held virtually. A student support services provider will be in contact with you about next steps.

Will my child participate in Standardized Testing (PreK-12)?

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has announced that it has canceled the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) for the 2019-2020 school year. This includes the MCAS Alternate System of Assessment.

In-person AP Exams have been canceled by The College Board. AP Exams are being rescheduled in an abridged online format. Information about SAT exams and AP exams is available at https://www.collegeboard.org/.

Will attendance (PreK-12) be taken daily?

At this time, student attendance will be accounted for via student engagement in instructional activities and/or through the completion of daily assignments or tasks.

Will there be a change to the 2019-2020 School Calendar?

Weekends, holidays, will occur as scheduled. April Vacation has been canceled and the days will be remote learning days. Given the uncertainty around the timing of return, decisions have not yet been made on the end-of-the-year activities.