South Hadley Public Schools

Remote Learning Plan

April 8, 2020


Dear SHPS Students, Parents and Community:

Thank you for your support, patience and understanding during the past weeks as we work together to adjust to this new reality during these unprecedented times. We recognize the emotional, social and financial strain on families, and our hope is to continue to provide resources and structure as we continue to strive towards educating our students while fighting the coronavirus. Please understand that this is an evolving plan, a work in progress that will be continually assessed, reflected upon and modified to best meet changing needs. We started this journey by offering suggested enrichment activities to review curricula, engage students and maintain school connections while also focusing our actions on meal distribution, surveying technology needs, and reaching out to families. With the Governor’s announcement that schools will now remain closed through May 4, 2020 (and perhaps longer), we now enter the next phase of our educational planning, providing an overarching framework of expectations within a more detailed distance learning plan that will afford us some structure as we move forward with the delivery of educational services to our students, while providing flexibility and caring for all involved. The purpose of this plan is not to replicate the classroom experience, outline nor try to anticipate every eventuality or possible scenario, but rather is an attempt to balance the needs of all the people who belong to our school community: students, staff and families. Supporting the unique crisis that every school is now facing, SHPS administration in collaboration with South Hadley Education Association (SHEA) designed these expectations mirroring the expectations of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. THIS WEEK WE ARE FINE TUNING THIS PLAN AND WE WILL EXPECT TO START THIS PLAN MONDAY APRIL13TH! If you have any questions, please contact teachers or building principals directly.

This distance learning plan provides for a manageable, meaningful, flexible, and sustainable learning experience utilizing creative, nontraditional approaches and has been created with students, staff, and families in mind during these uncertain times. By no means does this remote learning plan mirror a typical six+ hour school day. Implementing a holistic approach focused on students’ and staff mental and physical well being, is a balancing act between teacher direct instruction, student centered activities, down time, play time and family time.

We are all trying our hardest to educate and support our students and we ask for your patience. What our district has accomplished in a very short time is extraordinary. We are continuously working to better what we are doing for all involved. We fully expect to make mistakes but we will keep working diligently to get it right. Please be patient with us during this transition, as we worry about our students’ education and health, as well as our own families’. We are working to get it right – the workload, the appropriate amount of time with students, the expectations for learning, and appropriate amount of screen time. We understand that parents are not trained educators with unlimited resources and technology at their fingertips, which is why flexible office hours and teacher availability are crucial. To that end, and for consistency across schools and grade levels, all teachers are expected to post weekly lessons and assignments on the platform which will be decided by your building administrators by 8am Monday morning or at SHHS and MESMS on the day it is to be presented per subject area, which can be accessed https://www.southhadleyschools.org. A link will be posted on the district main page that will redirect them to the learning portal.


TEACHERS WILL:


  • Teach and communicate with compassion and flexibility. This is a hard time for teachers and students- teachers will do what they can to help all students succeed. The lesson of meeting hard deadlines can be taught in the Fall. Significant physical, emotional and financial strains are the new reality.


  • Focus on core skills. Nothing can replace what is done in the classroom. Lessons need to be pared down, along with time and product expectations for students. Not all students have the same access to technology and educational support.


  • Present lessons that allow students access throughout the day. Students should complete assignments when it is most convenient for them and their families. Teachers respect that remote learning with live, active student engagement may not be feasible for all students.


  • Provide clear directions and offer options to differentiate instruction. Students have little choice these days and are more apt to complete assignments and activities when they connect to them. Teachers will offer variety, when applicable. Going forward, proficiency will look different at every grade level.


  • Teachers will be available to answer questions or concerns from parents and students during regular school hours, and will do their best to answer in a timely manner.Teachers are not expected to answer emails after 3pm. While our teachers and staff want to be supportive of our students 24/7, we want them to be able to unplug in the evenings in order to focus on their physical and mental health and their families.Recognizing that working from home can be a challenge on many fronts, teachers will offer availability that works for them.


  • Assign class work only with no additional homework. Students take varying amounts of time to complete assignments.


  • Plan 80 minutes of instruction per content area and 80 minutes of supporting activity once per week (Arts and electives once per week). This will look different at every building. New DESE requirements recommend that students spend 3- 3.5 hours per day on instruction, utilizing direct instruction from teachers (presenting information through a variety of formats to students, such as notes, videos, PowerPoints, etc.) and student centered self-directed activities (projects, worksheets, puzzles, journal entries, writing prompts, games, tasks, labs, etc). Some families feel overwhelmed by the amount of work and others feel their students don’t have enough to do. Teachers will use their best judgment.


  • Teachers may use live chats or recorded lessons when appropriate but are not mandatory. If students cannot attend live sessions, they can watch the video when it is more convenient for their family. Virtual morning meetings, small and large group chats, live and videoed lessons, story hours, Google Hangouts have been successful during the past two weeks.


  • Reach out to students. Even those students that aren’t big fans of school are missing teachers and staff now. They need to feel connected. All emails from teachers to students should be sent from the school’s email address. Before entering a chat room, teachers will read a privacy script. They will also be the last ones to sign out of the chat room. Using the audio feature on Google HangOuts is also suggested.


  • Offer feedback on classwork, as appropriate by grade. Critical feedback is encouraged for assignments requiring higher analytical thinking.


  • Work collaboratively in teams either through grade level or discipline. Teachers will also be expected to attend common planning meetings and department meetings, as required by building principals during regularly scheduled school days. Principals may schedule optional faculty meetings as needed.


  • Post work weekly, either individually, collaboratively by grade, team or department every Monday morning by 8am. At SHHS and MESMS, work must be posted by 8am on the day it is to be presented per subject area. Content must be remediation and expansion of material taught prior to 3/13/2020. Plains may provide packets from time to time, as it is more age appropriate.


Communication:

While teachers are expected to be available daily Monday- Friday during school hours to answer student concerns, we understand the challenge of working from home. Teachers are not expected to answer emails after 3pm. We want teachers and staff to balance work and family, and be able to unplug in the evenings. Teachers will rely on team members if they are unable to answer emails, and will forward emails accordingly. Teachers and students should communicate through school email and refrain from using personal phones or texts. If teachers call parents, they have been instructed to use *67 to restrict their phone numbers. Teachers that initiate Google Hangouts (the school district’s prefered platform) have been asked to read a privacy disclaimer at the beginning of the meeting. If teachers are unable to perform their duties, they will contact their building principal to develop an alternative plan.


The School Day:

For each block, DESE suggests half the time be spent on direct instruction (teacher lessons) and the other half on activities that are student centered and student initiated. We do not expect parents to educate their students, however, they should be available to provide support, if necessary. Students should be able to work on activities with minimal assistance or support from caregivers.


Distance learning is not the same thing as online learning. While technology certainly plays a role in distance learning, teachers have been encouraged to think creatively to engage students’ imagination and problem solving skills. DESE has recommended that students plan to devote approximately 3 hours of their day to schooling. PLEASE DO WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOUR FAMILY. This will look slightly different at every level, however, we believe the following structure is most appropriate AT THIS TIME:


Suggested South Hadley High School schedule: Each 160 minute plan includes 80 minutes of teacher instruction and 80 minutes of student activities

Mondays: 160 minutes devoted to ELA and 20 minutes of physical activity

Tuesdays: 160 minutes devoted to Math and 20 minutes of physical activity

Wednesday: 160 minutes devoted to Science and 20 minutes of physical activity

Thursdays: 160 minutes devoted to Social Studies and 20 minutes of physical activity

Fridays: 160 minutes devoted to World Languages (8-12), Arts and Electives, or Vocational Education and 20 minutes of physical activity.


Suggested Michael E. Smith Middle School schedule: Each 75 minute plan includes 35 + minutes of teacher instruction and 35+ minutes of student activities.

Monday through Thursday refers to grades 6, 7, and 8. Fifth grade will remain on the schedule they are currently using. Friday refers to all grades.

Mondays and Wednesdays: 75 minutes devoted to ELA, 75 minutes devoted to Science, 30 minutes of physical activity.

Tuesdays and Thursdays: 75 minutes devoted to Math, 75 minutes devoted to Social Studies, 30 minutes of physical activity.

Fridays: 75 minutes devoted to Arts Block (Art, Band, Comp Sci., Health, and Music), 75 minutes to Spanish and 30 minutes of physical activity.


Suggested Mosier schedule:

Throughout the week, students will follow an abbreviated schedule, not to exceed three hours per day, including specials and other services. Students will receive assignments in math, ELA, science, and social studies. During this allotted time, activities may include virtual field trips, exploratory learning, outdoor play, silent reading, and other creative projects. Students will link to their specials through the homeroom class.


Suggested Plains schedule:

A flexible daily schedule similar to the school day will be followed, except in an abbreviated time period. It will include reading,writing, phonics, spelling, math, and a designated day for Art, Music and PE.This will take no more than the suggested three hours and should include break time, play and recreation. Pk is an exception in that it is a half day session, thus no more than 1.25 per day.


Grading:

Assignments will not be graded in the traditional sense. Students will be granted multiple opportunities for revision, and due to equity issues, flexibility must be a priority. Assignments should demonstrate mastery of previously taught content and expansion of curriculum that students have previously been exposed to.


  • High School and MESMS:: While students were given grades for Q1 and Q2, second semester

will be Pass/ Fail (or at the high school Credit/ No Credit). Any Q3 work that was not submitted prior to March 13th will be accepted by teachers until April 17th 2pm for students with failing grades ONLY. Teachers must be flexible in allowing students to virtually submit work in relation to Q3.

    • Q3 and Q4 will be Pass/ Fail.
  • Students will be given multiple attempts to correct assignments based on teacher feedback
    • No final exams or summative assessments will be given
    • 60% of work must be submitted to earn credit and pass at the high school level
    • Yearly grades will be based on Semester 1 and Semester 2 and will be Credit/ No Credit.
    • The FY20 school year will utilize S1 grades only in GPA calculation
    • Valedictorian and Salutatorian as well as Pro-Merito will be decided by S1 grades
    • Students who have failed for the year or lost credit are in jeopardy of being retained for FY21.


  • Plains and Mosier: Grading will be Pass/ Fail, and will be based on a student's attempt at learning. Students should be engaged, and have multiple opportunities to demonstrate their understanding with feedback from teachers. Students will move on to the next academic year at the start of the FY21 school year. Retention will be discussed with individual families, as needed.
  • Other Consideration:

Equity amongst our students is a challenge that we have been addressing. Chromebooks are available for students who have Internet access, but no device. Any student with neither a device nor access to the internet, should contact their building principal. Printed handouts will be available for pickup at lunch locations on Wednesdays with prior administrator approval. Teachers do not have access to copy machines, therefore printed material will be quite limited. Please note that Plains students do not have their own school email addresses nor do they use Chromebooks. We will rely on parent email addresses to access the portal and information.


Student Services

Special education liaisons and related services providers have been contacting students’ guardians regarding special education services. If you have not heard from your student’s special education teacher their email addresses are available on the District Site. Please feel free to contact them directly or if you have questions regarding any student services please contact Beth Cooke, the Director of Student Services at ecooke@shschools.com or at 538-5072 ext 2614. If you would like to ‘Opt Out’ of receiving services during the duration of school closure, we ask that you provide this in writing or via email to the student’s liaison..


Role of Special Education Teacher:

The Special Education Teacher will continue to be the liaison for all students on their caseload, and will work with building principals, guidance counselors, classroom teacher, SAC, OT, PT, SLP, Autism Specialist, school nurse, guidance counselor, school psychologist and any additional support personnel within the building. Special education teachers are responsible for creating a NEXT IEP and updating the IEP as best as possible based on the information they had prior to school closing on March 13. Services will be provided in a variety of ways, including synchronous and/or asynchronous learning by liaison recommendation. These terms describe activities that happen in real-time (synchronous), such as conversations or video conference calls, as well as those activities that can be completed at any time, such as pre-recorded videos and online activities. Asynchronous learning may include PDFs, websites, videos, email/phone consultations with caregivers, etc. Synchronous learning may include real-time online interactions with individual or small groups of students. Due to privacy concerns, on-line video interventions may be conducted in a 1:1 or small group setting at the discretion of the liaison. Any consultation services will be provided in a manner that ensures student privacy. Parents are encouraged to email the liaison to schedule an office hour appointment. Beth Cooke, Director of Special Education, should have knowledge of all caseloads and means of service delivery.


Role of Related Service Provider:

SLP, OT, PT will reach out to liaisons and teachers inform them of their services. Students may continue to require additional consultation that include all relevant team members. Every attempt will be made to include as many team members as possible. Service providers are responsible for creating a NEXT IEP and updating the IEP as best as possible based on the information they had prior to school closing on March 13. Services will be provided in a variety of ways, including synchronous and/or asynchronous learning by therapist recommendation. These terms describe activities that happen in real-time (synchronous), such as conversations or video conference calls, as well as those activities that can be completed at any time, such as pre-recorded videos and online activities. Asynchronous learning may include PDFs, websites, videos, email/phone consultations with caregivers, etc. Synchronous learning may include real-time online interactions with individual students. Due to privacy concerns, on-line video interventions will be conducted in a 1:1 setting only at this time. However, live group interactions are allowed through general education (i.e., morning meetings, teacher read-alouds), or agreed upon form of communication and service between the therapist and the individual family. Any consultation services may be provided in a private/ 1:1 manner at this time in order to ensure student privacy. Parents are encouraged to email the service provider to schedule an office hour appointment. Beth Cooke, Director of Special Education, should have knowledge of all caseloads and means of service delivery.


Social/Emotional- Executive Functioning-Autism:

School Adjustment Counselors (SAC) and Specialists will reach out to liaisons and inform them of their services. Identified students on the SAC and Autism Specialist caseload will be divided reasonably between the SAC, Autism Specialist and School Psychologist. SAC and Autism Specialist. Specialists should review their caseload and distribute as per SAC and Autism Specialist recommendation. At the middle and high school Guidance Counselors may also need to be of support for these students, based on individual student needs. Specialists are responsible for creating a NEXT IEP and updating the IEP as best as possible based on the information they had prior to school closing on March 13.Services will be provided in a variety of ways, including synchronous and/or asynchronous learning. These terms describe activities that happen in real-time (synchronous), such as conversations or video conference calls, as well as those activities that can be completed at any time, such as pre-recorded videos and online activities. Asynchronous learning may include PDFs, websites, videos, email/phone consultations with caregivers, etc. Synchronous learning may include real-time online interactions with individual students. Due to privacy concerns, on-line video interventions may be conducted in a 1:1 or small group setting at the discretion of the specialist. Any consultation services will be provided in a manner that ensures student privacy. Parents are encouraged to email the service provider to schedule an office hour appointment. Beth Cooke, Director of Special Education, should have knowledge of all caseloads and means of service delivery.


Guidance Counselors:

Individuals will reach out to students based on their At Risk or Individual Need based on input from building principal, classroom teacher, special education teacher, related service providers (SLP, OT, PT, SAC, Autism Specialist, School Psychologist). Each guidance counselor will establish a list of students that are in need of support during this time. Communication will be agreed upon through individual families, and under the direction of Beth Cooke, Director of Special Education and Building Principals at Middle and High School.


School Psychologist:

School psychologists and other evaluators should complete evaluation reports if student testing has been completed. Completed reports should be shared with the Team following building procedures. If an evaluation is partially completed, evaluators should begin scoring and drafting the report for completion when school resumes. Families that are in need of additional support are encouraged to reach out to the School Psychologists who will be available via email or by appointment. Additional responsibilities may be determined for school psychologists.


Role of School Nurses:

School Nurses will work to inform staff and families of updated medical information. School nurses will also have a google platform to discuss healthy habits while students are not in traditional school. They will continue with data entry of screenings, and referral preparation, Individual Health Care Plan and Medication Plan writing, completing mandatory state reports, and Immunization records. Nurses are staying up to date on email responses for parents with health office and school related questions. They will be continuing to update the district website with information pertinent to our families and staff regarding COVID-19 and other related health room information.


Role of English Language Learner (ELL) Teacher:

English Language Learners will reach out to parents/guardians and students’ on their caseload. ELL teachers will collaborate with grade level/core content area teachers. ELL teachers can help with modifications to provide ELs access to the general curricula. ELL Teachers will maintain a Google Classroom and provide resources to students and parents as well as hold office hours. If documents require translation or a translator is necessary for parent communication, ELL teachers will communicate with the Director of Student Services to coordinate this.


Role of Reading Specialist:

Reading Specialists will reach out to parents/guardians and students’ on their caseload. Reading Specialists will maintain a Google Classroom, and share information with general education teachers on this platform to assign materials to students on their caseload. Parents are encouraged to email the service provider to schedule an office hour appointment. They should continue to communicate with their building principal and, Beth Cooke the Special Education Director/Title I Liaison.


Role of Paraprofessionals:

Paraprofessionals should reach out to the classroom teacher and/or special education teacher they are working to maintain communication and update on any new information regarding student learning. Para may join classroom group activities or Hangouts assigned by their colleagues. Opportunities to join a Google Hangout arranged by the Team Leader or Special Ed Director will be offered during school closure. Paras are encouraged to attend. They are expected to log into the Google Classroom on a daily basis for at least 1 hour a day to gain knowledge in areas that are of interest to them, as well as building their skill for students that they service. If a paraprofessional has a specialized skill, such as providing ABA trials or reading services, that they were already doing prior to March 13, 2020, they may be asked to provide these services to their individual students that they have a relationship with. At the High School level, if a transition student is in the MAICEI program, educational coaches will continue to support the student in navigating their UMass classes on Moodle and attending virtual hangouts with peer mentors as directed by the Department Chair and Transition Coordinator at UMass.


If a paraprofessional has a special skill that was not previously utilized, such as speaking a second language, or knowledge of a particular specialized program (OG, Read Naturally, Great Leaps, LIPS, Cloud 9, yoga instructor, mindfulness, or sharing your talents) please contact Beth Cooke, Director of Student Services, if you are interested in providing your services.


If paraprofessionals do not have access to a computer, it is their responsibility to contact their building principal and a computer will be loaned to them. If a paraprofessional does not have access to the Internet, it is their responsibility to contact Beth Cooke, Director of Student Services, to arrange a professional development opportunity plan.


Consult Work:

Consult for ABA and severe students, if teachers had a weekly consult on students, this should continue on a weekly or bi-weekly basis through Google Hangouts. Classroom teachers and all specialists should continue to be invited and attend these meetings. This will allow for continuity of services as well as additional supports for the student who is receiving multiple sessions or check ins by adults.


Consults for specialists who worked with general education teachers should continue on a bi weekly or monthly basis at a mutually agreed upon time. This could be in the form of email to the classroom teacher or Google Hangout to ensure classroom teachers and liaisons are aware of the support you are providing during this time.


IEP Meetings: Initial and three year

All initial and three year evaluations WILL NOT be held until we officially return to school. Upon return, meetings will be scheduled by the team leader as close to timelines as possible.


IEP meetings: Annual Reviews

At this time Annual reviews meetings WILL NOT be scheduled so that the Special Education Teachers and staff can focus on providing instruction to our students. This is subject to change based upon the guidance of DESE and the State Director of Student Services, Russell Johnston. If the district decides to begin holding Annual meetings we will require permission to share IEP documents electronically. In order to facilitate communication during a time when our offices are closed and we do not have access to our paper files and mail system, we will need to reach out to all families to ensure we have a working email address that we can use for communication.


If and when Remote IEP Annual meetings occur, the following Disclaimer will be read at the start of the meeting:

By participating in the meeting, all parties agree to the following: The parties hereby agree to hold the IEP Team meeting remotely. The parties acknowledge and agree that the IEP Team meeting is being held remotely due to Governor Baker’s Executive Order dated March 15, 2020, which prohibits in-person instruction and educational operations until May 4, 2020 while schools are closed due to the Executive Order. By participating in the remote IEP meeting, the participants agree not to save, record, share, or post the IEP meeting. The parties acknowledge that, due to rapidly evolving events in connection with the current state of emergency, they have not been able to fully determine the extent to which the remote meeting platform complies with Massachusetts student privacy and digital privacy laws, as well as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. The District will take all reasonable measures to preserve your privacy and the privacy of your child, and each of our educators will continue to maintain the privacy of your child’s student record information. The Parents/Guardians agree to excuse the District from strict performance of IEP timelines which are not feasible pursuant to governmental directives arising from or related to COVID-19 pandemic issues.


Progress Reports:

All staff PRE-K to 12+ are responsible for second trimester, or third quarter progress reports. As soon as possible progress reports will be completed as of the last date school was in session, March 13, 2020, in order to document what the student’s current level of performance was at that time. We will send progress reports out again in June. Hopefully, the June progress reports will reflect that the student has maintained and deepened learned skills. It is important that progress reports document skills rather than reflect anecdotal information. Special Education teachers and related service providers will maintain good documentation about each student’s participation in remote learning opportunities and document any barriers to a student’s participation.


Role of Athletic Trainer:

Athletic Trainer will work to provide daily workouts posted under P.E. google site.