The Simsbury Public Schools actively planned and prepared for the start of the 2020-21 academic year. As you can imagine, this work has been challenging and incredibly complex. On June 29, 2020, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) released the reopening schools plan, entitled Adapt, Advance, Achieve: Connecticut’s Plan to Learn and Grow Together, to districts in order to guide expectations and to focus district discussions about instructional delivery. Since then, the SPS Reopen Teaching & Learning Task Force members have reviewed and discussed the requirements, guidelines, recommendations that define the three teaching and learning models for reopening schools, understanding that no one option can address all of the instructional, operational and logistical challenges that face our school system. These three models are as follows: 1) a full return to in-person schooling (with a distance learning options for families who voluntarily choose not to send their child), 2) a hybrid model with about 50% of students in school and about 50% of students at home on a given day, and 3) a revamped distance learning model for all.
Families that have voluntarily chosen to opt into distance learning for their child(ren) will receive their instructional program online. The elementary (K-6) students have been assigned to a district classroom for their 2020-21 grade level with a certified distance learning teacher implementing the curriculum aligned to their grade level using the Google Classroom or Seesaw platforms for delivery. Students in grades 7-12 will be expected to login daily to their content area teacher classrooms as assigned by the periods listed on their schedule using the G Suite Enterprise platform. The SPS distance learning instruction will be a balanced combination of synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous (independent) instruction and learning throughout the regular school day schedules that is developmentally aligned and appropriate to elementary grade levels, K-6 and courses at the secondary level, 7-12.
Betsy Gunsalus, the Director of Elementary Curriculum and Student Assessment for the Simsbury Public Schools is working in collaboration with the elementary principals in providing learning to students who opt into distance learning K-6. Betsy Gunsalus will be overseeing the elementary distance learning program. Students in grades 7-12 will work directly with their classroom teachers at HJMS or SHS and all distance learners will live stream into classes outlined on their daily schedule.
Despite these unprecedented and uncertain times in education, the Simsbury Public Schools continue to be committed to engaging all students in rigorous, dynamic, and relevant learning experiences in alignment with the Simsbury Vision of the Graduate.
Grab & Go meals are available free of charge. See this Letter from Nutrition Services for complete information. Simsbury families can pre-order meals using the order form available on the Nutrition Services website. This program will continue through June 30, 2021.
Please contact the Nutrition Services Department for more information.
We understand that there may be unique challenges for students with disabilities and that this may be a stressful time for our families. Your child’s special education team will work to provide access to Simsbury's distance learning framework, while supporting IEP goals and objectives to the greatest extent possible during these unprecedented times.
Just as teachers emphasize in the classroom, while Simsbury Public Schools students are operating in a digital learning environment at home, they are expected to comply with district standards and use positive, respectful language. Making sure that students have appropriate space and materials for learning will help them organize, focus, and develop consistent study habits.