What does distance learning look like?
Bexley High School will utilize our normal bell schedule. Students will be expected to participate in Zoom calls and live instruction as often as the teacher utilizes this model. On days when live instruction is not utilized, teachers will be available to answer questions, provide clarification and feedback and offer individual help during the student’s regularly scheduled class as well as during other select times when they would normally be available (morning office hours, beginning at 7:35 and other individual appointments arranged directly with the teacher).
What does five days of learning mean?
Five days of learning describes the overarching philosophy for each student at Bexley City Schools, regardless of grade level or building. This philosophy includes an understanding that learning occurs through a variety of experiences and opportunities. This philosophy also includes an understanding that learning occurs each day and can be facilitated directly by a teacher (live learning) or through independent student work.
What does “live learning” look like?
Live learning is a class being held through Zoom. Students should expect a minimum of three days of live learning each week for each of their classes. Certainly this experience could last the entire class period, but similar to an in-person class experience, there also may be times when live learning occurs for only a portion of the scheduled class period with the other portion being reserved for independent work, assessment, questions, individual student conferences or many other tasks and activities. Additionally, similar to an in-person experience, live learning could include any of the following or more:
Whole Class Discussion or Interactive Lecture
Introduction and/or facilitation of a project or activity
Teacher facilitation of individual or small group work and learning
Teacher meeting with individual students or small groups
What does Independent Student Work Look Like?
Independent student work, similar to an in-person class, can take many forms. This is a time for students to practice and apply skills or further their understanding of content from a live learning class. Independent student work will continue to move students forward in their learning and provide information about a student's understanding to the teacher. Teachers will set up and facilitate their availability to students in order to provide feedback, answer questions, provide intervention or extension and continue to interact with students. Potential methods for this continued interaction include email, open Zoom calls, individual appointments, forum posts, Google chat, etc.
Social Emotional Learning and Wellness
Social Emotional well-being of our students is of the highest priority as we return to school, even in this modified format. While we have all experienced and continue to experience a global pandemic, this experience has impacted each of us in different ways that need to be accounted for and addressed as we begin our school year. Additionally, we recognize that while adjusting to our new pandemic normal, we are simultaneously being reminded of our country’s complicated past (and present) with racism.
As a response, we are committed to cultivating a sense of belonging and community while providing structures for physical and emotional safety. Also, we will engage in practices that affirm diverse social and cultural identities, create space for student voice and agency and provide tiered supports that meet the needs of each student.
Attendance, Engagement & Grades
Student engagement within the learning environment is imperative to ensure students progress through the curriculum. Due to the importance of active engagement and participation, Bexley City Schools will track the attendance and engagement of students each day. Students will be marked present or absent each morning during their homeroom. Also, attendance will be taken in each class period where they are expected to attend and participate in live learning. On days where students will be working independently within a specific class, their attendance will be monitored through their accessing the course Canvas page and/or completing and turning in assignments. If students do not engage, the school team will convene to identify an intervention plan that will support the student in his/her courses. This plan may include an expectation that students complete their learning in a monitored environment within the school setting.
While grading practices during the fourth quarter of the 2019-2020 school year remained consistent with respect to the assignment of letter grades, the expectations and amount of work were reduced. In addition, deadlines for work submission were more flexible than in a traditional learning environment. As we begin the 2020-2021 school year, it is important to understand that while we certainly want to accommodate student needs during this challenging time we will move closer to more traditional grading practices that have been established historically including completion and timely submission of work. Additionally, there will be expectations for students to complete work outside of class time, similar to the practice of work completed in support of classroom instruction through homework.
While we are sensitive to the amount of screen time that each student will experience, our teachers will maintain the traditional bell schedule (8:30-3:25). This includes 52 minutes for lunch, a study hall for most students and short breaks between classes when we would traditionally transition from one class to another. We appreciate the feedback from the Spring regarding a desire for structure, consistency and routine live instruction/interaction with other students and staff.
If your student is unable to “attend” for any reason, we need you to contact the office just as if they were sick or leaving for an appointment. Students are expected to log into homeroom at the start of each day. Additionally, attendance will also be taken at the beginning of each live learning class. You can report any attendance information to [email protected] or by calling 614-237-4273, then option 8, then 6.
Students and teachers will work collaboratively through many different platforms. High school students, especially, should be in the practice of communicating through GMail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Canvas, Naviance and Family Connection.
Individualized Learning Opportunities
We recognize that students have a variety of learning strengths, unique talents and needs. Students that qualify for special education services will continue to receive their services during distance learning. The case manager for each student with an IEP will coordinate the implementation of special education supports and services. Individual students may have a variety of opportunities based on their individual needs. Additionally, students with a gifted identification will continue to experience rigorous coursework through differentiation and extension of Bexley City Schools curriculum.
Distance Learning and Netiquette
Distance learning presents many new challenges. Bexley City Schools has a very high standard for appropriate online behavior and we have consistently communicated and monitored those expectations. Our teachers will clearly communicate with students that interactions during distance learning are consistent with interactions within a traditional classroom, all students will be held to this standard. It is the responsibility of each student to familiarize themselves with the Bexley City School District Acceptable Use Policy. Those requiring technology assistance can contact the technology department anytime by emailing [email protected]
Each student should feel comfortable during live learning (Zoom classes). Teachers will create an environment where acceptable behaviors are clearly established, including general norms. These norms are included below:
Student cameras should be on (teachers will show students how to appropriately change their background in order to protect their privacy at home).
Microphones should be off (muted) unless speaking or working in a small group where it is reasonable for all microphones to be on
Names displayed on Zoom should be the student’s school name
Chat will be used for classroom instructional purposes only
Zoom calls will be recorded in order to provide access to lessons at a later date and time.
Distance learning presents unique experiences and expectations. One area we will communicate and be vigilant monitoring is academic integrity. It is the responsibility of each student to familiarize themselves with the Bexley City School District Academic Integrity Policy. Bexley teachers will educate their students early during the year on this subject, and consistently remind them of these expectations. Topics that parents may want to review with their student(s) include:
Using the work of other students
Sharing their work with others
Teacher expectations during assessments
Netiquette provides some basic guidelines for conduct in a distance learning format (example: not using all capital letters online because that represents the vocal equivalent of shouting). The following guidelines are important to be mindful of during classes:
Report glitches: If for any reason you experience technical difficulty with participating in the class or a discussion forum, please email your teacher to inform them of the issue. Chances are others are having the same problem.
Participate: This is a shared learning environment. Forms of active participation include sharing opinions, sharing information, asking questions, and answering others’ questions.
Respect diversity: We live in a diverse world. Refrain from using language that is or could be construed as offensive towards others. Racist, sexist, and heterosexist comments and jokes are unacceptable, as are derogatory and/or sarcastic comments and jokes concerning religious beliefs, disabilities, age, and social class.
Respect disagreement: People have the right to disagree with one another; however, disagreement should never be personal.
Respect privacy: Respect your own privacy and the privacy of others by not revealing or asking for information that you deem private, that you feel may embarrass you or others, and that may place you or others at risk.
The above guidelines include or appropriate language from the Rutgers (https://onlinelearning.rutgers.edu/faq/netiquette), Colorado State University (http://teaching.colostate.edu/tips/tip.cfm?tipid=128) and Howard Community College (http://www.howardcc.edu/programs-courses/academics/onlinelearning/faq/netiquette.html) netiquette policies.
In response to consistent parent and student feedback regarding the use of Canvas, teachers have been asked to standardize their pages. Course information will be available to students and families through one link; a simple, easy to find dated weekly page.
Distance Learning Suggestions
Establish a consistent schedule for your student.
Ensure your student has a quiet area to work, designated for school only, if possible.
Scheduling frequent breaks (time between classes, study hall, lunch, the end of the day, etc.)
Consistent communication between you and your student regarding their experience, successes and needs.
Independent struggle will occur and is an important part of the learning process. Distance Learning is new to everyone and a certain amount of uneasiness navigating these challenges is realistic. Parents assisting too much may hinder the teacher’s ability to recognize a struggling learner, and potentially negatively impact your child’s experience.
Positive parent attitudes will lead to positive student attitudes. Patience (technology may fail, assignments will close, links will go bad, etc.), flexibility, a positive attitude and modeling effective responses will go a long way.