BMS Distance Learning 2020-21

Bexley Middle School Distance Learning Model

Did you complete your annual student information verification?

The Student Information Verification process began July 13th. This verification process allows parents to update important medical information about their child, provide parent and emergency contact information, upload a utility bill issued to you within the past two months, and agree to various policies and uses of data.

Please sign into your PowerSchool parent account as soon as possible, and complete these forms for our records.

Note: do not use the Student Registration link on the Bexley City Schools' website. That link is only for students enrolling for the first time.

How do I get started?

Sign into your PowerSchool parent account

1. Select the student you wish to verify along the top

2. Select Student Information Verification on the left side.

3. Agree to the terms and conditions

4. Click Begin Forms

For any technical difficulties encountered during the enrollment process, please contact PowerSchool using these channels.

How are we starting the school year?

The Bexley Board of Education decided last night to begin the school year in a distance model. This means that all students will be learning from home. If conditions and guidance from Franklin County Public Health support a shift to the hybrid learning plan by September 18, a three week transition to a hybrid model will begin the week of September 28.

When will the school year start?

The first day for students will be Monday, August 24. All students are expected to be logged into their homeroom class by 8:20am using Zoom. Students will be able to access their schedules & Zoom links in their google Calendar. We will provide directions by Wednesday, August 19 via email.

How will my student get their school supplies, books, etc.?

MS students will have a supply pickup day August 12-14. Every student will have something to pick up (workbooks, school supplies, agenda books, etc.) so it is important that they come in on these days. We ask that your student follows the schedule below so that we can have their materials ready when they arrive.

  • Last Names A - E, Wednesday, August 12, 8:00-11:00

  • Last Names F - J, Wednesday, August 12, 1:00-4:00

  • Last Names K - O, Thursday, August 13, 8:00-11:00

  • Last Names P - T, Thursday, August 13, 1:00-4:00

  • Last Names U - Z, Friday, August 14, 8:00-11:00

  • Open to all Students, Friday, August 14, 1:00-4:00

At your appointed date and time, please enter the main entrance to the Cassingham Complex. Students will be checked in by a staff member then directed to the cafeteria to the pick up area for their grade level. If you requested a laptop through our survey, students will pick that up as well. Contact [email protected] if you need a device and have not yet requested one.

Students will need to wear masks and make sure they are symptom free before entering the building.

We expect that students will still need the same supplies this school year regardless of the mode of learning. You can find the school supply list here.

What bell schedule will we follow during distance learning?

We will utilize a bell schedule that easily transfers to a hybrid or all in model.  Students will be expected to participate in Zoom calls and live instruction each period, according to their schedule. We are planning to populate students’ google Calendars with the zoom links they need each day. 

Homeroom 8:20-8:35

First Period 8:39-9:26

Second Period 9:32-10:19

Third Period 10:25-11:12

Lunch 11:12-11:59

Fourth Period 11:59-12:46

Fifth Period 12:52-1:39

Sixth Period 1:45-2:32

Study Hall/ Band/ Choir/ Orchestra 2:38-3:25

Live classes will last 35-40 mins each with some time at the end of each period for individual or small group assistance. Students are expected to have their cameras on and use their school name as their screen name. We will require each student to use a school appropriate background on Zoom. This is both for the comfort of students and to promote equity. Each Zoom session will be recorded and posted to the Canvas course afterwards. Students will be reminded of this frequently and recordings will only be available to the members of the class and school staff as necessary.

What does distance learning look like at the Middle School?

We are in a very different environment now than we were last spring. We are not under a statewide stay-at-home order which means that we can distribute materials, teachers will be working from the buildings, etc. We also have worked to ensure that all 6-12th grade students have access to a computer and internet which will allow us to host classes via Zoom. 

It is our expectation that students will be attending their online classes and participating in learning 5 days a week just as if they were physically in the building. We understand that this requires a commitment of families but this is the best way to ensure that students continue to grow.

Attendance will be taken each period and recorded in PowerSchool. 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 class at the start of each class and remain until released by the teacher. You can report any attendance information to [email protected] or by calling 614-237-4277.

How should students set up their learning environment?

It is important that students have a place where they can work free from distractions during the school day. This could be desk, table, or other place where they can both use their computer and read/ write as needed. Natural light is certainly a plus and video games certainly are not. No matter what your kids tell you, we are not giving out assignments on TikTok.

MS can be a difficult time for parents to measure their student’s ability to work independently. Every student is in a different place and not always moving in a straight line. It gets even harder for parents with more than one child because even they don’t necessarily hit the same milestones at the same time. This just means that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to this. It is important that teachers are able to gauge the work that students are doing and assess their current levels. If a teacher isn’t getting a true picture of what a student can and can’t yet do, it will lead to increased frustration and lost instructional time.

I’m going to be straight with you: we need your student doing their own work. If your student is struggling in any way, we need to know so we can build a sustainable support system for them.

How will the first week go?

The first week of school will be focused on getting to know students and going over what the routines and expectations are. This is the same thing we would be doing if we were in person, but adapted for the distance learning environment. We will spend time on the various technology skills needed, engagement expectations, and resources for help when kids are stuck. Just as important, we will spend time building community and learning about each other. 

This has been an incredibly difficult summer for all of us and we know that kids want to talk and learn about the world around them so we will also spend time talking about COVID-19, social justice, racism, etc. This won’t all happen the first week, but we need to build the relationships right away that will allow us to have these very important conversations as we go.

All we need from students on August 24 is to click on the first zoom session that will be on their calendar and we will take it from there. There will be lots of reminders between now and then!

What about the 6th graders transitioning into MS?

We are fortunate to have a 6th grade transition program already in place, Where Everybody Belongs (WEB). This links 6th graders with 8th graders for ongoing lessons to help 6th graders get to know the school and what the MS is all about. This program is coordinated by our school counselors and they have been working to adapt it for a virtual experience.

We know that 6th graders are not familiar with Canvas and some of the other tools that we use at the MS. Do not worry, each year we spend time at the beginning of the year teaching kids these systems. We will spend a greater amount of time than usual to help all kids get set-up. We have also been working on more consistent ways for teachers to use PowerSchool, Canvas, and Google so that it is a better experience for all involved.

Teacher contacts?

This is probably one of the areas that will be least impacted by a move to distance learning. The teacher workday remains the same regardless of the learning plan that we are following (All in, Hybrid, Distance). Each teacher can be reached via email ([email protected]) and will respond within a business day. We encourage you to check out the teacher’s back to school videos that will be on their Canvas pages in the next couple weeks.

Our School Counselors are an important part of ensuring that students have a successful MS experience. Students are assigned by last names to a counselor and we encourage you to reach out to them with any questions or concerns you may have.

Last Name A-K [email protected]

Last Name L-Z [email protected] 

You can also reach out to us as administrators. It is our job to support students, families, and staff in any way we can. It is always best to start with a teacher or counselor if you have a specific concern but we are another resource.

Principal [email protected]

Assistant Principal [email protected] 

What if something isn’t working for my student?

We want to know and we want to know as soon as possible. The first contact for most concerns is the classroom teacher. If there is a technical difficulty that is beyond the teacher’s ability to resolve you may contact [email protected] for assistance. A phone extension will be communicated at a later date for families to call in the event that they cannot access e-mail.

Will all students be given a chromebook?

Yes…eventually. We are waiting for our full order to be delivered so that each student can be given a device. In the meantime we have surveyed families to determine that each student has access to a device and internet at their home. It is essential that each student is able to log into their classes each day so sharing of devices is not practical. If you are in need of a device and have not yet let us know, please notify [email protected] 

What about students with special needs?

Each student with an IEP has a case manager (Intervention Specialist) who will coordinate the implementation of that student’s supports and services. All Special Education and related services will continue to be provided as indicated in their IEP.

Students with a 504 Plan will continue to receive their accommodations and be supported by their classroom teachers and 504 coordinator (Last Name A-K [email protected], Last Name L-Z [email protected]).

What about students in gifted courses?

Distance learning will not cause any disruption to a student’s eligibility and participation in a gifted or accelerated class. These will be conducted via Zoom in the same manner as their other classes. Students enrolled in HS classes will participate in those through Canvas and Zoom, similar to their MS classes.

What about…?

We know that in a “normal” year there are so many questions that come with the start of a new school year, especially for our new families. We tried to address the things most relevant to the unusual circumstances this year in this first communication. We will continue to provide information over the upcoming weeks to help start the year as smoothly as possible.