What is e-Learning? What is the difference between the distance learning plan and the hybrid learning plan?
The Bexley e-Learning Academy is designed to accommodate families for whom extenuating health circumstances would make returning to in-person learning medically dangerous. Every year we have students who have to access their content differently due to health reasons. We have always used third-party vendors to deliver content to students who cannot attend school in person. With COVID, we recognize that more families may have medical circumstances that necessitate e-Learning; therefore, we have shared this option with all families to review. This option is not intended to be an equivalent replacement for in-person instruction by a Bexley teacher. Further, our small size and extensive course offerings significantly limit our ability to assign staff to meet the demands of in-person learning and e-learning simultaneously. E-Learning will be self-paced learning through SchoolsPLP with a Bexley staff member serving as a case manager to a group of students (likely across grade levels and courses); the case manager will monitor student engagement in the SchoolsPLP environment.
In distance learning, all students will receive their instruction remotely from their teachers. Teachers will teach remotely five days a week using live and recorded online lessons through Canvas (6-12) or Google Classroom (K-5) for instructional delivery.
In hybrid learning, students will attend two days a week by group A and B. Teachers will be in their classrooms with students four days a week teaching in person. About half of our students (A Group) will attend in person two days a week for instruction with their teachers while the other half of students (B Group) are at home applying or extending the learning that occurred on in-person days with the teacher. The “at home” days will not include live/virtual instruction from the teacher because the teacher will be teaching in-person four days a week. Wednesdays, all students will learn remotely (to allow buildings to be sanitized). On Wednesdays, teachers will be supporting individual and small groups of students virtually, providing additional resources, intervention or extensions as needed. As stated in the Back to School Plan approved by the Board of Education on August 4, posted online and sent to families in the district’s weekly email on August 6, “Shifting to a hybrid learning plan will be determined in partnership with Franklin County Public Health and will consider local data including county alert level, case rates, positivity rates, and trend data.”
We do not know if we want to register our child for the e-Learning Academy now. Can we decide when the district returns to hybrid?
Families need to register for the e-learning academy by August 20. This commitment is needed for planning purposes and to ensure continuity of instruction for students. Student seats are purchased through a contract with the SchoolsPLP vendor. In order to have staff trained to use the platform and have the classes set up and ready for students when they are needed, we must finalize our contract with them now.
How does my child’s enrollment change if we register for e-Learning?
Students who are enrolled in e-learning remain registered with Bexley City Schools. But, in order to provide accurate reporting to the state, students will be withdrawn from their currently assigned teacher and classes and enrolled in the e-learning classes with the Bexley staff case manager when the transition to e-learning occurs. As such, they will no longer be on their teacher’s class roster. If at semester break, you wish to have your child return to school, they will be reassigned to a teacher to resume live classes.
Instead of registering for e-learning, can we withdraw our student when the district moves to hybrid instruction and then re-enroll if the district returns to distance learning at some point?
Yes. If you wish to withdraw your student from Bexley City Schools when we move to a hybrid model, you may do so by contacting your child’s school. Upon withdrawal, you will need to either provide evidence of enrollment at another school or submit paperwork to the district to request the homeschool option following the Ohio Department of Education requirements.
Why was SchoolsPLP selected?
Over the course of the summer, district leaders in the Department of Staff and Student Learning reviewed many platforms as potential e-learning providers. We started our search based on information provided by the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio and collaborated with other districts in the area. First and foremost, we searched for platforms that offer a wide array of courses that are aligned to state content standards, which is the curriculum model that drives Bexley courses. We also considered other factors, such as flexibility with enrollment times, variety of content, and price. SchoolsPLP utilizes content from multiple course designers within a single platform and provides a broad course catalog for the full K-12 spectrum. They also allow us to start students at the beginning of the year or partway into the quarter, and we are able to bring students out or add more students in at the semester break, as needed. Finally, SchoolsPLP is more cost-effective than many of the other options, thus allowing us to be more fiscally responsible. SchoolsPLP is also being implemented by New Albany Plain Local School District.
What if a course our student is scheduled to take is not offered by SchoolsPLP?
While the SchoolsPLP platform has a very broad course catalog, there are some Bexley secondary courses that are not available at this time. We are currently finalizing other arrangements to provide courses not available in SchoolsPLP. This may include offering the course through another vendor or trying to secure a teacher who is able to take on a sixth-course assignment to teach the course. Students may also opt to take the course during the second semester using College Credit Plus or pursue an independent study for credit using the Credit Flex process. If arrangements for an alternative is not possible for a course your student would like to take, he or she will not be able to take the course this year. For students who are juniors and younger, they can try to schedule that course for the next school year and will need to select an alternative this year. Until families have registered for the e-Learning Academy, we cannot finalize options for students as the options will be personalized for each student’s specific schedule. For this reason, we have set a registration deadline of August 20.
Can my student take a course offered by SchoolsPLP that Bexley does not offer?
Yes. Your student can take any grade appropriate course that is in the SchoolsPLP catalog. If it is a Career Tech (CTE) course, there is a $75 surcharge with SchoolsPLP. Families will need to pay that fee to the district.
If my student takes a different course online and returns to school at the semester, how will they finish the course?
If Bexley does not offer the course, the student will not be able to continue. They will receive a ½ credit for the course on the high school transcript. Typically, this situation would only occur if students opt to take an additional course or elective beyond their typical schedule. If the course was instead of a regularly scheduled course, students will be enrolled in a semester elective or study hall upon return. Courses that are offered for the year will be available in the second semester if the student does not return to in-person learning for semester 2, and therefore, remains enrolled in the e-Learning Academy.
Can my student take courses beyond their grade level?
In order to take courses outside the grade level, a student must go through the formal acceleration process. This process includes advertised deadlines by which to apply. See our website for information: https://www.bexleyschools.org/GiftedEducation.aspx
. Students who have already been formally accelerated will be enrolled in the appropriate course based on that acceleration. Students in the math 6/7 or math 7/8 courses will have an e-learning math course that teaches the same standards taught in the in-person counterparts.
If my child is enrolled in the Bexley e-Learning Academy, can they participate in extracurricular activities?
Yes. Your student can participate in afterschool extracurricular activities. However, this does not include co-curricular activities, such as elementary choir or long-term class projects, led during the school day, as those activities will not have a virtual counterpart available. Performance programs based on in-school courses for band, choir, and orchestra, among others, may be possible dependent on instructor availability. However, we will not know if that is possible until we know how many students are in need of these courses. For students who wish to participate in high school marching band, choir, orchestra, or other courses that include extracurricular activities based on courses during the day, they should create a Credit Flex plan for independent study to earn credit for the course portion and then may participate in the afterschool practices as scheduled.
Will students in the e-Learning Academy still have access to special education, English learner, and gifted services?
Students with disabilities can have many of their accommodations embedded into the courses in accordance with their IEP or 504 plans. The IEP team will meet to review and revise the IEP as appropriate for students with IEPs who opt into the Bexley e-Learning Academy. The English Language Coordinator will monitor the access and progress of students and will connect the family with English resources as appropriate. Students will participate in English Language assessments as required. Students who are gifted and have a Written Education Plan for the elementary Cog ELA course will continue to be supported by a district Gifted Intervention Specialist.
How will students in the Bexley e-Learning Academy maintain connections with teachers and classmates? Can they participate in live sessions with their original teacher or classmates or access assignments posted in Google Classroom/Canvas?
When the district moves to a hybrid or an all-in model of learning, live sessions will no longer occur since our Bexley teachers and students will be meeting face to face in classrooms. Additionally, students in e-learning will no longer be enrolled in their previous teacher’s classes due to state reporting, so students will not have access to those Google Classrooms or Canvas settings. The e-learning platform is designed to be an independent, self-paced learning experience. However, we realize the importance of human connection. So, the case managers assigned to monitor student participation and progress will hold weekly office hours for students to arrange for video check-ins. Additionally, those case managers will host weekly live sessions for the students in their group to interact with peers and engage in team-building and social-emotional activities.
Will moving to e-Learning midway through the quarter create learning gaps or transition challenges for students?
The goal is to limit the number of transitions students will need to make. That is part of the reason why families need to make a commitment for a full semester when registering for e-learning. To help smooth the initial transition to e-learning, case managers will adjust the assigned lessons in the e-learning course to reflect the initial instruction students received at the start of the year from their Bexley teachers. The SchoolsPLP platform allows for lessons to be removed if students have already been taught the content prior to entering the Bexley e-Learning Academy. The lessons will also be reviewed to ensure they align to the first semester of Bexley’s sequence of instruction. Families who do not want their child to make a transition midway through the quarter may opt to begin e-Learning from the start as soon as it becomes available within the next 1-2 weeks.
If the district returns to full virtual learning mid-semester, can my student return to classes taught by the Bexley teachers?
Yes, students may return to instruction with Bexley teachers at the beginning of the new semester (January 5). The student will need to fulfill the commitment made to stay in e-learning through the end of the semester. This is to ensure there is continuity in the content instruction and to avoid any learning gaps that may arise if the student were to go back and forth between settings.
What connection with the school district can my student expect in e-learning?
Case managers will host weekly live videoconference meetings with the students they oversee. These weekly meetings, which will last 30 minutes to an hour, are opportunities for students to interact with one another.
Discussion topics may help students get to know each other, provide opportunities for students to share challenges and successes they have experienced with e-learning, share tips that may help each other with managing time or resources, or simply socialize for a short time. Counselors may occasionally visit these meetings to help provide social-emotional support, as well. Case managers will contact families with the schedule for these meetings.
Students in the e-Learning Academy may participate in afterschool extracurricular activities. Please contact the activity coach, leader, or advisor for more information. E-learning students may also participate in the fall theater programs led by Ms. Becky Rhinehart, which will occur virtually. Programs will include a 4-5 play, middle school play, two high school plays, and a high school improv event.