Elementary Distance Learning

Bexley Elementary Distance Learning Model 2020-21

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Did you complete your annual student information verification?

If not, please do so as soon as possible as our Online Student Information Verification for the 2020 – 2021 school year is now available. We must have this information verified prior to the first day of school for the 2020-2021 school year. 

 

This verification process requires you as parents to update important medical information about your 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

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

Thank you! If you have technical difficulties, please contact PowerSchool using these channels.

 

How are we starting the school year?

The Bexley Board of Education decided late 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. By August 20th, teachers will be sending homeroom classes information about when and how to log in to the first Zoom of the year.  For our younger students, this information will be emailed to parents. For our older students, parents and students will receive the information.

 

When will I know my child’s teacher? 

We will email information to each family at the end of the day on August 14th.  We will notify you of your child’s homeroom teacher as well as the hybrid group your child will be in if we are able to move to a hybrid model later in the school year.  

 

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

Our elementary students will have a supply pickup on August 20th and 21st. Every student will have something to pick up whether it be workbooks, school supplies, assignment notebooks, etc. so it is important that parents and students come in on these days to pick up materials. We ask that you follow the schedule below so that we can have their materials ready when they arrive.

  • Grades K, 1, 2: Thursday, August 20 from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. or Friday, August 21 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
  • Grades 3, 4, 5: Thursday, August 20 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. or Friday, August 21 from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.

If you have children in multiple grades, please select one time to pick up these items. Please come to the following locations for each elementary building:

 

• Cassingham: ramps at the entrance to the Cassingham playground along Elm Street

• Maryland: Maryland basketball courts by the gym

• Montrose: parking lot/gymnasium entrance on the Remington Road side of Montrose Elem.

Students and parents will need to wear masks and ensure they are symptom-free before picking up materials. 

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 lists here:

• Cassingham: 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ka7mixbkEiALZ0x0MGYFI6z3YdQBQgVrQfP5Zxjwz88/edit?usp=sharing  (The pricing included here pertains to our pre-order in the spring, not current market pricing of items)  

 

• Maryland: https://www.bexleyschools.org/Downloads/Maryland%20School%20Supply%20Lists%20by%20Grade%202020-21.pdf

 

• Montrose: https://www.bexleyschools.org/Downloads/Montrose%20School%20List%202020-2021.pdf

 

 

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. 

 

What about the kindergarteners coming to school for the first time?

Our students have been invited to a Meet and Greet in small groups on August 6 and August 11 which will give them an opportunity to meet our kindergarten teachers.  All three schools did a “Welcome to Kindergarten” evening in April and the video from that presentation is available on our school websites under the Find it Fast tab.

 

What about families new to Bexley?

We will be hosting a new family orientation evening via Zoom on August 13 at 6:30 PM.  Zoom invitations will be sent again this weekend in our Sunday newsletters.

 

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.

 

What defines the distance learning model?

As Bexley Elementary Schools continue to prepare for the upcoming the school year in a distance (remote) learning model we want to share some common definitions with you, so that you’ll be able to support your child’s learning. The student day will begin at 8:15 a.m. We will include time for recess breaks, Allied Arts classes, Guidance lessons, and lunch.  Each child’s learning day will end at 3:00 p.m. 

Our teachers are designing a full day of experiences for each child balancing online and offline learning. None of us want or expect a child to sit in front of an electronic device for the 6 hours of their school day.  

Online learning will include live instructional sessions and recorded sessions. The workshop model will continue to be our preferred means for delivering instruction to your children.  Workshop instruction allows teachers to share common, initial lessons, full-class discussions and project frameworks (regardless of the subject area) and work with smaller groups of students to tailor their teaching to student needs 

 

What does “live learning” look like?

Live learning sessions are times when teachers and students are working toward student learning goals. These can include:

  • Workshop lessons, discussions and/or conferences across subject areas
  • Whole class, small group, and individual lessons with teaching staff
  • Live Experiments/Demonstrations

What does five days of learning mean at elementary?

Five days of learning describes the overarching expectation for each student at Bexley City Schools, regardless of grade level or building.  This expectation includes an understanding that learning occurs through a variety of experiences and opportunities.  

 

Device challenges

We were hopeful that every Bexley student would have a school-provided device for this fall.  Since that is unable to happen, we will be sending a survey on August 6 to assess family needs for devices. It is our goal that each student has a device that the child can access between 8:15 -3:00 each day.  For families who do not have a device at home that students can use, we ask you to fill out the survey so we can accurately determine the need for additional devices.  We will do our best to fulfill those requests but we have a limited number of devices available.  

Distance learning at the elementary level will necessarily look different than how it is being delivered at grades 6-12. We recognize that younger students may be in childcare situations, have parents unable to be available when live instruction is being offered, and will not have common devices.  These are all circumstances that our teachers have taken into consideration as they have designed learning experiences for children.

 

What defines your role/responsibilities within distance learning? 

While we recognize the many challenges distance learning creates, it is important that our children are actively engaged in learning every day. (Please see the section on attendance below.)   It is important that children still follow a regular schedule, including bedtimes and waking for school each day.  Children need a regular space to work that becomes their “classroom at home” which should be free from distractions (TV, video games etc.) and where help is accessible but still encourages as much independence as possible.  We know that some students may need help logging on initially and learning how to access their online resources.  Teachers will be sharing more specific structures, schedules, and processes by the end of the day on Thursday, August 20.  

It is also important that students do their own work as much as they are able.  Our teachers are very aware of the kinds of activities that are appropriate for students at their grade level.  If your child is struggling significantly with completing a task independently, particularly if that struggle is unusual for your child, please reach out to your child’s teacher.

 

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 email.

 

Daily attendance for elementary students 

Students will be expected to engage in their schoolwork each day. If a child is unable to participate in learning, please phone your school office to report the absence to our school  Teachers will track daily attendance through each child’s engagement within their Google classroom and online class meetings. Teachers will ask students to check-in after breaks, recesses, Allied Arts classes, and before they leave their learning each day. 

 

What does independent student work look like?

Independent student work will engage students in their personal learning and can also take a variety of forms. Most independent work will be opportunities for students to practice, deepen, and experiment with their understanding of the concepts they are learning in class. Sometimes independent work will be guided by a computer program.  

Teachers will provide feedback, answer questions, and interact with students.  Potential methods for this continued interaction include email, individual and small group online “calls”, editing within shared documents, forum posts, Google chat, etc. Elementary students will have opportunities to do some independent work online (like Lexia minutes and Study Island practice assignments) but will also have writing assignments, projects, reading, workbook pages, and other kinds of assignments that will be done without needing to be online.  Teachers will help prepare students for these assignments so that they can be done with as little adult assistance possible.  While we recognize the great variance of developmental needs across a K-5 elementary school, even our youngest students can learn to follow routines for completing work when given the opportunity to practice with help from adults fading as students become familiar with the activities.

 

How will we support families with supporting their child?

Please contact your child’s teacher through email if your child is unable to fully participate in their distance learning classroom. We want to problem-solve with you and as noted in some of our parent feedback from last school year, problem-solving conversations involving the child, parent, and teacher were the most productive. These allowed parents and teachers to share common expectations, build student confidence, and encourage deeper participation in learning.  

When a teacher becomes aware that a child is not engaging regularly in class, they will email the student’s parents/guardians to inquire about the challenge. If there is no reply, the teacher will make a phone call to parents/guardians to check-in and inquire. Should engagement rise to a persistent challenge, the teacher may contact our school’s RTI (Response to Intervention) team for further intervention and planning support.  

 

How will a child’s schedule be determined during distance learning?

All three elementary schools will be using similar daily schedules for each grade level. The school schedule will set aside blocks of time for essential instruction in Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA). It is our intention to recognize and address the academic gaps we know our students will present. 

Elementary school schedules will clarify common grade level times for each subject area in addition to Art, Music, and Physical Education (PE). The schedule will also include times set aside for Social Emotional Learning (SEL).    

Each school’s schedule will also specify times for class online meetings with classroom teachers, intervention specialists, and related services.

 

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 must do better. We are committed to cultivating a sense of belonging and community while providing structures for physical and emotional safety for each of our students.  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.

 

What is our technology platform for elementary school?

In response to parent, staff, and student feedback, we want to provide a consistent platform that is user friendly and dynamic in its capacity and capability. This year, we will utilize Google Classroom which will facilitate paperless communication between teachers and students, and streamline educational workflow for students and teachers. Google Classroom also allows teachers to create a class(es), post assignments, organize folders, share resources, view work in real-time, and provide feedback.

Please review this video, Google Classroom Tutorial for Students and Parents, and reach out to your child’s teacher after August 24th with questions. 

 

Zoom Protocols

All of our elementary schools spend time teaching students that we expect then to be safe, responsible, and respectful at all times.  Our teachers will establish norms for Zoom meetings early in the distance learning process using these terms.  Information that will be shared includes:

  • Student cameras should be on (teachers may teach students how to alter their background if there are concerns regarding privacy)
  • 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 is a useful tool and should be utilized for classroom purposes only
  • The ability to record Zoom sessions is available.  Potential benefits include allowing teachers to post lessons and activities for students that were absent or having technical difficulties, encouraging appropriate classroom participation, and following norms. 

Academic Integrity

Distance learning presents unique challenges with respect to academic integrity. Educating young students about clear expectations and district policy is the responsibility of each staff member. Potential topics each teacher should cover within the first few days of school include:

  • Doing your own work to the best of your ability
  • Sharing your Google Documents, Google Slides, other work with others

 

Netiquette

Netiquette is the correct or acceptable way of communicating electronically. Distance Learning expectations for students’ netiquette are founded in our schools’ Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) specifically how to be safe, respectful, and responsible as elementary students.

Netiquette provides basic guidelines for conduct in a distance learning format such as not using all capital letters online because that represents the vocal equivalent of shouting. The following guidelines will help reduce online miscommunications in classes and can be utilized if desired:  

Report glitches: If for any reason a child experiences technical difficulty with participating in the class, discussion, or assignment, please email your child’s teacher or your child given age appropriate can email their teacher to inform them of the issue. Chances are others are experiencing the same problem.  

Participate: This is a shared learning environment. Forms of active, appropriate participation include sharing data, research, and opinions; sharing information (communication); asking questions (inquiry); answering others’ questions; turning in assignments; and written and verbal participation in assessments. 

Respect diversity: The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual. It is not permissible to use 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. It should be civil and courteous.

Respect privacy: We ask students to respect their own privacy and the privacy of others by not revealing or asking for information that one would deem private, or information that may embarrass themselves or others, and that may place you or others at risk. 

The above guidelines include or appropriate language from Queensborough College (https://www.qcc.cuny.edu/diversity/definition.html), 

the Rutgers Teaching and Learning Site (https://onlinelearning.rutgers.edu/faq/netiquette), and Howard Community College

(http://www.howardcc.edu/programs-courses/academics/onlinelearning/faq/netiquette.html) netiquette policies.