MDH and MDE require school districts to be prepared to fluidly transition between in-person, hybrid and distance learning plans. School districts are also required to provide instruction through distance learning to any family that keeps their children at home due to health or other concerns. We will rely on three methods of learning this year: asynchronous, face-to-face and synchronous.
Determinaton of which learning model to start the school year with, in-person learning, distance learning or a hybrid model is based on the following:
PK-5 students and teachers will use Seesaw as the common learning platform. Teachers will work with students at the beginning of the year to help students learn the tools in Seesaw and establish routines to help students continue learning while at home.
Regardless of learning model, for students in grades 6-12, Schoology will be our learning and teaching platform. All syllabi, daily agendas, course materials and assignments will be available through Schoology. Course layout and workflow will be aligned across secondary to create consistency for students and families.
- Asynchronous Instruction is learning that happens separate from the teacher. In this model, the teacher provides reading materials, prerecorded instruction, assignments and exams through an online platform and students complete them independently. The student has the ability to access and complete requirements within a flexible time frame.
- Face-to-face learning happens when students and staff are physically in the same space.
- Synchronous Instruction is virtual learning that happens in real time. Teachers and students interact in a specific virtual location through an online platform at a set time.
1. In-Person Learning Model
In-person learning means that our students and staff will return to our school facilities and follow their typical daily and hourly schedules. Learning and teaching happens in the classroom and through assigned independent homework. Safety protocols such as wearing masks and symptom screening will be in place. However, a return to in-person learning means that our buses and classrooms will be at full capacity and opportunities for social distancing will be limited.
2. Hybrid Learning Model
Hybrid learning provides a combination of in-person and distance learning designed to address health and safety concerns. Implementation of hybrid learning would be based on the level of infection in our community or state. Per MDH and MDE, hybrid learning limits capacity to no more than 50% of that available on a bus, classroom, cafeteria, school or other district facility. Sufficient social distancing of at least 6’ will be in place. If distancing cannot be achieved in a space or transportation vehicle, the number of occupants will be reduced. In this plan, movement around the school and student interaction will be limited to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and allow for contact tracing.
In the hybrid learning model, students will receive instruction from content teachers and support staff, collaborate with students, conduct hands-on learning and build relationships. Most students will attend school in-person two days weekly and three days online. Based on their last name, students will be assigned to attend on Monday and Wednesday OR Tuesday and Thursday.
Some students with special learning needs, such as beginning multilingual learners, students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP) or 504 Plans, or students with transitional or migrant status, may attend school in-person four days each week.
Each Friday will be designated a distance learning day and no students will attend school in-person. This day provides opportunities for all students to work independently or synchronously with their teacher or peers to complete assignments and assessments. It also allows time for a deep cleaning of our buses and facilities. On Fridays, instruction from their assigned teachers will take place through Seesaw or Schoology and the in-person days would be used for support, collaboration and enrichment.
Social distancing of 6’ will help limit the spread of the virus. Schools will implement strategies to maintain smaller groups of students in shared spaces when implementing the hybrid learning model. These strategies include:
- 50% of students in classrooms, buses and other spaces
- Modified schedules
- Meals served to small groups and individualized, as feasible
- Common areas such as cafeterias and media centers may be used as classrooms
- Spacing between students, optimally at 6’
- Limited transitions and movement around the school
- Staggered lunches, recesses, passing times
- Large gatherings such as assemblies or dances will be prohibited
- Classroom and learning materials will not be shared between students until they are sanitized
- A Care Room for students feeling ill
- Courses such as music and physical education may be implemented differently than in past years
PK-5 INFORMATION FOR HYBRID MODEL
The elementary hybrid model structures learning so that students receive direct instruction while in person and engage in activities that will enhance their learning while at home. All grade level standards will be covered throughout the school year.
When the district is operating in a hybrid learning model, the goal would be for kindergarten - 2nd grade students to attend school in-person Monday-Thursday, depending on local health data, building and bus capacity for enrolled students. Fridays would be a distance learning day, as described above.
In-person learning days for 3rd-5th grade students will provide additional lessons in literacy and math while also preparing for and processing at home learning. Interactive, hands-on and collaborative activities that can be done safely will be prioritized. On in-person days students will also have time with a specialist (art, music, or physical education) every day.
On at-home learning days, 3rd-5th grade students will log into Seesaw and join the teacher and classmates at a designated time each day for a morning meeting. This will allow the students to see their teacher each day as well as set the day up for success. Following the meeting they will complete assignments and activities through Seesaw or through activities their teacher has assigned during the in-person days. Students may be asked to log in at one other designated time each day for either another activity or a closing meeting.
Whether at school or at home, students are expected to engage in all learning activities and to be in attendance at the beginning of each day.
6-12 INFORMATION FOR HYBRID MODEL
We know that the fewer transitions during the day, the less opportunity for exposure to and spread of COVID-19. We also learned during the spring that many students struggled with managing six or seven classes while online. Because the hybrid model is a mix of face-to- face and online instruction, we are limiting the number of classes students take each day and providing an extended period of time spent in class.
This year, 6-12 students will attend three classes daily. Classes will last approximately 120 minutes with a 30-minute lunch. Passing time between classes will be carefully managed to reduce opportunities for hallway congestion and student gatherings.
When attending school in person, students will receive instruction from their teachers, collaborate with peers, do hands-on learning activities and get individualized support. On the days students are learning at home, students will complete assignments and activities through Schoology. Some teachers may require students to log in to Schoology and Google Meet at the start of each class period to meet virtually face-to-face with their teachers and classmates who are physically present in the classroom. Regardless of whether students are at home or in person, students must follow their daily schedules and be present, virtually or physically, at the start of each class. Period attendance will be taken and students are expected to be on
time and present for each class.
3. Distance Learning 2.0
Distance Learning is a method of learning and teaching in which instruction, course materials and assessments are conducted virtually. In this plan, no students or staff come to the school buildings in person. Rather, students access all course materials through Seesaw or Schoology and interact daily with their licensed teacher(s) through synchronous and asynchronous.
PK-5 INFORMATION FOR DISTANCE LEARNING
If distance learning is required due to health and safety concerns, students in grades PK-5 will log into Seesaw at the start of each school day to meet virtually face-to-face with their teachers and classmates. They may work throughout the day virtually with their teacher as a whole class, in small groups, or independently. Students are expected to engage in all learning activities and to be in attendance at the beginning of each day.
6-12 INFORMATION FOR DISTANCE LEARNING
If distance learning is required due to health and safety concerns, students in grades 6-12 will be expected to follow the same schedule as when they are physically in our school buildings. Students will log in to Schoology and Google Meet at the start of each class period to meet virtually face-to-face with their teachers and classmates. They may be instructed to remain online for the duration of that class period or to collaborate in small groups or work individually. Period attendance will be taken and students are expected to be on time and present for each class.