Alternative learning plan for Cuba students released

Parent Category: News Category: Cuba News Written by Rob Viehman Hits: 639

    The Cuba School District has formulated its plan for Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI, which is virtual learning) for the 2020-21 school year. It will be used by students who chose not to return to in-person learning to start the year and by all students if the district is forced to close due to increasing COVID-19 cases in the area.


    In introduction in the plan, the district acknowledged “the global coronavirus pandemic has introduced a new level of risk for in-person instruction and in-person gatherings. Our schools are designed to educate students through social, face-to-face interactions, in relatively close spaces and in large groups. The benefits of this approach to education are well accepted. We know our community prioritizes student and staff safety and expects a thoughtful plan.”
    The plan will be updated as needed.
    As the district plans for a school year likely to be continuously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, its priorities are to provide environments that are as safe as possible for students and staff, along with “equitable, guaranteed, and viable education.” The district will be accessible to all students through a choice model with students and families choosing to engage in their education in a traditional format (in-person, regular schooling) or in an online virtual format.
    In the event there is evidence of district-wide transmission of COVID-19, or if there is widespread human-to-human transmission in Crawford County or the city of Cuba, the district will enter the highest level of alert that is deemed appropriate, which may include restricting access to buildings, if recommended by public health authorities. In order for district employees and the general public to best understand access rules, the school will use a “Daily Mode Indicator.”

CCR2 DAILY MODE INDICATORS DEFINITIONS
    Level 1: Traditional School (Pre-Pandemic School): All classes will take place in school buildings. There are no restrictions on visitors and volunteers in the building.
    Level 2: Traditional learning will be taking place during normal school time. Courses will also be taught with a technology integration model. Online learning will align with Crawford County R-2 courses and be taught simultaneously with traditional classes that are taught in the building. Online learning students will need to sign up for this option prior to the start of each quarter/semester. First- through eighth-grade students will be each quarter, while ninth- through 12th-grade students will be each semester.
    Level 3: In-person learning will be taking place during normal school time. During level three, certain individuals, cohort classrooms, grade levels could be “closed” due to COVID-19 outbreaks. All quarantined individuals or grade levels will move to AMI learning. All online students will continue online learning.
    Level 4: All school buildings will be closed. All students who were in traditional classes will move to AMI. All online students will continue with their online classes. The district will move to Level 4 if or when there is two percent positive (10 in each building or 25 in the district)—up to closure and/or 20 percent quarantine (90 in building or 260 in district), any time the district has an increase in the number of positive cases over the course of three or more consecutive days. The district could be in Level 4 from one day up to multiple weeks, based on the circumstances at that time.

ACADEMICS
    Traditional Learning: Traditional in-seat learning as normal.
    Online Learning: Students will receive instruction online through a virtual format. Online school will not be impacted by COVID-related building closures. Online learning will be an option for all first-12th grade students for the 2020-21 school year.
    Families may elect to move from an in-seat/traditional setting to the online setting at any point throughout the school year. If a family chooses the online option, they will have through August 28 to request to be moved back into the in-person seated option. After August 28, requests to move from the online setting to seated classes will occur at the following quarter/semester transition times.
    Students enrolling in the online option must notify the school by Friday, August 14. Parents must complete the CCR2 online check list prior to their student(s) beginning the online option. District administration may deny CCR2 online requests if it is not in the student’s best academic interests. Student grades and attendance will be used as the primary indicator when making determinations regarding denial of online requests. The district will call its online learning program “CCR2 On-Line.”

STAFF EXPECTATIONS
    At this time there are several options for what this could look like. If Crawford County R-2 has a large number of students who sign-up for the virtual learning option, teachers who no longer have “classes” or have a reduction of students, will/may become online teachers. Designated teachers could be placed in charge of online students at the elementary level.
    Once students have registered, the district will have a better understanding of how many students will be signed up for CCR2 On-Line at the start of the 2020-21 school year. At that time, the district will have a better understanding of how to support staff with CCR2 On-Line. Building administration will work with teachers on this plan as soon as students are enrolled.

STUDENT EXPECTATIONS
    Enrollment will be open Monday, August 10, through Friday, August 14. Students enrolling in the online option must notify the school by Friday, August 14. Parents must complete the CCR2 On-Line check list prior to their student(s) beginning the online option.
    Students without internet access at home will not qualify for CCR2 On-Line. Students wishing to participate in CCR2 On-Line must have personal access to appropriate technology equipment and infrastructure.
    Students will need to verify their internet capabilities meet or exceed the following specifications: 1.5 Mb download internet speed; 1.0 Mb upload internet speed; the district will provide a device for each online student who chooses online learning.
    Online students will not be allowed to participate in extra or co-curricular activities. Online students will not be allowed to attend extra or co-curricular activities (this includes attending as an out of school guest).
    Students will/may be required to follow their normal class schedule during the day Students are expected to attend online sessions and will be held accountable for attendance and assignments in the virtual environment.
    Students will be required to complete the same coursework and assessments as in-seat students. Assignments and assessments will be graded. Grades will be administered the same for in-seat and online learning.
    Students who do not earn passing grades, will not pass the class/grade level. If students do not earn passing grades, they will be retained in their current grade level (K-eighth grade) or be required to retake the class (ninth-12th grade). Students may be required to attend summer school to avoid being retained and/or failing a class.
    Students with an IEP or 504 will need to have a meeting with team members via phone or in person, to discuss updates as needed.

ONLINE EXPECTATIONS
    Workloads comparable to in-seat students—5.5 or more hours of schoolwork per day. Fully accountable courses. Rigorous content aligned to the Missouri Learning Standards. Teacher contact and support.

AMI (Alternative Method of Instruction)
    Alternative Methods of Instruction for the Crawford County R-2 School District will be very important this year. AMI refers to distance learning that will be provided when triggered by an individual, cohort/classroom, grade level, or district closure.
    Times AMI could be used: If the district is closed due to an outbreak. This could be an individual student, a classroom cohort, a grade level, building-wide, or district wide. AMI would also be implemented on an individual basis if/when a student is in “direct contact” or tests positive for COVID-19. Each building has created their own plan that is included at the end of this document.

THE LEARNING PROCESS
    Written packets are considered an acceptable AMI (short term: one or two days) option for students. The district will use a virtual format for long-term closures (three or more days). School-issued devices will be used. Staff can pre-record lessons and upload them into the school’s learning management system or a memory device. Staff can use live video conferencing or a learning management system. Staff can record a live lesson and upload it to the learning management system or a memory device at a later time.
    If a student does not have access to the internet, they should be instructed to contact the teacher and or building administrator on the best option of gaining access materials. Alternative measures will be used to educate students without internet access. Parents/guardians/students may be required to come to campus to turn in or pick up work. The district will work to accommodate parents’/guardians’/students’ schedules if this is required.

STAFF EXPECTATIONS
    All teachers will engage in the virtual learning process, and paraprofessionals will continue to support instruction in the virtual environment. Teachers and/or collaborative teams will organize assignments on a common template created by each grade level/department level.
    Content and grade level teams are strongly encouraged to develop consistent expectations for the volume of assignments and communicate assignments in multiple disciplines to parents through Canvas for fifth-12th grades and One-Drive for kindergarten-fourth grades to avoid the need to monitor multiple templates.
    If AMI is needed for an extended time period (more than three days), Fridays will be utilized as intervention and support days. No new concepts or instruction will occur on Friday of each week. Fridays can be used for electives or exploratory classes or as a full remedial day. Building principals will communicate each individual Friday plan.
    Due to the nature of the situation, it is unknown if/when there will be a closure. It is vital staff members are prepared at any given time. Staff members will prepare five days’ worth of lessons in advance, utilizing the district template (kindergarten-fourth grade template is in One-Drive, fifth-12th grade template is in Canvas.) Assignments will be meaningful and linked to Missouri Learning Standards.
    Virtual learning platforms (e.g. Canvas, Google, Microsoft Team, One Drive, etc.) will be utilized to provide instruction. Teachers will be expected to provide opportunities to communicate virtually with students on a routine basis and a building-level schedule will be designed to avoid overlapping of individual help sessions. Teachers should look for more guidance through their building administrator on what this will look like.
    All staff will report each day and maintain proper social distancing, unless communicated otherwise. Work hours for these days may vary. Staff with online students are expected to conduct virtual learning from school and may be required to assist with other duties. If decided, an altered “no student” day could be used for data teaming, grade level team meetings, instructional planning, virtual lesson preparation or delivery, grading assignments/assessments, and classroom deep cleaning.

STUDENT EXPECTATIONS
    Learning during a closure will be different than it was last spring. Students will be required to complete coursework and grades will be given like normal. During a short-term closure (one to two days), all work is due the second day school is in session, so long as the day is considered an AMI day. During a long-term closure (three or more days), assignment due dates will be communicated as work is assigned.
    Grades will be administered for all students. Students who do not earn passing grades, will not pass the class/grade level. If students do not earn passing grades, they will be retained in their current grade level (K-eighth grade) or be required to retake the class (ninth-12th grade).
    Students may be required to attend summer school to avoid being retained and/or failing a class. The minimum time expectation will also look different. Students should expect to spend between three and six hours of work each day (this includes receiving instruction and completing assignments) as follows: Kindergarten - three hours; 1st-2nd grade - three and one-half hours; 3rd-4th grade - four and one-half hours; 5th-6th grade - five hours; 7th-8th grade - five and one-half hours; 9th-12th grade five and one-half hours. A normal school day is seven hours.
    Students are encouraged to engage in help sessions and live sessions. Students are encouraged to contact teachers with specific learning issues utilizing approved district communication methods and report instances where their questions are left unanswered. Meals will not be provided for online learners.

SPECIAL SERVICES
    All kindergarten-fourth grade special education teachers will utilize their One-Drive for the students on their caseload. For students who do not have online access, instructional materials must be available for parents to ensure that students are able to access the general education curriculum and work on IEP goals.
    All fifth-12th grade special education teachers will utilize Canvas to push out instructional videos, assignments, announcements, and hold relevant discussions. For students who do not have online access, instructional materials must be available for parents to ensure that students are able to access the general education curriculum and work on IEP goals.
    Related service providers will provide tele-therapy to all of their students. If parents do not want tele-therapy, materials will be sent to parents for students to continue working on their OT and PT goals.
    IEP and evaluation meetings will be held virtually or by phone. IEP teams may decide the most appropriate way to grade students during virtual learning in order to ensure FAPE. All 504 plans must be followed. The process coordinator will work with general education teachers to ensure that accommodations and modifications continue during virtual learning.

CUBA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AMI DAYS
    1. Students will be given five and 10 days’ worth of curriculum resources (ELA/Math worksheets, assessments, activities, etc.).
    2. Students will be sent home with their district-issued technology.
    3. Direct instruction in the form of videos will be uploaded by the teacher to OneDrive. Uploading will be done in a timely manner, but please be patient with teachers as they introduce instruction to go along with work sent home.
    4. The laptops and iPads will need to be briefly connected to Wi-Fi for the OneDrive to sync up and direct instruction or additional resources and plans to be available. Work does not need to be completed while connected to the internet.
    5. Work will be completed by the student, photographed, (or screenshot if in 3rd or 4th grade) and uploaded to the teacher on OneDrive (brief Wi-Fi connection needed for upload).
    6. Teachers will look over student work and give feedback as necessary.
    7. Student work that is designated by the teacher as a grade (similar to the workload they would grade if school was in session) will be graded and sent in Remind or a PDF to the email associated with that child’s SIS.
    8. In the event of a long-term closure, additional resources will be given to students through a pick-up process that will be communicated if the need arises.
    9. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s teachers if they experience issues, need assistance, or have concerns.
    10. Technology—Kindergarten-second grade students will take home a district-issued iPad. Third- and fourth-grade students will take home a district-issued laptop. Students will be taught how to access materials on Microsoft OneDrive
    11. Communication—Teachers will be available for questions and assistance throughout the educational week. Methods for communication between teachers, students and parents will include: Email at least once a week, but available for parents to email teachers throughout the week; phone calls as needed (during scheduled teacher work hours); messaging through other electronic means (Remind, Class Dojo, etc.); Zoom teleconferences for assistance and explanation when needed.

CUBA MIDDLE SCHOOL AMI DAYS
    1. Written packets are considered an acceptable AMI (short term – one or two days) option for students.
    2. The school will use a virtual format for long-term closures (three or more days). All middle school students will be issued a laptop to use at home. Staff can pre-record lessons and upload them to Canvas or a memory device (jump drive) for students who do not have internet access. Staff will use live video conferencing via Microsoft Teams to communicate with students and to share instructional content. Teachers will provide weekly lesson outlines/schedules to share out with students and parents via email through SIS, Canvas and through our CMS Facebook page. Staff can record a live lesson and upload it to Canvas or a jump drive at a later time. Students who are quarantined may be required to follow their class schedule.
    3. Alternate measures: If a student does not have access to the internet, he/she will be issued a jump drive to gain access to lessons and assignments. Teachers will provide a paper lesson outline/schedule for the week’s assignments. Assignments placed on jump drive can be completed on notebook paper when a printer is not available. Parents/guardians/students may be required to come to campus to turn in or pick up work and/or jump drives. Teachers and administrators will work to accommodate parents’/guardians’/students’ schedules if this is required.
    4. Staff Expectations—Grade levels will create a specific weekly lesson outline to be communicated through SIS and Canvas with students and parents regarding daily assignments. Lesson outlines will be shared with administration by the lead teacher each week. Administration will post the lesson outlines on the building Facebook page. Staff members will prepare five work days’ worth of lessons in advance, utilizing Planbook.com and Canvas. Virtual learning platforms (e.g. Canvas and Microsoft Teams) will be utilized to provide instruction. Each teacher will be expected to provide opportunities to communicate virtually with students throughout the week. Each grade level will create a schedule for their support/collaboration times to be shared with students, parents and administration. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s teachers if they experience issues, need assistance, or have concerns.

CUBA HIGH SCHOOL AMI DAYS
    1. Teachers will continue with teaching at their scheduled time. Microsoft Teams will be used so students have live access to their teacher, classroom or home (depending on building closure). Students who are quarantined may be required to follow their class schedule.
    2. Students that were face to face will take on a temporary Virtual Learner. All lessons will be recorded. Students who are absent will be able to access lessons via Canvas.
    3. Teachers will communicate with their students a minimum of two to three times a week using Canvas and/or Microsoft Teams. Emails will be sent weekly as well. Phone calls will be made to reach students who are not showing up for the class or those students who are struggling. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s teachers if they experience issues, need assistance, or have concerns.
    4. Students with no internet: Use of flash drives (two per student will be used). One to two days will be used to allow teachers to record lessons for those students who will not be able to participate virtually (introductory paper packets may be used for two days’ worth, while teachers are able to record new instruction). The drives will be picked up at school. The principal and assistant principal will be made available to parents who work and cannot get to school during a normal day. All the recorded lessons will be downloaded onto the next flash drive. When the parent drops off the previous drive with the work, then the new drive will be given. This will alternate until the school reopens. Drives that are not picked up will be delivered by CHS building administration.