Elementary Distance Learning Plan
To provide meaningful standards-based instruction to students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Policies and Expectations:
This model of education is based upon the guidelines provided by the governor and the Minnesota Department of Education. Springfield Public Schools view this circumstance as an opportunity to deliver a quality education in an innovative way. We believe that we will learn from this experience and that it will equip our entire school community to better navigate the tools and resources available to 21st century learners.
Participation in these activities is a necessary and mandatory part of each student’s learning.
Attendance will be determined by the submission of work and students will need to meet the due dates and deadlines set forth by their teachers. In the event that students do not meet these expectations, students will be not given credit for attendance on those days/weeks of instruction.
IMPORTANT--This program will require students to demonstrate mastery of the standards and skills outlined for each subject and grade-level. Graduation and/or promotion to the next grade levels will be determined based upon the evidence of learning provided by each student. Communication with the offices and administrative staff will be expected for any unique circumstances that may arise. In the event that a student does not complete all of the assigned work by our final day of school (May 19th at 1:20 p.m.), he/she will be required to attend a one-month “summer school” program, and will extend his/her learning experience into the month of June. If all work is not submitted by June 19th, the student will be retained in their current grade-level until all missing work products are complete.
In order to fulfill the guidelines set by the Minnesota Department of Education, “daily interaction” with teachers must occur. We have established specific preschool and K-12 distance learning calendars that will identify the schedule of instruction, work completion deadlines, and teacher feedback.
As you will find on the calendars, we will operate on an alternating schedule. “Gold” days will be days when new instruction is delivered by all teachers. Instructional videos and assignments will be posted to the “Distance Learning Portal” (see tab on the main page of the district website) and Schoology sites. Students will be expected to access and watch these videos on these days and complete all corresponding assignments. These assignments will be due by noon on the following day of class (“Maroon” days). Teachers will use these “Maroon” days to review student work, provide feedback, and plan the next lesson.
In order to meet these deadlines, students will need to submit all work online. For work that is sent home in a hard-copy format (available for pick-up at respective meal delivery sites on the first Gold day of each week), students/parents will need to upload a picture of each work product to the specific assignment links posted on Schoology (K-12) and Class Dojo (preschool only).
Beginning on March 30th, 2020, please note the specific grade level expectations noted below.
Students in preschool WILL NOT have access to a school issued technology device. Therefore, curriculum created by teachers will either be play-based, hands-on, or disseminated via paper copy. Instruction by the teachers will be delivered by video format through Class Dojo or by using the preschool link on the “Elementary Distance Learning Portal.” If web-based learning is assigned, families may need to provide access to a web-based device.
Student folders and hard copy resources will be available for parent pick-up at the elementary office each Monday in order to maintain social distancing guidelines. Completed work can be submitted to Miss Amber by simply taking a picture of the worksheet or the student completing the hands-on activity. Please send these pictures to Miss Amber via Class Dojo or email by noon the following school day. Online resources will be accessible by 8:10 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday’s for the 4-5 year olds and by 8:10 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday for the 3-4 year olds. Students will be expected to meet the daily/weekly deadlines for the completion of work in order for attendance of that school day to be granted.
Students in these grades WILL NOT have access to a school issued technology device unless specifically requested of the school. Therefore, it’s likely that some of the curriculum created by staff within these grade-levels will be disseminated via paper copy. Students/Parents will need to pick up hard copy work at meal delivery sites on the first Gold day of each week. Instruction by teachers will still be delivered by video format, but student work will vary from web-based to paper copy. For staff that choose to assess learning online, families will need to provide access to a web-based device much like the current snow day format.
Student folders and hard copy resources will be available for pick up at the meal delivery sites on the first Gold day of each week in order to maintain social distancing guidelines. Students/Parents may need to initiate conversations with bus drivers/meal assistants to access their work packets/handouts if they’re not readily visible at the site. Completed work should be uploaded to the appropriate Schoology assignment links for each course (homeroom subjects as well as specialists) by noon on the following day. Online resources will be accessible by 8:10am on Gold days and students will be expected to meet the daily/weekly deadlines for work completion (submitted on Maroon days--noon the day after being assigned).
Students in these grades WILL have access to a school issued technology device. The classroom iPad, charging block and cord, that is issued to your child will be sent home on Tuesday, March 17th. These devices will need to be returned in their current condition at the end of the distance learning experience. Devices that are damaged or destroyed will need to be repaired or replaced at the cost of each family.
The majority of content at this level will be delivered and completed digitally. Online content (instructional videos and corresponding assignments) will be delivered on Gold days. Maroon days will be designated as time for teachers to review student work, provide feedback, and plan the next lessons.
Staff will identify on their Distance Learning and Schoology sites (see grade-level and specialists under the Distance Learning tab on our school district’s website), the mode of learning (paper or digital) for each day. Like the primary grades (preK-1), hard copies of student work (when necessary) will be available for pickup at the meal delivery sites on the first Gold days and should be completed and returned by noon the following day (maroon). Staff will provide online resources (video lessons, links to websites, assignment upload links on Schoology, etc.) and will be accessible for support of students and families by 8:10am daily.
Elementary Specialists (PE, Music, and Global/Media Literacy):
Just as in the homeroom classes, elementary specialists will be delivering new content on each Gold day. Students will be responsible for accessing the instructional videos and work tasks within the “Specialists” tab of the distance learning portal. Assignments will be due in Schoology (pictures of activity log for grades K-4, and pictures/videos of actual activities or other Schoology-issued assignments for grades 5-6) on the following Maroon days.
Elementary Special Education:
Special education services will take place in accordance with guidance provided by the State of Minnesota. Case managers will be in direct contact with parents of special education students to discuss how these services will be conducted.
Elementary students that are receiving Title I services will continue to have access to supplementary support. Elementary paraprofessionals will be accessible via Google Meet and will be reaching out to the students that they serve to provide additional support.
Delivery of instruction:
Through the use of a teacher-generated video (using Explain Everything, Schoology, YouTube, Flip Grid, etc.) staff will deliver new instruction for each subject area (both core classes and elective teachers) on all Gold days. Each video will be specific to the current essentials being emphasized within that course. Instructional videos will include actual teaching/modeling of a learning target or standard and will highlight tasks or skills that students should practice on supplemental resources (the teacher will explain the day’s assignment in the video). For classes that are in a review mode, a general spiral of review activities may also be assigned.
Method of dissemination:
Teachers will record their videos and will then upload their videos to their distance learning sites (Elementary Distance Learning Portal and Schoology). Videos will be linked under the appropriate grade-level/subject tabs. Each video will be titled with the grade and/or course name, and date (ex. 6th grade math--March 30th or Geometry--March 30th).
Videos will be available by 8:10am on Gold days so that students and families will have ample time to complete the expected tasks. Maroon days will be designated as days to review student work, answer common questions, manage attendance and communicate with families.
Length of time spent on each subject:
Anticipated work times (including watching the instructional video and completing corresponding assignments) for students within each of the following grade-levels are noted below:
- PreK-1st grade--20 minutes per subject
- 2nd-3rd grade--25 minutes per subject
- 4th-6th grade--30 minutes per subject
With this in mind, parents should anticipate the average PreK-1st grade student spending 140 minutes on school work each Gold day. If additional time is required, students will have the morning hours of Maroon days to complete work before submitting. Grades 2-3 should anticipate 175 minutes and grades 4-6 should plan for 210 minutes.
Please note that these times are merely the anticipated time demands that the average student should anticipate when giving full focus and effort to the task. Some students may require less time while others may require more. Regardless of the time necessary, all assignments must be completed by assigned due dates (noon or lunch pick-up times on Maroon days).
Recommended daily schedule:
Good routines are important for everyone, but especially for young children. It’s important that during this distance learning period, students continue to get ample rest, exercise, and good nutrition. It’s also important that they continue to maintain good hygiene by keeping up with bathing routines, brushing teeth, and other personal health care routines. With that in mind, a recommended daily schedule for Gold days is noted below (Maroon days would match the morning schedule but would allow for feedback sessions with teachers/support staff in the afternoons) to serve as a reference for families as they attempt to coordinate work, play, and rest at home:
Breakfast, shower, get dressed, etc.
Homeroom classes (reading and math)
Specialists classes (PE and music)
Lunch and free time
Homeroom classes (social studies and science)
Specialists classes (Global and media)
Complete and upload assignments to Schoology
Family time (discuss/review student work)
Quiet, independent reading/bedtime
Student work due dates:
As noted above, students will only submit work online. While hard copies of some things will be distributed at meal delivery sites, no physical paperwork will be returned to school. Students/Parents will simply photograph finished work and upload pictures/videos to the appropriate assignment links found on Schoology. All student work should be submitted by noon on Maroon days. If students do not submit work by these deadlines, they will be considered absent for the day and will be coded as “unexcused” in our student information system (Infinite Campus). Please note that even if a student is marked “unexcused for a day, he/she is still responsible for completing the assignment. When an assignment has been successfully completed and submitted, the “unexcused” designation will be removed from the student’s record.
Teacher availability for parents/students:
Staff will be available for parents and students from 7:40 a.m. to 3:40 a.m. daily to answer any questions that may arise. If a family wishes to establish a regular online meeting time, they are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher to arrange that communication. Email and Schoology will be our primary tools for parent communication.
Staff will also utilize the online video chat tool, Google Meet (app found on each child’s school-issued device), to allow for face-to-face contact with students. The majority of these feedback sessions will take place with individual students and small groups on Maroon days. Students are encouraged to check their Gmail accounts regularly throughout each day to check for invitations to Google Meet feedback sessions with their teachers.
Our district technology staff are available daily (7:40 a.m.-3:40 p.m.) to assist with any tech-related issues that you may encounter. Tech staff can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
In addition to this contact, please take advantage of the links below to learn more about the tools that students will be using for their distance learning programs:
- Connecting to your home Wi-Fi--the first step for each family is to ensure that you’ve got access to the internet. In the event that you’re having difficulty getting your school-issued device connected, please take a moment to watch the video below: https://youtu.be/TRgz71PfW_E
- Gmail--each elementary student has now been given an email address. It has been established for the purpose of communicating with their teachers. In addition to being able to send and receive emails, this Gmail account allows students the ability to utilize the Google Meet app which provides a platform for video chat with teachers and peers. Each student’s email address is as follows: first name.last email@example.com . Their passwords are as follows: first initial last initial tigers85. The email address will follow proper names and will be all lowercase letters. Examples of these items are noted below:
- Email-- firstname.lastname@example.org
- Password-- jatigers85
Please access the link below to learn more about your child’s Gmail account/functions: https://youtu.be/1TLhf8HUYLM
- Google Meet--this app is found on your child’s iPad and allows him/her to engage in direct video communications with teachers and peers. In order to access a conversation, students will need to access a “join meeting” link that will be shared on their teacher’s distance learning portal. To learn more about Google Meet, please access the following link: https://youtu.be/SdXTcqjkgyA
- Schoology--each student has been added to a grade-level class on Schoology. Within that class, students will find folders for each subject area (reading, math, social studies, science, and specialists). Within these folders, will be assignments that students will access to upload pictures of their completed work (Maroon days). Schoology may also be used to send messages between home and school and share feedback. Student login information to Schoology is as follows:
- Username--student ID# (4-digit number found on report cards--contact office if unsure of this code)
- Password--tigers85 (common for all elementary students)
To learn more about how Schoology can be accessed and used, please access the following link: https://app.schoology.com/course/680276305/materials?f=187002029
- Elementary Distance Learning Portal--a new tab has been created on our district website’s main page. This tab provides students and families of all grade-levels with access to instructional videos and assignment links. This should be the first destination that each child goes to to determine the learning plan for each day (Gold days). Please note that while this portal is where students will access instructional videos, Schoology will be the tool used to upload and submit completed work. This site can be accessed at the following link: https://www.springfield.mntm.org/site/Default.aspx?PageType=1&SiteID=1&ChannelID=221&DirectoryType=6
Expectations of Parents and Recommendations for Success:
We recognize the unique nature of this model and understand the challenges that it can place on busy families. With that said, this creates an opportunity to build independence and responsibility in children. Some general guidelines to ensure a successful experience are as follows:
- Ask questions--students and parents alike are sure to have some anxiety as it relates to starting this new model. It will be important to read directions, remain calm, and ask questions of one-another and of the staff here at school. We want you to have success and we want to help guide you through this process. When issues arise, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
- Set clear expectations--this is school for the foreseeable future
- Make it a habit and ensure that a routine is built
- Establish a consistent work space
- Clarify and set deadlines and due dates
- Ensure proper access to and function of technology
- Inspect and verify that work is complete and done in a quality manner
Please feel free to contact either building office (507-723-4286 for elementary and 507-723-4288 in high school) with any questions. We look forward to working with you and anticipate a successful experience throughout our school and community.