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Distance Learning

Preparing for next school year (2020-2021)

We are requesting each family with students enrolled in our district to please fill out a brief survey. Please submit one survey per child by May 26, 2020. We truly appreciate your participation.
 
Introduction
 
Red Bluff Union Elementary School District (RBUESD) is committed to providing students quality education experiences and continuity as part of a supportive learning community during exceptional circumstances that may require partial or full campus closure.  In such circumstances, our goal is to provide an alternative means of education in the form of a Distance Learning Plan.
 
What is Distance Learning? Distance Learning (DL) describes the experience students will have when school remains in session but when students are unable to physically attend school because of school closure.  It is a way of learning remotely without being in regular face-to-face contact with a teacher in the classroom.  Distance Learning is not a replication of the classroom and onsite learning. As a result, the length of the “school day” for distance learning will vary from and be shorter than the normal school day. Many parents, like staff, are serving in two roles working and facilitating learning at home. The amount of time dedicated to learning will be limited for many families.
 
The purpose of this plan is to outline our district’s model for Distance Learning and how RBUESD will continue to offer learning experiences to our students. This plan will describe:
  • Procedures to conduct school remotely until resumption normal operations and general guidelines;
  • Expectations including roles and responsibilities of school staff, students, and families for successful continuation of student learning; and
  • Elementary and middle school plans that address appropriate and meaningful student experiences
 
RBUESD Distance Learning will offer a blended learning model, which includes both a Asynchronous and Synchronous learning environment.  Asynchronous learning does not require participants, teachers, or students to be online at the same time.  Synchronous learning will provide real-time engagement and opportunities for students to participate with their teachers and classmates at an established time. Synchronous learning engagements support learning and socio-emotional well-being of students.  The learning day for Distance Learning will range from 2 -4 hours in total including breaks, physical activity, etc. and varies depending on the child’s age.
 
Plan Components within a Flexible Framework:
  • Online Content Delivery
  • Online monitoring of student progress/assessments
  • Offline practice and assignments
  • Interaction/Contact time – teacher and student, student groups and teacher, teacher collaboration, teacher and parent
 
*Consideration will be given to limited /variable internet and technology access. 
 
Mode / Platform Audience / Users Description
Email* Teachers, Students, and Parents Email will be used for all major communications and announcements.
Zoom* Teachers, Students, and Parents Online Video conferencing platform that allows for live group meetings or one-on-one conferencing.
Google Classroom* Teachers and Students Learning Management System (LMS) to assign work, students complete work, turn in work, and provide feedback.
Class Dojo* Teachers, Students and Parents Communication app and website to connect teachers, students and families.
Clever Teachers and Students A single sign-on access to online resources and apps providing a simple interface.
Screencastify* Teachers and Students Recording tool that allows teachers to capture, edit and share videos. Videos autosave to your Google Drive.
Document Camera Teachers and Students A visual presenter also referred to as a digital overhead projector, captures real time images.
Google Slides, Power Point Teachers and Students Presentation tools that allow for a variety of presentation themes and more.
Jamboard Teachers and Students Digital whiteboard with real-time collaboration and tutoring through shareable board management.
Google Forms, Illuminate, etc.* Teachers and Students Formative assessment tools, like Google Forms, are used for data collections such as quizzes and surveys.
*primary tools/platforms
  1. Relationships Matter - Our commitment is to nurture relationships and demonstrate care for our students and one another. Families may be stressed and worried. Before diving into the curriculum, take the time during the first 2-3 days to check-in on their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. How are they doing? How are their families?
  2. Open Mindset - Don't panic. Try to approach this with the spirit of a learner and adventurer, and be open to doing things differently. Be open to change, learning from mistakes, and try not to let your defenses enter your mindset and make the task undaunting. It will be a trial and error process- be patient with others and yourself- we are all learning together.
  3. Don't Make Assumptions - Remember that each family's circumstances will vary and we should avoid assumptions about limitations or restrictions students are facing. While most students have reliable online access at home and devices to shift to distance learning, others will not. Open dialogue with families to avoid assumptions.
  4. Stick with the Familiar - Use existing tools/channels of communication and learning management systems in the first and second weeks after moving to Distance Learning. In the event schools remain closed for long periods of time, it may become necessary to explore or implement a new or different learning platform in accordance with the district-wide plan to ensure consistency and equity for all.
  5. Less is More - Transitioning to Distance Learning will take some time and planning. One challenge is how to best streamline content and focus on the most essential learning for students. The school day for Distance Learning will not be the same length as the normal in-person school day.
  6. Think Differently - Distance teaching and learning is different. Trying to approach Distance Learning with the same techniques and strategies that work in an in-person class will not work well. Initially, things may be more complicated and more time spend planning vs delivering. Try to imagine what this change will be like for your students. No closeness of classmates for conversations, ability to meet with teachers after class for extra help or ask follow-up questions. Students may or may not function well, so be prepared for these challenges. Distance learning should be seen as an opportunity for students, individually or collaboratively, to use video chat and presentations, design infographics, etc.
  7. Shift Assessments - This is one of the most challenging adjustments. The traditional approach to assessment will not work for distance learning. The end goal and frequency of assessments should be thought of in terms of how to positively influence the experience, leverage strengths, and prevent frustration on the teacher's part when traditional methods don't work.
  • Identify a comfortable, quiet space in your home to learn
  • Establish daily routines for engaging in the learning experiences. For example, follow your daily schedule and dedicate time to learning as guided by your teachers
  • Check online platforms daily for announcements, assignments or feedback
  • Complete assignments and engage in all learning with academic honesty; doing your own work and your best work
  • Communicate with your teacher(s) if you need additional support
  • Submit all assignments in accordance to the timeline/due dates
  • Ensure own social and emotional balance, to the degree possible given the child's age, by keeping healthy habits
  • Comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, including online etiquette and Zoom expectations
  • Proactively seek out and communicate with others as needs arise (see list below)
Reason / Support Need Contact
An assignment, resource, or course Teacher- contact via email, Google Classroom or ClassDojo
Technology related problem or issue District FAQ Page FamilyTech FAQ
A personal or social emotional concern Teacher and/or Counselor- contact via email,Google Classroom or ClassDojo
A teacher- parent partnership is necessary for students to engage in Distance Learning, especially as elementary and middle school students are still developing their independence. The transition to Distance Learning may be challenging for families. The guidelines below are intended to help parents think about what they can do to help their children find success in distance learning.

  1. Define a physical space for your child's study conducive to learning. This should be a space that is safe and quiet during learning time and have a strong wireless connection, if possible. This should be a public/family space, not in a child's bedroom. You may experiment with noise-cancelling headphones (no music necessary) may help to block out distractions.

  2. Establish routines and expectations and keep normal bedtimes. Don't let them stay up late and sleep in. Your children should move regularly, take periodic breaks as they study, and limit screen time. It's important to have a routine. A daily schedule is helpful. Daily Schedule Examples

  3. Monitor communications from your children's teachers. Teachers will communicate with parents through email or the app currently used, such as ClassDojo, Remind, etc. , when necessary. Ensure your email and phone numbers are up to date. It is encouraged that parents ask their children to explain the online platforms their teachers are using.

  4. Begin each day with a Check-In with your child. In the morning, ask what your child is learning today? What are their learning goals? How will they spend their time? What resources and support do they need? This brief conversation matters because it allows children to process instructions, organize and set priorities. Older children may not want to have these check-ins with parents- it's normal! Nevertheless, parents should establish check-ins as a regular part of the day.

  5. End each day with a Check-In to help your children process their learning. We learn best when we have opportunities to process our learning with others. Beyond the check-ins at the start of each day, at the end of the day parents should engage and ask what they're learning. However, it's important your child owns their work; don't complete assignments for them, even if they are struggling.

  6. Encourage physical activity and/or exercise. Regular movement and exercise are vital to health and wellbeing, and to learning. Our physical education teachers will recommend activities or exercises. It is important for parents to model and encourage exercise.

  7. Remain mindful of your child's stress or worry. Distance Learning will be implemented only when necessary. It's important for parents to help their children manage the worry, anxiety, and range of emotions they may experience. Do your best to not transfer your stress and worry to your child.

  8. Monitor time online- it's important to monitor how much time your child spends online. RBUESD does not want students looking at computer screens 6-8 hours a day. Recommendations are listed in with grade level schedules.

  9. Keep your children social, but set rules around their social media interactions. Monitor your children's social media use, especially during extended school closure. Older students will rely on social media to communicate with friends. Social apps such as SnapChat, Instagram, WhatsApp or Facebook are not official, school-sanctioned platforms for communication. Remind your children to be polite, respectful, and appropriate in their communication.

Please keep in mind most teachers are not experts in Distance Learning and that will require some trial-and-error before we find the right balance between online and offline learning experiences.

We thank you in advance for your patience and partnership!
Proactively seek out and communicate with others as needs or questions arise (see list below)
For assistance or question about…. Contact
An assignment, resource, or course Teacher- contact via email, Google Classroom or ClassDojo
Technology related problem or issue District FAQ Page FamilyTech FAQ
A personal or social emotional concern Teacher and/or Counselor- contact via email,Google Classroom or ClassDojo
Teacher and parent partnerships are always essential to schooling, especially over the course of this Distance Learning period. Teachers will engage students in experiences that stretch their experiences and how they approach learning.

Learning tasks /activities will provide direction to families on how to support learning and the expected level of adult involvement. Grades TK-2 will need higher levels of support than students in grades 3-8.

How will teachers communicate with parents?
Teachers will communicate with parents through email or ClassDojo. Teachers may invite students to participate in optional interactive sessions using Zoom.
We ask parents for the following support:
  • View the Monday message on ClassDojo (TK-K) or Google Classroom (1st-8th) with your child where the teacher will preview the week of learning.
  • Increase your familiarity with primary learning platforms, Google Classroom (1st-8th) and/or ClassDojo (TK/K). These are the main platform applications for our students and their families. Your child's teacher will provide instructions on how to access apps, etc.
  • Help your child log in to Zoom sessions with teachers and classmates.
  • Designate a place in your home or where you are temporarily located so your child can work independently on his/her assigned tasks and read each day.
  • Email your child's classroom teacher if you or your child has questions and/or if your child needs extra help and support.
Distance Learning Week 1
The first week of Distance Learning will focus on:
  • Reconnecting with classmates and the teacher; creating an online learning community
  • Online Safety Digital Citizenship Lessons
  • Skills review and practice
  • Developing new online learning routines
Following Weeks
The following weeks will focus on developing new skills, knowledge and review and practice.
  • All learning tasks for each week will be posted on Google Classroom or ClassDojo each Monday at 8:00 a.m.
  • Once learning tasks are posted, teachers will continue to post in Google Classroom or Class Dojo when new learning tasks/activities are available.
  • Optional Zoom sessions will be communicated through email with the login code for the session. Teacher Zoom Checklist
Assessment & Monitoring
Teachers will monitor student progress through the activities that students engage in on ClassDojo (TK-K) or Google Classroom (1st-8th) and other digital platforms. Teachers will adjust lessons as needed. Formative assessments will be included in the daily time guidelines for each subject area.

Elementary Grade Level Schedules

The following schedules illustrate approximate time frames for academic subjects. These do not include extension or optional activities.
The Distance Learning Plan in TK and Kindergarten will include a list of home learning activities, engagements or invitations parents can facilitate for their children. Students will have both off and on-screen learning activities/lessons and designed to engage learners in learning experiences using the familiar and current core curriculum.

Learning Experience/Elements:

Week At-A-Glance: Consists of Review & Preview and Weekly Calendar

Review & Preview: At the beginning of each week, teachers will post a video on ClassDojo to review the prior week of learning and to welcome their students and parents to review the upcoming week of learning, briefly explain the learning focus for the week.

A Weekly Calendar of learning and activities will be posted.

TK and K students and their families will participate in literacy, math and optional activities from art, music and PE each day. A variety of tasks will be included, and some learning tasks may include other online platforms/websites (e.g. Benchmark Advance BM Advance, Math Knowledge on the Go Videos).

Students may also be invited to participate in weekly optional interactive activities using Zoom. Teacher Zoom Checklist

Learning Timeframe:

The required learning elements listed below will take approximately 50 minutes per day and activities may spread out over several hours throughout the day.

Throughout the day other activities can take place as an extension to the 50 minutes (e.g. pretend play, writing, drawing, reading aloud).

Keep in mind the quality of this experience is most closely associated with how deeply the child is connecting to the experience. The level of engagement need not take a lot of time; it does, however, take care and intent.

TK and Kindergarten
The learning experience within one day is designed to not exceed 30 minutes of computer time.
20-25 minutes Reading/Writing with connections to social studies, as appropriate
20-25 minutes Mathematics
Optional
  • Science, Art, Music, PE, or Supplemental Online Practice- Lexia, Zearn, etc. and other ideas from your teacher.
  • Looking at books and reading aloud to your child is always recommended.
  • Family time engaged in activities like playing a game that requires math/strategy/critical thinking. For example, a Tic-Tac-Toe game being turned into a graph of wins/losses/draws.
The Distance Learning Plan in 1st and 2nd grades will include a list of home learning activities, engagements or invitations parents can facilitate for their children. Students will have both off and on-screen learning activities/lessons and designed to engage learners in learning experiences using the familiar and current core curriculum.

Learning Experience/Elements:

  1. Week At-A-Glance: consists of Review & Preview and Weekly Calendar

  2. Review & Preview: at the beginning of each week, teachers will post a video on Google Classroom to review the prior week of learning, welcome their students and parents to review the upcoming week of learning and briefly explain the learning focus for the week. Later this may include a review of the prior week along with a preview of the coming week.

    A Weekly Calendar of learning and activities will be posted.

  3. Weekly Assignments

  4. Students may also be invited to participate in weekly optional interactive activities using Zoom. Teacher Zoom Checklist

    1st and 2nd grade students and their families will participate in literacy, math and optional activities from Art, Music and PE each day. A variety of tasks will be included, and some learning tasks may include other online platforms/websites (e.g. Benchmark Advance BM Advance, Math Knowledge on the Go Videos). If another online platform is required, teachers will share specific instructions for parents to access the platform. Students will also be invited to participate in weekly optional interactive activities using Zoom.

    Learning Timeframe: The required learning elements listed below will take approximately 1 ½ hours/day and activities may spread out over several hours throughout the day.

    It is important to observe your child as he/she engages in the task and to use this observation to help guide your support.

    We also and always encourage you to explore familiar experiences and activities like that of reading for pleasure, journal writing, and play to extend and enhance your child's learning.

Grades 1 & 2
The learning experience within one day is designed to not exceed 1 hour of computer time.
30-45 minutes Reading/Writing with connections to social studies, as appropriate
30-45 minutes Mathematics
Optional
  • Science, Art, Music, PE, or Supplemental Online Practice- Lexia, Zearn, etc. and other ideas from your teacher.
  • Looking at books and reading aloud to your child is always recommended.
  • Family time engaged in activities like playing a game that requires math/strategy/critical thinking. For example, a Tic-Tac-Toe game being turned into a graph of wins/losses/draws.
The Distance Learning Plan in grades 3-5 will include a list of home learning engagements and/or activities that parents can assist their child in understanding for independent completion.

Students will have both off and on-screen learning activities/lessons and designed to engage learners in learning experiences using the familiar and current core curriculum/programs.

  • Week At-A-Glance: consists of Review & Preview and Weekly Calendar
  • Review & Preview: the beginning of each week, teachers will post a video in Google Classroom to review the prior week of learning and to welcome their students and parents to review the upcoming week of learning, briefly explain the learning focus for the week. Later this may include a review of the prior week along with a preview of the coming week.

    A Weekly Calendar of learning and activities will be posted.

  • Weekly Assignments
  • Students may also be invited to participate in weekly optional interactive activities using Zoom. Teacher Zoom Checklist

    Grades 3-5 students and their families will participate in literacy, math and optional activities from Art, Music and PE each day. A variety of tasks will be included, and some learning tasks may include other online platforms (e.g. Benchmark Advance BM Advance, Math Knowledge on the Go Videos). Students will also be invited to participate in weekly optional interactive activities using Zoom.

    Learning Timeframe:

    The required learning elements described below will take approximately 2 hours/day and activities may spread out over several hours throughout the learning day.

    Over the course of this timeframe, students will engage with varying degrees of independence. The more challenging the task, the more support that might be required.

    Encourage your child to seek support while allowing your child to accept responsibility and take on challenges with increasing independence.

    Grades 3-5
    The learning experience within one day is designed to not exceed 2 hours of computer time.
    45-60 minutes Reading/Writing with connections to social studies, as appropriate
    45-60 minutes Mathematics
    Optional
    • Science, Art, Music, PE, or Supplemental Online Practice- Lexia, Zearn, etc. and other ideas from your teacher.
    • Reading is highly encouraged for your child.
    • Playing a game that requires strategy. For example, Tic-Tac-Toe and adding to it a graph of frequency/probability.
    We know that learning takes on many different forms and can take place in many different settings. Our upcoming Distance Learning experience is the very type of experience that our middle school students are prepared to take on and to grow from, independently, with their peers, and even with their families.

    Over the course of this school closure, students will be invited to engage in learning experiences that will stretch their thinking and will encourage new ways of doing in each of their classes, even though they will not be physically present on campus. Students will learn through a blended learning model, which includes asynchronous learning as well as synchronous, real- time interactive sessions with their teachers and classmates. Each of these learning experiences may be followed up with appropriate homework or a formative/summative assessment to confirm that the students have engaged appropriately with the content and that their understanding of the content supports their progress towards the identified target standards.

    How will teachers communicate with parents and students?
    • Teachers will communicate with parents through email, Google Classroom or Remind
    • Teachers will use Zoom, an online video conferencing platform, email and Google Classroom to communicate with students.
    • Teachers will invite students to participate in optional interactive sessions using Zoom every week.
    How will learning be structured?
    • Teachers will share resources using Google Classroom and online platforms chosen for the subject area.
    • Learning experiences are designed to be completed independently or if indicated in collaboration with others. Parents/guardians should not be too involved aside from monitoring and checking-in.
    • Students are encouraged to be proactive in reaching out to teachers when they have questions or assignments are unclear or counselors for social or emotional needs.
    We ask parents for the following support:

    As Middle School students are still developing their independence, a teacher-parent partnership is necessary for students to engage in Distance Learning tasks and, in some cases, to access on-line resources. The learning tasks and activities provide direction and support to families. We recognize that parents may have more than one child to guide, therefore we have framed the learning experience to require minimal parent involvement.

    • Read weekly Monday updates posted in Google Classroom from your child's teachers.
    • Check in with your child daily about the distance learning tasks, activities and assessments they are working on.
    • Designate a place where your child will work independently on assignments and reading.
    • Ask your child to provide a brief summary of the learning he/she is engaging in for each class to ensure his/her understanding of the content and of the process they are being asked to engage in to demonstrate their learning.
    • Monitor your child's deadlines/ calendar and support them in submitting assignments according to the established deadlines.
    • Remind your child to email his/her teachers if your child or you have questions or if you need extra help and support.
    • Email your child's classroom teacher if you have questions and/or if your child needs extra help and support.
    • Counselors are available to support students with social and emotional needs. Please initiate contact by email.
    Distance Learning Week 1

    The first week of Distance Learning will focus on:

    • Reconnecting with classmates and the teacher; creating an online learning community
    • Online Safety Digital Citizenship Lessons
    • Skills review and practice
    • Developing new online learning routines
    Following Weeks

    The following weeks of Distance Learning will focus on developing new skills, knowledge, understandings, and concepts, as well as on review and practice.

    • Teachers will communicate student learning expectations, provide resources, collect assignments, and provide feedback through Google Classroom.
    • Students will have daily learning targets/goals in each subject area for their scheduled day.
    • Weekly lessons will be posted in Google Classroom each Monday by 8:00 a.m.
    • Host office hours to respond to student and parent emails. Office hours will be posted.
    Suggested Lesson Structure

    ELA

    1. Weekly Preview/Review recorded video ( 5 min. max.per lesson) continuity of learning that is clearly connected to their learning in the prior class and will connect to the learning in the upcoming class.
    2. Class Discussion - real-time discussion hosted 1-2 times/week via Zoom.
    3. Written assignments - assigned and completed in Google Classroom.
    Math
    1. Weekly Preview/Review recorded video (5min. max.per lesson) continuity of learning that is clearly connected to their learning in the prior class and will connect to the learning in the upcoming class.
    2. Pre-recorded lessons that students view 2-3 times a week, "Knowledge on the Go," before the class math discussion. Knowledge on the Go Videos
    3. Written Assignment- completed in Eureka Math book and/or Math 2.0.
    4. Math discussion - real-time discussion hosted 1-2 times/week via Zoom.

    ELA and Math will have equal discussion/Zoom time each week.

    Grades 6-8
    60-75 minutes Reading/Writing Assignments, Vocabulary.com & Lexia Power Up
    60-75 minutes Eureka Math Assignments & Math 2.0
    Optional Social Studies/Science Activities- as resources are shared
    Music & PE Teachers will share PE and music activities
    On-line and Off-line Work: assign both online and offline work. This includes work in student workbooks, notebook and support online lessons. Online work should be limited as accessibility to devices and the internet may be limited.


    What if a student/family does not have internet connectivity?

    If a student/family does not have internet access, equitable comparable learning assignments/lessons will be provided. In this case, offline activities or assignments. In our district, each student has a math consumable and rather than accompany this assignment with an online activity, such as a video, written instructions and resources would accompany the assignment. The same applies to English Language Arts (ELA), which are our two required subjects.

    For students with disabilities, we must ensure equitable access to comparable opportunities, appropriately tailored to the individualized need of a student to ensure meaningful access, as determined through the IEP process to the extent feasible.

    Staff Office Hours: minimum of 1 ½ hours per week for any student or parent to make contact. Office hours include daily checking & responding to email/ Google Classroom. Teachers will notify parents and students office hours. A school-wide schedule may be developed if Zoom is used as a primary check-in platform.

    What if I am not comfortable using Zoom?

    Zoom is an optional platform for use for the purpose of hosting Office Hours to assist parents or students. Teachers are welcome to offer office hours exclusively via email or phone calls, for example. When hosting a meeting/discussion with students for class discussion, etc. co-hosting with another staff member is an option.

    Grades/Social Promotion: students will be assessed informally or for formative reasons, so teachers can monitor learning and adjust instruction. No grades will be assigned. No student will be held back or retained.

    Will students receive grades?

    Our district, in alignment with Tehama County, will not assign grades during Distance Learning. Instead, current grades, final grades based on students' third-quarter grades or students' grades when the school shutdown occurred, will remain on record for the students for the 2019-2020 school year. Should teachers be grading assignments that are being sent to distance learning students whose schools have closed from the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation?

    It is a local decision to require graded work from students. In concert with Tehama County and for the

    Are schools required to take daily attendance of distance learning students?

    While districts should not record regular daily attendance on school closure days for apportionment purposes, districts are encouraged to track participation and engagement in distance learning while schools are closed.

    What if a student gets sick and misses assignments?

    Districts and teachers should establish policies for how students can make up late or missing work due to illness. Schools and teachers should reevaluate existing policy and make necessary changes based on the unique demands of distance. There should not be consequences. However, it can be noted the student was unable to participate due to illness or did not participate per missing assignments.

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