One Team … One Mission … One Rock Hill

 

 386 E. Black Street T: (803) 981-1000

 Rock Hill, SC 29730 F: (803) 981-1094

 www.rock-hill.k12.sc.us

 

Memo

TO: Middle and High School Principals and Assistant Principals  

Middle and High School Instruction Leaders  

District Instruction Leaders  

FROM: Dr. John Jones, Chief of Academics and Accountability  

Ms. Jen Morrison, Executive Director of Secondary Education  

Ms. Tennille Wallace, Executive Director of Technology  

Dr. Joya Holmes, Executive Director of Choice and Professional Learning  

CC: Dr. Bill Cook 

Superintendent, Rock Hill Schools  

DATE: January 26, 2021

SUBJECT: Continuous Learning in Second Semester 2021 - Secondary Schools  

Direction and Purpose  

During the 2020-2021 school year, it is imperative that five days of continuous learning be  offered. Rock Hill Schools must continue to ensure that full access to standards is provided and  the related content is instructed, even in such difficult times. Students should receive one full  semester or year of instruction in each class whether the student is able to engage in face-to-face  instruction in school buildings or must learn remotely while at home. The purpose of this  memorandum is to address strategies to assist with access to continuous learning five days a  week.  

Beginning the second semester, for high school classes and middle school core courses (ELA,  Math, Science, and Social Studies), teachers will produce and post daily lessons on Canvas that  can be accessed by all students in a given class, whether remote or in-person. Minimum  expectations for what must be included in each posted lesson are provided in this memo.  

In monitoring needs based on the COVID-19 pandemic, schools must ensure schedules and  instructional expectations are structured in a manner allowing for classes to meet the needs of  both face -to-face and remote students equally. Expectations should be consistent across classes  and courses, and across schools at a given level. The use of Canvas, Seesaw, and instructional  plans will support consistent instruction and ensure continuation of learning and engagement  across formats. Guidelines for remote instruction have been provided to schools in the RHS  Remote Learning Guidelines.

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There should be no “off” remote days for any student on a weekly basis. Five days of continuous  instruction and live access to the student’s teacher will be provided to every student, whether he  or she is face-to-face or remote on a given day. The C day will be dissolved at the secondary  level in the second semester to maximize instruction and continuous learning for the greatest  number of students. Instead, the Monday C days will rotate as A or B days in the district  schedule. 

Each posted lesson should be built for remote instruction then accommodate for face-to-face  rather than the other way around. Guidelines for remote instruction have been provided to  schools in the RHS Remote Learning Guidelines. 

The following expectations are for all certified staff to align to those guidelines. School  administrators are expected to support and monitor these expectations to ensure students receive  five days of continuous instruction and contact with their teachers, whether students are remote  or face-to-face.  

Expectations for Planning and Pacing  

Access to the curriculum and time our students experience this year must be commensurate with  what schools provide in a non-pandemic year. 

Beginning the second semester in high school classes and in middle school core courses (ELA,  Math, Science, and Social Studies), teachers will produce and post daily lessons on Canvas that  can be accessed by all students in a given class, whether remote or in-person. Lessons should be  created with the mindset that students at home will engage and learn at the same pace as students  who are physically in the classroom.  

Each lesson should utilize best practices, personalized learning, and the components of the  workshop model as described in the RHS Remote Learning Guidelines. Teachers’ lessons should  be part of overall standards-based units or modules.  

School leadership will work with teachers to ensure lessons are posted and that lessons are  complete each week. If a teacher needs support, principals and school coaches should work with  district coaches to make certain the teacher has the support he/she needs.  

In keeping with the workshop model, teachers should include the following components in their  posted lessons: list of learning target(s) to be mastered in the lesson; opening to lesson; learning  activities and materials (small group or independent; if small group, instructions must be  provided for remote students working independently); formative assessment(s) so the teacher  may provide meaningful feedback and interventions; and summative assessment (if needed).  

During each class period, teachers must also provide access for remote students through video.  There are four options for this component outlined in the next section. Further, it is expected  that all live streamed or Zoom classes be recorded and posted on the teacher’s Canvas course  with the lesson for that day.

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Video Access to Continuous Instruction  

Video is a useful instructional tool for teachers as it is likely that one, several, or all students in a  given class or course will be on remote instruction. In addition, the teacher may be remote. For  continuous instruction five days a week, teachers are expected to provide access to instruction  for face-to-face and remote students.  

Two video components are required each day: live streaming of instruction in the classroom and  posting a recording of the day’s lesson in Canvas. Principals are responsible for determining the  method(s) for videoing to be used in the school in order to maintain consistency across teachers,  align with school expectations, and allow clear communication and reinforcement of student and  family support.  

Live Streaming  

In live streaming, remote students are able to access instruction in the classroom during the  scheduled time of the class. Zoom should be used as the platform for live streaming. Teachers  may incorporate remote student interaction into the live stream. If interaction is not incorporated,  it is still the expectation that remote students work on the class during its scheduled time and the  teacher should clarify how remote students should turn in work, ask questions, and get needed  help. If interaction is expected, the teacher should clarify what remote students should do during  live streaming and provide remote students with a way of asking questions and/or participating.  

The teacher will need to consider how all students - whether face-to-face or remote - can equally  access instruction and learn continuously.  

Recording  

For each lesson, a recording must be posted on the teacher’s Canvas course with the lesson for  that day. This will support continuous learning by providing all students and families - both  face-to-face and remote - the opportunity to review the lesson. It is not expected that these  recordings will be of professional quality in the 2020-21 school year.  

While each class should be live streamed in real time, if a teacher instructs two or more sections  of a single course for a given lesson, only one recording of that lesson needs to be posted.  

Pre-recorded Video 

A pre-recorded video may feature the teacher providing a mini-lesson, demonstration, or  instructions; facilitating an activity; or even providing feedback to a class. A pre-recorded video  would be created and uploaded to Canvas before instruction takes place in a given lesson. Pre recorded video is optional and available at principal discretion to replace live streaming and/or  recording when necessary and appropriate.  

The following resources may be helpful to teachers. 

A 5-Step Guide to Making Your Own Instructional Video 

● Utilize resources and teaching strategies from Catlin Tucker to construct a “flipped  classroom” design. A Flipped Learning Flow for Blended or Online Classes 

Curriculum Pacing in Second Semester

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High school teachers are expected to pace lessons so the entire semester’s curriculum is taught.  

Middle school core teachers are expected to pace their lessons so all prioritized standards are  taught for the year. Prioritized standards in ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies have been  provided by district curriculum specialists.  

Middle school elective courses are not scheduled five days a week. Middle school elective  teachers will follow the schedule set by their schools and post lessons in Canvas accordingly.  Virtual Academy classes taught by middle school elective teachers will continue to be  asynchronous to accommodate the Virtual Academy schedule.  

Attendance 

Teachers are expected to actively instruct and engage with students from the beginning of the  school day to the end of the school day with breaks, meetings, and/or planning as provided in the  school schedule. 

Remote students are expected to actively engage in instruction each period in the school day  through Canvas. Students and parents needing technical support should be directed to the  Technology Help Desk (803-324-TECH).

Attendance will be taken for every student every day, whether remote or face-to-face.  Clarification related to attendance has been provided to schools. Please see the January 17 attendance memo from Dr. Diana Smith, Executive Director of Student Services.

Expectations for Communication and Email  

Communication between the teacher and student is critical to student success. Teachers are  required to respond to any student or family email within 24 hours.  

Support for Teachers - Equipment  

Each teacher in the district will be provided with an external webcam/microphone combo that  can be used at school or at home. All webcams purchased by individual schools or the  technology department will be tagged and entered into TipWebIT, the district’s technology asset  management system. All webcams will be issued to teachers in TipWebIT and returned at the  end of each school year.  

Each teacher in the district will have access to Canvas Studio to upload video to Canvas.  Professional development and technical support will be provided in acquisition and use of the  cameras. 

Support for Teachers - Professional Development  

Professional development and support for teachers will begin being offered as soon as possible.  Professional development is being structured to provide teachers with choice based on their  experience and needs. Teachers may attend previously scheduled instructional technology  sessions already available in KickUp January 28 to February 4, take advantage of a self-paced  support session that will be available beginning February 3, and/or find resources on the district  Instructional Technology website. Further, schools will be able to schedule school-wide or PLC

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sessions with their assigned instructional technology specialists and content specialists.  

Support for Families and Students 

Families will need communication on its expectations for continuous learning five days a week  in the second semester. The daily schedule of the student is to be shared with the parent so that  they know the expectations for attendance. Each school will provide information sessions to  allow parent questions and to educate parents on daily student/teacher expectations.

Student and family learning expectations may be found in the RHS Remote Learning Guidelines.

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