One Team … One Mission … One Rock Hill
386 E. Black Street T: (803) 981-1000
Rock Hill, SC 29730 F: (803) 981-1094
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.