United South Central Public Schools Reggie.jpgFlexible Learning Day Initiative

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PreK- Elementary

PreK-4

HIGH SCHOOL

5 -12

GOALS & DESIGN

The goals of the USC Flexible Learning Program are as follows:

1.  To minimize the disruption to academic progress caused by emergency  school closures by making these days as educationally productive and engaging as possible.

2. To allow USC’s 5-12 students opportunity to practice the kind of online learning that is increasingly part of both college study and workplace training.

3. To maximize use of the one-to-one technology in which USC has invested.

Flexible Learning plans may be implemented on up to three days during the school year.  It involves online or teacher-prepared lessons that students do when away from the physical school building.  By using one-to-one Chromebooks/iPads and by making provisions for students without such devices,  USC recognizes that education can continue even when students and teachers are not in the same location.  Along with emphasizing the value of learning, the Flexible Learning initiative encourages character growth in the areas of self-sufficiency, adaptability, and perseverance.

On a Flexible Learning Day, teachers will:

  • submit a summary of their day’s work to their building administrator by 4:00 p.m.  The summary should reflect how they used the day professionally. Such work may involve adding to Schoology lesson plans, doing online collaboration, participating in  webinars or training videos related to pertinent academic areas or pedagogy, creating lessons to address particular areas of the curriculum, and/or completing work specially directed by principals.
  • be available via email to answer questions and provide feedback to students and parents between 9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. On Flexible Learning Days, teachers will check the @unitedsouthcentral.org email regularly from 9:00 AM to 4 PM and hourly from 4 PM to 8:00 PM.

In advance, teachers will:

  • prepare learning activities for the possibility of three Flexible Learning Days and place the clearly marked activities and instructions in a “Flex Folder” that each student will receive at the start of the school year.
  • include the teacher’s school email address in the Flex Folder information. 
  • Instruct students to return the Flex Folder to their backpacks after a Flexible Learning Day so that it will be there for teacher or student access in the future.
  • tell students that they and/or their parents should contact teachers on Flex Days with questions or concerns they have about assignments. Remind students that, on Flex Days, teachers are available by email.  (Teachers will check email regularly between 9am-4pm.  Teachers will be expected to check for email on an hourly basis between 4pm-8pm.)

  • introduce iPad skills and apps to THIRD GRADERS during Quarter 1 so that the students will be comfortable with the school iPads when they are available for take-home use at the start of Quarter 2. (special note for third grade teachers)

Note: Flexible Learning Day lessons/assignments will integrate with the student’s regular class work as much as possible -- with everyone understanding these factors:

  • Learning involves repetition of skills and revisiting of concepts.
  • Flex Folders for PreK-4 students are necessarily assembled prior to a Flex Learning Day.  Therefore, assignments may not directly relate to a topic or skill covered the day before the Flex Learning Day.

* Teachers, along with students and parents, are asked to remember that Flex Days are designed to be flexible:  If a student struggles with a concept or assignment and is unable to complete the work that day, teachers will communicate with the student the following day about how to meet requirements.

** Teachers should contact their Principal in the event they are ill on a Flex Learning Day.

On a Flexible Learning Day, teachers will:

  • post assignments and plans for each course on Schoology by 9:00 A.M.
  • submit a summary of their day ‘s work to their building administrator by 5:00 p.m.  The summary should reflect how they used the day professionally. Such work may involve adding to Schoology lesson plans, creating flip classroom lessons, creating rubrics, doing online collaboration, participating in  webinars or training videos related to pertinent academic areas or pedagogy, creating lessons to address particular areas of the curriculum, and/or completing work specially directed by principals.
  • be available via email to answer questions and provide feedback to students and parents between 9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. On Flexible Learning Days, teachers will check the @unitedsouthcentral.org email regularly from 9:00 AM to 4 PM and hourly from 4 PM to 8:00 PM.

In advance, teachers will:

  • establish expectations for student participation in Schoology activities;
  • communicate deadlines for Flexible Learning assignments;
  • share information regarding learning goals,  activities and assignments to students prior to anticipated Flexible Learning Days, if possible;
  • design Flexible Learning assignments that address course standards;
  • design Flexible Learning  assignments with realistic expectations and timelines;
  • prepare students to do the following work on Schoology:
  • sign into the platform,
  • access assignments,
  • connect to Google Drive,
  • submit work,
  • answer questions, and
  • participate in discussions and/or blogs;
  • communicate with students without WiFi access at home regarding how they can successfully complete assignments made for the Flexible Learning Day.

*  Teachers, along with students and parents, are asked to remember that Flex Days are designed to be flexible:  If a student struggles with a concept or assignment and is unable to complete the work that day, teachers will communicate with the student the following day about how to meet requirements.

** If a 5-12 teacher is unable to access Schoology or if a 5-12 teacher has a planned absence on what turns out to be a Flex Learning Day, he or she must have a “backup assignment” to post on Schoology.   The teacher should contact technology office personnel to post the assignment.

NON-CLASSROOM

STAFF

SOCIAL WORKER

GUIDANCE COUNSELOR

THERAPISTS

NURSE

On a Flexible Learning Day, non-classroom staff will:

  • submit a summary of their day’s work to their building administrator by 3:00 P.M.  The summary should reflect how you used the day professionally. Such work may involve doing online collaboration, participating in  webinars or training videos related to pertinent area, creating lessons/plans  to address particular areas of student need  and/or completing work specially directed by principals.

INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR

On a Flexible Learning day, the Instructional Technology Director will:

  • be  available via email and Schoology to troubleshoot technical issues experienced by students and staff.

In advance, the Instructional Technology Director will:

  • assist teachers in developing their online instructional skills and in understanding the Flexible Learning initiative,
  • share suggestions and resources with Grade 5-12 staff related to effective online classwork,
  • help teachers access professional development resources, as necessary,
  • work with teachers to post Schoology assignments and conduct assessments, discussions, etc.,
  • share information about the district’s Flexible Learning plan, as directed, with area newspapers, on the school website, via JMC email, etc.

STUDENTS

On a Flexible Learning Day, PreK-4 students will:

  • complete hands-on activities at home on a day when regular school is cancelled. Because many students do have home access to devices and Internet, optional eLearning assignments may be suggested.

In advance, PreK-4 students will be told where to access assignments in their Flex Folders.

On a Flexible Learning Day, Grades 5-12 students will:

  • complete assignments posted on Schoology, the school’s online learning platform.  These assignments may include science, math, or language arts work on IXL; online discussions or other peer interaction; video creation or viewing; hands-on projects; reading assignments; formative assessments (practice quizzes) and feedback; short written responses or continued work on a previously assigned project.
  • email  or call teachers with any questions or concerns about their Flexible Learning Day work. On Flex Learning Days, check school email regularly from 9:00 AM to 4 PM and hourly between 4 PM to 8:00 PM.

In advance, Grades 5-12 students will

  • regularly locate, do, and submit assignments on Schoology and, as a result, be prepared to do online Flexible Learning Day work.
  • inform teachers if they do not have WiFi access at home so that needed modifications can be made to their assignments and/or due dates.

STRATEGIES TO ADDRESS SPECIAL NEEDS

Working with the parent, student, and teacher, the Special Education case manager will establish a plan to follow for the student when/if a Flexible Learning Day is called:  

  • Establish and share plans at the start of the year.  The classroom teacher will be the main resource for help on assignments and lessons.  If a child ordinarily leaves the classroom and goes to another teacher for math, reading, or some other subject, then that teacher should design the Flexible Learning Day assignment for the particular area.  
  • Provide support to address a particular student’s needs (online reading tools; special time and manner arrangements for communication between the family and teacher and/or student and teacher such as Skype or Google Hangouts, etc.)

Working with the parent, student, and teacher, the Special Education case manager will establish a plan to follow for the student when/if a Flexible Learning Day is called:

   

  • Establish and share plans at the start of the year.  The classroom teacher will be the main resource for help on assignments and lessons.  If a child ordinarily leaves the classroom and goes to another teacher for math, reading, or some other subject, then that teacher should design the Flexible Learning Day assignment for the particular area.  
  • Provide support to address a particular student’s needs (online reading tools; special time and manner arrangements for communication between the family and teacher and/or student and teacher such as Skype or Google Hangouts, etc.)

PARENTS

On a Flexible Learning Day, parents are asked to do the following:

  • monitor student progress on Flexible Learning activities,
  • contact teachers directly by email with any questions or concerns they may have regarding Flexible Learning Day assignments.
  • access Schoology through the parent portal.

* Parents, along with teachers and students, are asked to remember that Flex Days are designed to be flexible:  If a child struggles with a concept or assignment and is unable to complete the work that day, parents should remind their son or daughter to communicate with the teacher the next day about how to meet requirements.

On a Flexible Learning Day, parents will:

  • monitor student progress on Flexible Learning Day activities
  • contact teachers by email with any questions or concerns they may have regarding Flexible Learning Day assignments.

COMMUNICATION

Communication regarding Flexible Learning Days will include:

  • a backpack letter to parents that describes the Flexible Learning initiative -- This letter will include the teacher’s email.
  • documents describing the district’s Flexible Learning Days shared via the school website;  through social media; at open house and pre-school conference events; and through local newspapers
  • classroom teacher directions located in the student Flex Folders that list the assignments students are expected to complete during any Flexible Learning Day that is called,
  • a message included in the emergency closing announcement sent from the District Office
  • announcement on the school website on a day Flexible Learning is expected

Communication regarding Flexible Learning Days will include:

  • documents describing the district’s Flexible Learning Days shared via the school website, through social media, at open house and pre-school conference events, and through local newspapers.  Information provided will include the teacher’s email.
  • a  message included in the emergency closing announcement sent from the District Office
  • announcement on the school website on a day when Flexible Learning plans are implemented.

EMPHASIS ON FLEXIBILITY

Students, along with teachers and parents, are asked to remember that Flex Days are designed to be flexible:  

If a student struggles with a concept or assignment and is unable to complete the work that day, he or she will communicate with the teacher the following day about how to meet requirements.

Students, along with teachers and parents, are asked to remember that Flex Days are designed to be flexible:  

If a student struggles with a concept or assignment and is unable to complete the work that day, he or she will communicate with the teacher the following day about how to meet requirements.