Park River Area School District’s mission is “To Inspire and Empower the Future” and our vision is “To Be Better Today Than We Were Yesterday”. The Park River Area School Board believes their core responsibility to be “To Provide a High Quality Education to All Students” We are committed to adhering to these ideals as our staff works to provide quality education to our students during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
Park River Area Schools will offer on site and distance learning options to students to start the 2020-21 school year. Families need to make a determination as to which model they would like for their children by August 19, 2020. Once they choose a learning model for their child, they have until September 9, 2020 to have their child change models. After September 9, they are committed to that model for the remainder of the semester, which ends on January 15, 2021. An exception may be made if it would be medically compromising for the student to be engaged in on site learning.
I. Attendance Procedures
All students whether on-site or choosing a distance learning model will be required to attend classes when they are in session. Students in grades 7-12 on-site as well as in a distance learning model will follow the secondary bell schedule and be required to be present for each period of the day. Students in grades K-6 will attend class according to their classroom schedule. Distance learning students would be expected to connect virtually to their teacher’s classroom at the start of each period. Satisfactory attendance would require the student to have their camera on and for the student to be actively engaged in the class for the specified time set by their teacher to be considered present. Attendance will be recorded for each period for students in grades 7-12. Attendance for elementary students will be recorded twice each day (morning and afternoon). All school and handbook policies regarding attendance incentives are suspended indefinitely.
II. Staff Expectations
Park River Area teaching staff will be expected to manage their classrooms through a Google Classroom learning management system. Teaching staff will meet live each period with any distance learning students as part of their regular classroom. Teaching staff shall provide live instruction through Google Meets set up for their classroom when distance learning students are part of the class. Teaching staff shall also provide virtual individual and/or small group instruction when necessary to meet specific learner needs. All educators shall also be available to provide and/or respond to parent/student needs during their regularly scheduled school hours (8:00 AM - 4:00 PM). Though staff may choose to communicate outside of those school hours it is not an expectation. Teaching staff shall also be provided with time throughout the school year for professional development opportunities related to health and safety; curriculum, instruction, and assessment; and mental/social emotional supports. Teachers, counselors, and support staff will be required to work from school in all formats unless they have a documented underlying health condition or the building is closed. Teachers who are in isolation or are quarantined will be expected to teach from home if their health allows.
III. High Quality Standards Based Education
An engaging and high quality instruction based on prioritized standards will be provided to all students on-site and in the distance learning environment. These instructional lessons will be provided to virtual students through Google Meets while using the Google Classroom learning management system.
All students in grades 3-12 whether on-site or in a distance learning model will have access to a school issued chromebook and students in grades K-2 will have access to a school issued iPad. The use of these devices is dependent on the proper care and management of the chromebook. A user agreement is required during the checkout process.
Families that choose to go with a distance learning model at the beginning of the school year are required to have a reliable internet connection with sufficient bandwidth.
Park River Area teaching staff shall teach from a curriculum that guarantees a prioritized set of standards for each grade and content area. Teaching staff will monitor student progress on each of these sets of standards through quality formative and summative assessments.
IV. Ensuring Equitable Services
Special Education Considerations - Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs) and 504s
Students receiving special services through an IEP or a 504 plan are unique and require special services in the event of a closure. From a Supplemental Fact Sheet Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Schools developed by the US Department of Education, “the Department encourages parents, educators, and administrators to collaborate creatively to continue to meet the needs of students with disabilities. Consider practices such as distance instruction, tele-therapy and tele-intervention, meetings held on digital platforms, online options for data tracking, and documentation. In addition, there are low-tech strategies that can provide for an exchange of curriculum-based resources, instructional packets, projects, and written assignments.”
Park River Area School District will work in conjunction with Upper Valley Special Education to ensure our special education case managers and service providers are meeting (virtually or by phone) to collaborate with parents/guardians on a contingency learning plan for their child. The parents/guardians, case managers, and service providers will collaborate on each IEP goal and determine how best to meet these goals through distance learning. Teams will take into consideration the student’s preferred learning method, ability for independent work, access to adult support, adaptations/accommodations, assistive technology needs, how progress will be monitored, and where services will take place. Ongoing communication with families will continue to be an important part of this process.
Documentation of the contingency learning plans will be completed and shared with parents on a Prior Written Notice of Special Education Action. These forms will be sent digitally or by mail, if requested, to each family. Further changes to services can be discussed and documented as needed. Learning plans will consider both synchronous online learning (e.g. chat, streaming, video, instant message, web conferencing) or asynchronous online learning with capability for remote communication and assessment (e.g. email or learning management systems that deliver, track and manage classes or projects).
If a special needs student is in a distance learning model, it may include virtual learning, web-based sites, online services and telephone contacts. Contingency learning plans could also utilize textbooks, workbooks, worksheets, documents made available on technology devices, online resources and other Internet content.
Case managers will be available through office hours to be established by each case manager. During this time, case managers will be accessible to support families and students. This may be done through telephone, teleconference or an approved online platform. IEP meetings will be scheduled through virtual methods as needed. Progress reports will be provided to parents to assist in determining progress with IEP goals.
The EL instructor will meet with or have weekly video conferences with tier I students and continue working on speaking and listening goals. The instructor will utilize Google Classroom for digital assignments to support the development of those goals. They will continue to utilize Google translate and read books in the students’ primary language.
The Park River Area School District will continue to support students through our schoolwide title program. All teachers will maintain connection with all elementary students to deliver reading and math instruction to them using a modified approach.
K-6 core grade-level reading instruction will continue to utilize the McGraw-Hill Reading series. The supplemental program pre-teaches and/or reteaches concepts following the McGraw-Hill Reading program through its intervention program known as McGraw-Hill Reading WonderWorks Intervention for grades K-6. The reading instruction programs for at risk readers include the following essential components: phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, phonics, high-frequency words and fluency of decodable texts.
PRAS uses the mathematics curriculum by Saxon Math. This program introduces new concepts while providing continued practice to maintain previously taught concepts. The focus of the lessons include the following: fact practice, operations, algebraic thinking, number sense, measurement processes, representing data, geometric attributes, and story problem solving. The math program for at risk students pre-teaches and reteaches concepts including skill and drill.
Teachers will communicate with students and provide electronic and/or hard copies for students to access materials. Teachers work collaboratively with all personnel to maintain connections with students who choose a distance learning model. Supplemental materials beyond core instruction will be made available to families of students using the distance learning model.
V. School Counseling Services
Park River Area School District will maintain a connection with all students who are in the distance education model to deliver counseling services using a modified approach. Counseling materials related to the current situation will be provided through Google Classroom. Video lessons may also be provided. Additionally, the counselor will be available to meet with students individually, in small groups, or in large groups via Google Meet. The counselor will adhere to the ASCA virtual learning guidance and ethics. Information regarding telehealth services via Abound Counseling will be provided upon request or through teacher recommendation.
In the case of an emergency, the student/parent should contact 911.
In addition, mental health and other resources within and outside the community can be accessed by contacting the counselor or on the counselors web page https://sites.google.com/a/parkriverk12.com/herebeguidanceskavhaug/ under “parent information.
VI. Assessment & Grading
Park River Area School for grades PK-12 will follow the guidelines for grading set out in the student handbook. Teaching staff will use the Google Classroom learning management system to provide on-site and distance learners with assessment opportunities. Powerschool will be the primary source for communicating academic progress to all parents and distance learners. Students in grades K-12 will be assessed in the areas of math and English Language Arts within the first four weeks of the school year to measure current academic progress as well as to identify additional areas for instructional support.