Updated District Learning Plan
I hope this communication finds you in good health and spirits.
Thank you for your support during the School Closing due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Throughout the School Closing, it has been essential to reflect and process feedback received regarding all areas of District operations. On the matter of Distance Learning, we have all taken part in an evolution, learning new ways to teach and learn while trying to balance the multiple happenings within a home setting including social distancing, illness, and for some, sadly the loss of loved ones.
When we look back on the past weeks, we must celebrate the successes and find satisfaction that despite the obstacles presented, everyone is trying their best while keeping health and safety at the forefront. In addition, the practice of reflection needs to include open-mindedness about potential ways our District can enhance our service to those we serve, students and parents.
Input from the school community reveals a need by parents and teachers for clearer expectations, additional support and more structure and consistency in instructional delivery with regard to Distance Learning. This structure is especially needed during this time of uncertainty. It is my responsibility to be sure that clear expectations are in place so there is a shared understanding among students, parents, teachers and our administrators.
To evolve the Distance Learning process to meet these identified needs, the District is making enhancements that go into effect on May 13. These include requirements for live and/or recorded instruction for students, K-12, Monday to Thursday, along with live instructional support and office hours. The revised Distance Learning Plan takes into account the need for students to have the appropriate amount of time daily for instruction and independent practice, with additional time on Friday, to complete assignments and engage in enriching activities.
This shift directly responds to a large amount of anecdotal feedback I have received from parents, including recent survey feedback indicating that parents, as well as students, desire a requirement of live and/or recorded instruction as the primary method of instructional delivery.
I also want to remind our students that with the Distance Learning format, the Code of Conduct is in effect and appropriate behavior is expected just as it is within the traditional school classroom setting. To maintain the privacy and confidentiality of students and staff, the recording, posting or distribution of Distance Learning activities is prohibited.
A high school student who recently wrote to me referred to Distance Learning as “A place where students can seek refuge from the crisis and bring a sense of normalcy back to their daily lives.”
At a time when there is complete uncertainty around the globe, everyone desires some sense, any sense, of normalcy. It is our hope that the changes we are making will provide the needed structure to enhance the new normal we are experiencing.
As we continue this journey together, I want to thank you in advance for your perseverance while assisting your child with Distance Learning.
Stay strong! Stay healthy!
Martin D. Cox, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools