~ The proposal below for reopening Page County Public Schools for the 2020-21 school year was presented by Superintendent Wendy Gonzales to the Page County School Board on Thursday, July 16.
2020-21 Instructional Plan
Vision Statement – To what do we aspire?
To engage, encourage, and empower the next generation of learners, thinkers, and leaders.
Mission Statement – Why do we exist?
To provide an engaging, encouraging, and empowering learning environment that promotes student success.
Core Values – What do we value?
- Persistence – working through difficulties despite opposition
- Responsibility – being reliable, dependable, and owning your actions and decisions
- Integrity – being honest and transparent with moral and ethical principles
- Diversity – celebrating the uniqueness of each person and what they have to offer
- Excellence – committing to doing and giving your best in everything, not settling
- Objective — Page County Public Schools will provide new instruction to all students in the 2020-21 school year. We will engage students with relevant and challenging learning. We will encourage students with strong supports. We will empower students to be future ready.
- Options — Students will choose between a blended learning environment (some face-to-face, some remote learning) or full remote learning. For the 20-21 school year, blended learning will involve face-to-face learning 2 days a week with remote learning 3 days a week for grades 2 -12. Remote learning is a distance learning model wherein learning is completed away from the regular school setting. Learning in this model may occur through paper and /or digital formats wherein in instruction is supported by school staff. Remote learning provides an opportunity for students and teachers to remain connected and engaged with the content while working from their homes. Remote learning is also known as distance learning and/or virtual learning. Face-to-face learning is in person learning model wherein learning is completed within the school setting. Learning in this model may occur through paper and /or digital formats wherein instruction is provided by school staff. With face-to-face learning, it’s possible to have a live interaction between a learner and an instructor. Since that interaction occurs in person, it means that a learner needs to be physically present in a classroom at a specific time and date.
Operational Infrastructure to Support Learning
- Elementary (PreK, Kindergarten, First Grade) – Students will attend 4 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday). Each class will be divided into 2 groups of no more than 12 students. Instruction will be provided by school personnel. The school day will run from 8:15 a.m. (drop off no earlier than 8:00 a.m.) until 3:15 p.m.
- Elementary (Second – Fifth Grade) – Students will attend in-person 2 days a week (A schedule – Monday & Thursday / B schedule – Tuesday & Friday) and attend on either the A or B schedule. Classes will be divided into groups to ensure proper social distancing. Students will participate in remote learning the 3 days in which face-to-face instruction does not occur. The A and B day schedule (face-to-face) will run from 8:15 a.m. (drop off no earlier than 8:00 a.m.) until 3:15 p.m.
- Middle (Sixth – Eighth Grade) – Students will attend in-person 2 days a week (A schedule – Monday & Thursday / B schedule – Tuesday & Friday). Classes will be divided into groups to ensure proper social distancing. Students will participate in remote learning the 3 days in which face-to-face instruction does not occur. Face-to-face instruction will occur on a 5 period day schedule and include a lunch/recess block. Teachers will travel between classrooms. The following classes will be offered at each grade level (English, Math, History, Science & 1 elective). The A and B day schedule (face-to-face) will run from 8:30 a.m. (drop off no earlier than 8:00 a.m.) until 3:00 p.m.
- High (Ninth – Twelfth Grade) – Students will attend 2 days a week (A schedule – Monday & Thursday / B schedule – Tuesday & Friday). Classes will be divided into 2 groups of no more than 12 students. Students will participate in remote learning on days which face-to-face instruction does not occur. Face-to-face instruction will occur on a 6 period day schedule (includes lunch & Seminar). Teachers will travel between classrooms. The following classes will be offered at each grade level as needed to meet graduation requirements (English, Math, History, Science & electives). The A and B day schedule (face-to-face) will run from 8:30 a.m. (drop off no earlier than 8:00 a.m.) until 3:00 p.m.
o A schedule (Monday & Thursday) high school students will attend Page County Technical Center during B schedule (Tuesday & Friday).
o B schedule (Tuesday & Friday) high school students will attend Page County Technical Center during A schedule (Monday & Thursday).
- Students and staff will maintain minimal changing of locations throughout the instructional day and coordinated movement throughout the building will be used to reduce contact while maintaining appropriate social distancing.
- Page County Public Schools will have the capacity to provide new instruction to all students through remote learning in the event of a school closure imposed by local governance.
- Students are committed to the instructional model they select unless extenuating circumstances exist.
Families that depend on school buses to transport their students to and from school on a daily basis should expect the following.
- Students are required to wear a face covering while riding the bus
- Students will sit one to a seat, except for students who reside together
- Students are required to adhere to assigned seating arrangements Page County Public Schools will not provide transportation for students who cannot adhere to these requirements. School buses will carry less than 50% of their normal capacity. School buses will be sanitized after every load.
Processes & Systems
- Daily check-in procedures to assess both student and staff wellness.
- Pre-packaged meal service for breakfast and lunch at all schools, which will allow students to eat in their classrooms, thereby eliminating large gatherings in school cafeterias where social distancing recommendations cannot be maintained.
- Static seating arrangements in classrooms across the school division will adhere to social distancing recommendations from the CDC and allow for thorough daily cleaning.
- Additional signage will be posted in school buildings to reinforce social CDC guidelines throughout the school.
- Deep-cleaning of instructional settings and increased disinfecting of high-traffic areas throughout the day.
- Age-appropriate reinforcement of good hygiene practices through the availability of hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations throughout the school buildings.
- Students have individual supplies, devices, and other classroom necessities to eliminate the need for students to share these items.
- Staff members and students wear face coverings in the hallways and in small-group instruction settings when social distancing is not possible.
- Barriers and partitions to be in place in office settings where the social distancing is not always practical or possible.
- School nursing personnel to be trained and properly equipped with PPE and medical supplies/equipment for addressing COVID-19.
- Health clinics and nurse stations in the schools to be outfitted with masks for students exhibiting symptoms and separate waiting areas to be available for students whose health conditions require those students to be isolated from others.
- Parent access to the building will be limited to the vestibule/lobby area and be asked to adhere to CDC and social distancing guidelines.
- Visitor access to the building will be limited to essential support for teaching and learning and will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering the school.
- Students will remain with their classroom groups as much as possible to restrict mixing with other student populations therefore decreasing risk.
Students in grades 3-12 will be provided a device as they become available to support learning. Options for students who need access to the internet at home are currently being explored. Students with a device and no Internet connection will download at school the necessary instructional items to their devices to be accessed. PCPS will use a learning management system to provide instructional content.
In the remote learning setting, student technology expectations include:
- Students use their school device during remote learning.
- Students will bring a fully charged device.
- Students should check the learning management system daily for updated assignment information.
- Students should be courteous and respectful online and adhere to the technology code of conduct.
- Students will utilize the learning management system for remote learning and communication.
PCPS will share important information and updates with the school community. Members of the school community will receive information and updates on schools’ status via the following channels:
- School Messenger calls, texts, and emails will be delivered to families (Apptegy).
- Social media platforms: Facebook, PCPS Division Website (COVID-19 page)
- Local media outlets
PCPS will notify teachers, staff, and parents of a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19. Notifications will be done in a way that protects the confidentiality of the ill individual and clearly explains what the school is doing in response to the diagnosis and what the recommendations are for teachers, staff, and parents. Regular updates following an initial notification will occur. Teachers, staff, and parents will be kept apprised of developing situations in which more cases are found and more stringent measures are planned in the school to prevent further exposure. The frequency of notifications will depend on how a situation is evolving. PCPS will work with the local health department to plan the more detailed personal communication that will be needed for parents whose children have been identified as being in close contact with a person with COVID-19 and to discuss any questions about ongoing communications with the school and greater community.
New Instruction for All Students
Equitable Provision of Instruction
Page County Public Schools will provide new instruction to all students. Students will physically report to the building four times per week (PreK – First Grade) and two times per week (Second – Twelfth Grade). Physical attendance will be staggered but instruction will be continuous, as learning will continue remotely for the days that students are at home. Students will be assessed to determine learning loss and gaps, and differentiation of instruction will be provided.
There will be a focus on big ideas (“power standards”) in the core areas. Teachers will utilize differentiation and flipped classroom models to provide instruction in a blended learning environment. Flexible remediation schedules for targeted interventions to address learning gaps associated with loss of instructional time in the 2019-20 school year will be implemented early in the school year. Elementary students will utilize a “power-up” block to remediate learning gaps and deficits. Middle school students will utilize a “Primetime” period to remediate learning gaps and deficits.
Vulnerable & Special Populations
PCPS will ensure specialized instruction for all students in our vulnerable and special populations. Accommodations and modifications will be made for students based on individual needs for students who may need to attend school physically each day to do so. All IEPs and LEPs will be followed. IEP teams may reconvene in order to determine and document appropriate services.
To prepare for the transition to the learning management system, teachers will complete professional development activities during the weeks of August 10-21, 2020.
Professional development in these areas will continue for teachers throughout the school year. Instructional Technology Resource Teachers and Instructional Coaches will be offering additional support and resources for teachers as they plan and develop lessons.
Families will be asked to partner with the school to support student growth and success in the following ways:
- Maintain two-way communication with the instructional staff.
- Encourage students to attend all classes and complete all assignments.
- Create a comfortable, distraction-free place for students to work when participating in classes at home.
- Encourage students to incorporate physical activity and healthy breaks from classes during the day, while practicing responsible social distancing.
Identification of Instructional Gaps and Student Needs
Teachers will use diagnostic formative assessments to pre-assess students prior to instruction in order to determine individual student needs.
Teachers will use formative assessments to determine student mastery and/or provide differentiated instruction (remediation or enrichment). Based on data collection, differentiated instruction will be designed, pacing and curriculum guides will be adjusted as necessary to meet the needs of students.
Page County Public Schools will utilize Performance Matters assessments, interventions, and reporting to determine student areas of need. Division pacing guides have been revised to include materials from previous years grade level/subject area.
In the event that further closures are necessary, the division will eliminate face-to-face learning and continue with remote learning in order to keep students engaged, encouraged, and empowered as we work to provide the best academic experience possible while staying connected as a community of learners. Remote lessons will be crafted to facilitate student learning and growth, while also affording them meaningful opportunities for connection and community.
With all remote learning, PCPS has set forth the following expectations for teaching and learning:
- Technology resources that are currently used day-to-day to connect, extend and deepen learning will continue to be used in the remote learning environment.
- While at school, students will download necessary instructional items to their devices to be accessed without the use of the Internet, to use while learning remotely from home.
- They will be encouraged to visit hotspots around the community (including school parking lots) to download necessary items as needed.
- Online and digital instructional tools will continue to be used to support remote learning.
- Teachers will communicate weekly with students to ensure students are on track, learning, and completing assignments.
- Teachers will be available and students should contact a teacher with whom they would like to schedule an individual meeting ahead of time to schedule a call or virtual meeting.
- Students should give their best effort, exhibit their best online class behavior, and attend classes regularly.
- Students are expected to be courteous and respectful online and adhere to the technology code of conduct.
- Assignments will be graded so that families and staff can collaborate to monitor student success.