Genoa Kingston CUSD #424 Remote Learning Plan for COVID-19 Shutdown
Due to the unprecedented shutdown of all Illinois Public Schools due to the COVID-19 Shutdown, districts are now providing learning opportunities at home for our students, which we are referring to as a Remote Learning Plan. Fortunately, the implementation of our 1:1 initiative used in conjunction with the Alternative Learning Plan approved by the GK Board of Education will build the capacity of all stakeholders in our school to successfully implement this program more efficiently in the beginning. We know that this is new to everyone, and our plan is to implement regular checks with our stakeholders to determine if and how we can improve this process. We encourage all members of the community, including our staff, to be lifelong learners. This is a great opportunity for us to be models for our students.
We have been following our Alternative Learning Plan during the initial shutdown of our district that the state has referred to as Act of God days. Our new Remote Learning Plan will be very similar to the Alternative Learning plan, and will be going into effect beginning April 1, 2020.
We expect teachers to be available to be in communication with students throughout any Remote Learning Plan Day. Minimal teacher expectations are to monitor their email and/or Google Classroom from 9:00am-11:00am and 1:00pm-3:00pm. Please understand that if a question or comment is posted after 3pm, the expectation of our staff is to answer or reply after 9am the next morning. Our Remote Learning Plan Days are purposely set up as an asynchronous experience to provide flexibility for both the students and the staff. However
All certified staff will be asked to record their work time on Remote Learning Plan Days. As has been done in the past, 5 ½ hours will be needed to be given credit for a full day of work.
Teachers will not be taking attendance online or from the students’ completed assignments. While attendance is not being taken, we still emphasize and encourage daily interaction with instructors to maintain a continuity of learning and instruction. As a result, students who are conducting their Remote Learning online through Google Classroom should check in daily for each instructional period on the Remote Learning Days.
Remote learning can be real-time or flexibility timed, and it may or may not involve technology. It is fully acceptable for any teacher to utilize a blend of real-time, flexibility timed, technological and non-technological options. Our staff has been asked to prioritize the state learning standards, and focus on the standards that are pertinent to moving forward in the future when we are allowed to utilize face to face instruction, or what will best benefit our students that will be moving on to another building, post secondary instruction, or a career next year.
Research Based Instruction
In general, student work on a Remote Learning Day will be based upon Research Based Instruction. Some examples of Research Based Instruction appropriate for Remote Learning include but are not limited to:
- Setting Objectives
- Reinforcing Effort/Providing Recognition
- Cues, Questions & Advance Organizers
- Nonlinguistic Representations (Graphic Organizers)
- Summarizing & Note Taking
- Identifying Similarities and Differences
- Generating & Testing Hypotheses
- Homework for later grades with minimal parental involvement with a clear purpose
- Scaffolding Instruction
- Student practice
- Individualized Instruction
- Inquiry-Based Teaching
- Concept Mapping
- Reciprocal Teaching
- Promoting student metacognition
- Teacher clarity (learning goals, expectations, content delivery, assessment results, etc.)
- Setting goals
- Higher-level questioning
- Learning feedback that is detailed and specific
- Question-Answer Relationship
- KWL Chart
- Comparison Matrix
- Anticipation Guides
- Response Notebooks
- Student Reflection
Student Engagement Time Expectations
|Grade Level||Minimum||Maximum||Recommended Length of Sustained Attention|
|K||30 minutes/day||90 minutes/day||3-5 minutes|
|1-2||45 minutes/day||90 minutes/day||5-10 minutes|
|3-5||120 minutes/day||180 minutes/day||10-15 minutes|
|6-8||Class: 15 minutes/day||Class: 30 minutes/day||1 subject area or class|
|9-12||Class: 20 minutes/day||Class: 45 minutes/day||1 subject area or class|
Further, we encourage teachers to give additional optional work, engagement opportunities, and enrichment opportunities (e.g., independent research projects) as long as it is made clear to students and families that the work is optional and will not negatively impact a student’s grade. Students will have the opportunity to redo, make up, try again to complete, show progress, or attempt to complete work assigned. Also, we will be encouraging alternate methods of assessment moving forward.
Suggestions for Additional Activities
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Additional engagement is especially important for primary grades, where it is not developmentally appropriate to expect a student to attend to academic tasks for a long period of time. Instead, students and families should be supported in having access to varied enrichment opportunities. In addition, students and families are encouraged to support academic skills and social-emotional health through activities that extend beyond assigned remote learning work.
Remote Learning Planning Days
We will be encouraging and facilitating cross-curricular collaboration amongst staff through the use of Remote Learning Planning Days. These days will be announced as far in advance as possible so that staff, students and families can prepare accordingly.
ISBE recommends a common platform for communication and instruction. Therefore, due to the district being a Google district, we will be using Google Classroom and Google Meet for Hangouts to maintain continuity and consistency through this period.
Student work during the suspension of in-person instruction will not negatively impact a student’s grades or otherwise impact a student’s academic standing. Grading is defined based upon the principle of no educational harm to any child. The aim, emphasis, and focus for schoolwork assigned, reviewed, and completed during remote learning is on learning, not on compliance. Therefore, the district will be proceeding with the policy of pass/incomplete moving forward. All students will either pass a subject, or it will be deemed incomplete until a later date, when the incomplete can be completed. Below you will find different methods of grading that our teachers and staff will be utilizing for this period of Remote Learning.
- Meaningful feedback
- Assessment as learning (self-assessment)
- Assessment for learning (formative)
- Student/teacher partnership (home)
- Criteria for work and expectations (exemplars)
- A dialogue
- Part of the learning process
- Focused on student growth
The district is still in communication with district legal counsel as well as ISBE. This document will be updated as needed when more information becomes available to us.
One of the best pieces of advice offered from other states is to not overwhelm students with work on these days. Student work will be relevant, meaningful, and manageable for them. Should a circumstance, such as a power outage, not allow a student to complete the assignment, that student will be given adequate time to make up the assignment without penalty. If a student does not have access to the internet or required technology to complete the work, a non-electronic method of completing the work will be provided to the student.
Should teachers or students encounter any technical issues on a Remote Learning Day, the technology staff and the administration will be available as they are also working during the Remote Learning Day. All K-12 instructional staff have been provided with a district device for Remote Learning.
As you all know, we are in uncharted waters without a compass. We are proceeding in a manner that we believe is in the best interest of our students, our families, and our community. However, we know that there is a good chance that our program will change in the near future as we implement different instructional techniques that our staff might not have ever tried before. As a result, we are going to be communicating frequently with stakeholders.
We are going to encourage our staff and teachers to teach communication to our students. In order to get better, we need feedback. A student’s ability to communicate HOW or WHY something is not working is the only way we can use that feedback to improve. If you hear your child saying they are frustrated or they don’t understand, ask them WHY or HOW, and to try to come up with a couple SOLUTIONS to make it better. Not only will that help our staff adjust more quickly and effectively, you will be assisting in teaching your child effective problem solving skills.
We will also be surveying families, staff and students regularly for feedback. Please take the time to fill out our surveys. We rely on those responses to evaluate our effectiveness.
We will also be putting out information about how to support the “whole child”, just as evidenced earlier in this document.
Transition Back to Traditional On-Site Instruction
This will be an important aspect when we are able to return to face to face instruction. However right now, the district’s focus is to provide the best learning opportunity for our students as possible in the immediate future. Therefore that will be the district’s focus. Once a transition plan is developed, it will be added to this plan and announced to all stakeholders.