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Reopening Update: Revised K-5 Remote Learning Model

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on August 12, 2020

An important message to families of incoming K-5 students from Assistant Superintendent Dave Hurst:

Dear K-5 Family:

I have an important update for K-5 families who may be considering the Family Choice Remote Learning option for their child/ren to begin the 2020-21 school year. This is the full-time learn-from-home option for any family who may have health or safety concerns or otherwise feels uncomfortable about an in-person return to school for their student. In-person instruction for all students K-5 is scheduled to begin in September at all five elementary schools as part of the district’s reopening plan. There will be a phased-in start to the school year that begins Wednesday, September 9.

We are still finalizing plans for the Remote Learning model that will be in place for the start of school, however, preliminary data collected from the Remote Learning Option Waiver Form indicates we will be able to revise our K-5 Remote Learning Model to provide a greater balance between synchronous and asynchronous learning for these students. This would mean more direct teacher connection for remote students throughout the day than had been possible with available instructional staff as part of our original reopening plans.

Synchronous learning is an approach where teachers and students are online at the same time with a set schedule. Learning resources and tasks are provided for students to work on during a set class time.

Asynchronous learning is an approach where teachers and students are not online at the same time. Learning resources and tasks are provided for students to work on at a time that works for them and their families.

The summary below is reflective of the information we have today, August 12, and some aspects of this revised Remote Learning model could vary as we work to finalize classroom assignments, staffing assignments and schedules. It is also important to note that this revised model will not impact other elements of our Reopening Plan, including plans for in-person instruction that adhere to strict CDC health and safety guidelines regarding social distancing in our classrooms and smaller cohorts of students. 

What would Remote Learning K-5 look like under the revised model? 

Grades K-2 (2 – 2½ hours of synchronous instruction)

  • Students will log on to their learning device daily (iPads for kindergarten/Chromebooks for grades 1-2).
  • The day will begin with the morning meeting/community building activities, attendance will be taken.
  • Students will receive direct instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. In most cases, this synchronous instruction would not be delivered consecutively, but in periods throughout the school day.
  • Instruction in all other curricular areas will be asynchronous.
  • Students will be connected with a teacher/class for approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours each day.

Grades 3-5 (2½ – 3 hours of synchronous instruction)

  • Students will log on to their Chromebooks.
  • The day will begin with the morning meeting/community building activities, attendance will be taken.
  • Students will receive direct instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. In most cases, this synchronous instruction would not be delivered consecutively, but in periods throughout the school day.
  • Instruction in all other curricular areas will be asynchronous.
  • Students will be connected with a teacher/class for approximately 2 ½ to 3 hours each day.

For those families who choose K-5 Remote Learning, please be aware that students who return to in-person instruction mid-year are not guaranteed a spot at their home school. Teacher and building placements will be determined by available teaching staff and sections, student demand and most importantly, by the health and safety measures that are governed by CDC guidelines.

If you are interested in enrolling your student in Remote Learning for the 2020-21 school year, please fill out this form and read carefully before submitting. Students in Remote Learning will not be able to return to in-person instruction until the start of a new quarter, which is November 16, 2020 for those students who begin the school year enrolled in Remote Learning. 

Families can verify their remote learning selection in Aspen. Instructions on how to do this can be found here. Please allow at least 24 hours after filling out the form to check your status in Aspen.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by email at dhurst@bethlehemschools.org.

Sincerely,

David Hurst

Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs & Instruction

p.s. There is also a Reopening Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that has been added to the website. This FAQ will be updated regularly.