COVID-19 Distance Learning

COVID-19 DISTANCE LEARNING DETAILS

What is COVID-19 Distance Learning?

Distance Learning involves planned online or teacher-prepared lessons that students complete when away from the physical school building. Using one-to-one devices (where applicable) and making provisions for students without devices such as packets. We recognize that education can continue even when students and teachers are not in the same location. 


The goals of Rush City’s Distance Learning Plan is to 

  • Minimize the disruption to academic progress caused by planned and extended school closures by making those out-of-school days as educationally productive and engaging as possible.

  • Allow Rush City students an opportunity to practice the kind of Distance Learning that is an increasing part of both college study and workplace training.

  • Maximize the use of Rush City’s one-to-one technology for students grades 7-12.


DISTANCE LEARNING PLANS BY GRADE LEVEL

Beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020 all students in grades PreK-12 will receive daily instruction through our COVID-19 Distance Learning Model. Below you will read specific details on a variety of topics related to this plan.

Preschool - Grade 6:  Packets or digital materials will be available.

Grades 7-12:  Log on to Schoology for Distance Learning lessons and materials.  The next scheduled pickup date for materials is Thursday, April 30, 2020 from 4:00-6:00 pm at both the High School and CE Jacobson Elementary.

The next scheduled delivery of materials is Friday, May 1, 2020 at the previously designated stops and times.


FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES PRESCHOOL-6: Each grade level will have a matrix showing what activities to do each day for each subject area. All the matrices look similar for ease of use by families with multiple students. Special Educational Teachers, Specialists, and Interventionists have added items to each child’s packet or digital delivery for their services. The goal was to provide about 2 hours of work/activities per day. The grade-level teams are eager to hear feedback and make adjustments to work levels as needed. Teachers are available from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm each day to answer emails and calls. Each teacher will also have 2 hours of Zoom availability per day for face to face encounters. A student wanting full support could log on to the Zoom session and stay on the entire time to get support as needed. Some students or families may log into the Zoom sessions only as needed. 


In addition, completed student work and weekly contact are mandatory as proof of attendance. Family engagement is part of Distance Learning. Completed work should be returned as new work is picked up or delivered. The work will be graded for fourth quarter report cards as well. 


FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES 7-12

Complete assignments and activities their teachers post on Schoology.  All assignments will be posted and teachers will be available to answer questions via email/zoom between the hours of 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.  It is understood that students might have a wide variety of responsibilities at home during Distance Learning days and that some may not have access to the internet.  Staff members understand this and will be flexible with those situations. However, the expectation is that students will complete the work in a timely manner as developed between student and teacher.


FOR ALL GRADE LEVELS

Students with disabilities, as required under Chapter 125A, will have assignments designed to meet the needs of IEP/504 plans.  


Teachers will continue to provide interventions and support where applicable to continue to meet the needs of all students. 


SPECIAL EDUCATION AND SECTION 504
 

In the event of extended school closures, the school district remains responsible for the free appropriate public education (FAPE) of its students eligible for special education services who have an individualized education program (IEP) or those with disabilities who qualify for a 504 Plan. Districts must plan how they will continue to meet the requirements of Part B (3- 21) and Part C (birth to three) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B and Part C, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. 


Students Receiving Special Education Services

Students with disabilities who receive special education services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP)  will continue to receive special education services and support during distance learning. The goal is to maintain as many of the IEP/IFSP services as possible, however not all current parts of an IEP/IFSP may be relevant or possible during distance learning. Case managers will reach out to parents to discuss how each child’s special education services will be provided during distance learning. Each student with an IEP/IFSP will have an Individualized Distance Learning Plan (IDLP) based on their current IEP/IFSP. The IDLP will be developed by members of the IEP/IFSP team, including the parent, and will outline the services and supports each student will receive through distance learning.


In addition to developing IDLPs, the district will be implementing several procedures to ensure it is meeting due process obligations, including upholding timelines and holding IEP/IFSP team meetings. As a general principle, during this unprecedented national emergency, school districts are encouraged to work with parents to reach mutually agreeable extensions of time, as appropriate.  

Throughout the course of any distance learning period, the district will meet due process obligations as follows: 

  • IEP meetings will be held, though timelines may be impacted by complete school closures.
  • IEP meetings will not be conducted in person at school buildings, but instead will be held virtually via any of the following methods:
    * Phone conference
    * Video conference (Zoom Meetings)
  • Initial evaluations and reevaluations will be conducted. However, for activities that are not reasonable to carry out if students are not physically at school (i.e., standardized face to face assessments), those activities could be delayed until building-based instruction resumes. 

Students Receiving Services and Supports through 504 Plans

Students with physical or mental impairments who receive services and support through a Section 504 Plan will continue to receive those services and supports during distance learning. The goal is to maintain as much of the 504 Plan as possible, however not all current parts of a 504 Plan may be relevant or possible to implement during distance learning. 504 case managers will be reaching out to parents to discuss how each child’s 504 Plan will be implemented during distance learning, including the consideration for any needed changes. 


If it is determined that changes to the 504 Plan are necessary for distance learning, those changes will be incorporated into the plan, sent home to parents and communicated with each child's teacher(s). 


504 evaluations and planning meetings will continue to occur during any distance learning period, however, meetings will not occur in-person in any school building. Instead, one of the following virtual methods will be used: 

  • Phone conference 

  • Video conference - Via Zoom Meetings 


Questions or concerns regarding how the district is meeting the needs of students with disabilities receiving services and supports through special education (IEPs)or section 504 (504 Plans) should contact either of the special services administrators listed below: 


Joel Anderson, Special Services Supervisor

janderson@scred.k12.mn.us

651-249-8021

Nicole Woodward, Director of Special Education

nwoodward@scred.k12.mn.us

320-358-1244

FOR PARENTS Parents should visit with their child’s teachers regarding the expectation on Distance Learning.  Students and parents without home internet access, or with limited internet access, must inform teachers of this fact so that needed modifications to assignments and due dates can be made.

  • Parents of students in grades 7-12 are encouraged to access Schoology through the parent portal.  Parents are welcome to contact the school for help in setting up their parent account.

  • Parents, along with teachers and students, are asked to remember that Distance Learning days are designed to be flexible:  if a child struggles with a concept or assignment and is unable to complete the work that day, parents should remind their student to communicate with the teacher about how to meet requirements.

  • Parents should contact teachers directly with any celebrations, questions or concerns they may have regarding Distance Learning assignments.


FOR TEACHERS
In preparation for COVID-19 Distance Learning Days, teachers in grades 7-12 have been asked to:

  • Familiarize students with Schoology so they will be able to access and complete any online assignments.

  • Provide a timely plan, posting work for the day by 9:00am.

  • Plan for self-directed, independent learning with specific consideration for age and individual learning needs.

  • Anticipate time requirements recognizing students learn at different paces, especially in an independent setting.

  • Communicate with colleagues to ensure common expectations, communications and protocols.

  • During contracted hours all teachers have been asked to check Schoology and/or email throughout the Distance Learning days from 8:00 am to 3:45 pm.


Professional Development: This contracted time should also be utilized to continue staff development when requested.