Continuity of Student Learning Plan

TASIS Dorado Distance Learning Hub 

OPEN HUB


The TASIS School in Dorado is following the CDC recommendation of planning and preparing for the possibility of a community-level outbreak of COVID-19 or any community pandemic requiring the suspension of classes for an extended period. The following document outlines our plan for approaching online and off-campus learning for our PPK-12th grade students. This plan is differentiated based on the age range of our students, and if ever needed to be implemented, there may need to be adjustments depending on circumstances.


Overview

● While the plan will rely primarily on technology tools for communication purposes and for many of the tasks assigned, teachers will also plan individual learning and school-based experiences that are not only technology-based as a way to balance “screen time.”

● We recognize the importance of the arts and physical education to our students, and we will incorporate these disciplines as well.

● Our approach will not simply mirror a school day’s worth of work. There will be a blend of assignments planned within the framework of a week, and for our secondary students, this will include occasional live sessions with teachers and classmates. 
● For our PPK-2nd grade students, parents/caregivers will be primarily responsible for sharing the assignments with students, which will be sent electronically through Veracross, and depending on circumstances, hard copies will also be available to be picked up at school.

● Our 3rd-12th grade students will be able to access and submit assignments using our online platforms.

● If possible, the CDC recommends schools remain open while classes are suspended so our teachers will have access to instructional materials for planning and to our high-speed internet service for online sessions.

Lesson Design & Guidelines


The following guidelines were obtained from The American School in Japan - Distance Learning Plan (Updated: Feb 2020), which was recommended for review by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Due to the similarities of our own digital resources, they are also appropriate and applicable to our school community.


Lesson Design

Developing lessons and assignments due to an extended suspension of classes requires a different approach for teachers. Here are some considerations:

● How can I leverage digital platforms to provide learning experiences rich in engagement, social interaction, and feedback? 

● How can I help my students manage the worry, fear, or isolation they may be experiencing as a result of this emergency or crisis?  

● What are the most important understandings and skills I can help my students develop at this time?

● How can I help my students construct their own understandings?

● What are the authentic learning opportunities that have resulted from this emergency or crisis?

● Where might my students’ curiosity and motivation open other new possibilities?

● How can I design learning experiences that address the needs of different types of learners who need different kinds of support and guidance?

● How will I assess student learning in meaningful ways?

10 Guidelines for TASIS Dorado Teachers

The transition to distance learning will not be simple or easy. Teachers will need to think differently about how to communicate, give instruction, and provide feedback; how to design lessons and assignments that are authentic and meaningful; and how to ensure students continue to collaborate and communicate with others. The ten guidelines provided below are intended to help teachers across all divisions.

1. Remember the Importance of Social-Emotional Learning In the event of a crisis that leads to implementation of this plan, our students may be stressed or worried. Before presenting assignments, take the time to engage your students in a way that provides insight into their social-emotional wellness.

2. Evaluate Your Students’ Conditions for Learning Off-Campus While most students will have reliable online access at home and the necessary devices to shift to distance learning, teachers should remember that each family’s circumstances may vary, and they should avoid assumptions about limitations or restrictions students are facing.

3. Stick with the Familiar Teachers should continue using existing communication channels and learning management systems as mentioned above.
4. Less is More Should TD implement this plan, one challenge confronting teachers will be how to best streamline content and elevate the most essential learning for students. Teachers need to take a less-is-more perspective, including the pacing of lessons and assignments.

5. Seize the Moment: Embrace New Opportunities and Possibilities for Your Students While this plan should attempt to bring some normalcy and routine to students’ lives, teachers shouldn’t ignore the opportunities resulting from school closure either. Teachers might require students to keep a daily journal or diary for the duration of the crisis. Personal journaling and/or other creative writing assignments can help students process their thoughts, worries, and emotions, particularly in times of crisis. Students might use other media as well, including video, drawing, painting, and music. Moreover, the crisis might also provide other real-life opportunities to study scientific phenomena associated with the crisis, how the media is reporting the incident, how governments are responding, and many other opportunities to seize the moment and design new learning transdisciplinary experiences for our students.

6. Provide Space for Personalized Learning Distance learning can provide opportunities for students to personalize what, how, and when they learn. Students can move more flexibility and freely through content when teachers create nonlinear curricula. Distance learning can also provide students with the opportunity to learn at different paces (ex: Freckle, Khan Academy).

7. Designers of Experience & Facilitators of Learning It is especially important for teachers to think of themselves as designers of experiences and facilitators of learning (as opposed to distributors of knowledge). Teachers need to think about how to introduce content, design experiences, and coach students with thoughtful, specific feedback. Teachers need to establish conditions where students have a clear sense of purpose, opportunities to express themselves, and experiences that allow them to work toward mastery. This will help students stay motivated and engaged in learning, even when they are not physically at school.
8. Design Asynchronous Learning Experiences When school is closed, teachers can still connect them asynchronously. For example, teachers can use Google Classroom (our LMS platform) to organize discussion forums to allow for student responses and dialogue during a set time period, knowing that students might not all be online at the same exact time.

9. Design Synchronous Learning Experiences When it comes to student engagement and learning, relationships matter as much online as they do in person. Students might be able to gather for synchronous learning times via video chat using tools such as Google Meet to foster live discussion facilitated and moderated by the teacher.

10. Think Differently About Assessment Assessment is one of the most challenging adjustments for teachers in these circumstances. For assessments, students, individually or collaboratively, may be able to complete writing assignments, design infographics, make video presentations, or complete oral assessments via video chat. Teachers are encouraged to think differently about how to evaluate performance instead of forcing a traditional assessment method that doesn’t this learning plan.

9 Guidelines for TASIS Dorado Students

1. Establish daily routines for engaging in the learning experiences (ex: 8:00 AM start).

2. Identify a comfortable, quiet space in your home where you can work effectively and successfully.

3. Regularly monitor online platforms (Veracross, Google Classroom, email, etc.) to check for announcements and feedback from your teachers.

4. Complete assignments with integrity and academic honesty, doing your best work.

5. Do your best to meet timelines, commitments, and due dates.

6. Communicate proactively with your teachers if you cannot meet deadlines or require additional support.

7. Collaborate and support your classmates in their learning.

8. Comply with TD Acceptable Use Policy, including expectations for online etiquette

9. Proactively seek out and communicate with other TD staff for support as different needs arise.

Additional Information

● Teachers will continue to submit lesson plans, assignments, and assessments to their division administration for review and approval prior to posting them.

Elementary Time guidelines for learning tasks is approximately:

○ PPK-PK: 40-60 minutes per day

○ K-2nd: 80-100 minutes per day ○ 3rd-5th: 120-145 minutes per day

○ K-5th: 90 minutes per week of VAPA/PE activities

Secondary Time guidelines for learning tasks is approximately:

○ 180-240 minutes per day

○ 90 minutes per week of VAPA/PE activities

Additional information will be provided by the TASIS Dorado Administrative Team in the event that this plan must be implemented.

Background Information from the CDC


● To prepare for possible community transmission of COVID-19 or any community pandemic, the most important thing for schools to do now is plan and prepare. As the global outbreak evolves, schools should prepare for the possibility of community-level outbreaks. Schools want to be ready if COVID-19 does appear in their communities.
● School administrators should work in close collaboration and coordination with local health officials to make dismissal and large event cancellation decisions. Schools are not expected to make decisions about dismissal or canceling events on their own.
● Large event cancellations or school dismissals may be recommended for 14 days, or possibly longer if advised by local health officials. The nature of these actions (e.g., geographic scope, duration) may change as the local outbreak situation evolves.
● CDC Source

CDC Recommendations to Ensure Continuity of Education


● Review continuity plans, including plans for the continuity of teaching and learning.
● Implement e-learning plans, including digital and distance learning options, as feasible and appropriate (if necessary).
● Determine, in consultation with school district officials or other relevant state or local partners: ○ How to convert face-to-face lessons into online lessons and how to prepare teachers to do so ○ How to triage technical issues ○ How to encourage appropriate adult supervision while children are using distance learning approaches ○ How to deal with the potential lack of students’ access to computers and the Internet at home
● CDC Source

Parent Support Contacts

Adapting to the distance learning method can be a bit difficult and you might find yourself with some questions or concerns. Please know that we are here to help and support you through the process. Keep a positive attitude and take on the experience as a new, innovative challenge!

The best way to get in touch with your Division Teams is to email the following addresses:

  • Video Tutorials

  • Unsure about an assignment, contact the teacher!

  • If you do not have a device available for your 3rd-5th grade child, contact James McCartney (mccartney.j@tasisdorado.com), elementary principal to discuss arrangements to borrow a school device.

  • Did your student forget their Google Classroom/Google Drive password? Click here: Reset Student Google Password Form

Please be patient. As we are receiving numerous messages per hour and really want to make sure we offer you the best and most accurate answers.

Thank you so much and we hope to see you soon.

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