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Information regarding DCPS and Re-opening for the 2020-2021 School Year

Frequently Asked Questions Concerning the Re-Opening for the 2020-2021 School Year

Student Troubleshooting Guide for Virtual Learning

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Wednesday, 26 August 2020 09:40

Dorchester County Reopening for the 2020-2021 School Year Frequently Asked Questions

Dorchester County Public Schools

Reopening the 2020-2021 School Year

Frequently Asked Questions

Instructional/School Information

How will my children get their lunches?

During Phase 1, meals will be available for pick-up every Monday (Tuesday on those days when schools are closed on Monday) and Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m.  Meals can be picked up from any elementary or high school (not Mace’s Lane Middle or North Dorchester Middle).  Meals are also available at the Empowerment Center on Pine St. in Cambridge and at New Beginnings on Greenwood Ave.

Will virtual school be held every day?

School will be held every day, Monday through Friday.  Tuesday through Friday, students will receive synchronous lessons, which are lessons conducted live and in real time by a classroom teacher.  On Monday, students will learn through asynchronous lessons, such as previously set online work to complete to reinforce skills and knowledge.

What will the elementary schedule look like?

Pre-K and K will have 4 blocks to choose from.  The same lesson will be taught in all 4 blocks so students can choose which one fits their schedule better or they attend more than one for more practice.

PreK – K

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Asynchronous Learning

 

9:00 – 10:15 – Learning Block # 1

10:30 -11:45 – Learning   

               Block # 2

12:30 – 1:45 – Learning 

               Block # 3

2:00 – 3:15 – Learning

               Block # 4

9:00 – 10:15 – Learning Block # 1

10:30 -11:45 – Learning   

               Block # 2

12:30 – 1:45 – Learning 

               Block # 3

2:00 – 3:15 – Learning

               Block # 4

9:00 – 10:15 – Learning Block # 1

10:30 -11:45 – Learning   

               Block # 2

12:30 – 1:45 – Learning 

               Block # 3

2:00 – 3:15 – Learning

               Block # 4

9:00 – 10:15 – Learning Block # 1

10:30 -11:45 – Learning   

               Block # 2

12:30 – 1:45 – Learning 

               Block # 3

2:00 – 3:15 – Learning

               Block # 4

Learning Blocks provide options to parents and care givers.

In Grades 1 through 5, students will engage in up to 2.5 hours of teacher-directed instruction in the core content areas (math, language arts, science, social studies) Tuesday through Friday.  Students will be expected to log on for their assigned course at the designated time in order to be considered present for the class.  Two hours per day will be asynchronous learning activities for the student that reinforce core content skills and include related arts activities: music, art, PE, and health. Related arts teachers will also provide synchronous learning opportunities at specified times during the Student Choice activity time.

Grades   1-5

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Asynchronous Learning

9:00-11:30 Core Content Instruction

11:30-12:30 Lunch Break

12:30-2:30 Student Choice Activities

8:30-11:30 Core Content Instruction

11:30-12:30 Lunch Break

12:30-2:30 Student Choice Activities

8:30-11:30 Core Content Instruction

11:30-12:30 Lunch Break

12:30-2:30 Student Choice Activities

8:30-11:30 Core Content Instruction

11:30-12:30 Lunch Break

12:30-2:30 Student Choice Activities

*Option to flip schedule:         9:00 – 11:00 - Student Choice Activities

                                               11:30 – 12:30 – Lunch Break

                                               12:30 -3:00 – Core Content Instruction

 

What will the middle school schedule look like?

Grades 6 through 8 students will be provided synchronous learning four days per week for each course in the student’s schedule. Students will be expected to log on for their assigned course at the designated time in order to be considered present for the class. The synchronous time is intended for teachers to introduce new learning and to offer guided practice for the class. Asynchronous learning time is intended for students to practice their new skills, use instructional technology, do additional reading, complete homework, etc.

Grades   6-8

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Asynchronous Learning

Option 1:                                                8:00-8:30 Period 1

 AM Synchronous                                 8:35-9:05 Period 2

 PM Asynchronous                              9:10-9:40 Period 3

                                                            9:45-10:15 Period 4

                                                            10:20-10:55 Period 5

                                                            10:55-11:25 Lunch Break

Option 2:                                              11:30-12:00 Period 1

 AM Asynchronous                             12:05-12:35 Period 2

 PM Synchronous                                12:40-1:10 Period 3

                                                             1:15-1:45 Period 4

                                                             1:50-2:20 Period 5

What will the high school schedule look like?

Grades 9-12 students will be provided synchronous learning four days per week for each course in the student’s schedule. Students will be expected to log on for their assigned course at the designated time in order to be considered present for the class. The synchronous time is intended for teachers to introduce new learning and to offer guided practice for the class. Asynchronous learning time is intended for students to practice their new skills, use instructional technology, do additional reading, complete homework, etc.

Grades   9-12

Monday

Tuesday through Friday

Asynchronous Learning

Period

Times

1

8:00 - 8:45 am Synchronous Learning

8:45 – 9:30 am Asynchronous Learning

2*

9:35 - 10:20 am Synchronous Learning

10:20 – 11:05 am Asynchronous Learning

Lunch Break

3*

11:45 – 12:30 pm Synchronous Learning

12:30 – 1:15 pm Asynchronous Learning

4

1:20 - 2:05 pm Synchronous Learning

2:05 – 2:50 pm Asynchronous Learning

*

*May alternate Synchronous/Asynchronous as posted on Schoology for “skinny period”

What if my child cannot be on the internet during the time the teacher is delivering the live lesson on Schoology?

A student will not be penalized if he or she cannot participate during the live session of the day.  We will be counting attendance each day, so students do need to stay engaged in their own learning.  We are working with the principals to determine exactly what that will look like.

How does Schoology differ from PowerSchool?

Schoology provides access to teacher-generated lesson materials, content, and assignments.  Schoology is a way to manage the delivery of the course materials and to communicate directly with students and parents.

Does Schoology require a special operating system?

            No.  Schoology is available on multiple browsers.

Is there an app for Schoology?

The app is available for iPhone and Android devices.  This link takes you directly to the support page from Schoology that gives directions for iPhone and Android.  Schoology APP Support

How will students and parents learn how to use Schoology?

Information is being distributed during laptop pickup which includes directions for parents and students.  This information will also be emailed to parents and students.  There are help options that are explained in the information sheets with links to support.  

What if I still want more information on Schoology?

When logged into Schoology, students will see a round blue circle with the letter “S” in the bottom right-hand corner of their screen.  When they click on that, it will take them to Schoology’s Help Center where they can ask questions like “How to submit an assignment?”.

What does delivery of instruction look like during each phase?

Phase 1:  All instructional activities are conducted online.  Instructional delivery will include live, virtual instruction, interactive videos, and independent work.  The program will be taught by current classroom teachers through Schoology, the district’s new Learning Management System.

Phase 1.5:  This return to school model offers in-school learning along with virtual learning opportunities for small, targeted groups of students.  Targeted groups may include:  students with disabilities; English Learners; students with accessibility concerns; and/or CTE students, based on industry certifications. 

Phase 2:  This return to school model offers a reduced student capacity for in-school learning with virtual learning opportunities for students when they are not scheduled to be present in the school building. This model is predicated on 50% of students being allowed to return at any given time with health and social distancing protocols in effect, per the current CDC, state, and local health department guidance.

Phase 3:  Traditional face-to-face learning occurs as students return to the classroom and 100% capacity is permitted.

More detailed information is available in the DCPS Recovery Plan

What does delivery of special education instruction look like in each phase?

Regardless of the phase, students with disabilities will continue to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).  Dorchester County Public Schools will provide comparable opportunities to students with disabilities, tailored to their individual needs.  Some considerations in special education include: 

  • Students with the most significant disabilities will be prioritized in Phase 1.5 of our return plan.
  • Students who have significant medical needs may need to continue with virtual special education services to ensure their safety.

Will students be able to see each other in the virtual classroom?

Yes.  At times there will be an opportunity for students to see each other and work together in a virtual classroom.

How will those attending school in Phase 1.5 be prioritized?  What groups do you anticipate being included when we move to that phase?

Targeted groups may include:  students with disabilities; English Learners; students with accessibility concerns; and/or CTE students, based on industry certifications. 

What will grading look like during virtual learning?

  • Assignments will be graded.
  • Schoology will be the tool that will allow for students to complete work and be graded by teachers since it can connect to PowerSchool.
  • Schoology will also allow teachers and students to cover material in the College and Career Ready Standards.

My child had an intervention with an Instructional Assistant last year.  Will this continue?

We are working to ensure that interventions and the use of Instructional Assistants remains as effective as if we were still in the buildings.

 

How will attendance be monitored in each phase?

Phase 1:  Attendance will be monitored by the daily log-in requirement and be recorded by class period.  Students who miss one or more class periods will be recorded with a half-day of attendance unless absent for a full day.  Students who are absent for less than half a class period will be recorded as tardy.  Absence notes must be submitted for virtual classes within three school days.  PowerSchool will be used for the recording of attendance.

Phase 1.5 and 2:  Physical attendance is expected during face-to face assigned days.  There is a daily log-on requirement for digital learning assigned days.  Absence notes must be submitted for both in-person and virtual classes within three days of absence.  PowerSchool will be used for the recording of attendance.

Phase 3:  There is the expectation of daily in-person attendance, as per procedures in the Student Code of Conduct.

 

How will the social and emotional impact of COVID-19 school closures be addressed?

The start of every school year is important.  Reopening plans will focus on how to maximize the perception of school as a welcoming, helpful, and caring environment for all students and families.  Schools will pay special attention to all new students and families as they transition to a new school.

Trauma and Social Emotional Learning:  The COVID -19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption to our students, families, and staff, touching every aspect of family, school, and community life.  The direct and indirect impacts of the crisis will have a lasting impact on all, including our students, families, and staff.

  • DCPS Office of Student Services will provide professional learning and supports to staff to build capacity on trauma-informed and trauma skilled practices.
  • Strategies and techniques will be implemented at the classroom level, reinforcing safety, well-being, and engagement within the learning community.
  • School counselors and social workers will provide additional supports and resources to students and families as student progress is monitored along a social and emotional continuum.

What will extracurricular participation look like in each phase?

Phase 1:   All in-person activities will be cancelled.  Student athletes, band members, etc. may practice at home with virtual guidance from coaches and advisors.  Coaches and advisors can engage their teams and organizations via approved online platforms to do check-ins with students, recommend activities that can be done at home, and to check progress on individualized skill development.

           

Phases 2 and 3:  All in-person practices and activities will begin under the guidelines established by MSDE, MPSSAA, and the Governor.  While in Yellow Phase:

  • Limited or no competition will take place between opposing schools. Participation will be mostly skill development and conditioning in high risk sports (football, basketball, wrestling) with potential inter-school competition occurring in lower risk sports (golf, cross country, tennis).
  • Rule modification may be put in place to allow for greater opportunity for competition in some scenarios.
  • Significant travel restrictions will be put in place, limits on spectator sizes will be enforced, locker rooms will be limited or off-limits, and limited or no sharing of equipment will be implemented, with no sharing of instruments allowed for band students.
  • Use of masks for coaches, officials, and spectators is required. Use of masks for athletes is recommended, but not required.

In the Green Phase:

  • More geographic areas of travel will be allowed, opportunities for spectators will expand, and a more normalized method of operations will be employed (use of locker rooms, more students on a bus, fewer restrictions on participants on a sideline or dugout, etc.).
  • Additional opportunities for interschool competition will be allowed.

When is the first day of school?

            The first day of school for all grades is Tuesday, September 8.

Food Service

How will my children get their lunches?

During Phase 1, meals will be available for pick-up every Monday (Tuesday on those days when schools are closed on Monday) and Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m.  Meals can be picked up from any school.  Meals are also available at the Empowerment Center on Pine St. in Cambridge and at New Beginnings on Greenwood Ave.

When will meal service begin?

The first meal distribution will be on Tuesday, September 8.  However, thereafter distribution days will usually be Monday and Thursday.

How many meals do children receive?

On Monday, children will receive three breakfasts and three lunches.  On Thursday, they will receive two breakfasts and two lunches.

Do meals need to be picked up from the school my child attends?

No, meals can be picked up from any school or one of the community sites.

I am at work during that time.  Can my childcare provider pick up the meals?

Yes, if they have the child with them.  Only a parent or child can pick up the meals.

Do I need to register my child to receive meals?

No, every registered student in DCPS is eligible to receive meals.

Do I need to come every week in order to keep receiving meals?

No, meals will be available every Monday and Thursday and it is your choice as to whether to pick them up on any given day.

Will you do another distribution of money onto the P-EBT card?

The P-EBT cards were distributed by the Maryland State Department of Education and Maryland Department of Human Services, not DCPS.  The only role DCPS has is to inform MSDE the names and addresses of registered students.  MSDE has confirmed that there will be a distribution of money for September for students registered in a DCPS school.  The money will be added to the cards of those who received them in June/July and are registered as DCPS students in September.  Cards will be sent to new students.  The value will be $5.85 for each school day in September.

In the spring, I was able to get meals for my pre-school child.  Will I still be able to do this?

No, the meals will only be for children registered in a DCPS school.

I am homeschooling my child.  Will I be able to get meals?

No, the meals will only be for children registered in a DCPS school.