2020/21 REOPENING PLAN
Overview of Virtual Learning Experience
- All students will participate in virtual learning to start the school year
- A redesigned virtual instructional approach, not the same remote learning that was used in the spring
- A traditional school calendar
- An entirely online experience and learning structure with access to collaboration tools
- Some identified IEP students will be phased to in-person instruction in late September
- A mode of instruction that will not be impacted by future, more restrictive state mandates regarding COVID-19
- Students will participate in synchronous and asynchronous learning following their daily schedule
Synchronous learning is learning that happens at the same time for the instructor and the learners, meaning that there's real-time interaction between them. Asynchronous learning applies to tasks that students complete on their own (or in small groups), which is not being delivered by the teacher in real time
- Full access to elective offerings, program enrollment, advance placement, and honors courses
- Access to any extra-curricular offerings in a virtual or in-person setting
A mixture of synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities for students
Lessons will be recorded and stored
Access to art, music, physical education, and STEM
Emphasis on literacy and math skill development
Opportunities to create a strong partnerships between caregivers and teachers
Opportunities for enrichment and intervention
- Synchronous learning will take place on Red days from 9:25 am - 1:00 pm and from 9:25 am - 12:15 pm on Blue days
Synchronous learning will include live Zoom or other virtual sessions with the assigned content teacher
The remainder of each day will be spent working independently with access to classroom teachers, as needed
Students take lunch as determined on their schedule
Synchronous learning will take place on Red and Blue days from 11:35 am - 3:10 pm
Synchronous learning will include live Zoom or other virtual sessions with the assigned content teacher
The beginning of each day will be spent working independently with access to classroom teachers, as needed
Students take lunch as determined on their schedule
- Q: My daughter is a senior. She has early release and will be graduating early. She will no longer have a lunch period. Who do I contact to get a refund for the money on her “my school bucks” lunch account?
- Q: On the elementary daily sample schedule, there are two 30 - minute (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) sessions that say “live meeting with caregiver and student “. What does this mean?
- A: Several of us have a question about the remote learning check-in time for high school. Will the kids be expected to literally check-in online? Or, is this a time that they can use to meet with their teachers?
A: You are not required to sit in on those live sessions, but it is an option. We wanted caregivers to feel like they are welcome to join so that they understand the agenda for the day. However, teachers will make sure that the information you need is recorded and accessible. We know that caregivers work, have other responsibilities, and sometimes other children who need to be on at the same times!
- Q: Since the high school students begin their day with asynchronous learning, what will they do on the first day of school during the first 4 periods?
- Q: Is it possible to keep children in the same home on the same schedule to make it easier to work together? And same Red/Blue designation as well?
- Q: What is the start and end times for the Kindergarteners?
A: Depending on the grade levels that your children are in, they should have similar schedules in terms of which courses are meeting synchronously and when. Right now, all students have the same Red/Blue designation as the Red/Blue days are currently being used to identify which courses meet synchronously on a given day.
- Q: What happens when the wifi intermittently goes out at home and kids are not able to connect? Will this be held against them in some way? How do they let the teacher know if it’s during synchronous times?
- Q: Will students at the elementary level still be receiving their planners/calendars?
- Q: Will high school students receive school-issued planners this year, or should we purchase our own?
- Q: Will students be learning the same amount of information as they have been in previous years? In other words, will lessons cover all of the same topics/points as they have in in-person years?
- Q: For the HS can you please further explain the red and blue days and exactly what days are red and blue?
- Q: How will the morning check-in be handled for swimmers that will be in the pool practicing at that time.
- Q: Can you please tell me how the schools will handle children that were in lunch bunches and were receiving help through the social workers for emotional and social struggles at the elementary level?
- Q: I also would like to know what the plan is for children that need intervention with reading or math.
- Q: When will we find out the actual time schedules for students?
- Q: We are new to the district when will we be given information on how to access Home Access Center?
- Q: What does the district suggest for families who do not have WiFi at home?
A: No, planners will not be distributed at the elementary or middle school levels this year. Students and parents will receive an electronic copy of the student handbook and Rights and Responsibilities. These will be accessible via the student’s District issued device as well as posted on our website at sd129.org. Look for updates on August 24th.
A: We are making every effort to deliver a curriculum that is consistent with that which was taught in past years. However, we acknowledge that this is a different mode of learning and adjustments may have to be made to the curriculum. Once we return to in-person instruction, our teachers and curriculum coordinators will assess if there are any gaps and will establish a method for bridging those gaps.
A: At the secondary level, we are still using the idea of 'Red' and 'Blue Days.' However, this is to identify which courses will meet *synchronously on a given day. It is not used (at this time) for grouping students.
For example, at the high school level, on “Red Days” students will have asynchronous learning during periods 1, 2, 3, and 4 and the synchronous learning 5, 6, 7, and 8; on “Blue Days,” students will have asynchronous work for periods 8, 7, 6, and 5, and then synchronous learning for periods 4, 3, 2, and 1.
*Synchronous learning is learning that happens at the same time for the instructor and the learners, meaning that there's real-time interaction between them. Asynchronous learning applies to tasks that students complete on their own (or in small groups), which is not being delivered by the teacher in real-time.
A: Students who are receiving support from social workers as per their IEP will receive that during the asynchronous portion of the day. If students received this support in groups, we will be able to utilize Zoom. This may or may not bump up with a student’s lunch the way it did with in-person learning. Students without IEP’s may also receive support based on their individual needs and social worker’s individual caseloads.
During virtual learning, elementary students (including kindergarteners) will need to set aside 7:45 am through 2:45 pm, Monday through Friday.
During virtual learning, middle school students will need to set aside 8:45 am - 3:45 pm, Monday through Friday.
During virtual learning, high school students will need to set aside 7:35 am - 3:05 pm, Monday through Friday.
To view bell schedules at each level, please click on the link in the blue text box above.
If you don’t have a WiFi connection at home:
Talk to your neighbors about the possibility of sharing Internet connections.
Aurora Public Libraries have a limited number of WiFi hotspots that can be checked out for a week at a time. Call to schedule an appointment.
If you would like to get broadband WiFi access at home, at low cost, please check with Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program. For qualified households, Comcast can provide WiFi Internet access for free.
- Q: Will students still receive textbooks?
- Q: What will science labs look like at the middle school level?
- Q: What instruction will be offered for PE at the elementary and middle school levels?
- Q: Has the district already offered opportunities for staff to gain more expertise with virtual learning tools?
- Q: I understand that we are virtual and technically shouldn't need to be absent. But what do we do if there is an absence?
- Q: In middle school, if the first period starts at 9:25, with whom, why, and for what are kids to check in at 8:45? How is this ensuring attendance for the rest of the day?
- Q: Will there be an orientation for parents of what a typical online learning day will look like or any way the students can meet their teacher in person?
- Q: When will the QR Codes be given so that we may sign up for SeeSaw?
A: The goal of physical education during the virtual learning experience is to stay as close to the regular curriculum as possible. This will include synchronous time where teachers will lead students in physical activity or teach whole body health-related concepts. Asynchronous tasks may require students to create a wellness log where they track such things as physical activity time, hydration, and/or nutrition; or, asynchronous tasks may have students practice a skill that was presented during a synchronous lesson.
A: Last week was “Summer PD Week” for SD129 staff and we had outstanding participation (shown below). Many of our sessions did focus on virtual learning tools. We will look to continue to offer professional development in the coming weeks as we prepare for a successful first quarter!
- Monday attendance - 246 staff members
- Tuesday attendance - 257 staff members
- Wednesday attendance - 219 staff members
- Thursday attendance - 258 staff members
- Monday - 14 sessions offered
- Tuesday - 36 sessions offered
- Wednesday - 28 sessions offered
- Thursday - 18 sessions offered
Total 96 Sessions
- Monday - 466 Hours given
- Tuesday - 674.5 Hours given
- Wednesday - 534.5 Hours given
- Thursday - 494.5 Hours given
Total 2169.5 Hours of PD
A: Parents who previously connected to their child’s Seesaw account in our district will automatically be connected to their new classes when they are loaded and we turn on family access. Any students new to D129 will receive an invite from the teacher to connect. That could be in the form of an email invite, a printed invite, or an SMS message invite.
- Q: We are new to the district, how do we pay registration fees?
- Q: Will the fee for driver education class be reduced or eliminated if students are not able to get behind the wheel this school year?
- Q: Can there be an activity bus used to pick up students and bring them to the middle schools and the high school for sports practices? With many parents working students will have a difficult time getting to school for an afternoon practice.
- Q: I have children in different grade levels (two in elementary that will need a lot of support), are zoom meetings and online instruction with teachers going to be staggered throughout the day?
- Q: I am a high schooler and have a late start as part of my schedule. Will this actually work or do I still need to start at 11:40?
- Q: When will my child learn his homeroom teacher?
A: Yes! We will develop routes and communicate the drop up and pick up locations prior to the start of school. We will utilize centralized locations and will not be offering door to door transportation. We will require students to pre-register to make sure we can allow for proper social distancing on buses.
A: Students will need to follow the high school schedule for virtual learning. Depending on which periods you had off for late start, that may not work with the expectations around virtual learning. For example, on the days where period 9 is the start of the day, it may require you to participate in learning activities at the beginning of the school day.
- Q: What support will there be for students making the transition from fifth grade to sixth grade?
- Q: What will happen if my student isn’t able to log in on time?
- Q: I have a child that was receiving reading intervention, will they still get that support (even if they do not have an IEP)?
- Q: Does the district have a plan to help families get access to high speed internet?
- Q: I have a 6th grader that will be brand new to band and brand new to playing an instrument - what support will there be for the incoming 6th grade students that have never played an instrument?
- Q: What will be the structure for virtual learning?
- Q: How are very young kids to learn and practice handwriting on a virtual platform?
- Q: The sample third grade schedule shows the same amount of time allotted to SEL and math instruction. Can we just skip the SEL and teach topics which are not being covered such as science and social studies?
- Q: Will my third grader and sixth grader be challenged?
- Q: What will the small group literacy groups look like?
- Q: Will elementary art be more than just drawing?
- Q: Why do elementary students have 20 minutes longer for lunch than they had for lunch and recess combined in a normal day?
A: All of our buildings are looking at virtual ways to build connections with new students. We have also built online courses for using Schoology that will be available for our 6th grade students. We know that transitions are an important time for our students and we will continue to develop different ways to engage students to help with these transitions!
A: The best option for connecting your student’s school-issued device at home will always be via a WiFi internet connection. If you don’t have a WiFi connection at home:
- Connect via your cell phone hot spot
- Talk to your neighbors about the possibility of sharing Internet connections
- Aurora Public Libraries have a limited number of WiFi hotspots that can be checked out for a week at a time.
- Households may qualify for low-cost broadband WiFi access at home through the Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program. See their website here.
A: While it is challenging to teach band remotely, it is even more challenging to do so with students who have never played an instrument. Recognizing this, our band directors have decided to teach 6th Grade Beginning Band without using instruments during the first quarter. Students will develop more advanced music literacy skills while practicing music that can be performed without a band instrument. These learning experiences will not only prepare students for when they are (finally) able to begin playing their selected instrument, but also help accelerate their growth and ensure that they have a quality instrumental music education this year.
6th Grade Band families who rented from Music and Arts: Because we work closely with Music and Arts, you will not be asked to make instrument rental payments through the end of October.
A: Science and social studies are embedded into ‘shared reading time’ throughout elementary. Part of the purpose for the morning and afternoon meetings are to touch base with students to see what questions they have and to wrap up instruction. Some of the SEL conversations will be around goal setting, expectations, and reflection of assignments completed.
- Q: Will elementary students get scheduled one-on-one time with teachers?
- Q: Will student attendance be taken both in the morning and in the afternoon?
- Q: Will there be homework or will there be additional independent work that will need to be completed during the day?
- Q: What will children need in the way of school supplies?
- Q: What time does elementary remote learning start?
- Q: How will you address student inactivity during remote learning?
- Q: Will we still be notified what group (blue or red) our elementary children belong to for those of us who had chosen blended so we can prepare if we go back in the fall?
- Q: For middle school, there are still ‘Red Days’ and ‘Blue Days’ listed for online instruction, can you please explain this further?
- Q: Will parents be given access to teaching materials (the teacher manual) in order to help facilitate teaching our children at home?
- Q: On the plan it states that there will be access to art, music, PE, and STEM - will these be handled like assignments that students will receive a grade for or as enrichments that are available?
- Q: I ordered school supplies in the spring through the school, how will this be handled?
- Q: At the elementary level, will children be assigned a classroom teacher to get all of their assignments and instruction from? When will we find out who our children’s teacher will be?
- Q: If my child tries online learning but just doesn't thrive in that environment, am I able to withdraw him from the district and then re-enroll in the same class once the schools go to in-person learning?
- Q: At the middle school level, it looks like my student will only be seeing his teachers every other day, is that correct? If so, why? Why are the class periods shorter?
- Q: If we decided to pull our students from the district in order to challenge them, would my third grader lose his chance to be a part of ER in 4th grade and my 6th grader his chance to do SCET in 7th grade?
- Q: When will middle and high school students learn if they are “Red” or “Blue?”
- Q: When will high school students receive their schedules?
- Q: What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning?
A: We encourage parents to view the sample elementary schedule posted here. Students will receive small group instruction throughout the day. One-on-one instruction may happen as needs are determined by the teacher.
A: At the middle school and high school level, we are still using the idea of Red and Blue Days. However, this is to identify which courses will meet synchronously on a given day. It is not used (at this time) for grouping students. For example, at the middle school level on Red Days, students will be engaged in synchronous instruction for periods 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. On Blue Days, students will be engaged in synchronous instruction for periods 9, 8 , 7 and 6.
A: This schedule allowed us the greatest opportunity for students to connect with their teachers, without requiring students to sit in front of a computer for the entire school day. On the days when your child is not scheduled to meet with that class period for synchronous instruction, they will still be engaged with the teacher but not necessarily in live Zoom sessions. Class periods were shortened as we were mindful that students would be changing Zoom sessions between classes and may need more time to transition from one class to another.
A: If you withdraw your student, returning to the district would require you to completely re-enroll. As part of that process, we would look to determine which courses are most appropriate at that time. However, SCET placements cannot be held and those seats are typically filled by other students, so in that case you would lose the ability to participate in SCET.
A: Students will not be assigned to Red or Blue groups for virtual learning. Instead, there will be Red or Blue Days which are used to identify which class periods will meet synchronously and those that will be asynchronous on a given day. Students are still expected to engage in all classes daily. Please see the sample high school schedule listed here.
- Q: How will choir, band, and driver education now be handled during 100% virtual learning?
- Q: Is the 10/14 SAT canceled as well?
- Q: Will the CNA program be available during 100% virtual learning?
- Q: What supports will there be for students making the transition from 8th to 9th grade?
- Q: My freshman was placed in Freshman Literacy to supplement her Freshman English because her placement scores were low. What virtual supports will she receive to support her success in English?
- Q: My son is striving for AFA and was promoted to a flight commander this year. Please explain how that’s going to work when the virtual option didn’t have any specials such as ROTC.
- Q: Are the IHSA approved fall athletics going to be allowed to take place now that the district is 100% remote for the first quarter?
- Q: When is the official first day of school?
- Q: I would like to know if and how Advanced Placement classes will be offered?
- Q: I would like to know what platform the teachers will be using to be in communication with my student?
- Q: Will my elementary student be required to be in front of the computer for 5.5 hours?
A: Students will maintain their course selections. Individual teachers will communicate expectations with students at the start of the year. It is possible for some classes to have experience requirements (ie CNA, welding as examples); however, they may have some in-person components at a later date.
TECH HELP DESK
Students and parents can get tech assistance through calling
or by emailing email@example.com
between the hours of
8 am and 4 pm,
*To clarify, this service provides tech support only and operators will not be equipped to answer other questions nor give homework assistance.
ARCHIVED RETURN TO LEARN COMMUNICATION
SD129 to Open 100% Remotely