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PDF of The Continuous Learning Plan for EMS

Continuous Learning Plan 2020

EMS CONTINUOUS LEARNING PLAN UPDATE #3 - The Plan

April 9, 2020

Dear Eisenhower Families,

First, I hope that everyone in your family is healthy and well. If not, know that we as a school are prepared to support you and your children as best we can over the next 6 weeks. Health and safety are our number one priority as a community and we will do our best to keep that at the forefront of anything we do moving forward.

After what has been weeks of planning crammed into 4 days, we have developed a Continuous Learning Plan (CLP) that follows the vision and directives from our District. There are guiding principles that have driven this plan, along with 4 essential questions that we have used to create the plan.

 Continuous Learning Plan Guiding Principles from the APS Continuous Learning Plan -

  • Focus on essential learning - "Less is More" ​

  • Emphasize relationships and connectivity in this new learning environment ​

  • Socio-emotional wellness is a priority equal to academic engagement ​

  • Recognize that decisions impact, and must support, all students ​

  • Establish a consistent and agreed upon framework of expectations, communication models, and ​practices that all stakeholders share and can participate in ​

  • Provide support and training for all staff who will implement the Continuous Learning Plan ​

  • Be flexible and ready to adapt as needs arise or pivot ​

  • Extend grace to all


Essential Questions from the APS Continuous Learning Plan to drive the EMS CLP -

Question 1: How will teachers and staff create and support connections for students?

Question 2: How will teachers and staff provide resources to students for activities and skills?

Question 3: How will teachers and staff provide feedback to students on skills?

Question 4: How will teachers and staff support the maintenance of prior learning and skills students have?


 From the above principles and questions, we have developed a mission for our school for the rest of the year -

Provide connections and support for our students while preventing skill regression through learning opportunities and activities.

All of this is the foundation for our School Site CLP which I will do my best to articulate for you in this communication. To be clear, this is new territory for everyone involved, and we have done our best to consider the range of challenges you and your children may be facing during this unique time in history. The guiding principles of “Less is More” and  “Extend grace to all” have been at the heart of our work and will continue to be as we move forward through May 21st. I ask that you are patient with us, with your student, with yourself, and most of all with the process. The main concept to understand is that instruction of new learning ceased on March 11th, and we will not be introducing any new content as we move forward. We will focus on Social Emotional Learning and well-being, and maintaining previous knowledge and skills.

We as a school are asking you to support and encourage your child’s participation as much as is possible considering the limitations your family may be facing. The district has a technology plan that will be discussed in more detail later in this communication. If technology cannot be accommodated for your family, we will provide paper learning activities for those families as best we can keeping safety as a priority.

In order to explain what you can expect over the next 6 weeks, the best way to do that will be to split those weeks into two sections. The first section, April 13th through April 24th, will be focused on teachers connecting with students, checking in on them and you, determining technology needs from our families and practicing how to do school in this new fashion. Only students in English Learner classes and Math or Language Art intervention classes will be receiving content during this section.

In the second section, April 27th through May 21st, teachers will begin instruction based on standards that the district has determined in Language Arts and Math. Other subjects will begin instruction based on standards that have been taught this year. I will explain how all this might look in a bit. The last day of instruction will be May 21, 2020.

 

In order to better understand, we have developed some definitions I would like to share with you as it relates to our CLP.

Instruction - time spent/needed to deliver content (synchronous/asynchronous)

Synchronous Instruction - typical classroom face-to-face teaching and learning and feedback; real-time instruction

Asynchronous Instruction - instruction that is provided and feedback provided not always face to face or in direct contact; not real-time

Learning Activities - these are opportunities for students to maintain skills and content; formerly known as assignments

Feedback (Not Advisory/Office Hours) - providing guidance to students re: performance; clarify, answer questions; can be synchronous or asynchronous

Resources - information that is available for students and families to use to address the Social and Emotional Learning or standards we are maintaining.

Advisor Office Hours (not feedback) - Using designated time/times (not instruction, not feedback on academic performance) to connect to and check-in with students.

Maintain Skills - using the standards set forth by the district, prevent the loss of skills and knowledge as best as possible; prevent regression

Connection Platforms - Google Classroom, Google Meets

Communication methods - Google Meets, Hangouts, phone, text, email


 The staff will be using four elements to meet the needs of the students in the CLP --

1.Advisor Office Hours (not feedback) - Using designated time/times (not instruction, not feedback on academic performance) to connect to and check-in with students.

Most of the teacher’s time will be spent being available and connecting with their advisory students. We are recommending that they be available through the various communication methods listed above for 8 hours per week. Your child’s advisory teacher will be sending that schedule on Monday the 13th. The goal for the first two weeks will be to connect with every student in the school and make connections with them, checking on them and you. After the first two weeks, they will still be available and reaching out, but they will focus more on supporting student learning as well as connections and well-being.

2.Instruction - time spent/needed to deliver content (synchronous/asynchronous) THIS IS NOT ADVISORY (OFFICE HOURS).

In order to not initially overwhelm students, parents, and teachers, we will be limiting instruction to 15 minutes per day, per teacher, per subject for the first two weeks. The focus of this instruction for the first two weeks will be Social Emotional Learning based on Responsible Decision Making and how to use the online interactive tools in this new environment. Beginning April 27th, instruction will be content-driven and could be up to 30 minutes maximum per day, per teacher per subject for no more than 3 hours a day.

Instruction will be posted on Mondays for all teachers and will not always, and most likely not be, face to face (synchronous).

3.Learning Activities - these are opportunities for students to maintain skills and content; formerly known as assignments. THESE ARE PART OF INSTRUCTION.

As part of INSTRUCTION, learning activities can and will comprise part of the 15 minutes per day, per teacher, per subject for the first two weeks that was mentioned in INSTRUCTION.

These will be focused on Social Emotional Learning based on Responsible Decision Making and how to use the online interactive tools in this new environment. Beginning April 27th, as part of INSTRUCTION, learning activities will be content-driven and could be part of the 30 minutes maximum per day, per teacher per subject for no more than 3 hours a day.

4.Feedback (Not Advisory/ Office Hours) - providing guidance to students re: performance; clarify, answer questions; can be synchronous or asynchronous.

Teachers will be required to have at least 60 minutes per week to provide feedback (NOT GRADES) to students based on instruction and learning activities. Feedback can be face to face in a google meet or video call, or on the phone. It could also be via text or email as well. Teachers will send out designated times they will be giving feedback. Here are the days they will be providing feedback:

Wednesday and Fridays

Health, PE, Spanish, FACS, Math, and Science

Tuesdays and Fridays

All music, Tech, Art,  Drama/Video Editing, Language Arts, and Social Studies

This is the basic structure of our new system of support, instruction, and feedback.

Grades (A through F or Pass/Fail)  will not be marked, and grades will not be posted for students in grades K-8.


Technology -

Your child’s Advisory Teacher will be asking if you have a computer, chrome book, or laptop at home for your child to use, as well as internet access. If you do not have any of these things at all in your home, let them know.

We will contact those families who do not have any computer or internet access to let you know the process to get those tools. The sooner you let the Advisory Teacher know, the sooner we can support you. Please visit - Chromebook Checkouts for Families with No Computer At Home for more details. (ONE DEVICE PER FAMILY IN NEED, NOT PER STUDENT)

ONLINE ETIQUETTE -

Teachers will be sending out norms for their google meetings for students. I am going to ask you to check and review your child’s online behavior and usernames etc. frequently as we are expecting some students to pull some inappropriate things. The teacher will communicate with families if they experience them. If they become chronic, teachers will contact either Mr. Sanchez, Mrs. Hargrove, or the counselors. We hope that this will not happen, but unfortunately, this age group does tend to be “creative” and impulsive.

Communication -

Teachers will be communicating their plans and schedules to families via email and phone by Monday, April 13th.

Advisory Teachers will begin attempts to connect and contact families on Monday the 13th as well as sending out their Office Hours schedule to families.

Please make every effort to have your student respond and participate in as many learning activities and office hours as possible.

I will be sending out my usual weekly updates on Sundays beginning April 19th. 

IEPs - deadlines -

Deadlines and expectations for IEP meetings have not been waived, so we will be scheduling virtual and phone IEP meetings immediately. We were not able to run IEP meetings for two weeks, so we are behind and have to complete at least 50 meetings in 6 weeks, so please be as flexible as possible. Our plan is to schedule IEP meetings in the mornings as often as possible. Some teachers may need to adjust their office hours/advisory or their feedback times due to IEPs, so please be aware of occasional time adjustments.

Yearbooks-

Due to the extended school closure, online yearbook sales have reopened. This is the last chance to ensure you claim your copy! There are approximately 75 books left, which can be purchased for $40.00 each. We are currently working out a plan to safely distribute yearbooks to students and will disseminate that information when it becomes available. We are hopeful that the 2020 yearbook will mean even more this year, reminding students of all the good times we had, and giving them a piece of history they can keep for many years to come.

How to Buy Online:

  • Go to: www.yearbookordercenter.com

  • Enter 6064 for “Your School’s Order Number”

  • Click on “Buy a Yearbook”

  • Select desired quantity and click “Buy These Items”

  • Search for you Student by last name

  • Click “Checkout” and complete payment directions

Locker Clean out - pickup and Return of School Property.

Due to DOH and Governor’s orders, we will have to wait until May at the earliest to organize a safe process to complete locker clean out and pick up belongings for students, as well as returning books, uniforms etc. We will organize the yearbook distribution in May as well when we can do it safely.

Missed units and standards-

Instruction at Eisenhower for all intents and purposes ceased on March 11th. When we return to school in August, we will assess where students are and adjust the learning to meet them where they are at. That being said, those families who have asked for the units or standards that your child missed while the school has been closed will not receive that information from teachers. There is nothing to stop you from educating your child as you see fit, however in the interest of equity and under the directive of no new learning from the district CLP, our staff will not be providing content outside of the limits in the district CLP and our site CLP. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact either Mrs. Hargrove or me. Please do not take this up with the teachers.

Registration (Online Registration) -

Online Registration continues, as usual, and we will be reaching out via phone and email to clarify information or in some cases verify information electronically. As for placement for next year, we will be developing modified guidelines for placement and communicating that information to you as well. Transfer student course requests will be done soon via phone and email as well.

Questions/Concerns -

Questions regarding teacher instruction, feedback, and learning activities should be directed to teachers. PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE SCHOOL - THERE IS NO ONE TO ANSWER.


Questions about the following topics should be directed to the following persons -

CLP/General Information - Victor Sanchez sanchez_vic@aps.edu 

Holly Hargrove holly.hargrove@aps.edu

Chris Sanchez christopher.sanchez1@aps.edu 

 Student Mental Health -     Bruce Bell bell_h@aps.edu 

                                                               6th Grade M-Z and 8th Grade

                                                    Donna Cole cole_d@aps.edu 

                                                             6th Grade A-L and 7th Grade             

Technology access -          Chris Sanchez  christopher.sanchez1@aps.edu 

                                                Melanie Tapia melanie.tapia@aps.edu 

IEP and Special Education  - Dede Romine romine@aps.edu  or your child’s teacher

Registration -                      Ericka Avila ericka.avila@aps.edu 

                                                Ashley Nix Ashley.Nix@aps.edu 

                                                Bruce Bell bell_h@aps.edu 

                                               Donna Cole cole_d@aps.edu 

Links to resources -   Dist CLP Overview Families

                                        EMS CLP Final Draft 4-9-2020

                                        Chromebook Checkouts for Families with No Computer At Home

                                        Eisenhower School Website

                                        https://www.aps.edu

                                         CLP Family Update #3 - The Plan

IMPORTANT DATES -

Monday 4/13 -    CLP Begins

  • Focus on Social Emotional Learning and Connections to families

  • All Teachers send out plans and schedules to staff 

Tuesday 4/14 -    2:30 pm Virtual PTA Meeting (2020-21 School Budget Review)

                                                visit the EMS PTA group on Facebook for the links or refer to your email of                                                    this information sent on 4/9

Monday 4/27 -   Teachers begin content instruction

Thursday 5/21 - Last day of instruction

I want to thank you for your patience and understanding ahead of time as we navigate this new system together. I also want to acknowledge and thank the entire staff for coming together and working so tirelessly to put this plan together to serve your children as best as we can, given the limits of what we are all working with. Finally, I want to thank my administrative team for their work to support staff, clarify confusion, and provide support for the plan. 

Finally, we must all remember that “Grace for All” is at the heart of our plan. Please keep that in mind. Health and Safety are the most important things right now. As difficult as this time is, it will end at some point. As a school, we are accustomed to high expectations being our norm, however, right now we are making the shift to “less is more” until we ALL are proficient in this new model. Be safe, be healthy, and let us know how we can support you, and your family.

Sincerely,

 

Victor Sanchez

Principal

Eisenhower Middle School