Academic Experience

Based on guidance provided by the CDC and local health authorities, the District reopened school under the Medium Spread (Level 2) scenario with three academic programs: In-Person Learning for PreK-2 and select student groups, Remote Learning for grades 3-8, and Virtual Learning for those who chose this semester-long option. The District recognizes that the pandemic response is a fluid situation that may require movement in any direction between levels as the public health crisis evolves.

The declaration period for families to opt into Virtual Learning is over for the 2020-2021 year. Case by case additions to this program after school begins will be addressed at the school level.  Special Education services will be addressed by Individual Education Plan (IEP) teams according to the academic option chosen by the family and team, but all IEPs will contain a virtual service component, to be used if required due to closure.

Virtual Learners

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Virtual Learners (K-8 and Special Education Pre-K) will not be affected by the community spread of the virus because of their choice to participate in the FSSD Virtual Learning Program, a fully accredited alternative to in-person attendance. Pupil-teacher ratios are the same as In-Person Learning classes and courses will mirror the content/courses being taught at the school sites. The deadline to enroll in the Virtual Learning Program has passed for 2020-2021. If you have already submitted your child’s enrollment in the Virtual Learning Program and you wish to change that enrollment status, please contact your child’s principal.

Consistent with In-Person Learning, FSSD Virtual Learning teachers will assess students throughout the semester and will utilize the established grading procedures. Students will receive quarterly grades. Teachers will record grades in Skyward Family Access.

In-Person and Remote Learners

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All other students who will participate in the In-Person Learning option will begin the school year learning remotely. Remote Learning is when a student, class, school, or the district must transition to learning at home using primarily online resources until school reopens or the student has been cleared to return.

Students who choose full in-person learning may have to learn from home while individuals or entire classes are under quarantine. However, in-person learners will return to their home school as soon as the district determines it is safe, according to the various health and safety metrics available through the state and local public health agencies.  If we need to close down a classroom, a school, or the entire district at the direction of local health authorities or governmental mandate, our in-person students and teachers would move together to remote learning utilizing Google Classroom as the primary learning management system. FSSD has developed an instructional plan for remote learning after receiving valuable feedback from our stakeholders in the spring.

Students and staff are expected to wear protective face coverings when attending in-person learning. Face coverings are required on the bus and during the school day unless directed otherwise by an FSSD staff member. Face coverings may only be removed when seated alone at your desk and guided by the teacher, once appropriate distancing has been established and can be maintained. Refer to CDC guidance for use of cloth face cover.

What does teaching and learning look like in this scenario?

  • Normal daily instruction occurs for in-person classrooms.
  • Elective classes such as art, physical education, music, library, and theater might make the following adjustments to their classroom routines:
    • These classes might be held in their regular classroom, or move to larger spaces within the building or outdoors when weather permits to provide better physical distancing if their current classroom is too small.
    • Frequently touched surfaces will be sanitized routinely, and teachers will attempt to minimize the amount of times students touch similar objects.
    • Clear routines for entering and exiting classrooms will be established to reduce the number of students entering and leaving at a given time.
  • Physical arrangements and school routines are established so that physical distancing will be maintained in all settings to the extent possible (physical distancing will be much easier to accomplish with less building capacity in attendance at any given time).
  • Stable groups of students (also referred to as cohorts) will be maintained as much as possible with school routines established to minimize the intermingling of different student groups.
  • Large group gatherings will be limited, and routines will be staggered so that smaller groups can rotate through school day activities.
  • We recognize field trips can provide a meaningful student experience. Schools will work to provide virtual field trip opportunities as an extension of the classroom until further notice.
  • Classroom teachers will utilize Google Classroom to enhance and monitor the student learning experience.
  • Students will be instructed on the use of a device, which will be sent home in the event community health circumstances change or the need to isolate/quarantine is mandated.
  • A remote learning platform will be provided through Google Classroom and accessible for students any time they are physically absent from school to include direct instruction, grading, attendance, and accountability.
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Full Remote Learning (with Virtual Learning Option)

This scenario would be initiated based on guidance from local health authorities or governmental mandate. Students will engage in classes and conduct learning remotely. Learning will include both direct teacher instruction and independent student work, with a combination of virtual meetings, interactive class sessions, and pre-recorded videos. Virtual Learning will continue as usual for those who chose this semester-long option. Virtual Learning students will not be able to switch back to in-person learning until the following semester.

What does teaching and learning look like in this scenario?

  • Remote learning includes both direct teacher instruction and independent student work, with a combination of virtual meetings, interactive class sessions, and pre-recorded videos. These students will not be on campus during the school day for special events.
  • All students have a device to access online resources and Google Classroom. K-2 students will have a Chrome Tablet and students in grades 3-8 will have a Chromebook. The District will assist families who need internet access.
  • All students will need to complete daily assignments in each subject/course. Elementary students may need help from a family member or caregiver to complete their work. Each student will need a different amount of time to do their daily coursework.
  • Families of students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) will work with your child’s case manager and the rest of the IEP team to determine the best Contingency Plan for full remote learning to occur in order to meet your child’s needs. The Contingency Plan will identify how FSSD intends to implement the services and supports outlined in your child’s IEP or Section 504 Plan during Full Remote Learning and Virtual Learning. FSSD may utilize a combination of remote learning systems and student instructional packets.  We will also work to provide virtual related services, computer-based academic interventions, and learning supports to the extent possible, given the circumstances.
  • Students receiving English Learner (EL) services will discuss learning options with their EL teacher to determine the best plan for full remote learning in order to meet your child’s needs.
  • Remote and Virtual Learners may be able to participate in extracurricular activities, such as clubs or athletics, in accordance with the rules from the athletic conference, unless these activities must be suspended for health and safety reasons. Some activities may continue on a virtual basis.
  • In addition to class/course specific assessments, students participating in full Remote Learning and Virtual Learning will take state assessments.
  • Parents will receive regular communication from teachers via email, and parents may schedule virtual meetings with teachers and service providers as needed.

Within this scenario, the District will:

  • Continue to provide strategies to accommodate the needs of staff, students, and families at high risk, such as the need for basic support (food, shelter, access to resources), mental health support, equitable access to technology, and learning resources.
  • Recognize family choice. FSSD families who desire the Virtual Learning scenario will be provided an open enrollment period prior to the beginning of each semester. Choosing this option means the following: Student(s) will remain engaged in Virtual Learning for the entire semester, and any decision to continue Virtual Learning will be granted for a semester at a time.
  • Assist with student meals. The District is exploring options to provide meal service for Remote Learning and Virtual Learning students, which may include drive-through pick up for free, reduced or full pay students. We will also communicate any community based food assistance programs as they become available.