We have developed typical weekly schedules aimed at (1) accommodating the State’s instructional hours requirements for students; (2) providing professional collaboration and planning time for staff; and (3) maximizing delivery of instruction to cohorts of students to reduce the risk of possible virus transmissions.
See the Beginning of 2020-2021 School Year webpage for the first week of school schedule information.
While they are learning remotely, our elementary students will have staggered schedules based on their grade level. We anticipate this will better accommodate multiple Zoom meetings and potentially avoid bandwidth and connectivity issues in students’ homes. (When we return to in-person learning, all students will begin school at the same time according to our traditional daily time schedule.) Each morning will begin with a class meeting via Zoom that will include an instructional and social/emotional focused lesson. Each student day will conclude with another class Zoom to wrap up instructional activities and provide closure. Between the two Zoom sessions, students will access their Google Classroom Learning Management System as their virtual classroom to engage with the teacher and classmates and to work on their assigned learning/instructional activities. Students in grades K-2 will be using academic content from Accelerate Ed. Students in grades 3-5 will be using academic content from Khan Academy for math and Achieve 3000 for reading. In addition, students will receive physical education and music lessons from a teacher-specialist. They will also be encouraged to take teacher suggested activity and art breaks throughout the day to reduce their screen time.
Middle School Students
While they are learning remotely, our middle school students will follow a traditional six-period day, which will include (1) math, (2) science, (3) English Language Arts, (4) social studies, (5) an elective, and (6) either a PE, technology, health, or career and college readiness class. Students will access Canvas as their virtual classroom for engagement, and they will utilize Edgenuity as their curriculum/online textbook. Every class period, the teacher will offer a Zoom session, which might include direct instruction, small group instruction, or individualized student assistance as students are working on their coursework. Students will also have advisory period(s) throughout the week for specific and targeted social-emotional learning activities. Finally, students will be encouraged to take breaks from screen time throughout the day to get some additional physical activity.
High School Students
While they are learning remotely, our high school students will have schedules similar to our middle schoolers, except that they will experience four periods per day instead of six. The traditional eight-period alternating day schedule at Ferndale High School, whereby students take four classes on “Blue” days and a different four on “Gold” days proved in the spring to be too much to keep track of on a distance learning schedule. Therefore, students will take two electives every quarter and will take their core classes for two consectutive quarters. For example, they could have English and Science first and second quarter and Math and Social Studies third and fourth quarter. With half as many classes, students will cover a semester’s worth of work in a quarter. Like middle schoolers, high school students will access Canvas as their classroom for engagement and will utilize Edgenuity as their curriculum/online textbook. Every class period, the teacher will offer a Zoom session, which might include direct instruction, small group instruction, or individualized student assistance as students are working on their coursework. Students will also have advisory period(s) throughout the week for specific and targeted social-emotional learning activities. Finally, students will be encouraged to take breaks from screen time throughout the day to get some additional physical activity.
Professional collaboration for our staff has been built into the schedules at each grade level. Professional collaboration for middle and high school staff will occur on Wednesday afternoons, when students are working on their assigned instructional activities in Edgenuity.
To maximize delivery of instruction to cohorts of students and thereby reduce the risk of possible virus transmissions, we asked families to complete a registration questionnaire in August 2020 to find out how many of them wish their students to remain in a full-time distance learning model even when we can return to in-person learning in the form of a hybrid AA-BB schedule (with two days per week in-person and three days per week remote). The data from the questionnaire will allow us to cluster students into cohorts who will (1) remain remote together, (2) return to in-person learning together on A days, or (3) return to in-person learning together on B days. When students return to in-person learning at our middle and high schools, where they take multiple classes each day with different teachers, we will also have clear movement patterns mapped out and posted.