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Northeast Metro Tech Remote Learning Plan – Students & Families (English) | (Spanish) | (Portuguese)

Northeast Metro Tech Remote Learning Plan
For Students and Families
April 2020

The Northeast Metro Tech Remote Learning Plan is meant to support our school community including students, families, teachers and administrators as we all work through the challenges of shifting to remote learning in response to the Covid-19 situation. As a school community, we remain committed to providing alternative learning opportunities for our students, which we believe offers them structure and consistency during these difficult times. Governor Baker has
extended the date for all Massachusetts schools to remain closed through at least Monday, May 4, 2020.

Expectations
Nothing can replace the in-person experience, and we should not expect that remote learning can replace the traditional school day. With our school now closed until at least May 4th, we have an obligation to engage our students in an equitable and meaningful manner through appropriately structured activities. We need to be more sensitive than ever to the needs of our students and families. We recognize that parents and guardians will be in charge of their student’s learning, and they will likely have less familiarity with content. To that end, we have shared the following factors for our staff to keep in mind as they engage in this new model of education:

  • Students will be participating in self-directed learning in alternative educational settings with less structure, no teacher, and lots of other things happening in their lives.
  • Parents/Guardians cannot be expected to take the place of our teachers. Parents should only be expected to provide the same level of support they would provide for homework and no more.
  • Parents/Guardians also may be juggling work or working from home, taking care of younger children or family members, or dealing with illness.
  • Learning time will be significantly shorter, and we can expect that it will be reduced by at least half each day and week.
  • Learning activities should support reinforcement and practice of previously taught curriculum, and may also include enrichment activities. We believe it is important to limit our students’ screen time.
  • Activities should engage the independent learning level, and students should be able to work on those activities with minimal support from  parents/guardians.

Technology
We have been working diligently to determine the need for devices and internet connection for our students. Yesterday, Tuesday, March 31st, we began delivering chromebooks to those students who identified as being in need. Deliveries will continue until all students who have requested such have been given a school device. We have asked teachers to keep in mind that students may not have printers at home. Technology will be used as an important means of communication to students, parents/guardians and staff. Northeast uses Google as its platform and therefore expects the Google Suite of programs to be the main means of technological communication within the school community. While many of our teachers are trained in Google and its various program capabilities, we are aware that there may be some staff may need additional support which Northeast will be providing.

  • Gmail – Northeast’s supported email system is Gmail. Consistent with regular school year programming, teachers are expected to communicate with colleagues, students and families, and administration through their Northeast Gmail accounts.
  • Google Classroom – Google Classroom as part of GSuite for Education, enables students and teachers to communicate and organize by creating classes to distribute and submit work.
  • Zoom – Zoom is an online teleconferencing system that has been made available for use by Northeast staff. Northeast has purchased the licensed educational version of Zoom, which addresses FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). Teachers have been given permission to use Zoom, but it is not required.

Schedule
Beginning on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, we will expect students to log in through their Chromebook, iPad, or other device every school day , and depending on which week they are in, go to their X2 Aspen or Google Classroom page for their different classes. It is important to keep in mind that we will follow the established school calendar for Black/Gold Weeks for the duration of our school closure. Please note we have started Trimester 3 and the week of April 6th is a Black Week . During this time we will follow a shortened schedule each day, and ALL academic and vocational teachers will be available online for any student questions and support during these official class times:

One very important change is that Junior and Senior Related classes will meet during their regular SHOP week , not during the academic week. Related teachers will let students know what time during the schedule those classes will meet.

Student Attendance
Daily student attendance will not be tracked. However, a master list of students will be shared with staff so student contact can be documented. Attendance monitors and support staff will follow up with families. Class attendance is not required, but will be reflected in work completion.

Student Learning
Upon recommendation of the Massachusetts DESE, the focus of instruction should be on reinforcing skills already taught this school year and applying and deepening these skills. At the high school level, teachers and students may wish to continue with new material. Remote learning encompasses a wide variety of flexible learning opportunities and does not necessarily need to occur in real-time. Instructional tools include group video sessions, email, work-packets, projects, readings, online learning platforms, and other resources to engage students (MA DESE, 2020, pg. 2).

Students are reminded that you are a Northeast student at all times, even when your learning has moved online. Please continue to adhere to the Student Handbook with regard to academic policies and student conduct. Be sure you have your school ID on (just kidding) If you are in a Zoom meeting, please be aware of your behavior, dress, and background when on the session with your teachers and classmates.

Beginning the Week of April 6th, students will receive supportive and meaningful feedback from his/her teachers. Per new guidelines from the DESE, students will be graded on a credit/non-credit basis for the work they are completing. We are asking teachers to use this system on all work completed during Trimester 3. This is how students will earn credit in their courses and shop programs until and if we return to school this year.

Credit earning work:
Advanced –  Submission meets all requirements & has no errors
Proficient – Submission meets more than half the requirements & has minimal errors
Progressing – Submission meets half the requirements & has several errors
Developing – Submission meets few requirements & has numerous errors
Credit earned
Comments on performance
Use of Rubrics

Non-credit earning work:
Attempted/No Credit Submission does not meet any requirements or no submission Students whose work has not met requirement will be notified by their teachers that the work does not earn credit.

Ninth grade Exploratory weeks will continue with assignments in each particular shop. The Week of April 6th is Exploratory Week 14 . However, a plan will be developed for finishing the Exploratory program in the event we return to school, and also in the event we don’t return to school.

If a student is not turning in assignments, teachers have been asked to make the first contact with BOTH the student and parent/guardian, and then to refer any instances where they do not hear back, to the designated Northeast staff member for follow up. For students receiving special education services, their liaison will continue to reach out to them and if necessary, to their parents/guardians.

Special Education and Related Services
Students need to know that their general education and special education teachers and paraprofessionals are all working together to ensure that student learning needs are being met and that modifications and accommodations are being provided when necessary and feasible.

Beginning earlier this week, the Special Ed Department increased its special education services. Recent guidance from the US Department of Education has provided districts flexibility in determining how to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities that may need to be different in this time of unprecedented national emergency.

In addition to the support and services provided through our general education classes, the Special Education staff has begun providing related services. These related services include counseling, speech and language, occupational therapy, and assistive technology. Direct service providers are coordinating virtual sessions with those students who require direct instruction based on their IEPs. Virtual sessions will be conducted by independent activities to reinforce skill development during the closure.

Standardized Tests
MCAS: We know that many people have a lot of questions about MCAS, and the MA DESE is exploring all options around this year’s testing requirements. The State has a waiver for the federal assessment requirement, but Massachusetts also has an assessment requirement at the state level. Governor Baker has filed legislation that would allow Commissioner Riley to modify or waive this year’s MCAS testing requirement. The proposed legislation would also permit the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, upon the Commissioner’s recommendation, to modify or waive the required competency determination for high school
graduation. These actions will give the Commissioner the flexibility to take appropriate action as more information becomes available.

More information: Please check DESE’s coronavirus page and the Department of Public Health’s page for continued updates.

AP: There has been a great deal of uncertainty regarding what will happen with Advanced Placement (AP) tests. The College Board has provided the following update as of March 23, 2020:

  • Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home.
  • Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates. As of today (3/23), the College Board has not released the dates.
  • AP curricula are locally developed and we defer to local decisions on how best to help students complete coursework. To be fair to all students, some of  whom have lost more instructional time than others, the exam will only include topics and skills most AP teachers and students have already covered in class by early March.
  • The College Board will allow any student already registered for an exam to cancel.

If you are an Advanced Placement (AP) teacher, please keep in mind that the College Board is offering virtual AP review courses free, free virtual classes for AP students in addition to at-home AP testing. Information about what will be covered on this year’s AP Exams is listed on AP Central.

 

 

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