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Teaching & Learning

In-Person Instruction | Remote/Hybrid Instruction | Attendance & Chronic Absenteeism | Special Education | Bilingual Education/World Language Program 

As we enter the new school year, teachers will be encouraged to spend time building relationships, supporting students with the transition back to school, and teaching social distancing and healthy hygiene etiquette at developmentally appropriate levels.   

When a remote or hybrid learning model is necessary, certain groups of students will be prioritized for in-person learning to the greatest extent possible. This includes, but is not limited to, special education students, English language learners, students who did not engage in remote learning during the spring of 2020, and students with technology or connectivity needs. 

Assessing student learning gaps or areas of need will be critical. The district will conduct assessments to help determine students’ strengths and needs.  The first weeks of school will allow time for students, parents and teachers to become familiar with new protocols and schedules. 

Content in a given grade level or course may be adjusted, prioritizing learning standards, key understandings, and skills necessary for students’ success in future study.  

Assignments will be graded to provide direct feedback about students’ progress, also known as “mastery” of course content.


In-Person Instruction

Upon reopening, class sizes will be reduced to adhere to CDC guidance regarding proper social distancing. Class size will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six feet apart. To help support social distancing procedures, our schools will minimize  the amount of travel throughout the school buildings to the greatest extent possible. This potentially means having students eat lunch in their classroom instead of the cafeteria, and eliminating assemblies, field trips and other large-group activities. Special-area subjects (e.g., art, music, library) may be pushed into the classroom. Whenever possible, students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction. We will adhere to 12 feet minimum social distancing requirements between students who are engaging in physical education activities. 

To the extent possible, students will remain in small cohorts if/when leaving the classroom, such as for recess or any necessary transition, so as to reduce their exposure to other people in the buildings.


Remote/Hybrid Instruction

The possibility exists that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may prompt short or long-term school closures. To prepare for this, our district has developed a hybrid/blended learning model and schedule that can continue as-is in a fully remote environment.

To ensure high-quality remote learning experiences, we will standardize the use of a single online learning platform, to the extent possible. We will also develop a common, coordinated set of guidelines for teachers to follow when using the online learning platform with students.

  • Students and staff are required to have substantive daily interactions.
  • Attendance will be taken daily for both students and staff.

Harry Hoag Elementary School (Grades PK-6)

Lauren Crisman, Principal; lauren.crisman@fortplain.org
https://www.fortplain.org/harry-hoag-school/

  • Pre-K through 6 will be provided in-person instruction every other day. We continue to explore options to have K-6 students attend daily. 
  • Students will be provided with instruction from the special area teachers through a “push in” model while at school.
  • Due to physical distancing requirements, some school spaces will be used as instructional spaces (e.g., classrooms, cafeteria, special area classrooms).
  • Students are organized in “cohorts,” or groups, and will have breakfast and/or lunch in the classrooms.
  • Special education programs will operate in person every day.
  • The district is exploring plans for students to attend partial day sessions on their remote learning days so they can access devices, technology and additional supports and resources provided by the school.  Details will be provided in the coming weeks.

Fort Plain Jr./Sr. High School (Grades 7-12)

Deborah Larrabee, Principal | deborah.larrabee@fortplain.org
https://www.fortplain.org/fort-plain-jr-sr-high-school/

  • Students in grades 7 through 12 will attend for in-person instruction every other day.
  • Grades 7, 8 and 9 will attend on “A” days.
  • Grades 10, 11 and 12 will attend on “B” days.
  • On remote instruction days, students will be required to participate in classroom work remotely by attending virtual lessons and/or completing independent assignments.
  • The Jr/Sr HS will follow a traditional bell schedule with classes being sanitized between sessions.
  • Assignments will be graded to provide direct feedback about students progress, also known as “mastery” of course content.
  • Hallway traffic (Jr/Sr HS) will be one-way and labelled with signage.
  • Transitions between class will be staggered to reduce the number of students in the hallway at any given time to the extent practicable.
  • Students will be able to eat in the Cafeteria as social distancing can be achieved.
  • Students receiving special services will attend daily and continue to receive the associated related services (e.g., ENL, speech). 
  • The district is exploring plans for students to attend partial-day sessions on their remote learning days so they can access devices, technology and additional supports and resources provided by the school.  Details will be provided in the coming weeks.
  • Students will be able to participate in secondary-level BOCES programs including CTE and PTECH, but final plans are still being developed in consultation with BOCES administrators. Plans are being developed for a scenario where school buildings are mandated to close.  In this circumstance, school will resume virtually.
  • Students are expected to engage in learning activities whether the instruction is provided  in-person or remotely.

Attendance & Chronic Absenteeism

Students are expected to attend school daily, whether in-person or remote.  Teachers will take attendance daily through eSchool.  The district attendance policy will be in effect during the 2020-21 school year.  

Students not present on a daily basis may affect their learning and eventual grading outcome. The attendance clerk will make calls home when a student is absent from school. The Counseling team and/or Child Support Team will intervene with absent students.  Letters and follow-up by teachers, counselors, and administration will occur at 3, 5, 7 or 10 days from half-year courses and 5, 10, 15, 20 absences from full-year courses.  


Special Education

The specific needs of students with disabilities will be addressed to the extent possible based on the governor’s decision about how schools will reopen.  The health, safety and education of students with disabilities will include meaningful student and parent engagement and the assurance that all elements of the child’s individualized educational plan are met.  

In-person education is a priority for students with disabilities.  Efforts will be made to support in-person instruction to the fullest extent possible.  If remote learning becomes necessary, there will be direct communication and collaboration in a prompt, clear and meaningful manner.

Hybrid Model

  • Self contained students, students identified with the highest needs, will attend their IEP recommended program daily.  Related services will be provided to the fullest degree as recommended by the CSE when possible.  All accommodations and modifications will be delivered as recommended in IEPs to the furthest extent possible while maintaining health and safety guidance.
  • Students with integrated special education programs (Integrated Co-teaching, Direct Consultant, Indirect Consultant) will attend school on their assigned A/B days.  These students will be provided the opportunity to have appointments (individual or small group) with their special education teacher case manager on their assigned “remote day,” given social distancing can occur.  Teachers will provide accommodations and modifications as indicated on IEPs to the greatest extent possible.  Related Services may occur in-person or via tele-therapy.

Bilingual Education/World Language Program

The district’s services to support English language learners will continue. This plan and information on the district website can be translated into other languages, via a G-Translate feature that will be made available by Aug. 15.