Elementary students will engage in learning in a 100% online environment that includes blended learning opportunities. They will participate in synchronous (real-time) online learning with their classroom teacher, and they will also engage in asynchronous (engage in posted lessons and assignments on their own time) and independent work as assigned. This enables students to continue progressing in the curriculum.
Students and parents can expect a daily schedule, where they check in with teachers at specific times and also work independently throughout the day.
Academic Excellence by Design
Through the St. Vrain Blended Learning Plan, students and teachers have the tools they need to investigate, communicate, collaborate, create, model, and explore concepts and content in authentic contexts.
Elementary Teaching & Learning Priorities:
- Safety: The health and safety of our students, staff, and parents is our top priority and we continue to work in partnership with Boulder County Health and the State of Colorado to determine the health and safety practices for our schools. Students should be prepared for additional procedures when they return to school, in accordance with our health agency partner guidelines.
- Relationships: Establish and maintain strong teacher to student (family) and student to student relationships.
- Engagement: Create ongoing opportunities for engagement and excitement in learning.
- Academic Excellence: Deliver high-quality, rigorous instruction.
- Equity: All students have the access to resources and the support they need to reach their educational goals.
Launching the School Year through Blended Learning
During online learning, teachers will provide instructional experiences that are aligned to academic standards and the content priorities for each grade level. In the same way teachers begin a school year with in-person learning, they will also provide opportunities to build classroom communities, foster student relationships with each other, empower successful online learners, and identify student needs for learning.
The goal of this procedure is to ensure that student instructional time is documented daily through consistent attendance-taking practices across schools for the 2020-2021 school year, regardless of the instructional setting or model of instructional delivery. These include: in-person instruction, synchronous online instruction, asynchronous online instruction, or through coursework assigned via SeeSaw and Schoology. A consistent approach will help ensure that students receive the equivalent amount of teacher-student contact as in a typical academic year, and that St. Vrain Valley Schools adheres to Compulsory Attendance Laws and effectively documents instructional time for the October 1 Student Count for funding purposes.
Students are considered in attendance if:
- Student logs into WebEx and the teacher marks participants in attendance.
- Parent logs into Infinite Campus and submits attendance based upon student independent work at home.
- Parent calls the school office and confirms their student is working independently at home.
- Teacher modifies attendance based upon assigned classwork completion in SeeSaw and Schoology or returned in-person.
Teachers will continue to utilize the researched-based instructional models for online learning that are used for in-person learning. Grade level content is the academic priority for all students and we will continue to align class content with Colorado Academic Standards.
Unlike the asynchronous learning model in the spring, the model for the fall of 2020 will be a more structured online learning environment with a daily schedule that reflects synchronous learning, asynchronous learning, and independent practice.
Learning Model Definition Examples Synchronous Learning Synchronous learning is digital and online learning in which students learn from teachers or peers in real time, but not in person. This occurs through video tools such as Webex. Students all learn at the same time by attending an online lesson or class.
- Webex “live” class with teacher direct instruction.
- Students view a direct instruction video in Schoology or SeeSaw as a class, followed by Webex “live” classroom discussion.
Asynchronous Learning Asynchronous learning is when students learn the same classroom materials at different times and/or locations, typically through a lesson posted by the teacher in Schoology or SeeSaw.
- Students independently read articles, view a video demonstration, or work through a slide deck in SeeSaw or Schoology and then independently respond to a posted assignment.
Independent Practice Independent practice occurs offline. Students have opportunities to practice and apply their new knowledge and skills. This is a time when students complete posted assignments, homework, or projects.
- Read and respond
Each day students (and parents) in elementary classes will start with a 15-20 minute daily morning meeting. This routine allows the teacher to guide the students through the day’s schedule, lessons, activities, materials needed for the day, and answer any questions the students or parents may have. This time may also include community building so students make connections with each other.
Learning Time & Sample Schedule
In order to enhance the learning for all students and adhere to the state requirements for instructional time, more structure has been added to the students’ academic day for the 2020-21 school year. A sample schedule is provided below. Final schedule adjustments will occur at the building and classroom level.
Teachers will balance synchronous, asynchronous, and independent learning experiences based upon the needs of the learners and the learning goals. For example, Monday through Thursday will include a structured schedule with synchronous lessons and time built in for independent work. Fridays will begin with a synchronous Morning Meeting with their teacher to take attendance and talk about their work for the day. The remainder of the day on Friday will be asynchronous and a time when students complete independent assignments, parents can sign up for teacher office hours, or students can receive pre-arranged academic tutoring or support. Please see the weekly and sample daily schedules below.
Monday Synchronous Learning (via Webex)
Independent Student Work
Tuesday Synchronous Learning (via Webex)
Independent Student Work
Wednesday Synchronous Learning (via Webex)
Independent Student Work
Thursday Synchronous Learning (via Webex)
Independent Student Work
Friday Synchronous Morning Meeting (via Webex)
Teacher Office Hours
- Additional Academic Support
- Student Engagement Checks
- Pre-arranged additional virtual tutoring with classroom teacher, special education teacher, or other teachers
Sample Daily Schedule
Your school will share your student’s schedule with you, and it will reflect a similar balance between synchronous, asynchronous, and independent learning.
Every Monday - Thursday 9:00-9:20 (Webex) Morning Meeting
Attendance, In-Focus lesson, Daily Schedule Preview
9:20-9:45 (Webex) Literacy - Direct Instruction 9:45-10:30 Literacy - Independent Practice and Assignment Completion 10:45-11:05 (Webex) Mathematics - Direct Instruction 11:05-11:30 Mathematics - Independent Practice and Assignment Completion 11:30-12:00 Lunch Break 12:00-12:20 (Webex) Science/Social Studies - Direct Instruction 12:30-12:50 (Webex) One Special (Art, Music, PE) - Direct Instruction 12:50-3:00 Independent Student Work Time for Any Class: Students work on asynchronous and independent tasks.
Teacher Office Hours: Teachers are available for students or parents to schedule additional virtual academic support, answer parent or student questions, or schedule time with school counselors or other school staff.
Every Friday 9:00-3:00
- 9:00-9:30 Morning Meeting (via Webex)
- 9:30-11:30 Teacher Office Hours
- 11:30-12:00 Lunch
- 12:00-3:00 Teacher Office Hours
Synchronous Learning: Students login to Webex and participate in the Morning Meeting with their classroom teacher. Teachers will take attendance and talk about what work students will complete for the day.
Independent and Asynchronous Student Work: Students work on asynchronous and independent learning tasks for the day or week. Students and parents can access their teachers and counselors during office hours as well.
Teacher Scheduled Office Hours: Teachers are available for students or parents to schedule additional virtual academic support, answer parent or student questions, or schedule time with school counselors and other school staff. School staff will communicate how students and parents can sign up for individual needs on this day.
Elementary Specials (Art, Music, PE, Library, STEM)
Students will be scheduled for one special for a trimester or quarter, and they will have all specials throughout the course of the year. They will only be graded for the special class in which they are currently participating.
Building administration and professional teaching staff shall incorporate a grading system for evaluating and recording student progress to measure student performance in conjunction with our district's academic standards. In alignment with our grading policies, teachers will explain to students and families how courses are graded, the scale of marks awarded, and the timeline of when students receive grades. Consistent with normal practice, teachers will use appropriate discretion in deciding which specific measures are factored into students' grades.
Common Communication Structures
Common communication structures are imperative to ensure that parents and students have a clear and consistent way of accessing and interacting with their learning experiences.
- Teachers will share the class schedule with parents and students during the first week of school, as well as contact information.
- Starting in the 2020-21 school year, all grade Pre K-3 teachers will use SeeSaw and all grade 4-5 teachers will use Schoology as their primary launchpoint for digital learning management. This will create a single access point for digital learning materials at each grade level for all students and parents throughout the district. This does not preclude teachers from continuing to use a variety of digital learning tools, this will merely create a clear and predictable starting point for students at a given grade level.
- Coordination of pick-up/drop off of student materials will occur at the building level and will be communicated clearly to families.
- Teachers will communicate their system for students and parents to sign-up for individual time to answer questions and receive additional academic support during their office hours and on Fridays.
- Teachers will have office hours at the end of each school day and every Friday. This will be a time for parents to have their questions answered and for students to receive additional academic support by appointment.