Last week the Intergenerational Schools Boards of Directors voted to start the 2020 – 2021 school year learning remotely for six weeks. In the past, our schools have not used technology as the primary tool in education. However, in the spirit of Boundless Learning, we have incorporated the use of online platforms and engaging independent practice activities to continue provide a personalized education experience.
Remote Learning is Flexible
Remote Learners will receive 4.5 days of instruction each week. Wednesday will be a half day. Each day, students will engage in school through three formats: Live Instruction, Recorded Lessons, and Independent Practice. Live Instruction will be scheduled during the day at times that work best for most families.
We are recommending for assignments to be turned in within 24 hours so that teachers can provide timely feedback to students. However, we do not want cause a hardship on working families. To remain flexible, students will be able to access Recorded Lessons and Independent Practice any time of the day through SeeSaw (K- 2) and Google Classroom (3 – 8) and will have up to one week to complete assignments. This will allow families to take advantage of the evenings, weekends, and half day Wednesdays to catch up on work.
Remote Learning is not all Online
Students will not be expected to sit in front of a computer for 6.5 hours a day. There will be opportunities to practice independently offline and breaks are factored into the day. Much of the first few weeks of school will be about helping students and caregivers build routines. Students will need to work up to being able to focus on an assignment for an extended period of time. For younger students, we recommend building up to no more than 20 minutes at a time on one assignment. For older students, we recommend building up to 30-45 minutes of distraction-free time on one assignment. Also, similar to a typical school day, caregivers should plan for bathroom, brain, transition and snack breaks.
Preparing to Learn Remotely
Next week, Intergenerational School teachers will return to work (remotely) to begin making class assignments and participate in professional development in preparation for the school year. Administrators have been reaching out to families to check in on their well-being and asking if they need assistance with child care during the first six weeks. We are working with community partners to help families find safe space for their child to stay while they are at work during the day.
A big part of preparing for the school year is making sure students will have the necessary supplies to learn remotely. Each student will receive a book bag that includes a Chromebook (if needed), headset, books, math manipulatives, writing materials, and general school supplies. Once the items come in, we will schedule a day for families to pick up the materials.
Overall, we are excited about the school year and the possibilities for innovating education. To learn more about our 2020 – 2021 Boundless Learning School Reopening plan, visit igschools.org/reopening.