NPS Parent Update - August 13
Important information for parents
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The first day of school, which is Monday, Aug. 24, is quickly approaching. Typically, schools are buzzing with excitement as students and teachers prepare for a new year full of opportunities. While our students will begin the year with remote learning, our teachers remain excited to serve them. Our educators are currently hard at work preparing to deliver instruction to students in a variety of ways over the course of the year and I am incredibly proud of the work they are doing.
We are encouraged by the recent decline in daily Covid-19 cases in Cleveland County and hope to return to in-person learning very soon. We continue to monitor multiple data sources, work with local medical professionals and follow guidelines put in place by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), which is the governing agency for public schools. Ultimately, the criteria we will use to determine if learning can take place in-person relies on the Covid-19 Alert System adopted by OSDE. We also are developing a decision model to help families understand what to expect as risk levels change in our community. We will share this information as soon as it is available.
We continue to receive questions about the start to an unprecedented school year, and have outlined some important information below.
Assistance with Student Supervision: We understand many families need assistance with supervising their children during this period of remote learning while parents and caregivers go to work. That is why we are working closely with the United Way and other community groups who have stepped in to provide opportunities for families in need of assistance during this period of virtual instruction. Click here to view opportunities for families in need. Organizations that are providing caregiving assistance are encouraged to submit information to the United Way to be included on the list of resources. Submission information can be found at www.unitedwaynorman.org/vlr.
Remote Learning vs. Virtual Learning: Students who have enrolled in either the traditional/remote learning option or the blended learning option will begin the school year with remote learning. Remote learning occurs when school buildings are closed, or if quarantines become necessary, and students learn from remote locations. Virtual learning, however, is designed for students who have enrolled in one of our full-time virtual learning options. Remote learning will be vastly different than what students experienced in the spring, as we have had time to prepare for this learning environment.
Remote Learning Schedules: Many have asked how remote learning for students enrolled in the traditional/remote learning option or the blended learning option will be structured. Daily schedules have been designed to keep students engaged throughout the school day, without being in front of a screen for hours at a time. Click here to view district-wide remote learning schedules for all grades, as well as videos that provide some helpful information.
Please keep in mind that each teacher’s class may differ slightly, and teachers will communicate directly with students and parents. Students enrolled in the blended learning option may follow the A.M. or P.M. section of the remote learning schedules. It is also important to note that students who are enrolled in full-time virtual learning will not follow the remote learning schedules. Rather, they will receive different schedules from their teachers if they are enrolled in a full-time virtual option.
Remote Learning Attendance: We understand some students may not have the opportunity to participate in remote learning activities during the allocated times. All students will be counted present unless the student does not a) submit at least 90 percent of assignments b) log in and attend at least 90 percent of scheduled lessons or c) is not on track to pass the course. At least one of these must be met to ensure students continue to be counted present during remote learning.
Remote Learning Grades: Grades will be posted following the same timeline as students would typically receive grades, assessment or feedback from their teacher. Teachers will outline expectations when school begins.
Enrollment: We appreciate those who have already enrolled. For those who have yet to complete the enrollment process, it is exceedingly important for families to enroll students as soon as possible to ensure that class lists and schedules can be prepared prior to the beginning of school. We also encourage parents to select the learning option they prefer (traditional/remote, blended or virtual) when enrolling to ensure we have that information available when we transition out of district-wide remote learning. Visit www.normanpublicschools.org/enroll for more information.
Class Lists, Course Schedules and Teacher Assignments: Class lists for elementary students will be available Aug. 18 and will be provided to families by their child’s school. Class schedules for middle and high school students are expected to be complete by Aug. 19. It is important for families to complete enrollment to ensure class lists and schedules can be completed in a timely manner.
School Supplies: District-wide remote learning will only require minimal supplies. However, we encourage families to purchase school supplies as we anticipate that students could soon return to school buildings. Click here to view the school supply lists.
Technology: Families who indicated during enrollment that they do not have access to a tablet, computer or internet will be contacted by an NPS employee. Please contact your child’s school or email@example.com with questions.
Student Meals: Meals will continue to be provided for students in need, however, the distribution plan has changed as we are required to follow USDA guidelines. Families must now complete an order form with the student’s name and ID number to receive meals during district-wide remote learning. Any applicable charges will be charged to the student’s lunch account. All families are also encouraged to complete a free and reduced lunch application. Click here to view the many benefits of applying for free or reduced meals, then click here to apply (or click here to access the application in Spanish). For more information visit www.normanpublicschools.org/meals.
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that change is inevitable. The constant flow of new and changing information can be overwhelming and frustrating. But my promise to you is that we will adapt as information changes and I will continue to make decisions that I believe are in the best interest of our students, teachers and staff. As always, we will continue to communicate updated information with you and also will post details at www.normanpublicschools.org/backtoschool. School principals, as well as our Student Services team, are also available and willing to answer questions.
As always, we take the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff very seriously, which is why we decided to begin the year with remote learning. However, we know how important it is for students to be at school and we are working diligently to that end. Thank you for your continued patience, grace and understanding as we work toward bringing our students back to school where we know they learn best — our classrooms.
Dr. Nick Migliorino
Norman Public Schools