Learning at Home
Tips and tricks from Elyria City School District
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Today the state released new data on COVID-19 and emphasized an uptick in new cases in Lorain County. We are monitoring this closely. As you'll read below, we are planning for an in-person return to school on January 26, however if cases continue to rise we may need to remain virtual until the situation stabilizes. Parents are asked to continue keeping child-care needs in mind should the district have to stay remote or switch to a virtual model again at any time during the second semester.
As we kick off a new calendar year, please let me take this opportunity to once again thank you for your support and partnership during these turbulent times.
I'd also like to acknowledge the diligence of our teachers and staff in transitioning to remote learning last November, and the hard work of our students and parents in making "learning at home" happen. It isn't easy, we know...and you are doing amazing things from your home classrooms.
(While this newsletter is lengthy, it includes important information on second semester attendance models. Please read in its entirety.)
In our last issue of "Learning at Home," we provided an opportunity for parents to switch their student's learning model for second semester from virtual to in-person or vice versa.
That data has been collected and the second semester begins Tuesday, January 26. Students who opted for in-person learning will return to the school setting on January 26 following specific grade-level educational models that are outlined in this newsletter.
Students who opted to learn from home through the district's "Virtual Academy" will continue following their same Virtual Academy schedule with their same teachers. There are no significant changes to Virtual Academy in second semester, except those detailed below in the PK-12 Virtual Academy section.
In the articles below, you'll find the framework for each in-person, grade-level attendance model. Before you read on, please allow me to explain some of the key nuances of each plan.
You'll recall last November we made the switch to an all-virtual platform because we could no longer staff our classrooms appropriately due to absences and lack of sub coverage.
We are still working closely with Lorain County Public Health in monitoring COVID-19 in our community. The county is recording new cases everyday but health officials are more optimistic about the coming months as a vaccine becomes more widely available.
The staffing issues that plagued us in November have not gone away but have become more manageable, and we are looking forward to welcoming students back to the school setting this month.
Because we are still operating with COVID-19 safety measures in place, such as distancing and smaller class sizes, we've had to modify our plans based on the enrollment for in-person learning at each grade level.
The only ideal arrangement is one that brings us all back together but we are not there yet.
In order to maintain recommended distance in our classrooms at the elementary and middle school levels where in-person enrollment is highest, we will continue the split cohort model of attendance with an important modification for middle school.
Parents will remember that by assigning students by last name to one of two cohorts last semester, we effectively split the student population in half to allow for distancing and less students in the classrooms.
We will operate with the Cohort A and B models again this semester.
Elementary and middle school
Students in kindergarten through fourth grade will attend school as they did in the first semester: two days in person and two days learning at home. (Outlined below.)
Fifth grade students at all schools will follow the middle school education model below. The middle school plan for students in fifth grade through eighth grade is for two days in person attendance (following the cohort A/B attendance schedule by last name) AND two days at home attendance through Google Classroom.
We're distinguishing this attendance model by calling it the "2 plus 2" model.
In the middle school "2 plus 2" model, students are receiving four days of instruction: two in-person attendance days and two virtual learning days in real time taught by their classroom teacher.
On the virtual learning days, students in grades five through eight will log into their teacher's Google Classroom at the start of their school day and follow their regular school schedule online with their teachers.
For example, a student whose last name begins with "A" will attend school in person on Monday and Tuesday. On Thursday and Friday, student "A" will sign on to Google Classroom and follow their regular schedule virtually from home.
Attendance will be taken all four days and assignments will be graded so its essential that students follow their schedule while working remotely from home on their non-attendance days.
We are confident that middle school students (and fifth graders) will adjust well to the "2 plus 2" model and the combination of scheduled in-person and virtual learning will provide them with a full four days of instruction.
In most cases, students in the primary grades of kindergarten through fourth grade require more "hands on" assistance with technology and thus, the "2 plus 2" education model is not feasible.
With that said, we will continue monitoring the situation with COVID-19 and when the county moves to a more stable level where less emphasis is placed on distancing, will bring more students back for more in-school attendance days.
Elyria High School students, grades 9-12, will attend school in-person (and in Virtual Academy, see below) four days per week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and follow their schedule for core courses.
Additionally, Elyria High will continue offering extension periods before and after school for select courses per a student's current schedule. Students will attend their extension courses two days per week according to their current schedule.
Wednesday will continue to be reserved as a remote learning day for all students in which teachers will be available for online office hours and for individualized assistance, enrichment or intervention activities.
The framework for each of these grade-level models is presented below. This week, parents will also receive newsletters from their principals with more building-specific information.
Please let me assure you we are working hard to bring all students back into the classroom setting as soon as possible. While we're doing amazing things with remote learning, we know there's no substitute for the in-person experience -- academically, socially and emotionally -- and we are looking forward a full return when feasible to do so.
As always, we appreciate the many ways you support Elyria Schools. Thank you for your encouraging messages backing us during this difficult year. It has made all the difference.
We are grateful for our students and families and proud to serve you.
As always, we'll keep you apprised of any school-based updates or changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please reach out to us anytime at mailto:email@example.com or connect directly with your students' teachers and principals by emailing their last name first name at elyria schools dot org (for example, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Preschool In-person Attendance Model
42101 Griswold Road
- AM Classes: 9:10-11:40 a.m.
- PM Classes: 12:40-3:10 p.m.
Attendance Days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
To register, please contact Principal Jackie Plantner to register at 440-284-8250.
HAMILTON ELEMENTARY PRESCHOOL
1215 Middle Ave.
- AM Classes: 9:10-11:40 a.m.
- PM Classes: 12:10-2:40 p.m.
Attendance Days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
To register, please contact Central Registration at 440-284-8220 (appointment only).
Grade K-4 In-person Attendance Model
2-DAY HYBRID MODEL (same model as first semester)
- Cohort A: Attend school Monday and Tuesday, learn independently at home Thursday and Friday.
- Cohort B: Attend school Thursday and Friday, learn independently at home Monday and Tuesday.
K-4 SCHOOL SCHEDULE (for in-person Cohort A/B attendance days): 9:10 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.
Teachers will be available online in their Google Classroom from 2:40 to 3:10 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for questions or assistance.
All students will continue working independently at home on Wednesdays and teachers are available to them during normal school hours for questions and assistance and for scheduled virtual meet ups.
*We will continue monitoring the situation with COVID-19 and when the county moves to a more stable level and less emphasis is placed on distancing, we will bring students back for more in-school attendance days.
Grade 5-8 In-person Attendance Model
2 PLUS 2 MODEL:
- Cohort A: Attend school in person Monday and Tuesday. Attend school in Google Classroom from home Thursday and Friday.
- Cohort B: Attend school Thursday and Friday. Attend school in Google Classroom from home Monday and Tuesday.
- PLEASE NOTE: On the days that students are attending school virtually through Google Classroom at home, they will log on at the start of the school day and follow their normal schedule through to the end of the school day.
GRADE 5-8 SCHOOL SCHEDULE:
- Middle School (Grades 6, 7,8, plus fifth grade on Northwood and Westwood Campuses only): 7:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. (Note: slight adjustments may be made to this schedule.)
- PLEASE NOTE--Grade 5 at the elementary schools: 9:10 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. (fifth graders housed at the elementary buildings will follow the elementary school schedule with their current teachers.)
*The 2 Plus 2 Model does provide for four days of scheduled instruction. Attendance will be taken all four days and assignments will be graded.
Grade 9-12 In-person Attendance Model
- Includes core courses only and follows a student's current schedule.
4-DAY SCHOOL SCHEDULE: 9 a.m. to 1:10 p.m.
2-DAY EXTENSION COURSES
- Includes extension courses before and after school hours, and follows a student's current schedule.
- Students with extension periods will attend school in person only on their assigned Cohort A or B day.
(Special Note--Off-cohort-day courses: Information will be detailed for parents in the Elyria High School principal's newsletter.)
*Teachers are available for virtual office hours and virtual meets before and after school when not teaching an extension block and during school hours on Wednesdays.
Grades PK-12 Special Education Services
Grades PK-12 Virtual Academy
There are no significant changes to Virtual Academy in the second semester except that Virtual Academy is a four-day learning schedule for all students, including preschool and high school.
The four-day attendance schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. This is a notable change from the way Virtual Academy was structured in the first semester for preschool and high school students.
Wednesdays will continue to be reserved for virtual office hours with teachers and for other scheduled academic meet ups through Google Classroom and Google Meet.
Calendar Changes of Note
On January 18 and February 15, schools are closed in observance of national holidays.
To make up for lost instruction time students will attend school virtually on Wednesday, January 20, and they will log on (Virtual Academy) or attend in-person (K-8 Cohort A only) on February 17 for a regular instruction days with their teachers.
Please note: On February 17, all Elyria High School students and all preschool students will attend virtually or in person.
On these days, students should plan to follow their school-day schedule rather than their typical Wednesday independent-learning schedule.
Students are also scheduled to be off on January 25 for an already planned Professional Day for teachers. On Wednesday, January 27, students should follow their typical Wednesday schedule for independent work at home.
Staff members will be engaged in various workshops and trainings on January 27 so they are unable to hold classes but teachers will still be available to students for virtual office hours and already scheduled enrichment classes, assessments or other.
Click on the school calendar image at right to see the newly added instructional days illustrated in pink.
Please reach out to your student's building principal or teacher if you should have any questions.