DHS Community Update
Principal's Perspective: Welcome Back!
Greetings DHS Students, Families & Community Members:
I hope this communication finds you well and remaining healthy. We have had a very busy summer as guidance and decisions that are handled beyond the building level have all been extremely fluid. I apologize for the lateness of this communication; however there have been some challenges at the high school relative to establishing cohorts and finalizing schedules in anticipation of our eventual transition to the Hybrid Model. I am a believer that accurate information is far better than timely inaccurate information and as a result, have waited until we've had as many final details to share as possible.
As the district has shared, our return to school will take place in a remote fashion beginning on September 15, 2020. All students, with the exception of our PALS Program will begin the year fully remote and will remain so until October 19, 2020. The situation remains fluid and if there is any change to the planned transition to Hybrid we will notify all DHS Community members as soon as possible.
I would like to acknowledge the hard work of our faculty in preparing for a smooth remote opening. Members of the DHS Faculty volunteered during the summer to provide input and shared lessons learned from our spring remote learning experience to adjust and inform our practice moving forward. As a direct result of our faculty's input, as well as feedback shared by students and their families a number of changes to remote learning are to be implemented this fall.
Those changes include the following:
- A structured school schedule during remote learning. Whenever all students at DHS are in a fully remote learning environment, students are expected to follow the traditional schedule which includes 5 classes in addition to the PASE period. As a reminder, the PASE period occurs daily from 8:35 a.m. until 9:15 a.m. and students schedule themselves to meet with a teacher of their choice. The purpose of the PASE period is to provide students the opportunity to receive personalized advice and support while also providing the opportunity for students to enrich their educational experience.
- Attendance is mandatory and will be taken. Students are expected to login to their school-issued gmail accounts and to attend each class by clicking on the appropriate Google Meet link located within their teacher's Google Classroom. Each teacher will utilize Google Classroom and Google Meet to conduct their classes while we are remote.
- Assignments will receive grades and will be counted toward student GPAs. Unlike in the spring, all assignments issued this school year, whether in a remote or hybrid setting, will be graded and will count toward the calculation of a student's GPA. (See section below on school-wide grading policy)
- All students and faculty will take lunch at the same time while we are in a remote setting! All students and staff will take lunch from 12:33 p.m. until 1:01 p.m. each day.
Looking ahead to our next DHS Community Update we will provide additional information with respect to safety protocols that will be employed as we get closer to our anticipated transition to a hybrid model on October 19, 2020.
In closing, we look forward to welcoming each of our students back--remotely on September 15th to a safe, successful school year.
Opening Day Schedule
In order to ensure all students have a smooth transition back to school and are fully aware of the expectations for Remote Learning, all Dartmouth High School students will begin the 2020-2021 school year by attending an advisory session. Students should check their school-issued email accounts for log-in information from their advisor on Monday afternoon.
The full, opening day schedule is included below.
DHS Daily Remote Learning Schedule
Dartmouth High School students will follow the traditional Dartmouth High School schedule which includes 7 classes with 2 dropped each day. Students are expected to attend each class, each day at the scheduled times. To view the daily schedule please click on the link below:
Student Schedules Are Now Available in ASPEN
We appreciate everyone's patience as we worked through these unprecedented times to develop cohorts that will eventually allow us to transition to our hybrid plan while maintaining distancing guidelines within our classrooms.
Today, schedules were published in ASPEN for students and families to review. Please note that schedule changes will be extremely limited this year as we will need to ensure any changes do not disrupt the ability to maintain safe distances when we return to a hybrid model. Priority on scheduling changes will be given to those students who might not be fully scheduled or who have a schedule that is not in alignment with graduation requirements.
The School Counseling Department will share a Google Form that students should complete in order to request a schedule change. We ask that you be patient as our counselors work through such requests.
School-Wide Grading Policy
Classwork/Practice Opportunities:Assignments are designed to support students in building content skills and/or knowledge necessary to master the intended learning outcomes assessed on Formative/Summative Assessments. A minimum of 1 classwork/practice opportunity per 7 day cycle can be expected per class, and may include activities such as Kahoot, digital worksheets, dialectical journals, written responses to prompts based upon classroom lectures/discussions, practice sets, Flipgrid posts, or other activities as assigned by the teacher.
Formative Assessments:Assignments that are meant to check for understanding and provide feedback to students as they progress throughout a unit of study. Formative assessments may take various forms, including, but not limited to, quizzes, written responses to prompts, discussions and/or presentations, identified benchmarks in a project-based learning experience, or other activities as assigned by the teacher. Students will be given an additional opportunity to demonstrate a deeper understanding or mastery of the standards - as driven by student need - after consultation with the teacher within one week after the return of a formative or summative assessment. The student’s second assessment grade will be used regardless of the first grade. Exceptions due to extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Summative Assessments:Any work product that provides students the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the intended learning outcomes of a particular unit of study. Summative assessments may include projects that require students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills for a particular unit, a traditional test, a written paper, multimedia presentation or some other product as assigned by the teacher. One of the Summative Assessments for each quarter will be a quarterly summative learning reflection. Students will be given an additional opportunity to demonstrate a deeper understanding or mastery of the standards - as driven by student need - after consultation with the teacher within one week after the return of a formative or summative assessment. The student’s second assessment grade will be used regardless of the first grade. Exceptions due to extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Determining the Course Grades
Year Long Courses: (T1 Grade+ T2 Grade + T3 Grade + T4 Grade) / 4= Final Grade
Half Year Courses: (T1 Grade + T2 Grade) / 2=Final Grade
All course grades with the exception of dual enrollment courses will be counted toward calculation of student GPA. A minimum passing grade of 65 must be met in order to earn credit for the course.
Student Support & Safety Nets During Remote Learning
Our dedicated School Counselors, School Social Workers and Assistant Principals meet regularly to review student progress and growth. The focus of our Student Support Teams in the opening days of school will be to ensure all students are able to access our remote instruction and attend their classes as well as to proactively check-in on our students' social-emotional wellness after a long hiatus from school.
We anticipate that the transition back to school and school routines may be challenging for students. We encourage students and/or parents to reach out to a member of the School Counseling Department with any academic or social-emotional wellness needs.
Questions specific to a student's 504 Plan may be directed to Director of High School Counseling & Support Services Mrs. Bridgit DaSilva, our 504 Coordinator by email at BridgitDaSilva@dartmouthschools.org or by phone 508-961-2700 ext. 7431.
What Can I expect Remote Instruction to Look Like?
During the opening 10 days of professional development, our educators have worked tirelessly to enhance their ability to deliver high quality remote instruction. Each teacher will use Google Classroom and Google Meet as the primary tools for delivering remote instruction. Teachers plan to integrate various digital tools specific to their content areas. Students should expect a blend of direct instruction, the use of various digital tools and multimedia as they engage in daily lessons with each of their teachers.
District-Wide Google Expectations
Dartmouth Public Schools
Protocol for Remote Learning for Students- Google Meet
Disclaimer: “There is no expectation of privacy in a virtual classroom. Lessons may not be recorded, copied, disseminated or distributed to any person and/or entity. Lessons may not be lawfully recorded without consent of all participants. Lessons may be viewed by individuals in our students’ households, therefore, the district cannot ensure your student’s confidentiality or privacy. By allowing your child’s participation today, you are acknowledging the privacy limitations.”
Be aware of the district video meeting disclaimer and be aware of the rules of video use. Login with your @dartmouthschools.org account. Be on time for the meeting, when you arrive for a meeting, wait in the waiting room for your teacher to start the meeting and leave as soon as the meeting has been stopped by your teacher.
Before starting a class meeting, take time to make sure that you understand how to control the features on your video software console (i.e. mute, unmute, use comments).
Make sure you are using video conferencing on your computer in a common area of your house, such as a living room, dining room, or home office, either sitting or standing. Do not participate from your bedroom or in an area with many distractions. Face must be visible, you can use a district approved virtual background if you don’t want the class to see your realtime background. Sign-in with your real name.
Prepare yourself as if you are attending school, dress properly, use headphones, and have tools available to take notes.
No phones, No eating, no chatting (side bars)
Must communicate with teacher if leaving
Do not share the link to your class video meeting with anyone outside your specific class.
Do not record or take pictures of any video meeting sessions.
Mute yourself when not speaking. During sessions, use the “raise hand” feature to be recognized by your teacher to speak.
Behavior expectations from school should continue to virtual live meetings
Respect each other
Be on time
Virtual Learning Academy
The Dartmouth High School Virtual Learning Academy is a 100% online learning academy for students who have opted for full remote learning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students remain registered Dartmouth High School students, enroll in similar courses to those offered at Dartmouth High School, have access to the same School Counselors and School Social Workers; however instruction occurs virtually through the Edgenuity platform. Courses in Edgenuity are self-paced but will be monitored by Dartmouth High School educators. Students who are the most successful in this learning model are students who demonstrate a high level of independence in their learning though support will be available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: If I opt to enroll my student in the Virtual Learning Academy, can I opt to change my mind and have them attend in-person?
A: Once students have opted to be part of the Dartmouth High School Virtual Learning Academy there will be limited opportunities to return to in-person learning. Those opportunities will occur at the change of a semester. As a result, any student who is enrolled in the Virtual Learning Academy to begin the school year (September 15, 2020) will remain enrolled in the Virtual Learning Academy until January 29, 2021. Any parent who wishes to have their child return to in-person learning must make the request in writing to Assistant Principal Richard Gill by email (email@example.com). Consideration will be given to requests in the order they are received and will be determined by our ability to adhere to all safety and healthy guidelines.
Q: What will instruction look like in the Virtual Learning Academy?
A: Dartmouth High School students enrolled in the Virtual Learning Academy will engage in a 100% online curriculum offered through the Edgenuity platform. Edgenuity courses will be reviewed by DHS Lead Teachers to ensure close alignment to the curriculum offered during in-person learning opportunities.
Q: How will grades be determined in the Virtual Learning Academy?
A: Courses in Edgenuity make use of a variety of assessments, including quizzes, exams and other open response items. Most of the assessments are scored automatically by the Edgenuity platform; however some items may require review by DHS Lead Teachers. Course grades will be based upon the scores issued within Edgenuity and any additional assessments reviewed by DHS Lead Teachers. Final course grades will be issued for all courses students enroll in.
Q: What courses are available for students in the Virtual Learning Academy?
A: Edgenuity offers a comprehensive catalog of course offerings, including courses at the college and career prep, Honors and AP levels. In addition to core courses, a number of elective offerings are also available. Dartmouth High School Counselors will consult with students in order to ensure students are enrolled in courses that align with local graduation requirements and post-secondary plans. The Assistant Principal responsible for supervising the Virtual Learning Academy will enroll students in the courses identified by the School Counselors.
Q: What supports are available for students enrolled in the Virtual Learning Academy.
A: Students enrolled in the Virtual Learning Academy should be largely self-driven learners; however content specific support may be available virtually, by appointment with the DHS Lead Teachers. Additionally, DHS School Counselors, DHS School Social Workers and the Assistant Principal assigned to the Virtual Learning Academy will monitor academic progress in order to provide support and intervention as necessary.
Class of 2024 & New Student Virtual Orientation
As part of Dartmouth High School's support for members of the Class of 2024 or for any student new to Dartmouth High School, there will be a virtual orientation program on Friday, September 11th at 10:00 a.m. The link to view the orientation program is embedded below.
Athletics & Extra-Curricular Activities
Dartmouth High School is looking forward to offering athletics as well as extra-curricular clubs and activities this fall as students return to school. Obviously, safety is at the forefront of our planning which will mean that the opportunities to participate will look different depending upon each individual sport, club or activity.
In the coming weeks our Athletic Department will publish updates in their Between the Lines newsletter as well as hosting team specific meetings. Cooperation and adherence to all modifications and safety protocols is a must to make this fall successful. Athletic Department questions may be directed to our Athletic Director Andrew Crisafulli by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 508-961-2700 ext. 7415.
Dartmouth High School Associate Principal Rachel Chavier oversees our Clubs and Activities and will provide an update on this year's Clubs & Activities opportunities in our Get Plugged In newsletter.
Commitment to Social Justice & Equity
In August, the Dartmouth Public School Committee announced that it planned to establish a sub-committee focused on this important topic, including taking up the issue of examining whether or not it remains appropriate for Dartmouth High School to use Native Americans as a mascot and/or logo.
This important conversation is one which is polarizing but one which is important nonetheless. Our goal at Dartmouth High School will be to create a safe space for our students to engage in civil discourse around this topic throughout the school year. More information will be shared with all students as to how they can get involved in the coming weeks.
Tech Support During Remote Instruction
We understand that technology support is critical to making remote learning work. Students who experience technical issues with their DHS issued chromebook should email email@example.com or may call the Main Office at Dartmouth High School at 508-961-2700. Every effort will be made to either resolve the issue remotely or schedule a time to swap out the device until it is repaired.
Parents or students who experience issues logging in to their Aspen accounts should email firstname.lastname@example.org.