The Eagle Express
Antrim Elementary School November 6, 2020
A Few Words from the Principal
I hope this newsletter finds you well. Now that we are in November, it is time to get ready for our remote learning period that begins after the Thanksgiving recess. Daily schedules are being finalized as we type, and we will be sharing that with you in the coming days. Our hope is to create a remote schedule that closely mirrors your child’s current in-person daily schedule. Our weekly schedule will include four days of remote instruction Monday-Thursday, with a "flex-day" on Fridays. Flex days are designed for students to complete any work at home or get additional support from their teachers, and for teachers to assess student work and progress and plan for the following week. On these flex Fridays, students are not expected to “attend” school unless they have made arrangements with their teachers.
Students will receive instruction and any support services they currently receive, via Zoom or Google Meet from their current teachers. Students will be expected to attend scheduled class meetings and instruction, with attendance being taken throughout the day.
The remote session will begin with two transition days (November 30 and December 1st). All students will participate in remote instruction beginning on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Please be on the lookout for an email from your child’s teacher as we get closer to December 1st.
During the remote learning period, school buildings will be open for small groups of students who have been identified for in-person instruction from December 7-22 and January 4-15. If your child has been identified to attend in person, you will receive a communication from me. Below is information regarding how students were identified to receive in person instruction.
Which students are being identified to attend in person, and how were they chosen?
Each school created a comprehensive list of students for whom remote segments of the school calendar may have a more significant impact on their social, emotional, and/or academic growth. Within the comprehensive list, administrators created three tiers:
● Tier 1 - Students who are in need of instruction and/or services that cannot be provided in a remote learning environment. If not able to attend in-person, these students are in danger of making no progress or in danger of regressing. This may also include compensatory education decisions. Tier 1 students will be invited to participate in person during the remote learning segments of the calendar, unless the district goes into the red phase during which there would be “substantial uncontrolled transmission” within the community, and all students and staff would be required to work remotely.
● Tier 2 - Students who are in need of instruction and/or services that potentially cannot be effectively provided in a remote learning environment. These students may be in danger of making little progress, resulting in the further widening of achievement gaps that already exist between them and their peers. These students will be monitored closely to see if the implementation of specific teaching/learning strategies and/or specific accommodations help them to be successful in a remote learning environment. If teaching/learning strategies and/or specific accommodations are not successful, students will be moved into Tier 1.
● Tier 3 - Students who are on a comprehensive list but at this point in time are expected to be just as successful learning remotely as their peers who are not on a comprehensive list. The monitoring of student participation and performance may result in moving students from Tier 3 into Tier 1 or Tier 2.
What does remote instruction look like?
Teachers have been provided opportunities to participate in professional development focused on how to engage students in a remote environment. Many of the guiding principles for in-person instruction remains essential for remote instruction:
● Be intentional when designing lessons and activities. Learning goals and outcomes need to be clear.
● Be intentional with explanations. Present relevant, accurate, and understandable information
● Model and provide examples.
● Guide the students practice until they are independent.
● Provide lots of feedback.
● Provide regular opportunities for students to work in pairs or small groups. Research has established the importance of peer-to-peer collaboration and its positive impact on learning.
Additionally, teachers have been spending a lot of time thinking and planning how to best engage students both cognitively (practices and tools that help students to plan, monitor their progress, set goals, and solve problems) and emotionally (provide opportunities for students to participate in discussions, ask questions, seek out help, and be curious).
While we acknowledge that the circumstances the pandemic has presented is not ideal, we are grateful that we are able to support our students remotely.
Thank you for your continued support and have a great weekend!