Learning Model Change

EHS Special Newsletter - Distance Learning - Oct. 30, 2020

Eagan High School - Changing to the Distance Learning Model

It seems incredible that we need to prepare ourselves for yet another change in 2020! However, as you are aware, the positive COVID case rate in Dakota County has made it necessary for the School Board of the District to make the decision to shift to all Distance Learning for the time being. We have been so proud of our students, faculty and staff for the care they have taken to wear masks, stay socially distant in school and maintain all of our safety over these first 8 weeks of school. We hope we will be able to return to Hybrid Learning in the future.

We know you have received communication earlier this week from the district level, and will receive more. We also wanted to take the opportunity to interpret some of the guidelines so you understand how they will look at Eagan HS. Please reach out to EHS counselors, teachers, principals and support staff with your questions and concerns.

We will have a full week of Hybrid and Digital Learning the week of November 2-6. Teachers will connect with all students throughout that week to be sure they are ready to shift to full Distance Learning. This week ensures we have time to work with our students, ensure they are prepared, and make this shift.

Then, Monday November 9 and Tuesday, November 10 will be two days for teacher preparation and development in order to launch full Distance Learning. Students should continue working on their class assignments and work during these days. Teachers will be posting the next work as they finish preparing it– in Schoology.

Thursday and Friday November 12 and 13 will be the first two days of full Distance Learning for ALL students – Cohort A, B and C students will now all be in class together as shown in the schedule below.

We have learned from last spring’s emergency distance learning. We know that it is important to set up scheduled school days with in person, synchronous learning for students. We hope this improved version will provide structure and routine for our students. Our teachers and staff members are amazing and they will use what they have learned to be even more effective at delivering instruction and providing support in this distance learning plan. They continue to work tirelessly to develop learning content and techniques in teaching with their learning and teaching teams. The collaboration is vital to their work with our students. In this model we continue to provide time for them to prepare and work together as well as time to support and connect with our students and families.

In the Distance Learning model we will to continue to work with students after 11:30 AM each Wednesday, including Wednesday, November 11.

Please see the FAQs and answers below:

Q: What is the schedule my student is supposed to follow?

A: Here is the weekly schedule for all students. The highlights are that all students are expected to attend class via Zoom from 9-1:30 four days per week (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays). On Wednesdays there are no synchronous class meetings for students, but they are expected to be working on course work, doing assignments and learning. Teachers will be available in the afternoon each Wednesday to answer questions and provide support on Zoom or in person at school. We will inform you more about that soon.

Big picture

More information:

  • Zoom Time should be a mix of synchronous and asynchronous (direct instruction/support) as determined by teachers.
  • Teachers may use their Zoom period as best suits the lesson, the class work and the learning with students.
  • All students will see/meet with teachers twice per week in this format.
  • Students’ expectations would be to participate in 3 hours of in class time, each of the 4 days per week, and also time doing work outside of in class time- including until 3:30 PM each day and during the day on Wednesdays. Assignments will be given that are to be completed as homework/ outside of class time work.

Q: Does my student have to attend their scheduled Zoom classes each day?

A: Yes. We know that students need structure, interaction, and a sense of community to thrive. Despite transitioning to distance learning, we still have a school day for all students that seeks to provide all that, in addition to presenting academic content for each student. All students should plan to be actively engaging in school from at least 9:00AM- 3:30PM each day.

Students need to attend their Zoom classes and also reserve time after class to get homework done. We expect students to be in all of the class Zoom meetings. Students who are currently working during the day should contact their employers and changes their work schedules to be ready for Thursday, November 12.

When participating in a Zoom class, students should be on time, have their camera and sound turned on, and not have anything distracting to others visible on their screen (basically, if you wouldn’t wear it, say it, or bring it to regular school, it shouldn’t be part of a Zoom class either). Please review the expectations below:

Zoom Class Expectations

  • · Classes are scheduled from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

    · Attend all Zoom class sessions.

    · If you are using a hotspot, position it close to a window for best service.

    · Zoom from a location that is quiet and allows you to focus on your learning.

    · Use your full name as your Zoom screen name (this is default - do not change)

    · Students are encouraged to enable their video. WHY? This is our classroom, we need to see each other throughout the learning process, teachers need to see your faces for feedback, we are building a community of trust.

    · Students will be successful with attendance in Zoom classes and completion of assignments on time.

    · Virtual backgrounds are okay if you’d prefer (homes are your private space, it’s okay to create a virtual background that allows us to see your face, but not your bedroom/kitchen/etc.); make sure they are school appropriate, neutral and non-distracting.

    · Have materials ready so you can focus; be prepared and on time.

    · Engage and stay present (and visible); stay put in your workspace (do not be moving around)

    · Mute yourself when not speaking to eliminate potential for background noise

    · Remember, this is school!

Q: What if my child already has their schedule arranged around the current Hybrid Schedule?

A: We understand many students may work or have other obligations that have been situated around their current school schedule. We ask that they make arrangements ASAP to let employers, or others know their new availability, as school is the priority.

While schedules are being aligned, please communicate with us and we will work with each student to make sure they can balance both. Be sure teachers and counselors are aware of your student’s needs and any conflicts with this learning schedule.

Q: What is the “Flex Time” listed each day from 1:00-1:30?

A: We value community, relationships, and prompt feedback to support your child’s learning. One way to make sure teachers are able to meet students' individual learning needs is to provide after school time to check in with students as needed. While teachers will continue to have office hours and to be available with students when they make appointments throughout the school day, we believe having a time each day (except Wednesdays) when students know they can find any teacher for help or clarification is of benefit to everyone. We ask that families consider their children’s class time to be from 9AM- 1:30PM. This will allow every student an opportunity to maximize Flex Time from 1:00-1:30. Flex Time will look differently for each student each day, based on what their individual needs are, but we are confident spending that extra half hour with faculty when they are feeling behind, confused, or overwhelmed will pay off.

Students should then plan to do homework from 1:30-3:30. Following this schedule will have them working when teachers are also working. Again, this allows for better communication and opportunities to seek answers to questions, get assistance with assignments and get support.

Q: How will attendance be recorded?

A: Students will continue to check in for attendance using the CAMPUS app on their iPad. Teachers will continue taking attendance for their records of the students attending the classes and participating through Zoom.

Q: What is the current decision on co-curricular programs including athletics, arts, activities for the high school students?

A: The School Board approved the plan to continue co-curricular programs at this time.

A number of our student activities are already meeting and functioning in a virtual format at this time – Math Team, Quiz Bowl, Chess Team, Student Government, Women’s Empowerment, HAC, Interact, Newspaper and more clubs and groups. Other groups such as Robotics, Debate, Speech, Science Olympiad, Mock Trial will be competing in a virtual format as well. All of these will continue as we transition into full Distance Learning.

Fall sports teams will finish their season schedules – football, volleyball, competition cheer, fall performance dance team. Winter sports will begin to practice according to the revised schedules.

The musical will continue to rehearse and will create the video performance in mid- November. Music Ensembles may continue to rehearse in small groups as they are now after school.

Eagan High School

Eagan High School is committed to engaging students in activities that foster the knowledge, skills and habits of mind necessary to be active learners, purposeful thinkers and responsible citizens.