Option 2 Distance Learning Overview & FAQ's

Distance Learning: 

Overview and Frequently Asked Questions


Distance Learning Overview:

Students with the need for flexibility can start the year learning at home and transition to in-person learning at scheduled intervals throughout the year. Families may also choose for students to enter distance learning at a later date. Teachers will deliver instruction at scheduled times daily, for students to interact with the teacher and other students. Students will also flexibly complete assignments in Google Classroom independently. 
Kindergarten–Grade 8 

  • 5 days per week
  • Begin school year in distance model or enter flexibly at trimesters 
  • Live, real-time, teacher-led instruction at designated times during the day with flexible learning activities through Google Classroom 
  • LESD instruction, curriculum resources, and assessment 
  • Social-emotional support 
  • Accommodations and support services provided 
  • Limited specials available 
  • Participate in activities and events with current school 
  • District devices available; reliable internet connection required

Teacher’s role: Classroom teaching on an online platform.

  • Provide a regular schedule for daily direct instruction in a minimum of two content areas per day.
  •  Lead direct instruction in real-time with large and small groups of students and provide aligned tasks and assignments to be completed during independent work times
  • Utilize district curriculum maps, pacing guides, and district instructional resources, including other online software
  • Monitor student progress and provide students and parents with feedback
  • Establish and maintain a collaborative classroom and learning community 
  • Build relationships with students individually and as a whole class
  • Provide grades based on mastery of learning standards

 

Parent’s role: Support learning at home

  • Provide a learning space and environment for students to work
  • Assist with logging into sessions or online resources (Google Training opportunities will be provided for families)
  • Help students with following their weekly schedule, ensuring students attend sessions and complete all assignments on time 

How will students access learning?

Google Classroom will be used for distance learning. Each homeroom teacher will have his/her own Google Classroom that students will access using assigned codes. Google Meet will be used as the primary video-conferencing tool.  


What materials will my child need at home to support their distance learning? 

Students will need access to a mobile device, preferably a laptop, for each child learning at home. Some families find it helpful to provide headphones for their children to use with their devices. District devices will be available for checkout.  Please contact your school site if you have not yet reported that you will need support with a device or low-cost internet connection resources. Additional basic school supplies such as paper/notebooks and writing utensils will also support at home learning and practice activities. 


How often (times per day/week) would students be receiving direct instruction? 

Each week students will receive direct instruction that will cover all content areas (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies, and at least one special content area). Daily direct instruction will take place in at least two content areas. Both large group and small group formats will be used.  Length of lessons will vary depending on grade level and lesson content. Classroom schedules will be set by each school. Each classroom will have consistent and designated instructional times. 


What is the expectation for the amount of time a student should be doing independent work each day? 

Length of independent work assignments (including online and offline tasks) will vary depending on grade level and subject. In primary grades, science and social studies content will be integrated into reading and math. While, in middle school grades, these subjects will receive their own direct instruction and independent work assignments. 

Will my child need to work all day long?

It is expected that students will take short breaks during independent work times as is needed. At all schools, an unscheduled midday period will be established. This period will be consistent across grade-levels in order to provide families a consistent time for scheduling lunch and other family needs. If changes are necessary to the instructional times in a schedule, families will be provided with adequate notice. Please see sample schedules below:


Distance Learning Sample Schedule I - Elementary

ELA* = English Language Arts M = Math 

(Science and Social studies will be integrated within ELA lessons and assignments)


**Independent work times includes time for students to work on offline assignments and practice activities as well as complete online assignments utilizing online resources such as Dreambox (Math), Epic, Achieve 3000 (Reading), Duolingo (Spanish). **


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

8:30- 8:40

Morning Check in! Attendance and Community Building  

8:30- 8:40

Morning Check in! Attendance and Community Building

8:30- 8:40

Morning Check in! Attendance and Community Building

8:30- 8:40

Morning Check in! Attendance and Community Building

8:30- 8:40

Morning Check in! Attendance and Community Building

8:40-9:10 

ELA Google Meet: 

Whole Group Lesson

8:40-9:10 

ELA Google Meet: 

Whole Group Lesson

8:40-9:10 

ELA Google Meet: 

Whole Group Lesson

8:40-9:10 

ELA Google Meet: 

Whole Group Lesson

8:40-9:10 

ELA Google Meet: 

Whole Group Lesson

9:10-10:30

Independent Work** 

and scheduled 15-20 minute ELA small groups

9:10-10:30

Independent Work** 

and scheduled 15-20 minute ELA small groups

9:10-10:30

Independent Work** 

and scheduled 15-20 minute ELA small groups

9:10-10:30

Independent Work** 

and scheduled 15-20 minute ELA small groups

9:10-10:30

Independent Work** 

and scheduled 15-20 minute ELA small groups

10:30-11:00

Special Area Session 

(Art, Music, P.E…)

10:30-11:00

ELA Google Meet:

Writing Emphasis

10:30-11:00

Math Google Meet: 

Whole Group Lesson

10:30-11:00

Special Area Session 

(Art, Music, P.E…)

10:30-11:00

ELA Google Meet:

Writing Emphasis

11:00-12:30

Unscheduled Time (Lunch/Family Time)

11:00-12:30

Unscheduled Time (Lunch/Family Time)

11:00-12:30

Unscheduled Time (Lunch/Family Time)

11:00-12:30

Unscheduled Time (Lunch/Family Time)

11:00-12:30

Unscheduled Time (Lunch/Family Time)

12:30-1:00

Math Google Meet: 

Whole Group Lesson

12:30-1:00

Math Google Meet: 

Whole Group Lesson



12:30-1:00

Math Google Meet: 

Whole Group Lesson

12:30-1:00

Math Google Meet: 

Whole Group Lesson

1:00-2:30

Independent Work** 

and scheduled 15-20 minute math small groups

1:00-2:30

Independent Work** 

and scheduled 15-20 minute math small groups


1:00-2:30

Independent Work** 

and scheduled 15-20 minute math small groups

1:00-2:30

Independent Work** 

and scheduled 15-20 minute math small groups

2:30-3:00

ELA Google Meet:

Writing & Comprehension Emphasis

2:30-3:00

ELA Google Meet:

Writing & Comprehension Emphasis


2:30-3:00

ELA Google Meet:

Writing & Comprehension Emphasis

2:30-3:00

ELA Google Meet:

Writing & Comprehension Emphasis

3:15-3:30 

See you tomorrow!

Daily check out/ closing

3:15-3:30 

See you tomorrow!

Daily check out/ closing


3:15-3:30 

See you tomorrow!

Daily check out/ closing

3:15-3:30 

See you tomorrow!

Daily check out/ closing

Distance Learning Sample II - Middle School

ELA* = English Language Arts M = Math SCI=Science SS=Social Studies


**Independent work times includes time for students to work on offline assignments as well as complete online assignments utilizing online resources such as Dreambox (Math), Achieve 3000 (Reading)**


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

8:30- 8:40

Morning Check in! Attendance and Community Building 

8:30- 8:40

Morning Check in! Attendance and Community Building 

8:30- 8:40

Morning Check in! Attendance and Community Building 

8:30- 8:40

Morning Check in! Attendance and Community Building 

8:30- 8:40

Morning Check in! Attendance and Community Building 

8:50-9:25

Math Google Meet: 

Whole Group Lesson

8:50-9:25

Math Google Meet: 

Whole Group Lesson

8:50-9:25

Wk 1: Google Meet -M

Wk 2: Google Meet-ELA

8:50-9:25

Math Google Meet: 

Whole Group Lesson

8:50-9:25

Math Google Meet: 

Whole Group Lesson

9:30-10:00

 Independent Work**

9:30-10:00

 Independent Work*

9:30-11:00

 Independent Work and scheduled small group support as needed and scheduled by teacher

9:30-10:00

 Independent Work*

9:30-10:00

 Independent Work*

10:00-10:35

SCI Google Meet:

Whole Group Lesson

10:00-10:35

SCI Google Meet:

Whole Group Lesson

10:00-10:35

SCI Google Meet:

Whole Group Lesson

10:00-10:35

SCI Google Meet:

Whole Group Lesson

10:35-11:00

Independent Work**

10:35-11:00

Independent Work**

10:35-11:00

Independent Work**

10:35-11:00

Independent Work**

11:00-12:30

Unscheduled Time (Lunch/Recess)

11:00-12:30

Unscheduled Time (Lunch/Recess)

11:00-12:30

Unscheduled Time (Lunch/Recess)

11:00-12:30

Unscheduled Time (Lunch/Recess)

11:00-12:30

Unscheduled Time (Lunch/Recess)

12:30-1:00

Special Area Session

12:30-1:00

Special Area Session

12:30-1:05

Wk 1: Google Meet-SCI

Wk 2: Google Meet-SS 

12:30-1:00

Special Area Session

12:30-1:00

Special Area Session

1:10-1:45

ELA Google Meet


1:10-1:45

ELA Google Meet

1:05-1:15

See you tomorrow!

Daily check out/ closing

1:10-1:45

ELA Google Meet

1:10-1:45

ELA Google Meet

1:45-2:10

Independent Work** 

1:45-2:10

Independent Work** 


1:45-2:10

Independent Work** 

1:45-2:10

Independent Work** 

2:10-2:45

SS Google Meet

2:10-2:45

SS Google Meet

2:10-2:45

SS Google Meet

2:10-2:45

SS Google Meet

2:45-3:20

Independent Work**

2:45-3:20

Independent Work**

2:45-3:20

Independent Work**

2:45-3:20

Independent Work**

3:20-3:30

See you tomorrow!

Daily check out/ closing

3:20-3:30

See you tomorrow!

Daily check out/closing

3:20-3:30

See you tomorrow!

Daily check out/ closing

3:20-3:30

See you tomorrow!

Daily check out/ closing

Will direct instruction lessons be recorded for students to review at a later time if necessary or if a student misses it? 

There will be a combination of live and pre-recorded lessons.  All live lessons will be recorded so that parents and students can refer back to them as needed.  A video release form will need to be signed by all parents.

 

Will students have access to textbooks to check out, rather than reading them online if that better suits their learning needs? 

Materials will be made accessible online and through Google Classroom meets to provide ease of access to families. If a family has a specific concern regarding a material modification for their student, they may contact the site principal to discuss potential modifications. 

 

Will students be challenged if they already mastered many of the standards for their grade level?

Teachers will utilize small group instructional times to target needs of students needing additional support and extended learning opportunities. Teachers will also modify assignments to best support all students with assignments that challenge and continue their learning. 

 

What consideration/accommodations will students with IEPs have? 

Special education services provided through distance learning will align with the student’s IEP and closely resemble in-person services.  Students will be provided accommodations to assist in accessing the curriculum, a special education teacher will be available to assist with reteaching and reinforcing content instruction, and students will have the opportunity to participate in small group and/or one-on-one Google Meets sessions to receive assistance and guidance from their special education service coordinator.  Related services (speech, OT, PT) will be provided through scheduled virtual sessions.  Upon approval from the Arizona Department of Health Services, scheduled in-person sessions may be offered to provide further assistance and services to students.  Parents will be provided quarterly IEP goal progress reports to update them on their student’s progression on IEP goals.  

How will my child’s work be graded?

Grading policies will be the same as a typical school year. Kindergarten through 2nd grade will utilize a standards-based report card and grading system. 3rd-8th grade report cards will be based on mastery of the content of the course with final grades being reported in a letter grade format. A minimum average of two grades per week should be provided per subject. This year, a stronger emphasis will be placed on grades reflecting mastery of learning and less on participation, responsibility, and other non-academic competencies.

When athletics resume, will Distance Learning students be able to participate?

Yes, information on tryouts and season schedules will be published on the school websites when it is safe to resume school athletics.
Will attendance be taken for Distance Learning?
The State released some preliminary information on attendance requirements for distance learning. At this time, we do not have a response for how attendance will be taken. 

Will parents be notified if their kid drops off the Google Meet session?

If students do not attend a session at all, parents will be notified. If students drop off for part of a session, parents will not be notified unless it becomes a pattern.
Will my child only log in once a day to access the virtual teaching all day or will my child have to log in numerous times throughout the day? 

For Google Classroom, your child/children will only need to log in one time per day and can keep the Google Classroom open all day.  The Google Meet sessions will be pre-scheduled by the classroom teacher.  We are working to make sure that the Google Meet links can be put directly into Google Classroom.  However, students may need to use a pre-set code for a Google Meet.  If this is the case, students can still access Google Meet from the Google Classroom but will need to type in the code.  This would be on average four times per day.  Training will be provided by each classroom teacher for parents and for students in the classroom.
Will time be scheduled for specials in the distance learning schedule?
Special areas allow our students a well-rounded education. Many times special area classes are the subjects that our students most look forward to as they provide opportunities for movement, creativity, and left-brain cognition.  With the distance learning experience, we want to simulate as much as possible the brick and mortar school experience. However, special area instruction may be very limited due to limits in staffing split between In-Person and Distance. 

Why is there an extended lunch and independent learning time in the sample schedule?

Each school will define a common lunch period so that parents can arrange lunch at the same time for all children in the home. Independent work time is backed up to the lunch time to give parents greater flexibility with a longer period of time. 

Why isn’t the school day compacted to have all of the independent learning time at the end of the day? The reason the entire day is not compacted is because the compacting of the direct instruction is not conducive to learning and practice for the children. For example, if the first 30 minutes is English Language Arts when the teacher models how to write an argument, children need practice time to immediately apply the learning. If the teacher finishes the direct instruction time with ELA and moves directly to math and then onto reading, the child is now trying to hold all of the instructions and examples in his/her head and is unlikely to be as successful during independent work time. Additionally, we know that children won’t be able to attend for 90 minutes or more and stay engaged. The school day and the minutes in the day in the Distance Learning option are designed to match the In-Person learning experience as much as possible. The Online Option 3 provides parents with the greatest flexibility in scheduling.

How are teachers going to assess where students are in their learning?  

Each year, the district conducts pre-assessments at every grade. This year, some pre-assessments may be administered from a distance. The Executive Order requires that benchmark testing be conducted within the first six weeks of the school year in ELA and Math for all students. Our annual plan for pre-assessments will be used with the expansion of assessment in K-2.  We will be using Illuminate (our on-line testing platform) to conduct all pre-assessments. The pre-assessments are scheduled for the second and third week of school.  Students in grades K -8th grades will access Illuminate pre-assessments from their Google Classrooms. Additionally, in grades K-3rd, Acadience, phonic screeners, and high frequency reading skills assessments will take place virtually and in a one-on-one setting that will be pre-scheduled by the classroom teachers. Acadience assessments will be completed by September 4th for all K-3 students. Additionally, teachers will use formative assessments; checks for understanding, student work, exit tickets, quizzes, etc. to systematically monitor the progress of students' mastery of academic standards.  In the sample schedules, there are independent work times that the teacher will be using to schedule small groups of students. In these small groups, the teacher will be able to assess student learning while interacting with students as they practice. Each child will participate in a small group four times per week.

How will students submit work for grading? Some assignments will be completed electronically in fillable forms or using online software applications. Students will also submit assignments through Google Classroom or Teacher Gmail. Students can scan or take photos of work to submit. Teachers will provide instruction on these technology skills and strategies for turning in assignments.

Teachers will provide more fillable forms for activities to avoid the need for printing as much as possible. There may be some paper packet materials provided by teachers, but this will not be the standard.

How will kindergarten students engage in developmentally appropriate learning activities?

Kindergarten teachers will be providing parents with a list of instructional resources to support learning activities that can utilize countable objects, scissors, etc. Household items can be used such as beans for counting, an ice cube tray with 10 cavities as a 10-tray for number sense activities, and/or buttons and M and M’s for sorting. Teachers will be planning activities that are as much hands-on as possible. A balance of digital and hands-on activities will be implemented.
What is the process for requesting a change from online to distance learning mid-trimester?

Requests for changes to homeroom teacher assignments should be submitted to the principal. As much as possible, we are asking parents to hold off on requesting changes until progress reports or trimester end. Ideally, a change at trimester is best because the child will be shifting to a different classroom and a different gradebook. We will also have to consider the caseload of the In-Person or Distance teacher based on space available. Typically, we have two to four classrooms to keep students balanced among the classrooms. For example, in this pandemic scenario, we might only have one In-Person classroom that we cannot overload. Parents and the principal will need to be in communication and collaborate on a solution for the learning needs.