DISTANCE LEARNING RESOURCES

Purpose:

To provide meaningful standards-based instruction to students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Policies and Expectations: This model of education is based upon the guidelines provided by the Maryland Governor and the Maryland State Department of Education. Baltimore City Public Schools view this circumstance as an opportunity to deliver a quality education in an innovative way. We believe that we will learn from this experience and that it will equip our entire school community to better navigate the tools and resources available to 21st century learners.
 
Participation in these activities is a necessary and mandatory part of each student’s learning.
 
Student Attendance will be determined by the submission of work (also referred to as Student Engagement) and students will need to meet the due dates and deadlines set forth by their teachers. In the event that students do not meet these expectations, students will not be given credit for attendance (engagement) on those days/weeks of instruction.
 
This program will require students to demonstrate mastery of the standards and skills outlined for each subject and grade-level. Graduation and/or promotion to the next grade level will be determined based upon the evidence of learning provided by each student.
 
Communication with the office and administrative staff will be expected for any unique circumstances that may arise. In the event that a student does not complete all of the assigned work by the due dates, he/she will be required to make up the required work within the reasonable window of time designated by the teacher.

Schedule:
 
In order to fulfill the guidelines, set by the Maryland State Department of Education, “daily interaction” with teachers must occur. We have established specific distance learning schedules by grade level as well as calendars that will identify the schedule of instruction, work completion deadlines, and teacher feedback.
 
As you will find on the calendars, we will operate on a synchronous and asynchronous schedule throughout each day. Synchronous time means time spent in live sessions with teachers. Asynchronous learning is the time spent working independently to apply the skills taught daily. This includes videos, worksheets, readings and other tasks assigned by teachers. Instructional videos and assignments will be posted to Google Classrooms. Students will be expected to access and watch these videos when assigned and complete all corresponding assignments. Student work will be submitted to Google Classrooms. All work must be submitted online. No work will be sent home in hard copy formats. Students/parents will be responsible for uploading work products to the specific assignment links posted on the platforms.
Technology Platforms

Belmont will be utilizing Zoom, Google Classroom and Class Dojo to support daily learning.
 
Zoom provides video and online chat services through an online platform and is used for teleconferencing, telecommuting, distance education, and social relations. Here at Belmont, we will be utilizing Zoom to stay connected with our scholars with live virtual lessons of varied academic subjects.
 
Google Classroom is a free web service developed by Google for schools that aims to simplify the creation, distribution, and grading of assignments virtually. The primary purpose of Google Classroom will be to share files between teachers and students; including asynchronous assignments, recorded lessons, links to live teaching sessions and more.
 
ClassDojo is an educational technology company. It connects primary school teachers, students and families through virtual communication features. Features include photos and videos, and messaging! You will be able to connect with your scholar’s instructor via the app! There will be in-person training for families focused on these virtual platforms on Tuesday August 18th, located in the library.
 
There will be several time slots will be available to register for participation. Please note that Belmont staff will be following all COVID restrictions; masks must be worn and 6 feet must be maintained between each individual. In addition, we ask that only one adult register and attends the training. Only 10 individuals, including the trainer, will be allowed in the library during the assigned time slot. Please see the available time slots listed and contact Ms. Harrod, at 410-396-0579, in the main office to sign-up.

9:00-10:00 a.m. | 11:00-12:00 p.m. | 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Online Learning
Instruction by the teachers will be delivered daily, in person or by video format to support learning. Resource folders and tabs will be available on Google Classroom to assist parents/students in accessing daily work. Links and other materials will be posted every Monday for the week. Content will be delivered and completed digitally.
 
Office Hours and Teacher Support Hours
 
Staff will be available for parents and students from 8:30 a.m. to 3:40 daily to answer any questions that may arise. If a family wishes to establish a regular online meeting time, they are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher to arrange that communication. Email and Class Dojo will be our primary tools for parent communication. Telephone calls/ texts are encouraged as well during reasonable hours. Any time outside of the scheduled day, should be arranged with your child’s teacher.All faculty will have time available within the day to answer your questions and support your child’s needs. Their schedules are identified below. You can set up teacher appointments in Google Classroom Schedules as well.

 
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School Leadership and other support staff will also be available for support. Key staff members contact information and office hours have been provided below
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Technology Access
 
Students in all grades WILL have access to a school issued technology device. Chromebooks, charging block and cords that are issued to your child(ren) will be available to pick up from Belmont prior to the start of school. Global calls will be sent with the date/time.
 
These are loaned devices and will need to be returned in their current condition at the end of the distance learning experience. Devices that are damaged or destroyed will need to be repaired or replaced at the cost of each family.
 
Resource Classes (Physical Education, Wellness, Art, Library)
 
Just as in the homeroom classes, resource teachers will be delivering new content each day as assigned in the master schedule. Students will be responsible for accessing the instructional videos and lessons. It is expected that children attend their assigned resource classes as they would any other days.
 
Course offering this year include:
 
Health Wellness- Yoga, meditation, Social Emotional Wellness, Health and Nutrition
 
Physical Education- Physical Activities that support cardiovascular health and the brain
 
Art- History, techniques, and application of arts through drawing, painting, and visual imagery
 
Library- Literacy, Culture, and Humanities based learning through book selection, choice and genre
 
Special Education:
 
Special Education services will take place in accordance with guidance provided by the State of Maryland. Case managers will be in direct contact with parents of students to discuss how these services will be delivered. Students with disabilities are expected to attend their grade level classrooms in addition to working with their service providers. Additional support will be given to students in accordance with their IEP goals.
 
Delivery of Instruction:
 
Staff will deliver new instruction for each subject area (both core classes and elective teachers). Each lesson will be specific to the current essentials being emphasized within that course. Instructional lessons will include actual teaching/modeling of a learning target or standard and will highlight tasks or skills that students should practice independently when they are not on live lessons.
Teachers will record their videos and will then upload their videos to their distance learning sites tabs. Videos will be linked under the appropriate grade-level/subject tabs. Each video will be titled with the grade and/or course name, and date (ex. 4th grade math--March 30th).
 
Videos will be available so that students and families will have ample time to complete the expected tasks.


Suggested Independent Workload:

 
Anticipated work times for students within each of the following grade-levels are noted below. Please Note: this DOES NOT include engagement in live learning lessons, watching instructional videos and/or completing corresponding assignments

● PreK-1st grade--20 minutes per subject
● 2nd-3rd grade--25 minutes per subject
● 4th-6th grade--30 minutes per subject

With this in mind, parents should anticipate the average PreK-1st grade student spending 140 minutes on school work each day. Grades 2-3 should anticipate 175 minutes and grades 4-6 should plan for 210 minutes. If additional time is required, students will be given the time needed

Please note that these times are merely the anticipated time demands that the average student should anticipate when giving full focus and effort to the task. Some students may require less time while others may require more. Regardless of the time necessary, all assignments must be completed by assigned due dates.

Designated Work Space

All students should have a designated working space that includes a table top, a space to sit upright, and appropriate materials. This includes, pencils, paper, a place for keeping technology charged to be ready for learning.
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Recommended daily schedule:
 
Good routines are important for everyone, but especially for young children. It’s important that during this distance learning period, students continue to get ample rest, exercise, and good nutrition. It’s also important that they continue to maintain good hygiene by keeping up with bathing routines, brushing teeth, and other personal health care routines. With that in mind, a recommended daily schedule is noted below to serve as a reference for families as they attempt to coordinate work, play, and rest at home.
 
Sample Schedule:
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Student Work Due Dates:

As noted above, students will only submit work online. If students do not attend classes and submit work by the identified due dates, they will be considered absent (not engaged) for the day and will be coded as “unexcused” in our student information system Infinite Campus. Please note that even if a student is marked “unexcused” for a day, he/she is still responsible for completing assignments. When an assignment has been successfully completed and submitted, the “unexcused” designation will be removed from the student’s record.

Expectations of Parents and Recommendations for Success:

We recognize the unique nature of this model and understand the challenges that it can place on busy families. With that said, this creates an opportunity to build independence and responsibility in children. Some general guidelines to ensure a successful experience are as follows:

● Ask questions--students and parents alike are sure to have some anxiety as it relates to starting this new model. It will be important to read directions, remain calm, and ask questions of one-another and of the staff here at school. We want you to have success and we want to help guide you through this process. When issues arise, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
● Set clear expectations--this is school for the foreseeable future
● Make it a habit and ensure that a routine is built
● Establish a consistent work space
● Clarify and set deadlines and due dates
● Ensure proper access to and function of technology
● Inspect and verify that work is complete and done in a quality manner
 
Technology Contacts/Resources:

Our district technology staff are available daily to assist with any tech-related issues that you may encounter. Tech staff can be reached at helpdesk@bcps.k12.md.us or calling 443-984-2001.

In addition to this contact, please take advantage of the information below to learn more about the tools that students will be using for their distance learning programs:

Connecting to your home Wi-Fi- the first step for each family is to ensure that you’ve got access to the internet. If you are having difficulty getting your school-issued device connected, please take a moment to watch the video below:

● Distance Learning Hub- tab has been created on our district website’s main page. This tab provides students and families of all grade-levels with access to instructional videos and assignment links. This site can be accessed at the following


Google Classroom- allows students to engage in direct communications with teachers and peers. Each student has been added to a grade-level class. Within that class, students will find folders for each subject area (reading, math, social studies, science, and resources). Within these folders, will be assignments that students will access to upload pictures of their completed work (Blue days).
 
Contact Information
 
Parents are encouraged to contact our school secretary, Ms. Harrod, at 410-396-0579 to update Infinite Campus with any new information, including numbers, addresses, and emails. Students/Parents are encouraged to check all the technology platforms identified in this toolkit daily for invitations, updates, changes etc.
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We look forward to working with you and anticipate a successful experience.