Boulder Valley School District

Reintroduction Update

Back Together BVSD
Carolyn Nohe

Dear Boulder Valley Families and Staff,

Thank you for your continued patience as we prepare to return to school on August 26 in Phase 1: Home Learning.

We have been reading all your emails, comments on our Let’s Talk platform, as well as on social media. In this update we hope to address a lot of these lingering questions and concerns as well as provide information to support you and your students as you get ready to start school.

What can students and families expect with home learning?
As we shared last week we have made many improvements to Home Learning since the spring. Here is a quick look comparison between Home Learning last Spring and what we plan to provide this Fall:

Home Learning Then (Spring 2020) & Now (Fall 2020)

 

Spring 2020

Fall 2020

 

Platforms

Teachers using different platforms. Parents and students having to learn multiple platforms

PK-3: All will use Seesaw, an interactive platform for younger learners

Grades 4-12: All students will use Schoology

 

Engagement

Students did work when they were able.

Students will have a daily schedule to keep them engaged throughout a typical school day, and receive a daily opportunity for live support from a staff member.

 

Teacher Interaction

Students had occasional teacher interactions.

Students will have daily interactions with teachers.

 

Lessons

Students were mostly doing assignments based on previous learning.

Students will have access to recorded video lessons as well as live lessons and small group instruction to address new content and grade level standards.

 

Grading

Elementary students weren’t given grades. Middle school was pass/fail. High school students were given grades.

There will be consistent grading scales at each school. Pass/Fail will only be used on an individual basis in accordance with Board Policy IKA-R/IKAA-R/IKAB-R. 

 

Communication

Students didn’t know what to expect from day to day.

Students will have a consistent schedule and will receive a weekly plan from their teachers on Monday afternoons.

Teacher Communication
You can expect your teacher (Elementary) or a teacher (Secondary) to reach out to you prior to the start of the school year, to introduce themselves, talk about how you will stay connected throughout the school year and where to access all of their class content.  Throughout the year, teachers will also be uploading content into Seesaw (Grades PK-3) and Schoology (Grades 4-12) by Monday of each week. 

Schedules
Students will have a daily schedule to keep them engaged throughout a typical school day, and receive multiple daily opportunities for live support from a staff member. The example schedules below should help provide some clarity around what this may look like. 

We know that keeping a schedule will be difficult for working families. I can assure you that our staff will partner with you to find something that works for you. The Monday Launch Day and connecting with your teacher will provide your family with the support you need.

Please note these are just sample schedules. Each individual school may do something different based on staffing and programming.

Preschool (Tuesday-Friday) Schedule
The ECE Department has put together a sample schedule for preschool students that you can find here.

Overview of what virtual learning will look like (PreK and Kindergarten)

See this document for a high-level look at what home learning will look like for our early learners.

Elementary Schedule  (Tuesday-Friday)
SAMPLE SCHEDULE ONLY

8:30 to  9:00 

Teacher Office Hours 

  • Available to families (Optional)

  • Office Hours and/or Differentiated support (instruction for students with an IEP or 1-1 student meetings

9:00 to 9:30 

Morning Meeting 

  • Community Building, SEL/Executive Functioning, Guiding questions toward content topics 

  • Digital Citizenship 

  • Transition Time: Ensure students are ready for the next chunk of learning (materials, bathroom break, stretch, brain break). 

9:30 to 10:30

Reading & Writing 

10:30  to 11:15

Specials: Music / PE / Art

11:15 - 11:30

Movement Break (consider outdoor time)

12:00 to 12:30 

Lunch - Includes student movement/break time as needed

12:30 - 1:00


 

Independent work time 

  • Students complete learning tasks, read a book, etc. 

  • Also includes student movement/break time as needed

1:00 to 2:00 

Academic Time - Math 

2:00 - 3:00 

Academic Time - Science/Social Studies/Health

  • Combination of whole group lessons, small groups, independent work time

  • Kindergarten - Use this as intentional play choice time with integration of science, social studies and health

3:00 to 3:30 

End of Day / Closure 

  • Students - Movement / Outdoor Fresh Air Time

  • Teachers - Office Hours 

3:30 to 4:00 

Differentiated Support or Office Hours or Teacher Directed Time (2.5 TDT per week)

Middle School Schedule (Tuesday-Friday)
Middle school students will take three (3) classes per quarter, for a total of six (6) classes a semester. With that said, we recognize that literacy and math support for students must be continuous throughout the course of the year, even if one of their 3x3 blocks is not literacy or math focused. Therefore, we will provide students with online math and literacy support in addition to their block classes throughout the year. This will give students a robust academic experience without overwhelming them with too much content in an online environment.

SAMPLE QUARTER SCHEDULE ONLY

8:40 - 9:10
(30 min)

Math and literacy independent work

9:20 - 10:10
(50 min)

Block 1 - Live Synchronous Learning

10:10 - 11:00    (50 min)

Block 1 - Guided Practice | Asynchronous Learning/Coop. Groups/Classwork/Re-Teaching/Targeting Interventions/Feedback/Work Time

11:10 - 12:00    (50 min)

Block 2 - Live Synchronous Learning

12:00 - 12:45   (45 min)

Lunch/Movement Break

12:45 - 1:35.    (50 min)

Block 2 - Guided Practice/Asynchronous Learning/Coop. Groups/Classwork/Re-Teaching/Targeting Interventions/Feedback/Work Time

1:45 - 2:35       (50 min)

Block 3 - Live Synchronous Learning

2:35 - 3:25       (50 min)

Block 3 - Guided Practice/Asynchronous Learning/Coop. Groups/Classwork/Re-Teaching/Targeting Interventions/Feedback/Work Time

3:25 - 3:45       (20 min)

Catch up from the day, email teachers, get ready for tomorrow

High School Schedule
High school students will have up to four (4) classes per quarter. Note: Some classes may take place over 2 quarters. As we look around the country many schools and higher education have recognized the impacts of virtual learning. Schools have lessened the number of courses a student takes for credit at one time. We recognize that there will be courses and continuity that will be needed - however, we are confident that office hours and study sessions can be provided throughout the year to continue gaining fluency in the content - such as AP test prep, language study groups, etc. 

SAMPLE QUARTER SCHEDULE ONLY

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

All students:
Periods 1-4

All students:
Periods 1-4

All students:
Periods 1-4

All students:
Periods 1-4

First period:
8:30-9:50 a.m.

First period:
8:30-9:50 a.m.

First period:
8:30-9:50 a.m.

First period:
8:30-9:50 a.m.

Second period:
9:55-11:20 a.m.
5 minutes announcements

Second period:
9:55-11:20 a.m.
5 minutes announcements

Second period:
9:55-11:20 a.m.
5 minutes announcements

Second period:
9:55-11:20 a.m.
5 minutes announcements

Common lunch:
11:25-11:55 a.m.

Common lunch:
11:25-11:55 a.m.

Common lunch:
11:25-11:55 a.m.

Common lunch:
11:25-11:55 a.m.

Third period:
Noon-1:20 p.m.

Third period:
Noon-1:20 p.m.

Third period:
Noon-1:20 p.m.

Third period:
Noon-1:20 p.m.

Fourth period:
1:25-2:45 p.m.

Fourth period:
1:25-2:45 p.m.

Fourth period:
1:25-2:45 p.m.

Fourth period:
1:25-2:45 p.m.

Student support &
office hours:

2:50-3:45 p.m.

Freshman seminar through 10-16-20

Student support & office hours:

2:50-3:45 p.m.

Student support &
office hours:

2:50-3:45 p.m.

Student support &
office hours:

2:50-3:45 p.m.

Monday Launch Day
Many of you have asked why Monday is still a teacher prep day even in Phase 1. We need to have a solid foundation in home learning, as it will be a major component of Phases 1-4. 

Additionally, Monday Launch Day is important because:

  • Teachers will have the opportunity to participate in professional learning and plan time for the week 

    • Note: Typically, teachers have plan time throughout the week, but in this phase Monday is the only plan time they will have.

  • Teachers will have time to collaborate with their colleagues (virtually or in-person) to create more engaging online content & lessons

  • Parents and students will know what is expected of them for the remainder of the week and how to receive additional support if needed

  • Teachers will have uploaded their class content into the Learning Management System (PK-3: Seesaw | 4-12: Schoology) for the week. 

    • Throughout the course of the year, this will be beneficial to families as it allows students to access their content anytime, even as we move into in-person learning opportunities. 

Attendance

  • Attendance will be tracked based on participation in live engagement sessions, completion of assignments and tasks, and communication with teachers. 

  • We also ask that students log into Schoology/Seesaw at least once a day to make sure they have everything they need to learn from home. 

  • The daily opportunities for students to participate in live engagement sessions will take place through Google Meets. 

Weekly Feedback

  • Elementary: Students can expect to receive weekly feedback on their academic progress.  Assignments will be posted in Seesaw (Pk-3) or Schoology (4-12) for students and families to reference. 

  • Secondary: Grades will be updated weekly within IC. All assignments, learning materials and resources will be made available in Schoology.

Please note: teachers may use other online tools such as Google Classroom, but this content will also be linked in Schoology or Seesaw to ensure families only need to access one platform for all their learning needs. 

Live Engagement Opportunities
Elementary: Provide a minimum of three live engagement opportunities each day Tuesday-Friday

Secondary: Provide a minimum of one live engagement opportunity per period each day Tuesday-Friday

Mondays will be independent learning days and educators will NOT be available for live contact.  Students will engage in independent learning on Mondays. 

Special Education in Phase 1
Special education case managers will be in contact with families before the beginning of the school year in order to come up with an individual plan for your child. The case manager will discuss: How Spring home-learning went, any concerns you may have, and your student’s schedule and support needs.

We understand that some of our students, including those with special needs may have difficulty with remote learning. We will be working with families to find ways to support students, while working towards in-person learning opportunities.

Child Care
Community Schools is committed to ensuring families in need of child care receive that care. We will work with families on an individual basis during this ever-changing and challenging time. Please visit our website: https://childcare.bvsd.org/ for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Contact us at bvsd.childcare@bvsd.org with questions. We have a bilingual specialist on staff to support our Spanish speaking families and most information is translated into Spanish on our website.

All Community Schools Child Care Programs are licensed by Colorado Department of Human Services and Boulder County Public Health. We provide a quiet place for students to do school work with the support of our child care professionals. Students can bring their own devices; additional devices are available for those in need; there is high speed internet at all sites.

Rates: BVSD Community Schools Child Care Program rates have been reduced below market rates for school age children. Our most updated rates can be found at BVSD Community Schools Fall COVID-Adjusted Child Care Rates. This information is also available on our website.

Pods
District leadership has been meeting with the parent groups forming pods in our community. These parents are also involved in the work of the advisory group tasked with sharing recommendations to the Board about how we can move forward with providing in-person learning opportunities.

Next Steps
The Advisory group was formed and met the first time yesterday. The purpose of this group is to focus on building a common foundation of knowledge about the problem and present their recommendations to the Board on September 22. They will be conducting empathy interviews with various stakeholders later this week

  • Students
  • Latino parents
  • Parents organizing pods
  • Paraeducators

This is the makeup of the group:

4 Parents (representatives from the District Accountability Committee, Latino Parent Advisory Council, and District Parent Council)

5 Principals

15 Teachers

10 District Staff

 

Support for Families

Crayons to Calculators school supply distribution 
Our educational foundation, Impact on Education, will once again be providing school supplies to students whose families cannot afford them. 

One kit will be provided to each student who needs them. The kits have been safely prepackaged for Pre-K, Kindergarten - 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade - 5th Grade and Middle/High School. 

Dates/Time
Tuesday, August 18th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Wednesday, August 19th from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm  

Schools Sites (all 7 on both days)

  1. Emerald - Hug N Go lane West side of school

  2. Sanchez - Bus lane East side of school

  3. Creekside - Bus Loop East side of school

  4. Louisville MS - Bus Loop in front of school

  5. Crest View -  Bus Loop North side of school (Main Entrance)

  6. Columbine - Bus Loop West side of school (Main Entrance)

  7. Nederland MS/HS -  Bus Loop North side of school 

If you are unable to make it to any of the sites, please email the Family Hotline at  families@bvsd.org or for Spanish speakers familias@bvsd.org.  Or call 720-770-0102.

Technology Needs
For 1:Web schools (all middle and high except Boulder and Fairview)
6th and 9th grade students and any new students to BVSD entering a 1:Web school will be given a Chromebook to use for home learning. Deployments are expected to occur at the beginning of September and schools will be organizing deployments of loaner devices as needed.

Other schools
Schools will be organizing Chromebook distribution days for students in need of a device for home learning. Detailed information from your school will be coming soon. 

Technology support
Our IT Service desk is available and now has bilingual support if you have any issues with your device and setup or are in need of repairs. You can contact them at 720-561-HELP or at IT@bvsd.org.

Food Distribution to continue starting August 24
Our current distribution program is taking a break and will re-start on August 24 in a slightly different format. 

Date and Time: Every Monday from 9-11 AM and 4-6 PM 

Locations: Columbine ES, Crestview ES, Emerald ES, Louisville MS, Manhattan MS, Nederland Middle Senior HS, and Sanchez ES. 

Verification of enrollment: Because of changing federal funding requirements, we are required to verify that all students are enrolled in BVSD. For more details and to view the addresses of these food pickup locations, please visit food.bvsd.org.

Help Center
Our BVSD Help Center event has traditionally been where BVSD staff can provide in-person help in English and Spanish with our common back to school processes for a few days before students return to learning.  Staff is standing by to help remotely this year due to COVID-19 health guidelines. 

Current BVSD families can receive help with the Annual Data Update (ADU), Free and Reduced Lunch Applications and Open Enrollment Applications.  New families can receive help with Online Registration (OLR), Early Childhood Education Applications (ECE - Preschool) and Open Enrollment Applications.

Please see this Help Center page for more information including video walkthroughs of these processes and how to make an in person appointment if needed.

Parent Learning Hub
We are working to compile resources for parents in one place on our website. This will include videos for supporting your students in home learning, who to contact if you need assistance, and other support resources. We will share more information on this next week.

Opportunities to Learn More and Share Feedback
We know that many families may have additional questions, so we have set up a few ways for you to engage the district and learn more about our plan and to get answers.

Back Together BVSD Website
Our plan and Frequently Asked Questions have been placed on our reintroduction website: https://www.bvsd.org/reintroduction

We have updated our Frequently Asked Questions to answer questions around Phase 1.

Let’s Talk BVSD (Engagement Website)
You can join the conversation and stay updated as we continue to move towards the school year through our new public engagement website, letstalk.bvsd.org.

Simply register at https://letstalk.bvsd.org/register

Thank you again for your patience and understanding. We will continue to communicate regularly with you. You can expect another update from the district next week. You will also start hearing more details from your individual schools. We hope to make this start to school as smooth as possible.


Margaret

Margaret Crespo
Area Superintendent
Boulder Valley School District


 

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