DISTANCE LEARNING HANDBOOK 2020-2021 - Squarespace

 
DISTANCE LEARNING HANDBOOK 2020-2021 - Squarespace
DISTANCE LEARNING
    HANDBOOK

    2020-2021
TABLE OF CONTENTS

GENERAL EXPECTATIONS

TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS

DIGITAL RESOURCES

FAQs

DISTANCE LEARNING BY CAMPUS

       ●   LOWER SCHOOL

       ●   UPPER SCHOOL

RESEARCH-INFORMED STRATEGIES FOR DISTANCE LEARNING

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DISTANCE LEARNING HANDBOOK

GENERAL EXPECTATIONS

For the 2020-2021 school year, Trinity will employ a distance learning experience that is
engaging, motivating, and effective to support students for whom in-person learning is not an
option. This Distance Learning Handbook applies to students who have elected distance
learning or are required to quarantine due to health reasons. Our goal for distance learning will
be for students to continue active and engaged learning while out of the classroom in a way that
is collaborative, explorative, and experiential. To help accomplish these goals, we have set
forth the following expectations:

   ●   Families will elect to participate in the Trinity Distance Learning Program and commit to
       it exclusively for one quarter at a time. After each quarter, a family may elect to continue
       in the Distance Learning Program or switch to in-person learning.
   ●   If a student or class cohort is quarantined due to sickness or exposure to Covid-19, the
       student(s) will automatically be enrolled in the Distance Learning Program for a period of
       two weeks.
   ●   Each Distance Learning (DL) course will mirror the in-person learning experience and
       employ both ‘live’ (synchronous) and asynchronous (recorded or self-paced)
       components using Google Meet and Google Classroom.
   ●   Classes and gatherings such as chapel will be held on designated days and times.
   ●   Current policies for turning in work and attendance will be maintained.
            ○ Student work must be uploaded daily, not kept until the end of the week and sent
               all at one time.
            ○ Students must be present for all scheduled synchronous learning activities.
   ●   Some classes may be videos/instructions (asynchronous) via Google Classroom that
       need to be completed by students before their next class.
   ●   All synchronous instructional lessons will be recorded and uploaded to Google
       Classroom.
   ●   Students should give their best effort, exhibit their best online class behavior, and attend
       classes regularly, health permitting.
            ○ Teachers may award or deduct daily points for attendance and behavior.
   ●   Students are expected to follow the Trinity dress code and general class decorum
       guidelines for live class meetings.
   ●   Students should have their cell phones in a different room during class time and have a
       designated place to work free from distraction.
   ●   DL students will be expected to engage in active learning and participate meaningfully in
       all class activities (i.e. discussion, debate, writing, problem-solving, etc.) rather than
       remain passive listeners.
   ●   DL students will be expected to ask questions during instructional time, not at the end of
       the day.

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TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS
   ● Teachers and students will use Google Classroom and Google Meet to deliver
     synchronous and asynchronous learning.
   ● Students must use Chrome as their browser, and they must be logged in with their
     school Gmail account.

Computer:
Students will need a stable, reliable computer, with one of the following operating systems: Mac
OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 10 or 8 (or later)

We do not recommend using a cell phone, iPad, or other tablet for joining classes or completing
assignments on Google Classroom. An inexpensive laptop or Chromebook would be a much
better solution due to their expanded capabilities to execute distance learning. We also strongly
recommend having a computer or Chromebook for each Distance Learning student due to
complications that arise with sharing a device.

High-Speed Internet Connection:
You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right
into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your
bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a
download/upload speed of 5/1.5 Mbps or better.

Webcam:
Students may use an external webcam or one that is built into the computer.

Headset:
We recommend using earphones with a microphone rather than the built-in microphone and
speakers on a device. Using a headset or earphones with a mic reduces the level of
background noise heard by the entire class.

Google Meet:
We use a web conferencing software called Google Meet for our classes, which enables
students and teachers to gather face to face in real time. Google Meet is free to download and
easy to use. Google Meet is also integrated into Google Classroom, meaning that Google Meet
recordings can be saved automatically in Google Classroom.

Teachers may use other conferencing tools as appropriate for the needs of their classes.

Class Recordings and Permissions for Recording Use
Instructional lessons will be recorded and made available to students to review when they are
unable to attend live sessions.

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Digital Resources
Parent resources are located on the school website, trinitylex.org, including information on how
to use Google Classroom.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who do I contact if I have a question?
The first person to contact if you have questions or concerns about school work is the
classroom teacher. They will want to know what kind of difficulty your child is experiencing -
with a particular assignment, technical glitches, difficulty downloading or uploading things, etc.
It is important that teachers know as soon as possible so that they can address the problem.
They will respond within 24 hours.

If you have a general question about distance learning, please contact the US or LS Principal.

How will the school ensure that my child has continuity of learning?

Teachers and administrators have worked closely to finalize a distance learning plan that
will ensure continuity of learning. Using TADS/Educate (our Learning Management System),
Google Classroom, and other technology platforms, our teachers will remain in contact with
every student and maintain an open line of communication with parents.

If my child is sick on a distance learning day, what should my family do?

Just like on a normal school day, a parent should notify Mrs. Claxon (LS) or Mrs. Dame (US) if
a child is sick. Because instructional lessons are being recorded, students will have the
opportunity to watch classes at a later time when they are feeling better and catch up without
having missed classroom instruction.

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LOWER SCHOOL DISTANCE LEARNING

The goal of the Lower School Distance Learning Plan is to keep children active and engaged so
they can learn and grow, while also affording them with meaningful opportunities for connection
and community. Teachers will provide opportunities for students to read, write, share ideas,
explore, create, play, and move.

Pre-Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten
Teachers will provide suggested activities to allow students the opportunity to continue
cognitive, physical, and social-emotional growth. Due to the developmental stages of our
youngest learners, parents will need to assist children with distance learning.

Teachers will communicate plans for students on Monday of each week. The focus of student
“work” at this age is using structured play and group learning activities as a tool for learning.
Work can be completed during the week by the student with the assistance of an adult as time
allows in the family schedule.

   ●   Work provided by teachers will focus on activities that will promote growth in language,
       math, and general life skills, including things such as Bible lessons, artist studies, and
       literature and poetry specific to unit studies, as well as activities designed to develop
       gross and fine motor skills.

   ●   In-person virtual meetings will be set up to cultivate and maintain relationships between
       teachers, parents, and students.
           ○ Out of courtesy for others, please ensure that distracting things do not appear on
              screen during class, such as but not limited to pets, toys, food or other things that
              detract from the learning environment.
                  ■ Parents and siblings should not appear on screen during class, have
                      conversations or do things that distract the student from class.
                  ■ No virtual backgrounds on screens

Kindergarten - Grade 6
On school days, each student will log in via Google Meet at 8:00 a.m. and attendance will be
taken. Students and parents will be able to find the link to livestream in Google Classroom. For
this reason, each DL student must have their own dedicated device. The agenda for the day
can be found on Google Classroom. Depending on the grade level, teachers will schedule live
instructional sessions which students will be expected to attend.

By the end of the day, students should complete their daily assignments in the Classwork tab
and/or to-do list, being mindful of taking brain breaks, which ideally includes physical activity
and/or exercise.

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Classroom teachers will check in with individual students at least once per week. As always,
faculty and administrators are available via email or phone call if a parent would like to schedule
a conversation.

In the event that the entire class or school is required to distance learn, classroom teachers will
formulate daily lessons around reading, writing, Bible, and math, and one or two “specials”
teachers will provide an activity. Science, History, and Latin will also be included as appropriate.
These assignments will have a balance of on-screen and off-screen tasks which connect
previous learning and current curriculum. Students will be able to see the assignments on their
Classwork tab and / or to-do list in Google Classroom.

Role of Parents - Grades K-6
   ● Calmly establish routines and expectations for your child.
   ● Take an active role in your child’s learning. Assist with logging into the device and
       various applications, and walk through instructions when needed.
   ● Help your child manage online learning by requiring attendance at all classes.
   ● Help your child to plan and turn in work, and stay focused and on task.
   ● Create a comfortable, distraction-free place to work.
   ● Out of courtesy for others, please ensure that distracting things do not appear on screen
       during class, such as but not limited to pets, toys, food or other things that detract from
       the learning environment.
           ○ Parents and siblings should not appear on screen during class, have
               conversations, or do things that distract the student from class.
           ○ No virtual backgrounds on screens.
   ● Partner with your child’s teachers and reach out should any challenges arise.
           ○ Teachers will respond to emails within 24 hours.
   ● Provide opportunities for your child to play and move outside.

Student Expectations for Online Classes
   ● Give one’s best effort and exhibit appropriate online class behavior.
   ● Attend all scheduled live classes and events such as chapel for the full period unless a
      parent or guardian notifies Mrs. Claxon via email that a child is sick. Teachers will take
      attendance at the beginning of each live class and note if a student departs.
   ● Stay in contact with teachers, with a parent’s assistance as needed.
          ○ Check school email at least twice daily.
          ○ Use the comments section in Google Classroom to ask questions.
   ● Be in Trinity dress code for class.
   ● Students are expected to attend live classes with their videos and audio turned on and to
      function as a full participant in each class, contributing to the class dynamic and success
      of the entire class.
   ● Come prepared to class with all necessary materials - books, paper, notes, pencil, etc.

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●   Cell phones are not to be in the same room with students while in class. This is to help
    students focus on learning what teachers are teaching and participate fully without
    distraction.

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UPPER SCHOOL DISTANCE LEARNING

The goal of the US Distance Learning Plan is to provide the best possible academic experience
while staying connected as a community of learners. We will use technology resources we
currently use, such as Google Classroom and Google Meet.

Schedule
Attendance will be taken at all live class sessions. Students who are unable to attend will be
expected to watch and listen to class recordings and complete work for the missed classes. All
current policies regarding late work and attendance will be maintained during distance learning.

Students will be expected to eat during breaks between classes and not during classes as a
courtesy to others, as well as to protect their devices from potential damage.

US teachers will be available during office hours to assist students. Please email a teacher
ahead of time to schedule a conversation or take time to set up a meeting during a live class
session. As always, faculty and administrators are available to parents via email.

In the event that the entire school is required to distance learn, a distance learning schedule will
be communicated to help students organize their school days. Each school day will include live
classes using Google Meet and time for independent work. There will be times when class will
not be held “live” and students will be expected to view Google Classroom for assignments to
be completed in preparation for the next live class session.

Role of Parents - Grades 7-12
   ● Help your child manage their online learning by requiring them to attend all classes and
       finish and upload all assignments.
   ● Check your child’s planning and organization processes.
   ● Encourage your child to communicate needs with teachers as soon as needs arise.
   ● Create a comfortable, distraction-free place for your children to work and attend online
       classes.
   ● Out of courtesy for others, please ensure that distracting things do not appear on screen
       during class, such as but not limited to pets, gaming devices, cell phones, or food.
            ○ Parents and siblings should not appear on screen during class, have
               conversations or do things that distract the student from class.
            ○ No virtual backgrounds on screen.
   ● Encourage your children to incorporate physical activity and healthy breaks from classes
       during the day.

Tech Management Expectations for Students
   ● Check Trinity email at least twice daily.
   ● Check Google Classroom each day for live class links and assignments.
   ● Use Chrome as the browser and be logged in using one’s own Trinity email address.

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●   Do not share a class link with anyone who is not a member of that class or invite them to
       class with you.

In-Class Expectations
    ● Be courteous and respectful online.
    ● Refrain from being anywhere online other than in class.
    ● The camera must be turned on for the entirety of the class period, unless the teacher
       asks or gives permission to turn it off.
          ○ Your face (not a picture of it) must be on screen and immediately recognizable;
              no masks or face coverings.
    ● Please sit up, as in a chair; do not recline or lie down.
    ● Be in Trinity dress code.
          ○ Do not wear or display clothing or other items with inappropriate messages or
              symbols.
    ● The microphone must be muted unless speaking.
    ● Take turns speaking, contribute during discussions, and ask questions during class.
    ● Be mindful to use chat appropriately and remember that classes are being recorded.
    ● Cell phones must be in a different room during class, so that you are not distracted.
    ● Be on time to class and remain in class for the duration of the class period.
    ● Students are responsible for turning in all assignments by the appropriate due date.
       Computer issues do not excuse late work, unless a parent emails the teacher with an
       explanation of an extenuating circumstance.

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RESEARCH-INFORMED STRATEGIES FOR DISTANCE LEARNING
Distance learning is not a new method of teaching. As a result, there are plenty of research-
informed strategies that the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning has compiled
to help support parents and students.

Monotask, not multitask
Help your child monotask. This means no phone, Netflix, video games, or Gchat during class
time. They should not have non-academic applications, windows or browser tabs open on their
laptop during online class sessions. Encourage your child to set their phone to “do not disturb”
and put it in another room while working — they can check it during breaks in the school day.

A good study environment aids good studying
Set up a good study environment. Your child should not do online classes in bed, and ideally
not in their bedroom. Try to avoid spaces where there are distractions. Try to avoid spaces with
clutter because many students find this distracting. Your child should not listen to music while
“doing” an online class. However, music while studying is an interesting question. It seems to
help some students on some tasks (perhaps because it might reduce anxiety), but hurts others.
Listening to music is not bad per se, but your child needs to find out what works for them.

Strong self-advocacy is always crucial — now even more so
Encourage your child to be a strong self-advocate and communicate with teachers when they
have questions or concerns, or even when they just feel they need to check in with their teacher
and chat. This can be done by email or by requesting a one-on-one virtual meeting (ask during
an online class or by sending them a short email). If at any point they are wondering, “what
should I do now?,” just ask.

Everyone benefits from help with scheduling
One thing that might happen in the course of this distance learning experience is that your child
may be given more projects and longer tasks that require more independent work. Balancing
the demands of several projects at once is something that many students of all ages find
challenging. Help your child break down and schedule tasks for asynchronous projects. If
necessary, help them monitor their progress, help them decide if switching strategies might aid
their progress, or help them determine whether a satisfactory end point has been reached.

Support your child’s metacognition
Metacognition aids learning. You can help by asking questions, such as:
      • What are your big learnings or takeaways from the day?
      • What’s challenging? What do you have questions about? What don’t you understand
      yet? (and suggest they reach out to the appropriate teacher by email, one-on-one check
      in, or write down their question(s) to ask in the chat of their next live class meeting).

Where possible, help your child bring in prior knowledge from experiences they have had in the
past. Help them make connections, again where possible, between their work and the things in

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the real world. We tend to overestimate how automatically students make these connections, so
help them.

Emotion and cognition are interlinked
Emotion and learning are intertwined, both in your child’s brain and in their everyday experience
of school. Having an emotional well-being check-in can help — if they are feeling stressed with
school, giving them space to offload those feelings can help them focus on learning. They can
talk to you, talk to a friend, or even write or draw.

Relationships help buffer stress, so staying socially connected is an important part of being a
successful student during distance learning. But take note of the monotasking vs. multitasking
comment above, and separate out social time from work time.

Exercise, diet, and sleep help reduce stress as well as improve overall health. Going for a walk
or run can be tremendously beneficial for overall well-being and learning.

Research suggests that mindfulness and meditation techniques can benefit students of all ages.
Meditating on Scripture passages can be very helpful, especially in Psalms where authors
express feelings which everyone experiences - fear, anger, frustration, and loneliness - but also
affirm that God is sovereign over the affairs of the world, trustworthy, loving, and faithful.

Play is important for students of all ages. Make time for play.

Do things that aren’t on screens during leisure time.

Every child needs PDF time, as this helps both well-being and learning: Play time; Down time;
and Family time.

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SOURCES:

Schole Academy Student Parent Handbook

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School Distance Learning Plan

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