Continuity of Learning Plan

Continuity of Learning Plan
Posted on 05/01/2020
Continuity of Learning Plan RSU 25.pdf

Beginning in late February 2020, RSU 25 was monitoring the spread of what has become the COVID - 19 Pandemic and the potential impacts it would have on our Nation, State, Communities, and our school district. In anticipation of the Governor’s declaration of a Civil Emergency, March 15, 2020 ending classroom instruction until April 17, 2020, RSU 25 began our transition into remote learning on Friday, March 13, 2020.

Teacher PLC time, on the 13th, was dedicated to the initial steps for planning and transitioning to remote learning beginning Wednesday March 18, 2020. By design Monday March 16, 2020 was the last day for students to attend school to gather up their personal belongings and educational materials they would need to work at home to complete their studies. Tuesday March 17, 2020 was used as a professional development day by teachers to pull together plans, materials, and equipment needed for students to begin remote learning. It is important to note, a significant amount of time and effort was dedicated by the teachers and staff to prepare for the initial roll out of remote learning. This time far exceeded the normal work day and expectations beginning Friday afternoon through the weekend, Monday evening, and all day Tuesday.

During this initial phase, we recognized remote learning will look different depending on the grade levels and the availability of technology to be used by the students. By design and necessity grades PK - 4 would be primarily hard copy learning activities that would be sent home in two week segments. The initial distribution of those materials would be via parent pick up at the schools and later would transition to the use of the school buses and vans. At the middle school level, students in grades 5 and 6 were allowed to take home Chrome books which until this time had been class based resources only. Grades 7-12 were already one to one with technology which facilitated the communication of lessons and the opportunity to present new information and work with students as whole classes, small groups, and one to one. Teachers posted assignments and supporting materials via Google Classroom, and established office hours for students to connect with them via Google Meets.

Since Governor Mills' original announcement, she has come out with two additional directives regarding the duration of our remote learning initiative. She initially extended remote learning through the month of April and in her last announcement, made Sunday, April 5th, she strongly encouraged districts to continue remote learning for the remainder of the school year. The Thursday following the Governor's recommendation, I met with the Hancock County Superintendents and the Commissioner of Education to understand the intent and reasoning behind the Governor’s recommendation. In that meeting the Commissioner shared, though the Governor had the legal authority to declare remote learning until the end of the school year, she wanted that decision to be a local decision. The Commissioner shared with the group the foundation of the recommendation was information provided to the Governor by Dr. Shah of the Maine CDC and the lack of any indicators or markers that would encourage him to recommend a return to school this year.

Given this announcement and the many waivers that have been issued by the Maine Department of Education, each district is required to develop a remote learning plan that must be

presented to the School Board for their consideration and approval. Once approved, minutes from that meeting must be submitted to the Maine Department of Education and they will accept the district's remote educational plan for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

RSU 25 Remote Learning Plan

RSU 25 will continue to run a remote learning program that will follow the established
2019-2020 school calendar. Student programming will continue through June 5, 2020 which is the recommended last day for student work. Because we will not be able to complete the curriculums as intended, there will be a need to revise and compact the curriculums as we prepare for the upcoming school year. The compacting work will need to consider not only a one year transition, but be inclusive of looking at grade level spans. We will use June 8, 2020 through June 12, 2020 as professional development days for teachers to identify learning targets not taught during the third trimester (or fourth quarter) and to meet in building level and vertical teams to share that information for planning the next academic year. The work during this week will include sharing of information and learning needs of students as placements are considered for the following year.

• June 5, 2020 - Last day for student programming
• June 8, 2020 - Building level work for teachers identifying learning standards not taught
• June 9, 2020 - Building level work for student transitions
• June 10, 2020 - Transition meetings K-1, 1-2, 4-5, & 8-9 as well as curriculum compacting work
• June 11, 2020 - Placement conversations K-4, 5-8 as well as curriculum compacting work
• June 12, 2020 - Complete placement and transition work as well as curriculum compacting work
• June 15, 2020 - Last teacher day

The RSU 25 Remote Learning Plan will look at our schools in three levels: elementary, middle school, and secondary. Each of these levels will present work to the students that will be developmentally appropriate and will provide a continuity of skill development and learning.
Our remote learning plan will outline the steps and considerations of the Special Education program relative to the steps that will be taken through the remote learning process into the return to school.

Prekindergarten - Grade 4

The primary goal for work at this level will be the review and retention of concepts that have been taught through the first two trimesters. Work packets have been and will be developed by the teachers and disseminated to the parents through both an established pick up schedule for delivery to the home using the bus and van system while they are delivering meals to homes. As we progress into the month of May, the teachers will present learning menus to students to allow for more voice and choice in an effort to increase student engagement.

Teachers have been and will be connecting with students via the internet if available and by phone if internet connectivity is not available. All teachers have established daily office hours and scheduled small group and/or individual video conferencing using Google Hangouts. At a minimum all teachers will make at least one individual contact per week for each student. The principal has been contacting each of the families via phone and will continue until she has established contact with each family.

The students will also be supported by Heather Rawcliffe (social worker) as needed. Ms. Rawcliffe will assist teachers in locating students if they have not been accessible to the teachers. Students who had received services from BRHC counseling prior to remote learning have been extended the opportunity to continue these services remotely with the BRHC counselors.

Because of the varied levels of support students will have in their home settings, the third trimester teachers will not introduce new concepts, and the focus of the learning will be on review and retention of previously taught skills and concepts. The standards that would have normally been taught in the third trimester will be compacted and delivered as new concepts to the students beginning in the fall of the 2020-2021 school year. This adjustment will require the revision of the scope and sequence of the curriculum.

The recommendation of the elementary principals is to not have a trimester three report card. They will use the Trimester Two report card as the final report for the year. Our students are working remotely with a vast array of supports available to them. We cannot base proficiency scoring on standards they are able to do or not do while they are not with us here at school.

Students will be promoted as scheduled prior to this disruption unless they had been previously identified by the teachers and conversations had started with the families. In the case of a retention recommendation, a meeting will be established with the families and teachers to determine the best course of action for that student.

When we return to school in the fall, we will administer the following assessments: K Proficiency baseline assessments, NWEA for Reading, Math and Reading Fluency; Lucy Calkins on-demand writing prompts; Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) Reading Assessment; and spelling inventories to help personalize our instructional approaches with each student’s academic readiness after this long disruption to their learning.

Middle School grades 5, 6 7, & 8

Remote Learning at BMS is being conducted digitally, through the Google Classroom platform as part of our Google domain. Between the MLTI Macbooks and the RSU-purchased Chromebooks, we are 1:1 with computer devices in grades 5-8 and have been able to offer a device to any student that needs one. However, approximately 5% of our students do not have internet access so we are attempting to get hard copies of assignments to them. From March 18-April 17, a majority of assignments consisted of completing units and projects that were already underway before the school closure. As remote learning has been extended, providing new instruction to students via digital platforms has been increasingly difficult as many of our struggling students need access to the scaffolding, pre-teaching, and daily support that teachers are able to provide in a classroom setting. As such, we are assigning less new content and will be shifting our focus to review of previously taught content from April 27-June 5.

Each teacher has established remote office hours and are providing asynchronous instruction and assistance to the students. Given that middle level students are less independent than older students, we are also using scheduled support sessions via google hangouts where teachers can meet with an individual or small groups of students at specific times to provide direct assistance to students. This has also been a great way to help parents learn how to access google classroom and help support their children.

BMS is proposing to not provide content grades in the 3rd trimester. For grades 5-6, this will mean that promotion standards will not be scored in the 3rd trimester; for grades 7-8, there will not be a numeric 1-100 grade assigned for a course. We plan to score all students grades 5-8 on Habits of Mind for the 3rd trimester. We have revised our Habits of Mind rubric to focus on those factors which most influence student engagement and participation during remote learning and have developed guidelines to make sure that students are not unfairly punished for inequitable access to remote learning. Starting 4/13, students will receive a weekly Habits of Mind score in their ELA, math, science, and social studies classes and every other week in their Unified Arts classes. These will be used to calculate a final Habits of Mind grade for each class, which will be the only grades reported on the 3rd trimester report card.

Throughout the school closure, homeroom teachers have been attempting to make two-way contact with each of their students to support students and families during this time. This aligns with and leverages existing BARR structures for grades 7 and 8. We have expanded BARR to grades 5 & 6 during the school closure time, with each grade level team and risk review meeting weekly to determine which students and families may need extra support. Teachers, counselors, nurses, and the principal have been reaching out to families to ensure continuity of mental health support, food security including the weekend backpack program, connection with community resources, and check in/check outs for students who need an extra pep talk each day.

When we return to school in the fall, we will administer the NWEA as well as other diagnostic assessments such as the Lucy Calkins writing prompts, QRI-V, and EMPI to help personalize our instructional approaches with each student’s academic readiness after such a long disruption to their learning.

High School grades 9-12

The remote learning plan for the high school will first extend the third quarter 2 weeks for a closing date of April 17, 2020. During the additional two weeks students will be focusing on completing the work assigned prior to April 3, 2020. Any additional new work will be counted in the fourth quarter. The students third quarter grades will be the final numeric grades assigned for the year and will be used in the calculation of class rank and will appear on the transcript for the second semester grade.

The fourth quarter will be a pass/incomplete system with instruction continuing via Google Classroom and Google Meets. Each teacher has established remote office hours and are providing asynchronous instruction and assistance to the students. The students' work will be graded using a Pass / Incomplete method. Credits will be determined based on a complete third quarter grade and a designation of Pass for the fourth quarter. Any student who has not earned credit will be incomplete and individual plans will be developed to recover the credit. For semester courses the third quarter grade will be reflected on the students’ transcript and used for calculation for their grade point average. For year-long courses the first semester grade will be averaged with the third quarter to determine a final course grade that will be posted on the transcript.

For students who are enrolled in dual credit courses students’ may receive numerical grades that will be provided to the post secondary school as needed. For the students report cards they will still show a Pass / Incomplete designation for the fourth quarter. This is to ensure that students have a

complete post-secondary transcript that can be used at institutions outside of the University of Maine system.

Moving into next year we will be resetting our extra and co-curricular ineligibility steps. All students will be taken off of the list, regardless of what step that they are on. However, students who have an incomplete from this school year will need to meet the requirements of their credit recovery plan in order to stay off of an ineligibility step. If students are meeting their credit recovery plan they will not be placed on an ineligibility step.

Finally we have addressed some of the complications surrounding community service given the extenuating circumstances that we find ourselves in. We have expanded the criteria for students to complete community service in order to meet the graduation requirement. This will now allow students to complete work within their own residence and for family members.

Special Education

RSU25’s general educational practices and state/federal laws always include and support students with disabilities as part of our general education student body when making district decisions about operations and curriculum. In our district students with current IEP accommodations and 30% (or less) resource room time likely should be able to access Distance Learning Lessons through on-line or educational packets adequately. 55 % of our special education students are able to access the general education curriculum with general modifications to grade level standards.

Since 1975, the delivery of special education instruction and services have taken an important role in education and has served a specific purpose. Special education delivers services which uphold federal law and provides children of disabilities the right and access to receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Along with the guarantee of FAPE, all public schools also have the duty to ensure students with disabilities the civil right of being included in the same educational opportunities and experiences as their non- disabled peers. In order to have this happen, special education interventions and accommodations in the regular classroom are needed for the student to access their grade level curriculum and for progress to take place.

When schools acted upon Governor Mills’ call to respond to the Corona Virus Emergency, every school system had to quickly respond, and decide how much time to provide for educational services. “In session” school closure has now been extended, by Governor Mills. The RSU 25 administration immediately discussed what level of services we could provide to all of our students during the continued COVID-19 crisis and how those skills may need to be assessed. The building principals and other administrators came together and developed their plan proposals to submit to the RSU25 Board. Their decisions were anchored on their knowledge of our staff , natural hurdles acquired from crisis circumstances and their concerns of all RSU 25 students and their needs.

Three modes of instruction delivery and assessment practices were proposed to meet the developmental needs of RSU 25 students. Special education will mirror and utilize each assessment delivery process.

● MLS and Jewett developed and sent out Learning Packets with assignments and learning activities that addressed learned grade level standards. The Jewett and the MLS principalsrecommended that the second trimester report card be the final reporting of progress for the school year 19-20 .
● BMS “Distance Learning Plan” is being conducted digitally, through the Google Classroom platform as part of our Google domain for grades 5-8 . Courses will be scored through the Distance Learning BMS Habits of Mind.
● BHS Distance Learning Plan” is being provided through the remote learning platform of Google Classroom and courses will be assessed through a rank of PASS or INCOMPLETE to gain accreditation towards graduation.

As our RSU 25 educators apply their instruction to the model of “Distance Learning” our special education teachers have committed themselves to providing support and services to our identified students of need. The special education department has taken the time to become familiar with the regular education model of instruction delivery and assessment during Remote Learning and have come up with a plan that mirrors the general education models but also includes the federal and state guidance we have received to maintain compliance of the law.

During the COVID-19 Crisis to be in compliance with the law:

● Our district must provide our special education students with FAPE, IDEA and honor the concept of least restrictive environments along with non-disabled peers.
● The Alternative Learning Approach we use must be delivered to all students of the school.
● We must use a strategy which the U.S. DOE identifies as a COVID-19 Crisis acceptable method of special education service.
● These methods include : “online or virtual instruction, instructional telephone calls, and other curriculum-based instructional activities.
● During documented interactive communication special education teachers must address parent concerns and utilize their information for future programming.
● IEP Progress monitoring and IEP Progress Notes must be documented and directly relate to grade level standards. Special education Progress Notes must follow the same timeline as general education’s reporting of grade level standards and are required to go out at the same time and within the general education report card system.
● The service strategy we use during COVID-19 and our delivery model must focus on the original and initial judgement of whether our service strategy seems reasonably likely to provide the child with a meaningful benefit (which is the intent of any IEP which during emergency distance learning may not include ever goal of their IEP )
● Our Remote Learning approach must address the “intent of the IEP”, if it does then the school is likely providing FAPE to that child and grading will assess identified IEP goals and intent.
● Students of disability must utilize the same grading protocol as their grade level peers working towards the same grade level standards using their IEP accommodations/modifications and their IEP present levels as a baseline of comparison.
● Special Educators are not required to report out on academic grades, only on a student’s progress of their personal IEP goals.
● Rank cards will not make reference to their disability.
● Special education progress notes and summary of performance reports will go at the end of school at the same times as everyone reports out grades.

When school resumes:

● Informal academic assessments will be made when school resumes and will be compared to the child’s pre- COVID-19 data.
● Once School resumes IEP meetings will be held to individually examine issues of concern, progress around identified goals and if regression is greater than that of their grade level peers.
● IEP goals that were unable to be addressed during the crisis period will be continued on the students next IEP.

Steps Special education has taken to address and develop meaningful Distance Learning at all grade levels:

● Trimester 2 classroom grades and resource room progress notes were reviewed. This data was generally detailed from progress monitoring,informal inventories , F&P and or Collective Reading data collection.
● Special educators will use this data for a baseline to later measure skills growth, maintenance of skills or academic regression.
● During parent and student two way contact, data will be collected and weighed at final reporting in June.
● Special educators have reviewed all student IEP goals and the child’s present level of those goals. Case-manager and Administrator then prioritized and selected goals within the IEP that realistically could be addressed through Distance Learning in an alternative way. These goals were documented (or highlighted) and future lessons will practice the concepts/skills during distance learning. The goals that could not be worked on were marked “ COVID 19 not available for instruction. Having a present level to guide instruction and to measure Distance Learning growth will be essential data at later IEP meetings after traditional servicing resumes.
● IEP accommodations were printed out for each child and the case manager highlighted the child’s individualized accommodations that appropriately allowed better access to their grade level curriculum. Accomodations support the child by providing another avenue for the child to demonstrate their knowledge or concepts instead of having the assignment measure their disability or weaknesses. Case managers are responsible to remind regular classroom teachers of the special education child’s need for accommodations and to look at the accommodation page of the IEP in Infinite campus. Both regular and special education teachers are responsible for implementing each child’s IEP accommodations for Distance Learning.
● Case-managers were asked to consult with teachers so that appropriate distance learning accomodation could be identified.
● Through weekly parent and or student contact log, notes and impressions will be documented and reflected in IEP.
● IEP Goal driven lesson plans will be developed to maintain knowledge and deepen skills within IEP goals.

Adult Education

Remote learning at Adult Education is primarily provided through Schoology and OdysseyWare platforms. OdysseyWare provides ready-made, standards-based, courses and Schoology allows teachers to create their own. The Blended Model approved by the state office of Adult Education meets National Reporting System and federal and state grant requirements. “Face-to-face” contact is

permitted through technology. Online and at home coursework have three options from which to choose to document class hours. Our program utilizes all three based on best practices for each specific course.

Adult Education students under the Blended Model are expected to continue with proficiency-based coursework until each course is completed and will be graded using our regular grading system for the reasons including but not limited to the following. Unless specifically stated otherwise, academic courses are self-paced with no time limit for completion as long as students work continuously and master the course standards/content. Adult Education is a year round program and students do not usually take a summer break in their coursework unless they are seasonal workers. Some of our students were already working under our Blended Model prior to COVID-19 closure. College Transition students are taught under a grant that expects Adult Education to prepare students for entrance to freshman level courses without need for tutoring or remedial courses. For these reasons, Adult Education students under the Blended Model are expected to continue with proficiency-based coursework until each course is completed and will be graded using our regular grading system.

RSU 25 Adult Education transferred High School Completion students to remote learning during the first week, followed by Adult Basic Education and Workforce Training students during the second week. University College transitioned their students that were on site with us to remote learning during this same time. We originally postponed Enrichment classes but have now cancelled for the semester. We are currently contacting and refunding students on a prorated basis. Welding students may choose a makeup option after the campus opens as they were near completion.

Driver Education had just started a new class in late February. This program is governed by the Maine State Motor Vehicle department. Driver Education is currently ruled as non-essential and is not permitted to hold classes or driving hours regardless of the venue. Motor Vehicles will need to issue approval in addition to RSU 25 for this program to return on site.

Although, High School Diploma students and Work Force Training students will be able to complete coursework, assessments and high stakes exams have not yet converted to remote access. This will delay students in completing programs that require these components and may hinder enrollment of WorkForce Training students in partner-funded courses. The Maine Adult Education state office is compiling a list of open exam sites for students willing or able to travel. Externships have been cancelled for medical assistants but some students are finding immediate employment due to high need in the field.

Adult Education staff is reaching out to keep students connected and motivated. Packets are being provided for a few students who do not yet have the necessary technology skills to work online. Each teacher/academic advisor has established remote office hours and are available by phone and video conferencing where needed. Both Schoology and OdysseyWare have built in discussion boards for students to connect with instructors. Schoology permits instructor monitored contact in assignment aligned discussion boards. Students who would normally attend a class together are working in instructor monitored online cohorts within approved platforms.

RSU 25 Adult Education is using technology to continue required partner and HUB connections as well as stay connected and provide support for each other. We are working on professional development individually and have HUB activities planned via Video Conferencing.

Continuity of Learning Plan RSU 25.pdf