Virtual Schoolhouse - Phase 4 of the Continuity of Learning Plan

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Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) continues to care about student learning and we are in the process of implementing a phased Continuity of Learning plan for all students. PWCS cannot provide instruction under the current closure conditions, but that does not mean learning for students has stopped. PWCS continues to be committed to leading and guiding student learning through the remainder of the academic school year. Even though our school buildings are closed and we cannot provide instruction under the current conditions, we are supporting learning in our virtual schoolhouses. But, what does our virtual schoolhouse look like? Just like the traditional classroom learning experience, learning at-home requires a partnership between families and educators. We understand that some of the challenges our families may be experiencing include:

  • limited access to computers and high-speed internet;
  • sustaining student motivation to engage in their learning;
  • encouraging learning for extended periods of time;
  • feeling overwhelmed by well-intentioned, voluminous emails;
  • trying to find assignments in multiple locations;
  • finding support when students need extra help.

Some of the challenges leaders and teachers will have to collaboratively manage:

  • balancing the needs of their students with their own needs at-home;
  • keeping student learning activity at a manageable level given it is not possible to provide an instructional day as previously occurred when schools were open;
  • finding ways to provide access to learning opportunities for all students;
  • supporting creative solutions to help students who have struggled or have needed extended learning throughout the school year;
  • providing continuity of learning for all learners that continues to offer students as many supports and strategies as are possible under the current closure conditions to enable them to access accommodations and modifications in the virtual schoolhouse environment.

Guidelines for Educational Leaders and Professional Educators

Even though we are unable to provide instruction under the current school closure conditions, Division and school leaders are working with teachers to successfully navigate the virtual schoolhouse by following these guidelines:

  • Communicate the same message and information by multiple means; webpage, email, social media, phone calls, recorded messages or even the mail. We must demonstrate our commitment to continuing to lead and guide student learning through the remainder of the academic school year.
  • All students/families receive once per week contact with each of their teachers, (twice per week at the elementary level) minimum. Remember there are a variety of ways to accomplish this communication. Teachers can choose their preferred communication platforms or leaders may engage teachers and staff in collaboratively deciding on which tools will be consistently utilized by staff. 
  • When appropriate, use existing resources produced and provided by the Division in “Staff Communities” and on the “Home Learning” pages to provide review learning opportunities and activities.
  • All students are supported in their learning by all teachers.
  • Keep our collaborative learning teams on the same page. Continue to use the collaboration tools provided by the Division or your school.
  • Be flexible with our students and families- remember they may be experiencing new challenges and are eager to have success.
  • Continue Co-Planning and Co-teaching protocols to provide as many specific/anticipated student learning supports as are possible under the current closure conditions through continued virtual collaboration between partner teachers including EL teachers, teachers of students with disabilities, related service providers, and gifted education teachers.
  • Continue to provide multiple opportunities for students to strengthen previous learning. Focus on essential previously taught learning objectives.
  • Deepen the learning by providing lesson activities that focus on application of standards taught previously.
  • Offer a variety of student choices to sustain student motivation.
  • Design our student experiences to include a variety of high, low, and no tech activities.
  • Keep learning and growing as professional educators and leaders! There are great resources for professional learning on the subject area and other “Staff Communities” intranet pages to help build knowledge and skills including learning how to use new tools that will assist our students in continuing to learn while in the virtual schoolhouse!

Sample Week-At-A-Glance

To help educational leaders, professional educators, and families visualize the new home learning experience we have prepared a sample snapshot of a week of learning. To keep a manageable level of student work that can be sustained in in a non-graded feedback-based environment (that lacks the instruction of a normal school day due to current school closure conditions), we have established learning time allotments by level. Schools may alter the sample sequence schedules of subjects by day below but are required to adhere to the learning support time allotments over the course of a week and communicate the schedule they decide, out to their communities, in a variety of ways and languages. Principals will work to ensure that their individual schools publish and adhere to these time allotment schedules as best as possible under these current school closure conditions.

The at-home virtual classroom experience balances a mix of General Education teacher planned review learning activity that can be done through posted presentations possibly with voice over, assigned readings, teacher videos, etc. and a student learning, engagement, and creation segment. Teachers of students with disabilities and teachers of students who are English learners shall offer virtual support at specific communicated times as well as ensure they fulfilling the ongoing expectation that they continue to co-plan for supports, scaffolds, and accommodations as are possible under the current school closure conditions for their students. Teachers who serve small groups in the special class setting shall continue to plan and provide review learning activities and resources that support the student needs.  In support of the full range of learners, Gifted Education teachers shall do the same.

We will continue to follow the VDOE’s guidance and continue to provide review of previous instruction without assigning grades to these assessments or tasks at this time. However, all teachers are expected to provide ongoing growth producing feedback to students. Ultimately, it is the quality feedback from teachers and not a grade that helps a learning improve their learning outcomes. As a reminder, teachers are able to support students in improving their third quarter grades through redoing assignments and retaking assessments administered or assigned prior to March 13, 2020. Teachers should update any redone assignment and/or assessment grades that demonstrate improved mastery for marking period three. Marking period three has been extended until April 24, 2020.

Elementary School

At the elementary level, Principals will develop and advertise a weekly schedule that assigns each subject 60 minutes of combined review lessons and student learning time per week, with one 60-minute block available for designated virtual “office” hours, and one 60-minute block for school counseling or other selected class or activity. This combined review learning time may look different by subject and/or by teacher. Teachers will advertise a “Connect with your Teacher” office hour time whereby students can call to get academic support, ask questions, and/or connect with their teacher. Schools will ensure these times are spaced out to prevent all co-teachers from holding office hours at the same time. As a reminder, schools may alter the sample sequence schedules of subjects by day below but are required to adhere to the time allotments and communicate the schedule they decide out to their communities, in a variety of ways and in the required languages.

Sample Schedule

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Language Arts Math Science Social Studies

Health and PE (may be spread out over the course of the week to support physical movement on a regular basis)

Virtual Collaborative Learning Team Teacher Planning Time will occur one to two times per week

Art

Virtual Field Trip, Classroom Guidance, Library lesson, and or “Connect with Your Teacher” may be rotated in at these times. 

Virtual Field Trip, Classroom Guidance, Library lesson, and or “Connect with Your Teacher” may be rotated in at these times. 

Virtual Field Trip, Classroom Guidance, Library lesson, and or “Connect with Your Teacher” may be rotated in at these times. 

Music or Strings (may be on a rotating basis)

As a reminder, Teachers of students with disabilities and teachers of students who are English learners shall offer virtual support at specific communicated times as well as ensure they fulfilling the ongoing expectation that they continue to co-plan for supports, scaffolds, and accommodations as are possible under the current school closure conditions for their students. Teachers who serve small groups in the special class setting shall continue to plan and provide review learning activities and resources that support the student needs.  In support of the full range of learners, Gifted Education teachers shall do the same. PE physical activity support may be spread out over the week in place of occurring all on one day.

Middle School

At the middle level, Principals will develop and advertise a weekly schedule that assigns each subject 90 minutes of combined review lessons and student learning time per week, with one 90-minute block available for designated office hours, and one 90-minute block for school counseling or other selected class or activity. This combined review learning time may look different by subject and/or teacher. Teachers and counselors will advertise a “Connect with your Teacher and Counselor” time whereby students can call and connect with their teacher/counselor, get academic support, and/or ask questions. Schools will ensure these times were spaced out to prevent all teachers from holding office hours at the same time.  As a reminder, schools may alter the sample sequence schedules of subjects by day below but are required to adhere to the time allotments and communicate the schedule they decide out to their communities, in a variety of ways and in the required languages.

Sample Schedule

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Language Arts

Math

Science

Social Studies

World Language

Virtual Collaborative Learning Team Teacher Planning Time will occur one or two times a week

Art or other elective class*

Virtual Field Trip, Open teacher “office hours”, Classroom Guidance or academic advising from counselors, or Library lesson may be rotated in as appropriate.

FACS/CTE*

 

Virtual Field Trip, Open teacher “office hours”, Classroom Guidance or academic advising from counselors, or Library lesson may be rotated in as appropriate.

Health and PE*(may be spread out over the course of the week to support physical movement on a regular basis)

*Virtual Field Trip, Open teacher “office hours”, Classroom Guidance or academic advising from counselors, or Library lesson may be rotated in as appropriate.

Other Elective Classes*

 

*Virtual Field Trip, Open teacher “office hours”, Classroom Guidance or academic advising from counselors, or Library lesson may be rotated in as appropriate.

Chorus/Band/Strings*

 

*Virtual Field Trip, Open teacher “office hours”, Classroom Guidance or academic advising from counselors, or Library lesson may be rotated in as appropriate.

As a reminder, Teachers of students with disabilities and teachers of students who are English learners shall offer virtual support at specific communicated times as well as ensure they fulfilling the ongoing expectation that they continue to co-plan for supports, scaffolds, and accommodations as are possible under the current school closure conditions for their students. Teachers who serve small groups in the special class setting shall continue to plan and provide review learning activities and resources that support the student needs.  In support of the full range of learners, Gifted Education teachers shall do the same. PE physical activity support may be spread out over the week in place of occurring all on one day.

High School

At the high school, Principals will develop and advertise a weekly schedule that assigns each subject 120 minutes of combined review lessons and student learning time per week, with one 120-minute block available for designated office hours, and one 120-minute block for school counseling or other selected class or activity. This combined review learning time may look different by subject and/or teacher. Teachers and counselors will advertise virtual “office hours” and the method for reaching the teacher/counselor at the specified time for academic help and support. Schools will ensure these times are spaced out, by department, to prevent all teachers from holding office hours at the same time. As a reminder, schools may alter the sample sequence schedules of subjects by day below but are required to adhere to the time allotments and communicate the schedule they decide out to their communities, in a variety of ways and in the required languages.

Sample Schedule

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

English Language Arts

Math

Science

History and Social Science

World Language

Collaborative Learning Team Teacher Planning will occur one to two times per week

Visual Arts

CTE

Health and PE (may be spread out over the course of the week to support physical movement on a regular basis)

Counseling contact and/or Other Elective Classes

Performing Arts/Music

As a reminder, Teachers of students with disabilities and teachers of students who are English learners shall offer virtual support at specific communicated times as well as ensure they fulfilling the ongoing expectation that they continue to co-plan for supports, scaffolds, and accommodations as are possible under the current school closure conditions for their students. Teachers who serve small groups in the special class setting shall continue to plan and provide review learning activities and resources that support the student needs.  In support of the full range of learners, Gifted Education teachers shall do the same. PE physical activity support may be spread out over the week in place of occurring all on one day.