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2023-24 Virtual Instruction Plan

Virtual Instruction Plan 2023-2024

Updated: December, 2023

County: Hunterdon
District: Tewksbury School District
Chief School Administrator: Dr. Jennifer Shouffler
Phone: 908-439-2010 x 4224 (work)
Email: jshouffler@tewksburyschools.org
This plan is subject to revision.

 

Overview
The following is the instructional plan for virtual instruction for Tewksbury’s PreK-8 students. This plan will be implemented in case of a public health-related school closure. Home Instruction Days are school days where students and staff will explore and engage in meaningful learning experiences when schools are closed. Learning experiences: (a) align to the curriculum, (b) connect to standards, and (c) are relevant to the current instructional sequence. In the event of an emergency, these days will continue to afford students with meaningful learning experiences while connecting with teachers. While the structure of virtual learning day will be mostly asynchronous, meaning there is not direct student and teacher interface/interaction, there are many opportunities for student-teacher interaction. Teachers will be connecting with students via email, phone, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Google Chat, and Google Classroom, depending on the grade level and student need. The school day will run from 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM with an hour for lunch. This will allow students four (4) hours of learning time each day to keep up with their studies over the time schools are closed. Students will be able to reach out to their teacher(s) through email and other communication tools should there be any questions. Teachers will be available via email during these hours, with the exception of 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM which will be identified as lunch for students and teachers. One-hundred-fifty (150) minutes per week will be set aside for physical activity of the students’ choice. Various activities will be offered by Physical Education teachers as ideas for exercise. The directions and specific learning details for each grade will be posted on the district and school webpages. This information will also be shared with students and families via email. A two-week detailed schedule of instruction will be created. These lesson plan details can and will be extended if school needs to close beyond these days.
 
Attendance
In order to record attendance, students will log into a Google Form each day. To log in they will access the Google Form linked here. School secretaries will check attendance each day and documenting students who log in as sick. Staff will log into AESOP, our attendance software, to note needed sick days, days when they are not able to perform essential duties.
 
Equity and Accommodations/Modifications
Technology Support
In the event that a student does not have access to a computer or internet service at home, provisions will be made so that a computer will be loaned to the student and internet service can be obtained via Comcast. Also, a paper copy of learning instructions can be acquired by contacting the building principal. Students in grades 2 through 8 are provided a school issued Chromebook during school closure. Additionally, students in grades K and 1 identified as LSE are offered a school-issued Chromebook. Any student in grade K or 1 without a device at home can contact our technology department to be loaned an iPad for use during school closure.
 
If students experience any technical issues with Chromebooks or other questions, they can email technology support at the following email to receive help: Techsupport@tewksburyschools.org. Families will be reminded about this technology support via periodic emails from the district and from teachers.
 
Surveys of Parents, Teachers, and Students
Throughout the period of school closure, the district will survey parents, teachers, and students to better understand technology, teaching, and learning needs related to remote instruction. The results of the surveys will help the district respond to and address any technology needs. The survey will inform changes to instruction as virtual learning continues.
 
Child Study Team Accommodations and Modifications
Instructional staff who provide services to our students with disabilities will provide students with instruction through different modalities designed in consideration of the student’s needs. The teachers and therapists will provide students and parents with information about each child’s individual plan via email. Related service providers (if applicable) will provide plans of action based on individual needs. These plans will include activities that will support students’ educational program and IEP goals and objectives.
 
While schools are closed, the special education teachers will be available weekdays from 9:30am-2:30pm to answer students or parent questions. During this time special education teachers will help with any revisions needed to continue to meet students’ needs.
 
This plan prepares for evaluations, IEP reviews, eligibility, and reevaluation meetings. The Child Study Team will send out emails informing the parents of video conferencing meetings to complete these requirements. In the event a Child Study Team meeting has been scheduled during the period of school closure, staff will utilize video conferencing to conduct meetings. This will allow all participants to participate in a safe manner and keep families informed on students’ progress. If families are unavailable to participate, the meeting can be rescheduled for a later date with their permission.
 
A plan would be created to support any medically fragile students, if needed.
 
This Virtual Instruction plan includes communication with all parents, including those with students receiving out-of-district and contracted provider services. Members of the Child Study Team will communicate with families via email, phone call, or video conferencing.
 
This plan outlines the determination of how related services will be provided and how compensatory services for related services will be determined. Related Service providers will communicate with each family via email. Home base activities will be provided to students that connect to goals and objectives. Students who receive speech services will continue to be offered services through video conferencing. A Google Survey will be completed by parents to document attendance for these related service activities.
 
This plan includes communication with out-of-district schools where district students are attending. Child Study Team case managers will speak via the phone to each Out-of-District family to see if they are satisfied with the out-of-district school’s plan. The Child Study Team case manager will contact the out-of-district school and ask for a staff member to review the plan with them as well so they can be a resource to the family if there are any questions. The Child Study Team case manager will continue to check in with the family throughout the school closure to ensure the plan is being followed.
 
If school is closed, transportation for students attending out-of-districts schools will be coordinated. We will inform other transportation vendors if Tewksbury schools are closed. The Special Education Supervisor will email/phone each family. The families will be informed that in the event of a Tewksbury school closure and their out-of-district school remains open, the family will have to transport the child themselves. The district transportation coordinator will contact all transportation vendors to coordinate the change.
 
Preliminary Plans for Extended School Year (ESY) Program
If schools continue to be closed throughout June and July, this will impact the Extended School Year (ESY) for students with disabilities. This plan includes preparation for the delivery of remote instruction for this summer program.
 
The ESY program would include the following staffing and services for the multiple disable classroom: 1 Teacher, 1 paraprofessional
  • Utilize maintenance sheets for students (lessons for mastered skills)
  • The teacher would prepare weekly video activities for the students to view (with parents) at student’s own pace during the day
  • Students would receive (4) times a week for 30 minutes individual instruction from their teacher
  • Students would receive (4) times a week for 30 minutes individual instruction from their paraprofessional

The ESY program would include the following staffing and services for the pre-school classroom: 1 Teacher

  • Weekly lesson activities (using Google Slides) shared with parents to complete with their child
  • Students would receive (2) times a week for 30 minutes instruction of language skills in a group setting
  • Materials needed at home- Workbook, pencil, crayons, scissors, glue and composition book

The ESY program would include the following staffing and services for the elementary-age classroom: 3 Teachers

  • Students would receive (2) times a week for 30 minutes instruction of reading individually and (1) time a week in a group setting
  •  Students would receive (4) times a week for 30 minutes instruction of mathematics in a group setting
  •  Students would receive (4) times a week for 30 minutes instruction of writing in a group setting
  •  Students would receive (1) time a week for 30 minutes instruction of social skills in a group setting
  •  Student materials needed- Chrome book, Workbook and Composition book, RAZ-Kids, Social Skills, Fluency packets

The ESY program would include the following staffing and services for the middle school-age classroom: 2 Teachers

  • Students would receive (2) times a week for 30 minutes instruction of reading individually and (1) time a week in a group setting 5
  • Students would receive (4) times a week for 30 minutes instruction of mathematics in a group setting
  • Students would receive (4) times a week for 30 minutes instruction of writing in a group setting
  • Students would receive (1) time a week for 30 minutes instruction of social skills in a group setting
  • Student materials needed- Chrome book, Workbook and Composition book, RAZ-Kids, Learning Ally, Social Skills, Fluency packets

Staff will read all IEPs for their assigned caseload, they will sign off that they have been read
Teaching and related service staff will keep an Instruction log that will contain:

  • Attendance- “Present” and “Absent” (absences will be monitored and follow up with a phone call)
  • Learning objective (skill)  Date and duration of lesson
  • Teacher observation feedback or student material

Case managers will follow up with families to ensure services are implemented in accordance with IEPs to the greatest extent possible. The case managers will have check-in meetings with ESY staff. They will review Instruction logs. Case managers will send out a weekly email to families to check in and make changes to the ESY plan when needed.

Virtual IEP meetings will be held using Zoom or other phone conferencing tool that the parent chooses. The CST secretary will set up these meetings (with date and time), send out invitations via email, and wait for a response. Once date and time is confirmed with the family, the case manager will send Zoom or phone conferencing information for parents to access via email. Within that email there will be two links to the PRISE and NJ Special Education Code. Before the meeting starts, the case manager will send out the IEP draft (if applicable) to the family.

Support for Students Receiving Basic Skills Services (called the ASAP program):

For students who receive in-class support for basic skills in reading and mathematics, teachers are offering strategies and tools to modify and support learning. Strategies include: posting graphic organizers, videos of close reading, modeled notes, and various versions of texts (digital and audio) shared through Google Drive and Google Classroom. Additionally, during K-4 class times, support teachers will be included in the class group chats, student documents, and Google Classroom streams to support, answer questions, clarify directions, and segmentsimplify instructional activities/directions.

The Academic Skills Assistance Program (basic skills support program) teachers at Tewksbury Elementary School will continue to provide targeted and individualized supplementary support. Resources may include but are not limited to the following: Google apps, web-based programs 6 (FastForword, Lexia, Raz-kids, Raz Plus IXL, Zearn), and skills practice activities and websites. ASAP teachers will be available to students and parents/guardians via email and Google apps, and will monitor websites that allow for analytics of targeted instruction and skills practice. ASAP staff will also assist subject area teachers and students with their homeroom assignments as needed.

For students who receive reading instruction, teachers will utilize GoogleMeet (video chat) to hold classes. Support teachers will be available on GoogleHangout/Chat and will communicate with each student receiving basic skills instruction. The teachers specializing in basic skills services will also assist subject area teachers and students with assignments, as needed.

Support for Students Receiving Gifted and Talented Services (called the Aspire Program/Enrichment)

Each day that the students would normally attend Aspire (For example, 5th graders on Mondays and Wednesdays), the teacher will be posting in Google Classroom problems that students can solve. Students can directly comment in Google Classroom on this work. Aspire students in grades 2-8 will also work on different projects. Middle School students will continue to work with their support teachers for Aspire or Enrichment Math/ELA. The teacher will support students with future creative projects planned for the year. She will be connecting with students via email, Google Classroom, and Google Meetup.

Support for Students’ Receiving English Language Services

We will continue to provide English Language Services through supplemental resources, such as FastForWord and Raz Plus (ELL edition) accounts. ELS support teachers are available to students and parents/guardians via email and Google Apps. The teachers will monitor websites that allow for analytics of targeted instruction and skills practice for students receiving English Language Services. The teachers specializing in English Language Services will also assist subject area teachers and students with the homeroom assignments, as needed. In addition, students receiving services have a Google translate device that they use for reading, writing, listening and speaking to help them practice English fluency. Recommendations will be made for families to view educational television shows such as PBS utilizing closed captioning and to converse via telephone with one of the teachers for English listening and speaking practice. Bilingual staff have reached out to non-English speaking parents to make sure they understand instruction and offer translation services. Teachers will continue to receive professional learning to support students in our ELS program.

Support for Students’ Mental Health

Since learning from home will is a unique experience for all students, we offer some tips to support their mental health. Students should find time to get outside and move around, have a dedicated workspace for learning free from distractions (like TV or cell phone), and have scheduled snack breaks. Journaling can be a fun activity for students to document their daily experience and note questions for their teacher.

Students can add to this home instruction experience by developing their own goals for the time they are away from school. Maybe there is a book they have never had time to read, a piece of music they have wished they could practice, or an art project they now have time to create. We hope our students can also find time to enjoy being with their family and have some fun too.

Counselors will continue to work with teachers and parents in an effort to make sure that our students’ emotional and mental health needs are being attended to during a school closing. A priority is working on the most effective way to check in with students and provide support as needed. To facilitate that, students in grades 5-8 will complete the survey " Check- In" form as part of their physical education and health class. Students will need to fill out this survey weekly, and the responses will go to the counselors, who will follow up as needed. An elementary version of this form will also be sent to students. All students will have the availability of requesting a check in with the counselor.

Our counselors will also virtually meet with grade level teaching teams to determine if students need additional supports or modifications with their classwork. Counselors will share on-line resources with families to promote mental health and emotional wellness. Finally, counselors will be available by email or phone to all parents and students to discuss any challenges they are dealing with.

Support for Students on Free and Reduced Lunch

Our food services provider, Maschios Food Service, will prepare lunches for our students who participate in our free and reduced lunch program during a school closing. They will deliver lunch to Old Turnpike School. The lunches put together daily by Maschio’s Food Service will be dropped off in an outside (red) bin on the side of the school. Our district Transportation Coordinator, along with our bus drivers, will deliver the lunches to students’ homes. Meal distribution will begin on the first day of the school closure. This process will continue as long as school is closed. The District will continue to reimburse Maschio’s Food Service for free and reduced lunches. Our district does not have an SFA agreement; we do not participate. The district will work with the Tewksbury Family Assistance Fund charity group to consider longterm nutritional needs of students.

Support for Student Participation and Engagement

Each school has a process to follow up with families when a student is not participating fully in online instruction. School Counselors idenify students missing assignments by regularly communicating with teachers. The counselors have a protocol for following up with students and their parents when assignments are not submitted.

At Tewksbury Elementary School, grades PK-4, the Principal and School Counselor will work with teachers to regularly compile lists of students who are not fully participating in the instructional program. ASAP teachers and special area teachers will work with the counselor to phone students who have on-going issues related to participation and engagement. Assignments will be adjusted for students who are having difficulty. Classroom teachers, special area teachers, and the school counselor work together to adjust the program and addressed individual needs of the students. Staff will reach out regularly to students identified as needing English Language Services in order to support their continued learning.

Old Turnpike School (OTS), grades 5-8 will utilize a centralized process to track and follow-up up on students who are missing assignments. Teachers will log missing student work on a central spreadsheet. This information would be shared with parents via a weekly email sent by the School Counselor. The email will include detailed instructions on how to access the assignments and an offer to make phone contact if there were any special circumstances affecting work completion. The school secretary then follows-up a few days later with a phone call to the parents. In addition, the school counselor and principal will meet weekly with teachers to discuss concerns regarding students who are missing work or are not fully participating. The school counselor will also be in regular communication with families of students who had previously been identified as at risk. This includes students with 504 accommodations and students with mental health needs.

At OTS, if a student does not complete or forgets to do an assignment, the teacher will put a MIS in the Gradebook. This simply means the assignment is missing. Students have the opportunity to make up these assignments. Each grade level team (grades 5-8) will meet regularly and will mark down those students who are missing assignments. Parents and students can check the online Gradebook for missing assignments. The principal, supervisor of special services, a school counselor will meet regularly to review trends. An email and a call will then be place at the end of the week to parents of children with missing assignments to encourage the student to complete the missing assignment. If a student is not showing up to the virtual class, teachers share this information with the guidance counselor and principal. A follow-up email and call is made to parents in these circumstances.

Instruction Pre-Kindergarten Through Grade 8
Instruction for Pre-School

The preschool class will receive weekly activities via email to complete with their child. These activities will focus on language development and learning through play. The teacher will email the families a weekly guide that offers choices for the following area; music/movement, conversational skills, small and large motor activities, read-aloud and learning through play. All related service providers will send lessons that can be done at home with parent guidance. Related service providers will check in on the progress of the students weekly.

General Instruction for Tewksbury Elementary School (K-4th grade)

The focus of home learning at the elementary level is to ensure that meaningful time is spent on activities that support on-going learning. Specific information on daily instruction in content areas (math, language arts, science, social studies, PE, and special subjects) will be shared in the Home Instruction Chart Grades K-5. Students will be asked to take home their books. In addition, students in grade 2-5 will take home an assigned Chromebook and charger . Students in grades K-2 will take home packets of materials to support their learning. Journaling will be used to document any questions that arise during the learning experience.

Between the hours of 9:30am - 2:30pm students will engage in activities in the specific content areas identified in the Home Instruction Chart. The chart will point both students and parents to the appropriate instructional activities for each day that they will be learning from home. We encourage students to follow the schedule provided, although it can be adapted for individual students’ needs. In order to record student attendance, each day students should log into the Google Form linked here.

Teachers will continuously measure student growth and learning in a virtual environment through classroom room observations, review of student work, projects, formative and summative assessments. Extra-curricular programs that can continue will continue.

General Instruction for Tewksbury Middle School (Grades 5-8)

The focus of flexible learning at the middle school level is to ensure that meaningful time is spent on subjects learned throughout the typical school day. Between the hours of 9:30am - 2:30pm students will engage in activities that support their on-going learning of goals and standards in specific content areas (math, language arts, science, social studies, world language, PE/Health, and the special area subjects). Students will take home their books and Chromebooks. In order to record student attendance, each day students will log into the Google Form linked here.

The day’s schedule will be structured like a normal day at OTS. For example, if a child has Math period 1, their teacher will be available for email or virtual chat during that time. We will encourage students to follow the schedule provided, although it can be adapted for individual students’ needs.

Teachers will use Google Classroom as their main hub for learning. Preloaded handouts, instructional materials, guided notes, and links will be found in Google Classroom. This platform will help to facilitate learning and discussions between students and teachers. Go Guardian will allow teachers to monitor students online and chat, if needed. Google Meet/Hangout and Google Chat are also communication tools that will be available for students and teachers. If a student is struggling with access to Google Classroom or expectations, they can email their teachers for support.

Teachers will continuously measure student growth and learning in a virtual environment through classroom room observations, review of student work, projects, formative and summative assessments. Extra-curricular programs that can continue will continue.

Staff/Faculty Expectations

In the event of a school closure teachers and staff will be expected to be available through email and other electronic communication tools between the hours of 9:30 am -2:30 pm. Teachers will be available to students during these hours with the exception of 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm which will be identified as lunch. Administration are available by phone and email from 8:00am-4:00pm each day. Child-care by the YMCA will be available. Administration will continue to inform the community through BOE meeting on on-going information.

Facilities

After initial school closure, custodians deep clean and sanitize all classrooms and offices. In offices still in use, surfaces, light switches, and door knobs are sanitized daily. Outdoor building and grounds improvements will continue as schools are closed. Staff are assigned to check the boilers in each building daily. Building walk-throughs occur daily to check on the overall faculties. Staff regularly run water throughout the building to keep our well and septic systems circulating and in use. Mowing and upkeep of the grounds will continue.

APPENDIX A
Essential Employees:

Superintendent (Chief School Administrator) (1)-oversees and coordinates operations, remote and on-site when needed
Business Administrator (1)-maintain business office functions, remote and on-site when needed
Board Office Secretaries (3)- maintain communication, payroll, mail, and bills: remote and onsite
Facilities Manager (1)- monitors facilities, on-site to check buildings
Custodial and Maintenance Staff (8)- check on buildings and clean, on-site
Transportation Coordinator (1)- pick up and delivery of food, onsite
Technology Staff (2)- support teachers, staff, and students with remote access for instruction and communication, remote