Online Learning Letter

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dr. Tess Hegedus, Dean of Instructional Leadership and Innovation, and Tony Ballard, Middle School Principal

March 16, 2020
 
Dear Parents and Guardians,
 
CC: Faculty and Students
 
As we transition to remote, online learning, we can expect there will be many questions regarding assignments, assessments, communication, and expectations. Although this will be a new experience for many of us, our faculty and students are prepared to make this temporary transition to remote learning. Our students have been working on several online platforms since their arrival at R-MA in the fall and our faculty have had two years of formal training as we transitioned fully to 1:1. R-MA is uniquely positioned to be successful with remote learning. 

What follows are some guidelines for parents and students as we get ready for our transition to remote classes on Wednesday, March 18th.

Schedule: We will run a regular (remote) class schedule. Students and faculty will adhere to our already determined class meeting times as they are posted in MySchoolApp, using an online learning approach. The first week, on Wednesday, March 18 we will run all 7 classes, starting with 1st period at 8:55 am. Thursday and Friday of that week we will alternate blocks on a schedule-1 rotation. The schedule will continue from there as posted on MySchoolApp.  Attendance will be taken at the beginning of class.  Kenesa Haffer and Melissa Grove will be running attendance reports and tracking absences as normal. Time zone differences will be taken into consideration.

Time Zone Differences: If students are not on Eastern Standard Time, they must communicate with their teachers so they are aware and can make adjustments to instructional delivery accordingly. 

Assignments: Using the MySchoolApp system that students have been using all year, teachers will post upcoming assignments with a short description. The assigned date and due date will be available for students to track. Once students have used MySchoolApp to identify the assignment, they will be given instructions on how to submit the assignment for review, feedback, and grading. Faculty who regularly use additional learning management platforms, like Google or Apple Classroom or other web-based sites, will communicate expectations to their students directly. 

Email and Announcements: Please be sure your child is checking their email and daily announcements regularly. This is the best way to stay on top of events and possible changes during the school week.  

Balance of Work:  Faculty will keep in mind the load of work assigned for each class and balance that with any additional “homework” to ensure that students are not overly burdened in any particular class. Basically, what would be assigned under normal school conditions. 

Accountability: Students will be held accountable for completed work each week. Faculty will establish weekly benchmarks/checkpoints to ensure student “classroom” compliance (in either independent modules or face-to-face sessions). We ask that parents/guardians also follow up at home to ensure compliance. Faculty will decide the balance of synchronous or asynchronous delivery but will hold a face-to-face (synchronous) meeting each class session on Google Meet. Attendance will be taken. 

Tutorials: Faculty will be available during regularly scheduled tutorials and will use this time to “conference” with students in need via Google Meet. Students should email their teachers for an appointment.

Mentoring: We will continue with mentoring sessions beginning on Wednesday, 3/25 from 1:10-1:50 as per the regular schedule. Students will meet with their mentoring group via Google Meet. Mentors will remain in close contact with mentees each week to monitor their progress with remote learning and maintain accountability.

Voluntary Afternoon Activities: Students have the option to participate in extracurricular online activities offered by Faculty and Staff (for example, workouts, club meetings, etc.). We will post these extracurricular events and activities in the daily announcements as they become available.

Tech Support and Policies: While at home please treat the machine as if it were on campus. Keep the case on the device and protect it from spills. If there is a problem with your device, please email techsupport@rma.edu for help. If the device needs to be returned for repair, please reach out to the above email and we will set up the return instructions. Students are expected to continue to use best practices in web browsing and content. We can still monitor the devices and their history. 

Please check your email and announcements regularly for updates. We strive to bring our students the best remote instruction possible under these unique circumstances. Thank you in advance for your faith and confidence in us. 

Kind Regards,

Dean Hegedus & Principal Ballard
 

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