Richland School District school buildings may be closed but learning continues! Teachers, school principals and district administrators have updated the district’s At-Home Learning program so students stay engaged in their education through the remainder of the 2019-20 school year while following guidance for social distancing in response to the novel coronavirus.
“Our teachers have taken the challenge of distance learning head on and are doing amazing work with our students,” says Superintendent Dr. Rick Schulte. “Phase Two of our At-Home Learning program is aimed at supporting their efforts and answering some of the long-term questions created by Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision to close all school buildings across the state for the school year.”
Many initial elements of the program will stay the same, including:
- Weekly communication between teachers and their students and families
- Instruction provided by individual teachers on currently established schedules
- Supplemental resources and activities for students at all levels
- Use and support of district-issued Chromebooks
- Support for our students with unique needs
Here’s a breakdown of how At-Home Learning will be enhanced beginning the week of April 20:
Teachers will begin monitoring student participation in distance learning on a weekly basis. This will be done in a variety of ways, such as participation in online video lessons, record of conversations between students and teachers, turning in assignments and confirmation that provided materials are picked up.
Elementary students will not receive traditional grades for the third trimester of the school year. Elementary teachers will use formative assessment strategies such as demonstration of skills in a video chat or turned in projects to measure student progress.
Students in Grades 9–12 and middle school students taking credit-bearing high school level work will be graded using the following principles:
- Do no harm!
- Every student will get an opportunity to improve their grade with their March 17 status as a baseline.
- No student will receive a “pass,” “fail,” or “no credit” grade for any course.
- Teachers will assign an “incomplete” for students who cannot engage in an equitable way.
- Every class taken during the closure period will be given a statewide designator on the high school transcript to denote the unique environment in which the course was taken.
- Students assigned an “incomplete” for a course will be given opportunities to reengage in the learning standards based on local school district decisions in consultation with the student/parents/guardians, including but not limited to:
- Summer school,
- Courses in the following term or year,
- Independent study,
- Competency-based courses,
- Online courses, or
- Backfilling the incomplete grade with the letter grade obtained in the next course taken in that subject area
Are assignments or work from April 27 to the last day of the semester required?
Yes, those assignments are required in order to get a grade instead of an Incomplete (I).
What happens if a student does not continue to do required assignments after April 27?
The student will receive an Incomplete (I) instead of a grade.
The student will not receive a reduced grade (a grade lower than what they had on March 17).
The student will not receive a failing grade.
The student will be given additional opportunities to complete the course at other times.
The student will not receive the grade as of March 17 because the course was not yet completed.
Seniors who are on track to graduate also have an option on an individual student basis to receive a waiver of certain graduation credit requirements.
The district and schools will distribute materials to assist students learning from home, such as kits for hands-on courses in Career & Technical Education. Chromebooks will also be made available to first grade students who have limited or no access to technology at home.
Our goal as a district is to get as many students to meet the state graduation requirements as possible. With compassion, communication and common sense, our counselors and administrators will be working with at-risk seniors on a weekly basis.
Special Education Supports
Individual teachers and itinerants/therapists will create and assign/distribute/present continuous learning opportunities as defined by OSPI and aligned to each student’s Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) to help them continue to make progress toward their Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals and success in special education courses that support graduation. Special Education Case Managers will collaborate with each student’s IEP team to create a Continuous Learning Individual Plan (CLIP), with services and service minutes determined in the CLIP. IEP teams will consider accommodations and modifications that are necessary in the at-home learning environment.
Families experiencing difficulties in establishing or maintaining communication between students and teachers should contact their school’s principal for assistance. The district will also survey families periodically for the remainder of the school year to provide feedback on how At-Home Learning is serving their children.
Please stay tuned for more information from our teachers and schools as we move forward. Thank you to all our families who are critical partners in teaching with our staff in these unique times.