NAMS Remote Learning Plan

posted Apr 3, 2020, 12:39 PM by Jorge Goncalves

This letter is also available in Spanish and Portuguese.


April 3, 2020 


Dear NAMS Families,


I hope that this message continues to find you and your family healthy and well. I speak on behalf of all of our staff members when I share that we absolutely miss our students and hope that they are well. I know that this pandemic and resulting school closures have significantly impacted all families as we continue to work towards reestablishing norms and routines in our lives.


The community has rallied to provide support for our families and to offer suggestions and guidance in supporting our children. There are many resources on our district’s Social/Emotional Learning website that you may find helpful in navigating this situation here and at the following address: http://www.northandoverpublicschools.com/departments/student-services/social-emotional-learning


The purpose of this message is to share with you the Remote Learning Plan for North Andover Middle School scheduled to begin on Monday, April 6, 2020. Before I review those details with you, I would like to first extend my deepest thanks to our outstanding custodial staff and maintenance department who keep our buildings clean, our food service staff who provide meals to families in need, and to all those essential in our community working to keep us all safe.


I would also like to thank all of our educators who have, like many of you, been balancing the demands of home and work. As we progress over the next four weeks and beyond, please keep in mind that our NAMS staff members have families, concerns, and responsibilities of their own. Educators have been working these last few days to thoughtfully develop our Remote Learning Plan while balancing the care for themselves and their families. We all appreciate your understanding as we move through this journey together. 


Planning for Remote Learning

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued new guidance on Friday, March 27th. In anticipation of the extension of school closure we have been working on strategies to transition from learning activities to remote learning opportunities that are more robust and provide more structure for our students. 


Dr. Gilligan and some other Superintendents shared a joint statement of unified values shared with our surrounding districts as we all looked to take the next steps with remote learning. Please see the attached letter from the Merrimack Valley Superintendents’ Association (MVSA) for the specific statement that assisted in the guidance of all NAPS Remote Learning Plans.


Remote Learning Guidance

We recognize that the level of instruction for remote learning will not be equivalent to what is taught in the traditional classroom setting.  We need to be more sensitive than ever to the needs of our students and families. We recognize that parents and guardians will be in charge of their children’s learning, and they will likely have less familiarity with content and pedagogical knowledge; thus, students will have less explicit structure, support, and time for learning than they would receive in a typical school day in our buildings. To that end, we have shared the following factors for our staff to keep in mind as they engage in this new model of education:

  • Students will be participating in self-directed learning in remote educational settings with less structure, and lots of other things happening in their lives.

  • Parents/Guardians cannot be expected to take your place as instructors; they may not know the content and even if they know the content, they may not know the pedagogy. 

  • Parents/Guardians also may be juggling work or working from home, taking care of younger children or family members, or dealing with illnesses.  

  • Learning time will be significantly shorter, and we can expect that it will be reduced by at least half each day and week.

  • We encourage educators to work together in teams and be mindful of the amount of work that is given to students and families.

  • As educators plan and we navigate the new learning environment, we have stressed how critical it is that they keep in mind their most vulnerable populations. Consider the needs of our students with disabilities, students for whom English is a second language, students in single parent homes, students in families where both parents work outside the home, families with multiple siblings and limited devices, families with limited resources, etc.  

 The most important outcome during remote learning is for students to feel cared for and supported by their teachers, and to be meaningfully engaged in learning activities for some portion of each day.  We want teachers to stay in touch with students and their families during this difficult time, providing guidance, support and encouragement along the way.


The information that follows has been developed through collaborative planning efforts and collective thinking, and I am grateful for the contributions of so many in this work. 


Getting Started

The traditional school day as we once knew it has completely changed, and this is no longer business as usual. We do not know what the future holds, and we recognize that you must balance your children’s educational needs with your family’s other demands. The length of our students’ and teachers’ work days will be flexible and pared down considerably. They are not expected to hold traditional school hours, nor are they expected to adhere to the traditional, entire course curriculum. Staff will hold office hours on Fridays so students and families can connect via Google apps, email, or talk by phone. They are also available each week day via email with the expectation of return contact within 24 hours. 


Content will be provided through the classroom teacher via google classroom.

Please be sure to review the district’s Use of Video Conferencing Tools document found here to familiarize yourself with our updated policy.


Student Schedules

Trimester 2 will continue on Monday, April 6th and conclude on Friday, April 17th.

You may find a suggested schedule (Monday-Thursday) for students to follow below.

Mondays and Wednesdays will follow a Day 1 Schedule.

Tuesdays and Thursdays will follow a Day 2 Schedule.

Fridays may be used for office hours for students to connect with teachers and continue to work on assignments. Please arrange with your teacher (email is best) if you would like to communicate with them during office hours. Teachers will provide information to students regarding their availability. 

In addition to office hours with students, staff will also have time on Fridays for collaboration time and meetings.

Time

Grade 6

Time

Grade 7

Time

Grade 8

8:00-

9:00

Related Arts

8:00-9:30

Team Time:

English, Math, AMS, Science, & Social Studies

8:00-9:30

Team Time:

English, Math, World Language, Science, & Social Studies

9:00-

10:30

Team Time:

English, Math, Science, & Social Studies

9:30-

10:30

Related Arts



9:30-

11:00

Team Time:

English, Math, World Language, Science, & Social Studies

10:30-12:00

Team Time:

English, Math, Science, & Social Studies

10:30-12:00

Team Time:

English, Math, AMS, Science, & Social Studies

11:00-12:00

Related Arts



Please know that students have the option of completing assigned work at times that work best for their family schedule. Students may need to spend 3 or more hours per day completing assignments. Students should also be reading a book and exercising daily.


Although we are suggesting the schedule above, there needs to be empathy and understanding that not all students may be able to be online between 8:00-12:00 p.m. each day. As I noted earlier, we understand that students and families may be sharing a device and may not have access to the device each day at the same times. 


Teachers have already begun collaborating and working to put together their Remote Learning Plans that will be shared with you Monday, April 6th at the latest.


I’m sure that you may still have some questions, so I have put together a list of questions and answers below.


Thinking of you and your family,

Jorge Goncalves

Principal


NAMS Remote Learning Plan FAQs


Question:

What is the district’s Use of Video Conferencing Tools policy?

Answer:

The district’s Use of Video Conferencing Tools policy may be found here.


Question: 

When does the NAMS Remote Learning Plan begin?

Answer: 

Monday, April 6th


Question:

Is this work and these assignments optional?

Answer:

No, students will all be expected to complete assignments shared by teachers and will be supported along the way.


Question: 

What Trimester will we be in on Monday, April 6th?

Answer: 

Trimester 2 will resume through Friday, April 17th.


Question: 

What will the schedule be?

Answer: 

You may find a suggested schedule (Monday-Thursday) for students to follow below.

Mondays and Wednesdays will follow a Day 1 Schedule.

Tuesdays and Thursdays will follow a Day 2 Schedule.

Fridays will be used for office hours for students to connect with teachers and continue to work on assignments. Teachers will provide information to students regarding when they will be available for students. 

In addition to office hours with students, staff will also have time on Fridays for collaboration time and meetings.

Time

Grade 6

Time

Grade 7

Time

Grade 8

8:00-

9:00

Related Arts

8:00-

9:30

Team Time:

English, Math, AMS, Science, & Social Studies

8:00-

9:30

Team Time:

English, Math, World Language, Science, & Social Studies

9:00-

10:30

Team Time:

English, Math, Science, & Social Studies

9:30-

10:30

Related Arts



9:30-

11:00

Team Time:

English, Math, World Language, Science, & Social Studies

10:30-

12:00

Team Time:

English, Math, Science, & Social Studies

10:30-12:00

Team Time:

English, Math, AMS, Science, & Social Studies

11:00-

12:00

Related Arts



Please know that students have the option of completing assigned work at times that work best for their family schedule. Students may need to spend 3 or more hours per day completing assignments. Students should also be reading a book and exercising daily.

Although we are suggesting the schedule above, there needs to be empathy and understanding that not all students may be able to be online between 8:00-12:00 p.m. each day. As I noted earlier, we understand that students and families may be sharing a device and may not have access to the device each day at the same times. 


Question: 

When are the 2 Beyond the Classroom Assignments due?

Answer: 

Since Trimester 2 concludes on Friday, April 17th we are asking students to submit their 2 Beyond the Classroom assignments to teachers by this date. Teachers will be providing specific information related to these assignments.


Question:

Can students still turn in work they owed before the mandatory school closure?

Answer:

Yes, students also should have until Friday, April 17, 2020 to complete any assignments that were disrupted as we exited school on March 13, 2020.


Question:

Who should my student hear from? How does my student find out what they should do?

Answer:

Students will receive detailed information from their teachers by Monday, April 6th regarding their classes, expectations, and supports.


Question:

Does my student view videos that are posted or participate in virtual meetings? Do they have to be online at a specific time?

Answer:

Students may be asked to view videos and be invited to participate in virtual meetings. Teachers will be posting assignments and resources via google classroom. 

Virtual meetings or lessons are optional for staff at this time.


Question:

What if my student has questions?

Answer:

Email is the primary mode of communication. Teachers will be available during the day to answer questions and/or provide support for students. Should a teacher be ill or unable to attend they will post that message for that day in their Google Classroom.


Question:

Collection of work - does it count toward my student’s grade? What about assessments, projects, homework, etc.?

Answer:

Students will be expected to complete assignments, projects, and assessments as provided by the teacher. Students will be receiving a final letter grade for Trimester 2 since we completed all but 1 week of Trimester 2 before schools were closed. For Trimester 3, the final grades will be Pass or Incomplete. Any student receiving an Incomplete for the end of Trimester 3 will need to work out a plan to complete the work with the principal assigned to that team or grade.


Question:

How will students be graded?

Answer:

For remote learning work, teachers are asked to record Pass/Incomplete. The Incomplete will designate that the appropriate assignments have not yet been submitted. Please do not stress over grades. Teachers will be focused on planning, instructing remotely, and providing feedback. We do not know how long we will be learning remotely. Students should focus on learning and completing their assignments to the best of their abilities. 


Question:

What does a student need to do for Remote Learning?

Answer:

Students will need access to a device in order to use google apps for education: Google Classroom, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Presentation, etc.

You are a NAMS student at all times, even when your learning has moved online. Continue to adhere to the Student Handbook with regard to academic policies and student conduct. Specifically if on any Google Meet, please be aware of your behavior, dress, and background when on the session with staff and peers. Specific information related to using Google Meet will be shared with you by your teacher before meeting virtually.


Question:

Who should the student or parents/guardians contact with questions?

Answer:

Teachers are the primary contacts.

In addition, the following staff are also available:

Teams 6A & 6D: Jim Gosselin, Guidance Counselor, & Cheryl Raimondo, Assistant Principal

Teams 6B & 6C: Jim Gosselin, Guidance Counselor, & Steve Wrigley, Assistant Principal

Grade 7: Georgia Chute, Guidance Counselor, & Raimondo, Assistant Principal

Grade 8: Julie Faucher, Guidance Counselor, & Steve Wrigley, Assistant Principal

School Psychologist are Lindsey Chatterton & Michelle O’Leary

Adjustment Counselor is Laura Stevens

Special Education Director is Susan Donatell

Principal is Jorge Goncalves

You may find a list of all staff here.

Comments