On August 10, Deer Park’s Board of Directors approved the district’s Reopening Plan, detailing plans, processes, and procedures for opening the 2020-21 school year. The plan outlines two learning options for families to choose from this fall:
- In-Person learning delivered in a split/rotating schedule in which students will be divided into two groups (Blue & Gold), attending school two days one week and three days the next (split schedule example available using the following link – DPSD Split/Rotating Schedule)
- Students in need of additional in-person service (i.e. – students with disabilities) may have the ability to attend additional days – determinations are made at the IEP Team level and will take place as the school year gets underway.
- Remote/distance learning delivered in a fully online model, using Deer Park teachers dedicated to providing a robust and engaging learning experience for students using proven remote learning tools. We are calling this our STAGS @Home program. THOSE SELECTING TO GO FULLY ONLINE/REMOTE AT DPHS ARE LOCKED IN FOR ONE SEMESTER.
If you’ve not yet selected one of the two options available for your children, please use the following link to do so (if you need more information before making your selection, keep reading!): Enrollment Survey – In-person or Full Remote (online)
CLARITY, SUPPORT, AND INFORMATION ABOUT DISTANCE LEARNING:
In the district’s Back to School online forum on Wednesday, August 19, Deer Park Middle School Social Studies teacher Katie Tucker provided families with a glimpse at the look, feel, and functionality of the Google Classroom platform. Teachers throughout DPSD will use Google Classroom to provide a consistent and uniform distance learning experience for students (and parents). The platform allows teachers to create and manage classes, post and grade assignments, as well as provide links to online resources, videos, surveys, and other items necessary for learning – whether in the classroom or learning from a distance. Teachers are also able to post announcements and invite parents and guardians to sign up for email summaries with a student’s upcoming or missing work.
Google Classroom provides students with the ability to access classwork and submit assignments, get feedback and grades, share resources and interact in the class stream or by email. Of course, teachers will use the platform in developmentally appropriate ways, providing the best experience for students across the K-12 continuum.
At Deer Park High School, students in the STAGS @Home program (fully remote) will access coursework in the Edgenuity platform; Edgenuity is a leading provider of online and blended learning solutions, providing a comprehensive selection of “for credit” coursework in a platform built from the ground up to deliver an engaging online experience. Edgenuity’s online courses use direct-instruction videos featuring on-screen teachers, rigorous assignments, performance tasks, and ongoing assessment to engage students and ensure subject-area mastery. We’ve assigned a small group of teachers at DPHS to guide and support the “fully online” students throughout their Edgenuity experience.
At the elementary (K-5) level, we’ve assigned one teacher at each grade with the task of focusing on supporting students learning remotely. These teachers will build out grade-specific learning modules in Google Classroom using resources available in Deer Park’s core curriculum as well as a host of powerful and engaging online resources (DreamBox Learning, Zearn, Boomcards, Mystery Science…and many more) to support student learning. The online experiences they create will be combined with offline activities using traditional texts and consumable materials provided to students for use outside the classroom. Deb Paulson, 3rd grade teacher at Arcadia Elementary, created a video that shares the work being done and plans being made to support our K-5 students – Mrs. Paulson’s video provides a fantastic overview of the ways our teachers will be supporting kids learning at a distance: K-5 Distance Learning in Deer Park.
IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION: SPLIT SCHEDULE (BLUE & GOLD) GROUPINGS:
First, it must be said that we knew from the start that any type of hybrid schedule would be difficult for families – anything other than a regular school schedule would create childcare and employment challenges in many households (including the homes of our own staff!). That said, we also knew that it would be impossible for us to offer a regular schedule to all kids and still observe the State’s physical distancing requirements in our classrooms. So, after a great deal of discussion, we landed on a split/rotating model that minimized long periods of time out of the classroom (tried to get kids in class every other day). The schedule template can be downloaded using the following link: DPSD Split/Rotating Schedule.
Over the past couple of weeks, the most frequent question has been about the structure of the district’s split/rotating schedule and placement of students in these groups – that is, which students are in the Gold Group and which students are in the Blue Group?
Students with last names that begin with A – L will be in the Gold group (the “A” group) and students with last names that begin with M – Z will be in the Blue group (the “B” group).
After making the initial group sort using the first letter of the student’s last name, we will then perform a “family sort,” ensuring that blended homes (households that have students with different last names) are not split up into different groups. The family sort will be done using the primary guardian’s last name.
We understand that some families will have unique needs that make a placement in the Gold or Blue group especially helpful. We’d like to make a run at meeting as many individual family requests as possible. So, if you need your child(ren) to be switched from one group to another, please send a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org, sharing your circumstances and your request.
Our goal is to have final lists available in each building on Wednesday morning (Aug. 26)!
ARE ENROLLMENT SELECTIONS “PERMANENT” (CAN WE CHANGE OUR MIND?):
At the 9-12 level, decisions to enroll in the fully remote/online Edgenuity option is a one-semester commitment. At the K-8 level, we have the ability to offer some flexibility; that is, if we’re able to offer a more regular 5-day in-person experience to students at some point this fall, then we’ll work hard to get interested students transitioned back into an in-person model. Clearly, this is all dependant upon pandemic-related decisions made by health officials in our region and state.