New Opportunities for Student Learning!

New Opportunities for Student Learning!
Posted on 03/27/2020

Good afternoon!

As promised Monday, here is the QCSD Continuity of Education Plan that will guide our work through the end of the regular calendar school year. What emerged from the US Department of Education last Saturday were very broad guidelines that encouraged school districts to get students back into an educational setting, albeit virtually. Then on Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Education followed up with guidance and expectations to design a Continuity of Education Plan. Our Plan specifies expectations and responsibilities, and will be updated as we are continuously receiving new and ever-changing guidance from USDOE and PDE.

As I mentioned Monday, student participation is optional! What does optional look and feel like? Well, it's a lot different for everybody involved - students, teachers, counselors, principals, and support staff.

  • For students: Your teachers have missed you! Starting Tuesday, March 31, you are invited to actively participate in daily instruction in synchronous and asynchronous opportunities with your teachers through the same platforms (Seesaw and Canvas, for example) that you use in school. This means students will have access to assignments and activities for each class every week and will be working with their teachers, and sometimes classmates, in a Google Meet learning community. Student participation is voluntary. Again, student attendance in the virtual environment and doing the work is optional. Teachers will be available to students Mondays through Thursdays following the approved school calendar - so students will still have Spring Break. Yippie!!! Don’t go too far!
  • For teachers and support staff: They know they are called back to work full time with flexible scheduling of work hours. It is a five-day virtual work week for everyone in QCSD beginning Monday. For teachers, every Friday will be a professional development and collaboration day with their colleagues, to provide time for the learning and working with colleagues they will need to be successful in a virtual environment. We will be employing substitute teachers when necessary to the extent they are available.
  • For Administrators and essential personnel: They have been working remotely or in providing essential services since the shutdown began, and will continue to do so.
  • QCSD Technology will continue to support the needs of our students and staff during this time. We will continue to provide support based on appointments. The following form should be submitted for any issues that may arise: https://forms.gle/u6Zfc4LhEaSKgFLB7

For the most part in QCSD, online learning is new to students, parents, teachers and administrators. Please know we are in this together! Students with diverse learning needs can continue to receive support and optional learning opportunities should they choose to participate. These supports are provided by the following personnel: classroom teachers, ELD teachers, school counselors, SAP counselors, school social workers, special education staff and school nurses. If you are having difficulty reaching these supports, please immediately contact your building principal. There are many resources available to parents and families that can be found here at A Parent’s Support for Distance Education.

One final, and very important note! I am sure you have many questions about how this will all work and when we will be able to resume school. As we move into a virtual environment on Tuesday, I respectfully ask that you have an appreciation and patience for the context in which our teachers and other employees will be delivering their instruction and services to your student(s). They are under similar stresses and limitations that this coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has brought. Many of them still have children and other family members at home and will be developing their lesson plans and providing instruction in that context. Having been in Zoom Meetings and Google Hangouts with community leaders, QCSD administrators, the School Board, and Bucks County superintendents and health officials since March 13th, there is a new level of understanding and appreciation of the world of our teammates, friends and colleagues. I ask for your patience as we take this leap to provide learning opportunities for all our students to the best of our ability in these very challenging times.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feedback, and encouragement. We are most grateful! We have a truly amazing team of teachers, support staff and administrators! As I said before, this too shall pass! We will be at a much better place with appreciation for family and friends.

Thank you.

Bill Harner
Superintendent
wharner@qcsd.org
@billharner

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