Teaching & Learning

  • Curriculum/Assessment

    Will classes be graded?

    Classes will be graded during the 2020-2021 school year.

    Will be there a specific curriculum focus on in-person days?

    Curriculum in all subject areas will be covered when children are at school and while in the remote setting.

    What kind of curriculum loss to you anticipate in the hybrid?

    DESE guidance encourages districts to prioritize foundational learning standards. SPS is committed to a program of study that supports students with unfinished learning from the spring and meeting end-of-school standardas and benchmarks.

    Can parents be given an outline of the year by grade level and the major topics to be covered in each subject area?

    Grade level learning guides for elementary students can be accessed on the Sudbury Public Schools website and are linked here.

    Will the curriculum be dished out in weekly blocks like in the spring? Such that some portion of the weekly checklist is covered during in-person instruction for those children, and the remainder from home, while the all remote cohort is working on the same things entirely from home?

    In the hybrid model, teacher will prepare students on in-person days for the remote days. They will preview the schedule, review expectations, and provide the materials needed for students to engage to engage in remote learning. Remote learning days will include synchronous instruction, independent practice, front-loading of content, and connection. Specialized supports and instruction may also be delivered, depending on individual student learning plans.

    Are you planning to offer subject specific differentiation in 6th grade? If so, how?

    Sixth grade classes will be heterogenous. Teachers will differentiate instruction and content to meet specific student learning needs.

    How are we going to measure how well students are learning?

    Students in all learning models will engage in district benchmarking assessments. Teachers will also administer teacher-created formative and summative assessments to measure progress and identify student needs for support or challenge. DESE has indicated that it will identify a on-line formative assessment tool which all districts will be required to administer initially in the fall to measure student learning.

    Will teachers be able to group virtual learners in smaller, ability groups for some subjects, so that the learning can be best tailored to each student?

    Teachers will be able to group students learning remotely. In the hybrid model, this will supported by the deeper, differentiated instruction on in-person days. On the fully remote Wednesdays, teachers will be able group across cohorts by learning needs.

    Will new content be provided on remote days?

    The content delivered on remote days will keep the momentum of instruction that occurs both in the classroom and when remote.

    Will the curriculum of the fully remote instruction be the same as the hybrid?

    The curriculum of the Sudbury Remote Academy will align with state standards and include programming and curricular materials that are Sudbury-specific.

    Can you walk through how you intend to handle families that choose to keep their children home for 100% remote school work? How will you assess progress for those students?

    The progress of students in the fully remote Sudbury Remote Learning Accademy will be assessed using student work products and online and remote conferencing tools.

    If a family determines that it is best for their child to be 100% remote even when the majority of the school will be hybrid, will the 100% remote curriculum have the same content, challenge and pace as those attending in person twice a week?

    The Sudbury Remote Learning Academy will follow Massachusetts curriculum standards. DESE has solicited proposals to vendors for remote learning platforms. SPS will evaluate which ever platform is selected and choose to integrate or not with Sudbury-specific curriculums and experiences. The goal is to have all SPS students meet rigorous learning standards and be well-positioned to transition to in-person learning.

    Are there anticipated changes in curriculum materials or curriculum in general for the learning models?

    The Teaching & Learning team is working to adjust curriculum maps to address unfinished learning from the spring and to compact learning experiences to ensure that students are able to meet end-of-year benchmarks as outlined by the Massachusetts Learning Standards. The district is fortunate to have partnered with curriculum providers who have a strong online component to materials and who have been engage in additional developement efforts over the summer. Additionally, curriculum teams have been working over the summer to made modifications and enhancements to units of study to support remote learning.

    If students return to school for half the time, is it reasonable to assume they will learn half the curriculum?

    No, the district will be addressing all grade-level standards. In a typical school day, students engage in teacher-directed instruction, group work, and individual practice. In a hybrid model, teacher-directed instruction wll be prioritized on in-person days with structured opportunties for group work. Individual practice and support will be prioritized on remote days.

    What procedures has the school put in place to ensure that students will not fall further behind? Last spring’s remote learning was a hodgepodge of links to 3rd party websites. That was not teaching.

    The district will monitor student learning and use supports as outlined in the Disrict Curriculum Accommodation Plan.

    Will the focus be on core curriculum for in school learning-emphasis on ELA and Math rather than specialists?

    In-person days will include core academics and a specialist or UA subject. Specialist and UA subjects will provide students an opportunity to engage in learning that is highly engaging and supportive of social-emotional skills.

    Will there be a clear rubric to help parents determine whether their child is struggling enough remotely that they have fallen behind?

    Teachers will communicate with families should a student struggle with remote components. Additionally, families can monitor student learning and engagement through Schoology at the middle school and Google Classroom at the elementary school for grades 2-5.

    Will consideration be given to which subjects will be taught remotely and which will be taught on site, or will all subjects be taught in some way on each day?

    In the hybrid model, core subject instruction and practice will take place on both in-person and remote days. Instructionsl models for Specialist and Unified Arts subjects are in development.

    Are there learning experiences requiring lab equipment in the 6th grade? If so, how will these be handled for hybrid? What will the options be for remote only learners?

    In the hybrid model, remote days will focus on building background knowledge and analyzing data. Lab experiences will primarily take place on in-person days.

     

    Family Support

    What happens if parents are working during the week can remote learning be made up on the weekend?

    Families are encouraged to connect with their child's teacher to determine which remote components would need to be completed during the week in order to maximize the impact of in-person learning days.

    I'd like to understand what training/help we'll be given so we can conduct the remote learning curriculum.

    When children are in-person at school, Teachers will integrate practice and instruction to prepare for the remote instruction at home. Teachers will also be available to support their students when in the remote setting.

     

    General Education Support Services

    What is the plan for children that have trouble accessing “remote learning”? Will there be any way that these children will be able to access any additional in person instruction?

    Families whose students are not able to make effective progress in a remote learning environment should contact their buildng administrator who will work with the school team and family to identify supports or adjust programming.

     

     

    In-person/Remote/Synchronous/Asynchronous

    Will remote learning time in a hybrid model include real-time, synchronous instruction (i.e. on the off days and on Wednesdays)?

    On remote days in the hybrid model, elementary students will engage in synchronous learning with their classmates during identified instructional routines such as Morning Meeting or Number Corner. Middle school students will engage in synchronous learning during Connection and TEAM times using the Google Meet video conferencing platform. Specialist and Unified Arts schedules are under development. Remote students will not be joining in-person student via live-streaming video.

    What are the expectations for students on their remote learning days? When will remote learning be synchronous vs asynchronous?

    On remote days, students will have synchronous learning and connection opportunities. Under discussion are routines such as morning or afternoon class meetings, number corner, read aloud, phonics instruction, specialist classes, and question and answer periods. The synchronous pieces of the schedule will align with the same school hours as the in person day.

    Does remote learning mean direct instruction by a teacher through virtual means for the duration of a school day?

    Direct instruction will take place on full-remote learning days for both cohorts using Google Meet. Families will be asked to observe the privacy restrictions contained in the AUP and in guidance regarding synchronous remote learning. Following the guidance of researchers and experts in the field of remote learning, live teacher-directed instructional periods will be tailored to student's developmental level.

    Are remote students going to have a dedicated teacher, will they be expected to be present online at certain times or is it at-you-own-pace?

    Students in the Sudbury Remote Learning Academy will be part of cohort. Depending upon enrollment numbes, the cohort may be by grade-level or grade-band. A certified SPS teacher and staff will be assigned to cohort and direct the learning.

    How will remote learning differ from the spring remote learning experience?

    The hybrid remote model offers opportunity for children to have in-person instruction and prepare for the remote environment of instruction. This summer has offered time and planning around the hybrid and remote models of teaching and learning. This time for planning has allowed for more preparedness in comparison to the spring. Each teacher and child will attend to the learning platforms provided during the school week. Children will engage in connection with the teacher and the content when learning in the remote model.

    Can you share what a remote learning day looks like for student?

    The remote model will offere both independent and synchronous learning opportunities for children. The remote school day will encompass the momentum to the grades subject matter throughout the week. There is a schedule for children to provide consistency to the remote day that will support the engagement of children when in the remote setting.

    If each cohort will be in school for 2 days (Monday/Thursday and Tuesday/Friday), are they going to have a virtual meeting on Wednesdays ?

    Yes, Wednesdays will include synchronous virtual learning and connection activities bringing together both cohorts.

    How will the remote learning be structured? Will it include the teacher live streaming from the classroom?

    SPS will not be live streaming content to students who are remote in the hybrid model. Instead, students will engage with content curated by their teachers, including application, practice, review, and preview. There will be synchronous opportunities to the two cohorts of students to join together during the day for instructinoal routines. Additionally, remote students will have access to drop in sessions for help and connection, specials, and, in some cases, specialized service delivery.

    Do remote days in the hybrid model include live instruction with the teacher?

    On the remote Wednesdays, teachers will direct instruction for both cohorts remotely. Instruction will include a variety of instructional routines including whole class mini-lessons, small group facilitation, and individualized student feedback.

    How many hours of interactive course work (with other students and their teacher) will younger students receive during their three days of remote learning?

    This will shift according to the students' readiness. We know that young students are not able to attend to streamed content for extended periods of time so teachers will be working to prioritize engaging learning experiences that meld teacher-directed instruction and independent application.

    Does the full remote plan have separate teachers? Will there be synchronous learning with the full remote plan and how much?

    The Sudbury Remote Learning Academy will have dedicated teachers and staff. Instruction parameters will mirror those established for the district should it move to a fully remote model.

    Will the all-remote option be taught by Sudbury teachers?

    The Sudbury Remote Academy will be taught by SPS teachers and staff.

     

    Instruction/Teaching

    Who will be teaching the remote learning since the regular teacher(s) will have in person students to teach (except for Wednesdays)?

    Remote learning will be facilitated by teachers within your child's grade band.

    At the end of the day we want to know whether remote learning options will mimic in class learning or not. Also, why can't there simply be a camera set up in the classroom.

    Remote learning will differ from in-person learning. It will incorporate best practices as identified by educational experts. LIve-streaming a classroom has not been demonstrated to be effective with elementary and middle school age students.

    If my child's teacher is teaching the opposite cohort on a day we are remote learning, who will be able to assist us when help is needed?

    SPS teachers, coaches, specialists, special educators, teaching assistants, and tutors will work as a team to support students. While students will have a lead teacher, they can expect to engage with and be supported by a variety of educators.

    On days that my child will be remote learning will my child’s teacher be available for help? If he or she is teaching in person how will they field questions during the days?

    The schedule for the remote learning day will include several synchronous experiences for the remote hybrid learners, which will permit them to ask questions and receive support.

    If we go to a fully remote approach, can there be days/hours of live instruction on all or most days? The pre-recorded videos were unfortunately a challenge for our family.

    There will be live instruction as part of both the remote component of the hybrid model and the fully remote option.

    It would be also helpful to know how much more interaction with their teacher and other school personnel they will have. That was one of the most difficult aspects of the spring - parents as teachers with very little opportunities for our children to see their teacher.

    We are dedicated to providing a quality instructional plan for all children in either remote or in-person during the school week. This summer has offered time and planning through the Superintendents Task Force and through working groups that support teaching and learning plans for each grade level. The collaboration of adminstration, teachers, and educators from across SPS has allowed for the development of a sound plan of instruction. We understand the challenges of the previous remote model, the development of independent and facilitated learning during the remote session is a focus for the reopening of school.

     

    K-2 Remote Instruction

    I have an incoming Kindergartner. I am looking for more details surrounding how the approach to teaching these younger kids this year. - in class, and remote.

    Remote learning can be more challenging for younger students. Teachers will be prioritizing at-home learning activities that are interactive and play-based. The district will offer workshops for families in order to help them support their learners. The district hopes to prioritize bringing the youngest students back to in-person learning whould circumstances allow.

     

    Other

    Are MCAS postponed for next school year?

    DESE's latest guidance indicates that MCAS will be administered in the spring of 2021

     

    Schedule

    Could you go into detail regarding the hybrid typical daily schedule (arrive, class schedule, lunch, dismissal)? For remote learning will there be live instruction?Tell us more about school year assessments.

    A schedule for children in the remote and in-person learning environments will be provided to families soon. There are teams of educators working on the schedule and content of the school day, for both learning experiences, through our Superintendents Task Force working groups. These collaborative efforts have developed plans for instruction by grade band across our school district. When a child participates in the remote days of the school week, synchronous learning will be available to keep the momentum of instruciton moving forward. Assessments for children will provide feedback to teachers for supporting children with their learning throughout the hybrid/remote model.

    For remote learning in a Hybrid model, how will the days be structured?

    There is a daily schedule planned for the hybrid model of the school day. This will allow for synchronous and independent learning opportunities for children to engage in. Subject matter content will be provided for children in both learning environments. In the remote session, there will be teacher facilitated times during the school day.

    What will a typical day look like?

    We are working on example schedules for each grade to share with families.

     

    Specials/UA

    Will elementary school specials (i.e. gym, art, music) still be offered?

    Yes, all elementary specialist classes will be offered. Specifics are being worked out regarding schedules and delivery models.

    Will students have Unified Arts classes at the middle school?

    Unified Arts will be offered at the Middle School. Some Unified Arts will be offered in-person, others will be offered remotely, still others will be a combination thereof. The middle school team is firming up details based upon recently released guidance from DESE regarding Courses Requiring Additinal Safety Considerations.

    Will band/orchestra/jazz band be offered this fall?

    We hope to be able to offer those groups this fall, but we are waiting for more guidance from the state about the protocols that would need to be followed.

     

    Extracurriculars

    Do you anticipate any clubs (chess, math, etc) running this year?

    In-person after school clubs will not happen in the fall. We are exploring remote opportunities. We will reassess all clubs as the year progresses.