Focus on the Curriculum was presented by Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Donna Cotton. On September 8, 2020, our schools transitioned from Plan C with fully remote instruction to Plan B with blended and remote instruction. Per the governor’s orders, students are coming into the school buildings in reduced numbers. To facilitate this, students in Wilkes County Schools were assigned by their school as an “A” day student or a “B day student. In effort to maximize instructional time, the school days alternate on a A/B schedule. Some families requested that their students stay fully remote. Dr. Cotton gave a description of each instruction. Blended students receive face-to-face instruction alternating with isolated remote instruction on the alternate day. Remote instruction happens away from school via the learning management system and online instruction.
Dr. Cotton also went over teacher expectations. Teachers are to facilitate instruction for blended instruction “A” day students and “B” day students as well as the instruction for remote only students. They are to take attendance every day and provide descriptive feedback to students. Teachers will grade student work and report those grades in PowerSchool (progress reports and report cards). Teachers are expected to have daily contact with students. Teachers are also required to maintain office hours in which they will be available for parents. Teachers will continue to attend professional development at the school level.
Students also have expectations. They are to be in attendance (on-site or remotely) every day, and be prepared and participate actively (at schools, online, or by completing assignments offline). They must complete all work, meet deadlines, and communicate with their teachers when they have questions or concerns. Students are required to follow the WCS Acceptable Use Guidelines and follow online etiquette when using technology. The Wilkes County Schools Technology helpdesk is available when needed. Attendance protocols will be communicated with students and parents. These will be posted on school websites and social media along with the district website. Protocols for determining attendance will be:
- Student engagement (completion of assignments).
- On pace (participation in virtual classroom online or by phone).
- Offering academic and emotional support (communication with student and family).
- All attendance will be taken in PowerSchool.
- K-8 attendance will be taken daily by the students’ homeroom teacher.
- 9-12 attendance will be taken daily by the course teacher as scheduled.
- Attendance will be taken by the end of the day each day.
- For a student to be counted absent the student would not be present for class, engaged in the content, or be able to be contacted.
- School staff will contact students/families directly in the event that there is no student contact or work completion after 3 days.
Wilkes County Schools will meet the academic and social emotional needs of all students as well as support the extra needs of our special population students by following the education plan to specific to their needs.
- Individual Education Plan
- 504 Plan
- LEP Plan
- AIG Plan
- McKinney-Vento identified students
Instructional Support Personnel such as school counselors, instructional coaches, school social workers, related service providers, program specialists, etc. will sustain the school’s instructional program and support of the social-emotional needs of students and families as articulated by school administrators. The Instructional Support team will report to their work site each day to assist in the school’s instructional program and support of our students. School administrators will monitor the quality of instructional materials by observing the live, synchronous instruction presented by teachers. School administrators will provide feedback to teachers concerning learning targets, lesson design, and the quality of materials used and the effectiveness of instructional materials. Dr. Cotton went over the parent/guardian/family expectations as well.
For blended instruction students:
- Understand that attendance is required.
- Monitor student health and complete the attestation form every school day.
For blended and remote instruction students:
- Designate a quiet place for your student to complete assignments.
- Reduce distractions while completing assignments.
- Help your student manage his/her online learning by establishing a daily routine and encouraging him/her to participate and complete all assignments.
- Partner with your student’s teacher and reach out should any challenges arise.
- Encourage your student to incorporate physical activity and healthy breaks.