Superintendent Bret Towne sent the following communication to all families on April 1.
Our administrators, teachers and instructional support staff continue to work hard this week to develop content for our continuous learning dashboard that will help our students finish the school year strong. While this is certainly not how we expected to be delivering lessons this spring, we believe the dashboard offers students a way to stay on track, while also protecting what is most important – their health and well-being.
As we prepare for this significant transition, we know that many of you have questions about the delivery of content, expectations for learning, and other items of importance. The purpose of this letter is to share our current plan and to ask you for your help as we prepare for this redesign of the school year.
What happens beginning April 6?
Oklahoma schools are moving to a continuous learning model beginning April 6. On that Monday, and every Monday thereafter through May 15, our curriculum team will release a weekly set of lessons on the EPS Learning Dashboard to support the academic standards for the last quarter of the school year. All teachers will be checking in with students regularly during these six weeks. Frequent check-ins will allow teachers to ask students about the work they are doing from the learning dashboard, provide feedback on work, and make sure each student is well. In addition to the EPS Learning Dashboard, OETA has adjusted its daytime schedule to provide curriculum-based programming for parents and students M-F from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. You are encouraged to visit OETA.tv/LearningAtHome to view an updated program schedule, channel list, curriculum, and activities.
What will families find on the learning dashboard?
The teachers from every grade PK-5, all core subjects 6-12, and some elective classes have worked together with their groups to create weekly lessons for their subject area. The lessons are not designed for the parent to be the teacher, but rather to facilitate learning. Each family is completely in charge of the schedule concerning when, how often, and how long children will spend on the learning dashboard activities. The activities vary by age level and subject area; but for example, your child might possibly watch a short video then do an activity around what they watched or create something related to the video. Your child might also go to a website and play an educational game. In another example, a child listens to a story being read or actually reads a story and then writes a response to what he/she has read. Nothing your child does while in the learning dashboard will be submitted to a teacher or graded. The purpose of the dashboard is to provide families with the support they need to keep learning at the forefront and for students to not regress academically during the school closure.
Will my children be able to raise their grades during this time of continuous learning?
Students will be able to raise their cumulative grades as they stood on the last day of on-site instruction, March 13, just as they would have been able to do had the academic year finished with in-person schooling. They may accomplish this in a variety of ways, including submitting missing assignments, completing unfinished work, making test corrections, or expanding on past work with efforts that demonstrate improved and deeper learning. All of this will be at the direction of their teachers. These opportunities are not to be confused with “extra credit,” but rather should be viewed as opportunities to recoup original credit from the third quarter with demonstrations of an increased level of learning.
What if we don’t have WIFI or devices in our home?
School sites are surveying families to identify who is in need of help with internet access. Once the families are identified, our curriculum support staff will be reaching out to these families individually to support them by providing hard copies of lessons and resources which will be delivered by U.S. mail. Teachers will also be offering support via phone calls. We are committed to ensuring that all students have what they need to be successful during this period of continuous learning. We are also hoping to provide devices (either Ipads or Chromebooks) to those elementary households who need one and will be communicating more about this plan in the future. EPS is in the fortunate position that all secondary students have Chromebooks at home. Families in need of low-cost internet can click here for Cox low-cost internet (or call 855-222-3252) or can click here for ATT low-cost internet. In addition to these resources, Cox is offering two free months of internet access and installation for those who qualify. To learn more, click here.
My child’s Chromebook is broken/damaged. Can they get a new one to use during continuous learning?
EPS computer technicians will be available to swap out broken Chromebooks and/or chargers on Thursday, April 2, from 9 am-1 pm, at 1216 S. Rankin (between Central Middle School and the YMCA). If your student’s Chromebook or charger requires repair, staff will meet you in the parking lot and simply swap out your Chromebook or charger for a replacement. Please bring your student’s EPS badge, if possible. Your student will keep this replacement device until the end of the year. Standard fines/STPP coverage will apply. Beginning the week of Monday, April 6, staff will be available one or two days per week for Chromebook repairs. More information will be forthcoming when an exact schedule has been determined.
What if families need technology help during this period of continuous learning
The district is working on setting up a technology helpline to provide assistance to families during the next six weeks. More information will be sent home soon.
What changes are happening in special education?
Special education teachers and related service personnel will be reaching out to parents/guardians by the end of the day Friday, April 3rd, to obtain input in order to develop an individualized continuous learning plan for your child.
What Advanced Placement resources are available and where are they located?
On April 3rd, The College Board will release resources for students to utilize in preparation for their AP tests. Students can either access those resources through https://www.collegeboard.org/ or on the EPS Learning Dashboard. The College Board is also providing online AP classes and review sessions on YouTube. EPS will be granting AP students access to these YouTube videos; however, all other YouTube content on EPS-issued Chromebooks will continue to be blocked. AP students should also expect to hear from their individual teachers with information for study groups or what is still needed in order to be prepared for the AP test.
Will the Grab-and-Go meal service be expanded?
A federal waiver has been granted that will allow EPS to set up and serve meals at more locations throughout the city. We need some time to line up additional staff and acquire products before we are ready, so keep checking this website for the new locations.
I am new to the district. How do I enroll my children?
If you have recently moved into the EPS attendance area and would like to enroll your child (ren) for the 2019-20 school year, please follow the steps for enrollment here for the current 2019-20 school year.
Online enrollment for the 2020-21 school year for students new to Edmond next school year will open April 6, 2020. On that day, please follow the steps for enrollment here and select the correct enrollment year in the online application.
To view required enrollment documents click here.
When will students be able to retrieve items from school?
When it is safe to do so, students will be allowed back in school buildings to retrieve any items they left behind. We will communicate those plans at a later time.
Has a decision been made about graduation?
Not at this time. The district is still discussing a variety of options for recognizing seniors and will be communicating those plans at a later time.
How will PreK notifications be handled on April 2?
Parents will receive an email on April 2 indicating which site the lottery assigned their child to for PreK or if they were placed on the PreK Wait List. If they were selected for a site, they will receive an email with step-by-step procedures to enroll their child. The online enrollment begins April 6th and ends at 3:30 on April 17th.
Many questions submitted to Covid19@edmondschools.net can best be answered by site personnel in the coming weeks. If you need to know about yearbook delivery, getting a transcript, refunds for field trips, returning library books or other issues, please email or call your child’s school site after April 6. Keep in mind that schools will not be fully staffed so please be patient.
These will be challenging weeks ahead, but by working together, we can make the best of a difficult situation. While our faculty and staff will be leading the way, we know you will be encouraging, supporting and teaching your child side-by-side with us. You were and continue to be your child’s first and most important teacher.
Thank you for partnering with us at this time. Our shared children are counting on us!