Return to School Fall 2020. Frequently Asked Questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions about returning to school online in the fall of 2020. This website will be updated as details are finalized and as additional questions arise.

General Questions

Will the online learning plan be different from the spring?

Yes. Online learning will be much different than the spring. This fall teachers will be required to do live teaching with students, assignments will be graded, attendance will be recorded, and the curriculum will advance. The Schoology system will allow for more focused time on the teaching and learning and less time on remembering systems, logins and passwords for various systems for various grades.

Why did the District tell us they were going to start with options for learning and change to online only?

While the intent was always to find ways to bring children back in the classroom it became apparent that the obstacles to safety became insurmountable to host in-person instruction. The Board and Superintendent felt the potential for stopping and starting instruction due to potential illness and quarantine was more harmful to learning than a consistent environment. Providing a safe learning learning environment for our students and staff is a core value of ours and the current status of the virus does not allow us to remain true to that core value if we allow in-person learning. 

Will the District loan computers and hotspots to families who need them?

Yes. Just like we did in the spring, the District will make every effort to loan computers and hotspots to anyone who needs them. More details on how to request a device will be available soon.

My child receives a free or reduced lunch daily. How will they receive food if school is not in the buildings?

The food service staff is preparing a schedule for food distribution. Food will still be available to our families who receive free and reduced lunch.

If the District is using online learning, will students still be able to participate in sports?

Yes. All athletic events will follow the MHSAA guidelines for safety and reopening, but we will allow our student athletes to participate.

Daily Instruction Questions

Will children follow set schedules daily?

Yes, the Instruction and Technology committees developed detailed schedules for both the elementary and secondary levels. Students will follow a daily schedule to participate in the live instruction and use Schoology to see assignments and additional support materials.

How many hours will my child be required to be on a device daily?

Elementary students can expect to participate in online instruction for 1.5 - 3 hours per day broken up by breaks, depending on the grade level. Middle and high school students can expect to participate in online instruction for 3 - 4.5 hours per day broken up by breaks, depending on the grade level.

How long will lessons be at the elementary level level?

TK-5th grade classrooms will be split into two smaller instructional groups to help the teacher manage the online learning environment. The core instruction time for TK-2nd grade students will be in the morning, 3rd - 5th grade will attend to their core instruction time in the afternoon. The schedule was broken up this way to allow time for the special education teachers and support staff to support their students. More details will be shared by the classroom teacher.  

How long will classes be at the middle school?

Middle School instructional blocks will be an hour and fifteen minutes and include live teaching. Students will attend 3-4 class periods per day on a rotating schedule. Building specific schedules will be shared soon.

How long will classes be at the high school?

High School instructional blocks will be an hour and a half and include live teaching.  Students will attend 3 class periods per day on a rotating schedule. Building specific schedules will be shared soon.   

Will my middle school or high school child have school work to do on their day(s) off?

Yes, Schoology will be used to support at-home learning on students’ off days. It’s anticipated that while the lessons may be every other day, school work will continue through the off days to allow the curriculum to move at the planned pace. 

Will the District send home supplies like textbooks and packets?

Yes. The Teaching and Learning team is working to finalize all details of supplies needed and building principals along with teachers will prepare supplies for families to pick up.

Will Specials classes be considered as part of the curriculum?

Yes. The Instruction team worked to incorporate specials into a weekly schedule for elementary students.

Extra Support Questions

My child receives extra supports. Will they be able to receive those in the online environment?

Yes. Time is built into the day for extra supports, interventions, individual student conferences or special education support.

My child has an IEP or a 504 plan. What will learning look like for my child?

While learning will look different for all students, we are dedicated to providing specialized services that students require. We will continue to work on planning delivery of our services with all students' needs in mind. Additional details will be provided as plans are solidified by our Special Education team.

Schoology Questions

What is Schoology?

Schoology is an online Learning Management System. Schoology offers students the opportunity to see assignments and grades, participate in group discussions, view live lessons, interact with teachers and other students, track their progress, turn in assignments, monitor progress and homework due dates, plus much more. Schoology is a tool that students can use daily to interface with the teacher on assignments and coursework. It also allows parents to manage their child’s academic progress. Parents can merge their children inside of the system to allow one access to see all work for all children. 

Why did you choose Schoology?

We heard loud and clear in our surveys this spring that while parents were proud of our teachers for their rapid switch to deliver instruction online, they also wanted less logins, less systems and as much streamlining as possible. We believe Schoology accomplishes all of these requests. All teachers will use Schoology, regardless of delivering instruction in-person or online. 

Will I need a new login for Schoology?

No. Parents will access Schoology with their MISTAR Parent Portal logins and students will access it with their school Google login credentials. In addition, Schoology has an App for families to use.

Will parent and student training be available for Schoology?

Yes, once Schoology is fully synced with MISTAR, our Student Information System, the company will share resources with us to help our parents and students learn this new system before the first day of school.