December 11, 2020
Dear Stoddert Families,
This weekly update begins with some good news: Stoddert’s in-person CARE classroom is up and running! There are 11 students in the CARE classroom, and each student is continuing to learn virtually from their original classroom teacher while being supervised by Mr. Hart and Ms. Ortega. The CARE classroom is in session all day on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and half-day on Wednesday.
Our Reopen Community Corps (RCC) is hard at work developing a school-specific draft proposal to safely return as many students as possible to in-person learning when Term 3 begins in February. The number of students who will be returning to in-person learning in Term 3 will be determined by a variety of factors, including parent preference, teacher availability, pandemic status, etc.
DCPS has given principals and RCCs a very short deadline of Monday, December 14 to submit these school-specific draft proposals for Term 3 reopening, so we will appreciate any feedback you can provide before then. You may send that feedback directly to me at Donald.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seats for any in-person learning model will be offered first to those students who had accepted an in-person seat in the original return-to-school plan. After those seat offers are extended, seats will be offered in randomized wait-list order. It is important to note that all the in-person learning models would cause changes to classroom rosters.
I described several in-person learning models at our December 9 PTO meeting, and those models are summarized below.
DCPS Plan A is the same plan that was being considered district-wide earlier this year. In that plan, a group of 10-11 students comes to school 4 or 4.5 days per week to receive in-person instruction from one teacher. All other students continue to be instructed virtually by other teachers.
In DCPS Plan B, a group of 10-11 students comes to school 4 or 4.5 days per week to receive live instruction from one teacher. While providing live instruction, the teacher is simultaneously providing virtual instruction to other students in a simulcast model.
DCPS Plan C is a little more intricate. In this plan, one group of 11 students comes to school for live instruction 4 or 4.5 days per week and has two in-person teachers. On Monday and Tuesday, Teacher A provides live ELA and Social Studies instruction to the group of 11 in-person students, while Teacher B provides virtual Math and Science instruction to a larger group of students. On Thursday and Friday, Teacher B provide live Math and Science instruction to the group of 11 in-person students, while Teacher A provides virtual ELA and Social Studies instruction to a larger group of students. So, students receive two full days of instruction in ELA and Social Studies, and two full days of instruction in Math and Science. However, there is a 5-day gap between lessons in the same topics.
In DCPS Plan D, two different group of 11 students come to school two days per week for live instruction. Group A comes to school M/T, and Group B comes to school TH/F. While the students in either group are not at school, they are receiving instruction in a virtual simulcast model – the teacher is simulcasting to those students while also providing live instruction to the 11 in-person students.
In addition to those DCPS Plans, the RCC is also considering a Stoddert-created innovative plan that allows groups of students to come to school for in-person learning for half-days. Group A would be on campus for in-person learning in the morning, and Group B would be on campus for in-person learning in the afternoon. During the portion of the day that the students are not on campus, they would be engaged in synchronous virtual special subject lessons and online work. Simulcast would be used to engage both groups of students simultaneously for a morning meeting, and an end-of-day closing circle activity. This model would bring back two groups of 11 students each day for in-person learning, as opposed to one group of 11 students each day in the DCPS models. If this Stoddert-created plan is adopted for Term 3, it would be implemented on a pilot basis in grade levels which have sufficient staff availability, and would not be adopted in all grade levels.
I look forward to receiving feedback and questions, and as always I thank you for your continued support.