All Students Online Only
If circumstances do not allow any students to attend school for on-campus instruction, we will revert to online-only learning for all students. While this may look similar to what we did in the spring, there will be clear differences based on feedback we have received.
UPDATE: The KSD Board of Education approved elementary and middle school return to in-person plans.
Kindergarten - 2nd-grade students start Wednesday, October 14
3rd - 5th-grade students start Wednesday, October 21
6th-grade students start Wednesday, November 4
7th & 8th-grade students start Monday, November 9
Families also have the option to continue with at home learning, through our KSD At Home school.
What will be the same?
- Students and teachers will rely heavily on one-to-one technology, using their iPads (K-8) and laptops (9-12) to do much of their work and communicate with teachers and peers.
- Kirkwood staff and students will use Schoology, our learning management system, as our primary tool for communication and workflow. Staff will also utilize Zoom for video instruction and collaboration.
- Efforts will again be made to provide wifi access to families who need assistance, via hotspots purchased through the district.
What will be different?
- First and foremost, teachers will have more time to plan for online-only learning than we did in the spring. We will build upon our experiences and continue planning and professional learning with this possibility in mind.
- We will rely more heavily on synchronous learning, with students loosely following their school schedule throughout the day. Students can expect to spend at least 50% of their day engaged synchronously with teachers and peers (depending on age of learners), via Zoom and/or other online collaboration tools. Many lessons will also be available online for later viewing, recognizing that families may have working parents or could experience bandwidth issues if they have multiple children and/or adults working online at the same time. We need students to engage in their learning but do not want them to be penalized for at-home circumstances that may be beyond their control.
- Secondary students will transition into a block schedule, with four classes per day and an A day/B day rotation
- Regardless of our model, we will be teaching new content this year and grades will count. Students will be held accountable for logging in, participating in learning, and completing their work. Attendance will be taken daily, via multiple measures.
- You can expect additional focus on student engagement and additional rigor, with an emphasis on student thinking. We recognize that learning may be impacted by online learning, so we have identified priority skills and standards on which we will focus a majority of our time. In addition, we will be purchasing additional tech tools (i.e. EdPuzzle, Padlet) to foster engagement and collaboration in an online environment.
- Communication structures will be streamlined across the system, making it easier for students and for parents with multiple children across our system.
- Teachers will dedicate considerable amounts of time to building relationships and classroom community. Particular attention will be placed on the social-emotional wellness of our students, examined through culturally responsive teaching practices.
- We plan to survey our students and parents more frequently this fall, seeking their feedback and adjusting our practices, accordingly.
- Students with IEPs will continue to receive special education services virtually. Special education teachers will implement universal design for instruction through a virtual model, allowing for more streamlined transitions between in-person and virtual learning environments. SSD teachers will also focus on critical components of distance learning.
Planning for Instruction
We believe most students will learn best when provided in-person, on-campus learning opportunities. While this is our goal, we know Kirkwood teachers will be focused and ready to support student learning if circumstances require online-only instruction. Within this model, teachers will develop relationships with students, assess their strengths and needs, and provide rigorous, engaging instruction to support their learning. Key aspects of our work will include but not be limited to the following:
- Attention to relationships and social-emotional learning
- Teaching into routines and procedures, including new safety measures and online expectations
- Use of intentional assessments to understand potential gaps in learning, possibly due to adjusted schooling in the spring
- Focused instruction around prioritized standards and skills, informed by assessment data
- Use of one-to-one iPads/laptops and Schoology, our learning management system, to support student learning and workflow. Based on experiences of the spring, we will enhance use of digital tools to foster increased rigor (critical/creative thinking), engagement, and collaboration - even with safety measures in place.
- Examination of curriculum, instruction, and programming through a lens of equity, wellness, and inclusion
- Efforts to creatively shift teaching and learning opportunities to outdoor settings, when opportunities arise.