Emergency Virtual or Remote Instruction Program
Emergency Virtual/Remote Instruction Program
Discovery Charter school may be closed because of a state of emergency, a declared public health emergency, or a directive by the appropriate health agency or officer to institute a public health closure.
In case Discovery Charter School were to close for more than 3 days, the staff of Discovery would provide remote learning to all its students.
Should it be deemed safe by officials, the staff may be asked to report to Discovery Charter School and administer remote schooling from the school facilities.
If the health authority advise the teachers to teach from home, the only staff members and contractors that might be required to come to the school (essential employees) are:
- School Leader
- Operation Manager
- Kitchen Manager
- Cleaning Contractor
B/ Students and Families
The school will provide Chromebook or equivalent devices to all the students, regardless of their needs. This will ensure that all the students have a similar learning experience and the means to complete all the tasks assigned by the teachers.
The school has enough devices to equip all the students, should the school close.
Discovery will support the students’ families in securing home internet access, or provide hotspots to the families who do not have reliable internet access.
Staff members work with the same school-provided laptop they use when in school, and will be offered a hotspot if they can’t secure an internet connection through other solutions.
The technology situation of our students is fluid and we will discuss solutions with the families if connection becomes an issue. The Family Liaison, the Teachers, and the School Leader provide tech support through phone, GoGuardian, and Zoom as needed.
Parents might be invited to a virtual orientation session and the presentation would be posted on our website. The school leader and/or the Family Liaison will make themselves available to families who need support through Zoom meetings.
C/ Goals of the Remote Instruction Program
- At least one staff member is in contact with each of our students each day, or communicates with their families if the student is not participating in remote learning activities.
- Every child participates in at least one online school community exchange each day during homeroom.
- Every child receives instruction and work assignments in ELA, math, science, social studies or history. The students are also offered visual and performing art instruction, as well as advice to maintain physical and mental health.
- Every child receives feedback on his/her assignments on a daily basis and instruction is designed to be as interactive as possible.
- Lunch & Breakfast-to-go are offered for pick-up during the off-line midday period and families can easily reach out to someone at school.
D/ Delivery of virtual and remote instruction
- Each teacher facilitates a virtual homeroom period at the beginning of each day in a ratio of 1 teacher to a maximum of ten students, provided that the teachers are not affected by the health situation. The homeroom teacher checks on the students and gets in touch with the family if a child doesn’t log-in.
- The students have a schedule that includes three or four synchronous classes as well as asynchronous study hall, tutoring, office hours, and “reach-out” time during the midday.
Daily Online Schedule
- 9:00 am - homeroom (community building, wellness check, and virtual study hall with live feedback on school-wide week-long Homeroom Exploration)
- 10:00 am - 3:00 pm - ELA, Math, Social Studies, and Science classes are delivered through a mix of platforms: Google classroom, Zoom, Desmos, Khan Academy, etc.)
- Midday - students work asynchronously to complete assignments given in the live classes, which are due the next morning. Teachers reach out to their advisees through a mix of phone calls, texts, email, and small Zoom groups. Visual art and dance classes are offered to students during that period, as well as suggestions of physical education activities. Tutoring and office hours are also scheduled during this period.
Addressing the Socio-Emotional Needs of the Students
In addition to the wellness checks performed during the homeroom and “reach-out” time, the educational team creates week-long Homeroom Explorations, which engage the students with topics they easily connect to, and which help the students make sense of the challenges they are facing. While maintaining the children’s comprehension and expression skills, these explorations allow the children to share issues they are dealing with and connect with their peers beyond the academic work.
Examples of Homeroom Explorations addressing concerns expressed by the children
The teachers, the Family Liaison, and the School Leader communicate daily about specific concerns for the mental health of specific children and refer them to the Counselor if need be.
Digital Learning Services
While most of the lesson are written by the teachers, Discovery Charter School takes advantage of digital learning services that children are already using in school prior to the closure:
- Classes convene and assignments are handed out on school-managed Google email accounts and Google Classroom for all students.
- Assignments and assessments designed by Discovery teachers and delivered through Google Documents and Edulastic.
- Reading assignments and assessments on NewsELA
- Math learning activities on Imagine Math, Khan Academy, and Desmos
- Web surfing monitoring and tech support through GoGuardian
- Reading remediation services by Fast Forword (Scientific Learning)
Families have been given the login credential for these services, which all use the same usernames and passwords. Our SIS allows us to text these credentials to parents at any time.
The school has provided Zoom education accounts to all the staff members and to the support professionals.
While students’ assignments are evaluated according to the same criteria previously used, if students are not able to complete certain assignments due to extenuating circumstances, the teachers will evaluate their performance independently of their work completion.
Each synchronous class starts with an “attendance” question in their Google classroom which allows teachers to record the presence of the children.
Teachers record the absences of students in each of the three synchronous classes each day as well as their work completion on a daily basis. This information is recorded through a Google form and compiled on a spreadsheet on a daily basis.
Students are recorded as “home instruction” in the SIS as long as they login and participate in one class, and their participation rate is calculated based on attendance in each of their classes.
F/ Students with learning challenges (including students who have an IEP)
The Special Education Director assists the other teachers in assigning appropriate assignments to students who receive accommodations and modify them as needed. She has access to all the online classes of the students and can monitor their work.
Issues related to student access are discussed with the School Leader and the Family Liaison who hold daily virtual office hours and assist teachers in their communication with the families.
The Special Education Director is the assigned homeroom teacher for many of the students who have an IEP and other students who currently receive non-mandated support services.
Push-in and pull-out support is provided in the form of work sessions including the teacher and a maximum of three students. The teacher gathers the students via a Zoom conference and has access to their work documents through Google Classroom or other services, which allow the teacher to see the work and give live feedback on the work.
In addition to mandated services, daily tutoring services are provided to a number of students who are struggling with online instruction. Sessions last one hour and are scheduled between 2 and 5 times a week for each child. The Special Education Director supervises the tutors who document their sessions in a log.
We are using a reading remediation online service (FastForword), which the children used when the school building was open.
Speech therapy and counseling services are provided through video-conferencing by our regular providers, according to a schedule set by the Special Education Director. The providers communicate on a weekly basis with the Special Education Director and/or the School Leader. The providers are given a School Zoom account and School Google account.
The child study team meets through video-conferencing and we continue using our online IEP documentation system (Realtime).
G/ English Language Learners
Discovery does not currently have ESL students.
We currently have staff members with fluency in French, Arabic, Mandarin, and Spanish, to communicate with parents who are not comfortable in English.
If we have ELL students joining Discovery for the 2021-2022 school year and instruction is provided online or in hybrid form we will proceed as follow, based on the in-school programming when we last had ELL students:
- The child is evaluated through video conference if needed.
- The child participates in math, science, P.E., and arts classes.
- The child has access to a supplemental online math program in her/his current language.
- The child works with a contracted ELL teacher one-on-one or in a very small group at least 3 times a week.
- The child has access to an online ELL program on a daily basis.
- The child receives one-on-one tutoring over video-conference between 1 & 5 times a week.
H/ Safe Delivery of Meals
Our in-school kitchen manager prepares “lunch_and-breakfast-to-go” boxes.
Families come to pick them up outside the school between 11 and 1:30pm. Families who can’t travel to the school are given information about other resources that might be closer to their home.
The preparation of these meals are handled with additional sanitary precautions as required by the emergency health situation.
There is no physical contact between the kitchen manager and the families picking-up these lunch boxes.
Families appear behind the glass door to signal how many meals they need. They then retreat, and the kitchen manager is placing a plastic bag with the requested meals outside the door. After the door is closed, the family picks up the bag.
I/ Facilities & Equipment
Following the closure of the school our contractor will complete a deep cleaning of the school, sanitizing all surfaces that children are able to touch (tables, chairs, doors, faucets, etc.).
We will ask our contractor to complete another such deep cleaning prior to the reopening of the school to students.
The owner of our building is performing the maintenance outside our space and is providing security in our absence.
The only space used during the closure is the kitchen, which is cleaned by the person preparing the meals.
The other staff members entering the space during closure, beside the Kitchen Manager, will be the School Leader and the Operation Manager. If warranted they will not be coming at the same time and they will sanitize their working spaces before and after using them.