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Updated on August 20, 2020
What supplies are needed for remote learning this fall? Alma is committed to providing all of our scholars and their families with all of the tools needed to successfully access and participate in remote learning. All of these supplies will be provided to families while they are at their Alma Family Orientation session.
Many scholars received a Chromebook computer last spring from Alma, and those scholars were asked to keep those computers for the fall. We will provide Chromebook computers to any new scholars, as well as returning scholars who did not receive one in the spring. Scholars will also be provided with a pair of headphones or earbuds that they may use during remote learning.
Below is a list of other items Alma intends to provide to every scholar:
-Crayons (lower grades)
-Pens (Middle School)
-Graph paper (Middle School)
-Tape w/ dispensers
-Small dry erase boards
What will a typical remote learning day look like for my scholar?
For Kindergarten and First grade scholars, families should expect that scholars will have several small group video lessons scheduled between 8:30-12:00 every day. (A typical schedule would include a scholar on Zoom for 15-30 minute sessions at 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30) with additional work to be completed independently later in the day.
For all Second through Eighth grade scholars, expect that they will have lessons scheduled from 8:30-3:00pm. Again, scholars will almost always have a break after 20-30 minutes of video lesson time, but will have Crew, four academic blocks, and two intervention blocks every day, so all school days will run from 8:30-3:00.
We have learned many lessons from the spring and are considering new platforms and options to make sure that this is as easy as possible for our scholars and families. there will be a balance of real-time virtual lessons with teachers and other scholars, and work to complete independently within the school day hours.
Will the length of the school year be impacted by the delayed opening?
We do not plan to end the school year later this year. Please find a draft calendar for the 2020-2021 school year here.
Should we order scholar uniforms?
All scholars attending in-person learning at Alma will be expected to be in full uniform. Families may find more information at www.almadelmar.org/order-uniforms/ If you have already bought new uniforms and are unable to use them, Alma will buy the approved uniform pieces back from families.
Will transportation be provided?
Yes, however we expect that busing will be limited due to the safety guidelines related to how many children may be on one bus. If your child is able to walk to school or you are able to drive them, that is recommended so that busses can be utilized by families who do not have access to alternative transportation. Whaling City Transit will provide busing that adheres to state guidelines which include:
- Open Windows
- One scholar per seat, except siblings who may sit together
- All scholars and WCT staff in masks
What major safety protocol will be followed at Alma this fall?
- Masks/Face Coverings: Required for every adult and every scholar (note: exceptions to mask/face covering requirements will be made for those for whom it is not possible due to medical conditions, disability, impact, or other health or safety factors underlying condition or disability)
- Mask backups on hand for Staff and Scholars
- Non-Latex gloves provided for all scholars and staff as needed
- N95 Masks provided for Nurses
- Gowns and Facemasks for Nurses as needed
- Clear masks and shields provided for hearing impaired scholars or teachers to support hearing impairment
- Hand sanitizing & washing stations
- Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces
- Designated spaces for scholars who may exhibit symptoms
Will scholars receive breaks from wearing face coverings?
We are building mask breaks into the daily schedule to ensure that scholars and teachers can get outside frequently. We are also looking into options for tents so that we will be able to go outside most days of the year regardless of the weather.
How will Alma prepare and support scholars and families for the remote and in-person learning models?
We are planning a robust Family Orientation for scholars and families so that we can help families get set up for remote learning. These sessions will be held September 3-4th and September 7-11th at Alma. Some purposes we hope to achieve in these orientations:
- For Scholars attending in-person: Prepare families with health and safety protocols
- For K-8: Introduce remote learning expectations and supports, including clear expectations around communication
- Launch the year with a lot of joy!
- Build relationships
- Distribute materials needed to launch strong at-home learning (chromebooks and chargers as needed, notebooks, pencils, books, art supplies)
- Ensure all health forms and other enrollment paperwork is complete
- Share information re: community resources, food programs, mental health resources, etc.
How will the school support scholars with remote learning?
We will have as much synchronous learning as we think will be helpful for our scholars to complete work on their own time. We are prioritizing our younger scholars for in-school learning because we know they were the least successful this spring with remote learning.
How have the scholars who will learn in-person due to their complex learning needs been identified?
This list of scholars has been compiled by Alma’s Deans of Scholar Support based on several factors including:
- DESE guidance on defining scholars with complex and significant needs
- Inclusion in a substantially separate learning classroom (during 2019-2020 school year)
- English Language Learner level
- Individual Education Plan service grid
How will the school support families in helping their scholars with remote learning?
Our Deans of Scholar Support are hard at work preparing to deliver our strong scholar support model regardless of delivery method. We know that this is challenging work. We also reserve Fridays to possibly use for some services that would benefit older scholars in person (when K-1 are engaging in remote learning).
Will scholars receive their 504 and IEP supports?
Yes, Alma will follow all state guidance regarding special education and 504 plans. Though scholar services may look different than in a traditional school year, we will ensure that all scholars receive their services. The Scholar Support Team will ensure all scholars (not just those currently on 504 or IEP plans) are receiving Response to Intervention (RTI) support as needed.
Will scholars receive report cards and grades this year?
We will continue to carefully track scholar attendance and work completion so that all scholars receive consistent feedback on their work. We plan to issue report cards on a regular basis.
If scholars or staff are quarantining, do they still participate in the remote program?
If a staff member is quarantining because they were exposed to someone with symptoms or who tested positive, but they feel fine, they will continue to work/teach remotely.
If a scholar has been quarantined due to someone else’s symptoms or positive test, they should continue to participate (or transition into) in remote learning.
If scholars or staff are themselves experiencing symptoms, we expect that:
- Staff will use their sick time
- Scholars will be “absent” that day