Highland School District
Highland School District is committed to ensuring a quality education for all students, while also maintaining the health and safety of all stakeholders during the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we must consider options for learning as we plan for the 2020-2021 school year. As part of the recommendations that have been established by the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education for schools to reopen in the fall, Highland Schools will follow the guidelines established through the Arkansas Ready for Learning Model.
HIGHLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT 2020-2021 LEARNING OPTIONS
The Highland School District will offer K-12 instruction in two formats:
1) On-site Learning - will take place on the school campus daily and will include on-site blended learning with remote learning from home when necessary
2) Virtual Learning - will take place off-site virtually through an online learning management system
Students who opt for on-site blended learning will report to school for instruction each day. In the event of a school closure (inclement weather, pandemic restrictions, etc) students will be expected to transition to remote learning from home for one or more days. Students who choose virtual learning will not report to the school campus. (See attached diagram.)
VIRTUAL LEARNING EXPECTATIONS
A K-12 virtual learning option will be available for all students within the Highland School District. However, this method of teaching/learning may not be suited for every child. It is important that families consider the characteristics that help to ensure academic success for students in a virtual environment at any grade level:
- Independent Learner
- Computer Skilled
- Technology Literate
- Good Time Management
- Good Communication Skills
- Academic Readiness
Families who choose the Highland virtual learning option will need to support their student(s) in the daily learning process. Early elementary students will be focused on critical foundational skills in reading and math that could require significant support. As students mature, less parent/guardian support may be required if the student is self-motivated and has strong time management skills.
Students who need professional intervention, special services, or are not on grade level may elect to participate in the Highland virtual learning option, but are best served in the traditional school environment.
Highland School District will provide a Chromebook for every virtual student. However, daily access to efficient internet connectivity will be necessary in order for students to receive a successful virtual learning education. Students who choose the virtual learning option will be expected to follow the district’s Student Electronic Device and Internet Use agreement.
Unlike the online learning that was focused on review when schools were suddenly closed to onsite instruction last spring, all teaching and learning for the 2020-2021 school year (onsite, remote, or virtual) will be designed to keep students engaged in new learning geared toward grade level readiness.
Highland’s virtual learning courses will offer a robust and comprehensive curriculum. Taught primarily by Highland teachers, the content will be comparable to material taught on-site and will be consistently aligned with the Arkansas curriculum standards for each course at every grade level.
The Highland virtual learning option will be delivered via the internet in both a synchronous (real-time) and an asynchronous format. Building level guidelines (Cherokee Elementary School, Highland Middle School, Highland High School) may require students to log in to every class, every day in order to check in with his/her teacher and record attendance. Students will be expected to communicate with their teachers and classmates via email, online discussion forums, message boards, pre-recorded lessons, etc. Teachers will schedule frequent opportunities through Google hangouts, zoom, and phone calls in order to maintain a social and emotional connection.
All Highland students, virtual and on-site (blended learning), will participate in diagnostic, interim, and summative testing in order to closely monitor student progress toward grade level readiness. Some of these tests may be taken virtually; others may require students to come to the school building. The following assessments may be required:
- K-2 Dyslexia Screeners
- K-8 i-Ready Reading and Math Diagnostic
- K-2 STAR Math
- K-2 STAR Reading
- 9-11 NWEA Diagnostic
- 3-10 ACT Aspire
- 11 ACT