General Academic Information
At a high level, what will the school day look like?
The school day for students will start at 9:15 am to accommodate meal delivery/pick-up, which will occur between 7:00 am and 9:00 am for grades K-12. (Note that Pre-K students and students who require door-to-door transportation will receive meal delivery between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. They will have a break in their schedule then.)
Students will experience a full instructional day, albeit one with ample physical and mental breaks. This does not mean that students will be “on screen” all day. They will experience a mix of live instruction by their teacher, independent work on and off their Chromebook, and small group or 1:1 check-ins.
Similar to a traditional school experience, Pre-K and elementary students will have a teacher of record who provides the majority of instruction; and middle school and high school students will have a subject-specific schedule with multiple teachers.
What are the different types of virtual learning that students will be engaged in?
There are three types of virtual instruction our students will experience:
- “Synchronous” refers to when a teacher is working with students in real-time via an online video application.
- “Asynchronous” refers to when a student is working on assigned work independently of the teacher. It is very important to note that asynchronous learning could be on the computer (e.g., 15 minutes on Flocabulary or Reflex Math) or off the computer (15 minutes reading a physical book that RPS has provided as part of the curriculum).
- “Blended” refers to when students experience both synchronous and asynchronous learning in a lesson.
What hardware and software will RPS students be using?
Every RPS student will receive an RPS-issued Chromebook (more detail in Section 5.3 below) and access their instruction through Google Classroom, using their RPS email address. Each day, students will logon and access their instructional software using Clever, our single sign-on.
Will there be training for RPS families on how to use the Chromebooks and access the instructional software?
Yes. We are working on a series of virtual orientations sessions that will be available to all families and caregivers.
Will parents/caregivers need to sit with their students throughout the day?
Our goal is to ensure that this is not necessary, except for very young students. We are working to provide in-home instructional aides to students who need constant supervision due to a severe learning disability. We will have more details on this shortly.
Will teachers be able to use their classroom for their virtual teaching?
Unfortunately, they will not for three reasons. First, opening our buildings for staff to use would undermine our commitment to doing everything humanly possible to safeguard the health and safety of our employees. It is quite possible that allowing in-classroom teaching would lead to several dozen adults being in a building at the same time. This would increase the risk of transmission precisely at a time when everyone is making extraordinary sacrifices to lower it. Second, if we were to permit in-classroom teaching, we would need other staff – namely custodians, nurses, and some administrators – to report physically as well. That would violate our commitment that no one would be forced to work in-person. Third, using our buildings even in this limited way would significantly increase costs, as we would be morally (if not legally) obligated to conduct health screenings, perform daily cleanings, and take other precautions. Right now, we need to direct as much money as possible toward creating the very best virtual experience for our students.