TEACHING & LEARNING

A CONTINUITY OF LEARNING PLAN

(including in-person, remote, and hybrid models of instruction)TL1

The development of this plan ensures that whether in-person, remotely, or through a hybrid model due to a local or state school closure, there are clear opportunities for instruction that are accessible to all students. The delivery of instructional content is aligned with State standards and includes routine scheduled times for students to interact and seek feedback and support from their teachers.

The school calendar typically includes one or more staff-only days before students arrive at school. Acknowledging the challenges that our teachers and staff have faced this spring delivering remote instruction under stressful circumstances, the district will focus these in-service days on providing support to staff in the areas of social-emotional health and technology integration. Programs at Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES (Herkimer BOCES) will be constructing rigorous classroom schedules which will be able to be implemented whether in-person, remote or hybrid instruction is necessary. The component schools that make up Herkimer BOCES are prioritizing students with disabilities, English language learners, and young children for in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible.

Assessing student learning gaps or areas of need will be critical. Formative assessment before a unit of instruction to assess student understanding of pre-requisite skills will be common practice.

Acknowledging that the typical content in a given grade level or course may need to be adjusted, content will be prioritized to ensure that students receive instruction for the prioritized learning standards, key understandings, and skills necessary for students’ success in future study.

Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content.

IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION

Upon reopening, the size of our classrooms will be considered in order to adhere to CDC guidance regarding proper social distancing. Classroom size will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six feet apart.

Accommodating a six-foot radius around students will necessitate the identification of additional rooms and common-area spaces that can be converted into classroom space.

Herkimer BOCES ensures that staff, students, and teachers will provide instructional practices and models aligned to the New York State Standards. CTE staff, students, and teachers will also provide instructional practices and models of instruction aligned to the CTE Framework Standards. These standards provide a framework for practices, tasks, and assessments that can be provided in-person, remote, and hybrid.

Our students in Special Education, Alternative Education, and VP-Tech will receive daily instruction from their classroom teachers while incorporating specialty areas within the classroom to minimize movement of students throughout the school day. This potentially means having students eat lunch in their classroom instead of the cafeteria and eliminating assemblies, field trips and other large-group activities. Whenever possible students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction. We will adhere to 12 feet between students when engaging in physical activity. Our related services providers will consider the practicality of providing therapy services directly within the classroom and make therapeutic decisions for when delivery will be needed within the Therapy Room.

CTE

While planning for CTE instruction, whether in-person, remote or hybrid models, Herkimer BOCES has ensured high school Technical Education courses have developed models that ensure NYS learning Standards, applicable industry certification requirements, clinical and work based learning hours will be met . In addition, all programs will follow NYS/DOH health and safety guidelines and social distancing requirements and specific industry standards applicable to Herkimer county (Mohawk Valley Region).

Students in CTE courses will receive full day instruction for two days of the week. Juniors will receive instruction on Monday and Tuesday, while Seniors will receive instruction on Thursdays and Fridays. The remaining three days a week for each student cohort will be at their home districts, where students will be completing their non CTE instruction ( e.g. Regents classes and traditional academics). Students in CTE course will not be moving throughout the building, except on a limited basis upon entry and dismissal each day.

When students are allowed to resume work with clients, all industry standard guidelines will be adhered to. Additionally, no students will be allowed to conduct Covid19 screening of a potential client, this will only be carried out by the CTE teacher.

To the extent possible, students will remain in small cohorts when entering or leaving the classroom, at arrival and dismissal, so as to reduce their exposure to additional students.

REMOTE/HYBRID INSTRUCTION

Given the possibility that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may prompt short or long-term school closures, our district has developed a hybrid/blended learning model and schedule that can continue as is in a fully remote environment.

Instruction will not only focus on “core” subject areas to the exclusion of elective courses. Consideration has been given to prioritizing hands-on and lab-based activities while students are onsite in school buildings. All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.

As noted previously, student schedules will largely remain the same whether instruction is in person or remote so that students do not encounter conflicts wherein synchronous lessons for different subjects are offered simultaneously.

A blended model of synchronous and asynchronous instructional delivery will be implemented to the greatest extent in order to support students with unique learning needs. Teachers will find ways to provide “live” instruction through video conferencing sources. While the recording of live lessons is still essential for students unable to attend at a scheduled time, teachers will ensure that their students are directly engaged with them and their class peers in experiential learning on a regular basis. Student and family accountability will be essential to the success of our students in a remote/hybrid model.

To ensure high-quality remote learning experiences, we will standardize the use of a single online learning platform, to the extent possible, and develop a common, coordinated set of guidelines for teachers to follow when using the platform with students.

Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content. Completion of classroom assignments, quizzes and tests will continue to exist regardless of our instructional delivery. Feedback will continue to be necessary in order to inform students of their progress and to assess student learning.

On-going regular communication with students and families will be expected throughout this model as it supports the success of this model. For more information about how remote/hybrid instruction information will be communicated to students and families, visit the Communication section of our reopening plan on the Herkimer BOCES webpage.

For information relating to teaching and learning in BOCES special education and Career and Technical Education programs, please see the BOCES website, www.herkimer-boces.org

INSTRUCTION (INCLUDING IN-PERSON, REMOTE, AND HYBRID) IS ALIGNED TO THE NYS LEARNING STANDARDS    TL2

Herkimer BOCES ensures that staff, students, and teachers will provide instructional practices and models aligned to the New York State Standards. CTE staff, students, and teachers will also provide instructional practices and models of instruction aligned to the CTE Framework Standards. These standards provide a framework for practices, tasks, and assessments that can be provided in-person, remote, and hybrid.

INSTRUCTION MUST INCLUDE REGULAR AND SUBSTANTIVE INTERACTION WITH A CERTIFIED TEACHER    TL3

Our plan recognizes the importance of regular and substantive interaction with a certified teacher. Whether in-person, remote or hybrid, students will be expected to engage in daily instructional activities under the direction of a certified teacher or in accordance with a board of education appointed educator. In addition, students in need of related services will be expected to participate in these instructional activities as per their Individualized Education Plan regardless of instruction being provided in-person, remote or hybrid.

A PLAN MUST ENSURE EQUITY(OPPORTUNITIES FOR INSTRUCTION THAT ARE ACCESSIBLE TO ALL STUDENTS)   TL4

Equity is at the heart of all school instructional decisions. All instruction within Herkimer BOCES’ classrooms will be designed so that whether it is delivered in-person, remotely, or through a hybrid model due to a local or state school closure, there are clear, comprehensive, and accessible learning opportunities for all students. When a remote or hybrid learning model is necessary, we will consider the benefit of certain groups of students to be prioritized for in-person learning to the greatest extent possible.

A COMMUNICATION PLAN FOR HOW STUDENTS/FAMILIES CAN CONTACT THE SCHOOL/TEACHERS  TL5

Our teaching and learning plan includes a clear communication plan for how students and their families/caregivers can contact the school and teachers with questions about their instruction and/or technology. This information will be accessible to all, available in multiple languages, widely disseminated. It will include multiple ways for students and families to contact schools and teachers (e.g., email, phone calls, letters home, informal messaging using an Ed Law 2d compliant approved app-based messenger and also by the District or Herkimer BOCES’ website, ( www.herkimer-boces.org).

THE DISTRICT CAN ENSURE PRE-K ELIGIBLE AGENCIES FOLLOW HEALTH GUIDELINES AND MAINTAIN LEARNING PLANS   TL6

Herkimer BOCES is the provider of Pre-K Services for some of our component districts. Yearly budgets are submitted to the New York State Education Department-Office of Early Learning for our Targeted Pre K (TPK) and two Universal Pre K (UPK). Our learning plans will follow our scope and sequence maps. We will follow the health guidelines that are in place and guidance offered by the county health department. Each Pre K student will have a plan based screening in the first fifteen days of school and a more comprehensive assessment using approved tools such as the Brigance in the Fall. These will be updated in January and again in June. A scope and sequence is in place for the Pre K classrooms. Learning plans will follow the scope and sequence.

PRE-K PROGRAMS THAT HAVE A CONTRACT WITH SED MUST SUBMIT A PLAN TO THE OFFICE OF EARLY LEARNING   SED

Yearly budgets are submitted to the New York State Education Department-Office of Early Learning for our Targeted Pre K (TPK) and two Universal Pre K (UPK). Our learning plans will follow our scope and sequence maps.

THE DISTRICT CAN ENSURE PRE-K ELIGIBLE AGENCIES FOLLOW HEALTH GUIDELINES AND MAINTAIN LEARNING PLANS    SED

Herkimer BOCES is the provider of Pre-K Services for some of our component districts. Yearly budgets are submitted to the New York State Education Department-Office of Early Learning for our Targeted Pre K (TPK) and two Universal Pre K (UPK). Our learning plans will follow our scope and sequence maps. We will follow the health guidelines that are in place and guidance offered by the county health department. Each Pre K student will have a plan based screening in the first fifteen days of school and a more comprehensive assessment using approved tools such as the Brigance in the Fall. These will be updated in January and again in June. A scope and sequence is in place for the Pre K classrooms. Learning plans will follow the scope and sequence.

ADOPTED A CALENDAR THAT INCLUDES 180 DAYS OF INSTRUCTION (IN-PERSON, REMOTE, AND HYBRID COUNTED)   SED

The school calendar typically includes one or more staff-only days before students arrive at school. Acknowledging the challenges that our teachers and staff have faced this spring delivering remote instruction under stressful circumstances, the district will focus these in-service days on providing support to staff in the areas of social-emotional health and technology integration.

DEVELOP A PLAN THAT IS COMPARABLE (RIGOR, SCOPE, AND MAGNITUDE) TO TRADITIONAL INSTRUCTION (180MIN/WEEK)   SED

Programs at Herkimer BOCES will be constructing rigorous classroom schedules which will be able to be implemented whether in-person, remote or hybrid instruction is necessary.

DEVELOP A PLAN TO SATISFY 1200-MINUTE LAB REQUIREMENTS (E.G., VIRTUAL LAB EXPERIENCES AND REPORTS)   SED

Herkimer BOCES’ science teachers are being provided professional development in order to help them in supporting our students to meet the 1200 minutes lab requirements whether instruction is to be delivered in-person, remote or hybrid. In a hybrid model for instruction, in-person instruction will prioritize the need to meet these requirements.

DEVELOP PLANS FOR ASSESSING STUDENTS’ LEARNING AND COMMUNICATING WITH PARENTS ABOUT PROGRESS   SED

Assessing student learning gaps or areas of need will be critical. Formative assessment before a unit of instruction to assess student understanding of pre-requisite skills will be common practice.

Acknowledging that the typical content in a given grade level or course may need to be adjusted, content will be prioritized to ensure that students receive instruction for the prioritized learning standards, key understandings, and skills necessary for students’ success in future study.

Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content.

Herkimer BOCES will continue to communicate student progress with parents using a variety of communication methods (e.g., progress notes, report cards, parent portal and communication from the classroom teacher).