The safety of our faculty, staff, and students is the primary factor when making decisions about implementing distance learning. Distance learning will allow students to continue meaningful learning and receive teacher feedback without having to meet in person.
We differentiate distance learning from “Cyber Day” in this way: Distance learning is guided by a lesson objective and assessment focused on content/skills with regular feedback.
After hearing from teachers, students, and parents regarding the concerns of distance learning--struggles from our students; anxieties from our parents; and suggestions from our staff--we realized we needed to make a change for our Mount community.
There is a change in the weekly schedule beginning the week of April 20th. This new direction is intended to offer a day of rest; a day to catch up; a day to relieve everyone from the pressures that distance learning can cause.
Beginning Monday, April 20:
- Monday & Wednesday = A days
- Tuesday & Thursday = B days
- These are firm dates and DO NOT change like in our regular A/B daily rotation.
- Friday = “recovery” day. Various options available for the benefit of our teachers and students (and parents):
- Used for grading and planning
- Can schedule additional tutoring group sessions
- Can schedule additional teacher-student appointments
- Can have a day of rest and recovery!
- This is NOT a day of additional required classroom assignments.
- New schedule to go through May 18th should we not be back in school.
Distance learning will have a daily schedule to provide structure for teachers hosting live meetings. However, this does not mean the students have to be on their Chromebook from 9am-3pm. Students only have to be present for live meetings when required by a teacher. (When extenuating circumstances prevent a student from attending a live meeting(s), teachers will still accommodate those students, such as providing notes from a lecture/discussion. In the event of extenuating circumstances, please communicate the situation with the teacher in advance if at all possible.)
Teachers are not required to host live meetings, but it is an option, and teachers will only host students during their respective class periods for live meetings. Doing so will prevent scheduling conflicts for students. If your student’s class is hosting a live meeting during his/her class period, then he/she is required to be on the computer/phone and involved in the live meeting (whether by video or audio) during that scheduled class time for that day.
Teachers will be available each day from 11:00-12:00 for “Office Hours.” This time will function like Academic Period--teachers should be available to help students at this time (extenuating circumstances notwithstanding). Communication can be via video, chat/email, or other medium.
Final Exams Update
We are implementing another change so that we can continue to offer and provide the best opportunities to our students during these trying times of being out of the classroom.
We have made the decision to remove the Final Exam requirement. The designated Final Exam days will now be “Recovery Days” for the sake of those students who need additional time to improve their grades and make up excessive absences.
- Final Exam Days:
- May 19, 20, 21 were the scheduled final exam dates.
- Final Exam days now become:
- REQUIRED “Recovery Days” for our D/F students
- REQUIRED for students with NC’s due to attendance issues
- Should we be in school, we will, of course, re-evaluate these plans.
Teachers will take attendance daily exactly as they do during a Cyber Day.
Teachers will post an “Attendance Assignment” which students will use to note they are checking in and thus will be counted present for that class. This assignment will be uploaded by 8:00 am and must be completed by the students by 3:00pm each day. If a student does not complete this assignment for a class by 3:00pm, that student will be counted absent that day in PowerSchool, which will count towards their seven allowed absences for each class.
INSTRUCTION AND ASSESSMENT
Teachers will post new lessons, assignments, and/or assessments each day by 9:00am. Each teacher will use either Google Classroom, Schoology, or school email/Google docs to communicate learning materials to students.
Students are expected to have all textbooks, workbooks, novels, chromebooks and all other school items at home and readily available for use for every class in which they are enrolled.
Expectations for teaching and assessment during distance learning:
- Teachers will continue to follow the course curriculum, which for all courses at MSM are aligned with state or national standards.
- Have a clearly defined lesson objective for every online lesson.
- Collect feedback about student mastery of every lesson objective by giving frequent formative assessments.
- Differentiated instruction and small group or one-on-one support are still included as part of lesson design and feedback.
- Input a minimum of one grade per week in PowerSchool (Note: this is different from our regular policy, which is two grades per week, as we acknowledge that distance learning may require some flexibility. However, please be assured that equity and fairness will still drive MSM grading policy.)
- Promote critical thinking by asking deep, thought-provoking questions and providing students with opportunities to interact with each (e.g. posing questions to peers and making comments on others’ posts).
- Be available to students remotely during set “Office Hours” of 11am-12pm daily.
- Establish clear and fair due dates so that students have time to ask questions of their peers and the teacher.
*One note about live meetings: Teachers will be considerate of students’ extenuating circumstances that might affect their ability to participate in such a meeting. Our teachers will respond to issues beyond students’ control with our typical spirit of Mercy. Please communicate with your students’ teachers if a student cannot “attend” a meeting(s).
MSM teachers continue to hold themselves to high standards of parent communication during distance learning. We want to be proactive and supportive, especially as parents and students engage in an unfamiliar learning method.
If students are not submitting their “attendance assignment” each day, are not participating in live meetings or other activities, and are not completing their assignments, please expect teachers to communicate with parents and students as we guide them toward success.
PLUSS, MODIFIED CURRICULUM, AND CORNERSTONE STUDENTS
Regardless of where the learning is happening, accommodations identified on a student’s Individualized Support Program (ISP) should be provided. For example, they will still receive copies (digital, now, rather than paper) of notes for live or recorded lectures.
Program director Stacy Hawley along with Willis Alexander continue to work with students in PLUSS and Cornerstone during distance learning, and are available to provide guidance and assistance on how best to meet students’ needs during this time.
For students who have Cornerstone Scholars in their class: during Distance Learning, the Scholars are exempt from their usual responsibilities. This exemption is made from the recognition that the Scholars’ duties and interactions with Cornerstone students are designed around in-person assistance. All communication regarding Cornerstone students should be to their teachers and Mrs. Hawley or Coach Alexander.
The MSM Counseling Office would still love to connect with our students via an online platform. Here's how!
- Email your counselor for an appointment.
- They are all available throughout the day and would love to connect with you!
- Visit them on Google Hangouts (hangouts.google.com) or click "Hangouts" on your Google Apps.
- Select VideoCall for a virtual chat or Message to direct message online and then enter the person's email address. An invite will be sent to the person with which you wish to connect.
- Join your Google Classroom! Each grade level has one setup for them and we will be using this to post a variety of information.
- Need a transcript, Reading Proficiency Letter, Work Permit Letter? Contact Mrs. Wagner via email! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Click on this link to visit the MSM Counselor Corner for resources and contact info for counselors.
If you have extenuating circumstances preventing you from conducting distance learning (power outage, illness, etc.) please contact your teachers for that day.
If you have a technical issue with your Chromebook or accessing the school’s online resources (Google Classroom, Schoology, Gmail), please contact Leroy Cantrell (email@example.com).