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Distance Learning Update
Bryan Starr
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

To: Community and Family Members

Re: Distance Learning for All During Extended School Closure

Our hallways, music rooms, sports fields and classrooms have all gone quiet during this unexpected state-wide school closure. We miss your children and adjusting to this “new normal” is difficult when we are hardwired to seek connection and community. We hope you are taking care, and we appreciate all you are doing to support one another in a time of community need. We are committed to serving you for the duration of the school closure, staying focused on your child’s well-being and learning. We are Harrisburg EAGLE strong. 

Our district, along with all other districts in the state, is implementing a distance learning model that virtually connects students with teachers to provide access to grade-level learning and extends support from school staff to students and families. While distance learning will not replace the complete school experience, it will provide an important anchor of care, connection, and continuity of learning during school closure. 

Distance learning is a model for teaching and learning in which the teacher and student are not in the same location. While it may include online learning, it does not require online learning. Distance learning in our district will include the use of Google Classroom and paper packets.  We will use Zoom meeting and phone to connect with families.  Teachers have other staff assigned to assist them with student contacts.  To be most effective, we’ll need to establish a variety of learning strategies, educational materials, and modes of communication between teachers, students, and families. This effort will require all of us working together in close partnership. We will learn from each other as we go, working side by side to ensure learning for all of our students.

Here are some key elements of distance learning:  

  • Every student regularly connects with their teacher(s).  
  • Teachers and students prioritize time together to focus on the most important or relevant learning.
  • Teachers, families, and caregivers work as a team. 
  • Together, teachers and families establish consistent routines and a learning environment that leads to success.  
  • Teachers continue to monitor, report, and record each student’s progress towards learning goals and standards. Distance learning activities encourage critical problem solving, collaboration, communication, and creativity.  
  • Schools provide multiple, flexible opportunities to earn credit for high school graduation.

If you are a parent, guardian, or family member, you can help your child by establishing a routine. Teachers are continuing to refine schedules and materials being prepared for their students. You play a critical role in determining what education looks like in your home.

Teachers will work with you to help establish a routine that works for you and fosters learning. Remember that we are all learning how to do things in new and creative ways and to give yourself grace during this change. Please let your teacher know how this schedule is working for you and your family.  

 

We understand that distance learning is happening in the context of many challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. We want to keep students learning and growing, while keeping our expectations realistic. Please refer to the chart below for guidelines about how much time to spend on activities (especially the recommended maximum times). 

 

Instructional Day Recommended Guidelines

 

Grade Level

Teacher-Led Learning

Structured, grade-level learning directed by teacher and supported by teacher.

Learning and Supplemental Activities 

In addition to Teacher-Led Learning, led by the student and/or family.

Meeting Nutrition and Wellness Needs

Breakfast, Lunch, Snack and Recess/Play breaks.

K-1

45 Minutes Maximum

1-2 Hours Recommended

2 Hours Recommended

2-3

60 Minutes Maximum

2 Hours Recommended

2 Hours Recommended

4-5

90 Minutes Maximum

3 Hours Recommended

2 Hours Recommended

6-8

30 Minutes per Subject; 

3 hours Maximum

1-2 Hours Recommended

2 Hours Recommended

9-12

30 Minutes per Subject; 

3 hours Maximum

1-2 Hours Recommended

2 Hours Recommended

 

Thank you for your patience as we work together to keep students safe, engaged, and learning

Recently Oregon Department of Education (ODE) provided guidance around grading during the Distance Learning for All time period for grades 9-11.  Harrisburg School District made the decision to move to a Pass/No Pass system for grades 7-11.    ODE recommends a Pass/Incomplete system for 9-11 grades for equity purposes.  This holds students current GPA’s harmless during this closure.

The Harrisburg District will set up the same grading system for grades 3-6.  The teachers will determine grades of Pass/No pass/ Incomplete based on the staff interaction with students and work completed.  Teachers are tracking their students who participate during the connection times and work completed.  If you have questions or concerns please contact the building principals or district office.