April 2, 2020 - Communication to staff and parents,

On Tuesday, March 31st ODE changed course requiring school districts to begin distance learning for all students on Monday, April 13, 2020.  Distance learning does not mean online learning alone. While Distance Learning may include online options for some students, it does not require technology or the internet to result in successful learning. Students engaging in distance learning have access to appropriate educational materials and receive ongoing interaction with their licensed and/or registered teacher(s). It is important to note that distance learning includes multimedia communication and blended learning strategies, not just digital/online learning. Learning may or may not be separated in time (asynchronous vs. synchronous). As the Harrisburg schools transition to distance learning, successful approaches will be centered on care, connection and community.

Key elements of distance learning for every student, educator and parent to know:

● 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, anchored in partnership. Together, teachers and families co-facilitate learning, design consistent routines, and establish the learning environment.

● Teachers continue to monitor, report and record each student’s progress towards learning goals and standards, encouraging critical problem solving, collaboration, communication and creativity.

● Schools provide multiple, flexible opportunities -- for our high school students in particular – to earn credit on their pathway to graduation.

As a foundation for successful “Distance Learning for All” our students, our schools have a critical responsibility to:

● Continue to focus on student belonging, care, connection, well-being and mental and social-emotional health.

● Actively engage and nurture relationships with students, families, and community.

● Center equity in all outreach and communication efforts with parents and caregivers.

● Encourage, support and provide opportunities for active collaboration and communication between school leaders, teachers and all school staff.

Our plan is to use the week of April 6-9 as a soft launch week as we work out the kinks.  We will be fully engaged Monday, April 13 to whenever the closure is lifted or not.  The building principals will have specific details of how they are providing distance learning for ALL.  Our Special Education Teachers will be contacting parents providing as much support as possible.  All of us will need grace as we begin down the road of distance learning.  If you need a device and did not come in during our distribution times, please contact your student’s teacher.  More details to come for student packet drop off areas, students picking up personal items from lockers, and how to access technical assistance.  If you have questions or concerns email the teacher.