October 9, 2020: Attendance, Grading, and Increase in Live Instruction
A couple of weeks ago, interim superintendent Kevin Strachan mentioned in his newsletter that we will be increasing live instruction for students. The decision to increase live instruction was based on feedback that we have received and updated recommendations from the state. We are now ready to share details about this change.
Based on your feedback to the recent surveys about distance learning and state requirements, we are making adjustments to our K-12 program. Our Family Ed program will continue to meet student and family needs following their current schedule with no changes.
Beginning October 13th, the online work and modules that K-12 students have primarily used for instruction will change. Each day students will have live instruction on new content. Seesaw and Google Classroom will be used to post and submit student work, make general announcements, provide the weekly schedule, and provide follow-up to instruction. The change in the school schedule is resulting in some related services being moved or rescheduled. If your child is impacted by these changes, you will be contacted by your service provider to adjust the appointment.
Due to the changes in distance learning, we are updating our attendance policy to align with the new model we are following. This policy does not impact our Family Ed program as they will continue to meet student and family needs following their current schedule with no changes.
- Students are to attend all live classes everyday.
- Students should be on time for their classes.
- Students are expected to remain in their live virtual class for the entire time.
- If a student does not show up to their virtual class, they will be marked absent.
- Contact your department secretary, just as you would if we were in person, to let them know about your child's absence.
- Attendance will be recorded on a daily basis through PowerSchool.
We understand that at times there are technical issues that prevent a student from logging into their class on time. Please email both the teacher and the department secretary ASAP to alert them to this issue. If your child is experiencing freezing or lagging when using Zoom or Google Meet, try the following tips to improve video quality: English
Absences will be marked excused or unexcused just as when we are in person. You can find the list of what qualifies as an excused absence in our handbook on our website at www.msd.edu/handbook/
. We will be handling issues of technical difficulties on a case-by-case basis.
If this new schedule poses a unique challenge for your child, please contact us with the special circumstances that are impacting your child's attendance to all of their classes. Depending on the situation, this may result in including Charlene Ward-Marr, our Director of IEP Services, so a determination can be made as to whether there needs to be formal documentation in your child's IDLP.
We understand it may take some time for students and families to adjust to this new schedule and attendance policy. With that in mind, there will be a grace period during the first week of this change from October 13-16. While this may be stressful for some families, we assure you that we will continue to work with you.
With the change from modules to live instruction, we are also making changes in how instruction is recorded and posted in your student's classroom. Our teachers will be recording their direct instruction during their live class. Direct instruction will be approximately 10-15 minutes, and the recording will not show any students. Teachers will let students know when they begin recording and when they stop. The recording will then be posted to your child's classroom (Seesaw or Google Classroom) by the end of the day.
Please review MSD's Guide to Virtual Classroom Recordings, Student Privacy and Security
. Please be sure to review this with your child. Also attached is the MSD's Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Consent for Group Instruction for Students with IEPs form. Please complete the form and return this to Lauralynn Helms-Salit at email@example.com
Click on the link to download the MSD's Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Consent for Group Instruction for Students with IEPs form: View the form in English
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We also want to take this time to review our distance learning grading policy with you. Student learning will be measured through class assignments including projects, presentations, readings, etc. and when appropriate through face-to-face assessments and conversations.
Students will be graded following MSD's grading policy as printed in the MSD Handbook
with two modifications. First, grading categories and weights will be 60% for assessment and 40% for classwork/homework. Secondly, students will have the opportunity to make up any and all missing work 4.5 weeks after the end of a quarter. After that period of time, any and all missing work's zero (0) in the gradebook will become permanent and the student's grade will be finalized. If needed, special consideration for an extension beyond the 4.5 weeks can be requested of the campus principal in writing.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us or your child's assistant principal at any time. As we go through this change, we welcome your feedback anytime.
Dawniela Patterson, Columbia Campus Principal
Jennifer Yost Ortiz, Frederick Campus Interim Principal and Dean of Student Affairs
Letter in ASL
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