• GNPS Education Models Explained

     

    August 2020

     

    Dear GNPS Educators, Parents, and Guardians:

     

    The Great Neck Public Schools will be implementing three educational models—elementary in-school, elementary remote-only, and secondary hybrid including remote-only—during the 2020-21 school year. Each model addresses particular instructional needs and safety concerns that are necessary for the reopening of school. All three models were developed based on research of best practices, survey feedback from key stakeholders, and recommendations from advisory subcommittees that included classroom, special area, special education and support service teachers, school and district administrators, parents of students at all grade levels from throughout the District, and Board of Education trustees. The purpose of this communication is to provide additional details about the three educational models and summarize the school reopening plan that we submitted to the State and posted online on July 31, which you can read in its entirety here: https://www.greatneck.k12.ny.us/reopeningplan.

     

    Elementary School Models

     

    • The elementary in-school model allows every PreK through Grade 5 student to physically attend school at their home building every day. The plan ensures adherence to six foot social distancing safety precautions by creating enough grade level sections to limit class sizes to 12 - 16 students. Along with many other safety measures, including both staff and students wearing face masks throughout the school day, regularly sanitizing facilities, and frequently disinfecting hands, this model provides the highest degree of academic and social-emotional interaction, structure, and guidance for elementary school students. The in-school model is the closest replica possible to resuming school as it has always been conducted, but with adjustments for implementation and safety which are described below in greater detail.
      • Staggered arrival and dismissal.
      • Limited movement throughout the building and to the extent possible, one way traffic patterns in hallways.
      • Focus on academic, social, and emotional development.
      • Daily instruction in ELA and mathematics and weekly instruction in social studies or science; ongoing formative and summative assessments across content areas.
      • Daily special area instruction (art, library, music, or physical education) in classrooms; physical education will take place outdoors to the extent possible (only non-contact sports and activities).
      • 1:1 iPad initiative will be expanded to grades K-2 with frequent instruction provided using the iPad as a learning tool and resource.
      • Individual supply bins for students (no shared supplies or materials).
      • Lunch in classrooms or outdoors (with 6 ft. social distancing).
      • Scheduled mask breaks throughout the day.
      • The SEEK program, instrumental music program, choral and performance programs, before and after school enrichment and intramural sports will be suspended for the 2020-2021 school year.

     

    • The elementary remote-only model provides children with medical conditions, compromised immune systems, other health concerns, and those whose parents opted for remote-only instruction, to participate in remote education from home. This model has changed significantly from the “emergency teaching” practices used during last year’s closure. It now includes regular attendance, adherence to school schedules, regular live video instructional interactions, a more rigorous educational approach, and greater oversight and accountability. The differences, changes, and enhancements are described in greater detail below.
      • Separate remote-only class sections at each grade level.
      • Instructional best practices that utilize a blended approach of daily synchronous videoconference interactions and asynchronous recorded lessons, screencasts, learning management platforms, educational apps, websites, online databases, and digital eBook libraries.
      • Attendance during live videoconference lessons to ensure all students are present. Absences will be resolved in the usual manner but take extenuating circumstances related to the pandemic into account. Turned-in assignments can be used as attendance verification for asynchronous activities.
      • Daily schedules that take age level and attention span into account with minimum standards for live lesson duration:
        • PreK and Kindergarten: Daily live synchronous lessons of 20-30 minutes to build social-emotional learning and basic skills progressing to live handwriting, literacy, and/or math lessons and live small group and extra help instruction as needed. Social studies and science instruction will be provided using a blended approach of synchronous and asynchronous instruction; special area instruction will be provided daily using a blended approach of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.
        • 2nd Half of Kindergarten - Grade 5: Daily live synchronous lessons of 25-35 minutes in Grades 1-2 and 30-45 minutes in Grades 3-5 to build social-emotional learning and at least one live ELA lesson, one live math lesson, and live small group and extra help instruction as needed each day. Social studies and science instruction will be provided using a blended approach of synchronous and asynchronous instruction; special area instruction will be provided daily using a blended approach of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.
        • Special Education Self-Contained (12 students) and Co-Teaching Classes: These classes will follow the general education grade level schedule.
        • Intensive Needs Classes (6/8 students): These classes will have daily live video lessons of 30 minutes in Kindergarten, 45 minutes in Grades 1-2, one hour in Grade 3, and 1.5 hours in Grades 4-5 (as per functioning levels, minutes/hours per grade without related services). Morning meetings will occur at least 2x weekly for 15 minutes each. Daily asynchronous lessons of 45 minutes for Kindergarten and Grade 1, 1.25 hours for Grades 2-3, and 1.75 hours for Grades 4-5 will take place. Teaching assistants, paraprofessionals, and support staff should be included in chat rooms, working 1:1 during live group lessons, or during 1:1 lessons set up at other times. Restrictive special education classes should receive weekly special area live classes of shorter duration.
      • Pre-assessments and ongoing assessments to evaluate student proficiency will be developed and implemented.
      • Support services such as English as a New Language, related services, and academic intervention services will continue during remote education as follows:
        • Programmatic Speech live video lessons for 8:1:2 classes will be 1 hour per week, 6:1:2 will be 1.5 hours per week, and 6:1:3 will be 2 hours per week
        • Programmatic OT live video lessons will take place a minimum of two x 30 minutes per week.
        • Direct individual or group speech live video sessions will be as follows: 2 sessions if 3 or 4 sessions are mandated, and 3 sessions if 5 sessions are mandated.
        • Direct individual or group OT/PT live video lessons will be as follows: if a student gets 1 x 30 minutes per week, then it will be 1 x 30 minutes every other week, if a student gets 2 x 30 minutes per week, then it will be 1 x 30 minutes per week, and if a student gets 3 x 30 minutes per week, then it will be 3 x 15 minutes per week minimum.
        • Asynchronous individual or group Speech/OT/PT should constitute the remainder of the sessions to fulfill the mandate.
        • Counseling sessions will run as per IEP mandate. Programmatic Counseling should be scheduled jointly with classroom teachers.
        • Behavior intervention consultations with staff should continue as before. Based on consultations with an individual student's team, behavior intervention support may be offered to an individual family/parent directly.
        • ENL and AIS services will be delivered as required by NYS Commissioner’s Regulations.
      • 1:1 iPad Initiative, currently available to all students and staff in Grades 3-5, will be expanded to the K-2 levels.
      • Cameras will be turned on during live video lessons unless there is a pedagogical reason, technical issue, or privacy concern approved by the teacher. Key stakeholders should follow all district remote education guidelines.
      • In order to encourage the use of chat rooms, Google Hangouts Chat will be enabled to facilitate greater online communication between and among students and teachers.
      • Upon student request and teacher approval, teachers can record live instruction and make it available to students who are unable to attend the live lesson.
      • Professional development workshops will be provided to teachers and parents focusing on adopted online learning platforms and educational apps. Recorded professional development sessions, screencasts, and reference documents will be shared with library staff who will create a centralized web-based archive for easy access and reference.

     

    Secondary School Models

     

    • The secondary hybrid model allows all Grade 6 through Grade 12 students to physically attend school every other day to ensure adherence to six foot social distancing safety precautions. Along with many other safety measures, including wearing masks, regularly sanitizing facilities, and frequently disinfecting hands, this model provides the highest degree of academic and social-emotional interaction, structure, and guidance for children at the secondary grade levels. Students will follow their nine period schedules, attendance will be taken, and members of the same household will be scheduled on the same rotational day. Additional information is provided in greater detail below.
      • Students are assigned to household-based cohorts so that siblings (even those who attend different schools) will physically attend school on the same alternating days. “Remote-only” students in the same cohort will also be attending virtually on these days. Students in specialized and/or self-contained programs may be assigned to attend school every day and will be individually contacted.
        • High school schedules will be accessible on the Campus Parent Portal on Thursday, August 20, 2020.
        • Middle school schedules will be accessible on the Campus Parent Portal on Wednesday, September 2, 2020.
      • Each day of the instructional cycle will be doubled to ensure that students with alternate-day classes receive live and remote instruction for equal numbers of days. An illustration of A/B and six day cycles for the first month of school appears on the next page.
      • On those days that students are not physically present, they will be required to check in via either Zoom or Google Meet with live video--no avatars. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class. Teachers will provide these students with live, synchronous instruction or asynchronous assignments to complete during that class period. Webcams with microphone have been purchased for each secondary school classroom, and each teacher will have a personal wireless microphone to facilitate the instructional process. (Note that current technology limits each room to using one microphone at a time.)
      • Cameras will be turned on during all lessons. Key stakeholders should follow all district remote education guidelines. Student recording and/or posting of lessons is prohibited. However, at their discretion, teachers may record live instruction and make it available to students who are unable to attend the live lesson.
      • Support Services such as ENL and Academic Intervention programs will continue during remote education as follows:
        • All related services will be scheduled as per Commissioner’s Regulations and IEP mandates and provided live or asynchronous, in some cases.
        • Behavior intervention consultations with staff should continue as before. Based on consultations with an individual student's team, behavior intervention support may be offered to an individual family/parent directly.
      • Given the shift from last spring’s “emergency teaching” to this hybrid model, students will be expected to attend and participate in all classes, and complete required assignments including formative and summative assessments. As has been our practice, teachers will use a variety of quantitative and qualitative criteria to assess student understanding and determine marking period and final grades. These may include but are not limited to:
    • Numerical average of graded assignments and assessments;
    • Ungraded formative and authentic assessments;
    • Work beyond that required for the course.

                            All secondary teachers will show ongoing student grades in the Campus Parent Portal this year.

     

    On what days will "Hybrid Model" secondary-level students attend school?

    Student in Cohort A

             

    Student in Cohort B

             
               

     

    Monday

    Tuesday

    Wednesday

    Thursday

    Friday

    Date

    8/31/2020

    9/1/2020

    9/2/2020

    9/3/2020

    9/4/2020

    Students Physically Present

    None

    None

    None

    Cohort A

    Cohort B

    A-Day/B-Day Cycle: NMS & SHS

    Supt's Conf. Day

    Supt's Conf. Day

    Supt's Conf. Day

    A

    A

    Day 1/Day 2 Cycle: SMS

    1

    1

    Days 1-6 Cycle: NHS

    1

    1

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Date

    9/7/2020

    9/8/2020

    9/9/2020

    9/10/2020

    9/11/2020

    Students Physically Present

    None

    Cohort A

    Cohort B

    Cohort A

    Cohort B

    A-Day/B-Day Cycle: NMS & SHS

    Labor Day

    B

    B

    A

    A

    Day 1/Day 2 Cycle: SMS

    2

    2

    1

    1

    Days 1-6 Cycle: NHS

    2

    2

    3

    3

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Date

    9/14/2020

    9/15/2020

    9/16/2020

    9/17/2020

    9/18/2020

    Students Physically Present

    Cohort A

    Cohort B

    Cohort A

    Cohort B

    Cohort A

    A-Day/B-Day Cycle: NMS & SHS

    B

    B

    A

    A

    B

    Day 1/Day 2 Cycle: SMS

    2

    2

    1

    1

    2

    Days 1-6 Cycle: NHS

    4

    4

    5

    5

    6

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Date

    9/21/2020

    9/22/2020

    9/23/2020

    9/24/2020

    9/25/2020

    Students Physically Present

    Cohort B

    Cohort A

    Cohort B

    Cohort A

    Cohort B

    A-Day/B-Day Cycle: NMS & SHS

    B

    A

    A

    B

    B

    Day 1/Day 2 Cycle: SMS

    2

    1

    1

    2

    2

    Days 1-6 Cycle: NHS

    6

    1

    1

    2

    2

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Date

    9/28/2020

    9/29/2020

    9/30/2020

    10/1/2020

    10/2/2020

    Students Physically Present

    None

    Cohort A

    Cohort B

    Cohort A

    Cohort B

    A-Day/B-Day Cycle: NMS & SHS

    School Holiday

    A

    A

    B

    B

    Day 1/Day 2 Cycle: SMS

    1

    1

    2

    2

    Days 1-6 Cycle: NHS

    3

    3

    4

    4

     

     

    • The secondary remote-only model provides children with medical conditions, compromised immune systems, other health concerns, and those whose parents opted for remote-only instruction, a means to participate in remote education from home. Significant efforts were made to create “remote only” secondary school sections for those choosing this instructional model. However, maintaining student programs including elective course choices precluded the implementation of such a plan. Like their hybrid-model counterparts, students will follow their nine period schedules, attendance will be taken, and members of the same household will be scheduled on the same rotational day. This model (which differs from the elementary school level) enables remote-only students to maintain their school schedules including encore and elective classes by having them virtually attend the same classes they would otherwise have attended in person. The differences, changes, and enhancements are described in greater detail below.
      • Students are assigned to household-based cohorts so that secondary siblings (even those who attend different schools) will attend school virtually on the same alternating days as the physically-present members of their cohort. Students in specialized and/or self-contained programs may be assigned to attend school every day and will be individually contacted.
      • Each day of the instructional cycle will be doubled to ensure that students with alternate-day classes receive “live” instruction for equal numbers of days. As illustrated above, students will participate with their in-school cohort on alternating days and be required to check in via either Zoom or Google Meet with live video--no avatars. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class. Teachers will provide these students with live, synchronous instruction or asynchronous assignments to complete during that class period. Webcams with microphone have been purchased for each secondary school classroom, and each teacher will have a personal wireless microphone to facilitate the instructional process. (Note that current technology limits each room to using one microphone at a time.)
      • Cameras will be turned on during all lessons. Key stakeholders should follow all district remote education guidelines. Student recording and/or posting of lessons is prohibited. However, at their discretion, teachers may record live instruction and make it available to students who are unable to attend the live lesson.
      • Given the shift from last spring’s “emergency teaching” to this hybrid model, students will be expected to attend and participate in all classes, and complete required assignments including formative and summative assessments. As has been our practice, teachers will use a variety of quantitative and qualitative criteria to assess student understanding and determine marking period and final grades. These may include but are not limited to:
        • Numerical average of graded assignments and assessments;
        • Ungraded formative and authentic assessments;
        • Work beyond that required for the course.

                            All teachers will participate in the use of the Infinite Campus Parent Portal this year.

    • Support Services such as ENL and Academic Intervention programs will continue during remote education as follows:
      • All related services will be scheduled as per Commissioner’s Regulations and IEP mandates, and provided live or asynchronous, in some cases.
      • Behavior intervention consultations with staff should continue as before. Based on consultations with an individual student's team, behavior intervention support may be offered to an individual family/parent directly.

     

    In closing, teachers, building and district administrators, and other staff (Buildings and Grounds, Food and Nutrition Services, Transportation Department, et al.) have put in countless hours preparing for the opening of school, and we are beyond grateful for their efforts. We are confident that, together, we will provide our students with a successful educational experience while ensuring safety for all.

     

    Very truly yours,

     

    Kelly Newman

    Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education

     

    Dr. Joseph Hickey

    Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services

     

    Dr. Stephen C. Lando

    Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education