Instructional Choices

FULL-TIME ONLINE SCHOOL

OVERVIEW

All students who elect to begin the school year in an online environment can expect the following:

  • Synchronous Learning: All students will have a specific schedule to follow throughout the day, which will include online meetings with teachers and peers, independent and small group work opportunities, and academic intervention when needed. Students will be assigned to classes with students and teachers from around the division. Teachers who are teaching in the online school will, to the extent possible, not be those teaching in the face-to-face setting so that students can have access to their teachers regularly. All students will have access to Schoology, which will be the primary access point for all instruction and materials.
  • Attendance: Students will attend classes online each day as scheduled. In the event of prolonged (more than three days) personal illness or quarantine, a designated contact person at the school will remain in daily communication with the student to provide instructional support.
  • New Instruction: All students will participate in new instruction aligned with the requirements and standards provided by the state.
  • Recovery Strategies: Throughout the division, at all grade levels, teachers will be using running records, division-led assessments, and other teacher-based assessments to capture information about student skill and knowledge acquisition in advance of teaching new content. These in-the-moment snapshots will focus on prior knowledge and core skills necessary to engage in new learning. With differentiated learning approaches, such as Math Workshop and a balanced literacy approach, student learning activities will match student needs in order to build in recovery learning. Additionally, students whose skill deficits are more pronounced will be assigned to interventions to receive more targeted opportunities to build skills in addition to the work during core instruction.
  • Technology Resources: All students will be issued an HCPS device appropriate for online learning. The division will make every effort to assist with connectivity issues for students residing in rural areas.
  • Strong School-Home Partnership: Teachers will have clear and consistent methods of communication. All students will designate an adult “learning coach” in the home who will be able to assist with navigating instruction and interacting with teachers.
  • Semester Commitment: All students electing this option will be making a commitment to this model for the entire fall semester (September through the end of January). This commitment will allow the division to appropriately allocate resources to both options for instruction.
  • Access to Extra-Curricular Activities and Athletics: All students who attend the online school may participate in any extra-curricular or athletic activity at their zoned school provided that they meet all other eligibility requirements. Students must provide their own transportation to these activities.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Students will be assigned to a core teacher who will collaborate with resource teachers, special educators, gifted and talented teachers, and school counselors to provide a full spectrum of instruction:

  • Instruction will provide a strong focus on core instruction that provides for “in-the-moment” formative assessment for identification of learning gaps, embedded recovery strategies, and enrichment activities.
  • Push-in instruction for music, art, school counseling, and library will be built upon best practices of interdisciplinary study and the state standards for those areas.
  • Consistent instruction in social-emotional skills will be provided through morning meetings, direct instruction, and/or embedded lessons within core content.
  • Physical education lessons will promote overall wellness.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Utilizing a middle school teaming approach, each team will create a virtual, synchronous schedule to allow for the following:

  • Instruction will provide a strong focus on core instruction in math, language arts, social studies, and science that provides for “in-the-moment” formative assessment for identification of learning gaps, embedded recovery strategies, and enrichment activities.
  • Students will have at least one opportunity for a student-selected elective, based upon course availability.
  • Push-in instruction for music, art, school counseling, and library will be built upon best practices of interdisciplinary study and the state standards for those areas.
  • Consistent instruction in social-emotional skills will be provided through morning meetings, direct instruction, and/or embedded lessons within core content.
  • Physical education lessons will promote overall wellness.

HIGH SCHOOL

Utilizing a modified 4x4 schedule, each school will create a virtual, synchronous master schedule that will allow for the following:

  • Students will take at least two core academic courses for credit each semester.
  • Students will elect to take up to two elective courses each semester.
  • High school electives in the online setting will be limited by capacity, staffing, and other constraints inherent in an online setting. While every effort will be made to match students with their selected electives, students and parents should anticipate needing to choose different options.
  • Options with Virtual Virginia, International Baccalaureate, and Reynolds Community College will be explored for students engaged in our advanced studies options when division staffing capacity does not provide a viable option.
  • CTE courses with work-based learning opportunities will not be available within the online school. Students enrolled at THCTT and HSSC will need to consult with the principal/program director to discuss options for continuation.
  • The division will consider additional options for students to continue their elective studies in hands-on electives that cannot be fully offered in an online setting.
  • Social-emotional learning will be embedded into the master schedule (flex, mentor groups, interdisciplinary study) in order to build a sense of community.
  • Consideration should be given to physical movement for students during the day outside of physical education classes.

VULNERABLE LEARNERS

As schools begin a new academic year, Hanover County Public Schools recognizes that its most vulnerable learners may return with increased learning gaps over their peers. In order to provide an equitable learning experience, deliberate supports and strategies will be developed and implemented in all phases. For the students who elect online learning, many of the decisions related to support should be made at the individual student level; however, the following considerations are provided:

  • Students with disabilities will be served according to their IEPs. IEP teams should consider needs specific to online learning, including assistive technology.
  • English language learners will be supported by a teacher for English Language Learners; push-in support should be a scheduling priority.
  • Community-based and division-provided internet access resources will be considered to assist families with connectivity.
  • Take-home resources and manipulatives will be provided.
  • Increased partnering with families to work collaboratively to meet learning needs will be designed using a home learning coach. Materials for home learning coaches on strategies for supporting an online learning environment will be provided.
  • Attendance issues need to be addressed swiftly. Schools will develop and implement attendance supports using a core group of employees.
  • Enrichment and extension activities within given units will be developed for gifted students with the support of an endorsed gifted teacher.
  • Recovery strategies will be both embedded in core instruction and available as interventions. Progress monitoring is essential for these groups of students.

FACE-TO-FACE LEARNING

OVERVIEW

All students who elect to begin the school year in a face-to-face environment can expect the following:

  • Mitigation Strategies: All students and staff will be expected to conform to all health mitigation strategies put in place by the division. This will include the wearing of face coverings on school property and in school busses. Current mitigation strategies can be found in the Health Plan earlier in this document.
  • Learning Environments: Although students will attend school in a traditional face-to-face setting, some instructional strategies and approaches will need to be modified in order to practice health mitigation strategies. Specifically, students and teachers will practice social distancing that will limit the ways in which small groups and one-on-one instruction can be accomplished. 
  • Attendance: Students will attend school according to the division calendar. In the event of prolonged (more than three days) personal illness or quarantine, a designated contact person at the school will remain in daily communication with the student to provide instructional support.
  • New Instruction: All students will participate in new instruction aligned with the requirements and standards provided by the state.
  • Recovery Strategies: Throughout the division, at all grade levels, teachers will be using running records, division-led assessments, and other teacher-based assessments to capture information about student skill and knowledge acquisition in advance of teaching new content. These in-the-moment snapshots will focus on prior knowledge and core skills necessary to engage in new learning. With differentiated learning approaches, such as Math Workshop and a balanced literacy approach, student learning activities will match student needs in order to build-in recovery learning. Additionally, students whose skill deficits are more pronounced will be assigned to interventions to receive more targeted opportunities to build skills in addition to the work during core instruction. 
  • Technology Resources: The division will be issuing devices to students in grades 3-12 in the fall with delivery dates to be determined. The division will make every effort to assist with connectivity issues for students residing in rural areas should remote learning need to be in place in Phase I and II.
  • Strong School-Home Partnership: Teachers will have clear and consistent methods of communication. In all phases, the division will continue to focus on a sense of community and building relationships between school and home. 
  • Semester Commitment: Al students electing this option will be making a commitment to this model for the entire fall semester (September through the end of January). This commitment will allow the division to appropriately allocate resources to both options for instruction.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Students will be assigned to a core teacher who will collaborate with resource teachers, special educators, gifted and talented teachers, and school counselors to provide a full spectrum of instruction:

  • Students will be consistently grouped with the same peers, and teachers will rotate into the classrooms, as needed, as part of the health mitigation strategies. 
  • Instruction will provide a strong focus on core instruction that provides for “in-the-moment” formative assessment for identification of learning gaps, embedded recovery strategies, and enrichment activities.
  • Push-in instruction for music, art, school counseling, and library will be built upon best practices of interdisciplinary study and the state standards for those areas.
  • Consistent instruction in social-emotional skills will be provided through morning meetings, direct instruction, and/or embedded lessons within core content.
  • Physical education lessons will promote overall wellness.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Utilizing a middle school teaming approach, each team will create a virtual, synchronous schedule to allow for the following:

  • Students will be consistently grouped with the same peers, and teachers will rotate into the classrooms, as needed, as part of the health mitigation strategies. 
  • Instruction will provide a strong focus on core instruction in math, language arts, social studies, and science that provides for “in-the-moment” formative assessment for identification of learning gaps, embedded recovery strategies, and enrichment activities.
  • Students will have at least one opportunity for a student-selected elective, based upon course availability.
  • Push-in instruction for music, art, school counseling, and library will be built upon best practices of interdisciplinary study and the state standards for those areas.
  • Consistent instruction in social-emotional skills will be provided through morning meetings, direct instruction, and/or embedded lessons within core content.
  • Physical education lessons will promote overall wellness.

HIGH SCHOOL

Utilizing a modified 4x4 schedule, each school will create a virtual, synchronous master schedule that will allow for the following:

  • As much as practical, students will be consistently grouped with the same peers as part of the health mitigation strategies. The modified 4x4 schedule will limit the amount of regrouping necessary. 
  • Students will take at least two core academic courses for credit each semester.
  • Students will elect to take up to two elective courses each semester.
  • High school electives in the face-to-face setting will be limited by capacity, staffing, and other constraints related to health mitigation strategies. While every effort will be made to match students with their selected electives, students and parents should anticipate needing to choose different options.
  • Options with Virtual Virginia, International Baccalaureate, and Reynolds Community College will be explored for students engaged in our advanced studies options when division staffing capacity does not provide a viable option.
  • Division staff will continue to explore work-based learning opportunities for CTE classes in accordance with industry-related guidance and state requirements.
  • The division will consider additional options for students to continue elective-based opportunities through extra-curricular experiences when elective courses cannot be provided.
  • Social-emotional learning will be embedded into the master schedule (flex, mentor groups, interdisciplinary study) in order to build a sense of community.
  • Consideration will be given to physical movement for students during the day outside of physical education classes.

VULNERABLE LEARNERS

As schools begin a new academic year, Hanover County Public Schools recognizes that its most vulnerable learners may return with increased learning gaps over their peers. In order to provide an equitable learning experience, deliberate supports and strategies will be developed and implemented in all phases. For the students who elect face-to-face learning, many of the decisions related to support should be made at the individual student level; however, the following considerations are provided:

  • Students with disabilities will be served according to their IEPs.
  • English language learners should be served with push-in instruction to the greatest extent possible. Careful structures must be considered to ensure a strong school-home partnership given that language barriers may exist.
  • Take-home resources and manipulatives should be provided if needed to support students in practice opportunities at home.
  • Schools should promote increased family engagement strategies to work collaboratively in meeting learning needs. Materials for parents and caregivers on strategies for monitoring and supporting learning at home will be made available.
  • Attendance issues need to be addressed swiftly as transitions between phases may occur suddenly. Schools will develop and implement attendance supports using a core group of employees.
  • Schools and teachers will design and implement enrichment and extension activities within given units for gifted students.
  • Classroom teachers will employ appropriate recovery strategies embedded in core instruction and available as additional interventions. On-going progress monitoring will inform instructional decisions.

REMOTE LEARNING

In the event that the state or local government reverts to either Phase II or I, students who have elected face-to-face learning as their option will begin learning remotely unless they fall into populations defined in each phase for continuing face-to-face instruction. In this framework, new instruction and recovery strategies will continue in order to support student learning. Student accountability will also continue.

Remote learning will include continuation of instruction provided by assigned HCPS staff. While all efforts will be made to support access to technology, high-quality instructional resources will also be available in hard copy. All online learning resources and communication during Phase I will originate from Schoology, the learning management system for all grades in HCPS.

 Strategies and supports for transitioning to remote learning will be an integral part of the classroom experience and family engagement opportunities prior to a shift to Phase I or II, if at all possible. Teaching and learning expectations will be shared in advance, as well. In contrast to the emergency situation in Spring 2020, HCPS will have extensive plans in place to transition to remote instruction and maintain daily, quality instruction for all students.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.