Remote Teaching

The following resources are designed to support teachers in teaching remotely.


General Guidance from C&I

Educator Expectations

Remote Learning in Sunnyside

Grades and Assessment

Social and Emotional Learning

Student Support

High School Information

Tech Support



General Guidance

This resource will provide guidance on some of the most essential aspects of managing remote learning and expectations during this period of closure.

SUSD Remote Blended Learning 

School will begin August 5th with all students attending in a remote online model with expectations for both synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences


Educator Expectations

  • Structures
    • ALL teachers will have a Google Classroom as their virtual classroom
    • Teachers are required to schedule synchronous whole group Meets, small group Meets with teacher as well as collaboration and peer feedback, and one-on-one Meets as needed.
    • Teachers are teaching for the complete blocks, though the expectation is not for students to be “on-screen” with the teacher the entire time.  Instruction should include planned and should be available to students & parents during contract time through email 
    • Login Master Schedule 
  • Attendance will be taken on Power School during each of the 3 login times.
    •  Attendance must be entered in Power School  prior to the end of the Block, but should not be entered until after the first 20 minutes of class has elapsed. 
    •  Google Meets tools, etc. can be used to monitor attendance but must be transferred to Power School each Block. 
    • Tardies will not be recorded for the first 2 weeks of school; additional guidelines will be developed after that time.
    • Elementary Specialist Teachers will not be required to take attendance.  Attendance will be taken by the Block teacher of the period that Specialist time is set in. 
  • Resources
    • K – 1 will be provided iPads 
    • 2 – 12 will be provided Chromebooks
    • All teachers will use the Google Suite as their main learning hub.
    • Tools:  “The purpose of the tasks determines the tool, not the other way around.”
      • Based on the learning task and evidence you are eliciting, you might utilize additional tools which are already supported by the district (Class Dojo, SeeSaw, Hapara, or LEARN).
      • You can find tutorials on how to get started with each of these learning platforms by visiting https://blog.susd12.org/help/teach/
      • Training on these Remote Learning Tools are available 
      • Minimize the use of multiple tools and/or frequently introducing new tools to create better continuity in learning and reduce frustration of students and families
    • Manipulatives and Materials
  • Communication
    • Communicate regularly — Use a variety of methods to reach all families and demonstrate consistency and flexibility. Consider emails, text messages, robocalls, video messages, newsletters, social media posts and groups, letters and postcards sent to home addresses.
    • All schools will reach out to parents of students who have not shown consistent attendance / participation.
    • Parents need to be informed of the modes of communication with teacher and expected response time (gmail, Remind, Class Dojo, Google Chat, phone calls, text, etc.) 
    • Google Classroom Communication Expectations
      • Contact and class information posted
      • Consistent schedule for announcements
      • Assignments posted (when and how)
      • Parents and students provided instruction on Google tools
      • Parents need to know when and how to get information
      • Overview of weekly assignments posted
      • Help/Office hours posted

Remote Learning in Sunnyside

  • Best Practices
  • While remote learning offers many positives (time-shifting, pace-shifting, personalization, etc.), student engagement can easily be compromised by the lack of face-to-face interaction. It is important to note that the affordances of technology and of online learning overlap in many ways with the needs of English Learners and Students with Disabilities. Fortunately, there are several strategies that can help teachers keep all students engaged while learning remotely. 
  • Teachers should observe Meeting Etiquette (linked here) for all instructional, staff and professional development sessions.  
  • Be present as the instructor:  Teacher presence is a critical factor in the success of online learning.   This means not only being an active facilitator within the synchronous environment, but also consistently incorporating the key formative assessment practices for remote learning.
    • Scheduled synchronous learning that allows students to connect with the teacher’s image and voice.  These online meetings will be managed via the Google Meets System (see “How To” link here).  
    • Opportunities for students to clarify their understanding during the learning as a result of ongoing teacher feedback, and the appropriate modification of learning goals based on evidence gathered.  
    • Instructors should also be available daily by engaging students through asking questions and responding to questions. There are many online tools that can help teachers with monitoring discussion boards, replying to questions, and asking probing questions of the whole class, groups, and individual students. 
  • Work as a group
    • Setting up an effective online learning environment can be overwhelming. It can also be isolating. Teachers should remember that they can work together to create engaging lessons and activities for students. Sharing with colleagues will reduce stress and the workload. When working with colleagues, remember you can share classes and resources through Google Classroom. This could enable teachers to assign activities in one class from other shared classes.
  • Focus on active learning
    • Over the last decade, K-12 education has been slowly moving away from the lecture model. All of the reasons that make movement toward active learning in the face-to-face classroom a good idea also apply to the virtual classroom. To engage students who are not in the room during a lesson, teachers should consider creating a mix of:
      • Robust discussions
      • Collaborative work 
      • Video and audio clips
      • Hands-on exercises 
      • Individual work time
  • Chunk content into smaller pieces
    • Learning online can be more taxing physically and intellectually than learning in a face-to-face environment. Teachers should avoid frequently assigning long text passages or even long videos.  
  • First Days of School (Routines & Rituals)

The first days of virtual instruction demand careful attention.  A remote learning classroom needs the same structures that would be put in place in an in-person environment. Regardless of the age of the student, develop a plan to explicitly “teach” the classroom expectation and routines.  The DDL will provide structured opportunities for many of these activities. Considerations for organizational systems could include:

  • Develop a classroom management plan that outlines the procedures, routines and expectations.  Behavior management can be a component of this, but should focus on how problem behavior is prevented.
  • Develop agreed upon norms that will delineate how individuals in the group interact with one another.
  • Identify expectations for asynchronous and synchronous remote learning considering how to prepare for your Google Meet, during Meets and at the close of Meet.
  • Develop and teach organizational and procedural routines 
  • Develop a plan to greet your students, learn their names and interests, etc.
  • Relationships

Quality relationships are critical to developing agency, learner identity and a strong classroom culture for learning.   The teacher takes students’ ideas seriously and allows them to hear how and what students are thinking or processing.

  • Characteristics of positive teacher-student relationships include
    • Teacher Empathy – understanding. How do students seek connections with you?
    • Unconditional Positive Regard – warmth. How will your students know you care about them as people?
    • Genuineness – the teacher’s self-awareness. How will your students know you care about yourself as a professional?
    • Nondirectivity – student-initiated and student-regulated activities. How will your students know you hold their abilities in high regard?
    • Encouragement of Critical Thinking – as opposed to traditional memory emphasis. 
  • Peer to peer relationships are influenced by the perception of the teacher-student relationships. Be aware that in a remote learning setting your actions and non-verbal signals are front and center for everyone to see. High levels of peer-to-peer relationships mean that a student is valued, not ridiculed and feels safe in “not knowing” and can depend on the teacher and peers to help them out. 
  • Increase Touchpoints with all students.  Develop systems and tools to actively monitor the number and quality of touchpoint interactions you have with each student in your class.
    • Have a system of calling on students and noticing who hasn’t participated.
    • Make sure every Block includes whole group and small group discussions (Shorten your lecture time by recording asynchronous lectures to increase synchronous dialogue time)
    • If you assign discussion boards, actively participate in them. 
    • Develop routines and procedures that ensure that trust is maintained in remote learning.
    • Be present.
  • Engaging Tasks
    • Engagement is at the core of learning.  Gauging student engagement is more than just recording who has their camera on or who is turning in their assignments – more than just participating. (Continuum of Engagement)
    • Design tasks with engagement in mind. The tasks students complete, whether synchronously or asynchronously should foster learning. Tasks that are busy work, are not going to deliver the kind of learning that keeps students engaged.
    • Tasks designed with these principles in mind can increase engagement, whether performed independently or in collaboration with others:
      • Encourage students to think in more than one way by transforming from closed to open tasks. 
      • Mover from information to understanding by requiring students to connect and relate.
      • Ask students what they think first, rather than telling them what they will need.
      • Position students to plan a way forward by moving from procedure to problem-solving.
  • Peer Feedback
    • When done well, feedback has a powerful effect on student learning, Feedback MUST move the learning forward regardless of if the feedback is between teacher and students or peer to peer. Feedback should address 3 major questions learners have:
      • Where am I going?
      • Where am I now?
      • Where should I go next?
    • Teacher Feedback should be useful in addition to being corrective.  The purpose should consistently work to progressively close the gap between present and desired performance. (Hattie & Timperley, 2007)
    • Peer Feedback:  Peers provide feedback related to the Success Criteria that is intended to help one another reflect on their own learning and determine next steps for themselves.  Six attributes of quality Peer Feedback:
      • Give feedback that relates to the Learning Intentions and Success Criteria
      • Give feedback that keeps students in the learning zone
      • Give feedback during the lesson, as part of the overall lesson design
      • Give feedback that students can use
      • Give feedback that supports students’ management of their learning
      • Give feedback so that students can learn to give feedback
    • Feedback during Remote Learning should be deliberately planned and tools like breakout rooms, interactive videos, chats, shared docs, etc. 
  • Planning
    • Remote Instruction Pacing Guides have been modified from In-person pacing. See LEARN for individual contents for how this is being addressed. 
    • Planning for Remote Learning has the same flow: Standards, Unit Planning, Learning Intentions, Success Criteria, Learning Tasks that Elicit Evidence.  Peer Feedback and Self Assessment opportunities should be planned for. Misconceptions should be considered as well.  (SAIL Blueprint continues to provide guidance)
    • Learning Tasks should be deliberately planned to elicit evidence of learning that is aligned to the learning intention and success criteria (Link to Evidence Routines)
    • Teacher clarity is a potential accelerator of students’ learning.
      • Clarify of organization: Lesson tasks, assignments, and tasks linked to the learning intentions and success criteria.
      • Clarity of explanation:  Information is relevant, accurate and comprehensible to students.
      • Clarity of examples and guided practice:  Intentional instruction that supports the students determining next steps in the learning.
      • Clarity of assessment of student learning:  Teacher is regularly seeking out and acting upon the feedback they receive from students, especially through their verbal and written responses.
    • Remote Learning should be planned on a weekly basis with the Key Formative Assessment Practices (linked here) in mind. 
  • Remote Learning Glossary

Grades and Assessment

 REMEMBER: FEEDBACK IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN GRADES

Feedback and relationships are critical components. The way we communicate to our students and their families around their progress is essential to developing student agency and identity as learners.  

  • Grading Practices

Grades are a method of communicating progress toward or mastery of a concept and/or standard.  The primary audience for this communication is parents, families and outside stakeholders (post secondary, etc.).  Equitable grading has three pillars: Accurate, Bias-Resistant, and Motivational.   Reflection on grading practices is particularly important during remote learning as connection and communication is more difficult and results in less clarity.  This new context also provides a much needed opportunity for deep reflection of historical practices that need revision as we move toward the competencies in our Graduate Profile and in pursuit of Identify, Purpose and Agency. Consideration of the following provides a beginning to adjusting our grading practices to become more aligned to learning and less about compliance and completion.

  • Expectations Impact Grades
    • Grading practices that are heavily influenced by teachers’ expectations of students lead to grades not accurately reflection abilities or learning (Hanover Research, 2011).
    • Effort is a subjective term, even more so in a remote environment. We cannot objectively gauge how much effort a student exerts for a given task.  Teacher perception of effort impacts both high- and low-achieving students’ grades which creates false positives and false negatives – both inaccurate.
  • Grades are Feedback
    • Feedback is effective for learning when it is corrective in nature, specific to established criteria, is timely enough for it to be usable by the student, and allows students to learn from it in the absence of the teacher (Hattie, 2008)  Feedback in the form of a stand-alone grade misses the mark on all of these.
    • Often parents, counselors, other teachers or administrators review and act on the feedback students receive in the form of letter grades. They make inferences based on what academic level of performance they perceive the students have attained based on the grades they received.  If the grade is more of a reflection of behavior or perceived “effort” than the accuracy of the student’s knowledge or performance level.
  • Avoid Inflation and Deflation
    • Grade inflation: Increased grades without an accompanying increase in academic achievement
    • Lack of grade reliability: Increased grades over time despite the same level of achievement or different grades despite the same level of achievement during the same time period.
    • Both inflation and deflection occur when grades are unrelated to academic achievement.  Grade accuracy of learning is crucial.
  • Gradebook

Gradebook Set-Up Information for Teachers (2020-21)

Curriculum & Instruction guidelines as they relate to student grades (this includes teaching within a REMOTE LEARNING environment)

  • Teachers in grades 6-12 should enter a minimum of ONE grade per week based on student evidence of learning.   
  • Teachers should NEVER use any grade weighting functions (either on individual assignments OR on any grade categories).  This is an important alignment issue to ensure that ALL student subject grades are calculated the same way to allow both students and parents to take greater ownership of student grade monitoring.  
  • Although all gradebooks (6-12) will be using a total points system, teachers should make an effort to ensure that the natural distribution of points within their assignments are not too heavily weighted on one category (e.g. test, labs, projects…etc.).  Please remember that district guidelines regarding point distribution within assignment categories for grades 6-12 is…
    • Assessments (total of ALL tests, quizzes…etc.)= No more than 40% of total points.  No single test (eg. FINAL EXAM) should be worth more than 20% of the student’s final grade.
  • Synchronous (ie. “in-class”) work= No more than 40% of total points
  • Asynchronous work (ie. “outside of class” with no teacher or peer support)= No more than 20% of  total points (please note that this does not apply to students working in a Distance Learning environment such as Sunnyside Online Success Academy.  
  • All assignments in the GRADE 6-12 gradebook should be entered within the SEMESTER GRADE container as student grades for all core courses should always be based on an 18 week (semester) total.  
  • Standards Based grades in K-5 should be entered within the QUARTER GRADE container.
  • Once traditional grades (6-12) are stored at the end of each term and sent out via the report card, these grades are “locked” within the historical grade record.  If a completed term grade needs to be updated or revised AFTER report cards have been printed, you will need to work with your front office clerk to have the grade updated in the historical record.
  • Please NOTE:  Standards based grades (K-5) are NOT locked by the historic grade record and do NOT need to be stored by the central office prior to printing report cards.
  • Assessment

Content coming


Social and Emotional Learning

Character and Social Emotional Wellness, and Academic Learning, are interconnected and interdependent; do not separate these two.                                                             EL Education

Academics are always enhanced with strong social and emotional learning. It will have been nearly five months since our students have been in school with us, a period of time  when there has been great controversy.  Students and staff  may have been impacted  by COVID 9 through closures,  illness, home or food insecurity, or controversy as to what guidelines matter.  They have also likely been impacted by the second pandemic of  systemic racism, a topic which intersects with the educational inequities emphasized by the impact of the pandemic here in Sunnyside.  

Establishing a class culture that promotes Social Emotional Development shares a number of characteristics with developing trauma informed classrooms.  Best practices include the following:

Predictability:

COVID-19 has upended normal life for kids and adults alike. The loss of our usual habits can cause shock and grief, so one way educators and parents can prioritize predictability is by creating routines.  These can include the following:

  • Establishing a set schedule
  • Creating norms
  • Developing and teaching organizational and procedural routines
  • Regular check ins on how students are feeling, how well they are understanding the work, ways to request assistance, etc.

Flexibility:

While establishing routines can be supportive, being inflexible can cause  some students to shut down. Teachers can notice what students need and collaborate with them to find routines, resources and strategies that will best support them. While physical schools provide some level of uniformity, at home the learning environment for each student looks different. Some students have limited Internet or computer access. Some may be responsible for caring for younger siblings while parents work

Connection:

The importance of connection can not be overrated.  Communicate that you care as much about your students well being as you do their academic success.  Be intentional about what you say as students may be more sensitive than usual. For example, even sending impersonal emails checking on whether students have logged into online learning, can have unintended consequences because people sometimes interpret neutral signals as negative.   Consider these elements of teacher-student  relationships and practices as linked here:

  • Empathy
  • Unconditional positive regard
  • Genuineness
  • Non Directivity
  • Encouragement of Critical Thinking

For more information on the interconnectedness of academics with social emotional health,  EL Education offers some specific information around the idea of “Crew Culture” as explained in the article,  Crew Culture for Reopening Schools.

If you notice students with behaviors that need attention, please follow the TAT process for your school.  We don’t know what life has been like for our students or how they are feeling about returning to school.  Trauma is often not something easily identified, talked about, or expressed verbally and may only show up through behaviors.  

Also, if you have students who need additional support, either in terms of family resources or mental health, please involve your school counselor who has information on SUSD referrals and partnerships with outside agencies. 


Student Support

English Language Learners

Special Education Guidance

Gifted Education Guidance

TAT/MTSS

NOTE: School TAT teams take some time to review all students who you were meeting about prior to the COVID-19 school closure during the Spring 2020 semester. It is important that you consider what supports these students will need and to ensure they are engaged in the learning process.  Keep in mind that they might need specialised interventions. 

The emphasis of the TAT  process is data collection as it relates to modifications and accommodations in all areas of academic and behavioral concern. This process includes Tier 1 and Tier 2 of general education’s implementation of the Multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). 

  • Discuss specific concerns regarding a child’s performance or behavior.
  • Select and implement a specific intervention goal that may include modifications and accommodations. 
  • Collect data on the child’s response to the intervention goal.
  • Set specific timeline for re-convening Teacher Assist Team to review student response to specific intervention.
  • If there is limited or no progress revisit interventions or refer the student to the Child Study team.
  • Document response to all interventions as this information will be included in the child study and evaluation process.


High School

  • Credit Recovery 

SOSA Plus classes are available for students at comprehensive high schools who need to recoup credit or want to replace a grade from a course previously taken.


Student and Family Expectations

Parent Expectations

  • Families should support students in establishing positive habits and routines that support academic success during remote learning. This could include waking up on time, getting dressed for school, completing learning tasks.
  • Families should assist the student in identifying a place for learning, posting login schedules and develop ownership of their learning.
  • Students and families should ensure the devices provided to support academic success are being used for appropriate purposes ensuring students are adhering to their school’s contract for appropriate behavior on web enabled devices.
  • Site Leadership, teachers, students, and families should proactively participate in ongoing reciprocal communication about academic progress, concerns and additional supports needed. 

Student  Expectations

In communicating expectations, staff members must consider individual student circumstances in order to better provide support systems that will assist in fostering student agency during remote learning.

  • Students are expected to attend and participate in daily instruction at assigned login times (Google Meet) including whole group, small group, one-to-one and breakout sessions.
  • Students are expected to follow the Norms and Netiquette that is set up for their classroom.
  • Students are expected to check their Google Classroom regularly (daily) for updates of announcements, classwork assignments, feedback, and communication notifications.
  • Students should complete instructional assignments (independent, partner work, etc.) within a reasonable timeline.
  • Students should review teacher and/or peer feedback, make a decision about how to use the feedback to improve their work, and set goals for next steps in moving the learning forward.

Tech Support

Teachers should familiarize themselves with the site based support resources available within their schools.  These would include…

  • Instructional Coaches, Team Leads, Mentor Teachers…etc.
  • Media Center Technicians (MCTs) and Librarians
  • I.T. Support Techs

If teachers have attempted to address their technology issues using the embedded resources within the software or by contacting the site based sources (listed above) and are still experiencing problems, they should be encouraged to submit a help desk repair request at http://helpdesk.susd12.org 

For support using Instructional Remote Learning Tools such as Google Meet and Google Classroom, teachers should visit our Roadmap to Remote Support Page.

Parents and students who are experiencing technical issues which cannot be addressed by their teacher should feel free to submit a support ticket at http://helpdesk.susd12.org

Acknowledgements

“The CASEL Guide to Schoolwide Social and Emotional Learning.” CASEL, schoolguide.casel.org/.

Feldman, Joe. Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms. Corwin, a Sage Publishing Company, 2019.

Fisher, Douglas, et al. DISTANCE LEARNING PLAYBOOK, GRADES K-12: Teaching for Engagement and Impact in Any Setting. SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2020.

Fitzsimmons, Pat. “WestEd’s Student Agency in Assessment & Learning Project.” Aurora Institute, 27 Feb. 2020, aurora-institute.org/cw_post/westeds-student-agency-in-assessment-learning-project/.

Nagel, Dave. Effective Grading Practices for Secondary Teachers: Practical Strategies to Prevent Failure, Recover Credits, and Increase Standards-Based/Referenced Grading. Corwin, 2015.

“Purposes of Crew.” Purposes of Crew | EL Education, eleducation.org/resources/purposes-of-crew.