BACK 2 SCHOOL July 2020 A Special Supplement to
The Classroom of Tomorrow The benefits of a new approach to learning for students
TELEGRAPH • July 16, 2020
District 7 adjust to times for sake of students, staff Class durations, dismissal times altered Tyler Pletsch, firstname.lastname@example.org
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EDWARDSVILLE — Edwardsville School District’s reopening plan released Wednesday provides a snapshot of what’s to come for the fall semester, but a full plan is still expected to be completed next month. “We will have the full plan ready at the beginning of August,” Edwardsville School District Superintendent Jason Henderson said following the release of the initial multi-page document on guidelines for students and staff to follow upon returning to school on Aug. 13. Henderson said District 7 followed the direction of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and also collaborated with the Edwardsville Education Association (EEA) to create the plan. “The EEA worked collaboratively with Dr. Henderson and the rest of the District 7 administration to formulate a plan that compiled with the ISBE guidelines, and provided what we felt was the best way to resume in-person classes in the safest possible way for students and staff,” Edwardsville High School (EHS) science teacher and co-president of EEA, Dave Boedeker, said. “This needs to be viewed as a work in progress because there will likely be changes as state guidelines and adjusted for changes in the pandemic.” Parents have the option to let their students continue learning remotely. Those who wish to keep their students off-campus may sign up by July 17 for virtual learning. This plan is a semester-long commitment and students will not be able to reverse this decision until the spring semester. Henderson said many of the concepts that have been put into place are subject to change depending on what state officials decide in the coming weeks. Such concepts were adopted from ISBE recommendations, including wearing facemasks
and shortened school days. However, Henderson said some guidelines were specifically altered for District 7. One example is at Edwardsville High School, where school days will be shortened so students can still grab lunch before leaving for the day. The measure was put in place because maintaining social distance would be difficult considering the size of the student body, according to Henderson. Dismissal at the end of the school day has also been adjusted. Henderson said each school will be dismissed at staggered times to limit contact among students. Students will be dismissed to correlate with the bus they are taking, and pick-up and student drivers will be dismissed in separate groups. While high school and middle school students will be able to enroll in most of the usual courses, elementary school students will see changes in the curriculum. “We are putting an emphasis on reading, math and writing with some science [at the elementary level],” Henderson added. This comes as some courses, such as band, will be put on hold for the 2020-2021 school year at the elementary level. To help keep course instruction at a high level, time after school can be used for students to meet with teachers either in small groups or in a one-on-one setting. This is time can be allotted for curricula such as band as well as athletics or other courses. Despite the changes, the district will try to keep the student experience as normal as possible. “We plan to instruct a pretty typical year,” Henderson said. As far as athletics, the district will leave any decisions up to the Illinois High School Association and Illinois Elementary School Association. For the latest update on IHSA guidelines, click here.
TELEGRAPH • July 16, 2020
Head Start Program Prepares Safety Measures for Coming School Year MADISON COUNTY, IL., July 8, 2020 – As Riverbend Head Start and Family Services prepares to reunite staff and students for the upcoming school year, it is the organization’s priority to keep the children and their staff safe. Over the summer, the agency continues to provide support and resources to children and their families in various ways. “Since the pandemic, we’ve altered our learning environment by offering a virtual program experience and plan to offer it again in the same capacity if the conditions around the virus do not improve,” said Gene Howell, President and CEO of Riverbend Head Start and Family Services. Currently, the Agency is working to determine how they will best be able to support children and families in getting up to date on the medical, dental, and other follow-up services they need to succeed this coming school year. “The health and safety of each child in our care is our highest priority,” said Howell. “We also provide training to our staff in infectious disease management and have implemented a round the clock sanitizing, disinfecting and cleaning schedule as we prepare to reopen our programming in the fall. “ The federally funded program through the Office of Head Start is preparing to reopen in August with limited slots for children to attend. As a precautionary measure, all six of their centers will be screening for temperatures before loading the bus, masks will be provided to all staff and children as well as other items like hand sanitizers and scheduled hand washing. Additionally, each center is currently determining the best way to quarantine children
should their non-touch thermometers detect a temperature. “Our services impact the entire family, from learning in the classroom to parents learning life skills on-site at our centers and during home visits, so we must continue to do what we can to empower our families and children with the critical support they need to thrive just as we did before the pandemic and post,” said Public Relations Director, Jahara Davis. “As a parent myself, I understand the importance of being able to take a child somewhere that will provide the optimal safety requirements and ensure that the social emotional and academic needs are being met.” “We are fortunate to be receiving funding from the CARES Act during this crisis and will ensure all our families have everything they need to stay safe, well and prepared to learn including education supplies, diapers, formula, meals, mental wellness support, and connection to community resources, said Howell.” To learn more about Riverbend Head Start and Family Services, visit www.riverbendfamilies.org or follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RiverbendHeadStartandFamilyServices/ Riverbend Head Start and Family Services is currently recruiting children and families for fall enrollment. Contact us at 618-463-5950.
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TELEGRAPH • July 16, 2020
District 7 has a plan for the fall semester. Here’s what to know.
EDWARDSVILLE — On Wednesday, Edwardsville School District 7 Superintendent Jason Henderson released a snapshot of what school may look like this fall semester, detailing a plan for both in-class and remote learning practices. The multi-page document includes information from the wearing of personal protective equipment to class schedules. Specifically, the district will mandate shortened school days, face masks for staff and students and health screenings prior to entering school buildings. Social distancing must be maintained in all settings, with a maximum capacity of 50 people in any setting, including buses. Classrooms will be sanitized daily and students are asked to bring bottled water and to refill at stations rather than using the fountains. Students will begin the fall semester on Aug. 13, but parents have the option to let their students continue remote learning. Those who wish to keep
extra-curricular activities. Students who stay after school will be able to eat lunch at school and maintain social distance. • Teachers will be available during designated scheduled times in the afternoon to work with small groups of students in-person or remotely. • Students who would have been bussed to the Nelson campus for instruction will stay at EHS for the entire academic day. • 12th-grade students will have the option to enroll in only courses required for graduation and will not be required to carry a full schedule. Seniors that choose this option will have all of their classes consecutively and will be expected to leave campus upon completion of their classes each day. Any senior interested in enrolling in required classes only should email their guidance counselor for more information. Liberty and Lincoln middle schools • School will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 12:40 Altonized can Help! 81 Years p.m. Serving • Students will attend five academic classes Our every day for 45-50 minutes each. Members • Students will be able to purchase breakfast upon arrival to school. • Students will be organized into consistent cohorts of students and teachers will travel to each classroom rather than the students moving between hours. • A staggered dismissal time will be implemented for parent pick up and buses. Students being picked up by parents will be able to purchase a boxed lunch to take with them and will be dismissed at 12:20 p.m. Students % or % riding bus transportation will be able to eat APR* lunch in their fifth-hour classroom beginning at 12:20 p.m. and will load buses at 12:40 Not A Member? Our membership is p.m. offer available through August 2020 open to those who live or work in Madison & • Students will be permitted to stay after based on credit score Macoupin Counties. APR = Annual Percentage Rate based on Credit score school to participate in tutoring with a teachNot A Problem? Call Today for details. **Approval based on credit worthiness and ability to repay • (DTI) er, small group instruction, music ensemble groups, athletics or other extra-curricular activities. Altonized Community Federal Credit Union 4435 Alby St., Alton • (618) 466.3884 • 200 N. Main St, Brighton • (618) 715.6220 • Teachers will be available during designated
their students off-campus may sign up by July 17 for virtual learning. This plan is a semester-long commitment and students will not be able to reverse this decision until the spring semester. Detailed plans for Edwardsville High School, Liberty and Lincoln middle schools and elementary schools are: Edwardsville High School • School will begin at 7:20 a.m. and end at 11:50 a.m. • Students will attend six academic classes every day for 40 minutes each. • Students will be able to purchase breakfast upon arrival to school. • Students will be able to purchase a boxed lunch to take with them at the end of the school day. • Students will be permitted to stay after school to participate in tutoring with a teacher, small group instruction, athletics or other
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scheduled times in the afternoon to work with small groups or students in-person or remotely. Elementary schools • All school will begin at 9:15 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. • Kid Zone services will be available from 6:30 a.m. until the school day begins and from the end of the school day until 5:30 p.m. • Students will be able to purchase breakfast upon arrival to school. • Elementary students will eat lunch at school. Lunch will be organized to allow students to maintain social distance using cafeterias, gymnasiums, and outdoor spaces. • Elementary students will continue to have recess in smaller, consistent groupings. • All music ensemble groups and the Challenge Program will be suspended for the 2020-21 school year. • A staggered dismissal time will be implemented at the elementary school level. Parents may pick up their students beginning at 2:15 p.m. • The district’s Preschool for All program and Early Childhood classrooms will meet utilizing the following schedule: * Morning session: 9:15-11:15 a.m. * Afternoon session: 12:30-2:30 p.m. The District’s Preschool Academy program will receive a separate communication for all enrolled families with further details. This information was compiled by reporter Tyler Pletsch.
TELEGRAPH • July 16, 2020
How to manage low bandwidth during remote learning sessions In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, many schools hastily transitioned from traditional in-person learning to remote learning. This transition posed new and unique challenges to educators as well as students and their parents. One of the biggest challenges posed by remote learning was keeping students connected to their teachers and their classmates, not all of whom had readily available access to devices that could facilitate such connections. In recognition of that challenge, school systems worked to procure devices for students only to be confronted by another challenge: low bandwidth. According to Microsoft, bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be transferred over an internet connection per second. Low bandwidth can compromise students’ ability to stay connected to their virtual classrooms. In an effort to help students overcome that challenge, Microsoft offers the following tips on how educators, students and parents can manage low bandwidth during remote learning sessions. • Reduce reliance on video during class sessions. Turning video cameras off during live class sessions can help to overcome the challenges posed by low bandwidth, as live video is a key contributor to excessive use of bandwidth. If video must be used, encourage
students to turn off their cameras when they are not speaking. • Use pre-recorded content. Pre-recording content enables students to stream video over the internet, saving those with low bandwidth the hassle of downloading large video files to their computers. Microsoft recommends educators who pre-record content for their students to stream to instruct those students to use class time to complete assignments. Educators can make themselves available via chat to answer questions students may have about their assignments. • Avoid video-based assignments. It can be difficult for students with low bandwidth to send very large files, such as videos. Educators can help students avoid that issue by not requiring them to submit videos as part of their assignments. • Encourage students to sync files to their devices. Each device is different and each manufacturer has its own instructions on how to sync files to devices. But Microsoft notes that syncing files to a device allows students to read them offline, which is ideal for students with limited internet connectivity. Low bandwidth poses a challenge for remote learners. Thankfully, there are ways to overcome low bandwidth so students can keep learning.
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TELEGRAPH • July 16, 2020
Cyber safety is important Keep devices in top for every grade shape and running well People rely on the internet every day. In recent months, reliance on digital technology was pushed even further as social distancing measures had the world going on line for school and work and to maintain relationships with friends and family. A 2018 report from Pew Research Center indicated that nearly 25 percent of young adults in America reported being online almost constantly. Common Sense Media says teens spend an average of nine hours a day online, compared to roughly six hours for those between the ages eight and 12 and 50 minutes for kids younger than eight. Students must exercise caution when spending time online. Connectivity can be empowering, but it also puts students at risk from others and even their own, sometimes irresponsible behaviors. Staying safe online should remain a priority for students who must spend more time on the internet and using digital education tools. These are some tips for maintaining cyber safety. • Exercise caution when sharing information like your name, address, phone number, and other personal data online. Check with a trusted parent or teacher before sharing private data. • Report any online activity that makes you feel uncomfortable, scared or confused, whether it is directed at you or a classmate. • Think carefully before you post comments
online. Data remains online indefinitely, and your words and actions today can greatly affect your future. • Respect others online by refraining from demanding or bullying comments. • Do not try to get around firewalls and blocked websites set up by school administrators. These limitations are for your protection. • Stick to school-sanctioned assignments and internet browsing when using school-issued devices. Administrators may have the right to monitor student activity without students’ knowledge and you can easily get yourself in trouble. • It is easy to hide or fake one’s indentity on the internet, so never take someone you meet or speak with online at face value. Never meet up with someone you do not know or only met online. • Talk to your parents or educators about extortion and ransomware that tries to trick you into providing payment in some shape or form to prevent a perpetrator from releasing private information about you, advises the Readiness and Emergency for Schools Technical Assistance Center. Various steps can be taken to promote cyber safety among students, parents and administrators.
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The need for reliable technology has never been more apparent. When the world hit the proverbial pause button in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, technology was crucial to keping people connected to the world around them, helping people maintain some semblance of normalcy as it pertained to work and education Students and families who have invested in various electronics to help keep their household running should understand that maintenance is required to keep these devices running effectively. These tips can help keep gadgets in tip-top shape. • Protect devices from extreme temperatures. Electronic devices are designed to operate under an array of conditions, but pushing those conditions can result in damage. Most devices are finger betwen temperatures of 32 F and 90 F. But don’t leave electronics in the car, in a sunny window or outdoors. • Clean devices regularly. Refer to the user’s manual for the proper ways to clean the devices you rely on each day. Some may require a specific cleaner or a particular fabric to help ensure the device isn’t scratched or damaged. Spray cleaners on a cloth and then wipe off devices, rather than spraying cleaners directly on electronics. Try a can of compressed air to remove dust from crevices or vents. • Invest in a surge protector. While surge
protector power strips multiple the number of available outlets, they also serve a more important purpose. These devices will cut off power to plugged-in electronics if there is a power surge, helping to prevent damage. • Don’t overcharge. It’s essential to have gadgets charged and ready to go, but overcharging can reduce battery life. Do not leave devices charging overnight. Battery University™, a free educational website offering battery information, says that nickel- and lithium-based batteries should be stored with a 40 percent state-of-charge. This level minimizes age-related capacity loss and keeps the battery in good condition. • Use protective cases. Cases can prevent damage if devices are dropped and also may safeguard against scratched screens. Cases and covers also minimize dust and dirt on devices. • Keep software up-to-date. Security issues may arise when software is not updated, and programs may not run effectively or be compatible with others. Along the same vein, routinely clean out unused files to free up space, and clear cookies and browser histories to maintain speed and efficiency. Routine maintenance can keep electronics working properly when they’re needed the most.
TELEGRAPH • July 16, 2020
The benefits of a new approach to learning for students The validity of the adage “necessity is the mother of invention” was on full display during the COVID-19 outbreak. People quickly had to learn to adapt to a new way of life, including an educational system that was transformed dramatically by social distancing guidelines. More than 76 million students are enrolled in United States schools, per the latest Census Bureau information. In 2018, 2.12 million students were in Canadian postsecondary institutions alone. In a matter of days, millions of students who once attended classes in-person were forced to transition to virtual learning instruction. The process showed just how flexible learning systems can be, and how virtual instruction may become more than an emergency protocol in the future. Schools utilized systems like Google Classroom, Canvas and virtual meeting apps to connect and learn. While in-class lessons provide the socialization and one-on-one interaction that can be vital for students’ academic success, there are many different reasons why virtual instruction can be a key component of learning models as well. When virtual learning is used in conjunction with traditional teaching, students may have a more well-rounded experience. Here are some potential benefits that may unfold as more data is collected. • Pace: Virtual learning affords students the chance to work on lessons at a pace that fits their individual needs. Students can go back and re-read or re-work problems until they’re
satisfied they have learned their lesson. Lessons can be slowed down or sped up depending on proficiency, creating a customized educational experience. • No more weather days. Many school districts include snow or extreme weather days into their calendars, adding on extra days at the end of school year to meet the specified number of educational days. Remote learning can take over in these times and keep school districts from having to pad calendars. • Convenience: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later to provide students the best chance to get the amount of sleep they need. Still, most adolescents currently start school before 8:30 a.m. Remote learning enables students to complete their assignments when it works best for them. This may help them get more sleep, too. • Apps: Learning apps are a new wave of educational tools that have helped buoy virtual instruction. Primary school students or those with individual education plans may benefit the most from reinforced app skills that match their learning pace in fun ways. Virtual home instruction may become a large part of the educational landscape even after it’s no longer a social distancing necessity.
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TELEGRAPH • July 16, 2020
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