Distance Learning | Work from Home Plan (COVID-19)

Foundations of our Distance Learning Plan:

 

The Met works with families holistically. We keep in mind the lives of students and families, and when possible, we make that the work. In this time of distance learning, we will be checking in on how our students and families are feeling and what they may need. We will track this information, share with Principals and whole-school staff, and continue to adapt. There will be many ways for us to help.

Like our families, who have multiple responsibilities at home, many of our staff have families of their own to care for while continuing to provide a personalized, supportive education for students. Our Distance Learning plan combines synchronous (real time) sessions and asynchronous (at different times) sessions - working on the evidence that more asynchronous sessions support student learning at the high school level. Some key points:  

  • Our initial goal is to provide routine and support for students. While much of the learning will be structured asynchronously, routine is important for both mental health and for productivity. Some learning will and should be synchronous.
  • When we give an assignment, we will structure it with clear directions and a specific due day or time. We will also keep in mind that it is likely to take students a longer time to complete tasks at home than with our in-person support, especially during this time.
  • We will encourage and provide opportunities to do work off a screen: Do something physical, take a walk, help around the house, practice hands-on skills, call a mentor, interview a family member, do some art, craft, or make music - something creative and active.

Right now, with this Distance Learning, we are engaging in a vast social experiment. As such, we will work to maintain an experimental mindset, designing, testing, and redesigning as necessary.  We won’t get it right the first time. We won’t panic. We won’t try to be perfect. We will continue to learn and collaborate.

This plan may change as we continue to learn more about: how long the distance learning may last; what tools and processes are having more success; and the health and safety of staff, students, and families. Consistent, frequent communication and continued trust and partnership will be the foundation of our success together. 

Distance Learning Schedule Overview:

Monday, March 23rd  - This will be a Professional Development Day (moved from Friday, March 27th). Staff will connect with you and your students to review the plan and specific schedules.

Tuesday, March 24th - Distance Learning begins with a Morning Advisory Zoom Conference.  Advisors will be finalizing Trimester 2, and beginning Trimester 3 work. Work then continues according to the plan detailed below. During these first two weeks we will survey families about our progress.

By Friday, April 3rd - The Met will communicate to you what we know about any next steps for Distance Learning  - how long it might last and what our next steps as a community are. If we continue, Advisors will reach out to you to modify Learning Plans for students to complete Trimester 3. 

Our Plan to Support Families:

We will continue to be a place of connection for students and families. Advisors will contact families by phone to explain the initial plan and to check in on the family, and continue to be available for any support. Our Social Workers will continue to connect to students and families during this time. Special Educators, ELL Providers, and other support staff will be in contact with students as well.

The Met will continue to communicate through our website, mailings, emails, and our posts on Edlio.  Most importantly, Met Advisors will call families regularly to update them, check in, provide information about the school and local health resources, and gather feedback on their students and our processes. We provide our materials in English and in Spanish and have been gathering resources about COVID-19 in English and Spanish to share with families.

We will be reaching out to families with a survey in the first two weeks, to check in on how they are doing and how we are supporting them. 

Additionally, any family with questions can email Co-Director Nancy Diaz Bain at NDiaz@metmail.org or call 752-2660 with ideas, concerns, or questions. You can also send general questions or concerns to us at: https://www.themethighschool.org/apps/contact/

Resources

Website: https://www.themethighschool.org

Edlio App:

It's free to download to your iOS or Android phone and quick to set up:

  1. Go to the App Store or Google Play and search for "School News by Edlio" to install.
  2. Open the app and search for “Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center;” tap "Add School." If you have kids in other Edlio-powered schools, add them to the app too.
  3. Enable push notification by going to the Alerts tab and tapping "Enable Notifications."

All of the news and events posted to our website are posted here for easy access. We'll send push notifications out to keep you updated on urgent news.

Health And Labor Resources: A page on our staff website with resources from the health and labor departments.

Previous Letters:

3.11.20 Letter (English) (Spanish)

3.16.20 Letter (English) (Spanish)

3.18.20 Email (English) (Spanish)

Our Plan To Support Students with Distance Learning:

Advisors will hold three minimum virtual advisory sessions per week on Zoom. Students will continue to have work specific to their grade level and to their personal Learning Plans (in the areas of their Real World Learning or internship investigations, Literacy, Math (QR), Social Reasoning and Empirical Reasoning investigations, Post-Met work and any college class the student may be taking that is now virtual). This learning will be delivered through Google Classroom, Drive, and Gmail. (Students are familiar with these tools).

To participate in advisory, students may also be asked to utilize FlipGrid, Screencastify, and Nearpod.

Depending on the student’s Learning Plan, the student may be completing projects, assignments and tasks from their current Learning Plan work and, if our Distance Learning is extended, from a new Learning Plan that may involve additional/new online classes and content. Working with the Learning Team, Advisors will help identify appropriate virtual learning opportunities for students. 

In addition, The Met will be offering weekly scheduled Online Content sessions to support student learning on Nearpod. 

These strategies - synchronous and asynchronous learning options, platforms that connect groups and allow students to share and build learning, and personalized work targets - combined with staff’s flexibility and responsiveness, make rigorous student learning able to continue outside of our usual structure.

Sample Schedule: Helping Students Structure Their Time and Work at Home (executive functioning and project based learning)

Every student’s schedule is a bit different, but a sample schedule will look like:

 

LTI Day

Non-LTI Day

Morning

Get up, eat, exercise, engage your mind, text a friend, etc.

Get up, eat, exercise, engage your mind, text a friend, etc.

9:00

Check in with Advisor/Advisory

Plan Day (Zoom) + (Online Energizers)

Check in with Advisor/Advisory

Plan Day (Zoom) + (Online Energizers)

9:30

RWL Activity / Exhibition Prep or Presentation (Week 1)

One on One with Advisor (Varies)

Email your mentor

One on one with Advisor or Exhibition (if not complete)

Literacy or QR Activity

11:00

Walk, Work Out, Service, Support Family (Document  in Blog)

Walk, Work Out, Service, Support Family (Document  in Blog)

 

12:00

Lunch

Lunch

12:30

Project/ LTI Time (See work tracker)

One on one with Advisor or Exhibition (if not complete)

(Project, Literacy, QR, Post Met, College Work)

1:30 

Art, Walk, Music, Service, Creative Time

Art, Walk, Music, Service, Creative Time

2:00

Independent Work (Project, Literacy, QR, Post Met, Learning Goal Investigation, College Work)

Independent Work (Project, Literacy, QR, Post Met, Learning Goal InvestigationCollege Work)

2:30

Post the Work for Advisor.  Read Update Emails

Post Work for Advisor.  Read Update Emails

Possible -Check out at the end of the week -VC

Afternoon

Complete any work that you need to do. 

Relax + Mindfulness

Move your body

Continue to Social Distance

Make something

Complete any work that you need to do. 

Relax+ Mindfulness

Move your body

Continue to Social Distance

Make something

Our Plan To Support Students in General:

Beyond distance learning, we will support families in the holistic way we always aim to. Students will continue to have access to their social workers and our advisory staff will be checking in on the mental and physical health and welfare of students and families 

Expectations for Student Attendance

As when we are in school, in the Distance Learning plan students are expected to complete their assignments and communicate and participate each day. Specifically, students are expected to attend: advisory; weekly one on one meetings with their Advisor (and other in-time sessions that are offered); and sessions with their specialists. Students are expected to check in with their advisor frequently and complete their individual Learning Plan work at an agreed upon time.


In the current Distance Learning plan, each week students would attend three Advisory virtual sessions, one one on one meeting with their Advisor, and at least one math check-in to review assignments. Students who receive special education and ELL services will also have virtual sessions each week, on the same schedule and/or at the same level of service as when school is in session.


For Distance Learning attendance, in addition to attending virtual advisories, specialist sessions, and any class sessions (such as college class, partnership virtual programming, math, accounting, or coding), students will need to check in with Advisors by 9:30 every day to confirm their work plan and their deliverables for the day. Students can check in any time. They will be marked if it is later, but this is much preferred to being absent. If the student has particular issues that we need to take into account in determining absence, please review this with the advisor or principal.

Each Advisor will provide your student with a weekly schedule.  Here is  a sample. (Link) 

Monitoring Student Progress While Providing Distance Learning

Advisors, specialists, Social Workers, and other educators will be tracking attendance, work completion, and the mental and physical health of students.  Participation and work completion are coded on a scale.  This information will be shared with families at check-ins. 

Moreover, these trackers will be reviewed throughout the week by Principals, who will be able to re-task staff to support students who may need it. At the end of the week, the Administrative Team will review the data throughout the whole school to look for trends and to update plans, staffing, and resources to support better outcomes for students and families.

Supporting Differently-Abled Students and Multilingual Learners

For Our Differently Abled Students:

Using Zoom and the phone, SpEd Providers will maintain service hours for individual students. The team will use a combination of IXL, Khan, Newsela, 6 Way Paragraphs, Elevate, Vocabulary.com, and Quill to support students in their IEP goals. We will be recording support hours so that if there were any interruptions, technological access, health interruptions, we would provide opportunities to access additional services either during the summer or next fall.

For our Multilingual Learners:

Using Zoom, Nearpod, Flipgrid, and the phone, ELL Providers will be maintaining the same level of instruction and support as when school is in session, both in groups and with individual students. We will be recording support hours so that if there were any interruptions, technological access, health interruptions, we would provide opportunities to access additional services either during the summer or next fall. We continue to discover new online resources to support students and will explore which work to best support students in developing their speaking, reading, writing, and listening in English. 

Providing access to technology and internet to support virtual learning

As our Distance Learning plan is heavily dependent on technology, our plans to support the technology are:

Hardware:

All Met students have school issued Chromebooks. Prior to leaving, we audited which students still had chargers, and which were lost.  We gave out chargers to those who we knew needed them at the time.   Advisors will continue to check whether students need a replacement. If they do, one can be mailed to the student.

For Internet Access:

As of March 20th, our Advisors have called families to check in on their internet access at home.  We have found 30 students who did not have reliable home internet. We reached out to these families to offer to connect them with Cox, who will come into their homes this week to provide free internet access. We will continue to monitor that as the days progress and will make internet access a top priority.

For any Gap in Internet Access:

In the week prior to leaving for vacation, students were sent home with reading materials and their Chromebooks. Students were trained how to use their Chromebook for offline files, so that they could still write up their documentation of reading, research work, and journaling. At the beginning of the week, Advisors will call students and families to detail a specific plan for each student until the internet is in place. 

(How to use your chromebook offline)

Providing Ongoing Support to Our Teachers

Our educators are the backbone of our school.  Many are balancing parenting and teaching themselves and doing an amazing job. Supporting them so that they can support students is a priority for us.

Principals will check in with staff minimally three times per week to support their work, and they have the flexibility to reorganize staff responsibilities as needed. Whole-school administrative and support staff will also provide assistance and can take on additional duties.

For professional development, we are hosting training for Zoom and other tools that staff may need. We are also providing group training and individual coaching for educators as they create lesson plans and learning activities in line with the Distance Learning plan.

As we progress, and if Distance Learning is extended, we will move to a second phase where we will host virtual grade level meetings to revisit the grade level expectations for Distance Learning and support them in any necessary changes. Additional PD opportunities will also be designed and delivered, in a “just in time” style, to respond to educators’ needs. Throughout Distance Learning, the PD Director and other administrative and support staff are available for individual coaching as needed.

We will also continue to monitor absenteeism for staff and re-configure roles and responsibilities in order to support students whose educators are out.

Resources and Links:

The Work

Focus will be on five areas: Completing Trimester 2; Project Work; Literacy; QR; Met 101-401 work including Post Met, learning goal investigations, and grade level specific work. Advisors will differentiate the work, as usual. Each week would have these five basic elements - the foundation of what we do - while additional activities can be incorporated, especially to help students learn from and make sense of their world during this pandemic. 

Cadence and amount of assignments:

Start from the idea that your group will complete work at an amount and cadence that correlates to what you ask of them now. There are suggestions in red in each left hand column; it would equate to 7-12 assignments per week, but it will vary of course based on the assignment and the student. We will continue to be one student at a time as much as we can.

Priority 1: Students Completing Trimester 2 - Week 1

  • Students who have not completed their end of trimester exhibition can, at the Advisor’s discretion, do one of the following to close out the trimester. (Exhibitions/ presentations can be shortened to focus on LTI, Project, Most Impactful Learning.)
    • Choice 1: Complete Exhibition Slides and written Student Narrative
    • Choice 2: Complete Exhibition Slides and Screencastify a portion
    • Choice 3: Complete Exhibition slides and present a portion by Zoom VC to Advisor.
 

Priority 2: Enacting the Work - The Starting Points

RWL/ Independent / Project Work

2x per week

RWL Content Focus Areas:

  • Review CTE Competencies related to LTI work
  • Research into planned LTI Projects & investigations
  • Expand or add to current project-connected academic investigations
  • RW Launch Assignments
  • Communicate virtually with mentor
Find an LTI for next year

Literacy

2x per week

Literacy Content Focus Areas:

  • Reading (Non Fiction and LTI)
  • Writing
    • Persuasive/Argument
    • Autobiography
    • Reflective
Vocabulary Practice / Learning

QR

2x per week

Content Focus: Continuing Scope and Sequence, Review, and Test Prep

Activities:

  • Khan Academy
  • Delta Math
  • SAT, PSAT, Accuplacer Prep
  • TAI Packets

Post Met

1x Per Week

(as a  Met _01 activity)

Post Met Contingency Plans/Work:

  • All grades do Post-Met research, in lieu of cancelled College Fair.
  • SAT, PSAT, Accuplacer Prep
  • Common App Support
  • Financial Aid Forms and support to families

Met 101-401

1-2 times per Week

  • Learning Goal Investigations in various content areas outlined in Learning Plan
  • Second Language practice
  • Test Prep
  • Portfolio Creation and Update

College Class

Varies

Main Note:

  • Support students in one on ones on the work for each week re: syllabus
  • Navigating new online learning
  • Changes in calendar and expectations

SR and ER Investigations

1-2x per week

Activities:

  • ICivics
  • Oral History Project: Family Interview
  • ER-COVID-19 Resources
  • Teaching Tolerance
  • Chosen TED talks
  • Oral History Project

COVID-19 Specific Investigations

Make Life their work...

Activities:

  • Khan Academy - Virus Unit
  • Vox Guide to Coronavirus
  • Research - what is happening in other countries?
  • Documenting our experience for history: University of Alberta Materials

 

 

Additional Resources for creating Online Learning