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District Provides Parents Guide to Distance Learning Plan to Highlight District’s Standards and Offer Resources to Support Families While at Home

on April 28, 2020

The Warwick Valley Central School District, in its ongoing effort to maintain continuity of learning for its students during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, has developed a parent guide for its distance learning program. The Parent Guide to Distance Learning Plan makes available a written set of district standards and accessible resources to support families at home during this extraordinary time.

“The pandemic and resulting statewide stay-at-home order have created an unprecedented time for administrators, teachers, and students,” said Superintendent Dr. David Leach. “Although we cannot replace the experience of learning in our classrooms, we are continuing to ensure that each child receives a high-quality education through distance learning.”

As it became apparent that the state would mandate a protracted school closure, the district quickly shifted its approach to distance learning to support its students. Now, this guide continues to raise the level of remote instruction. The plan delivers a blueprint of standards for teachers as they conduct distance learning and provides parents with an understanding of the district’s expectations for both its educators and students. 

Specifically, the plan indicates that teachers will conduct two recorded instructional lessons each week. Teachers will record themselves explaining directions, reviewing material, or teaching new concepts. Teachers who elect to provide real-time instruction will post the recorded sessions. Students who are not able to participate in the live sessions may replay them at any time.

Teachers will also interact directly with their students for each subject using tools for real-time class meetings, conferring, and/or office hours. 

The district wanted to provide more interactive learning to its lesson delivery, beyond email communications and responses to posted activities, Dr. Leach said. Nevertheless, the district also needed to balance the needs of students and families as live lessons create challenges for students who need to miss a lesson. 

“In this plan, we are especially sensitive not to overtax our students while at the same time we are providing clear expectations and a consistent approach for both teachers and students, which will help everyone be successful,” Dr. Leach said. 

The guide also provides other information, such as:

  • Helpful quick links
  • A grading rubric
  • Computation formula for final course grades
  • Educational resources
  • Guide to online classroom etiquette
  • Where to go if a student has questions
  • Support services
  • Mental health support material
  • Self-care facts
  • District clinical staff
  • Important resource websites
  • State testing updates

“We think this guide will continue to help make the transition to a distance learning environment easier and more successful for our parents, our teachers, and, most importantly, our students,” Mr. James Yap, the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, expressed. 

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